Human Action Principles

March 26th, 1995

Lecture Number Seventeen

 

This lecture will be devoted to one of the most important subtitles of the principles seminar, which is, science on the attenuation of urban crime, and the optimization of urban security. A number of you have asked me questions about this whole area of what do you do about private acts of crime. We’re going to deal with that now.

If we are going to apply science to attenuate crime and optimize security, as always, we have to begin with a few precise definitions. Now, on the assumption that all of you believe that it’s desirable to attenuate crime, then it is first necessary to identify just exactly what it is that you would like to attenuate. What is crime? My Random House dictionary says “a crime is an action that is deemed injurious to the interests of the state, that is forbidden by law, and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law.” What does this mean? Freely translated, a crime is whatever the reigning politicians and bureaucrats proclaim it to be. Or, it is the idea that a crime is whatever the politician of the day says it is. Is this potentially a dangerous concept? What do you think? If a crime is whatever some political authorities claim it is, then they could make it a crime to be the only seller of a given product. Only seller means one seller and one seller means what? Mono-poly – monopoly. You could be fined and imprisoned for doing such an outstanding job, for example, as serving the consumer bosses so well that the only thing they do is vote with their dollars for your product. They can enact a law that says, for example, it’s a crime then to be a monopolist. If the politicians can do that, they can enact another law that says it’s a crime not to pay your taxes. And if they can do that, they can pass another law that says it’s a crime to defend your land after they’ve confiscated your land through another law called eminent domain. If they can do that, they can enact a law that says it’s a crime for Japanese to own land in the first place. And if it can be a crime for Japanese to own land, why not make it a crime to own land for other second class citizens such as let’s say Gypsies or Jews or any other second or third class citizens.

Historically, the political bureaucratic concept of crime has been used as a weapon to impose interventionism upon the people. What is missing from the political concept of crime is a principle or a fundamental constant. And so, if a crime is any act that violates the rulers’ rules of conduct, then such an arbitrary concept of crime will be used to impose involuntary servitude upon the people. It will be used. There have been no exceptions in history. As always, this involuntary servitude is imposed at gunpoint. And so, all political governments impose an arbitrary concept of crime upon the people in which a crime is said to be any act that violates the rulers’ rules of conduct for the ruled.

Earlier I asked you this question, an important question. I said it’s never been asked of you outside of this seminar, and that is, should we abandon slavery or servitude, which is the same thing, in favor of what? Freedom. Should we do this? That’s one of the main questions we’re posing here. It’s a challenge. If we can apply science to show there are incontrovertible reasons to abandon slavery, then we must abandon the political criterion of crime that institutes slavery.

To apply a scientific alternative to the social system of servitude, we must define a non-arbitrary concept of crime that operates according to an always-constant principle. All crimes involve one action, confiscation of human choice. To illustrate, when a burglar carries off your TV set, he has confiscated your choice to watch your television set with your family in your own family room. When a bank robber knocks off a bank, he has confiscated the banker’s choice to control the bank’s money.

In contrast, what if a political government, governed by politicians and bureaucrats, legally confiscates your land to build let’s say a baseball stadium? Can they do this, or have they done such things? Would that be the confiscation of your choice to use your land as you choose? Certainly. But if your land were legally confiscated through the use of a so-called eminent domain law, would this legal confiscation fit our definition of crime? By definition it would be what? A crime. If the concept of crime is an unchanging principle and if you’re going to have one, you’d better have that concept. Then the reason or excuse offered for the act of confiscation is irrelevant. Confiscation is confiscation.

However, it’s important to identify two classes of confiscators. We have one, the political confiscators and two, the private confiscators. Now, if we look at the long history of crime, most people consider killing or taking the life of another, to be the most serious crime. All right, what is killing? The crime of killing involves the confiscation of human life. When your life has been confiscated, then all of your choices have been both totally and permanently confiscated. If our aim is to attain a significant reduction in the number of lives that are confiscated throughout the world each year, where would you start?

In optimization theory, we usually start by looking for the fundamental cause of some major effect that we either like or dislike. Where millions of lives are confiscated every year, lesser millions in some years, greater millions in others, what is the primary cause of all these killings? You should know the answer before I disclose it if you’re a careful reader of history. Even if you’re a sloppy reader of history, you should notice this. If we examine the history of nations, what has been the major cause of the confiscation of human life, political confiscation or private confiscation? All right, how many of you think it is private confiscation? Let me see a show of hands. No one? How many think it’s political confiscation? That’s nearly everyone. How many aren’t sure? Anyone in the aren’t sure category? And of course, always, how many don’t care? I couldn’t care less buddy. Incidentally, the more important the subject, the more likely the attitude will be, I couldn’t care less, buddy. I hope I’ve been making that point clear.

If we examine the history of private confiscation of human life who are the confiscators? All right, we have private confiscators of human life. Kidnappers, homicidal lunatics, thugs, robbers, hitmen, jealous lovers, arsonists, et al. Well, go ahead and add up the total number they have killed and then go and look up the history of political confiscation of human life. Who are the political confiscators of human life? Well, they include politicians, bureaucrats, generals, admirals, policemen, soldiers, sailors, airmen, guards, that is prison guards, executioners, et al. Add up the total number they’ve killed then compare the totals between private confiscators and political confiscators of human life and you’ll find their respective totals are not even close in number.

Scene from WWII

If you add up, for example, the death toll just from war alone, the numbers are incredible. Above is a scene from World War II. This war like all wars is an effect. Like all effects, it has a cause or causes. Every war has a simplex cause, which means a single cause, namely political bureaucratic interventionism. The interventionism always generates regressive domino effects. These regressive effects cannot ever, ever, anywhere, at any time, be avoided.

Even if I fail to convince you that all thirteen of the thirteen bad ideas are indeed bad ideas, and you think that at least, let’s say, three of the thirteen are good ideas because you think, let’s say, they are necessary or practical or desirable forms of interventionism, nevertheless those three areas of interventionism, if you endorse them, what does that mean? You are participating in something. Your endorsement involves an action that brings about the imposition of violence upon other people. But, of course the argument is that we have to be practical. That’s always been the main argument for the advancement of servitude – we must be practical gentlemen.

No one can stop them then, these regressive domino effects, from generating more interventionism, which means more violence that will eventually produce effects that you will abhor. Now, you might think, well, Snelson, you know, again, we have to be practical. The idea of letting the consumer bosses determine what will be used for money, for example. I heard you talk about this money thing the other day. I’m in the securities business. I just don’t see, Mr. Snelson, how a free market in money could be practical.

The state, it is said, must establish, and this is a presumption of someone arguing this way, the state must establish a monopoly of money and force people to accept the money at gunpoint. Nothing else is practical, so the argument might go. Well, dear friends, you cannot advocate the state monopoly of money without advancing the potential for war at the same time. Because of the regressive domino effect of all interventionist acts, you cannot limit the scope of violence to merely those areas of government interventionism that you believe to be essential to your welfare and the general welfare. You cannot limit it even if you think there are some areas of violence that are necessary.

Well, here is a quotation attributed to Winston Churchill that illustrates the possibilities of regressive domino effects. He said, “If you,” that is, America, “hadn’t entered the World War, we,” that is, Great Britain, “would have made peace with Germany early in 1917. Had we made peace then, there would have been no collapse in Russia followed by communism, no breakdown in Italy followed by fascism, and Germany would not have signed the Versailles Treaty which has enthroned Nazism in Germany.”  Churchill continued, “In other words, if America had stayed out of the war, all of these isms wouldn’t today be sweeping the continent of Europe and breaking down parliamentary government.”

Now, Churchill is saying this in 1936. “And if England had made peace early in 1917, it would have saved over a million British, French, American and other lives.”  Unquote, Winston Churchill. Now, this quotation came from an interview with Churchill in London in August of 1936. He was interviewed by the publisher of The New York Enquirer, one William Griffin. It’s interesting that Churchill later denied that he said this. He didn’t deny having the interview. Why might Churchill deny that he said this? One of Churchill’s prime aims, purposes in life that he lived for was to, after the start of the Second World War in 1939 was to bring America at all costs into the war on the side of Great Britain. That was his purpose of life – he was successful.

