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Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society
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Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  574 ratings  ·  54 reviews
A refresher course on rights and personal freedom. What is your position on prostitution, pornography, gambling and other victimless crimes? This book will make readers consider their rights and the rights of others in a more humanistic and caring way. First serial to Playboy. (Prelude Press)
Paperback, 692 pages
Published June 30th 1996 by Mary Book / Prelude Pr (first published January 1st 1993)
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Rock Yes. There is plenty of food for thought in it. It is comprehensive, thorough, and enlightening.

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Jeff Chase
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If any one book ever changed my life, it was this one. The philosophy of this book is, boiled down, if I'm not hurting someone else, then what I do is my own business. Whether it's dressing up in a leather bustier, being an atheist, or ingesting the burning fumes of a certain plant. It's not hurting you, or anyone else, or their property, so I should be left alone.

I have given several copies of this book to people I felt needed to read it, and now it's finally available for free in pdf format. S
Nov 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Despite its imposing length, this is a quick read and lots of fun. McWilliams is a journeyman writer, so his book moves along with humor and energy; he tells a good anecdote and throws in puns and hyperbole with gleeful abandon. Although it dates from 1993, his central argument (nothing that consenting adults do that doesn't hurt someone else should be illegal) remains completely relevant. He doesn't cite his sources with the attention of an academic, so this is a good place to begin inquiry tha ...more
Damon Suede
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A superb, and superbly written meditation on what crime actually means, and what freedom must mean in order to identify our culture as a "free" society. Lifechanging!
Luna Corbden
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do covers the facts on the politically-charged concept of victimless crimes.

Drugs, pornography, prostitution, and gambling. We make these things illegal in this country, because we assume it's the government's role to protect people from hurting themselves. But is this assumption correct?

I started this book as a conservative. The facts and history showed me I'd been lied to by mainstream advertisements, urban myths, and schools. I had many misconceptions that were
Erin Donovan
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After 20 years, I still agree with many of McWilliams' viewpoints in this book.

Yes, McWilliams has an agenda: to persuade readers of the 'absurdity of consensual crimes in a free society.' If the US is a free society, then why and how did many consensual acts, such as prostitution and drug consumption become criminalized?

Read the book for yourself and make up your own mind.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Stan by: Common Sense
Liberty and pursuit of happiness! Isn't it what this country all about? Or was? Shame on us for letting the Gov to "take care" of us because we're just not responsible enough to manage our own lives. Read this book. Make changes in your life. Scream about it on every corner. It isn't anyone's business what I do behind closed doors of the house I own!
Glen Engel-Cox
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Glen by: Laurie Mann
Shelves: the_best, non-fiction
I think this is one--if not the--of the most important books that I have ever read. And I do not say that lightly. I'm weighing this single book against all the "great" books of the world, including that perennial bestseller, the Bible. Why is this book so important? Because of its terrifying immediacy. While I say this book is important, I mean here and now. It is my sincere hope that this book will become a historical document (like many of those great books); it is my fear that I am dreaming. ...more
Anton Klink
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I still remember reading this book online back in 1997. Since the author knew, that he wouldn't be around for much longer, yet he wanted to disseminate his important message to the world, he decided to publish all this book online for anyone to read. He was dying and one of the few things easing his pain was smoking cannabis - which at the time was almost impossible to acquire legally in the US. It was maddening, how he had to struggle as a dying man, trying to ease his pains and how to state wa ...more
James Maxey
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book fifteen years ago and it still influences my thinking about political rights. A comprehensive and exhaustive argument for removing government from medling in morality, the book is an extremely well-researched primer on the constitution, the Bible, and American history. Despite the seriousness of the subject and the arguments, the book is an enjoyable read because McWilliams has a sharp and biting sense of humor that often manifests in sarcastic and snarky footnotes, plus page af ...more
Nov 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all consenting adults and their kin
This book is one of the most important exegesis on the current state of the American penal system and breakdown of our Constitution. Each page holds a pearl of wisdom from Billie Holiday to Thomas Jefferson. Peter McWilliams style is completely accessible, compassionate and astute. It is a priceless tome and one that I keep near by. You can begin the book at any number of chapters and in fact are given permission to do so by the author. This book tragically was released post-humously, followinga ...more
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: peter-mcwilliams

Thanks to her recent and excellent review of Peter McWillams' 'Ain't Nobody's Business if I Do,' my goodreads friend, Krista, has reminded that I too had read and very much appreciated this book, but had not included it on my goodreads shelf. In fact, it was the one book that I happily gave to my son, soon after he became a defense attorney in a county public defender's office. Not trying to influence the judicial system (too much).

Recommendation: We really do need to pay more attention t
Cannonhistory Potter
Aug 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book needs to be read by anyone who is confused if they are a liberal, a conservative, or a Libertarian. Very well written, it takes you step-by-step through the absurdities of laws that have been passed in America that protect one from oneself. McWilliams goes of the deep end on some issues, but there is a logical consistency in what he is saying.

Do yourself a favor when reading this book: suspend all of the "rules" that have been imprinted on your mind, be they from home, church or state
Apr 20, 2012 added it
Aint Nobody’s Business If You Do by, Peter McWilliams is a great book to read. It explains all about laws that that is illegal, but does not physically harm a property or non-consenting others. Throughout this book the author is trying to get across a certain amount of illegal laws that shouldn’t be either a big deal or even plausible. He starts off the book with statistics such as there are more than 750,000 people in jail currently (increased over time) and more then 4,000,000 people are arres ...more
Jun 10, 2010 rated it liked it
I completely agree with the concept of this book; that we waste a lot of resources and our own future liberties criminalizing activities that were agreed to between adults and do not harm another's person or property. The book has some shocking facts and interesting history.

