Tag Archive | punishment

Rantings & Ravings Rebooted Ep 03 – “Gays & Justice”

Intro (0:00)

General conversation about stuff.

News 1 (2:33)

Gay couple in Norway attacked by Moroccans, and reflections on the Pulse Shooting, as well as the fact that we’re not able to fix a problem if we aren’t allowed to discuss it. Also the mess in Syria, why Trump thinks it’s okay to create more terrorists, and the clusterfuck state of American foreign policy.

Stupid Comment of the Week (10:06)

A “former AnCap” who left the ideology because… he couldn’t envision a way for the ideology to come to fruition…? It was really hard to make sense of his ramblings, and this is from someone who rambles a lot. So we discuss various ways in which the radical ideology of non-violence could be implemented, and mention again that beautiful event during World War 1.

News 2 (23:52)

There actually isn’t a second news item this week. I had one, but deleted it to instead talk about the fact that we shouldn’t have this much shit to discuss in the first place, and how it’s an indication that something has gone awry. My anarchism doesn’t come out often (much of the time, I could be mistaken for a libertarian), but here it really shines through.

Are You Fucking Kidding Me? (36:37)

Skittles’ attempt to show solidarity with a rainbow-oriented group by… removing all colors from their candy…? What? I’m far from a Social Justice Warrior, but they have a point. Removing all color doesn’t show support; it shows antagonism, morons. “I’m going to show my support for the women’s march by waving my dick around!” What? No, it doesn’t make sense. A candy with the slogan of “taste the rainbow” removing all its colors to show “support” for a group whose emblem is the rainbow is, at the very least moronic, and that’s assuming it wasn’t meant as a snub of LGBTQ people in a society that wouldn’t tolerate it.

Darkside Philosophy (40:53)

Justice and AnCap principles–most people don’t mean “justice” when they say it. They mean “vengeance.” So I talk a bit about my murdered mother and how I might have justice over it. Spoiler Alert: the only way for me to have justice is to forgive the murderer. The conceit that it’s okay to inflict violence on someone because they used violence is called Eye For An Eye, and it’s not justice; it’s revenge.

Negative Consequences

We can’t prevent any and all negative consequences.

The idea that we somehow can lies at the heart of statism. We can’t have freedom of association, because then some racist assholes would choose not to associate with black people. We can’t have capitalism because then some people might not be able to afford food. We can’t have freedom of speech because then some people might hurt other people’s feelings.

The most common criticism of anarchism is that anarchy can’t guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong, a security that people seem to desperately crave, even though they don’t have it, and even though it’s impossible in a universe that doesn’t seem to care much whether we’re here. “What will you do to prevent murder?” people ask the anarchist, using the anarchist’s inability to definitively prevent murder as a reason for rejecting anarchy.

It’s fallacious, of course. The state doesn’t successfully prevent negative consequences either, no matter how much it tries and interferes in our lives. With all the laws and prisons, with all the destruction of liberty in the modern United States, there remains murder. It’s readily apparent that this isn’t an argument for the state; it’s an excuse for the status quo. “The state doesn’t successfully prevent murder, but anarchy can’t either. So why change?”

The obvious answer is that the state doesn’t simply fail to prevent murder; it is the Primary Murderer. As an institution, the state has racked up a body count that should cause any moral person to do a doubletake; in the 20th century alone, counting only war and advice combatants, states killed more than 120,000,000 people. If there were no states, those people killed by states would not have died. So if we want to reduce murder, the stateless society is clearly the way to go.

Prohibition doesn’t work, and we know this. Everyone knows it until we get to their Pet Issue, at which point they decide arbitrarily that prohibition can work. Abortion is a great example, because outlawing abortion doesn’t stop abortion; it merely chases it to the shadows of the back alley. Prohibition against alcohol didn’t eliminate alcohol; it was merely chased into the shadows of the black market. Prohibition against drugs hasn’t stopped people from doing drugs.

The argument may be that it’s fine, because we’ve substantially reduced the number of people doing these things, even if some people still do them, but this ignores the tremendous negative consequences. Our prisons are filled with non-violent offenders, largely minorities. Drugs are bought and sold in secret, unverified, possibly impure, possibly laced, and possibly lethal. People who can’t find heroin turn to krokodil. These are negative consequences. Our state intervention did not come without a price and arguments can certainly be made that the price was higher than the reward. Great, we kept five people off heroin, and the only side effect was that two people got on krokodil! Only a supremely jaded person can call this a victory.

Of course, this simply leads to more interventions, and more attempts to make up new rules to address the negative side effects of the old rules. Russia made codeine prescription-only to fix the krokodil epidemic caused by heroin being illegal, which simply made heroin easier to get and cheaper than krokodil. And then they’ll come up with some new rule to address the negative side effects of the last rule, and the end result is a clusterfuck of nonsensical laws limiting the behavior of adults.

Don’t think that we’re any different in the United States. There are positive and negative consequences to every action. Getting up early and starting my work day early comes with the positive consequence of earning more money, and with the negative consequence of getting less sleep. There’s always a trade-off, and this is the critical thing that statists attempt to deny.

Sure, outlawing heroin seems like a good idea with positive consequences–right up until someone’s skin rots off because they turned to krokodil. That negative consequence can’t be ignored. Furthermore, any attempt to fix it will come with its own set of consequences. And each time, liberty is restricted. The adults out there who use heroin in the same way that party drinkers use alcohol are caught in the cross fire, their lives destroyed in our Quixotic quest to eliminate drug addicts, and turned into hardened criminals by a prison system that rivals the Roman Gladiatorial Arenas in sheer barbarism.