For Churchill to be quoted as having said the above, this would not aid his plans to get American public opinion and political support for American entrance into the Second World War. Whether Churchill actually said this is even beside the point. The statement makes sense. It is quite possible that without American interventionism in World War I in the first place, and all of the regressive domino effects that followed, there never would have been a World War II in the second place.

If that would have been the scenario, could we then say that was a pretty high price to pay for that interventionism of bringing America into World War I? Without the crippling effect of the Versailles Treaty, which ended the Great War, without this negative effect on the German economy, there would have been much greater German prosperity, and thus Adolph Hitler would have found few followers in a much more prosperous Germany. Well, if Germany was prosperous nobody would give Hitler the time of day. He was considered a total crackpot.

One thing is certain. Without the necessary American interventionism of taxation to fund our participation in the Great War and the military conscription of civilians to fight the war, America would have stayed out of the war and the Great War would not have been so great, and would likely have ended much sooner, to be followed by a much faster recovery and quite possibly no World War II to follow at all. Hitler would have died in obscurity, and scientists in America would not have developed the atomic bomb to defend the world from Hitler, because they would never have heard of Hitler. And there would have been no taxes available to fund the bomb in the first place.

Political, bureaucratic interventionism was responsible for 55 to 60 million people killed in World War II. Unfortunately, World War II did not end war any more than World War I, the war to end all wars, ended war. The regressive domino effects of World War I led directly to World War II, and they continue. And since 1945 and the founding of the United Nations as world peacekeeper, do you know how many wars there have been? Have you counted them? You’ve lost count there were so many. At last count, several years ago, there were 150 political wars, and they had killed more than a dozen million people since the founding of the great peacekeeper, the United Nations.

If that’s not failure, what is? Do we need World War III to prove conclusively that the U.N. is a total fiasco? All of these victims of war owe their deaths to the major confiscators of human life, politicians and bureaucrats. They make it all possible, and without them, remember, war is impossible. If you look at history you’ll find that, on a relative scale, almost all of the confiscation of human life comes from the hands of political confiscators rather than private confiscators.

Therefore, it’s important to understand, if we could do nothing to attenuate the incidence of private confiscation of human life, but could terminate all political confiscation of human life, we could end the major cause of the confiscation of human life. Do you see this? Is this clear?

Beyond this, by terminating political confiscation we could end the major cause of the destruction of buildings, the major cause of the destruction of factories, highways, railroads, harbors, apartments, houses, schools, churches, hospitals, and libraries. Politicians and bureaucrats have been the major cause of the destruction of all of those throughout history.

This mass destruction of property, deliberate and collateral, that accompanies every war is all caused by the same political confiscation. Furthermore, the vast wealth that is confiscated from the taxpayers to finance these wars is another part of the political confiscation. These are only some of the more obvious regressive domino effects of political confiscation of life and property that can be seen directly on the fields of battle, or indirectly through photojournalism.

But I’ll give you now an example of one of the least obvious but most catastrophic regressive domino effect in the history of war. War takes its toll on the human immune system. Without adequate food, rest, shelter, sanitation and other deprivations of war, individuals become more vulnerable to disease. All of you know this. True? Out of the germ-infested trenches of the first Great War, was born one of the most devastating plagues in the history of plagues.

The killer was called what? Influenza. Flu is short for influenza. A disease that kills its victims by smothering them to death. Not a nice way to die. In 1918, the year the war ended, influenza took the lives of 20 million people in one year. This was double the number of lives confiscated in the war with bullets, shells, bombs, and gas. These 20 million deaths were due to the regressive domino effects of interventionism that started the war in the first place.

The point I’m making is that if we can make your neighborhood safe from the major threat of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, if your neighborhood is safe from all of these, then we should have less difficulty making it safe from the minor, but often more immediate threat, of muggers, burglars, robbers, arsonists, murderers, and thugs who inhabit your neighborhood. Of course, if your neighbor’s house was just burgled yesterday, this is perceived to be a much greater threat than the possibility of the threat from war, especially if the nearest war is 7,000 miles from your front door. You’re more upset about the burglary next door, right? Wow, that’s too close for comfort. Next door?

With all the attention given in the news media, popular television, and motion picture dramas to criminal violence, we are given a distorted view of the magnitude of the violence in our society, a totally distorted perception. Observation and reason will show you that the great majority of American citizens are not murderers, robbers, burglars, arsonists, muggers, rapists, or vandals. How do you know they’re not, how do you know the majority are not these? How can you be 100 percent certain that they’re not any of these?

Dear friends, if they represented the majority, there would be total chaos in the marketplace, the division of labor would falter, and production would collapse in total. These criminals represent then a relatively small percentage of the total population in any society. Nevertheless, those who are not criminals, which is you, would be unhappy with the prospect of these various criminal types gaining access to your neighborhoods, your towns, your cities.

The majority of those who are not criminals, if given a choice, would prefer not to associate with or be even in close proximity to any of these criminals. You do not want to be in close proximity to any criminal. Am I correct? Is there an exception? Who would like to live next door to a murderer even if they’ve only murdered one person? Would you even feel safe, knowing that a murderer lived next door? And they’re not sure whether he committed two or three other murders, but that hasn’t been determined yet. One is certain. Would that get your attention?

Therefore, I have this question. Can we discover some simplex principle that can be effectively implemented in order to attenuate urban crime and optimize urban security? Well there is one product that every consumer boss who is not a criminal would like to consume, that is security from the private confiscation of his choices. A private confiscator has fallen into the psychological trap of the win-lose paradigm. All criminals, such as murderers, robbers, burglars, arsonists, muggers, rapists, vandals, share a common mentality, the Win-Lose mentality. Their mentality is their habitual way of thinking. All criminals then are in the habit of thinking, for me to gain, you must be forced to lose. This criminal mentality is his habitual paradigm. A criminal views the world as a place where he can only gain on his terms when someone else is forced to suffer a loss and he aims to be the confiscator.

Well, since you and I do not possess this criminal mentality, these are the people that we would like to avoid and the reason we would like to avoid them is that in so doing we can also avoid becoming their next what? Victim. But how can we avoid them when they seem to pervade society? They are ubiquitous. In other words, they’re seemingly everywhere, right? Read the newspaper. I’ll deal with this question in a moment.

To solve the problems caused by those crimes that are related to private confiscation or any other social problem, we begin with principles. The power of a principle is that it goes beyond, it transcends all opinions, all dogma, all beliefs, and it does not have to be accepted on faith. I’ve said you can only get to the moon on physical principles and laws, you can never get there on opinions, dogma, beliefs, faith, or conventional wisdom.

And if instead of creating a means to get to the moon, we want to create a means to get to peace, prosperity and freedom, then as I’ve said before, and I know this will annoy many of you if not all of you, hearing it all the time, but it’s also true. Often the truth is the most annoying thing you can ever hear. And that is, every opinion that you and I can come up with on the subject of how to get there, that is, to peace, prosperity and freedom, this year or in the next thousand years, is a worthless opinion, mine and yours.

It can be worse than worthless. If it’s a false concept of causality it can cause harm. Where the aim is to build major solutions to major social problems, then my opinions are no better than yours. That’s the way it is. I don’t think I’m any smarter than you are. Dr. Schmersick, for example, is a dentist. He knows more about dentistry than I’ll ever know. Not even close. I will know a tiny little smidgen. He’ll know mountains on the subject. But that doesn’t mean he’s smarter than I am. He spent his life to understand the science of dentistry. It doesn’t mean he’s smarter.

Conversely, I’ve spent three decades – it seems like thirty decades – I’ve spent thirty years, fulltime, studying these principles, and developing concepts in this whole domain. So, if I know more about this field, that doesn’t mean I think I’m smarter than you are. I ought to know something after thirty years. And if it’s more than you know, it doesn’t mean I’m better, smarter, although I’m maybe taller than most of you. Except for maybe one person in the room. Right?

And so, the point is, where the aim is to build major solutions to social problems, opinions are not only worthless, they are probably often dangerous. What then is always better than any opinion regardless of whose opinion it is? One answer I can think of, a principle of nature, a law of nature. A principle or law is both fundamental and constant. You can count on it, it’s reliable.

Here is a corollary to the law of human action, the law of gain. All human action is aimed at gain or avoidance of loss. That’s simply another way of restating the law of human action. I call it the law of gain. I’m thinking of maybe just using this concept in the seminar and not even using the law of human action, only because this is simpler, shorter. I’ll think about it. Anyhow, you’ve got this one as a corollary.

Both gain and the avoidance of loss will bring you greater satisfaction. One of the most common sources of gain comes from the exchange of goods and services. How you gain goods and services is very important. I’ll use another law of nature to place all of your fellow humans into two fundamental classes. These classes are defined by this social law, the law of gainful exchange. All gain derived through exchange stems from either the gain of others, or from the forced or defrauded loss of others. How you act to gain tangibles or intangibles through exchange determines who you are more than any other factor. Every time you make an exchange, that determines who you are and who you are is determined by your paradigms.

Why are your paradigms so important? Your paradigms govern your actions. To govern means to steer. The Latin, gubernaculum, was the rudder or steering device of a ship. The Middle English word for the ship’s rudder was the gubernare and that’s the basis of our English word, govern. Your paradigms steer, they guide, they govern your actions. Your paradigm is your view of what causes the things you like and the things you dislike. There are only two fundamental social paradigms. I’ve given them to you. You should be able to write them down without any coaching from me.

Let’s look first at the win-win paradigm. For me to gain, you must gain, for us to gain, they must gain. Dear friends, to reject this social paradigm in any domain of your life, anywhere at any time, is to embrace the only other social paradigm there is, the win-lose paradigm, for me to gain, you must be forced to lose, for us to gain, they must be forced to lose. There are no other options. Take your pick. It’s your choice throughout your entire lifetime.

Now, say you went to Las Vegas and you lost money to the croupier. Has anyone ever done this? How many have ever lost any money to the croupier in Las Vegas or in any other gambling place? That’s all? Only half of you? Some of you are not telling the truth. If you have lost money to the croupier of an honest crap table, you were not forced to pay your losses, since you were not forced to play. Do you see that distinction? In other words, if the crap table is honest, that’s win-win, that’s not win-lose. You were going there with the expectation of beating the odds. And the longer you play, the less likely you will beat the odds because the odds will always be against you.

In contrast, when you lost money to the tax collector you were forced to pay. Or what? What if you don’t pay the tax collector? You will be fined, imprisoned, or killed. That’s how it’s always been throughout history in every civilization where they have tax collectors. No exception, certainly not ours. You can test this out any day. Don’t pay. Tell the tax collector to buzz off. See what happens.

Now, the main problem posed by a prominent presence in society of robbers, burglars and thugs, is not so much that they are a threat to you and your loved ones, which is bad enough. The main problem is they interfere with the orderly operation of the division of labor. Where there is social disorder due to criminal activity, the principle of prosperity cannot be efficiently or effectively applied. The tools of production are at great risk of being destroyed by the social disorder that always follows in the wake of criminal activity.

If you ever watched the Watts riots in Los Angeles, some of you were around L.A. at the time when the city and county fire departments responded to the fires torched by arsonists. The firemen were being shot at by snipers. Now, you know, ladies and gentlemen, it takes a certain amount of courage to be a firefighter because it is a risky job that has killed many good firefighters in the line of duty. But if, in addition to the normal risks of fighting fires, you have to worry about getting picked off by a sniper while you’re two stories up on a ladder aiming a hose on the fire, then forget it. That’s asking a bit too much of anyone. What do you think?

Where the aim is to optimize peace, prosperity and freedom, the maintenance of social order is an essential requirement, but our approach to social order is critical. If the approach is a false means, instead of a social order optimizing peace, prosperity and freedom, it could very well optimize war, poverty, and servitude. And where there is war, you have a general disorder that ends in chaos.

There are two approaches to social order. One is win-lose order, the creation and maintenance of social order out of social disorder through political governorship or government. That’s win-lose order. All elected politicians are win-lose governors, elected to their governorships by the political voters.

Second is the converse of win-lose order, win-win order, the creation or maintenance of social order out of disorder through proprietary governorships, in other words, government. All entrepreneurs are win-win governors elected to their governorships by the consumer voters.

To avoid a disorderly society that disrupts the efficient application of the division of labor, society and the marketplace has to be governed. We cannot get along without government. But how society is governed is crucial and that depends entirely upon the governor’s function.

Governor, right out of the Random House dictionary says, a person charged with the direction or control of an institution or society. A government constitutes then the body of persons charged with the duty of governing. A win-win society is governed by entrepreneurs and proprietors who are chosen openly by the consumer bosses.

In sharp contrast, a win-lose society is governed by politicians and bureaucrats who are chosen secretly by the voters, or they are appointed by various committees. The politicians and bureaucrats have developed over the centuries a win-lose criminal justice system.

Now there have been thousands of volumes written on the criminal justice system, but here is what these volumes have failed to clearly explain. And that is, the major function of the criminal justice system is to enforce the rules that establish the four universal political issues. You recall I discussed these.

There are only four political issues. If that is all you know about politics, then you know more than anybody who ever got a PhD in political science, which is an internal contradiction, because what they got wasn’t a science. It was a pseudo-science. But you can’t tell somebody who has a PhD in political science that what he really has is a PhD in pseudo-science. No PhD wants to hear this.

All people who have titles will defend their titles. That’s one of the problems with getting academic titles. You spend the rest of your life defending your PhD, your MA, or your MS, or your BA, or your BS, and you get locked in. We are going to defend this. Look at all the money the taxpayer spent, or mom and pop spent, or even, if you work your way through college, I spent. I’ve got to defend this. That doesn’t mean I didn’t tell you not to go to college or get a degree, I didn’t say that. I am just saying you can’t do this without risk.

So what are the four universal political issues? There are only four – all politics, everything you read about only covers four issues. One, who will control the government gun? Two, at whom will the gun be aimed? Three, how much will be confiscated? Four, who will benefit from the confiscation? There are no other political issues, never have been, never will be. That’s all you need to know about politics.

The Department of Justice is the enforcement branch of the political government that enforces the rules of confiscation from the people. The function of the Supreme Court is to interpret and conserve the rules of confiscation set forth in the Constitution that imposes the four universal political issues upon the people.

Now if you look carefully you can see that the prime aim of the criminal justice system is not to protect non-criminals in society from the criminals. This is not its aim. And if it is, then the daily crime reports in every city and county are a testament to its failure.

The question we are considering is not how can we attain justice through a criminal justice system, but how can we attenuate urban crime and optimize urban security. You will see if you understand this lecture, these are two entirely different aims. They are mutually exclusive. By changing the goal, please note the means to the goal has changed at the same time.

The aim of a win-win government is not to capture criminals and try them in a court of law. To gain win-win order the aim is not to sentence criminals to prison terms or incarcerate them in prisons or to rehabilitate criminals. The aim of a win-win society and its win-win government in pursuit of win-win order is not to force non-criminals to pay for the identification, capture, trial, sentencing, imprisonment, and rehabilitation of criminals.

Now does this mean that the criminals will have the privilege of coming and going as they please in a free society? Even though hardened criminals are a small minority of the population, if they are allowed to run rampant, well as you can imagine, they can render any community a highly undesirable place to live. A handful of thugs with nothing to restrain them can reduce a community to a state of chaos in a short time.

But is the solution to impose upon society a criminal justice system? If the violent confiscation of choice from the people is an act of injustice, then the historical records show that the criminal justice system throughout the world has been responsible for a far greater amount of injustice than it has justice.

The great crimes in history have been committed by good people in pursuit of justice, the greatest crimes occur at the hands of these people. Even some professionals in the American justice system have known this.

Perhaps you have heard of Justice Lewis D. Brandeis? He is one of the most famous Supreme Court justices of this century. He shares this view, quote – “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachments by men of zeal, well meaning, but without understanding” – end of quote, Justice Brandeis. From Brandeis University, named after this justice.

