Unf*ck the Police: Anarchy and the Demilitarization of Law Enforcement
“When all other rights are taken away, the right of rebellion is made perfect.” ~Thomas Paine
I know what you’re probably thinking, here at the outset: “Not all cops are bad.” To which I say, “Pull your head out of authority’s ass!” Yes. Do exactly that. Saying, “Not all cops are bad” is a red herring. Fuck your red herring! It doesn’t matter that all cops are “not bad.” What matters is that all cops represent “the state,” and the state is bad, wrong, unhealthy, evil. And any “law” enforced by an unhealthy state is “bad” (unhealthy) until deemed otherwise by free, healthy individuals. Your belief in authority is nothing more than a shared delusion. It’s time to pull the Rabbit of Your Courageous Freedom out of the Hat of Your Blind Obedience. Un-fucking the police, like with all things, begins with un-fucking yourself.
It comes down to this: Authority is an illusion, a cartoon in the brain, an agreed-upon social construct that is equal parts authoritative conditioning and cultural brainwashing. It’s psychology 101. If you’re raised in a state (and most of us are) where authority and power are revered without question and without the earning of prestige, then your basic psychological programming will be the default position of blind respect for authority. And instead of questioning authority, your default programming will have you questioning those few who actually gain the courage to question authority. It will even have you questioning your own right to be free. You unwittingly become a sheepdog for an evil shepherd. And all because you didn’t have the courageous wherewithal to question authority. Belief in authority is a disease plaguing the human condition. The free human being with the audacity to question authority is the cure.
Freedom is paramount. It’s the overriding principle of life. Without freedom there is only servitude, captivity, oppression, and enslavement. With freedom there is a space to contest such things, a place to breathe and to question our conditioning, whether good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. Until we reclaim our own freedom, until we empower ourselves, we will continue swimming around in circles inside an unhealthy fishbowl that doesn’t give two shits about us. That fishbowl is the State, we are the fish, and the cops are the sharks hired by the state to keep us enslaved to authority. Reclaiming our freedom is learning how to fly, and learning how to fly gives us a bird’s eye view of the atrocities going on inside the fishbowl. It’s time to rise above it. It’s time to stop breathing the bloody waters of an unhealthy fishbowl. It’s time to reclaim the fresh air of freedom. And it begins with taking our power back from those who wish to take it from us under the banner of “authority.”
If you can’t stand the heat; get out of the kitchen!
“The primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those without the green papers generally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with. These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world.” ~Derrick Jensen
When it comes down to it (inside the cultural box, inside the bloody fishbowl of the state), law enforcement is a job. It’s a dirty job, and everyone seems to be under the impression that “someone’s got to do it.” To which I call bullshit! But that’s neither here nor there. What is here or there, is the fact that it is a job that carries a lot of power, or at least perceived power. And we all know the common cliché: “with great power comes great responsibility (Stan Lee).” The problem is that there is a serious lack of responsibility when it comes to the job of policing. There are way too many order-followers and way too few questioning bad orders. There are too many scared and ill-trained bullies, and those who are well-trained are still stuck in a policing system that simply does not work well for free human beings. The thin blue line might as well be a thick wool blindfold.
The problem isn’t so much the police themselves, but the fundamentally unhealthy, violent, and unsustainable system in which police are expected to withhold. They are merely hired thugs for an unhealthy state that doesn’t have the best interest of the people. Conveniently forgetting the fact that they too are people, placing duty before decency, the gun before morality, and the thin-blue-line before justice. Which brings to mind another cliché saying: “It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society” (Krishnamurti). Cops (“good” or “bad”) are all-too-well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. And still we wonder why they fuck up all the time. In an unhealthy authoritative state, police put the “imp” into “empire.”
The problem isn’t just that police are “in the line of fire” or that we have to “hold them to a higher standard,” it’s that the system they are policing for is fundamentally unhealthy. And so police, above almost all other jobs, must constantly fight an internal moral battle between being a decent human being (which usually means going against the law) and upholding the law (which usually means going against being a decent human being). The misery of it all is that most police officers probably aren’t even aware of this internal moral conflict, which just breeds deeper and deeper psychological conflict. And here we are, living in an unhealthy police state where police are running around morally conflicted and not even aware of it. It’s no wonder they need to un-fuck themselves. The entire authoritative system needs to un-fuck itself. The authoritative system is the disease. Bad cops are merely a symptom.
Demilitarization through non-violent rebellion and creative insurgence:
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now enter Sacred Insouciance and the Absolute Mockery of authority. The spell cast by authority dissipates only when courageous individuals begin to question the ways of things. Our fear conditioning reconditions itself only when courageous individuals are able to dig down deep and empower themselves to recondition their original programming. The same goes with our violence conditioning. This applies to everyone, cops or not. There is a war being fought inside each and every one of us between fear and courage. If the “secret of courage is freedom (Thucydides),” then the secret of fear is blind obedience to authority. And the secret of non-violence is imagination.