Prohibition against alcohol probably lowered the number of people who drank. It also created Al Capone and turned Chicago into the gang-infested nightmare that it remains today. It drastically lowered the quality of alcohol, leading to widespread poisoning, and turned previously safe warehouses into guarded camps that regularly saw vicious battles erupting over control of the lucrative black market. It was hardly what anyone would call a victory.

Prohibiting abortion today wouldn’t end it, especially not in an age that has the Tor network (The Dark Web), which would make it easier than ever to find an abortionist. Even Craigslist can’t keep illicit activity off, and people would find abortionists through it. Rather than having the procedure done in a safe and sterile environment, though, we’d be back in the alley with coathangers. We know this, because that’s what happened before abortion was legalized.

It’s true. I can’t promise you that nothing will ever go wrong in an anarcho-capitalist society. In fact, the only thing I can promise you is that things will go wrong. The only thing that really matters is which set of consequences you want. Do you want freedom and the sometimes negative consequences? Do you want free speech even though it means people might say hateful things? Do you want free association even though it means racists might not associate with minorities?

Or do you want statism, for the government to attempt to minimize negative consequences by limiting freedom, and thereby creating a new set of consequences that have to be addressed by limiting freedom more?

We can’t have a utopia. In a universe largely hostile to our existence, imperfect beings can’t have a utopia. The state can’t give us one, and anarchy can’t give us one. Basic algebra tells us, then, that we can reduce the equation by erasing utopia from both sides. When we do this, what are we left with?

Freedom and negative consequences, or tyranny and negative consequences.

I, for one, will always choose freedom.

Justice, Punishment, and AnCap Principles

It’s come to my attention–via hearsay, as I’ve never read the person in question–that Walter Block argues that punishment in a stateless society isn’t strictly necessary, but what is important is that survivors are doubly repaid for losses. This seems to deal primarily with theft, but there was also a solution relayed to me regarding murder: simply, the murder would work for the surviving family for the rest of his life.

I… can’t get on board with any of this.

These are the moments when the principle of Non Aggression gets skewed. I have no idea if Walter Block advocates these things are not, but they are grotesque and immoral, and are no better than the state system of law and punishment we have now. So because a man did something wrong, he is to be condemned to being a slave for the rest of his life? What part of that is supposed to be in accord with AnCap principles? What part of that is supposed to be in accord with non aggression? Slavery is among the greatest violations of the NAP, to take someone and force them to work for you because they wronged you and your family member…

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

I know it’s hard. Believe me, I really do. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see some news article from the tri-state area about a body being found in the mountains, in a lake, or in a ditch, and every single time some part of me hopes… “Could this be it? Could this be my mother?” I know damned well what it’s like to lose a family member to murder, and I know what it’s like to live with that, to live with the murderer getting away with absolutely no punishment whatsoever because the body was thoroughly discarded. So you’re not going to find too many more people with the stable ground to say this:

There is nothing that could be done to bring justice to my murdered mother. It’s done. It’s over. She’s dead. While I would love nothing more than to have her rotting body buried somewhere respectable, with a tombstone so that I could finally put her to rest, even that would do nothing to alleviate any of the sorrow or pain, and it definitely wouldn’t bring her back. I know exactly who killed her, but without a body there’s nothing to be charged with. He lives a life of relative comfort, now a trained engineer or something like that, and has the love of his children and his other family members. There is nothing that can be done to him that would constitute justice.

This is the conceit that is breaking modern society: there’s no such thing as justice. It’s an imaginary idea. What we mean when we say “justice” is “This person did something wrong, so we’re going to get revenge, but we’re going to call it something else because we want to convince ourselves that our wrongful act against him is somehow different than the wrongful act he committed.” But it isn’t, because two wrongs don’t make a right.

It’s wrong to kidnap people at gunpoint, hold them against their will, and force them into slave labor, to force them into situations where they live in concrete jungles and have to fight for their lives or be raped. That’s morally wrong. There are no exceptions.

Truth be told, there is only one way for me to have justice over my mother’s murder by what most people would call my uncle, and that would be… forgiveness. Forgiving him is the only way to ease the pain in my heart and to release the sorrow. Isn’t that the point of justice? To ease the victim’s pain? Punishment doesn’t ease the victim’s pain; it converts it into zealous excitement and lust for vengeance. Just like if your wife cheats on you, it won’t ease your pain to then go out and cheat on your wife; it will only exacerbate it, enlarge it, and lengthen it. No, the only way forward, the only way to recovery, and the only way toward justice is through forgiveness.

“Through forgiveness.”

That phrasing isn’t accidental. Forgiveness is a difficult labyrinth that must be navigated, with pitfalls and temptations hiding around every corner. Through the darkness emanate the whispers, “Why should you be the one putting in the effort? You did nothing wrong! He should be the one who pays! He should be the one who suffers! Haven’t you suffered enough? It’s time for him to pay for what he did!” These voices rarely cease while one travels through the labyrinthine, internal mind, coming to terms with the past and accepting its role in shaping the present.