The last sentence of this quote is even inscribed on the first-floor corridor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol, the last sentence, “the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachments by men of zeal, well-meaning without understanding.”

But the House of Representatives has done more to confiscate the liberty of the American people than perhaps any other government body certainly in American history. We can assume either they have ignored this inscription on their very own corridor that they walk by every day or they didn’t get it, they didn’t understand it. Is that possible?

The most dangerous men in history have been those whose purpose in life has been to attain justice. In nearly every case the means they have employed to attain what they believe to be justice has involved the violent confiscation of the people’s choice. If it is important to attenuate the use of violence against our fellow humans, then the criminal justice system has been a false means.

Now ladies and gentlemen, I have been laying the foundation for this subject, a free market alternative to the bureaucratic system of criminal justice. I hope you are ready for this. If you are a consumer boss living in a free society, you are concerned with providing security from private confiscators for your family and your home, at least. You would be concerned about this.

Well, let’s start with providing security for a geographical location, your house, apartment, or business. Would you like your immediate neighbor not to be a criminal. Anyone? Who would like this person not to be a criminal? All right, most of you, probably all of you.

The question answers itself, doesn’t it? We don’t really need a show of hands. Well, it gets harder, though. Who would like your immediate neighbor to the south not to be a criminal. Anyone? Okay. How about your neighbors to the east? Would you like them not to be a criminal? And how about to the west?

Well, of course the answer would be yes to all of those. But beyond these contiguous four neighbors, now the question is going to get a little bit harder. Would you like any of your neighbor’s neighbors farther out, would you like any of your neighbor’s neighbor’s neighbor’s neighbor’s neighbors not to be criminals? Would anybody fall into that category?

It’s not just your next-door neighbor you wouldn’t want, but how about the neighbor on the other side of your next-door neighbor, you don’t want him to be a criminal either, do you? Because even that is too close, isn’t it? The murderer lives two doors down, you don’t want this because if they can murder once, we have to presume he is capable of any crime. Does that make sense?

Okay, if these immediate neighbors of yours are not criminals just like you, guess what? They don’t want to be around criminals any more than you do, do they? And if there was a practical and inexpensive way to do it, they would like to exclude criminals from the communities where they live and the commercial and industrial areas where they work. If there were a practical way to do it, they would like to do this.

This means there’s a free market demand for something, namely an entrepreneurial application of a principle I call the principle of criminal exclusion. I am going to propose replacing the criminal justice system with a principle. The objective is not justice. The main objective is to protect the non-criminal majority from the criminal minority.

This is not a difficult problem to solve where another principle is in operation, namely, Spark’s principle that I gave you earlier, also called the freedom to try principle. Our only experience has been witness to bureaucratic interventionism imposed upon the people by a criminal justice system. It is hard to visualize that a criminal justice system will fall into disuse.

But when the criminal justice system falls into disuse, the number of criminals per capita will begin to fall. One of the progressive domino effects of the attenuation of bureaucratic interventionism will be a parallel attenuation of what is called teenage crime. According to national crime statistics, teenagers are responsible for something like, on average, one-half of the violent crimes committed in the United States. Would you say that’s a serious problem?

The single most effective thing you could do to attenuate teenage crime would be to build a society in which the opportunity for teenagers to be productive is optimized. And what kind of a society is that? Well, there’s only one kind of social structure that can optimize opportunity for every individual regardless of his age. I call it the win-win society. It’s also known as a free society. A free society will generate more job opportunities, production opportunities, creative opportunities, than there will be teenagers to fill them.

But where there is bureaucratic interventionism, the vast majority of these opportunities are confiscated through the regressive domino effects of interventionism. For example, the criminal justice system enforces minimum wage laws. Probably the great majority of educated people are for minimum wage laws. They got indoctrinated to be for minimum wage laws. You can’t reach that as a scientific conclusion.

Since it is commonly unprofitable for supermarket entrepreneurs, for example, to pay would-be box-boys the bureaucratically-imposed minimum wage the opportunity for a boy to become a box-boy is confiscated. And, where the criminal justice system imposes a clerks union with a minimum wage scale, the regressive domino effect, the opportunity for a boy to become a box-boy is confiscated because again, it is unprofitable in general to pay the would-be box-boy the union scale, in other words, the imposed wage.

Where the criminal justice system imposes a clerks union, and a union shop the would-be box-boy can’t even be hired because he doesn’t belong to a union. He can’t get hired on any basis, he’s not a member, he’s an outsider. And so unionism sets up a class system, it’s an imposed class system. We discussed this earlier – it’s all done with guns. You keep people out and to demand, at gunpoint, special privilege.

That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with men and women getting together and becoming part of a union. The only issue is, is the union used to impose interventionism and violence or not? You can have a non-violent union, just don’t impose interventionism. Union people get together, but don’t have violent ends. And use the paradigm for a union, for us to gain, they must gain. Make that the motto of your union.

And where the criminal justice system enforces child labor laws, again, the opportunity for a boy to become a box-boy is confiscated because he is a boy, and a boy is a child, and a child is not allowed to perform labor in exchange for payment. Now earlier I made this point:  If the educated classes fail to understand the industrial revolution, just that one thing that happened before they were born, if the college graduates in the United States fail to understand the industrial revolution, our entire civilization will probably perish and go right down the toilet.

Remember, all that matters is what those people believe who think they’re educated. It doesn’t matter what the guy who thinks, well, I don’t know nothin’. It doesn’t matter what he thinks or believes. He has no influence. Nobody pays any attention to little old me. I ain’t got no learning. But they sure pay attention to me, look at all these degrees I have. Do you see the difference? And I’ll make them pay attention to me. A whole different intellectual posture, attitude as soon as you get degreed.

Before the industrial revolution, unless a child was born into the aristocratic class of rulers, virtually every child labored with few exceptions. Before the application of the principle of prosperity, children had to labor out of necessity, or they would starve to death along with the rest of their family. This is still true today, when they apply what principle? Win-lose or the principle of poverty, especially.

The greater the application of the principle of poverty, the greater will be the number of children that must labor in order to survive. In places like India where the children of the common man are old enough to perform labor, they do labor, and it is usually very hard labor. But because they have failed to apply the principle of prosperity in places like India, there is more biological competition than there is free market competition.

And where there is biological competition, child abuse is not called child abuse, the concept doesn’t even exist. It’s simply survival, and that’s the only standard where you have biological competition. No one even thinks of the concept of child abuse. You only begin to think of that where you have free market competition and it’s not dog-eat-dog.

In places like India, you can still today, and I have not witnessed this personally but I have friends who have, you can still see children who have been intentionally maimed and crippled by their own parents in preparation for their life as a beggar. Because a cute, maimed beggar is one of the best beggars you can have. They bring in more than anyone else in the domain of begging. Imagine that. A cute, little, maimed beggar. Wow. Does that tug at your heart? Do you think that’s child abuse? That kind of thing can only happen where they apply the principle of poverty in spades and they’re proud of it.

Did you ever stop to consider that where famine and starvation are a way of life, that to even give birth to a child on any basis is a cruel form of child abuse when you know the probability is high that your child will starve? It is not a pleasant way to die, starvation. And don’t give me this malarkey, well, they’re too ignorant to know where babies come from. The most primitive people know how to make babies and how not to. It doesn’t take any counseling from some group on how not to. It’s cause and effect. You know what causes babies. Either you make babies or you don’t. That covers all possibilities. Either you’re responsible or you’re not. To give birth to a child that will die of starvation is the zenith of irresponsibility, and cruelty, and child abuse.

In contrast to all of this, where there is even some application of the principle of prosperity, there will be lots of boxes produced and lots of food produced to put into the boxes, thus creating remarkable opportunities for mere boys to become box-boys.

Dear friend, the transition from boy to box-boy is a remarkable transition. Why? Write me an essay. Why? For many boys, this will be the first experience in their life with the production of a product or service that a consumer boss, in this case the supermarket entrepreneur, is willing to pay for or purchase.

