April 27, 2015 by Liberty
This is mostly a subject I’m bringing up for fun. It was something that a close friend of mine brought up. I spend so much time bashing the idiocy of government laws that it often comes off like I would gladly break any law that gets in my way. I don’t tend to intentionally follow any abstract form of morality either. I have a few ideas about morality that I roll around in my skull but I rarely even consider them in my decision making process.
With that being said, I have yet to pop a cap, remove a pebble, or even committed any minor crimes like theft. (Well… I have been known to accidentally steal pencils from people but I come back apologizing profusely. They often end up looking at me like I’m some sort of an idiot because they really don’t care.)
I have no consistent abstract form of morality. I also have little to no respect for the laws of the world I’m surrounded by. Despite those factors, I still very rarely break any of the laws. (By that, I mean, I probably break the average of three felonies a day that everyone breaks but only the obscure mass of laws that know one knows about that end up making everyone a criminal.)
What exactly is it that’s keeping me from a life of crime?
Concrete Reality… Who needs abstract morality?
Even without an abstract morality, it’s not a very smart decision to live a life of crime.
The first reason that would come to most people’s mind is government. Supposedly, government makes it less intelligent to start a life in crime. That’s a very tough case to make though. Government often ends up just pushing competitors out of the business and increasing the profits. For every problem government introduces, it also introduces a reward. Sure, you’re more likely to go to jail but that’s the case with everyone. That just means less competition and more profitability. (Hell, government also protects you from societal judgement. Without government, you could easily get shot for stealing a car. Government protects criminals from the rash judgement of the victims.)
Ignore government. It’s hardly a factor. If it doesn’t even itself out it has a virtually negligible effect compared to other factors.
The fundamental reason you don’t want to live a life of crime is that it upsets other people. Seriously, this may sound minor but think about the consequences.
First of all, as mentioned before, victims to crimes may be significantly more violent and cruel to the criminal than a government. Even with government outlawing it, people still go around killing people that hurt them. Rape victims still kill their rapists. Families of murder victims still kill the murderers. This happens despite the laws against it. People get angry enough to kill. Sometimes the the crimes are as minor as theft.
Upsetting people is like a box of damn chocolates. (You never know what you’re going to get.) It kind of reminds me of a thing someone told me. He told me, stay cool 99% of the time you have problems with people. 1% of the time freak out and remind people why they shouldn’t take advantage of you. People treat you better knowing that you’re a bit of a wildcard. They know you’re not pushy but they also know you’re capable of more. Now, I don’t follow that advice but it explains the fluctuations in punishment well. People will commit less crimes knowing that at any point one insane person may kill them for their crimes.
Of course, keep in mind, the incentive for an individual to stop a criminal can be managed. For example, if I was to steal a penny from you, you’d probably never think it’s worth even trying to chase me down. If I did that to hundreds of millions of people, still, no one would have a significant incentive to stop their penny from being stolen. Could government come in and solve this problem? Well… probably not because this is exactly how governments exist in the first place. (There are free market solutions but that was a bit of a tangent in itself. Give yourself 5 minutes and I’m sure you could figure out some of those solutions.)
High Risk Variability
Certain career choices (for lack of better words) are more risky than other career choices. They also offer a significantly larger reward too. A life in crime is one of those career choices that’s high risk and high reward. If you become a successful criminal, you can make a fortune in relatively little work and time. There are plenty of other careers that meet similar risk criteria.
Law enforcement is also a high risk career. Cops make a relatively large amount of money for the expertise required for their job. (Notice the word required. Some cops are kick ass at certain aspects of their job. I’m just saying the qualifications don’t require it.) They also are offered great benefits and retirements. That being said, they can easily get shot. They’re also in a bit of a bureaucratic mess. One mistake can often leave you unscathed. One mistake can also destroy your career. It’s really impossible to predict.
There is one more high risk career I consider worth noting. Being a politician is a super high risk career. High ranking politicians (or kings, or any rulers) have high rewards the vast majority of the time. That being said, first of all, they’re very likely to get killed at their job (statistically, president is a seriously dangerous job.) Sure, politicians have a lot of power but historically, people in power regularly end up with their heads rolling. (After that, even relatively well-respected leaders reputations can be dragged through the mud. They risk more than just dying. They risk forever being considered pure evil. )
Of course, this is why I avoid a life in crime. Sure, the rewards may be better going into something like that but it’s a variable situation. I can almost guarantee that I’ll never be assassinated for being an honest accountant or something similar. My thought on this: I get terrified at living the boring life I’m currently living. A life with high variability probably isn’t for me.
I certainly wouldn’t judge a non-violent individual that picked the opposite style of living.
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