Abolish the police

Is that too much for you?

Do you honestly think cops do more good than harm? Based on what? We need first responders, but we don’t need cops any more than we need the ruling class the cops defend. So many of the crises of our time come from the failed experiment of putting our political power in the hands of “representatives”, in the hopes that they will use it wisely.

They haven’t.

Police are just the tip of the bloody iceberg, but they’re a horror show all by themselves. Police lie, constantly. Police murder family pets. Police steal more from Americans than burglars do. Police kill people every day, and for every one they kill, many more are traumatized, injured, maimed, or have their lives ruined by a bullshit arrest on their record, or by cops making them late for something important. Cops also have open contempt for the constitution, if you happen to care about that thing. They exist to uphold and defend the current power structure, and nothing more.

We spend obscene amounts of money on the police, and that doesn’t go towards keeping us safe. It goes towards keeping the ruling class in power, and keeping them safe from us, even as they drive us towards extinction. Start with defunding them, and redistributing that money to things that actually help the communities, and reduce the incentives for crimes that actually cause harm. As with so much else, we know how to make a better world – we just can’t actually do it while we’re governed by those who would lose their power in making that world.

If you like the content of this blog, please share it around. If you like the blog and you have the means, please consider joining my lovely patrons in paying for the work that goes into it. Due to my immigration status, I’m currently prohibited from conventional wage labor, so for the next couple years at least this is going to be my only source of income. You can sign up for as little as $1 per month (though more is obviously welcome), to help us make ends meet – every little bit counts!


  1. John Morales says


    Do you refer to the USA in particular, or to any police somewhere (anywhere) in the world?

    Because, bad as they may be, I would not want to live somewhere that is not policed, under whatever name that policing occurs.
    Not for me the wild west, might makes right, anything goes milieu.

    (To paraphrase, policing under any other name is just as brutal)

  2. says

    “Abolish the police” does not mean “end all functions of the police without changing anything else in society”.

    You get that, right?

  3. says

    Is it “just as brutal” to decriminalize drugs and sex work?

    Is it “just as brutal” to deal with poverty-driven crimes by dealing with poverty, rather than punishing poor people?

    Is it “just as brutal” to have armed first responders – when they’re needed – be trained members of the community in which the crisis is happening?

    Why is your default assumption that in order to have a “peaceful” society, there must be brutality?

  4. John Morales says

    Abe @2, I get the sentiment. Its phrasing, not-so-much.

    Abolishing has a particular meaning.

    You get that, right?

    I get that it’s a slogan. Not the best for me, literal-minded as I am.

    But sure, let the police deal with actual policing, and let other professionals deal with the social issues and with the mental health issues and the social conflict resolution and so forth.
    The stuff actual coppers on the actual job aren’t really there for, but do anyway.

    That much, I endorse.

    But, at the end of the day, laws are futile unless they’re not enforced.
    And enforcing the law is called policing.

  5. John Morales says

    [grr. Either “futile if they’re not enforced” or “futile unless they’re enforced”.
    But not what I actually (stupidly) wrote]

  6. says

    Wouldn’t being literal-minded make you want to look into what’s actually being talked about, since you know it’s just a slogan?

    And no – I don’t want dedicated “police”. For most of it, I’d rather see everyone in the community take turns, kinda like with a volunteer fire department.

    Call it what you want, but while it’s worse in the U.S., “policing” as we currently understand it needs to end in most if not all places.

    It does not work.

    It doesn’t prevent crime in any meaningful capacity, and police forces are always used to maintain and defend concentrated political power.

    Hell, ending the use of leaded gasoline seems to have done more to decrease violent crime than cops ever did.

  7. John Morales says

    For most of it, I’d rather see everyone in the community take turns, kinda like with a volunteer fire department.

    Well, I for one would rather professionals fight crime or fight fires than everyone in the community taking turns at it. Much as with any other profession (like bricklayers or plumbers or whatever).

    More to the point, taking turns at policing (even though it’s done by amateurs) is still policing.

    Either it gets done, or it does not.

  8. says

    Again, you’re assuming that professional police “fight crime”, and I’m not convinced.

    And the role of cops is SUPPOSED to be transporting people to court. That’s a rather different activity from building homes, is it not?

    In terms of investigating crimes, yeah we should do that, but beat cops aren’t the ones who actually get most of that done, and we can have detectives and forensics without cops as they’re currently conceived.

    If we remove poverty as a motivation for crime, most of what’s left is people hurting each other. Cops are more likely to be domestic abusers, and that’s not limited to the United States. How hard do you think they’re gonna work to make sure domestic abuse is handled right? How often do cops commit sexual assault in your country?

    How often do they prevent rich people from committing crimes?

    We need ways to keep social order, but we need to re-invent them from the ground up, because right now the main thing cops do is help prevent us from making the world better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *