Previously by Jeff Berwick: Land of the Free
Would you dial up a known criminal, like a murderer or rapist, to come help you after you've been the victim of a crime? No? Then why in the world would you call the police after you've been assaulted, robbed or otherwise violated?
The police do not consider their job to protect you. They used to at least pay lip service to “keeping the peace”, but nowadays in the USSA it is clear their job is to enforce the law. In fasco-communist America, the law stopped being about your protection decades ago. The law is about the expansion of state power and control. That's why there are so many of them, with more coming all the time.
There are literally thousands upon thousands of reasons in the Federal Code for the police to arrest you. That's the very essence of a police state. Everything is literally a crime. As Lao Tsu said in the 6th century, BC: "The more artificial taboos and restrictions there are in the world, the more the people are impoverished…The more that laws and regulations are given prominence, the more thieves and robbers there will be…"
In an environment like this, police cannot merely be keepers of the peace. They must be enforcers of the law. And enforcers use force, of course – intimidation and sudden and shocking violence in order to make you obey. And compliance is exactly what the police expect. They long ago stopped being “public servants” and became more akin to plantation overseers. Rapper and philosopher KRS One pointed out the similarities in his track, “Sound of da Police”:
“The overseer rode around the plantation The officer is off patrolling all the nation The overseer could stop you what you're doing The officer will pull you over just when he's pursuing The overseer had the right to get ill And if you fought back, the overseer had the right to kill The officer has the right to arrest And if you fight back they put a hole in your chest!”
The most egregious example of this switch from protection to abuse is the so-called War on Drugs. The heightened prosecution of drug use (which was entirely legal a century ago in the US and in fact widely used in many products) has been right at the heart of the state's increased monitoring and intrusion into personal life.
Do you want protection from theft and physical aggression? Or do you want “law enforcement”? Law enforcement is what allows the police to bust down your door and arrest you on suspicion that you may be using a plant that the state doesn't like. Protection from theft and physical aggression is something that could be much better provided by free market transactions. You could simply buy yourself an alarm system or weapon. Or you could pay for bodyguards and remote 'round-the-clock monitoring and dispatch from a firm who will send people to actually help you and not gun you down. These people would also never bust down your door, kill your pets and hold automatic weapons to the heads of your children on suspicion that you might own plants that some politicians and voters don't like. In every way, the private market protection option seems much better than the public option.
CALL THE COPS AT YOUR OWN RISK
An 83-year-old grandmother recently learned the hard way of the dangers of calling the police. Debra Towler of Altavista, Virginia, called 9-1-1 and hung up without making a report. This triggered an automatic officer dispatch to her home. The police claim to have heard gunshots from inside Mrs. Towler's home. But even if that's true – and police regularly lie to cover up their mistakes – odds are that Mrs. Towler fired those shots for the same reason she called the police: she thought her home was being invaded. That would explain why she ran out the back door to her sister's house when officers tried to get in the front door. It would also explain why this church-going octogenarian wouldn't drop her gun when the police started barking orders at her from afar. They responded by gunning her down.
This woman would have been alive if she'd simply defended herself instead of calling the publicly funded police. If there really had been intruders, she probably frightened them off by being armed. In any case the police would not have arrived in time to save her from being robbed or assaulted. All the police can do is show up to ask a few questions and interrogate the victim or some witnesses in case the victim is dead. Sometimes, apparently, the police themselves cause the victims death.
If just one private protection company did this one time, the typical statist would be calling for that company to be shut down with the murderers jailed. Yet when the publicly funded police botch things up this badly, the typical person finds a reason to blame the victim. A free market protection company – perhaps provided by the same company that insured Mrs. Towler's home – would have treated Mrs. Towler like a customer whose harm they are paid to prevent. The publicly funded police force is under no such pressure to provide customer service. Their priorities are to enforce whatever nonsense laws are on the books and to use whatever lethal violence they deem necessary to keep themselves out of harm's way.
Why do people put up with a monopolistic police force? Think about it. You are forced to pay (with taxes) for police who aggress against you for personal behavior that's not anybody else's business.