And so, when a boy is transformed from a consumer of wealth only into a producer of wealth, this transformation is indeed profound. The experience he will gain will be of supreme value. He learns the self-discipline of having to be someplace on time, his workplace.

Since he earns money for perhaps the first time in his life, it’s not just a mere allowance of which nothing can be learned at all from any allowance because you don’t earn it. You only value it if you earn it. There are no exceptions. A gift you do not value. And so he learns to value the money.

He learns standards of performance, good performance versus shoddy and sloppy performance. Is that important to know? At what age? Any age. What if you never get it? You have a life of sloppiness. Most important, he can acquire the habit of becoming a producer of wealth while he is still a boy. You see, if any child can learn the habit of being a producer of wealth while he is still a child, everyone wins. There are no losers.

If this habit is further reinforced while he or she is a teenager, this can make the difficult transition from child to adult, called teenage, a much less difficult transition. The teenager who is a producer of wealth in the form of goods and services is less likely to become a confiscator of wealth and a confiscator of other people’s choices.

This means he is less likely to become a teenage criminal. Instead of stealing someone else’s used stereo, he can purchase a new and better stereo with the wealth he has produced. The failure of adults to understand the importance of teaching children the habit of production is one factor that has led to a proliferation of teenage predators who prey upon their weak and defenseless neighbors. It is an epidemic in this nation.

Furthermore, parents and teachers must instruct children with a standard of morality. I say must. It’s not optional. If a child grows to adulthood without attaining any moral standards, it is probably too late. They will never get it.

To attempt to sell moral standards to adults who have no moral standards is always one of the toughest sells I know. To optimize peace, prosperity and freedom there’s only one moral standard that can accomplish that aim, it is the moral standard of anyone who embraces a win-win paradigm without compromise.

If you embrace a win-win paradigm and you practice a win-win philosophy, then you cannot help but pursue a win-win morality, here it is again. Win-win morality: always seek gain through the gain of others and never seek gain through the loss of others through force or fraud. Inculcate with this moral standard or they probably won’t get it. Ever.

If you can accomplish this with your children, your actions are progressive. Now since I have not given you a formal definition of progressive human action, this is a good time to do it. Any human action that moves society in the direction of peace, prosperity, and freedom is a progressive human action.

If you are a parent and you would like to become a progressive parent, here’s how to do it. All parents who inculcate their children with the win-win paradigm are progressive parents who are raising progressive children who are likely to become progressive producers. Of course, if there is a class of parents defined as progressive parents, that implies that there must be another class that could be defined as what? Regressive parents.

All right, first of all, what is regressive human action? Any human action that moves society in the direction of war, poverty, and servitude is a regressive human action. The prime paradigm that governs people to take regressive human actions is the win-lose paradigm. For me to gain, you must lose. For us to gain, they must lose. You must be forced to lose.

It should not surprise you, dear friends, that all parents who inculcate their children with the win-lose paradigm are regressive parents who are raising regressive children who are likely to grow up to become regressive predators. How is that for parental failure? Your kid is a predator. You can’t improve on that for failure.

You can never escape from the law of cause and effect. For every effect you either like or dislike, there is a cause and you better find out what it is because in the end, your life depends on it. And if nothing else, the quality of your life depends on it. What kind of a quality of life could parents of substance have if their kid turns out to be a predator? I can’t imagine it not ruining the lives of someone who is repulsed by the whole concept of a predator. This happens by the millions and millions every year in this nation. Whether the parents are repulsed by that is another question, being repulsed by the idea of their children being predators. Some are, some aren’t.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have not said nor have I suggested that society will ever evolve to a time when all criminal behavior can be avoided, at least not in the foreseeable future. However, what the majority of people who do not exhibit criminal behavior can gain is the opportunity to reside in a society that will render them secure from criminal confiscation.

If you think about it, that’s really what you want. There’s a natural market demand for such security. Wherever there is a marketplace, there are consumers demanding tangible and intangible products and there are entrepreneurs eager to meet these demands.

There was a demand on the part of people who wanted to live in a completely crime free community, good people who did not want to be subjected to street muggings, robberies, burglaries, assaults, graffiti vandalism. This demand for security has already been met with great success by entrepreneurs in a place called California. Some of you have heard of it.

These entrepreneurs were prepared to not only build secure communities, they were prepared to pave the way for a community that established both win-win order and win-win government. These entrepreneurs have named their proprietary communities, of which there are three in California, Leisure World.

Many thousands of people reside within these communities, which are both crime-free and orderly. The kind of order they have established is important because it is a win-win order. Let’s look again at the concept of win-win order, the creation and maintenance of social order out of disorder through proprietary governorship, which means government.

The main feature of win-win order is that it is not imposed upon anyone. There is no violent mechanism to enforce order. Where there is win-win order and win-win government, order is maintained through contractualism and mutual voluntarism.

The prime reason these proprietary communities are crime free is that they apply the principle of criminal exclusion. The governors of the communities have excluded criminals in two ways. One, known criminals are excluded from moving into the community in the first place. Two, the only people who are admitted into the community grounds are those who are invited in by the community members.

For example, here is one of their entrances. To see that the consumer demands for security are satisfied, the entrepreneurs of these communities have built an effective security technology and here are some of their walls and so forth and here’s the guard gate.

 

The community perimeters are surrounded by architecturally and cosmetically attractive security walls. You can have two kinds of walls – ugly walls and attractive walls. How many of you have seen walls that are so attractive they are a pleasure to look at, any of you? All of you have. At every entrance and exit at the community, here’s one of the guards, there’s a 24-hour security service to maintain control over who comes through this area, this entryway.

The principle of exclusion cannot operate with any greater efficiency or effectiveness. Those who are invited in by the members of the community are all welcome. Those who are not invited are excluded. Now please note, ladies and gentlemen, the application of the principle of exclusion does not imply any negative stigma upon us if we are excluded. Excluded simply means not invited.

Now if you think about it, I know that people worry about, good grief, what if they just start excluding people like maybe me? What if I got excluded? Well, if you think about it, you have excluded almost everyone on the planet from entering your home, am I right? They are excluded because, why? They haven’t been invited into your home. That’s almost all of the 5 billion. Isn’t it?

Even if you invited them all, even if you have a large house, you could not accommodate many of these 5 billion. If you were to establish, dear friends, a true open door policy and invite anyone and everyone to come and go at their discretion 24 hours a day, in and out of your house, can you guess what your house would look like after the first week? The contents of your home would be missing or destroyed or both. Is that a safe assumption?

The house itself would most likely be destroyed beyond recognition indeed if it would even be left standing. Just let anybody come and go any time they want, 24 hours a day. You are all invited. All of you are invited. Good luck.

During any given hour of the day, you could expect to find your house inhabited by burglars on their way through, robbers, muggers, pickpockets, tramps, bums, murderers and so forth. Any guests of quality would have long since departed because they could not tolerate your guests of lesser quality. All of this because you have been promiscuous with your invitations. You can’t be more promiscuous than to invite everyone and to exclude no one.

The principle of exclusion is a general principle, which is a subclass. It excludes those as a subclass who exhibit criminal behavior. But there are many people who are not criminals whom you still would not invite into your home. Well if you choose to live in a community with other people, in a sense the community is an extension of your home. If you would like to exclude criminals from your home, it follows you would also like to exclude criminals from the greater home of your community, the one in which you’ve chosen to live. Does that follow?

I’d like to stress this. The principle of criminal exclusion is not for the exclusive use of the wealthy. The principle of exclusion can be effectively applied by entrepreneurs in communities where property can be purchased or leased by people of moderate income or means. There are people of all economic levels who would like to exclude criminals from both their homes and their communities. It will not be difficult to find entrepreneurs, technologists, and investors – here is another look at Leisure World

– who will be eager to meet this consumer demand, as the Leisure World people did, just as they are eager to meet any other consumer demand.

The people demand automobiles, health services, operas, apples, shirts and they demand security from the threat of criminal harassment. The concept of the community operated by entrepreneurs as an entrepreneurial venture will find great popularity within a free society. The application of the principle of exclusion will be only one of many valuable services offered by community entrepreneurs.