It’s not supposed to be easy to forgive people, but forgiveness is all about the forgiver; it has nothing to do with the aggressor. I realized this when I was asked what, if anything, Vegas Chick could do to cause me to forgive her. I realized that there was nothing she could do, because it didn’t have anything to do with her. It had everything to do with me and my own emotional responses. I had a choice: to cling to the negative emotions, or to let them go. A demand for some kind of contrition, some kind of punishment… is clinging to the negative emotions. It never releases them, and releasing them is the only way to travel from the land of the wounded to the land of peace.

It’s also not easy to forgive the man who murdered my mother for unknown reasons. It’s not easy to forgive him for being the sole reason that I will be buried long before her body is ever discovered, if, indeed, her body is ever found. It’s not supposed to be easy to take a deep breath, let the negativity wash away, and say, “I forgive you.”

As a society, we have a passionate lust for revenge, and we love our euphemisms precisely because they allow us to pretend like it’s not revenge that we’re after. Years ago, when working through these ideas, I decided that the difference had to be that justice was impartial and vengeance was personal. In other words, if you enacted punishment against the murder on my behalf, then it was justice; if I did it, then it was vengeance. I’ve since realized how wrong that is. You acting on my behalf doesn’t change anything. It’s just a convenient way for me to shirk the responsibility; it’s just a handy way for me to pretend like I’m not the one responsible for the aggression being committed against someone else. “I’m not doing it!” I could proclaim. “They’re doing it!”

Except they’re doing it with my blessing. And whether I have the power to stop them or not–in the modern American system, I probably don’t have the power to stop the court system from prosecuting him, if her body was ever discovered–it wouldn’t change the fact that they’re doing so on my behalf, on my mom’s behalf, and on my sister’s behalf. But what if my sister and I both expressed that we wanted it forgiven, not punished? Because I would absolutely go before court and argue such a thing, even for the person who murdered my mother. Our testimony would mean little. We wouldn’t be able to simply drop the charges, despite being the only survivors of the murdered woman and therefore having more claim to express her wishes than anyone else.

And why? Because the state would be acting instead on behalf of Straw Victims it has imagined, and those Straw Victims are more important than my sister and me.

Punishment doesn’t end an injustice. It extends it.

Alternatives

The goal can’t be to punish someone. Punishment must be incidental, if it happens at all.

I don’t dispute that, once someone murders another person, individuals–whether elected or hired–have the purview to take measures to prevent the murderer from murdering anyone else. How this is to be accomplished, however, is a question of extreme importance. The obvious answer, according to most people, is to “Throw them in prison and throw away the key!”

No, because that doesn’t really prevent murder. The murder rate in prison is pretty high, and you won’t get most rational people to agree to a life sentence for one murder. Hell, the person we’re talking about served only 7 of a ten year sentence for murder. So the person is ultimately going to get back out of prison–or will kill someone in prison, bypassing the “out of prison” part altogether and committing a murder, meaning our preventative efforts failed. Since prison inmates have a 75% likelihood of going back to prison, prison is clearly an ineffective way of preventing crime from happening again. It may or may not prevent some crime, but it’s too ineffective to be our Yes, That’s the Best Solution answer.

I don’t know that I really have an alternative. Extensive therapy by trained psychologists would obviously be in order. Is there any way to fix this person’s damaged brain? Because, without exception, something has broken down in the moral centers of the murderer’s brain. That’s a given, because normal, healthy people don’t murder other people. We find the idea repugnant in every conceivable way, and we would not murder another person even if we knew that we could get away with it without any consequences at all. It’s not punishment or fear of punishment that stays our hands; it’s our own internal morality. Once that internal morality breaks down, no amount of laws will protect someone.

The goal of prison was supposed to be to segregate, punish, and rehabilitate. It fails on all accounts. A scary number of innocent people have landed in prison, without even getting into the number of people in prison for committing “victimless crimes*”. So criminals are not segregated from the innocent. Nor are they punished, at least not in the way that society likes to pretend. Drug abuse and sex are rampant in prison. It’s often easier to find hardcore drugs in prison than it is to find them on the streets. As for rehabilitation–you’re kidding right? I would bet my shiny new tickets to the A Perfect Circle show in Nashville that most the 25% of former prisoners who don’t return to prison are simply too old upon release to be out there raping and killing people, or whatever they did to go to prison in the first place.

There has to be some way of preventing someone from committing another murder, and that’s what our focus should be on. Not punishment. Punishment only exacerbates the amount of wrongdoing in the world. Killing someone because they killed someone doesn’t reduce the amount of killing in the world; it obviously increases it by one. Kidnapping and holding someone against their will for kidnapping and holding someone against their will doesn’t reduce the amount of people being kidnapped and held against their will; it increases it by one. There is no justice as long as we are doing things that add more murder, more kidnapping, more imprisonment, more rape, and more violence to the world.

Justice, as an ideal, must be incapable of increasing the amount of aggression in the world. If it increases the amount of aggression, then it cannot be justice. That must be our metric for determining what is justice and what isn’t.

It starts with forgiveness.

This doesn’t mean that a person shouldn’t be held to account for acts of aggression, or that there should be no consequences. It does, however, change the goals of the consequences. Rather than seeking punishment, we should seek prevention. “What can we do to make sure this man never kills again?” should be our guiding question, not, “How can we make this man suffer for what he did?” The act is done. Making him suffer won’t fix anything and won’t help anything; it will only increase the amount of suffering in the world.

And two wrongs don’t make a right.

