People v. State

fairly undermining public confidence in the administration of justice
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policing v. The Police

December 09, 2013 By: John Kindley Category: Uncategorized

Albert Jay Nock wrote in the third paragraph of Our Enemy, the State (1935):

[W]ith any exercise of State power, not only the exercise of social power in the same direction, but the disposition to exercise it in that direction, tends to dwindle. Mayor Gaynor astonished the whole of New York when he pointed out to a correspondent who had been complaining about the inefficiency of the police, that any citizen has the right to arrest a malefactor and bring him before a magistrate. “The law of England and of this country,” he wrote, “has been very careful to confer no more right in that respect upon policemen and constables than it confers on every citizen.” State exercise of that right through a police force had gone on so steadily that not only were citizens indisposed to exercise it, but probably not one in ten thousand knew he had it.

Ernst Juenger wrote in The Forest Passage (1951):

Socrates called the sphere where he was counseled by a voice not to be expressed in words, his daimonion. It might also be called the forest. But what does it mean to the contemporary if we advise him to follow the example of the man who conquered death, the models of gods, heroes, and sages? It means that he participates in the resistance against the age, and, indeed, not against this age only, but against every age whose basic motivation is fear. It is in the nature of things that education today aims at the very opposite. Never before have such strange notions concerning the teaching of history existed. All these systems are designed to cut off the influx of metaphysics, to domesticate and to drill the spirits for the benefit of the collective. Even when the Leviathan is obliged to rely upon courage, as on the battlefield, it will attempt to keep the fighting man in place with a second and stronger menace. In such states one depends on the police.

See also Jeremy Weiland, Against the Police:

Because they are so frequently decent, I’m sometimes tempted to reconcile the profession of policing with the kind of free society I dream about. After all, I have several friends and family who are police officers, and I’m loathe to let ideology darken my opinions of them as individuals. I want to believe policing is possible outside the hegemony of a state, and that these people can be meaningful participants in a stateless community.

But I never persist in that belief very long. . . .

Professional police create the illusion that we can be passive consumers of government. Law enforcement is the indispensible institution of the modern state, the fulcrum of authoritarianism in our society. The honest anarchist intuitively recognizes this, but may not realize that any future stateless society with a professional police class will inevitably end up as bad or worse. When it comes to anarchism, you cannot alienate your agency to personally produce the society you wish to participate in.

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