I am opposed to spanking. I would be more open to it if a child, once spanked, never misbehaved again, but I’m pretty sure that never happens. Not-spanking doesn’t mean you let children do everything they please, but it does mean you have to be more creative wherever an action requires a manufactured consequence. If little Timmy chops off a finger while playing with the door (a “natural” consequence) you told him not to play with, manufacturing additional punishment seems excessive — although an “I told you so” may prove irresistible.
Like those intrepid parents who don’t wish to hit their children to punish them, governments and societies invest great amounts of treasure, time, and/or energy into developing disciplinary techniques. French philosopher Michel Foucault offers his three cents in his book Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison; of special interest (i.e., class assignment) is the chapter titled “Panopticism.”