I’d like to now examine another regressive domino effect of bureaucratic interventionism. It has to do with the familiar concept of the public road. It is safe to say that almost everyone in our society is in favor of having public roads, both educated and uneducated people. But if the goal is to provide the greatest good for the greatest number, then even the popular idea of having a public road for public use is a false means. In fact it is one of the baddest ideas in the history of bad ideas ever conceived.

The public road is a major obstacle to the application of the principle of criminal exclusion. Now my dictionary says public means open to all people. Therein lies the problem. The public roads, right here, are open to what people? All people. And all people includes medical doctors, engineers, salesmen, teachers, truck drivers. But all people also includes, not surprisingly, burglars, robbers, muggers, arsonists, rapists, murderers, vandals, et al.

There is an elegant, simplex solution that will dramatically reduce the magnitude of all private crime. You allow an evolutionary transition to take place, wherein the construction and administration of the roads passes from the hands of bureaucratic bosses to consumer bosses who vote for the road entrepreneurs of their choice. This transition alone, ladies and gentlemen, this one action alone, will protect the overwhelming majority of people who are not criminals from the few who are. It will solve the problem we have today wherein the public roads are the principle avenues of crime.

How do these various criminals gain access to you, your family and your residence? How do they do it? They use the public roads. True? It will lead them right to your front door, won’t it? Do any of you live on a private road? All of you live in a public road. It’ll lead the rapist, the mugger, the burglar right to your front door. You can look it up on a roadmap.

At this very moment there could be a burglar legally parked on the public road right in front of your house. Is that possible? Right now, casing the place, wondering, those people are probably gone today. I’ve been checking this place out. I noticed every Sunday they leave about eight o’clock. Been for the past three Sundays now. I wonder if this is going to be another one of those?

Could this in fact be happening? In other words burglars like it, if you have a regular pattern of habits, then they know they can predict when you’re going to be gone and often for hours and hours and hours. It only takes them fifteen minutes to clean your house out.

A fellow could be parked in front of your house right now. He’s a private confiscator who wants to confiscate your TV set, your stereo, your silverware, your other valuables. But what if it were possible to deny this burglar access to the road that leads to your house? Who is willing to say that not only would I like to deny the burglar access to my house, but I would also like to deny him access to the road that leads to my house, and even my neighbors’ houses? How many of you would even like to deny access to your neighbors on the part of criminals? Who is willing to say even if you don’t even know the neighbor, you would still be much happier knowing that these criminals don’t have access to neighbors you don’t even know? Would you?

Is there a market of a growing number of people who would like to deny criminal access to themselves, their families, and their property? Is there a growing market for this? Whenever you have a demand for a service, and people have the freedom, which means there is free trade and a free society, there will be an entrepreneur with the courage to assume the risk to produce the sought-after service. Where there is a profit system, an entrepreneur will even take on the great risk of building a road system in pursuit of profit. A road is merely a specialized technology. It is designed for one thing, to improve the operational efficiency of vehicles that roll on wheels and journey from point A to point B. That’s the function of a road.

A road is a service that does not differ in principle from a telephone service, a water service, or an electric service.

This is a private road at Leisure Road, one of the main private roads. Please note, there are no potholes in it.

The technological problems will differ for each service, with the principle of an entrepreneur providing any sought-after service does not. The highest quality service at the lowest price will always be provided when the individual putting forth the service is an entrepreneur who must give the first consideration to the achievement of what? What do you have to do to remain an entrepreneur? He’s got to make entrepreneurial profit or he can’t serve anybody. Is this observable? Okay.

When you’re building a new road in a free society, a new right of way will not be acquired through the government confiscation, political government confiscation of land. Instead, the road entrepreneur will purchase the necessary right of way. The long-established practice of purchasing low cost options will be used to acquire the necessary right of way.

If a few owners of land do not wish to sell the road company an option to purchase in the future, this does not present an obstacle to the successful completion of the road. The road company will have no difficulty finding willing sellers, especially since the road will in almost every case enhance the value of the sellers’ land. Access to land increases its value. This has been known for a long time. This is not a new discovery, is it?

But today the roads are designed and administered by, not the consumer bosses, but the bureaucratic bosses, and not by consumer bosses voting for entrepreneurs. In a free society, the roads will be administered by entrepreneurs as a road service business just like any other business.

There will be many progressive domino effects stemming from entrepreneurial administration of the roads. Here is one, namely, the almost total elimination of the crime of automobile theft that has been in epidemic proportions for decades in this country. Here we have another simplex solution. Means what? Only one thing we have to know, only one thing we have to do. Simplex.

To illustrate, let’s assume my automobile is stolen and I’ve been a customer of the Continental Road Company for ten years. Every time I drive onto a Continental road, an electric sensor picks up a signal from a transmitter in my car. A transmitter sends my automobile identification number to a receiver. The identification number is recorded on a computer memory disk recording the place, time, and date of my entry onto the road.

First of all, is this difficult technology? We’ve had this technology for decades. True? At my place of exit, another sensor records the place, time, and date of my exit. If I’ve gone ten miles, I will be charged so much a mile for the ten miles of road usage. All of the other usages will be added up and put on my monthly bill. Use per mile on other road companies will also be added up and put on one monthly bill. Instead of paying, even if I used ten different road companies, it still comes in one bill. So, I don’t have to make ten payments, I just make one. That’s not difficult, is it? Easy to do? Yes.

Today the telephone company sends me a statement once a month of charges identifying each long-distance call, the time, the date, the length of the call, the destination of the call. All of this is recorded, it’s all itemized. I can check every phone number I want at the end of the month, check the cost and everything if I want to do this. True? It’s all there. I found in my own case, they rarely make mistakes. I check it every now and then. I rarely find a mistake. I’ve found maybe one mistake in 25 years. That doesn’t mean they do that well with everybody, I’m just giving you my own anecdotal experience. But anecdotes don’t make a science, but that’s the anecdote. I think I’ve found one mistake in probably 40 years. And that was a fraudulent call, it wasn’t really the phone company’s mistake. It was a fraudulent call, charged to my phone fraudulently.

The road company will send me a similar statement for usage of all the roads. Now, if my automobile should ever be stolen, I simply put in a call to the Continental Road Company informing them of the theft. Continental Road Company immediately informs all of the road companies of the theft. When an automobile drives up onto the Continental Road or any other road company, it will be stopped. My automobile will be stopped.

In other words, the thief will be denied access to the use of the roads. If the thief smashes my automobile transmitter to avoid detection, since most thieves don’t like to be detected, the automobile will still be stopped since the only people allowed to go onto the road without stopping at the entry gate are those people who have a prior contract and a working transmitter for the use of the road. They gain automatic access, prior contract, and a working transmitter. Any problem with that?

If the thief changes the code numbers sent by the transmitter, as he might because all thieves in general don’t like to be detected, so he might think of this. Maybe he’s kind of a computer whiz. But if he’s a computer whiz, why is he stealing automobiles? Well, he won’t be in a society where there are more jobs for people who want to work in the computer industry than there are people to fill them.

Anyhow, this computer whiz, or whatever, reprograms the signal. And assuming there’s some way he can avoid whatever defense technology they have to prevent this, some whiz guy if he devotes his life, if his purpose of life is to do this, he might figure out how to do it. So, he does it, he changes the code number. Again, to avoid detection there are only two possibilities if he does this. One, he changes to a number the road company has no record of. In which case, what? He will be stopped. There is only one other possibility. He changes it to a number that is identical to another customer’s automobile identification number, in this case, a doctor who lives in Massachusetts had the same number.

When two automobiles are on the roads transmitting the same identification number, it is very easy to quickly determine which one is fraudulent. That is a very easy thing to do. Do you see that? The easiest thing to do. The thief will be stopped. With this approach to dealing with a problem of automobile theft, when it’s applied all across the country, do you know what you have just terminated? You’ve virtually terminated all automobile theft. It will no longer be lucrative to steal automobiles. By taking the reward out of automobile theft, you can achieve a condition where the number of automobile thefts approaches zero.