Whatever that perceived authority may be –cops, politicians, teachers, presidents, queens, emperors. Mock it! Rail against it. Protest it. Question it to the nth degree, and then question it further. Use your imagination. Be creative. Just be smart about it. If the so-called authority can handle your ridicule, your scorn, and your derision, then maybe they are worthy of prestige. Even then, always question power, lest power corrupt. And especially question concentrated power like the police, the courts, and the state. Use art, music, and poetry as your tools of insurgence. Take civil disobedience to the next level by living it. Sure there will be consequences. Sure it’s risky being a tiny David fighting a giant Goliath. But, as Malcom X, argued, “If you’re not willing to die for it, take the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.”
Sharpen your sling shot skills. Polish your rocks. Make an art out of your own anarchy. “Sling shot” is a metaphor for strategic non-violent disobedience that pulls us back, way back, back to the roots of things. And when we’ve been pulled back far enough we are launched far beyond the pettiness of Goliath and the unhealthiness of the State. Far beyond violence and authoritative policing that upholds outdated laws rather than updated human decency. We land in a state of freedom, a sacred state of anarchy, self-empowered and hungry to empower others toward further freedom.
As Jeffrey Tucker surmised:
“Anarchy is all around us. Without it, our world would fall apart. All progress is due to it. All order extends from it. All blessed things that rise above the state of nature are owed to it. The human race thrives only because of the lack of control, not because of it. I’m saying that we need ever more absence of control to make the world a more beautiful place. It is a paradox that we must forever explain.”
Absence of control is a disorder that brings a higher order. Cops don’t want to hear this. Domesticated comfort junkies addicted to their luxuries don’t want to hear this. But it cannot be denied. The truth can only be muffled for so long. Eventually it comes out blaring like God on a bullhorn. And so we come around full-circle. The rebellion against the police state is a healthy rebellion (disorder) against an unhealthy order. It’s only “against the law” when you’re thinking inside the box of the unhealthy police state, when your swimming in circles in the bloody fishbowl. But if we can begin thinking outside the box of the police state, outside the violent and bloody waters of an unhealthy fishbowl, we come to realize that it is a measure of health to be un-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. And our amoral rebellion becomes the exact tool of courage needed to leverage morality. As the now famous graffito reads: “When freedom is outlawed, only outlaw will be free.”
The corrupt militarized police state wants to keep us cowed and controlled, anxious and afraid, terrorized and reliant on them for our “security” and “safety.” The state is afraid to lose its power. The unhealthy system of “order” wants to maintain its mandate. It’s afraid of healthy disorder. That’s why the police aren’t in place to protect us. They are in place to protect the state from us. And it will continue doing so until we choose to demilitarize it, or even abandon it. Until we find creative ways to reveal the illusion of false authority, we’ll keep spiraling further and further into an unhealthy militarized state.
We are the state, and the state is us, until we choose to defy it individually. Then, and only then, may we consider ourselves free. Individual cops are the state, until they choose to defy it individually (thus becoming a New Hero). Until then, not even the cop is free from tyranny. As Rudolf Rocker stated, “I’m an anarchist not because I think anarchism is the final goal, but because there is no such thing as a final goal.” And in light of this unreachable goal, the healthy, free individual must always fight against oppression, especially if it wears the mask of “law” and shoves a badge in your face maliciously declaring, “respect my authority!” You have the right to piss on the thin blue line. Yellow and blue make green, right? And Green anarchy is the way forward for any species wanting to flourish in a healthy way on this planet.
When it comes down to it, the shredding of our liberties must be met with an even greater shredding of the authority ordering such suppression, otherwise we are nothing more than cow-eyed fish swimming in a bloody fishbowl with a dead-mackerel stare of indifference toward the atrocities being committed. Un-fucking the police (non-violently) is un-fucking the violent police state (imaginatively) is un-fucking ourselves from the violent police state (anarchy). It’s all connected. All we need is a little backbone, a little imagination, and a shitload of defiance.
As Chris Hedges deduced:
“Play by the rules and we lose. Resistance will come from those willing to breach police barricades. Resistance will mean jail time and direct confrontation. Resistance will mean physically disrupting the corporate machinery. Resistance will mean severing ourselves from the dominant culture to build small, self-sustaining communities. This resistance will be effective only when we refuse to do what we are told, when we turn from a liberal agenda of reform to embrace a radical agenda of revolt.”
Read more articles from Gary ‘Z’ McGee.
About the Author
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
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