Two from Douglas

Tex was just saying she wanted to hear more from him on all subjects, and today he has sent me a couple of items for your consideration.

The first is an article on the differences between cops and soldiers, focusing especially on why it's OK for cops to engage in political processes like the mockery of the mayor. He invokes the Weberian point, which we have discussed here many times, that the state has 'a monopoly on violence.' I stand by my eternal rejection of that position, unless it is formulated in the specific way I just offered Tex in the comments to a recent post:
[I]t's not problematic if we say that citizens acting qua citizens can exercise that power. For example, citizens defending themselves from terrorist attacks! Or citizens acting in defense of the common peace and lawful order by using violence to stop crimes in progress, for that matter. And, of course, the militias of the several states, which can be called into Federal service.

Since the People are also sovereign, then, what we end up saying is just that the citizenry is sovereign over the monopoly on warfare. The state may be tasked to lead the effort, but that delegation can be withdrawn and the People resume their sovereignty should the state become tyrannical or nonfunctional[.]
That to the side, I see the point he's making. The police are civilians, and citizens, and should be free to behave in political ways within limits. My concern is that the NYPD may be more powerful than the mayor, so that they couldn't really be fired if they refuse to do their duty (just as they are plainly beyond his capacity to force to do their duty). On the other hand, the quasi-strike has actually improved things in New York without any increase in crime, at least so far. The mayor's office has found a way to retaliate, by denying leave requests until revenue collection returns to normal.
“Everyone here is under orders — no time off,” said one officer at the 105th Precinct in Queens. “And the majority of [new] summonses written aren’t protecting the public in any way. But now they’re realizing how much revenue the city is losing and they’re enforcing their will upon us.”

In once case, no police officer on duty was allowed to return to the precinct or even take a break until two summonses were logged, according to one source....

The station house has memos posted that notifies officers that no new vacation days would be approved beyond those which have already been approved. There would also be no sick days without a doctor’s note.
So it's proceeding less like a coup, and more like a labor dispute. That's not out of order.

The second thing Douglas sent was the following poster he made for us:

I like it.


Anonymous said...

I think the real issue is that it is partly proceeding like a labor dispute. The point of the police is not to garner revenue for the a municipality. That is what a tax collector is for. Police can not do it without a constant iritating of people for money, which leads to the police being disliked as performing what is tantamount to banditry by fine.

Texan99 said...

A joke my husband noticed somewhere, sorry, no citation available: A reporter complimented John Kerry (the haughty, French-speaking Secretary of State who, by the way, served in Viet Nam) on his flawless pronunciation of "Je suis Charlie." Kerry replied, "Well, I got a lot of practice saying it in Viet Nam."

Grim said...

Oh, my. :)

raven said...

The NYC PD just admitted they were engaging in banditry.
What else do you call extorting money from the citizens at the point of a gun solely to fill the governments coffers?

douglas said...

It's an interesting experiment indeed. We'll see if the people of NYC are paying attention.