I Want A World Without Police…

Massive Fail…


This may surprise some people- but, the world I’d love to see in the future is one without police. This doesn’t mean that I want to see police services immediately disbanded though. That would be an obvious disaster- the world isn’t ready for it yet. If they would disappear in a flash, we’d have a great big disaster on our hands. If you have any doubt, look at what happens to society after a big disaster- looting, murders, rape. The events that happened after hurricane Katrina or the invasion of Iraq are great examples…

I believe that most people who are activists would like to see a world where we don’t need police. It would be beautiful if people would respect and not do harm to each other. The big question is how can we change the world to make this a reality? It’s quite a challenge to imagine how to get there.

Many of the most hardcore anti-police activists (who are often members of the anarchist community) believe that violence is the path to a police free world. They engage in FTP (fuck the police) marches, get into street clashes with cops, and write vitriol essays about police services.

Is this the path to a police-free world?

Hardly. Every time people get violent the only thing they do is to justify the expansion of the police. Remember what happened at the Toronto G20? The city spent a billion dollars on policing and security. They would have had a hard time justifying all of this expenditure if it weren’t for the anti-police crowd.

What’s the path to a police-free world than?

It’s a long and arduous path- and it is unlikely that we’ll get there by promoting violence. The real way to get rid of the need for police is to heal society and make our communities more equitable places to live. There are a lot of things that need to be done- here’s a sampling:

1. Poverty

Poverty is one of the greatest influences on crime rates- if we are to live without police, we first need to find ways to reduce the number of people who are desperately poor. We also need to find ways to make living in poverty less desperate and violent.

2. Drug Policy

Drug policy is also a giant contributor to motivating crime. Most educated people in this world agree that drug use needs to be decriminalized. That alone would be a disaster though- we need to also reorganize support services for addicts so they are focussed on curing people’s addictions rather than simple harm reduction.

3. Prisons & Corrections

Our current system of prisons is failing us- conditions are not conducive towards corrections, they are simply warehousing and ‘con colleges’ where people exchange tactics. Countries who have reformed and improved their prison systems (e.g. Norway & Sweden) have much lower rates of recidivism.

4. Education

Kids today often seem on the opposite path to creating a utopian society. Schools need to keep-up their focus on teaching kids to be more respectful to others. We also need to improve drop out rates- not completing school is another large contributor to criminality.

5. Mental Health Services

Our mental health system is failing us in Canada. We’ve reduced the number of hospitals in a failed experiment to focus almost entirely on community services. People with mental health issues have often been thrown to the streets before they were ready to enter society. We’ve also focussed too much on using drugs over therapy.

It may never be possible to have a world without police- there will always be a few people in each community who are prone to criminality. But, as experiences in other countries have shown, it’s possible to minimize the need for police and prisons. One thing is for certain though, we’re not going to get there through violent actions…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2012/09/22/i-want-a-world-without-police/


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  1. Once again people in the protest community need to realize the Black Block are not on our side, they are police stooges weather they know it or not.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more…

  2. you had me dreaming for a bit :)

    1. We can all dream…

    • Standing Water on September 23, 2012 at 04:34
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    Great article, Greg. A few comments.

    I think you’re off on drug policy. What realistic drug policy needs is to remove the view of addiction-as-disease and replace it with the view of addiction-as-lifestyle-choice. Even if there are statistical consequences to legalizing drugs, as there were to legalizing homoexuality, the paradigm of treatable pathology is fundamentally offensive.

    Further, my anecdotal, interview-based methodology suggests that nearly everyone with drug abuse problems had an early-childhood family environment which was inadequate in some way. Often times they internalize that as their own failure, especially if they come from middle-class families where they are indoctrinated to believe that they “had every chance,” which oftentimes means emotionally unavailable parents who at least have enough money.

    So I think in a lot of cases, addiction is a rational decision predicated of childhood factors—a decision that no grown individual should need to justify to any other grown individual. This, however, is impossible to explain to the pro-sober “you can feel good if you only think hard enough at feeling good!” crowd who tend to think that their good-feels are the product of overwhelming force of will and choice, rather than luck of the draw.

    So, what’s needed on drug policy is total legalization, overnight. All of these bad diktats controlling people’s lawful behaviors came in overnight, so it follows that they should be removed overnight—the insulting, paternalistic view that the same losers who ruined things with drug prohibition (University grads, another topic entirely) need to get another kick at the can, to “get it right” this time. I say bullshit—they haven’t had it right on drugs in British Columbia since 1891, which is, coincidentally, one year after The University of British Columbia is constituted.

    I suspect it’s a similar pattern in most regions—around that time, you get an influx of industrially-manufactured University graduates who come in and set up University and Company’s protection racket for opiates, etc. etc. Once they have their opiate monopoly, the rest is gravy; who’s going to disobey the man who decides whether or not you experience pain relief or not? Not many…

    Indeed, on the five files you mention, a big issue is the “Facade of Confidence” projected by the University-educated. They act like they’re really solving those five problems you outline, in a way not dissimilar to Jason Bowman or Kevin Annett. But are they really solving those five problems, or are they lining thei own pockets, getting another few days of grass or whatever Bowman does when he’s not giving reacharounds, all the while deluding themselves into thinking they’re “making positive change” or somesuch codswollop?

    • The Hammer on September 23, 2012 at 07:39
    • Reply

    I thought of these groups yesterday when reading about the most recent protests in Lybia. People there were protesting in support of the police and against those who attacked the US embassy:


    Quite a stark contrast from the Gucci Socialist activists in Canada who like to pretend they are oppressed. A good quote from the article:

    “I don’t want to see armed men wearing Afghani-style clothes stopping me in the street to give me orders, I only want to see people in uniform,” said university student Omar Mohammed, who took part in the takeover of the Ansar al-Sharia compound.

    • ANONYMOUS on January 10, 2013 at 23:10
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  1. […]  Kevin has given people carte blanche permission to take justice into their own hands.  But as Greg Renouf observed, the world can’t become police free by instigating violence against them and, he argues, […]

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