- Paperback: 692 pages
- Publisher: Prelude Press (1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0931580587
- ISBN-13: 978-0931580581
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 1.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 94 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,510,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society
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He made me a reader. What a tragedy that I never got to enjoy more books of this type out of this great mind...
And on one of the last pages, he mentions the word "libertarian"... and that changed the course of my philosophy for the rest of my life. I owe this man and his book a great deal. I hope his loved ones know how profound an effect Peter had on peoples' lives.
Puritans are a case in point. They opposed cockfighting, not because of the suffering it caused to the poor animals, but because of the pleasure it generated for its human participants. Attempting to legislate (or force out through cultural pressures) the natural impulse to have fun (so long as no one is being hurt against their will). This hasn't worked in Utah because for one thing, women aren't being stoned for refusing to marry crusty old senior citizens as their alleged prophet did (as is the case in Saudi Arabia, Iran, et al). The proliferation of the Internet has also eviscerated any hope for this, with Utah being the No. 1 US state for pornography consumption.
Tragically, McWilliams died in 2000, murdered by the "honourable" Judge George King who refused him access to medical marijuana (Peter drowned on his own vomit in his bathtub) to treat AIDS-related symptoms.
The most harmful laws against consensual crimes today are without question the laws on drugs. As Peter mentions, if crack cocaine or heroin cost $5 a dose, no one would be murdered or mugged to feed the habits of addicts. Not only this, but it would severely undercut one of the most lucrative sources of income for terrorist organisations such as Al-Qaeda and JI, who love cash transactions and untraceable, untaxed profits. Controlled, regulated drugs would remove the allure of "rebelling against the system" that the decades-long, counterproductive War on Drugs has led to. On a related note, vast economic benefits would also be garnered by granting marriage equality across all US states.
Criminalising acts that harm no one also undercuts the respect that all democratic citizens should have for the law. Consensual crimes, by definition, are not reported by the so-called "victims" (an unctuously condescending label in itself, insofar as it pertains to these "crimes"). They are only reported through sting operations, directed police efforts and/or bribes to family/friends to rat out the "perp." Not only does this constitute an egregious violation of privacy, but it discriminates against those who cannot pay through the nose (no pun intended) for high-end lawyers to drag things out, deceive juries and judges, or all of the above in efforts to let them off the hook. And if you trust the police not to take bribes, think again. Many cops are willing to take money and turn a blind eye to drug kingpins and those who will supplement their income. Very few are willing to get shot in a useless attempt to arrest a druglord (who will be replaced in a heartbeat). Moreover, poverty pushes the indigent into the drug trade more than anything else. Don't believe me? Read Freakonomics, an excellent dissection of how humans respond to incentives. In a nutshell, the drug business is high-risk, high-reward. It certainly provides a higher life expectancy than Death Row, given the length of the appeals process nowadays.
And let's say we turn the War on Drugs into a military venture, like the War on Terror. Would the United States actually emerge victorious? It's hard to say, given the vast profits generated by the illicit drug trade.
Also, how many people today are aware of an Amber Alert provision that would have made it illegal for ANIMATED (not live-action, mind you) films to show the breasts of an underaged girl, or the genital/buttocks of an underaged girl OR boy? These are signs of wanton moral panics, and they would outlaw all sex education textbooks (in addition to books and films such as A Time to Kill and Lolita). A recent study published in the Copenhagen Post has shown that legalising this brand of pornography does NOT lead to higher rates of child rape. But punishing children for looking at porn does. So does celibacy "training" in the Roman Catholic Church, with a 10% pedophile creation rate on its assembly line.
Why Conservatives Spend More on Pornography.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996.
"Bush signs child protection bill". CNN. April 30, 2003.
"Report: cartoon paedophilia harmless" July 23, 2012
Pornography, Public Acceptance and Sex Related Crime: A Review"
Deliver Us From Evil (Documentary)
I like the way Peter McWilliams writes. It's conversational rather that just turgid fact-citing. It's the kind of book that I can pick up, turn to a random page and read something new and want to read more. Even McWilliams said that no one needs to read the whole book.
With all the ground the book covers there are places within that are rather flimsy. The topic of smoking was a little off base and contradicted the premise, for example. I don't care if people smoke. It's not an affront to me. I think smoking bans are counterproductive and only serve as masturbatory fodder for those who support them as if they're superheroes saving lives. With that ethanol bath such people are about to introduce their livers to, banning smoking in bars is absurd.
Nah. EMT crews save lives. Doctors save lives. Firefighters and police officers save lives. And so on. This book got me thinking about that activist mindset that I realized that you can't force anyone to do something that they don't want to do and vice versa. Most of the time the activists are seen as the busybody snoops with nothing better to do but to annoy people.
Humans are human. Sometimes humans make mistakes. And from those mistakes humans learn. And that learning process can be downright ugly and brutal (see various "Darwin Awards" books for examples). I say let the humans learn the hard way. Certainly, in a world full of alleged "grown adults", we can use less babysitters.
I think people should own up to their own actions. It's the essence of personal responsibility that this book makes abundantly clear.