The Definition of a Totalitarian State Is One Where There is No Law, As Defined By Bastiat's "The Law"
Bastiat's "The Law" (the prior essay defines proper, "liberal" or "libertarian" or "common" law).
The Law, to be legitimate, must do two simple things:
- Collectivize only that level of force which every individual has a right to use in his/her own defense.
- Apply equally to all individuals.
There is no such "law" in America, right now. The Law, as practiced, obeyed, and enforced, does not collectivize "self-defense," and it is not applied equally to all people. Police are "above the law" and the law simply protects their ability to steal using brute force and realistic threats of brute force. The thefts are often small (traffic tickets) and paid to county extortion rackets that "legitimize" the extortion under "color of law." However, many thefts are immense, and the "Department of Justice" (as Marc Stevens noted, this is a word-to-lie ration of 1:1) reveals here, "The size of the AFF(Asset Forfeiture Fund) has grown considerably over the past 10 years. Annual net deposits increased from nearly $580 million in FY 2005 to $4.5 billion in FY 2014."
Read that again: The police stole $4.5 BILLION in 2014. This doesn't count all the traffic tickets, inflation of debt that reduces purchasing power, and all taxation. With those numbers included, the drain of America's largest street gang("the police") on society is immense. It also doesn't include the money that was stolen and returned because the theft was admitted to be wrongful.
Asset forfeiture, as a dollar amount, now outnumbers all theft in the USA. Again, here are the statistics and shaky rationalizations(we get to steal a lot of money!) from the government itself:
...and some more examples of innocent people who have had their money (and often livelihoods) stolen by police:
Theoretical Good Cops(Property Protectors) Would Instantly Come Into Conflict With Bad Cops(Thieves)
This is the one thing Larken Rose is right about. The Nuremberg Defense is not legitimate. (Of course, this is also a tenet of radical minarchism (AKA "libertarianism" or "classical liberalism"), so his anarchist theories are unnecessary to this particular argument. It's also the one thing he agrees with Henry David Thoreau, Lysander Spooner, and Frederick Douglass on, but he did make a good video about this principle, so here it is:
...But There Are No Good Cops, So They Don't
Robert Higgs' gives the basic logic behind the lack of "good" police:
(Of course, Higgs is correct in practice, but technically wrong, because his first proposition is technically incorrect, though is is correct in current practice, because police who uphold their oaths are fired. This is not a problem with the law, but with the type of people entrusted to uphold the law, and the citizens who fail to hold those people accountable. This is one reason why electing sheriffs is a strong strategy toward individual freedom, should the people ever decide to educate themselves.
Police actually take an oath to uphold the constitution, not to enforce every law. The constitution in no way implies that every law should be upheld, and, in fact, states the opposite to any educated reader. That's what the concept of checks and balances, however currently ineffectual due to government schooling they are.
Police paymasters, the police chiefs and most sheriffs, incorrectly insist that an oath to uphold the constitution implies an oath to uphold every existing law, and then hire only people too stupid, evil, or corrupt to understand the truth. This is the crime that is being committed, because it makes every cop bad, with a threat of being fired if he acts justly and enforces the good laws against the bad cop majority. Technically, cops should obey their oaths to the constitution, and thereby not enforce most laws. However, this is not even true of the "oathkeepers" who almost all enforce laws that lack a valid corpus, such as the drug laws and speeding laws.)
...And pretty close to Radley Balko's position, as explained here (numerous articles):
But What About Possible "Exceptions To The Rule"?
Given the above logic, there are no good cops, because all good cops get fired, since the institution itself is corrupted, and all police chiefs are "bad cops." Some genuinely good cops who got fired for being good were Justin Hanners:
and Bradley Jardis:
There are lots of examples consistent with the prior two in Radley Balko's work, and elsewhere online. There are thousands of such examples, and virtually zero counter-examples, proving that, in fact, there is a strong filter in place that filters exceptionally rare "good apples" out of the "bad barrel" full of completely rotten, "bad apples." The typical euphemism that departments use whenever one of their many bad cops is caught doing something evil to the level he can be disciplined (although the discipline is never equal to what the law would apply to any private citizen) is that the behavior was just "one bad apple" in "an otherwise good and upstanding department." But the exact opposite is factually true. Any department full of people who would force peaceable motorists to the road for minor, fully-controlled fluctuations above an arbitrary traveling speed limit is a dangerous street gang full of reckless, violent morons. The same is even truer of cops who would engage in the violent destruction of innocent lives over their choice of recreational drug, or their failure to abide by some arbitrary business "regulation."
