For Anarchists, Police Should Be Seen No Differently Than a Foreign Military.
I shouldn’t have to explain this to anarchists. Police, simply by being police, are a threat to your safety. They are sworn to “uphold the law” which almost exclusively consists of threats to initiate force against peaceful people. They are paid through theft that they justify by renaming taxation, and citation. They have no legitimate authority to do this.
If anybody other than the police behaved this way, we would understand that using force to deal with the threat would be appropriate. People still seem to have some trouble grasping that concept in even the most immediate of cases. If a police officer points his gun at you, you’re generally expected to drop your weapon instead of defending yourself, while we generally understand that one would be justified in shooting a common criminal for the same act.
Even more misunderstood, is dealing with the threat as it actually exists. Police are worse than common criminals. They are a militant force, which has us outnumbered, and outgunned. They command our obedience, not only in the moment they victimize us, but at all times. Not only do they command our obedience, but they claim ownership over future generations as well. Dealing with a threat this extreme, requires extreme measures.
I have previously compared domestic police forces to domestic military, but it would seem the illustration is not complete. So today I’ll make the comparison to a foreign military.
The Foreign Military
Right now, Al Qaeda “insurgents” are marching towards Baghdad. Let’s imagine that they succeed in taking the Iraqi capital, and establish an Islamic State in Iraq. In retaliation for the US invasion of Iraq, they team up with the Iranian & North Korean governments to attack America, with weapons and funding from Russia. We will refer to this invading force as the Axis Powers.
While American war propaganda has, to date, been completely blown out of proportion, we can say with a good deal of certainty that these are bad dudes. To make matters worse, they’re absolutely convinced that they are doing a good thing. After all, the Iraqi’s were actually attacked by the US Government, who killed over a million of their people, and attempted to install a puppet government to rule over them for generations to come. The Iranians and the North Koreans, they are told every day about the very real threat to their countries that the United States poses. They aren’t just fighting for a pay check, they are fighting for their lives.
The Axis Powers reach our shores, and drop leaflets assuring the population they are only here to deal with the threat our government poses. They say they have no interest in harming American citizens, but we’ve heard the stories of soldiers raping women, killing children, and ransacking houses.
The Axis Powers are easy to identify visually. They have uniforms, flags, and by the way, they are driving tanks and armored personnel carriers. Kinda hard to miss.
They have fully automatic weapons, rocket launchers, and grenades. Thanks to the US government, we can safely assume the Axis Powers have superior firepower over any group of average Americans. To make matters worse, they have radios and can call in for reinforcements, and air strikes. Fighting them is extremely dangerous, the likelihood of victory is very low.
The police have none of the excuses the Axis Powers have for their initiations of force. We pose no threat to their safety, we didn’t invade their country, we didn’t kill a million of their people. They signed up for the job to get paid, and to hold a certain status in society. They could quit their jobs at any moment, and seek out productive employment, with pretty much no negative consequences whatsoever. All they would have to give up is their status in society as police. They may actually make more money working in the private sector, if they have any marketable skills whatsoever.
They sit in their cars, drinking coffee, hiding in wait on the sides of highways, hoping someone will disobey the orders of their political masters. When someone does, they will pull their car out of hiding, turn on their lights to signal the victim to pull their car over, and if the victim does not comply, he will use whatever level of force is necessary to stop them, up to and including ramming their car, or shooting them in the face.
They have actually declared war on us. They call it a “war on drugs” but of course, drugs don’t fight wars, people do. If you have plants they do not approve of, they will conspire secretly to break into your house with guns drawn. If they even think you might put up the slightest bit of resistance, an entire team of armed thugs will empty their guns into you. They will throw grenades at babies.
The police aren’t dealing with a threat to themselves, they have pledged their lives to be a threat to you.
The police are as easily identifiable as the Axis Powers. They wear uniforms, they have marked cars, they have armored personnel carriers. They get on television and announce their intentions. The entire community not only knows who they are and what they do, most of them are actually pretty happy about it. That is, until it happens to them.
Like the Axis Powers, the police have us outnumbered and outgunned. They have automatic weapons, armored vehicles, and radios to call in for reinforcements. If we attempt to arm ourselves anywhere near comparable to the weaponry they possess, they will break into our homes, confiscate our weapons, and murder anyone who resists them. Fighting them is very dangerous, the likelihood of success is very low.
What Are The Non-Aggressionist’s Rules of Engagement?
I would submit that the Axis Powers actually have a more legitimate claim to use of force than the police do. They are responding to an actual threat that is made possible by the tax payers and voters of this country. That said, we’re all held hostage by this government. Anarchists do not consent to this extortion, and so we can and should defend ourselves against this foreign invasion.
The police have no more authority to use violence against us than the Axis Powers do. They are only doing this because they gain positive benefit from it, they have plenty of other options, and they are not responding to a threat to their safety. The police are actively participating in the aforementioned hostage crisis, making us vulnerable to the retaliations of the Axis Powers.
If we are to accept the words of Cop Block and Will Grigg, then we can only respond to the Axis Powers after they have actually used violence against us personally. The fact that they are a foreign military with no legitimate authority to harm us, does not mean we can preemptively use violence to stop their advancement. Being able to identify them as enemy soldiers is not enough, because only individuals can be held responsible for the aggressions they commit directly against the person defending themselves.
One of two things is true. Either you can kill police, just for being police. Or, you cannot kill soldiers of the Axis Powers until they break into your home and kidnap/murder/rape your family.
If that’s your definition of the “non-aggression principle” then you just don’t understand use of force. Use of force is justified in dealing with a threat, and whatever level of force is necessary to repel that threat is justified. If the Axis Powers invaded tomorrow, myself and others would be making improvised explosive devices to deal with them. We would ambush them, fight dirty, and commit every otherwise repulsive act of violence to stop their advancement. Not just anarchists either. People who voted for Barack Obama would be doing the same thing. Jeb Bush supporters, would be doing the same thing. Everybody would recognize the foreign threat, and many Americans would respond to it with deadly force.
If you’re actually committed to the non aggression principle, then police are subject to the exact same rules of engagement as a foreign military. In fact, they are even less worthy of mercy.
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