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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Crime and Incarceration In a Stateless Society

At the core of 'the state' is the coercive threat and use of violent force. If 'the state' did not reserve for itself the use of force it would fail. In general people may appear to willingly comply with the requirements of the state but that is either because:

* they would act in that way regardless, (they would generally not want to transgress against other people's property), or
* they would act in a different way to the edicts of 'the state' but do not because of the prospective repercussions, or
* they believe it is moral to comply with the edicts of 'the state'.

'The state' is central to, sets the tone of, modern human society in great part. Because people individually agree that employing the use of force is only moral in defence of self and property and agree that groups of people have no more right to employ force than they do individually, there is an unanswered dichotomy, a dissonance, between the circumstances when an individual can morally use force and when 'the state' makes use of it. There is no moral justification for 'the state' to use force outside of those same perimeters of an individual's moral legitimacy.

When 'the state' employs morally illegitimate violent force it attempts to set itself apart from human morality and instead endows itself with a false morality to break this code. Without violent force at its disposal 'the state' ends. 'The state' is nothing without the use of violent force. 'The state' is nothing but violent force. 'The state' is violence.

This violence, which is 'the state', is the cause of enormous harm that runs through human society as a virus. 'The state' breaks the moral code that is the foundation upon which a harmonious human society should be founded. The overall effect of this violence at the core of 'the state' is that the infection spreads through human society and especially manifests in weak points within the social order.

So how would a stateless society deal with crime? In a fully functional stateless human society crime would be vastly reduced as a result of having taken the use of faux legitimated violence out of the core of society. There would still be crime one can suppose, human nature remains and part of that may be for some to still act immorally, against others and their property, if they can get away with it. So assuming there would remain some crime in a stateless society it would need to be dealt with or the immoral people would simply be unconstrained and encouraged.

The lesson to be understood when accepting the utility of a stateless human society is that: answers to every supposed problem are possible to find and then develop. All the people working toward finding resolutions to the needs of society will develop a plethora of solutions and the best of those will rapidly be widely employed. Further, attempting to predict what these solutions will be is as ridiculous, and likely as inaccurate, as it would have been attempting to describe how society and the economy would appear and function after the abolition of slavery. Slavery was not ceased because a 'slavery-free' future was planed and understood in detail but because the immorality of slavery demanded it was made to end. So it must be demanded that 'the violent state' is made to end too.

I do have many ideas of cause as to how free-market policing and justice would take place in a system offering a level of service and accessibility clearly unobtainable when these functions of human society are usurped and monopolised by 'the state'. I too have ideas for what would replace 'the state' operated penal system. The focus of that would greatly depend on what the free-market demanded and what the free-market judicial system could legitimately find legally sound and therefore moral.

I suppose when people cannot be made, by the threat of violent force, to pay to incarcerate offenders there will be a very different criteria emerge as to what is realistically desirable, such as cost-effective achievable goals for reform, deeper psychoanalytical understanding, life-retraining and so on. People who had to be removed from society because of the danger they presented would need to also be accommodated within a system, but clearly; being faced with an entire population entitled to carry whatsoever means of protection they felt prudent the population of hardened criminals would soon reduce to manageable numbers too.


  1. Humiliation, shunning, flogging, maiming and execution are probably the only alternatives to state sponsored prisons and violence.
    I suspect that crime would fall as there would be no protection under the state for the professional thieves such as lawyers and their ilk.
    A dramatic shift would come about though as people armed themselves for defensive purposes. As they say "an armed society is a polite society".

    1. A stateless society is not, de-facto, a lawless society. (Indeed the greatest lawlessness will be see as the conduct of the people who believed they were rightly acting under the auspicious of 'the state' and that their belief in the legitimacy of 'the state' caused them to act in what would otherwise be an unacceptable, immoral, manner).

      In a stateless society there will still be a need for independent arbitration to help settle matters with an indemnity to those who, believing their property has been transgressed, want to take action in redress.

      If an action taken to gain redress, for a transgression, is found to be wrong, (the wrong person accused for example), the persons carrying-out that action of redress will then be liable for the harm they caused. So it will be useful to those wanting redress that any judgement is independent, sound and accountable. This is the major utility of a legal system in a stateless society; not only will the accused want fairness in judgement.

      Redress must also be both necessary and proportionate. Redress must be taken on the basis of letting it fit the crime. Shooting dead a child who was playing on your front lawn would clearly exceed reasonableness, shooting dead a child clearly about to use a gun against you may not be judged unreasonable. But hunting down and shooting a clearly unarmed person, who had pointed a gun at you some time before, when they posed no further threat and could be safely detained, exceeds reasonableness - it was not necessary. And shooting a person because they stole your umbrella would not be proportionate.

      The use of force is only moral in defence of self and property. Redress is not the same as deterrent, revenge and punishment. What redress is may coincidently act to allow for an element deterrent, revenge and punishment, but the use of force by way of means for achieving deterrent, revenge and punishment alone, without being specifically to achieve redress, is immoral.

      Moral redress is most soundly found independently of the judgement of those who have been aggressed against; not only because of the indemnity it allows but because of the more robust impartiality then allowed in seeking true redress (as against seeking revenge).

      In the same way as it was unlikely for the abolitionists to accurately predict the outcome of the end of outright slavery on social order and the economy it is not possible to predict how judgements and common law will form in a stateless society's legal system but I consider it is very unlikely that sound judgements will include physical punishments or a death penalty (could there be such a thing as a death redress?)

    2. spellings! ... the greatest lawlessness will be SEEN as the conduct of the people who believed they were rightly acting under the AUSPICES of 'the state' ...


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