But therein lies a problem because with some kids, no action outside of attempts to 'reason' are signs of weakness. It is about making sure the child knows his/her place and a slap on the butt isn't going to impart some sort of psychosis on them unless you're one of those inbred hick types who think it's okay to put your kid in the Million Dollar Dream because they won't eat their meat. I think when parents go overboard your post makes sense, they learn that violence is the key to gaining power and control. However, I don't see how such small scale punishment is damaging.I would suspect Tourette's or similar behavior disorder. Hitting isn't called for with kids. You can smash them into complete submission, yeah, but that's not education and it isn't parenting. The true message of spanking is that the bigger, more violent person gets his way.
We're ultimately animals, whether we like to believe it or not and physicality is still a universal language. The problem is that it's such a delicate language and people don't know how to effectively speak it.