Again, let’s look at the progressive domino effects of all of this. One, there is no stolen car to recovery. Two, no auto thief to identify. Three, no auto thief to capture. Four, no auto thief to determine the guilt or innocence of. Five, no auto thief to punish or incarcerate. Six, no auto insurance laws.

What do you think of those progressive domino effects? In a free society the cost of automobile insurance is trivial. The reason it is so high today is called public roads, for a lot of reasons, more of which I may come to if there is time. The problem of automobile thieves selling stolen automobiles to either innocent or knowledgeable purchasers can also be quickly stopped when the road company requires each new subscriber of the road service to prove what? Ownership.

In a free society, if you are the true owner of the car it is very easy to prove and if you’re not, it is damn near impossible. So the road owners will only let those people on the roads who can prove that they are the owner of the cars. They don’t want auto thieves on their roads.

If a guy is a car thief, he could be a troublemaker, he might attack some of their customers. We don’t need this. Goodbye and good luck. The entrepreneurs of the roads would exclude at the same time all known murderers, robbers, kidnappers, burglars, arsonists, muggers, rapists, vandals. You’re out. Any problem with that? Do you feel sorry for the mugger and the rapist or what have you?

The road companies would simply deny these undesirables access to the roads. They could not afford, of course, to risk the possibility that these private interventionists and confiscators might attack some of their customers on the road. The road company has established a reputation for operating safe, fast, and beautiful roads. They cannot take the risk of damaging their reputation by allowing these criminal interventionists to use the road.

And so, dear friends, when the road company denies criminals access to their roads at the same time they deny these criminals access to you and your neighbors, is that a good thing? In other words, they have a very difficult time getting to where you are standing. That’s what you want.

And so, my friends, the entrepreneurially administered road is the first line of defense against criminal confiscation. But it’s also the first line of defense from dangerous drivers who may not be criminals and are not necessarily criminal.

Assume we have a super highway, but it’s privately owned. We started out with private super highways in this country. How many know what that one was called? The first major highway was built privately in this nation, how many know that? Didn’t they teach this in school? What were they teaching you in the school?

We started out with private enterprise. How many of you have heard of the Pennsylvania Turnpike? It was built as a private road, not financed with taxes, but with subscribers. It was a toll road. You paid for the use of the road. That’s where we started. Eventually the states confiscated all of these private roads because they wanted to expand what? Their power and control over the people. All states, all political governments aim at extending their control over the people at gunpoint.

Assume we have a private highway, it is designed for safe speeds of let’s say 90 miles an hour. Can you have a highway that can have safe speeds at 90? Of course. Signs are posted. Speed limit not to exceed 90 miles an hour. If someone is speeding, let’s say they are doing 150 miles an hour, which even some production cars today will go that fast. Let’s say they are doing a more conservative 110 in a 90 mile an hour speed zone.

It is important to note, first of all, that the person is not violating any political laws when he does this on a private road since political laws don’t govern private roads in a free society. Would he be violating anything then on a private road if he is doing 110 when the maximum speed limit is 90?

He is violating his contract, the contract that he entered into with the road company for the usage of the road. If you are going to use our road, then we expect you to do this, this, this and this. That’s the price, that is part of the price for using the road. So, one of the prices, sir, we want your business, but one of the prices is follow the regulations that we use for the use of the road so everybody can have safe usage. We don’t want any of our customers to get hurt.

But, if he does 110 in the 90 zone, then for the first violation maybe he’s just warned. Don’t do it again. How do you know he did it? Well the whole thing can be determined electronically. We can know exactly what you were doing at the exact time at this place you were doing 111.7 miles per hour. If you want to know more than that, it was 111.77265 miles per hour at this place exactly for this distance. Simple technology, and it can be done in many different ways.

So, they just say we send a note in the mail saying don’t do it again, sir, we appreciate your business but we don’t want to see this happen again. Might this person still do it again? Maybe he’s got his new Porsche and he wants to, you know, he’s heard it can do 150 and wants to test it out, whatever.

And so maybe he gets a message from them, well, this is the second violation; that will cost you $25 dollars, or whatever. There is a third violation and maybe that will be $100 dollars. And maybe if things are bad enough and the person is, let’s say he’s incorrigible in this domain, in this area, then the penalty gets higher.

Finally, maybe the fifth violation might be exclusion from the road for six months. He can’t use the car on our road for six months. If he does it again, maybe exclusion for a year. Finally, there will be no seventh time. After that, maybe just seven, that’s it. You’ve got a track record, you’re incorrigible so we now deny you use of the road forever – goodbye and good luck. We don’t want your business.

In other words, we can’t afford your business. You’re a threat to our customers, we just can’t take the risk. It’s not anything personal, but you’re banned from our road forever. Any problem with this? Ditto a drunk driver. Why he’s a dangerous driver is irrelevant. He’s on drugs or dope or he’s just dangerous, reckless, it doesn’t matter. We don’t want you on our road – goodbye and good luck.

If you’ve got a drinking problem it’s not our concern, but just take your car elsewhere, goodbye and good luck. Any problem with this? No problem. Yeah, but, but, but, but – I need the car to get to work. Well, you should have thought of that. We’ve warned you ten times. Goodbye and good luck. Hire a driver, use somebody else’s car, or whatever.

The same principle can be applied to a community that’s administered by an entrepreneur. For example, if a teenager is speeding on the community roads you don’t have to exclude the teenager from the community. When he drives into the security entrance, for example, he is welcome to enter, but his automobile is not. His automobile is excluded until he learns to follow the community’s contractual conditions for the use of the road. This will even give the teenager an incentive to more rapidly acquire higher levels of what is called maturity. Please note, no one has even taken the teenager’s automobile away from the teenager. The teenager is not even excluded from the community, only his automobile. Do you see what a beautiful solution that is? Yeah, but it’s a mile to my house from the gate. That’s your problem. Walk.

This means that you can actually purchase protection from entrepreneurs who operate highways, industrial communities, residential communities, resort communities, just as Leisure World in California. Here is one of their clubhouses.

The entrepreneurs of these communities will maintain roads, parks, auditoriums, swimming pools. This one is clubhouse number five. Clubhouse number five at least presumes what at Leisure World? There must be at least a one, two, three, and four because here is a five. Does that follow? There are more than five.

Here is another clubhouse showing their swimming pool. These are all maintained by the entrepreneurs. The grounds are immaculate.

Entrepreneurs will provide all of these services to the consumer bosses for a rational reason. Those entrepreneurs who meet the demands of the consumers for the best services at the lowest prices will become the stars of a free society. These consumer elections are held 24 hours a day. Anyone who is willing to assume the risk of meeting the consumers’ demands has the freedom to put his product up for a vote. There will always be room at the top for more stars. In a free society, anyone can become a star. Anyone can avoid stardom if they want. The choices of everyone are optimized. That’s what freedom is all about.

Let’s talk about this point which is that the solution to the problem of urban crime begins with the recognition that most urban crime is a regressive domino effect of win-lose government interventionism. This is perhaps best illustrated with a discussion of a popular type of bureaucratic interventionism known as prohibition.
Let’s talk about prohibition in one lesson. All political prohibition of the sale and distribution of any forbidden products and services has always in the past and always will in the future cause a myriad of problems that are far more serious and pernicious than any of the problems the prohibitionists hoped to solve with the prohibition in the first place. You might say, but other than that what’s wrong with prohibition?

A prohibitionist mentality is always what kind of a mentality? A win-lose mentality. It is an us-versus-them mentality. One of the most romanticized eras in American history has been the era of prohibition. The Hollywood film industry has produced a plethora of cops and gangster films set in the so-called Roaring Twenties when prohibition was in full force.

In 1919 we got the Volstead Act that enforced the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. This ushered forth the period from 1920 to 1933 known as Prohibition. Prohibition of what? The manufacture and sale of alcoholic drinks. The members of the anti-saloon league, the prohibitionist party, founded in 1869, and others, were successful in getting the government to confiscate the people’s choice of what to drink. In fact, right under here is a sign that says, you probably can’t see it, I think it says, “I voted dry.”

