Best-Of Advice

On justice versus order

What would you have as an alternative to the police? Do you think there’s a way to keep people from breaking laws without having a state monopoly on violence?

Don’t be ridiculous. The state’s monopoly on violence doesn’t keep people from breaking the law any more than the church’s monopoly on damnation keeps people from living in sin.

Let’s be clear about the real problem: Our laws don’t exist to maintain justice. Our laws exists to maintain order on behalf of a ruling class. The criminal justice system is a means of social control. Justice may occasionally be served, but it’s incidental and never at the expense of order.

Fundamentally, the police aren’t even the issue. It’s the laws themselves, specifically the ones that do nothing more than criminalize socially unacceptable behavior. The crown jewel in this argument is the war on drugs, but things have gotten so ridiculously out of hand that in this supposedly free country of ours, even the size of your sugary soda is up for regulation.

I don’t necessarily need an alternative to the police. I just want an alternative to their de facto purpose. Emergency first responders and criminal investigators are vital roles in a functioning society, but when police officers spend the majority of their time selectively enforcing victimless vice and public-order law, that’s when they start earning their reputation as jack-booted thugs in service of an Orwellian regime.


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