A little extreme

Via email from Ben we have this guy wanting to fire the police and rely on the Second Amendment for our protection from criminals.

I understand the sentiment and it would eliminate the problem of people being prosecuted for victimless “crimes”. But I want an option other than going in “guns blazing” when an employee embezzles money or someone writes a bad check or runs a stop sign.


13 thoughts on “A little extreme

  1. I wouldn’t want to get rid of police altogether, but I think that the police should be privatized, as well as the judicial system.

    At the very least, it should not be illegal to offer your own services as a police officer or judge! (To a certain extent, it’s already legal to do both, but to a certain extent, the issue is a lot more complicated than that, too.)

    When I encountered the idea in “The Probability Broach” (and even before), I thought that it was rather hookey–something that sounded good, but probably wouldn’t work–but then I learned that Medieval Iceland had such a government, that lasted for about 300 years!

  2. The power of the police is power taken from the people.

    If you found an employee embezzling money, you could still go to a judge and obtain an arrest warrant. Then you and the employee would present your cases (with or without the help of an attorney) to a Judge and Jury.

    No need for the police at all in such a matter. I personally am all for a DRASTIC reduction in the police force. Mainly so we stop wasting time and resources on “the war on (some) drugs”.

  3. In essence I agree with that guy. I’d like to see the victimless crime go away, along with what we typically think of as police. I don’t think that means we should expect to have a society without investigators so I wouldn’t be opposed to keeping the detectives. I would prefer they be a product of private enterprise rather than another reason for the government to raid my paycheck.

  4. James,

    But who executes the arrest warrant? I suppose that could be privatized. Bounty hunters do that I guess.

    I know that we didn’t always have a professional police force. And I suppose much of their duties could be handled in other ways. I’d have to spend some time thinking about all the scenarios and how they might handled without a professional, state financed, police force.

  5. According to mises.org, any person who had a judgment against another had the right to collect that judgment. If that person didn’t have the means to collect the judgment, then he could sell it to someone–usually, but not necessarily, a chieftan–who could collect it.

    As for making the judgment in the first place, I would imagine that searches for evidence was either a part of the chieftan’s agreement for being a “subject”, or the Althing had a decree that handled warrants, if they had such a concept in their society…it’s not a detail covered in the article, if I remember correctly, and I haven’t had the time yet to search out original sources (though I’ve tried, somewhat :-)). In our own society, if we were to try such a system, I would suspect that it would involve three steps: An individual would complain to a judge that a wrong has been committed, and present evidence; the judge would give the individual a warrant–which, if proven to be obtained fraudulently, could put that individual, and perhaps even the judge (if proven to be part of the deception), in hot water; the individual could use that warrant to collect evidence, or sell that warrant to a chieftan; the total collection of evidence can then be used in trial.

    This is a very rough outline, and certainly needs a lot of detail to be ironed out! But it could work, and it could even work nicely…

  6. “…or runs a stop sign.”

    You might feel differently if you were in a wheelchair because someone did exactly that.

  7. Abolishing police forces and giving everyone police powers won’t solve the problem. Have you ever missed a stop sign, broken the speed limit, been rowdy? Do you really think anybody offended has the right to then ambush you and capture/kill you? If yes, folks overseas are rioting right now and chanting death threats to Americans because somebody else thought about burning a book this weekend. Do you think those rioting crazies should have the right to decide whether or not you’ve committed a crime?

    Since the US is about the raise the retirement age anyway, police forces should be comprised only of people 55 and up, who have raised a child, and who can get a letter of recommendation from their current spouse, ex-spouse, or (if the spouse is deceased) the parents and siblings of the deceased spouse.

  8. Gotta disagree with the idea. Yeah, we have too much in the way of victimless crimes right now, and we’d need fewer police, or could let what police forces we have be more effective at preventing actual crimes against people, if we got rid of some of them. But I don’t think that it’s a good idea to get rid of police forces entirely or privatize them because organization is just too powerful of a force multiplier.

    In any large society, there will always be some group that exercises control through violence of everyone else. If the police force is nonexistent or hopelessly weak, then it will be the Hells Angels or Crips and Bloods or the Mafia or some other sort of criminal gang in control. One guy with a handgun and rifle isn’t worth a whole lot against that. None of these other organizations make any pretense of answering to anyone other than their own members. The police have their problems, but at least they really do answer to the overall population through the democratic process. Even if they don’t always answer as quickly as we would like, that’s still a lot better than some gang being in charge. Or some hopelessly complex network of gangs constantly fighting with and allying with each other over who’s in charge of what.

  9. “Or some hopelessly complex network of gangs constantly fighting with and allying with each other over who’s in charge of what.”

    Of course, we currently don’t have a “hopelessly complex network of governments constantly fighting with and allying with each other over who’s in charge of what” right now…oh, wait, we do! Although rare, it even leads to violence once in a while.

    On the other hand, there’s evidence that, even though feuds were a major part of the Medieval Icelandic government system, that violent deaths were still far fewer than under our system; indeed, the “violent times” that lead to Iceland giving up that government were the results of feud-based “civil war” that had a smaller death rate than that of Washington, DC! (Unfortunately, I don’t know where the ending of the system is explained, because it doesn’t seem to be there in the Mises.org article I linked to before, and I’m too lazy to look for it right now.)

    We should be wary to assume that, just because we provide for these services via government right now, that we would become overtly violent if we went “private”; similarly, when we consider that the police won’t go into certain neighborhoods, or investigate crimes committed by certain organizations (the Black Panthers come to mind), we should remember that a police force isn’t always the violence-preventer that we tend to believe it to be.

  10. Well, if we had Open Carry Everywhere, then a lot of the crimes that the Police need to handle would sort of resolve themselves,( or “Nothappen” in the first place), thus enabling them to handle stuff like Car Accidents, Traffic Control after a Football game, Search and Rescue, Executing Fugitive Warrants, etc. I personally do not want to drag out the mangled remains of little children who were caught in a car wreck, nor do I like to be a Bouncer when a Drunk raises Cain in the local pub.

  11. Damn. It’s hard enough to get the political class to understand that striking down laws that aren’t expressly enumerated through the Constitution isn’t a plum crazy idea. Now we have to deal with the jackasses that want to strip out the ones that are?

    Jumped up jesus christ on an atomic powered pogo stick. And people wonder why I’m a nihilist.

    Alpheus, head on down to the third world shithole of your choice and see how well private police forces work. You’ll see exactly why they are third world shitholes.

    Anyone who believes that privatizing the police/judicial/prison branch of the government would work is under the same delusion as those who believe that Marxism/Communism/Socialism works. They even have the same catchphrase “If we only get the right people to do the job.”

    The frailty of human morality kills those arguments every single time.

    Reform. Yes. Privatization? Hell no with a bullet behind it.

  12. Phil, third-world countries don’t have privatized police/judicial/prison branches. They have corrupt Marxist/Communist/Socialist governments, with tons of regulation that isn’t obeyed, and lots of unofficial taxation in the form of bribes, to keep the police off the backs those trying to make a living.

    Hernando de Soto, in “The Mystery of Wealth”, made it rather clear, that this is one of the BIG problems with these countries…NOT a lack of regulation!

    And yes, I agree, we have a long way to go, to getting our Federal government back down to Enumerated Powers. But we also have a long way to go before we can privatize a lot of the things that have been socialized. One very simple reform, though, would be to make it legal to provide competing services.

    As for privatized police and judges: we already have some of that, to some degree. We call privatized police “private investigators”, and privatized judges “arbitrators”.

  13. I would prefer market security services. We could think of different methods and strategies for this later but now let me think. This is tough to sort. I can make a small list of advantages, then everyone can list disadvantages of private protection. Be creative.

    Jails, judges, courts, district attorneys, investigators and police could be totally separate as a way to prevent internal corruption. These services would need to be fair or they would lose money and possibly go bankrupt from having poor reputations.
    too tired to finish. thanks for tolerating me

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