POLICING 101

Poor people don’t have a lot. If they did, they wouldn’t be poor. As a result, their need to protect what little they have is greater than the need of those who have more to protect what they have. This is because those who have more can afford to lose, though they’d rather not, a little of what they have, whereas those who have less can ill afford to lose any of what they have. For those in the know, this is just the principle of Diminishing Marginal Utility.

But at the same time, the poor, because they’re poor, can’t afford to protect the little they have, whereas those with more can. And since he who pays the piper calls the tune, it shouldn’t be a mystery that the police take less interest in protecting the poor from the rich, or from each other. By contrast, they take a very keen interest, because they’re paid to, in protecting the rich from each other and, especially, from the poor.

Once this is understood, it’s little wonder that the poor want the police defunded. It’s not because they want to save money. After all, they’re not paying the bill. Nor is it because the police aren’t offering them a service. It’s because of the service the police are offering. And to whom. It’s because for the poor the police are just an army of occupation, paid by, and so in the service of, the occupier.

The social justice warrior – usually young, white, and middle class – doesn’t like to think of herself as the occupier. The occupier never does. She thinks that if the rich cease to be rich, the poor will cease to be poor, and that the Dictatorship of the Proletariat needed to affect this ‘adjustment’ will then just miraculously wither away. She thinks this is a new idea. Or if not new, that it hasn’t been tried. Or if tried, not with the requisite commitment to principle. But this time …

My grandmother was a Bolshevik. So I know she’d wish these people God’s speed. As do I. His name, by the way – God’s, that is – isn’t Yahweh. It’s Sisyphus.

 



Categories: Editorials, Everything You Wanted to Know About What's Going On in the World But Were Afraid to Ask, Social and Political Philosophy

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