The Inverse Relationship Between Criminality and Freedom

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“The subject is criminality and freedom, and I will try to argue that from a libertarian perspective, these two concepts are in a very simple relationship of inverse proportionality, so the more that crime pervades, the less liberty there is; and conversely so.

There is a kind of mathematical formula, which says that liberty is equal to 1/criminality, so it is the inverse of criminality. Of course this formula should not be taken too seriously, I will not try to measure the variables, but it is quite suggestive I think as a kind of summary or visualisation of the subject of this lecture.

The first point is that it is very unsatisfactory for the thinking mind to define crime as any violation of the legal system as it exists at this particular moment, or in this particular country. Criminality needs to be defined in the framework of a theory of justice and I will use the very good and very convincing theory of justice of Murray Rothbard, as he developed it in his famous book The Ethics of Liberty.”

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Kenli Schoolland

2 Comments to The Inverse Relationship Between Criminality and Freedom

  1. Jim McIntosh

    I was expecting a discussion of individual criminals, not the state as a criminal. I was thinking of Lao Tzu’s quote – “The more laws are written, the more criminals are produced.” When we are not free to buy and sell drugs, then it becomes a crime to do so, and it becomes profitable for some to distribute such ‘illegal’ drugs. And because the justice system does not protect their enterprise, they must provide their own defenses, often using aggressive tactics to eliminate competition.

    When peaceful citizens are not at liberty to carry or own guns, not-so-peaceful individuals are less inhibited about infringing on the rights of others, stealing from and mugging them or worse.

    Almost every law infringes on our liberty and many create an incentive for those willing to take the risk of getting caught.

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