However, I think it is limited in its ability to persuade and convince, because the tone ridicules anyone who doesn't already believe the concepts.
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book! It looks imposing, but reads quick. You also do not need to read front to back. You can read different sections randomly without losing anything. This book clearly outlines how ridiculous so many of our laws are, how un-enforcable they are, and in some cases, how archaic they are. It has a healthy dose of humor, but takes the subject very seriously. If you read only one book in your life, this should be it!
Apr 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book is not an objective look into the criminalization of consensual activity, but rather a politically driven tome that states the obvious and assumes the reader is an idiot. I can't imagine anyone who is a fan of a justice system derived from societal morality would be persuaded by this book given the language. If you support the decriminalization of "consensual crimes", then this book is still a waste of your time, as it is not going to present an idea you have not thought before.

Jan 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Excellent arguments for why consensual crimes (aka victimless crimes, like drug use, homosexuality, etc) should be decriminalized. MacDonald anticipates moral and religious arguments and presents convincing counter-arguments; his writing is logical and packed with data, but is also highly readable, as he takes a conversational tone with the reader.
Michael Jinks
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, history
Surprised me in the way it broadened my notion of personal liberty and government intervention in citizens' lives. Changed the way I look at American politics; put me outside the scope of pretty much any public discussion then or now, but on topics which have been gradually easing that way in the years since; drug policy being the most obvious, but on others as well.
Jen G
Sep 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Every time I pick up this book I feel like I am settling in for a heart to heart with my slightly crack pot and very paranoid Father. I love it! To hell with the law degree all you need in life is this book.
Oct 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Anyone who thinks Marijuana should be legalized should read this. Be prepared to be appalled at how much money we spend in our country to jail people who are only harming themselves. On the other hand are they? This was the dilemma I had with the book. Thought provoking
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful book. Best compendium on quotations on liberty you are likely to ever find. The book would be worth the price just for the quotations. Sad that such a book is so radical in a once promising social experiment.
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read. Long, detailed, but explains how and why a so called "democratic society" like the U.S. still has a long way to go in seeing true freedom being exercised by its citizens.
Steven Colucci
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I took the LSAT because of this book lol I LOVED and still do LOVE IT!
Will Petrone
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
WIll Petrone

Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country by Peter McWilliams is a book about, well, just what the title suggests. In this quite lengthy book (an intimidating 653 pages in all) the author takes on “consensual crimes” which he defines as crimes that do not infringe upon the rights of anybody else. His thesis is the very first sentence, and states that “You should be allowed to do whatever you want with your own person and property, as lo
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a deeply flawed book.

Peter McWilliams exaggerates, misrepresents facts, and engages in questionable statistical analysis. Flagrant innumeracy abounds, including one particularly egregious example wherein he states that since "0.25% of the ozone layer is destroyed" with each space shuttle mission, then with "four hundred space shuttle launchings, bye-bye ozone." (Even if you assume that the 0.25% figure is correct - which I don't - this is extraordinarily bad math.) McWilliams overstates
Doug Brunell
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: justice-system
This tome (over 600 pages in length) makes some great points about the futility of the concept of consensual crimes (drugs, prostitution, attacking cults, etc.). It also points out why many of these things became crimes in the first place (religion plays a huge role, which was to be expected). Mixed in with all that good, however, were quite a few things that distracted from the issue at hand.

First, don't expect this to be a serious, scholarly tome. McWilliams uses humor throughout, and sometime
Aug 31, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: conspiracy theorists, legal eagles
i think the author might be a little bit of a crackpot and/or conspiracy theorist type, but i can dig it. basically, he goes through a bunch of arguments about why "consensual crimes" (sometimes referred to as "victimless crimes") like using illicit drugs, prostitution, gambling, etc. are unconstitutional and costing the government money. a lot of his arguments are pretty sound (e.g., if marijuana was legal, we could tax it), but some of them don't take into account the larger picture of society ...more
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i minus a star because one whole chapter was about biblical things, which is great but it reads like this:
and then michael solomon christopher peter josiah joshua arafat spoke and unto him he betrothed magdeline jessica christina joshua kristoph joseph mary and the carpenters bob jesus and paul had said unto mankind listen to the words of mosiah moses jesus peter paul mary charlie pierce thomas. and then i get bored and start skimming. there was an interesting breakdown of sodom though. i stoppe
Mark Stalcup
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A lovely little primer for small-l libertarian (and perhaps in some cases, libertine) thought, this book does an effective job of arguing against the prosecution of "victimless" crimes which - let's be honest - aren't always victimless but are generally, in the instance of certain things, an ineffective and overly puritan use of resources when the same things could be legalized, regulated, controlled to an extent and taxed. A quick read with wonderful quotes, I would recommend this to any freedo ...more
Ayne Ray
Nov 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
The author poses the following question: If an act is between two consenting adults and doesn't hurt the person or property of another, should we care? Should we enact laws that protect people from themselves, or should the legal system limit itself to providing protection from others? Drugs, gambling, etc... the legality of such "consensual crimes" is called into question here, creating an interesting debate that explores personal freedoms and legislated morality.
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