Far be it for me to dishonor the memory of part time bouncer, small time pornographic actor, and armed home invasion robbery enthusiast whatsisname by calling attention to his life, rather than his death. No one much cared that he was alive, and no one much cared (or cares) that he specifically is dead. So “his memory” is confined exclusively to the memory of his death. What happens when a person’s memory lives on only via the effects of their untimely death? A haunting, a ghost, a specter, a shade – a spook.
So George Floyd haunts us, and all we want to do is get rid of (or give up, if you’re that kind of wipepo) the ghost. Isn’t there someone we can hire to, you know, deal with this? Plot twist – the call is coming from inside the house, and the exorcist is the one who caused the infestation.
We hire police, theoretically, to reduce the ambient level of social violence. Deter troublemaking by arranging to remove toublemakers from society, or wink wink nudge nudge beating the shit out of them before they’re bailed out, or nudge wink wink nudge testifying they totally smelled weed / feared for their life / observed furtive movements from the vicinity of the individual. A lot of winking and nudging is involved as we collectively pretend, despite repeated evidence, that they aren’t institutionally corrupt in the service of their own power and pensions because: hey, the alternative.
I do emphasize “institutionally”, because this is a fundamental issue in the design of American institutions, not an issue of every individual police man being an individual terrible human being. Plenty of small town elected sheriffs are immensely responsive to their citizenry, because they know where he lives, he has to stand for election, and it’s just not worth it to piss off the natives. Motorists traveling through with valuables, not so much, but at least there is some operational feedback loop, and most don’t have an interstate they can play Rhine Lord on.
Does anyone contend that this is the case in, eg, New York City?
The Sergeants’ Benevolent Association routinely engages in fedposts that would make William Luther Pierce blush. At one point they declared war on the elected government of New York City, bin Laden style. This is raw Praetorianism – the palace guards get a veto over the emperor, because they can at a minimum always refuse to keep him safe.
The same thing happens at varying scales at every police department of reasonable size – which is to say, every police department with a problem population to deal with. There is an attempt at an intrinsically unreasonable bargain – keep these people away from us, but don’t hurt them, but make sure they don’t come back, but respect their freedom. Understandably, the violence specialists hired demand privileges for being put into an impossible situation (mostly, an obscene pay & benefit package, the right to protect their honor by force, and effective immunity from any legal scrutiny unless they murder someone on camera, in which case flip a coin). Privileges (literally – “private law,” a favored legal status not applicable to the general population) understandably attract people who enjoy in a very literal sense lording over the population. The rot grows; go along to get along, or find out that your comrades no longer have your back and you’re in an untenable situation.
And the people who hire them don’t even allow them to uphold their theoretical reason for existing. Anarchotyranny is practically a stale meme at this point, but it bears repeating that the police are instructed and encouraged to allow rioters to burn cars and pawn shops while arresting the people trying to defend them, and take out their frustrations at being told to not defend their strongholds by barking orders at taxpayers and shooting them on their porches. While you’re at it, try to crack down on fresh air and sunshine, there’s still a pandemic going on (well, maybe; we’re not sure if we want to pick up that plot line for Season 2).
Enough. We tried outsourcing, and it sucked. Violence didn’t go down, it went up. It’s time to bring it in-house. If an arrest, or a beating for that matter, isn’t worth being undertaken by a random citizen (or if a warrant is spicy enough, an arbitrary bounty hunter with full liability for his mistakes), it’s not worth doing. Things would rapidly sort themselves out.
But this won’t happen – the “no justice no peace abolish the police” people are useful idiots, and they hardly mean “abolish the police” (what about hatecrimes?!?!). Implicitly racist liberals run the show (as opposed to explicitly racist libertarians such as myself); they find the combination of police and an intractable problem population useful. The goal isn’t to solve the problem; the problem provides the justification for the armed force they require in order to remake society in their narcissistic self-image.
Hey, did you know that the rioters were really our political opponents? Seems unlikely, but they cunningly placed “black owned business” signs on their targets before they cunningly looted the Nike store instead. The fact that Steve Carell, Seth Rogan, and Joe Biden’s staffers led celebrity fundraisers for their bail just shows how deep white supremacy goes. Ah wait, the police only arrested low BMI diversity models; we need a special task force to pursue the Klan.
This strategy of tension must be working, because this is getting more tiresome than even a man who found it all so tiresome before would find reasonable to imagine.
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living the dream in mpls
It’s a worldwide oct, 1917 all over again. once the police unionized , the prosecutors and judges who stand for election began living in fear of the ” soft on crime ” commercials that would magically appear against them by the local fraternal order of police . The citizenry tended to trust the police and they could have trouble. that made prosecuting the most even egregious behavior by an officer unthinkable . Unless the victim was represented by an even more powerful political interest , group , or identity .
Absolutely fantastic summary of what passes for reality this week here at the end of history.
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