But the government confiscation of choice always produces hidden what, always? Regressive domino effects. You can’t get away from this. Whenever the government interferes with free trade by making any sought-after product illegal, this creates both immediate and greater public interest in the product. The product takes on a new product, namely, forbidden fruit status. If it’s forbidden, we love it. That’s human nature, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter what the product is that has been decreed illegal. It can be alcoholic beverages. Here is Mayor LaGuardia of New York City, smashing up all these slot machines with a sledge hammer.

It doesn’t matter what the product is that has been declared or decreed illegal. It can be drugs, gambling, prostitution, tobacco products, pornography, you name it. In general, you get these four effects. One, the price of the product increases. Two, the quality of the product decreases. Three, sales of product increases. Four, higher quality people in the business are replaced with lower quality people.

So, we got the 18th Amendment. Here is a revenuer, a revenuer smashing up somebody’s private property, their still. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution was just another government law confiscating free trade, free choice. The Volstead Act was the police enforcement law and look at the regressive domino effects of what happened.

This is a generalized account of what happens when you have prohibition.

One, in the case of alcohol, the price of alcoholic beverages went up, which means that those who still drink the beverage have what? A higher standard of living or a lower standard of living? A lower standard of living.

Two, the quality of the product went down. Many people were permanently blinded by bad booze. Others died before they even had a chance to go blind. Incidentally, if you want a definition, bad booze is when you go blind or worse. Bad booze is more than Boone’s Farm or what have you.

Three, the sales of the product increased, fed by a widespread distribution system of bootleggers. Speakeasies where you could buy the illegal beverage flourished. Well, the good folks of the anti-saloon league thought they could save their fellow Americans from the curse of booze by outlawing its sale.

Some of you may recognize Carrie Nation here. Her big thing was to go into a beautiful hand-carved wooden bar, when in the old days they used to have elaborate hand-carved bars, masterpieces in rosewood and hardwood. The guys that can even make those are now all dead. They can’t even make them today. She would go in with a hatchet and just slash and smash these bars all up as often as she could. Anyhow, she went to jail about twenty times for this.

Carrie Nation

With the enforcement of the Volstead Act, instead of liquor consumption going down, what happened? It went straight up. The higher-quality people in the liquor business, were chased out. Thugs like Al Capone and Dutch Schultz became the nation’s leading liquor distributors. Brilliant.

Al Capone

The strength of the mafia grew rapidly from the sale of illegal liquor. In other words, real criminals like mafia thugs filled the void left by honest businessmen who were forced out of business by the government confiscation. Almost all of the wine producers in California were wiped out during the period of prohibition. They went bankrupt. Did you know that?

And so, we had terrorism. What was going on between these warring factions was a form of terrorism. Think about it. The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, which you’ve read about and heard about, was a form of terrorism and so that’s one of the regressive domino effects of bureaucratic interventionism, terrorism.

Some of these bootleggers were smugglers, like for example, Joseph P. Kennedy, father of the late President. Joseph Kennedy made a fortune as a rum runner illegally importing high quality scotch whiskey from Great Britain into this country. And that’s how the Kennedys made their fortune, which they parlayed into the political arena. There may not have even been any Kennedy fortune had it not been for prohibition. I’m serious. It was all made in illegal booze. Jack Kennedy probably wouldn’t have been president.

The advocates of bureaucratic confiscation of choice did not learn the lesson of the tragic effects caused by the prohibition of alcoholic drinks. We are now witness to the tragic effects caused by the prohibition and manufacture of certain illegal drugs.

The various police authorities across the nation claim that something close to half the violent crimes committed in the metropolitan areas, for example, involve criminal attacks upon individuals and their property that are narcotic related. These crimes are most commonly committed by narcotic addicts. As most of you know, these drug addicts commit these crimes in order to acquire property that they can exchange for the drug of their choice that will satisfy their respective habit.

Now one might ask, well why doesn’t the addict simply purchase the drug of his choice at the nearest drug store? Well, it’s illegal to sell certain drugs such as diacetylmorphine, commonly known by its German trademark as heroin. With all the publicity given to the destructive use, however, of these drugs, we should not forget their constructive use.

Extracts from the opium poppies such as morphine and codeine when used as a painkiller in medicine, has been one of the great benefits to mankind. Throughout most of the history of medicine, the unfortunate patient had to face the surgeon’s knife without the benefit of anesthesia. In the western nations, morphine is only legally available for medical uses. Without morphine and other pain killing drugs this means that, as in the old days, if the the surgeon had to cut a leg off it had to be done in just a couple of minutes because if you didn’t the patient dies of shock. So, you’ve got maybe two minutes to zap the leg off. And in those days the good surgeon was a fast surgeon, or the patient dies anyhow. Imagine this being done without morphine, or any painkiller. It’s got to be excruciating.

In fact it was so bad for the surgeon that often the surgeon would face this kind of surgery stone drunk. It was such a trauma for the surgeon to cut off a man’s leg when the guy was awake, that he would do it when he’s drunk. I’m not exaggerating.

And so, the addict, with no medical requirement for these legal drugs, is forced to satisfy his addiction by the purchase of drugs on the black market. Where there is a black market, what does that always mean? There’s no free market. You can only have a black market where there is no free market. The stiff penalties imposed by government interventionists against the production, distribution and consumption of these drugs for non-medical use bids up the price on the black market. And instead of paying a few dollars a day to support his addiction, with the government interventionism the addict must pay a few hundred dollars a day, or even thousands of dollars a day depending on what the addiction is.

Where does the addict find several hundred dollars a day or more to support his addiction and still have money left over for food, clothing, shelter and transportation? The probability that he will earn enough money to support both his drug habit and his various costs of living is not good. The result? Many of these addicts resort to a life of crime to support their addiction.

But I have this question, what if the government does not confiscate the choices of buyers and sellers? Since the cost of producing the drug is relatively low, an addict can purchase his drug needs for a few dollars a day. Please note, if the choice of the addict is not confiscated, he is far less likely to knock you in the head and run off with your purse or your wallet or your silverware or your automobile in order to trade your property for his drugs. In other words, if the government does not confiscate the addict’s choice, the addict will not be as likely confiscate your choice. Thus, a highly destructive regressive domino effect of bureaucratic interventionism can be avoided.

Of course, the argument will be given, well, if the government allows the people the freedom of choice concerning what to buy and sell, drug addiction will reach epidemic levels. Many claim the problem is epidemic now and we have the government confiscation of choice, and it is always at gunpoint. We have another example of a regressive domino effect. There is a direct parallel, my friends, between the growing harshness of the penalties enforced to decrease drug addiction while at the same time there is a growing increase in drug addiction. The inverse, the proportion, the inverse ratio, is a foregone conclusion.

One of these tragic effects is the government-caused aggravation of the drug problem. As I said, it is claimed that drug addicts are responsible for at least half the nation’s serious crimes. Furthermore, the members of organized crime flourish on the distribution and sale of illegal drugs. Even the drug pushers who may not commit violent crimes commonly pushes drugs upon young people in order to pay for his own habit. These are all high prices to pay for the interventionists’ non-solutions.

The argument that free trade in the sale of alcoholic drinks and other various drugs will cause the majority of people to become addicts. This cannot be supported with any scientific evidence. This is total nonsense. One of the solutions to the problems of addiction to both alcohol and other drugs, of course, will be the development of more effective cures.

When any individual finds himself under the influence and control of a mere chemical, he has lost something of great importance. What’s that? One of the human factors that separates man from the lower beasts and animals is that only man has an extensive range of volitional or choice capabilities. The addicts’ diminished capacity for choice brings him closer to the level of the lower animals. He becomes more bovine or more cow-like. When you’re an addict you’re more cow-like. You’re closer to the cow. That’s what happens. The addiction may or may not be the total fault of the addict, but in either case, the addiction itself is a form of individual regression in which permanent escape is difficult for all and impossible for many.

However, the good news is, as medical science develops more effective cures and the interventionists cease their interventionism, the drug problem will continue to diminish over time. And I believe in a free society the problem of addiction will become a nominally negligible problem, far less pervasive than it is today.

 

© Sustainable Civilization Institute 2010