This is very different from catching someone in the act of aggression and having the opportunity to stop the act from escalating. If you walk in on some thief beating the hell out of your family member and you shoot and kill that thief, you’ve done nothing wrong. You prevented a beating from escalating into what probably would have been a murder. Since the thief initiated the aggression, you did what you had to do to protect another human being who had done nothing to initiate the attack. But what if you came home from work and you knew who had beaten your brother half to death and stolen your laptops and television? Would it be morally right to chase that person down and kill them? I don’t think many people would say “Yes” to that, and I certainly wouldn’t. Because at that point, you’re no longer preventing; you’re punishing.

We need a lot of spiritual growth–a phrase I use colloquially. It’s true, though. Before we can have a stateless society, we have to have a society where no one is asking “How can we punish criminals?” Because a stateless society can’t answer that question, because a stateless society forbids the use of force, violence, and coercion. “How can we punish criminals” is the wrong question, coming from a dark place in the human heart that prefers vengeance to forgiveness, and that’s something we have to let go of. We have to learn to forgive. Once we have a society of people asking the right question–“How can we prevent a murderer from killing again?”–then we will be ready to enjoy the luxuries of a stateless society.

This is part of the reason that the state is so tied to the criminal system, of course. It wants us to confuse punishment with justice, because as long as we’re erroneously calling punishment “justice,” we’ll despise any system that seeks to deny it to us. “You mean you’re not going to punish that child rapist? He should have his dick cut off! He should be publicly castrated! Fuck him! Throw him in prison with Big Jim!”

No… No.

That’s vengeance, not justice.

Yes, by all means, and absolutely: let’s prevent that rapist from raping again. That’s mandatory, once they have done such a horrific act. But punishment isn’t going to do it. And when taking steps to prevent the act from occurring again, we should be mindful whether our motivation is to sate our bloodlust for vengeance, or whether our motivation is to actually protect future victims from being similarly harmed. Only by using the correct path can we arrive at the correct destination.

Bloodlust leads to punishment and, 75% of the time, repeat offenses.

Forgiveness leads to justice and prevention.

So what do we do about criminals in a stateless society? I don’t know. But I’d love for us to put our brilliant minds and our empathic hearts together and come up with a solution that actually works without increasing the amount of suffering in the world and while releasing the primordial instinct within us that demands we take an eye for an eye.

* Otherwise called “choices”.

Should Hillary Be In Prison?

No.

At this point, any attempts by the Republican government to prosecute Hillary Clinton would be spiteful and vicious, driven not by a desire for justice but by a desire to crush a political opponent, and in matters of morality motive is everything. I simply do not believe that Republicans are capable of prosecuting Hillary for noble reasons, and that they have become so partisan that they have confused their own lust for political victory with justice.

Even if we could put together a truly non-partisan panel that would look into Hillary Clinton and prosecute her, and even if this unbiased panel found her guilty of crimes, I don’t think she should be incarcerated. I think that we, as a society, need to get over our lust for punishment, because punishment is counterproductive. I’m about to make the argument that there are two forms of punishment, but for the moment I want to say that–if Hillary was found criminally negligent by this panel and then a jury of peers, the only thing that should be done is bar her from holding political offices in the future. In this scenario, she would have proven that she cannot be trusted with power, and, in the interest of preventing future crimes, we would prevent her from getting power.

The goal of any punishment should be to prevent future crime. In and of itself, there is nothing to be gained by punishing people for past crimes. Leave the past in the past. It is done. It is over, and it cannot be changed by using force, violence, and coercion against someone in vengeance for what they did. Punishing people for past crimes is often the method of prohibiting them from future crimes, but there is a difference.

I asked the question not long ago:

Imagine that we have invented a new miracle medicine that, by receiving just one shot, will cure sexual predators with 100% certainty and leave them totally unwilling to ever commit another sex crime. The drug does not affect their free will or psychological condition; it just makes them not want to do what they did ever again. However, if they are otherwise punished at any point with a jail/prison sentence, then the medicine will not work. If we give them the medicine before or after their prison sentence, it will not work; the only way to cure them is to not punish them. On the other hand, we can continue to punish them with prison, but there is a chance that they will get out of prison and, somewhere down the road, commit more crimes. Which would you advocate? The miracle drug, or prison?

Knowing that it would mean the person would never be punished, it’s my guess that most people would be adamantly against the miracle drug. When we’re faced with the reality that it means Bob raped thirteen kids in nine states and will never be punished for it, I think most people would rather him be punished. Our motive is not really to prevent future crimes; we’re interested primarily in punishing people, with making them pay, with seeking vengeance. “He made thirteen kids suffer, so he should have to suffer, too.”

While I understand completely where they’re coming from, it gets us nowhere in the grand social scheme, and we have to learn forgiveness. We have to learn to forgive people, even those people who we really, really hate. There is hardly ever anything to be gained by punishing people for past transgressions.

However, there is always something to be gained by preventing people from making future transgressions, and that is the point of my hypothetical about the miracle drug. In some ways, this could be a semantic argument; preventing someone from committing future transgressions because they have a history of transgressions and you wan to stop them is, in a manner of speaking, punishing them for their past transgressions. Except it’s not, because it’s focused on the future rather than the past.

The future is far more important than the past.

Except as evidence and showing us how we got here, the past is largely useless. The future, however, is always coming. If we are going to choose between focusing on the past or focusing on the future, then one of them is clearly superior to the other; focusing on the past would be silly. Yet this is what most people would advocate with their punishment systems, because it’s so much more satisfying to get vengeance than it is to protect presently hypothetical victims from future harm. We would be much more satisfied emotionally knowing that Bob is in prison being made into Big Jim’s bitch than we would knowing that we might have prevented Bob from raping another child fifteen years into the future, especially since there’s a possibility that Bob won’t do it anyway because he doesn’t want to have us seek vengeance upon him again.

