I see many anarchists and liberals call for abolishing or defunding the police. In these stressful times, they are letting emotions get in the way of reason. While I am critical of how our statist police are, I am also critical of these solutions the mainstream Left propose or lack thereof. A society without police is a society without laws and a society without laws is in perpetual chaos. Anarchism is the abolition of the State. It is not the abolition of law entirely.
If we didn’t have police anyone could kill, steal, rape, pillage, and plunder like barbarians. The people cannot be expected to settle their disputes by themselves, especially those that involve violence. There must be a mediator. CHAZ proves this. CHAZ was a crime-ridden disaster without police and increased Seattle’s crime rate by 525%. Multiple criminologists and sociologists have shown that police are needed.
Now, I believe our modern, State police are a detriment to society through their wanton violence and excessive force. I do not hide my dislike of them. However, I know that police are needed. We must find a way to have anarchist police and we have had such a way for over a century. They are Tucker’s private defense agencies that I wrote of in my first piece. Benjamin Tucker called for privatizing the police but they’re not the same as the Rothbardian private defense agencies. These would defend your property from being invaded. They would make sure that once you left your property it would still be yours when you returned. They wouldn’t be judge, jury, and executioner. They would offer the best service at the lowest cost.
In an unpublished piece, I wrote that conservatives and libertarians only support the opposite of what liberals believe because they just want to trigger them even if it makes no sense. That piece was referring to how conservatives and libertarians believe more guns reduces crime as opposed to the liberals’ belief that less guns reduce crime (both are wrong in that reducing poverty reduces crime and guns are neutral, neither a cause of crime nor a reduction). It seems liberals and anarchists have begun to do the same but with police. Conservatives love police so liberals and anarchists want to abolish them to trigger them. Both come out of not logic or reason but a malice that holds that the other side is always wrong and anything they support you must support the opposite. It’s illogical and, as anarchists, we should be better.
We must remember that society is an organism and it has cells (communities in this case) and those cells have organelles that help the cells function and keep society alive and moving forward. Benjamin Tucker recognized this in his call for private defense agencies. We must have private or community-owned versions of the organelles of society like police and prisons and fire departments. Calling for their abolition is like saying you want to abolish roads. We can privatize the roads and the police. If you get rid of one of the organelles of a society, the whole thing falls apart. If all of your cells lacked a mitochondria, you’d be dead. Likewise, if society lacked police, it’d be dead. Anarchy is order. Getting rid of police breeds not order but chaos. That is nothing close to anarchism.
Please fill in the form and submit to subscribe to emails We Are Libertarians.