Murder, He Wrote
by Jim Davies, 12/27/2010
Unencumbered by any process of reason, many people are horrified by the notion of society without government because that would mean there are no laws (correct) and therefore there would be chaos and mayhem (incorrect.) A few days ago I encountered one, so I asked him exactly what purpose he thought it served, to have a law forbidding murder.
He fell very quiet. Possibly he'd just concluded I was a lunatic but felt it impolite (or risky) to say so out loud, or - more likely - he had never considered that and had no reply to offer.
Good evidence abounds, that law and morality are two unrelated things. Laws prohibiting certain drugs have been multiplied for over a century, yet the rate of their regular use has been unaffected. The law against alcohol use, in the 1920s, actually accompanied a small increase in drinking - and a very large increase in organized violence. Laws against murder have been on the books of every State since forever, but the murder rates go up and down over time regardless, evidently affected by other factors like how many unwanted children are being raised; it fell off a cliff, for example, about twenty years after abortion was legalized.
So if the law-and-order freak is asked "Do you mean that if there were no laws forbidding murder, there would be murders everywhere?" he would answer "Yes, I do." Let's help him break new ground and think about that.
To end the life of a human being, who is posing one no threat, is about the most dreadful action anyone can take. It is to deny that person absolutely the right to own and operate his own life; it is an ultimate act of govern-ment. You don't govern yourself, I do; and I've decided it's time your life finished. Utterly repugnant, a denial of everything published here. So would murders abound, absent anti-murder laws?
Let's ask: "Suppose there had been no prohibition on murder, all your lifetime. How many people would you have killed?" Answer, probably, none. Why not? - "Because it's a terrible thing to do!"
Exactly. The reason people do not normally kill each other that it violates the conscience, it's an un-natural act, goes against all we understand about good and evil. When contemplating murder, we don't pause and ask "Is this against the law?" - we ask "Is this right or wrong?"
Yes, there are exceptions; sometimes a conscience malfunctions. Ted Bundy enjoyed killing. Government people kill by waging wars; they tell themselves that governments aren't held to the same moral standards as real people and that "governments" actually exist and hence, it is not George Bush who is ordering the war but President Bush, some kind of separate individual, as in Jekyll & Hyde. Soldiers kill, telling themselves they must obey orders. But in the unexceptional case, people refrain from murder because it's morally wrong.
Therefore, the law against it serves no useful purpose. Therefore, the anti-murder laws being obviously the most important of all, no other laws serve any useful purpose either; and this objection to a ZGS is removed.
Once all its laws have followed government into the trash can, if a homicide occurs the victim's family will sue for compensation and the killer will be required to pay it, and if he refuses, that fact will be so well published that he will never again be able to do business; he will be shunned. Right, none of that brings back the life of the victim; but nor do anti-murder laws. Some compensation is better than none.