Thursday, June 10, 2021

If black lives matter, why do we still have communism?

This essay isn't what you think it is.  You probably think that a right-winger is comparing the vast slaughter communism creates with the relatively modest number of killings by police of black men.  No I'm saying modest number of killings by police of black men is part of the vast slaughter communism creates.  

Some might be skeptical of police communism but they do provide service to citizens "according to their needs" and it gets funded by income tax i.e. "according to their abilities".  Don't bring up that they don't actually provide service completely according to need.  No communist does and we're not having the "it's not real communism" argument.   

But surely racism is the cause not communism, right?  Nope.  At worst 60% of black deaths at the hands of US police are due to racism.  This is assuming that all of the disproportionate black deaths are due to racism.  The greater violence of US police compared to UK police is responsible for well over 90% such deaths.   This is because the UK has much less than 10% of US police deaths per capita.  So even compared to other police services organized on communist lines the US is far more lethal to blacks than it would be if simple racism were the problem.  

So why would removing the communist system largely solve the problem?  Because the problem is one of incentives and accountability, and communism does both badly.  Consider what has to happen for a police officer to be punished for killing someone.  The body that employs him, the government, has to admit it's at fault.  The people who have to cooperate with the cops to help their prosecutions have to   act against them.  Fundamentally the system has to decide to inflict harm on it's own support.  The only reason this would happen is if the political cost of not punishing the cop is greater than not doing so.  This removes accountability but crucially it removes it both ways.  If a cop isn't punished when public perception says he should be it's blamed on political efforts to protect him, even if that is not the case.  

Privatizing police would remove both problems.  The government wouldn't control the private police, so they can't be blamed for their actions.  Because there would be multiple competing private police forces any police officer would be investigated by one (or more) independent organizations.  His buddies couldn't have his back even if they wanted to.  As a private citizen doing a private job he would have no special privileges like "qualified immunity".  The government decision to prosecute or not a private cop would not be seen as a political decision, any more than prosecuting any private citizen would be.  No interest group would see it as enabling abuse if cops didn't get charged.  A failed prosecution wouldn't be seen as a political blow either, merely incompetence. 

Lawsuits against private cops would also be more just because they would not be political.  It would not be a political matter whether a police organization settles a case of supposed police brutality.  There might be accusations of racial injustice, but those accusations wouldn't be used to win elections.  They would be a matter of corporate PR.  

Speaking of corporate PR the cops would have a great incentive to behave and to hire people who will behave.  Even ignoring lawsuits there's the problem that people hire people that protect them, not shoot them.  An officer that can't be trusted to refrain from homicide is not an asset to someone trying to compete in a market.  What is an asset is an officer that will respond to things that hurt their clients, and only those things.  Enforcing drug laws, arresting people who braid hair without a license won't get new clients.    

If government provided funds to individuals to buy their own police protection the poor would still have protection.  Possibly they would have more protection than they currently have since a private firm would have to protect their clients to avoid losing them.   In some cases police forces have failed to protect some minorities for decades, effectively leaving them with no police force (although they still get taxed).  In the event of widescale violence against a group police firms would have incentives to protect, rather than abandon, the oppressed.  

All problems with police, past and present, ranging from race-based oppression, political spying and intimidation, selective enforcement depending on victim or offender, repression of sexual and religious minorities etc. all stem from the police being part of the State's monopoly of force.  All stem from the Marxist mantra being applied to policing.  It's time to use the best method for producing cars, holidays, and insulin to producing security.  It's time to say no to communism, if you really want to protect black people, or anyone.

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