Crime is something that concerns all of us, whether we like it or not. No peaceful members of society like crime, but it sometimes seems that there is no consensus about what crime really is. For some, selling alcohol in a store after 8 pm is a crime, while others think it is a crime to leave the flag out overnight. Most agree that theft, physical abuse and murder are crimes, but others believe that homosexuality, prostitution, drugs, and gambling are crimes as well. What is crime really?
Initiation of Force
Real crimes are acts that involve initiation of force against other people. This is in all cases equivalent to violence: A deliberate violation by an individual or a group of another individual or group. If somebody threatens to hurt you if you do not hand over your pocketbook, then you and your property are being violated deliberately.
If a group of people voluntarily sits down to play poker for money, there is no deliberate violation of any individual taking place. Even so, both are defined as crime in today’s society. Do you see the basic difference between the two examples?
Focusing on Pseudo-Crimes is Destructive
If everything that is not real crime was legalized, i.e. by making drug dealing, prostitution, gambling, etc. legal, the police would be able to allocate resources to fight those things that are truly violations against peaceful people.
Think of all the times we hear that, for instance, a theft case is dropped, or worse: that the police does nothing about the violation? In order to create a functioning constitutional society, it is about time we treat adults like adults and punish those who are all about destroying things for other individuals.
- Real crimes are actions that involve initiating force against other people
- This includes murder, robbery, theft, fraud, vandalism, rape, threats, false imprisonment, involuntary physical injury, and terrorism
- Drug dealing, prostitution and gambling are essentially peaceful transactions
- Therefore, these are not real crimes