DEALING WITH FREELOADERS & CRIMINALS

How to deal with freeloaders and criminals is decided by the Local Assembly of egalitarians in each local community. Here are thoughts about some of the options that would be available in an egalitarian society that is not based on money and in which some (perhaps, but not necessarily, all) people are in a sharing economy.

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

Because an egalitarian society is not based on money, it is not possible for monetary fines to be used as a punishment for a crime or infraction. What can substitute for such a type of punishment? 

 

Here are some possibilities, ranging (more or less) from the least to the most punishing.

 

1. Public shame (such as having one's name published as being an offender.)

 

2. Community service for a certain amount (depending on the offense) of time. This would be work in addition to any work the person may or may not do in order to be a member in good standing of the sharing economy.

3. Deprivation of personal freedom. This could range from a curfew to full incarceration for a period of time depending on the offense.

Note: Denial of membership in good standing of the sharing economy for a period of time would NOT be a good kind of punishment. Why not? Because this would stigmatize non-membership in the sharing economy as a punishment for criminality. This would be a bad idea because perfectly good law-abiding people are free to decline membership in the sharing economy and those who do so are provided with support from the egalitarian society in the form of having means of production they may use (without hired or slave labor!) to produce products or services for themselves and/or to barter with others.

Note: Expulsion from the local community would NOT be a good kind of punishment. Why not? Because it would be a violation of the principle of mutual aid to solve one's problem (of having an anti-social person in one's community) by foisting that problem on another local community to deal with.

WHAT TO DO WITH A FREELOADER WHO IS RAISING CHILDREN

Freeloaders are discussed in the context of health care here and here. The point made in these linked pages is that an egalitarian society has no moral obligation to provide health care to a freeloader, but it may choose to do so for other quite reasonable reasons. The same reasoning applies to food and shelter and similar things that an egalitarian society may choose to provide to a freeloader.

A freeloader, by definition, is a person who refuses to contribute reasonably according to ability and therefore is not allowed to be a member in good standing of the sharing economy. If the freeloader has no dependent children, then he/she is free to live outside the sharing economy as best as he/she can, possibly by producing products or services independently and bartering them.

The problem is, What if the freeloader is a parent of young dependent children? Worse yet, what if both the parents of such children are freeloaders and they fail to work hard enough outside of the sharing economy to provide the material products and services that the children need or reasonably desire? 

The children are, by definition, members in good standing of the sharing economy (since the reasonable contribution required of children is zero.) The children thus are entitled to take from the sharing economy what they need or reasonably desire and to have equal status with others to receive scarce things that are equitably rationed according to need. So, how do the children obtain these things when they require an adult to obtain them for them, but their parents are unable to do so because they are not members in good standing of the sharing economy.

One solution in this case is for the Local Assembly to appoint somebody to be a guardian of the children. The guardian could be (possibly ideally) a close relative or friend of the family who knows the children personally. But the guardian could also be a professional guardian whose job in the sharing economy is to be a guardian of some children.

The guardian would be responsible for ensuring that the children have the products and services that they need or reasonably desire from the sharing economy.

 

The guardian would likely find that the children need or reasonably desire to have their parents be part of their lives the same as if the parents were not freeloaders and were raising the children on their own without the intervention of a guardian. For example, the children would likely benefit if their parents shared meals and shelter with them. This would require providing the parents with meals and shelter despite the fact that the parents are not members in good standing of the sharing economy.

 

The principle that seems to make sense here is this. Freeloaders with young dependent children should be provided products and services from the sharing economy to the extent that, and only to the extent that, it is beneficial to the children to do so.

 

 

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