Crime and punishment have been a fundamental concern for human beings since the beginning of civilization. Similar struggles are also found in animal groups usually related to food, dominance, and procreation. Man’s ability to communicate, act with motivation, and plan for the future adds significant additional layers of complexity. In most ancient civilizations, rulers were usually considered to be “gods” themselves or to rule as a messenger of the “gods” with their permission. Moral codes were a combination of religious beliefs and edicts of the monarch.
The moral foundation for contemporary western society is considered to be The Ten Commandments or the Law of Moses. The first five commandments specify the religious requirements to be followed by Man in relationship to God. The second five commandments are a code of conduct for human beings designed to promote a peaceful and cohesive society. America’s founders considered a person’s private property to consist of his home and land, his possessions, the work of his hands, the ideas of his brain, and his life. In this context, the second five commandments establish property rights as the basis for security, justice, and individual freedom.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The Ten Commandments are often referred to as the basis for our judicial system along with the related concept of Natural Law Rights. Natural Law Rights are basic human rights, granted by God to each of us at birth and, as such, cannot be abolished by man or by a moral government. These are the “inalienable rights” referred to in the Declaration of Independence and also guaranteed to each of us by The Bill of Rights. Most importantly, they are human rights that belong to each individual person, and they are concepts that establish the foundation of our legal system.
Our entire legal system is based on the concept that a crime, by definition, requires a perpetrator and a victim. A crime occurs when a perpetrator takes in some manner property from another. Our founders’ definition of private property and the prohibitions of The Ten Commandments are a generalized list of basic crimes. One function of government is to codify specific acts as criminal, decide on levels of severity, and design a system of punishment that punishes perpetrators and compensates the victims. As participants and stakeholders, we are protected from abuse by provisions in The Bill of Rights that guarantee our right to an attorney, habeas corpus, trial by jury, evidentiary integrity, and warrants for searches to name a few.
As long as the government sticks to this basic and legally required plan, the system generally functions satisfactorily. Problems arise, however, when the government attempts to use the crime and punishment model to alter social behavior and establish morality. Neither “government” nor “society” is a person and, therefore, neither can realistically have individual or Natural Law Rights or be designated a victim of a crime. Government essentially creates the fiction of damage to a non-person for which there can be no actual compensation. The result is a “victimless crime” – that is, a fabricated criminal act for which no true victim exists.
Neal Boortz, a former syndicated and popular talk show host in Atlanta would use prostitution as an example. He would say:
Prostitution involves two actions: sex and the free market exchange of goods and services. Which one are you against?
Victimless crimes are expensive. They cost taxpayers millions of dollars for law enforcement, legal services, judges, and jail. This is money that should be used to protect the public by pursuing the perpetrators of real crime and removing them from society.
When statues and laws create victimless crimes that violate our civil and constitutional liberties, it is a much more serious issue. Government can never be allowed to limit, diminish, or abolish our individual rights enumerated in The Bill of Rights. When laws, rules, and regulations violate those rights, it puts law enforcement in a precarious predicament. Most law enforcement officers, understanding the provisions in the Bill of Rights, recognize they are on shaky ground when the state requires them violate civil liberties. Law enforcement personnel swear to uphold the Constitution and should never be placed in that untenable position of choosing their job over our rights.
Seventy Five years ago, during the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals who murdered millions of persons, the “I was only following orders” defense was easily cast aside.
Ultimately, victimless crimes destroy confidence in law enforcement personnel and turn us all into victims.
Dr. Dan’s guest on Freedom Forum Radio this weekend is Howard Lichtman, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the THICKREDLINE Project, an entity created to understand the immorality and questionable legality of victimless crimes, red flag laws, taxation through citation – asset forfeiture, and medical martial law edicts. He is also President of the Human Productivity Lab, a consultancy that helps world-class distributed organizations learn and collaborate at the speed of light.
Lichtman has worked at one of the “Big 4” think tanks in Washington, DC, on Wall Street, and has been an operating executive and board member of a number of technology companies
He has been arrested three times in 2020 for victimless crimes wasting his time, police resources, and taxpayer monies. The THICKREDLINE Project came out of discussions with Sheriff’s deputies and police officers that didn’t want to be enforcing victimless crimes or raising revenue on their friends and neighbors for politicians.
The quickest way to end violence and division in our cities is to put an end to the policies that cause violence and division. ~Howard Lichtman
Part one of this three-part interview begins this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7 on WJRB 95.1 FM and streamed live over the Internet. Part two airs Saturday and Sunday, March 13-14, and part three airs Saturday and Sunday, March 20-21. All programs are available by podcast following air time here.