One of our great failings as a society is that the more we fight and spend money on "the war on crime", the worse it gets.
It's time to re-evaluate our basic premises. All crimes can be reduced:
1. Eliminate non-coercive, victimless morals crimes and bureaucratic laws
with their accompanying corruption and black markets.
2. To reduce economic frustration, allow naturally equal economic and labor opportunities.
3. Encourage more interesting and varied education choices so
our youth are freethinkers, and interested in learning.
4. Stop government deceit, coercion, theft, counterfeiting and killing.
It doesn't take massive government programs;
these changes greatly reduce budgets, especially prisons. As we get closer to domestic
peace, more crime reduction possibilities will become clear. Private, competitive security
and insurance companies have more interest in serving you. It's the company's
responsibility to find the culprit and collect damages. Criminals don't owe a debt to
"society", they owe it to their victims. Financial restitution establishes
the fact that these are crimes against individuals, not against governments which have
Morals "crimes": (recreational drugs, gambling, prostitution, usury, drinking, pornography, polygamy, etc)
Libertarians know from centuries-old experience that laws and force are not workable tools
to encourage "morals". Our system has needlessly created a black market
underworld that spawns violent crimes. Greater profits are possible which finance more
and organized crime. Overcrowded courts and prisons breed frustration, alienation and hate that is fed back into society.
Court protection is
denied to participants in these activities, which makes them vulnerable to pimps, fraud,
corruption and protection rackets--at the mercy of street jungle law. We are repeating all
the mistakes of alcohol prohibition, but we learn from history that we don't learn from
Spinoza in 17th century Holland observed, "He who regulates everything by laws, is more likely to arouse vices, than reform them." Or as the ancient Chinese tao observed, "The more laws, the more violators."
Victimless Crime is a confusing term. Yes, there are victims in black market activities such as drugs, prostitution and gambling. But the violent crimes associated with these forbidden activities are the RESULT of the lack of protection from society: the lawlessness.
These laws take
protective services and resources away from the true crimes of theft and assault. Police
morale is weakened because valuable community support is withheld from these "armed
moralists" --the policeman use to be our friend. But now we expect them to operate
from an unworkable premise: "Government can solve the problem." It can't; government is the problem... the cure is worse than the disease.
When libertarians talk about the decriminalization of these "morals crimes", they mean no government involvement at all: no licenses, taxes, regulations, vice squads, bureaucrats forms or standards. But just because libertarians advocate allowing an activity (gambling, sky diving, spiritual
drugs, goldfish swallowing, prostitution, etc) doesn't necessarily mean they advocate participation.
Which argument is more effective? Don't stand on mountain tops during electrical storms because 1) it's illegal or 2) it might kill you. All drugs (nicotine, marijuana, caffeine, alcohol, prescriptions, cocaine, ad nauseam ) are subject to abuse. Black markets add the danger of impure quality, erratic potency and lack of valid information.
Education and communication are the answer, not reefer madness.
Prostitution: Those who find it degrading don't have to participate. Perverted thugs from vice squads create resentment, backlash and chaos. To get hookers off the streets and improve safety, prostitution should be legalized.
Gambling: It's hypocrisy for governments to run lotteries, then outlaw private gambling. This kind of unenforceable laws make criminals of all of us. The real irony is that taxes and politics are the greatest casino, and a poor bet.
Youth crime: How can we expect them to accept personal responsibility when adults and communities have relinquished so much of their lives to state and federal paternalism? Excessive, unenforceable laws create disrespect for society's rules and police at a time youth are forming important opinions and choices. Also, boring socialist, compulsory government schools are like prisons, with similar results.
Youth are more perceptive than we give them credit for. They easily see through our two-faced, hypocritical pontificating. Recreational drug laws have created a forbidden fruit situation that needlessly romanticizes semi-dangerous substances. Restricting, licensing and taxing drug sales, similar to alcohol, would produce the same results: underage users would simply get an adult to buy, or produce their own. When grass is legal, it will be growing abundantly like the weed it is. Self responsibility is the answer, just like booze.
Guns: Libertarians strongly support gun ownership as a defense against crime and tyranny. Gun control can become gun confiscation, which leaves a population defenseless against tyranny of all kinds. Governments are the major gun owners and exporters-- doctor, heal thyself!
Prisons punish taxpayers as well as criminals, and are graduate schools for crime. It's human nature in prison to discuss mistakes and improvements on techniques; this is one reason we have so many repeaters. Do we really want prostitutes, gamblers and drug users in society? Better to have our friends and neighbors with us, than breeding resentment, rage and crowding in prisons.
Private prisons: As a libertarian ex-con, I strongly disagree with the concept of private prisons in the current world-wide political climate. Would we advocate privatizing Hitler's concentration camps or gas chambers because they could be more cost-effective? No, of course not. Should we have private contractors for the odious functions of the DEA, IRS, or INS? Should the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during W.W.II or various world tyrants' jails be businesses? Just because government is involved in something doesn't necessarily mean these are areas for private enterprise.
Security, arbitration, restitution and rehabilitation for the real crimes of theft and assault are appropriate services for private creativity and compassion. But given the current international diarrhea of laws and tyranny, we don't need more efficient prisons to oppress people, provide
slave labor, or a world-wide business lobby interested in keeping prisoners.
Capital punishment: Any time governments take a human life--by execution, war or harassment--it's an indication of our failure as a harmonious world community, and we are all diminished by the loss. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, killing takes its toll on all of us.
Crime summary: We won't solve problems until we strike at the root. We don't want to be a society of alcoholism, depression, drug abuse, violence and suicide. There is a basic foundation to our personal and social crises of confidence: Big Government at all levels is massive force, coercion and interference in our lives. It robs us of our sense of responsibility for ourselves and each other. The idea that bloated bureaucracy is life suppressing and depressing is not new. Here are a couple of radicals from the past:
Tom Jefferson 1776
"The king has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent Swarms of
Officers to harass our People, and EAT OUT THEIR SUBSTANCE.''
Jesus Matthew 23:4
"The authorities increase the size of their texts of laws. They pile up
BACK BREAKING BURDENS and lay them on other men's shoulders."
Contents | Next