10A064 "Crime" in a ZGS by Jim Davies, 11/5/2010

Yesterday the trial continued in Nashua, NH, of four young men accused of a particularly gruesome murder one year ago; details are here in the Union Leader newspaper. Catch more of the flavor of this "thrill kill" from what the accused lead killer wrote in jail. Sample: "We went up in the room. / Mommy is it you? / Your Mommy isn't here. / I slit her throat from ear to ear."

Allegedly, one Steven Spader led a gang that randomly picked a home in Mont Vernon and set out to kill everyone inside and steal what it could; and that's what happened. In the middle of the night, with her husband away on a business trip, Kimberly Cates was slashed to death in her bed with a machete, and her daughter Jaimie (11) was terribly injured. The loot was sold for only $200, and the invasion's primary purpose was to enjoy the excitement of carrying it out.

The gang was not very clever at hiding its crime, so this was one case that the police solved quickly. Two of the gang have turned State's evidence to escape the death penalty, and some of the public, all of which is sickened by the bloodbath, hopes that the four will be acquitted and walk out into a lynch mob so that its version of retribution can be carried out. This prompts me to wonder: how would such a case be handled in a zero government society?

Justice outlines how, in such a free society, the functions of detection, apprehension, trial and disposition would work and notes that "aggression is rare" because the whole tenor of society will be different; the all-important motivation for violence and theft will be drastically lower because the cost/benefit ratio as the potential aggressor sees it will be far higher (lower rewards, much greater probability of being caught and made to compensate the victim.) Nonetheless, how would that affect the Cates murder and the fortunately few like it? - these thugs didn't pause to estimate costs and benefits, they just (allegedly) went for the mindless thrill of the moment with no evidence of any human feelings at all.

I know of only two possible causes of such repulsive conduct: heritage and upbringing, ie genes and environment. I can't say much about genes, except that a zero government society is the best possible haven for unbiased research that may one day spot and fix the defective genes that make a very few violent sociopaths. Of the environment though, we can see more. Today, it is saturated with violence and its glorification.

Children are forced to attend school and their parents are forced to pay the cost, regardless of their wishes; those are acts of violence. Schoolboys like Spader are taught that to join the National Guard will make them mature men, or that in the Army they'll become "all that they can be." In both, they are trained to operate equipment designed expressly to kill the government's enemies. Every day of their lives, the news features violent death - usually at the hands of other humans and often at the hands of "our government," which they are taught is almost above reproach. For amusement, they have access to video "games" in which images of people are viciously zapped. The surprise is not that the Spader gang embraced the "thrill kill" mentality, but that there aren't more like them. When government has evaporated, most such ugly environmental influences will disappear with it.

Will that eliminate horrible behavior? - possibly not. But it will be the least imperfect of all possible societies. I see no reason to wish for anything less.

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