Over the last few days we’ve heard writers viewing with alarm the “Defund the Police” movement, saying that the idea is dangerous because we need the police to keep order. Obviously any society needs some order to function. But who gets to define social order?
Generally social order gets defined by the wealthy and influential, who wish to maintain the status quo that has enabled them to be wealthy and influential. In a healthy society, this coincides with the needs and desires of most residents. The problems arise when many of the populace are poorly served by it. These then look for social justice, that they, too, be allowed to prosper.
Our society assumes that people are individually responsible for their own well-being. That people can do this has never been entirely true in our country. Our wealth is based on our land and its resources, and if the people here before our ancestors objected too strenuously, then heads were broken.
That theme has continued throughout our history, and all too often the police have been called in the name of order to suppress people who are asking for a change in the social order. The targets have been wide ranging: early […]
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