Stand with The Libertarian Institute

The Empire has us on the brink of nuclear Armageddon. The central bank has us flirting with economic-social collapse. Americans are increasingly paranoid of one another and simultaneously invested in wielding the state against one another.

The voices of the establishment are legion. The voices of dissent are few. Make your stand for liberty by supporting The Libertarian Institute today.

Getting the Police Issue Right

by | Jun 17, 2020

Getting the Police Issue Right

by | Jun 17, 2020

Now that folks are coming around on the idea that law enforcement needs serious structural transformation in this country, let’s make our argument a little more robust.

The tiniest fraction of people get killed by police. It is not useful to think of this problem as one in which there is any real likelihood of being gunned down. At least from the perspective of intellectual integrity (whether it’s useful for the masses to see it that way, is another question).

The problem with the term “police brutality” is that it has multiple meanings. From a police officers perspective, something that you regard as police brutality is in fact, them just doing their job. They believe they are doing the right thing, the best they can. And they probably carry some moral justification around with them that’s not dissimilar to yours. I am not talking about the instances where among LEOs it would be regarded as excessive force. It’s way less likely for law enforcement to act with impunity than it is for them to do what they think is right.

The most egregious issue is mass incarceration. We have by far the largest prison population in the world, anyway you slice it. Absolute numbers, as a percentage, etc. This comes from over-policing and an emphasis on enforcement of prohibition.

Among ways of slicing the demographics, the most vulnerable to over-policing and mass incarceration are the poor.

So how does race come into play? Well, 3/4 of the prison population is black. So notwithstanding socio-economic class as the most accurate predictor of vulnerability to over-policing, it is not unreasonable to view this issue as one of race. Particularly when historically, race has been a way of slicing demographics (by which I mean, the Civil rights movement is only a small few decades old). In America today, the poor are not a community. Black people and African-Americans largely see themselves as one. To add to that, there is clear evidence suggesting a cyclical relationship between over-policing and further impoverishment, and there are numerous other factors that suggest a particular causal relationship between fitting a certain profile (namely: being black) and being a target of over-policing.

Therefore, it’s okay that the loudest voices are the communities (actual, not theoretical) that are most impacted by the most egregious issue.

The jury is out on whether some of the relatively few cases of needless killings by police officers will be most effective as the primary motivation for political change in this area. However, at the moment it is pointing to the optimal solution, end over-policing by getting the most police off the streets.

Finally, police are only Sauron’s physical form. The laws criminalizing poverty are the ring of power. They must be thrown into mount doom

About James Reilly

James Reilly is an independent opinion writer and foreign/financial policy analyst. He is a former Chief Operations Specialist with the US Navy and holds a B.A. In Economics from Carthage College. His work has been featured by publications such as the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, the Libertarian Institute, LionsofLiberty.com, and financial blogs such as NakedCapitalism.com.

Our Books

thisone

Related Articles

Related

Imagining a Revived, Twenty-First Century Capitalism

Imagining a Revived, Twenty-First Century Capitalism

The death of capitalism has been a common topic of conversation lately. Millennials seem resigned to it, the younger generations can’t wait for it. Bastions of global capitalism—alleged capitalism—such as the World Economic Forum in Davos are quite eagerly promoting...

read more
It’s Time to Retire ‘Classical Liberalism’

It’s Time to Retire ‘Classical Liberalism’

“Today the tenets of this nineteenth-century philosophy of liberalism are almost forgotten. In the United States “liberal” means today a set of ideas and political postulates that in every regard are the opposite of all that liberalism meant to the preceding...

read more
Remembering Rose Wilder Lane

Remembering Rose Wilder Lane

It was on this day in 1886 that the journalist and author Rose Wilder Lane was born in a little house on the prairie that she and her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, would later make famous. A brilliant, moody, and independent spirit, Rose was eventually to become one...

read more
A Tribute to the U.S. Marine Corps

A Tribute to the U.S. Marine Corps

A recent United States Marine Corps recruitment advertisement tells us: “When there are battles to win for America’s future, there is one constant: Marines.” Despite the advert being a minute-long, propagandizing call to imperial action, this line rings true. And it...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This