THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 822, May 17, 2015
Maybe they're just stupid
When Law is Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Have Law
Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
The title of this article reads like a Zen Kõan, the best-known being "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
I don't mean my title as a mystery or a riddle. I mean it exactly.
You don't need to focus on police killings of black men such as Michael Brown, Eric Garner, or Freddie Gray to conclude that there's an underclass vulnerable to homicide under color of law. If we look no wider it's facile to adopt a narrative that the Civil Rights movement failed to move the United States past institutionalized white supremacy, paradoxically at a time when Freddie Gray's Baltimore has a black mayor and police chief and both the two-term current President of the United States and both the current and previous Attorney General of the United States are black.
The evidence alone demands we look further.
Spending a few minutes looking at the CopBlock project website tells us it's not just black men who are on the business end of thuggish police. There is no race, gender, or age that is not regularly the subject of harassment and brutal tactics at the hands of law-enforcement officers—local, state, and federal. I'm not talking about bad apples generally unrepresentative of their departments, sadists failed to be weeded out. I'm talking about officers trained in official use-of-force policies that exonerate sworn officers when they use weaponry and tactics justified with the argument that any fear of harm to an officer exonerates lethal or barely sublethal violence for even the most minor offense or generalized suspicion.
This is the sort of official lawlessness under color of law that brings out news trucks, protesters, political hucksters, wannabe nihilist revolutionaries armed with bricks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails, fire fetishists to whom a burning building is orgasmic, and opportunistic looters.
There's a federal law supposedly addressing this: Title 18 USC Section 242—which can be found on the Department of Justice website:
If this law alone was enforced, we'd be halfway to the restoration of law and order because the assumption of Sovereign Immunity that protects the police—a concept antithetical to the concept of an America freed from monarchy—would no longer shield the shielded from more obvious cases of officious criminality.
Nonetheless that kind of obvious lawlessness is the least of our current abandonment of law.
Justice in Blind
When in the Course of human events ...
makes what is claimed as law a chute into court, seizure of one's property, arrest, extortion into a plea, and imprisonment for even the top one-percent—much less the other 99% who barely scrape by and can't afford expensive accountants and lawyers, or worse, the grave ...
Then the claim we live under reasonable or fair law demanding obedience is a God damned lie.
We live in an age of patchwork customs and legality, some based on legislation, some from bureaucratic rule-making bought and paid for by lobbyists, some from court ruling and precedent forged by a class of professional philosophunculists.
Nobody is "equal under the law."
Some people have established privilege and protection.
Some people have extra risk and liability.
Sometimes the difference is a yard or two crossing an imaginary territorial line.
Sometimes it's race/class/gender/shifting popularity.
Sometimes it's looking at someone powerful the wrong way.
Sometimes it's just confusing, like whether a Native American has more brownie points than a Transgender or a Veteran.
It's heaven-made for lawyers, a priestcraft who navigate our way through this established insanity for hundreds of bucks per billable hour.
It's also confounded by statistics everybody knows which aren't true and partisan divisions that are moving targets.
There is no law. There is only power and market and what Ayn Rand delightfully called the Aristocracy of Pull.
Equal under the law? There's law?
You conservatives are just kidding, right—and you liberals are just in denial?
I never thought I'd see the day when Michael Moore, the filmmaker of Bowling for Columbine would agree with me that the reason for the Second Amendment is to arm the public so it can defend themselves. But Moore tweeted on April 30th, four days ago, "Next demand: Disarm the police. We have a 1/4 billion 2nd amendment guns in our homes 4 protection. We'll survive til the right cops r hired"
When police commit crime under color of law, the law dies and the lawless rule.
Usually councils of business leaders are the most vocal supporters of police and government in general. How long will it take for business leaders to remember that the American Revolution of the 1770's was supported by business leaders for the obvious reason that sending capricious and bureaucratic "swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance" is bad for business?
And if the costs of complying with evermore government regulation doesn't wake them up to the cost of official lawlessness, could arson and looting trashing their businesses—following just about every instance of police lawlessness—possibly make the small business a revolutionary vanguard again?
When business relies not on government to provide law, but the rules of business itself to provide a stable market, we might get going a coalition to get our country back from those liars who claim that anarchists like me are the foes of law, when the opposite is true: the most dangerous enemies of law today are those who claim to enforce it.
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