The World of Impossible Crimes

I want you to imagine for a moment that the police have created a new security monitoring system that makes it impossible for anyone to commit any crime and get away with it.  The minute you commit a crime, every detail about that crime is immediately transmitted to the police, and they have nearly unlimited resources to deal with you.

Go 5 over the speed limit?  You’re going to get fined.

Light off a firecracker in the wrong place?  You’re going to get fined.

Drop a cigarette butt on the beach?  You’re going to get fined.

Forget to buckle up?  You’re going to get fined.

Buy something from out of state on the internet and fail to report the sales tax?  You’re going to get fined.

Download something on the internet that’s copyrighted?  You’re going to face either a civil suit or potential criminal charges of theft.

Post something that’s copyrighted on the internet?  You’re going to get fined.

Sell or purchase any kind of illicit drug?  You’re going to jail.

Drink underage, sell or purchase liquor for underage people. You’re going to jail.

Drink and drive just a micro-fraction over the legal limit?  You’re going to jail.

Don’t get your dog licensed immediately?  You’re getting fined.

Change lanes without signaling?  You’re getting fined.

Roll through a stop sign?  You’re getting fined.

The new system simply makes it impossible for you to do anything that is illegal and get away with it.

Since most people believe laws are good and necessary, I assume most people would be excited to live under such conditions.  If a person says they aren’t interested in living under such conditions, yet they still believe in democracy and the legal system, then it must be because they want to get away with committing crimes.

Of course, people like myself question the legitimacy of crimes that don’t have a victim, so I wouldn’t want to live under such a system because I think the vast majority of so-called “crimes” aren’t actually crimes at all.  But you’ll never hear a statist say that’s the reason why they don’t like the idea of living under such a system.  They will come up with all sorts of excuses why they wouldn’t like the system, but they will never admit that the crimes people are being charged with aren’t really crimes at all.

To the typical statist, questioning the legitimacy of a crime is like questioning the  legitimacy of democracy.  Clearly democracy is legitimate, right?  Clearly the majority has the right to impose its will upon the minority, right?

Don’t think too much.

  • A lot of statists argue that corporations are not people and therefore not entited to free speech. They also argue that it is possible to commit crimes against a conglomerated entity- the state. I fail to understand the logic.

  • Dave

    Such a thing would disrupt the balance of nature. Can’t have yin without the yang.
    As far as victimless crimes go – we never should have allowed even one to go in the books, because they’ve ran with it ever since. The result? Just look at the state of our judicial system – and it’s going to get much worse. The thousands of laws that they add every year and some of them 1000 or more pages long for just one of them. Yet “ignorance is no excuse”. Why should ANY law be more than a paragraph?

    • Christian

      “Ignorance is no excuse” only works for the state. I doubt even a lawyer knows all the laws. They even have to specialize in areas of law so they can understand it.
      I would even go as far as to say the more complicated the law the less likely your country will survive.

  • I want crime to be detected, but I don’t want many things to be crimes. Furthermore, I would like power distributed as widely as possible. If everyone started out fairly equal in power in a transparent society, I suspect it’d be very hard for a state like the one in the U.S. to form in the first place.

    If the U.S. government gets such surveillance technology now then it’s very bad if the regular populace doesn’t have access to something equally as possible. Even if people can get their hands on powerful sousveillance technology, there are so many crimes and 90% of people just want the state to handle everything for them that the situation would still end up pretty bad.

    I agree with the thrust of David Brin’s book The Transparent Society. Fighting technology is a losing battle. Technology needs to be distributed far and wide.

    I will say that anarchy in any society larger than a small tribe is probably impossible without a transparent society.

  • PaulBot 1138

    A very elegant and brilliant way of explaining this.