The past has happened. It is how we got where we are right now, and all of those past moments led to this one. Of course the past is important. It’s critical that we understand where we are, and it’s often necessary to know what happened before to get a grip on what is currently going on. However, the past is also over. It is done, and crying about it is not going to change the present. Nor is punishing someone in the present going to change the past. It will change the present and the future, obviously, and that’s what we need to focus on: the future, not placating our desire to have revenge.

Attempting to exact revenge is an act of force and violence. Throwing Hillary in prison is an act of violence and force, using people with guns to kidnap her and hold her against the will. The same is true for Bob, except we’re putting Bob in a prison where we know that he will be attacked, beaten, tortured, and raped. We cannot claim to be on the side of moral good if we’re advocating these things. If we’re advocating that people should be kidnapped and thrown into caged arenas to be beaten, tortured, raped, attacked, and possibly murdered, we cannot claim to be on the side of justice or good.

Of course we need to prevent future transgressions from being done, and by this point we have every reason to justify doing what we can to prevent them. That is the furthest that morality and justice will take us, though, and anything beyond that pushes us firmly into Immoral Vengeance territory.

Currently, more than 75% of people released from prison end up back there. We cannot make the argument that prison reduces the occurrence of future crimes by any successful measure, especially since it’s likely that some of those 25% of people who don’t end up back in prison did commit further crimes, but weren’t caught. A 1 in 4 success rate is abysmal, and we would not accept it in any other area of our life. What if your vehicle only had a 1 in 4 chance of getting you to work? What if the city bus only had a 1 in 4 chance of getting you to the store? What if your airplane only had a 1 in 4 chance of getting you to Los Angeles? What if your television only had a 1 in 4 chance of turning on? What if your phone only had a 1 in 4 chance of sending a text message? What if Gmail only had a 1 in 4 chance of delivering your email? What if the polio vaccine only had a 1 in 4 chance of preventing polio, if the flu vaccine only had a 1 in 4 chance of preventing the flu, and if the pneumonia vaccine only had a 1 in 4 chance of preventing pneumonia? This failure rate is completely unacceptable.

There are undoubtedly better ways to protect the future.

Clearly, they start with forgiveness.

The How & Why of Anarchy, Part 5: Crime & Punishment

Included links won’t work, and I’m not up to fixing them at the moment… I’m sorry about that. I will fix them in the future, though.

In the previous installation of the series, we discussed war, its causes, its nature, and how a Society with no Government would protect itself against foreign Governments. There is little to add to that discussion, except that there may be some confusion about why we could expect corporations and businesses to come to our aid in the same manner with which Government provides for our national defense. To answer this question, we must first ask another question: Why do we expect our Government to come to our aid and provide for our national defense?

Corporations and businesses could, after all, be persuaded by foreign Governments into turning a blind eye to an invasion, into selling us out, and into allowing the foreign Government to conquer us. Suppose that a foreign Government promises to give the Corporation more power, a monopoly in their industries, and other benefits. Wouldn’t a corporation naturally want to take that offer, since it is the desire for profit that drives corporations in the first place, and since being promised a monopoly is guaranteed to yield a profit? Well, yes, it’s a possibility.

But the very same things could be said of our Government. Politicians within our Government could be made the very same offers. “We’ll install a new Government and give you the authority of Kings!” the foreign Government could say. What would keep our Government from selling us out to some foreign Government if that foreign Government made a tempting offer? “Turn a blind eye to our invasion, and we’ll give you…” What would keep anyone in our Government from accepting that offer?

Nothing, really, except that the American People wouldn’t stand by and let our Government do it. The only thing preventing our Government officials from selling us out to a foreign Government… is us. It’s we, the American People, who provide for our National Defense, as the Government and its members could always turn a blind eye to an invasion by a foreign Government, and the only thing preventing them from doing that is the fact that we wouldn’t allow it and we would fight it. We’d remove from power any Government and any Government official who attempted to turn a blind eye to an invasion.

The bottom line is that we’re currently “unprotected” from this possibility. If all of Congress and the White House suddenly decided to send all our soldiers to Afghanistan while the Russians invaded us, there would be no mechanism in place to protect us from this screw-over by our Government. There are no defense systems, no mechanisms, and no other systems with which we can ensure that our current Government doesn’t sell us out to a foreign Government. By abolishing our Government and switching to an Anarchy governed by Principles rather than people, we wouldn’t lose any ability to ensure that we weren’t sold out to foreign powers.

Our Government is as capable of selling us out to foreign Governments as the corporations and businesses would be in an Anarchy.

But our Government officials won’t sell us out to foreign Governments. Just as you have an intense love for your homeland and a patriotism to your land, so do the people in Government–and so do CEOs and small-business owners. The CEOs, Representatives, and Senators all have the same passionate love for our homeland as do you and I. Just as neither you nor I could imagine turning a blind eye to a foreign Government by allowing that Government to invade and conquer our homeland, neither can they. Bill Gates loves his homeland as much as you do; Donald Trump loves his homeland as much as you do; David Rockefeller loves his homeland as much as you do; the CEO of Wal-Mart loves his homeland as much as you do. Just as you would fight tooth and nail, devoting everything you had to fighting an invasion, so would they–just as our Government does.

