Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Victimless-Crime Laws Breed Police Violence

As long as the police are charged with detecting and stopping consensual transactions -- concerning, for example, drugs, guns, gambling, sex, and untaxed cigarettes and CDs -- tension and violence will continue. Abolishing victimless-crime laws won't end institutional racism, but many opportunities for it will be eliminated.

The key feature of a victimless-"crime" transaction is that unlike, say, battery, it has no complaining participant -- the transaction is consensual. Because of this, police find they "need" to engage in surveillance, entrapment, cultivation of informants, stop-and-frisk, and other methods that breed distrust between the people and the system. This in turn gives rise to a view of the police as an occupying army, especially in poor minority neighborhoods, where for a variety of reasons -- occupational licensing and government schools, to name two -- the black market presents attractive alternatives to poverty.

Other measures to be taken: abolish all occupational licensing and minimum-wage laws, which impede people's efforts to prosper. (Providing goods and services without a license is a victimless crime if no deception is involved.)

Thus Dallas Chief David Brown's invitation to Black Lives Matter activists to join the police department and work for reform from within badly misses the point. This is not just about bad apples and community policing.

Another way to put it: if we didn't have cops, we wouldn't need them.


Shane Skekel said...

One thing that definitely needs attention is the myths surrounding these laws. Example: The notion that drugs and prostitution have "always been illegal." (Talking about profound and obstinate ignorance.)

Reverend Draco said...

In order for there to be a crime, there must be a victim.

Not a possible victim, not a potential victim. . . but an actual victim.

"Victimless crimes" are misnamed. . . because there are victims - the poor slobs assaulted, kidnapped, caged, and robbed by the very people charged with defending them against actual crime.