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.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.
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 The state may be tasked to lead the effort, but that delegation can be withdrawn and the People resume their sovereignty should the state become tyrannical or nonfunctional[.]
“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.”So it's proceeding less like a coup, and more like a labor dispute. That's not out of order.
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.
The second thing Douglas sent was the following poster he made for us:
I like it.