Most CEOs recognize that they need us far more than we need them. They’re replaceable; we are not. Worse still, they can and will be replaced if they don’t treat us well and competition rises which will treat us well. As I demonstrated in Part Four, corporations and businesses, when there is proper and unrestricted competition, go out of their way to treat their employees and customers well, because competition means that if they don’t, then they will be brought down by the Free Market and consumer choices very, very quickly. When there is competition, corporations have to treat us well, they have to treat their employees well, and the better they treat consumers and their employees, the better consumers and their employees treat them. This is exactly why, in the Middle Ages, laws were passed preventing serfs from freely moving from one lord to another; the competition created by allowing the serfs to move to a lord who paid better or treated them better forced other lords to behave better and pay better, and the other lords did not appreciate this. Read Ken Follet’s “World Without End” if you’re curious about how a wage increase by one lord could make other lords furious. Now, of course, we’re not dealing with lords and serfs; we’re dealing with CEOs and employees, and it is understood that employees can freely move from one corporation to another and that they will go to whichever corporation treats them the best. This forces CEOs, whether they like it or not, to treat their consumers and employees better. The more competition there is, the better the CEOs must treat their employees and consumers. If, then, we lift all restraints on competition, the standards of consumers and employees will increase drastically. 

With a Free People fighting for their freedom, no force on Earth can defeat them. And when you apply the principle that these Free People are voluntarily contributing all that they can to the effort, instead of having it forced upon them, you end up with a Free People fighting tooth and nail with everything they have against invaders.

When a Free People fight for their freedom, no force on Earth can defeat them.

Corporations will have as much to lose as do the Individuals and would therefore contribute just as wholeheartedly to the cause. Sure, there may be some corporations who are willing to turn a blind eye to the invasion, and there may still be others who are actually willing to sabotage our efforts, but there are now Government officials who may be willing to turn a blind eye to an invasion, and there may still be other Government officials who are actually willing to sabotage our efforts. Our current system leaves us no recourse to reprimand or prevent the President of the United States, if he so chooses, to sell us out to a foreign power. With the President being wholly in charge of our military, we could be sold out to a foreign Government by a single person, and nothing really prevents him from doing this. However, in an Anarchy governed by Principles, no one person could singlehandedly sell us out to a foreign Government, and if any one person tried, they’d quickly find themselves boycotted, blockaded, and brought down by consumer choices, competition, and the rivalry of the Free Market. Only a love for his homeland and his People prevent the President (any President) from selling us out to a foreign Government. A love for the homeland and the People, and the Free Market consequences of trying (as outlined previously) prevent a corporation from trying to sell us out to a foreign Government. Since no force on Heaven or Earth can defeat a Free People who fight for their freedom, the Free People would inevitably win, and if the corporation which sold them out managed to survive to that point, it would not survive much longer. Betrayed and angry, the Free People would rally against that corporation like never before, and any corporation which rose in competition that was led by someone who had fought bravely in the war would overtake the treacherous one in a matter of days.

The Free Market and Free Market consequences save us from being sold out by any corporation. Moreover, the people in charge of these corporations, like you and I and like the people in Government, love their homeland, the principles of their homeland, and their People just as much as everyone else. They would fight for their homeland just as strongly and devotedly as you would.

Okay… I’ll Reluctantly Accept That… Just Move On. What About Murder?

Ah, for murder we must examine Laws. Governments pass laws, yes, but those laws are only reflections of what Society thinks is right and wrong. When Society accepted slavery, the Government allowed it. When Society turned against slavery, the Government outlawed it. When Society accepted drinking, the Government allowed it. When Society* turned against drinking, the Government enacted Prohibition. When Society turned against Prohibition, the Government allowed drinking again. When Society* turned against mairjuana, the Government outlawed it. Now that Society is turning around again to allow marijuana, the Government is following suit.

My point in all of this is that Society, and not Government, dictates what is and isn’t allowed. Society makes the decisions, and Government just writes them down. Government, however, is slow to change its mind and slow to modify existing law–hence the current marijuana situation. Though huge portions of the country want to see marijuana legalized for medical purposes and still more want to see it legalized for recreational purposes**, the Government is still very reluctant to do this and has instead simply said that it won’t try to overturn some State laws about it. Rather than actually being on the cutting edge of social progress, the Government always is a few steps behind. It follows that, with the Government always being a few steps behind, Government often gets in the way–as it is now doing with marijuana.

At any rate, even if Government timed its legislation to perfectly coincide with the decisions and values of Society, then Government still actually contributes nothing to the process. All the Government does is write down Society’s values and prescribe punishments for people who violate those values. Firstly, writing it down isn’t necessary and, as I pointed out in the preceding paragraph, does more harm than good: it causes Government to lag behind Society, often getting in the way of social progress. There is no reason, for example, to write down that murder is illegal, that rape is illegal, or that theft is illegal. Society decided these things a very long time ago, and writing them down contributes nothing to the function of Society.

Laws also do not protect anyone from having anything happen to them. A law making murder illegal doesn’t prevent anyone from committing murder. If it did, you’d be able to type in the comments, “The only thing keeping me from murdering people is the fact that it’s illegal.” The same is true of rape and theft. If laws against these crimes were actually preventing anyone from doing them, then people would be able to say, “The only thing that keeps me from stealing, raping, and killing is the fact that we’ve made it illegal! Thank God for these laws! Because if it wasn’t illegal, I’d rape, torture, and kill you, and then steal everything you owned!”

