Crimes of violence in which physical harm is done to the victim are one of the
most frightening of events for most people. The range of such crimes spans the
depths of human depravity. Many of these crimes are products of mental illness
which may be a result of genetic characteristics or of traumatic events. For
those crimes, a society can offer only research into the causes and cures with
the hope of early detection and restraint of the criminals.
There are also drugs such as alcohol which remove inhibitions and/or make
one paranoid. The availability of such drugs to the general public in POM economies
cannot be prevented since if they are illegal then organized
crime will provide
them. The sale of these drugs makes lots of money for the producers and distributors.
Therefore, there are many violent crimes that are the result of temporary mental
states induced by drugs in POM societies.
But other violent crimes stem from other motivations. Some are clearly related
to money. In some cases such as armed robbery, the crime is an attempt to steal
currency or negotiable bonds. In other cases, as in the case of organized crime
battles over control of illegal trade, the violence is directed toward profit
for the criminal. Both types of crime would clearly not have a place in the
post-POM society since they would in no way make higher pay more likely for
the criminal. In the former case there is no currency to steal and in the latter
case there is no organized crime.
There are other circumstances in which one may profit in a POM economy from
death or injury of someone else. One may collect insurance in the event of
someone's death or injury. One may inherit in the event of someone's death.
Arson sometimes kills. In a post-POM economy there is no inheriting of other
people's money. In a post-POM economy there is no insurance. In a post-POM
economy there is no way to make money from arson.
It is difficult to think of a set of circumstances in a post-POM society in
which one could gain money by committing a violent crime. Therefore violence
to gain money would be rare.
In addition to the motivations for violent crime one should also examine the
opportunities for violence, that is, the availability of weapons. In a POM
economy the person who sells a weapon bears almost no legal responsibility for any use of that weapon. In a post-POM economy, it is the consequences of
one's actions that determine one's pay. Therefore those who produce and distribute
weapons will be very careful to whom they sell or give those weapons. They
would never give or sell a weapon to just anyone who had money. Also, ownership
of a weapon becomes, in a post-POM society a risky thing to do unless one has
taken great care to be sure that the weapon cannot be misused by someone else.
Having a hand gun, for example, could cost one quite a bit of money if that
gun were stolen and used in a crime of violence or in an accidental shooting.
Providing gun locks and storage would be a source of profit. Therefore, weapon
security would be greater in a post-POM society.
But perhaps the greatest reason why crimes of violence would be rare in a
post-POM society is that people expect help from other people. You may remember
the article on the simulation of a zero-sum relationship that POM induces in
money transactions. That expectation that others can benefit from our loss,
that others are our competitors and enemies, that helping others gains you
nothing unless they pay for that help is psychologically stressful. It puts
one on edge. It makes one anxious. It makes one likely to take offense. It
makes one fearful and therefore, angry. Now most people have these feelings
only occasionally or feel them only slightly. Their times of stress and upset
are few and are offset by the frequency with which they interact with friends
and loved ones. But for a large number of people these feelings of fear (anger)
are common and powerful. When the circumstances are right (or wrong from the
victim's point if view) the anger boils over and violent acts are the result.
When this happens in a crowd, riots and other destructive events occur. Race
riots, lynchings, violent political demonstrations, and looting of businesses
are other events which can result from these fears. Therefore violence is much
reduced when the people of a society have less stress, less fear, and expect
everyone else to be willing to help.
Next we can consider the enforcement of laws against violent crimes. Almost
every society has such laws. But every society has organized crime as well.
Every society has theft, robbery, fraud and many other property crimes which
simply do not exist or happen rarely in a non-POM or post-POM economy. The
enforcement of laws against these property crimes takes considerable time and
resources in a POM economy. Therefore, the resources available to both prevent
violence and to enforce laws against violence are much greater in a post-POM
economy. Also, the rewards for preventing violent crime and for stopping the
criminals who commit such crimes would be great since such crimes make people
afraid. For example, wife beating is almost ignored in most POM economies.
But in a post-POM economy, such actions would cost the abuser considerable
money and those who helped the victim would be rewarded. In fact, calling in
a report of an attack taking place would be paid. Defending the victim would
be paid. Screams for help are likely to get lots of eager, greedy people coming
on the run to get money for helping. Finally, the attacker in such cases would
quickly become known for being dangerous. Spreading the word about such people
would earn money. A reputation for violence would make it much more difficult
to get work, a place to live, and cooperation from others. The price one would
pay for violent acts would be high.
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