17A001 The Boycott by Jim Davies, 1/3/2017    


At the end of last week's ZGBlog came the suggestion that if a religious community within the coming zero government society were to prevent a member leaving (or apply any other force to him) its leader would be subject to the sanction of a free-market court, whose ultimate judgment would be to publish the facts so that society will shun him.

It may fairly be asked: will that outcome suffice?

There will of course be no prisons or fines or hangman's ropes; by definition there will be no laws (there being no lawmakers) and therefore no "offenses" or punishments, as such. Courts will arbitrate between real people; a victim A, alleging force or fraud by aggressor B. If A prevails, B will be ordered to restore A's stolen or damaged rights; to recompense him.

Should B then ignore and flout that order, the facts will be published and B will be exposed to public scorn and boycott, or shunning. Will that serve as an adequate deterrent?

We must remember that everyone in the ZGS has learned that above all else, human beings own themselves and hence any form of force violates that self-government principle; it's the one thing forbidden - prohibited not by any law, but by the principle itself. So anyone (religious or otherwise) who flouts it has betrayed his professed belief, mentally separating himself from the society of zero government people. He is therefore a pariah. No decent person should or will have any dealings with him.

That will be a devastating outcome, arguably even more so than imprisonment.

The facts of the case being public knowledge, he will be unable to get a job. Nor will anybody work for him. Nobody will sell him any food, fuel, housing, clothing, drink, transportation. Nobody will buy items he may produce. He may be able to move to some wilderness land and survive by himself, but all other options will be closed. Even if he is wealthy, nobody will accept his money and sell him anything. He will be totally on his own. That's what shunning, or boycotting, ultimately means. He placed himself outside the community of self-owners, so it will give that choice its logical effect.

In today's caricature of a justice system, the mere fact of being an ex-con (after having "paid one's debt to society"!) acts as a severe handicap when trying to rebuild a life after release. It makes it harder to get a job for example. It's a nasty and hypocritical outcome, for in government theory the punishment has already been exacted; he re-starts with a supposedly clean sheet - but it often doesn't work out that way, and results in recidivism, which high rate is of course quite good for prison employees. So that relatively mild boycott by the public is bad enough.

Worse takes place when the government savagely adds to the sentence an order that a "sex offender" - one who has broken a government sex law - be placed on a list, for ever. Even though the original aggression was minor, he is never allowed to put it behind him, but is always subject to public distaste. This is true even for artificial "crimes" like statutory rape, in which an 18 year old boy has sex with a 15 year old girl who appears and claims to be 17.

These are examples of boycott now taking place, and they are severe and unjustified. When a boycott is properly justified in the coming ZGS, it will be far more severe. Potential aggressors will take a deal of trouble to avoid one, and that is why krime, in my view, will reduce to noise levels compared to today's rates of violent crime.

The ZGS' justice industry will bring another highly beneficial effect: after experiencing or even observing the effects of such a boycott, the aggressor will have a powerful incentive to mend his ways. After flouting a court order to recompense his victim, he may very well change his mind and do his best to comply; and as soon as he does, that information too will enter the public record. As a result, the boycott will rapidly wind down and end. He will have no pointless, 15-year prison sentence to fulfill, no parole board to satisfy, no stigma to follow him everywhere after release. He renounces his use of force, he will again be a free, productive member of the ZGS.

This will apply to all kinds of aggressor, usually the common kriminal, and including the perhaps uncommon case of a religious leader (Muslim, for example) who forbids a member to leave by threatening heavy punishment for apostasy. This was exemplified in last week's ZGBlog. Now put it all together: some Mullah does that, and his victim applies to a court for help and gets it, and the Mullah and those supporting him get boycotted. But not, I think as above, for long. The net of it will be that they will then remain free to practice their religion, but not to force it down the throats of any existing or potential members. Islam's teeth will at last be drawn.

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