But no one thinks that way. The law isn’t deterring anyone from committing any crime. People don’t commit crimes because their Morality holds them back, and when that Moral Restraint breaks down, then they are capable of committing rape, theft, and murder. But as long as that Moral Restraint holds up, no amount of anger or desire can entice them into killing, raping, or stealing. And once that Moral Restraint breaks down, no law can stop someone from killing, raping, or stealing. Once their Morality breaks down, for whatever reason, then no Law will stop them from doing whatever they want. At that point, the Law will only provide a framework within which they can be punished. But since the Law isn’t actually deterring anyone and the Law is only a reflection of Society’s value (thus, a reflection of Individuals’ Moral Restraints) in the first place, why is the Law even necessary?

Violations against Society’s values, however, that have victims would still require some sort of punishment–though “victimless crimes” would not. And this is because there’s no such thing as a “victimless crime,” and a Free People understand that. A “victimless crime” isn’t a crime; it’s a choice. In modern America, smoking pot is a “victimless crime,” and it is one that can send someone to prison for several years. Not too long ago in most states, sodomy (and hence homosexuality) was a “victimless crime,” and it was also one that could send someone to prison for several years. Society has changed its mind about tolerating these things, but they should never have been crimes in the first place. Nothing that does not have a victim should be considered a crime. The idea is absurd, and a Free People find it abhorrent. “Victimless crimes” are choices, and just because one Individual or another does not approve of the action in question doesn’t give anyone the right to make it a crime which warrants punishment. Only crimes with victims are crimes; anything else is simply a choice and must be tolerated, no matter how much you disapprove of it.

Any action can be made into a crime if we allow this notion of “victimless crimes” to exist. Turning on a fan when it is Sunday could become a “victimless crime” which sends people to prison if we allow some religious sects to have power over legislation. The very same intolerance has allowed sodomy, gay marriage, and marijuana to all be made illegal–one religious group or another determined that the action was a sin and that, even though there was no victim, it needed to be punished with imprisonment. We can’t let this happen; the only way to prevent it is by abolishing this notion of victimless crimes. When we abolish victimless crimes, we are left only with crimes which have victims:

Murder, rape, and theft. We have the taking of life, we have the violation of rights and autonomy, and we have the violation of property rights. When we abolish victimless crimes, we are left with only three crimes, and those three crimes are:

  • Violating someone’s right to Life.
  • Violating someone’s right to Liberty.
  • Violating someone’s right to Pursue Happiness.

Those are the only crimes in a Free Society, and those are the only things we need to prevent any Individual from doing. As there is no greater violation of someone’s right to Life than killing them, murder would necessarily not be allowed. As there are few violations of someone’s right to Liberty (autonomy, self-governance, and choice) than forcing oneself upon them, rape would necessarily be not allowed. As there is no greater violation of someone’s right to Pursue Happiness than by stealing the property with which they would pursue that happiness (as Part Two demonstrated, the right to pursue happiness requires the right to private property), theft would necessarily not be allowed. Now that we’ve protected everyone’s Life, Liberty, and right to pursue happiness, what else is there left for Society to ensure?

Nothing. Everything’s taken care of at this point. We established in Part Two that the only things we must protect are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, because trying to protect anything beyond these three things require sacrifices of these three things. In regard to health care, I demonstrated that we can only protect someone’s “‘right’ to receive healthcare” by sacrificing the right to pursue happiness (by violating the right to private property of others). Every Individual does, however, have the right to pursue healthcare. But that is where their rights end when it comes to healthcare.

With Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness now protected by Social Agreement, we must only ask…

“Okay, Fine. But Not Everyone Follows the Law or These… ‘Social Agreements’…

No, that’s true. As I stated above, people break the law. People commit rape, theft, and murder every single day. And this is true, even though we have laws in place which have made these things illegal. What good are these laws doing? Would we have more rape, theft, and murder if these things weren’t illegal? If we would, then you think that the only thing stopping people from raping, stealing, and murdering is the fact that it’s illegal. There’s no justification for thinking this, especially since the only reason these things are illegal is because we have decided that they’re wrong.

In the process of Law, first the People decide that the act is wrong. Then the Government makes it illegal. So even if you remove the Government and even if you remove the whole concept of legal and illegal, the People still think it’s wrong, because they were the ones who decided in the first place that it was wrong, and this decision is what created the Law. The Law didn’t make Society think that rape, murder, and theft are wrong; Society decided these things are wrong, thus the Government passed a Law that said so. But whether the Law is there has no impact on whether or not Society thinks something is right or wrong–again, see the marijuana changes sweeping our nation.

What Society says is Moral, Immoral, and Amoral is completely independent of what the Government decrees. After all the Government had once decreed that slavery was okay. Society said slavery was not okay, even though the Government had already passed laws saying it was. The Government had once decreed that homosexuality was illegal. Society said that homosexuality was okay, even though the Government had already passed laws saying it wasn’t. Over and over again, we find that Society dictates what is right and wrong and Government only passes laws to reflect that. Over and over again, we also find that the Government’s laws make no difference to the Society and have no impact on the entire process. Over and over again, we find that the Laws aren’t necessary because they don’t do anything.

