Cloak of Anarchy

Short story first ublished in Analog, March 1972. Reprinted in the collections Tales of Known Space and N-Space.

Humans have a chaotic nature. In the same breath they demand the security and peace of law enforcement and demand freedom from control and prying eyes. The leaders of the future democracies have solved this by creating what are called Free Parks: places where anything and everything is allowed — except violence against one's fellow human. Enforcing this edict are flying machines called copseyes. At the first sign of violence, the copseye stuns and paralyses both parties, and each participant wakes up far away from the site of violence under the watchful gaze of a copseye.

There are those that believe even the copseyes are too restrictive however, and one man's plan to drop all of them from the sky at once gives those with this belief the power to test it. But the anarchists ideas are not well thought out, and the result is not what anyone expects...

Links: Larry Niven.net (full story), Variety SF,