Jim Jaszewski ab975 at main.freenet.hamilton.on.ca
Sun Jun 11 15:05:49 MDT 1995

On Sat, 10 Jun 1995, Joseph F. Lockard wrote:

> This is a fairly useful distinction, one that distinguishes between
> immediate agency and system.  The police aren't the true targets, but
> rather a shadow of larger, more amorphous systems of social control.

	I rather thought of them as something more 'concrete' than a
shadow -- say, a HARD, BLUNT OBJECT...

> The point I'll disagree with here is that of individual/class
> de-humanization, since police academies in the United States and in other
> countries have made substantial efforts over the last twenty years to
> emphasize sensitivity training and human/community relations. Repression
> with a smiley-face, perhaps.

	Exactly. I'm surprised you can say that and fall for the 'Officer
Friendly' PR line in the same paragraph...

 Classrooms of rookie cops undergoing
> sensitivity training, though, give me a slightly creepy feeling inasmuch as
> the tools of psychology are being deployed for improved social control.

	And this is exactly why, in essence, 'community' policing is
complete B.S (not to mention a snow-job)...

> Sensitivity needs to be expressed towards individual rights and democratic
> practice, not empty politeness.  To be anecdotal again, I'd have to report
> that the only time I ever filed a complaint against police behavior, while
> in California for a couple months last year, the idiotic and non-responsive
> officer went before an internal disciplinary board and was dismissed (there
> had been other complaints before mine).

	Which is exactly what community organizing should be able to
demonstrate: People's Power -- strength in numbers.  Each pig should know
he has a 'history' and is on his OWN sort of probation...

  Any de-humanization needs to be
> countered with respected institutional procedures, like those
> bitterly-resisted civilian review boards, that render police accountable.

	Another 'work within the system' reformer, eh?? (don't come back
with some line about 'reasonableness'; I recognize that you have to work
with what you've got, but to fixate on 'making the system work' when it so
obviously doesn't, is to essentially take the proverbial 'dead-end',
historically irrelevant, 'Dustbin of History', etc., approach -- but then,
that's yet to be proven, isn't it??  :)

> day, but they are workers nonetheless.  As well, many police are far more
> attuned to working class values than the average Marxoid poster on this
> list.

	AAH...  At last the veil begins to fall...

> As for mercenary, my goodness, under such a broad term of indictment any
> state employee (a/k/a public servant) could be labelled 'mercenary.'

	If the shoe fits...  Might even fit border guards...

> And entirely true that policymakers are equally responsible for the
> operations of their foot soldiers.  However, the existence of a politically
> responsible leadership doesn't absolve individuals of responsibility for
> their actions.

	You got THAT exactly right, brother -- but again -- don't get
fixated on the 'fall-guy'/sacrificial lamb. That only invites one of the
favorite tricks of our rulers -- passing the proverbial buck...

> I couldn't agree less.  Social revolutions have almost routinely
> re-employed the police forces of the overthrown government, replacing only
> the police leadership and egregiously violent officers.  Dismantling the
> police is utopian and end-of-history thinking (though I appreciate the
> idealistic decency of your expression).

	??? Methinks you are putting words in someone's mouth here... Some
marxist. Hit the books, brother -- your border guard training has dulled
your critical senses...

  A far more realistic direction
> lies in addressing the exploitative economic order than generates the need
> for vast amounts of police work.

	This strategy is called socialism. What you sneer at above is
what comes after -- don't mix up the two...


     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---


More information about the Marxism mailing list