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Does our society have enough public order or too little of it?

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The question does not consider the possibility of too much public order, for the very good reason that there can never be too little crime and violence in a society. Therefore, it would appear that, while there is any crime at all in a society, that society could always be improved by an increase in public order.

The essential questions, therefore, are what the society has to sacrifice in order to increase public order and whether the sacrifice is worth making. The obvious answer to the first question is that a very strong public order policy generally requires a sacrifice of freedom. Up to a point, public order increases freedom, since it is difficult to exercise freedom in the midst of anarchy. Beyond that point, freedom diminishes as public order increases, leading to an increasingly authoritarian society. The precise point at which this occurs is impossible to locate, not lease because it differs for different individuals within society.

Freedom has traditionally been of paramount...

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