Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Crime in Libertopia

One thing that scares many people away from anarchism is crime. They fear that crime would be rampant without government to keep it in check. Let's think about that for a minute.

Ignore for a moment the vast numbers of crimes that are committed or enabled by government at some level. Does crime still exist in our current society "in spite of" government? Do you believe that there is less crime because of government? If so, why do you hold that belief? Are you certain it isn't just because you have been told that it is so your whole life? If there really is less crime under a government, why might that be? Is it the criminals' fear of being caught and punished? Is it fear of the enforcers; fear that the enforcers might shoot them while apprehending them?

What about "crimes" that only exist because government criminalizes normal (or even abnormal) human behaviors that have no victim? That adds greatly to the amount of "crime" that is perceived.

If the fear of being caught, punished, or shot decreases the incidence of crime, that raises more questions. Do you think that only government-hired enforcers can handle real criminals? Why? Training? Superior moral character? (cough) You do realize that stopping crime is your responsibility, don't you? Why do you shirk your responsibility and try to say someone else should do it in your place? You can hide behind the enforcers and the government, but that doesn't remove or fulfil your responsibility in any way. It only causes more problems by establishing an "enforcer class" that feels that it owns you because you are running from your responsibility.

A free society would be more than able to deal with crime, without the side effects that abdicating your personal responsibility gives birth to. Think about it.