Again, the police cannot stop a criminal from harming you or from stealing your property. They can only show up to “investigate” the crime after it's been committed. The only way police can be truly proactive is when it comes to enforcing intrusive laws about personal behavior that doesn't harm anyone else, like driving faster than the ridiculously low posted speed limits, or not wearing a seat belt or bicycle helmet, or using plants that politicians and your neighbors don't like.
I HAVE NOT NOR WILL EVER CALL THE PUBLIC POLICE
In my 41 years I have never once called the government (9-1-1) for any type of emergency. I’ve always instinctively known it was immoral and, in most cases, useless. Here in Mexico no one would ever consider calling the cops for anything – they know what the Americans are now learning. Here, the police are far more like tipsy Barney Fifes than they are like robocops.
A month ago my wife called. She was with our $10-a-day bodyguard, but he didn’t have his pistol on him that day and she said three very large men were following her in Walmart. I told her to go to the very back of the store and tell some staff what was happening and wait for me.
I arrived in less than 5 minutes on my scooter with my gun and sprinted to the back of the store. I saw my wife and bodyguard safely standing there and was relieved. We then went to the kitchen area of the store and got both my wife and my bodyguard some sharp butcher knives. We then went through the checkout and cautiously exited the store, with everyone well-armed (not to mention my bodyguard is a professional boxer and my wife takes kickboxing and Kung Fu lessons each week and is a powerlifter – and I’m a former amateur boxer).
By that point the three men had left. Whether it was a real threat or not is anyone’s guess. But this form of self-protection beats government protection any day. Not only was my response time certainly faster, and my “skin in the game” meant I’d fight anyone to the death to protect my wife, whereas government police will almost always choose their own safety over yours. But a really interesting thing happens when you stand up for yourself and don’t depend on others for your protection. It feels great.
Plus, there is the fact that the government police who we could have called likely would have tried to beat, rob or kill us. This happens all the time, worldwide – not just in the USSA. In Tunisia, for example, women are charged with indecency for being raped by cops. In the US, beatings and shootings by cops are the issue, not rapes (usually). Look at this recent thug scrum in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. After watching police pile on and abuse this young man, even the guy who called the police wishes he hadn't called to report the young man sleeping in the community center.
“I regret making the call,” says the caller, “I should have let him sleep.” I believe a lot more Americans are going to be expressing similar sentiments in coming years. They will learn the hard way that calling the cops is most likely to make a bad situation worse. Your average person in the USSA still probably labors under the illusion that the police are actually there to help them, and that the public police option actually is superior to the customer-service based private options. That's a very dangerous illusion. In fact, it could easily cost you your life. Just ask Mrs. Towler. If you're stuck in the dangerous USSA police state, then TDV Homegrown can help you understand how to survive unscathed.
Rule #1: Never call the cops. Just like with health, prevention is a far best treatment for criminal acts. Check out TDV Homegrown for more details. (If you have the option of getting free of the USSA police state entirely, then try out a TDV Weekly Basic subscription for some great insights on expatriating.)
DON’T EVEN TALK TO THE POLICE
The police cannot help one bit once the crime is committed. They are unlikely to figure out who committed the crime. And they care more about somebody getting convicted for the crime than they are about the right person getting convicted for the crime. Police will lie in court. They don't care about finding the culprit. They just want a conviction. And any patsy will do. So don't talk to them. Ever. They will happily see innocents carted off to jail as long as they get to look like they're doing their jobs.
Their own safety is far more important to them than your safety. After all, they are the sacred praetorian class, defenders of the law and the lawmakers, while you're just a subject who is forced at gunpoint to pay for their salaries. You'd be far better off being a voluntarily paying customer.
“Getting Your Gold Out of Dodge” is available here. It is free to TDV and TDV Golden Trader subscribers or for a one-time price of $44.95 USD. It may be the best use of your fiat Federal Reserve Notes you’ve ever spent. Reprinted with permission from The Dollar Vigilante.
Jeff Berwick [send him mail] is an anarcho-capitalist freedom fighter and Chief Editor of the libertarian, Austrian economics grounded newsletter, The Dollar Vigilante. The Dollar Vigilante focuses on strategies, investments and expatriation opportunities to survive & prosper during and after the US dollar collapse.