One of the tough perennial questions which anarchists must tackle is how an anarchist or libertarian society would deal with crime. Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea addressed the issue in "Anarchism and Crime," originally published in Green Egg in May 1974, and which I reproduced on this website. The two discuss what they contend are the three kinds of laws: Laws which reinforce the power of the state, laws which enforce morality, and laws which prohibit the kinds of behavior that almost everyone agrees constitute real crime: Murder, rape, theft, etc.
I would be content, at least in the short term, to redeploy the police and the criminal justice system to concentrate on the third type of law; that would be "libertarian" enough for me. But anarchists believe a stateless society would work in dealing with crime.
In his new piece for the Center for a Stateless Society, Chad Nelson argues that Wilson and Shea piece "remains as relevant today as when it was written."
"As we watch the horrendous injustice perpetuated by the current state-run system unfold before our eyes on the nightly news, we ought to be eager to jump ship and entertain some of Wilson and Shea’s fresh ideas," Nelson concludes.
When I first posted about the Wilson-Shea article, I suggested that it might have been one of the appendices cut from Illuminatus! I certainly think it reads that way. Can anyone weigh in on that theory?
Scene from a Libertarian Party convention, as depicted in the Onion.
I'm pretty sure George Carlin read this piece at some point.
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