Arpaio might as well eat them, too

Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is literally roasting prisoners alive. Temperatures inside the tents at the prison camp the Sheriff operates are reaching 145°F. By way of comparison, a round of roast beef is said to be medium-rare when it reaches a core temperature of 130°F to 140°F.

Obviously, this is a horrific crime on the part of the Sheriff and all working for him. While it’s common to label such abuses under statism as an aberration, both the ovens of Maricopa County and Dachau are logical consequences of the perverse economic incentives of monopoly government.

The entire punishment-based approach to justice, including punishment for victimless non-crimes such as drug use or being Jewish, is an example of the Misesian calculation problem in the context of the state’s monopoly of law. Abuses such as Arpaio’s are an inevitable result so long as monopoly government is in place.

Market anarchists correctly recognize genuine crimes to be best understood as torts. Any genuine offense is an offense precisely because it’s an injury to someone else who did not deserve it. If some behavior could not be treated as a tort, it is injustice to treat it as a crime. No victim, no crime.

Flowing from the above is the understanding that justice is not punishment but compulsory restitution. Yet without a free market for adjudication of disputes, the monopoly state has no way to find rational price information for compensation of victims — no more so than Soviet central planners could figure out a rational price for a loaf of bread that would keep bread on the shelves without terror.

The state, any state, is in all cases economically blind and can’t calculate. As a result, the state must maintain the pretense that arbitrary punishment is justice, instead, and insulate those who carry it out from the liability costs for their criminal (i.e. tortious) actions that a free market would place upon them.

SEE ALSO: Send Me to Arizona to Free Arpaio’s Political Prisoners


13 thoughts on “Arpaio might as well eat them, too

  1. Big difference between punishment and endangering the health of those in your care, be they prisoners or not.
    The sheriff may soon find himself on the chain gang or worse if he doesn't take heed of his charges health.


    1. The sheriff may soon find himself on the chain gang or worse if he doesn't take heed of his charges health.

      Wishful thinking, I'm afraid.


  2. "Big difference between punishment and endangering the health of those in your care, be they prisoners or not. "

    I disagree. there may be a difference between restitution and punishment, but punishment–"suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution" Mirriam-Webster–will always be some action that is detrimental to the mental, social, or physical health of the punished, otherwise it would not be "punishment".

    as such, punitive measures serve as masturbation for the punisher at best, and the root of many social ills at worst. we've got wrongs that need to be righted to the fullest extent possible, but retribution(ie malice, righteous or not) can have no part in it.


  3. George,

    I appreciate your willingness to enter the belly of the beast, but I don’t think you appreciate the deep evil you’ll be fighting. Going in with anything less than a small army, prepared for battle, will likely do nothing but get you a pair of pink underwear in which to get roasted for Herr Joe’s pleasure.


      1. And you're 100% sure that none of the prisoners are hitmen? But of course if they were, then it would be an outrage because it would be retribution rather than a tort. But you don't feel bad for people who murder for a living!


    1. @Rusty Boxcar You don't have a clue as to the conditions of American soldiers unless you were there. You don't know the conditions of the highly paid mercenaries and you don't understand why these wars are happening. You don't have any sympathy for anyone other than yourself and you don't know why.


      1. Funny when the Right condemned the Left for demonizing soldiers in the Vietnam War, the Left accused the Right of "McCarthyism" and "slander". Yet here is another example of a left-winger demonizing the troops.

        When will the Left go its story straight?


  4. Market anarchists correctly recognize …

    I'd use a phrase like "correctly recognize" only if the subject of the sentence were someone(s) with whom I disagree on some other key point. "Our side gets it right" is circular.


  5. Our troops volunteered for it. Although, in many, many cases they were misled by recruiters and FOX News, etc. Or have done so out of a misguided patriotism. Any American who insults and degrades them, is a traitor and an complete idiot. They are just the clueless pawns of the the Dick Cheney's, Paul Wolfowitz's, Richard Pearle's, Douglas Feith's, AIPAC, the corporations making billions off the wars, the military industrial complex, and our war mongers in the US govt. Please do not blame the troops. They are the "front-line" fodder of our govt, corporations, and imperialists, they are being blown to bits for the sake of oil, money, hegemony, Israel, and Neo-Con imperialism. They are arriving home mutilated, with PTSD, their families in peril and often destroyed due to their long tours overseas. In any case, the treatment of prisoners should be humane. It has nothing to do with the American govt and the Neo-Cons sending young American flesh, to Muslim Countries, to be blown to pieces for profit and $$$


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