Opinion: The Problem With Statist Policing

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The thing people seem to forget is that anarchists do not hate police... as a concept. Here when I say police, I mean the dictionary definition: an organized civil force for dealing with crime and regulating the community. The problem becomes, under states, with a monopoly on violence, there are various problems with policing:

  • Police are mostly there to protect the state and its assets, not you. A federal judge once ruled that government agencies in the United States like the police "had no constitutional duty to protect students who were not in custody." or protect citizens in general. As a Professor at the University of Florida School of Law said "Neither the Constitution nor state law, impose a general duty upon police officers or other governmental officials to protect individual persons from harm — even when they know the harm will occur. Police can watch someone attack you, refuse to intervene, and not violate the Constitution." This was one of the reasons it was so hard to punish the Uvalde police who did not go to stop a school shooting because technically speaking, it is not their job to protect regular children or stop you or me from being harmed.
  • Police and some of their families get special privileges that put them above average people and let them get away with certain crimes legally! For example, there is a card called a police PBA courtesy card that allows police officers, family, and friends to get out of speeding tickets and other violations like driving through an intersection with a red light or getting out of police searches! This is part of an issue of a monopoly on violence - it allows certain people including those enforcing the law and their relatives to legally break the law in certain ways that if an average person tried, they would go to jail or suffer a hefty fine!
  • Similar to the NSA, modern police can have access to tools for mass surveillance and police can, in many cases, not mention the use of the tool in reports or court records. So a corrupt cop can use it to stalk their ex or someone they want to harass similar to how low-level NSA agents were able to use their tools to stalk innocent people.
  • Some might argue I don't talk about the 'good cops', but that is for good reason - what is a good cop going to do if their partner or colleagues can do many of these corrupt things legally? They say evil wins when good men do nothing, but these situations create moments where someone can potentially use surveillance to stalk someone without putting it down in a report or have friends/family get out of searches. This creates moments where a cop can literally watch a crime, do nothing to help the victims, or stop said crime, and said cop... can be seen as, legally speaking, not in the wrong.

I will probably go more into policing in anarchist and libertarian communities like FEJUVE, the Zapatistas, and a republic I am going to write about in the future, but the point is that - at the very least - a policing force in an anarchist community would not have these special perks that put them above the law and are required - by the rules of the nightwatchman state they live under - to actually work to protect people as part of their job!

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A person working in cybersecurity and living in the United States who loves to write about topics like U.S. history, technology news, and a bit of philosophy.

Wingate, NC

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