The only things the Law accomplishes which Society’s Values do not is that the Law provides a framework for punishing people who violate the acts. There is a rigid system for this which defines rigid punishments, and the further we go into bureaucracy, the more rigid this framework becomes. Already, trials are by the State and not by the Jury, as demonstrated in Part Two, and already Jurors are restricted only to delivering verdicts based on the law and the crime. This was not always the case. Jurors were once able to weigh the circumstances of the crime, whether or not the action was justified by the circumstances, the Constitutionality of the law, the rightness of the law, and all sorts of other factors that have since fallen to the homogenization of bureaucracy.

Just as we have Trials today, so would we have trials in an AnarchyThe Government doesn’t have a monopoly on Justice. Society does. When someone is accused of violating another’s Life, Liberty, or right to pursue happiness, Society can try this person by a jury of peers just as Government is supposed to today. Individual counties, cities, and neighborhoods can come up with their own methods for incarcerating people while trials are organized and can allow the jury to decide the consequences if found guilty, allowing the circumstances of the crime and the Individual’s history to guide their sentencing if the person is found to have done wrong.

Justice is not and can never be a one-size-fits-all thing.

Circumstances matter, and by not trying to homogenize the process and by not trying to make one-size-fits-all systems of sentences, we allow the impartial Jury to weigh the action, the effects of the action, the motive behind the action, and the circumstances of the action to determine a sentence that is fitting to the crime. Trial by jury has been a staple of Western Society for centuries. It’s not going anywhere, because Society dictated that crimes shall be handled by a jury of peers. Government didn’t decide this. Society did. All Government did was write it down. And Society will still have trials by jury, even without a Government making them do it, because we as Individuals figured out centuries ago that the only way to ensure Justice and not revenge was to allow an impartial jury of peers to deliberate–and to assign a sentence relative to the heinous nature of the crime.

Um…

It has been amply demonstrated here that Government is not necessary to the Criminal Justice process. It has been amply demonstrated that Laws do not have any actual utility and that they are only documents that provide a framework for punishing criminals–and then it was amply demonstrated that trying to have such a framework to punish criminals is a bad idea. So not only do laws fail to provide a deterrent for criminal behavior, but their only other function, to provide frameworks for sentencing, is flawed and should be abhorred by a Free People. Since Laws have only the purpose of acting as a deterrent and fail to do that (I dare you to type in the comments, “Only the fact that it’s illegal is keeping me from raping every woman I see and want.), and since their secondary purpose is to provide a framework for sentencing (which is abhorrent to a Free People, as a Free People recognize that motive and circumstances matter far more than the actual act itself), it is shown that Laws have no place in our Society. 

Furthermore, it has been shown that since there is a lag between Society’s Moral Restraints and Government’s laws, the Government’s Laws frequently get in the way of social progress and that, even if Government laws perfectly coincided with the changes in a Society’s Moral Restraints, the Law is still not desirable because it contributes nothing to the process–if it might as well not be done as be done, then it shouldn’t be done. If it has no effect, then there’s no reason it should be done. Doing things that have no discernible effect, even in theory, except to occasionally slow or halt Social Progress, and at best simply “don’t get in the way,” we’re creating waste and burning resources on irrelevant actions that have no impact and no bearing on reality. It requires time and resources to pass laws, to work out homogenized sentences, to defend the homogenized sentences against the ACLU and other organizations who argue that normalized sentencing is contrary to the principle of Liberty, and all of these resources could be better spent elsewhere, especially since burning them as we’re now doing on things that have no positive benefit, even in theory, is doing nothing but wasting resources.

Brief Summary

Since there are only three things which Society needs to protect and since those three things are Life, Liberty, and the right to pursue happiness, we only need, ultimately, one law:

Each Individual has the right and freedom to do whatever he or she desires and own whatever he or she may acquire, so long as he or she takes no action that impedes negatively, with malice or intention, the ability of another to do as he or she may desire or own whatever he or she may acquire.

That one law takes care of everything, and it wouldn’t even be a “law,” since there would be no Government which would pass it. It would be a Social Agreement, built on the principles which we all hold dear to our heart. It does not allow for any action to be labelled as a “victimless crime,” yet it adequately handles the Big Three: rape, murder, and theft, as well as other things such as torture, coercion, inhibitions of free speech, and violations of privacy (since privacy is an extention of the right to private property, including oneself). Nothing else needs to be addressed, and anyone found to have violated any part of the above Social Agreement can and would be apprehended by Society and given a trial by a jury of peers who weighted the evidence and delivered a verdict, and who then weighted the circumstances and the motive to deliver a sentence. Everything is handled. Everyone is free.

With national defense already protected as outlined previously and further elaborated here and with criminality and criminal behavior adequately handled by a Free People acting within their rights to protect the Life, Liberty, and right to pursue happiness of all Individuals, then there is nothing left for Government to even do. We’ve rendered Government pointless. We’ve taken the primary roles which our Government performs and we’ve demonstrated that all of these roles would be filled and served better by a Free People. What is our reason for surrendering our rights, powers, and responsibility to handle these things ourselves to a Government when the Government could never be as effective, as just, or as devoted?

* Well, when radical lobbyists within the Society turned against…

** Marijuana, after all, is thousands of times superior to alcohol… It’s non-habit forming, it doesn’t cause men to beat their wives, it doesn’t cause parties to erupt in violence, it doesn’t cause thousands of vehicular deaths each year, it’s natural…

The idea that we can have a Government which protects our Liberty runs contrary to common sense, logic, and reason. Government exists only to destroy Liberty–we are charging with protecting Liberty an institution whose primary function is to destroy Liberty.