“When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.” ~ Frédéric Bastiat
In the wake of two NYPD Officers being gunned down in Brooklyn, the New York Post is reporting that traffic tickets and summonses for petty offenses are down 94%, arrests for drug offenses are down 84%, and overall arrests down 66%.
It has helped contribute to a nose dive in low-level policing, with overall arrests down 66 percent for the week starting Dec. 22 compared with the same period in 2013, stats show.
- Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587, during that time frame.
- Summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination also plunged 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300.
- Even parking violations are way down, dropping by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241.
- Drug arrests by cops assigned to the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau — which are part of the overall number — dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 6
In another article in the New York Post, police explained they were slowing down work for fear of their safety.
“I’m not writing any summonses. Do you think I’m going to stand there so someone can shoot me or hit me in the head with an ax?” One cop said Sunday
An NYPD supervisor noted, “My guys are writing almost no summonses, and probably only making arrests when they have to — like when a store catches a shoplifter.”
I think this is great news, and it backs up what I and others have been saying for a long time.
Police Are Human Beings
You always hear people say this in sympathy for the police. They are human beings. #PoliceLivesMatter. That sort of thing. Well, I’m going to take this from a different perspective. Police are just like everyone else, if they fear for their safety when engaging in a particular behavior, they will be less inclined to engage in it.
Police are not fearless, or invincible. They are not any stronger, more intelligent, or even braver than anybody else. They bleed like everyone else, they breathe the same air as us. They have fears, they respond to incentives, and they value their lives and comfort.
The incentives for being a police officer are very great. When one becomes a police officer, they will almost certainly live in comfort for the rest of their lives. They will have a secure job, health insurance, and a pension. No matter what happens to the economy they will always be paid at the expense of the people they victimize. They will have social status in society, power, respect, admiration, and of course, fear.
The entry bar for becoming a police officer is very low. In fact, if you’re too smart, you might get denied a job as a police officer. Even in terms of physical fitness, a study has shown law enforcement to have the highest obesity rates, compared to other professions at roughly 40.7%. You certainly don’t have to possess the most outstanding moral compass either, considering that police are two to four times as likely to beat their wives than the general population.
Compared to other professions, there are few downsides to being a police officer. For all law enforcement’s claims of putting their lives on the line, they don’t even rank in the top ten most dangerous professions. You’re far more likely to be killed or injured as a construction, electrical, or agricultural worker than as a police officer. In fact, only 27 police officers were feloniously killed in 2013. You’re terribly unlikely to ever get fired, even if you do awful things and are terrible at your job.
So let’s get it out of our heads that police are somehow special. Far from it. In fact, they are the lowest of the low, and not just because they do terrible things in the course of their duties. They are the lowest of the low because that’s the target demographic for the human resources department. The job is designed to bring fat, stupid, cowards on board. If they fear for their lives, they will stop doing what they do.
Being Ruled By Fat, Stupid, Cowards
On the one hand, this is a recipe for disaster, and explains a lot about the world we live in. Government has taken the dregs of society, and offered them enormous prosperity in exchange for doing things that would get the average person killed or imprisoned. Take the fattest, dumbest, laziest people on the streets, give them guns, put them above the law, and pay them huge sums of money to threaten, extort, assault, kidnap, and murder everybody else. To unquestioningly follow the orders of charismatic sociopaths who win popularity contests. All this, with virtually no downsides. Let’s not be surprised when this has catastrophic outcomes.
On the other hand, this is great news for anarchists. An enemy of the State can sit pretty comfortably knowing that his enemy is a fat, stupid, coward, who fights for nothing but a paycheck. The cunning sociopaths of State politics are far too smart, and far too few in number, to put themselves in harms way for the State. Simply put, police are simultaneously the lynchpin of statism, and its weakest link.
The State Without Police Is Like Television Without Electricity
Next time there’s a big storm in your area, and the power goes out, try watching television (without a generator or UPS). It probably won’t work out too well.
Police are the power of the State. Sure, plenty of people believe in the State and will vote for it and endorse it and pay for it. There is a lot to be said for the belief in statism being the core of the problem, but that’s like saying that belief in television makes television work. Most people believe in the State, but they are not what gives it power, police empower the State by using violence against believer and non believer alike. Most people may believe in the State, but they will not fight for it. Most people view police as the brave saviors of mankind, even though police are fat, stupid, cowards. What does that say about the average voter?
A voter may well make political donations, volunteer his time, and walk into a voting booth and pull a lever to ban drugs, sexual behavior, or weapons, but he will not break down doors to enforce his will. Any group of idiots can gather in a chamber and write down demands. Any high school clique can stage a popularity contest. It is the enforcement arm, the police, that differentiate the State from these other groups.
Stop the police from doing their jobs, and you will abolish the State inside of a week.
There Will Be No Mass Philosophical Awakening
When discussing use of force with libertarians, nearly all of them will say that violence is not the answer to violence. That using force against State agents will only result in more State violence. According to these folks, there must be some mass philosophical awakening, an enlightenment if you will, where people see the evil of the State for what it is, and reject it.
I can see why these well intentioned folks feel this way. After all, our study of economics tells us that markets provide that which there is a demand for. Thus it may stand to reason that if people want murder and mayhem, they shall have it.
The same study of economics however, would suggest that there are niche and black markets that will be catered to regardless of what most people want. Overwhelming majorities have supported bans on drugs and weapons throughout the world, but in most places it isn’t entirely too difficult to purchase such products, even in prison.
Thus if a market demand were to emerge, even a small one, for a service to protect people from State agents, it would stand to reason that someone would emerge to fill the demand. We already see people paying huge sums of money for lawyers, tax preparers, and lobbyists to protect the interests of wealthy people against State intervention. As more laws are passed, taxes increase, and the State becomes more intrusive and belligerent by the day, how long before it just makes more economic sense to hire a fighting force?
I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do see the expansion of the State moving far more rapidly than the spread of libertarian ideals. I do see an ever increasing number of people becoming so angry with the State, so impoverished and hopeless as a result of its controls, as to be willing to sacrifice their lives to make the smallest dent in it, even without this philosophical awakening.
I also see from the numbers quoted in the beginning of this article, that even a small number of such unaware people putting fear in the hearts of State agents, can have a dramatic effect on their morale. One black power Marxist killed two police officers in New York City, and did more to reduce State violence than all the efforts of the entire history of the Libertarian Party.
Consider for a moment how many lifetimes of manhours have been spent on political and education efforts over the last 50 years to advance libertarian ideas. Compare this to what it has done to reduce State violence. The effect has been negative, the State has consistently expanded its power.
Yet, in just a few moments, one violent idiot managed to reduce arrests in New York City by 66%. That massive reduction in citations and arrests didn’t just free all the people who would have been the victims thereof. It deprived the city of massive amounts of revenue, that would have been used to victimize others. Moreover, the city of New York did not descend into carnage without police arresting pot smokers and writing traffic tickets, a lesson I hope is not lost on the people of New York. In the face of such staggering data, it’s very difficult to say that violence solves nothing. One would require a religiously incoherent obsession with non-violence to make the suggestion.
With every moment that passes, another person is victimized by the State. Many of those people will have their lives ruined beyond repair. Some of those people will become so filled with a combination of rage and hopelessness that they will lash out violently and risk their lives to fight their oppressor. If the State insists on creating violent lunatics faster than we can create libertarians, the least we can do is celebrate a bit when that plan backfires on them.
Happy New Year!
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