The Low-Priests of Government: Cops, Teachers, Firefighters (Political Wednesday)

When I wrote my memorial-day protest against military hero-worship, I was focused the those members of the middle-ranking government priesthood, the soldiers. Its a touchy subject to bring up, because criticizing the very institution of Standing Army means criticizing the closely held belief-structure of most people. Yes that’s right: belief is the operative word here. Logic, facts and a clear-headed reading of history are natural enemies to beliefs when it comes to politics. Normally rational people become truly unhinged emotionally when credible criticism is aimed at the military and its operations, objectives and track record.

A close second to the soldier in rank of esteem and superstitious adoration among most modern Americans are the Cops, Teachers and Firefighters. These are civil government employees working in a system based on local government traditions dating back in many cases to colonial times.

Anarchist and libertarian writers have explained how all the functions of local security, education and fire protection have in the past (early America) been delivered to consumers privately, on a market basis – and can and should be in the future as well. But tradition – and belief holds fast in these cases as well.

The problem is the corruption that has become entrenched in these occupations. These formerly gentile institutions of local government have become increasingly nationalized:

  • No Child Left Behind has put its hooks into local government schools and wrought untold damage to what was already a decaying education model. Its truly the Soviet model to dictate education curriculum from the national capital.
  • Local Police are given generous “grants” from the new Homeland Security department, to spend on novel security equipment that are truly Kafka-esque: drones (drones! For the country-side!), assault weaponry normally reserved for special military forces, hundreds of millions of hollow-point bullets, and more useless and expensive heavy armor than you can imagine.
  • To keep school teachers employed, the schools have to be filled – so school becomes compulsory! Police is sent to round up truants and enforce their time in prison…er…school. To be fair, this is nothing new – but its such a perfect example of the state cynically enforcing its own rotten “business model” that I couldn’t resist.

With private, voluntary provision of education, property and personal protection services, consumers would get much more choice, price would be rationally allocated based on supply and demand, and abuse of power would tend not to be tolerated due to competition among providers. Its so simple.

What isn’t simple is breaking through the fat layers of lies and brainwash covering the otherwise ample brains of my fellow countrymen, to try to show them the facts and suggest the truth – that these low-priests of government are not the untouchable holy men and women we were taught to believe since we were young.

To begin convincing you – at least on the Police points – I leave you with a playlist of recent Police brutality. Note that these incidents all occurred to people who had asked the Police for help. The lesson here is to never call the cops, even if you’re the victim. You never know what you’re in for these days.