Our criminal policy must find the two correct balancing points between order and freedom, imprisonment and rehabilitation. Finding these points requires compromise. On one hand, we could ensure that everyone was safe by placing everyone in a cage guarded by the state. On the other hand, we could ensure everyone was free by eliminating all laws and letting people organize themselves. To find the right balance between order and freedom, prison and rehabilitation, we must first understand our own motives.
Government is defined as the entity with the right to the ‘legitimate use of force.’ The people will only support the government when it imposes laws that they people want enforced. Government’s become corrupt when they no longer represent the will of the people by enforcing their laws. When the government enforces unpopular laws, it creates tension between the government and the people. The people will at first break the law in secrets but, as the distance between the law and the order it seeks to create widens, the people will begin to flout the law in public. This creates a state of noncompliance in which everyone is breaking the law and no one is safe from the government.
Right now the American people are in a state of mass noncompliance. Between our nation’s antiquated drug laws, complex tax code and myriad of regulations, a majority of Americans break the law everyday. Some of them will be caught and penalized and many others never will. This state of noncompliance has created a culture of disrespect towards government and authority. This culture delegitimizes the government. Illegitimate government is mafia.
We must do everything in our power to live under a legitimate government and that requires reducing and simplifying our nation’s legal code.