("Regulations" by definition, cannot be evenly applied to an entire society, because not everyone chooses the same career path. This then leaves "less-regulated" career paths in a privileged position, enduring fewer state obstacles. It also privileges those who make the regulations, since they, of course, never regulate themselves. Of course, once again, I should mention that this is an argument against "statute law" because "the common law" referenced by the Bill of Rights technically outlaws all laws that attempt to punish without an intervening trial by jury having found a "corpus delicti" or "body of the crime." The "body of the crime" must have two elements: injury to a specific identified individual, and intent to injure that same individual.)
The following county-by-county map further proves this point, showing that all police departments exist primarily to steal money, and secondarily to legitimize that theft by "enforcing some of the laws people agree with.":
The fact that the counties on the prior linked map all have different levels of theft are exactly what one would expect to find in a predatory(theft-based) model of the state.
So, now you have a fuller picture of what it would take for cops to be "good."
Sadly, only Dale Brown of "Threat Management" is currently hiring and paying "good [proper function of a cop]s." See:
There is or was also a similar project in Houston, run by Gil Guillory:
Lawful (common law) threat management is essential. "The Police" as currently defined, are not threat managers, and actually dramatically increase the threat of violent crime by creating and incentivizing black markets, as well as enforcing a patchwork of ever-changing anti-gun laws against innocent travelers and inner-city residents.
Here is a relevant first paragraph from "The Law," and a comment on it.
The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!
If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.
-Frédéric Bastiat, "The Law"
What Bastiat wrote was true, and is even truer (and hence, more valuable) today. That being the case, the kind of person who seeks to become a police officer is either a gullible, dangerous person who is prone to violence, or the worst sort of predator imaginable, or some variant in-between the two, as perfectly binary variables are rarely expressed in personalities.
This is the only view that is consistent with the data: the people who seek a career in a corrupted system are evil, malevolent, bad. At very minimum, they are stupid people, continuously bent to the will of evil (a different definition of "bad" but still the same functional outcome).
Many people claim that one's sense of "duty" (the "deontological" perspective) is what makes someone "good." But this is religious or mystical nonsense, because it would allow Franz Stangl and other mass-murderers of the Nazi democide and genocide to claim the title of "good." Only scientific observation of real-world outcomes or "consequences" (the "consequentialist" perspective) is legitimate, in a debate about aspects of reality. What really happens when people take certain actions, like "becoming police officers"?
A world populated by "ineffectual good" or "good that fails to produce good outcomes" is actually a "bad" world.
Stealing more than half (and probably the vast majority if the opportunity costs of police theft and disincentives are included) of the USA's wealth is a not just a "bad" outcome, it's an intolerably bad, unacceptable outcome. Such awful outcomes don't happen to intelligent creatures by accident.
As Philip Zimbardo said, there aren't "a few bad apples," there are "bad barrels" that make all the apples bad. We should be most concerned with the "bad barrel makers," --the system designers that reliably produce evil systems full of highly-incentivized evil behavior.
The police exist for a different mission than their stated missions of "keeping the peace" and "protecting the public trust." Those mission statements are a lie. The police exist to protect the institutions of political evil. These "bad-barrel-makers," the builders of modern cybernetic social systems and political parties, are evil. They are "most Democrats," "most Republicans," the Federal Reserve, the drug prohibitionists, the military-industrial complex, and the prison profiteers. While there may be some politicians who actually do attempt to uphold the law, there are no bureaucrats serving evil institutions who can say the same, because their job does not contain the possibility of a "No" vote, or opposition.
Some politicians reliably oppose the system, do not enforce its laws, and do not advocate for the laws to be followed. They are very rare, but they do exist. There are some good politicians.
The cops are prime examples of bureaucrats who are incorrectly seen as having no independent right to exercise their own judgment. This view has produced a system in which there are no good cops.
...But good jurors willing to hold cops accountable are much more common, and those jurors are the only significant limit on abusive government power. Join me in becoming one, by learning what that role entails. In short, the very instant that you know how to get past voir dire questioning, while being totally committed to vote "not guilty" in all victimless crime offenses and keep your mouth shut about why you voted that way, you're "part of the solution."