A False Equivalency

When libertarians talk about criminal justice reform, we often draw a distinction between real crime and “victimless crime.” The term is actually an oxymoron, however, as an act that does not victimize another cannot be a crime. What we are referring to are voluntary actions that do not harm anyone against their will, but which have still been banned or otherwise restricted by the violent gang that calls itself the state.

When those on the left (modern liberals) talk about criminal justice reform, they often use the term “non-violent drug and property crimes.” This generic-sounding phrase is a dangerous false equivalency that reveals the Marxist roots of modern liberalism. Unlike the vast majority of drug “crimes” (which do not cause involuntary harm to anyone) property crimes unquestionably do cause harm and do constitute acts of aggression even when they do not involve overt physical violence.

Theft (including theft committed by the state) is not a minor or inconsequential crime. Theft is essentially the enslavement of the victim (often after the fact) because they are compelled to labor without reward. There is absolutely no correlation between truly victimless acts (growing and cultivating a plant, for example) and the malicious act of intentionally depriving an individual of their owned property.

As we work to reverse the decades-long pattern of kidnapping and torture carried out by the state in the name of its horrendous “war on drugs,” let us not become so enamored with collaboration that we fail to recognize theft for the egregious act of aggression that it is.


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Parrish Miller has worked as a web designer, policy analyst, blogger, journalist, digital media manager, and social media marketing consultant. Having been largely cured of his political inclinations, he now finds philosophy more interesting than politics and is focused particularly on alternative ideas such as counter-economics, agorism, voluntaryism, and unschooling.