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Why is almost everybody against more police ?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Hrothbern, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Quite true, but I've got little experience with police outside the US. I've found what @innonimatu has typed in this thread to be pretty interesting, I hadn't thought of problems that might arise in countries where fascist dictatorships are in living memory. I read an article recently about the ridiculous scale of police oppression in Spain against the Catalonian resistance movement and how it is tied to Franco-era politics, and how many police officers (and intellectuals defending them) take explicitly pro-fascist or pro-Franco positions.
     
  2. innonimatu

    innonimatu Warlord

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    Spain was unfortunate in that it did not had a revolution, the dictatorship "managed" the transition to a constitutional monarchy when it noticed it was absolutely isolated. So they failed to do a house cleaning, the fascists remained in positions of power.
     
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  3. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Warlord

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    We all learn from what happens in different countries :)
    The US as depictured here more straightforward wrong than I thoughy. Portugal not really surprising, and no-one here posting from Spain, but Spain for me un-surprising.
    It's in Spain not I think so much directly from Franco-fascist history, but something like: culture=>subculture police/army => usefull for fascism=>fascism <fall-Franco> =>subculture police.

    Breaking the sub-culture police important.
    But you never get it really better than, filled with people from all kinds of socio-cultural segments, average society itself. Unless you start adding "care" thinking in the system. Those neighborhood sergeants are injected and exposed to "care thinking", and under continuous attack from the line police force in NL. A cultural tribal clash.
    In US drastically the opposite influence of politics, and IDK about the society reflecting socio-cultural composition. I guess bad.

    The basic choice I think is whether the police force is more the oppressive instrument of the State, or more the protection of the people... up through the violence monopoly of the State... down back to the people.

    EDIT
    I should have stated:
    or more the protection of ALL the people... up through the violence monopoly of the State... down back to ALL the people.

    The degree of ALL important.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  4. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    Absolutely. It's just important that non-Americans know the extent of the problem here, because it's not very obvious to people who visit unless they spend time in poor, majority-minority areas and talk to residents there. It is orders of magnitude more than you're used to experiencing in the Netherlands.

    I'll provide some ballpark international comparisons, to ground this in the rest of the world. Killings, beatings, and other impunity are more common in e.g. Brazil, Mexico, or South Africa than they are in the US, so it's not quite at that level. I recall luiz being dismissive of the magnitude of the police problem in the US, because the police in Rio alone kill more people than all of the US, IIRC. But then, telescoping down, the police in Germany kill fewer people than the police in most mid-to-largeish US cities.

    If you had to lump the US in with either Western Europe or Latin America in terms of the conduct of its police, we'd belong in Latin America: one of the better Latin American countries to be sure, and again well above Brazil and Mexico, but still a bit more Latin American than Western European. (with some differences: minor stuff like petty bribes are pretty much nonexistent - only the truly bad things are worryingly common). I don't really know how the cops act in Eastern Europe, but my impression is that true cop violence is more common in the US than e.g. Romania or Bulgaria while bribes are again higher there. Almost needless to say, both are worse in Russia than the US.

    Incarceration conditions are also better than Latin America or poorer Eastern European countries, but prison sentences are much longer and more common, so that the prison population is the highest in the statistically reliable world. Having looked at some really crude estimates, the US prison population per capita is probably at about North Korea's level (no joke).
     
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  5. innonimatu

    innonimatu Warlord

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    I can't really talk about present-day Spain, I don't have any inside information on the situation with the police there. But I can add one thing about the situation here: some groups in the police hare having a problem with racist, it's noticeable. And it's not something old, it came up over the past 20 years or so. The first generation of african immigrants were mistreated as all new people without a support network are, and tented to join together in some neighborhoods. The second generation was infected with US-exported media and decided to ape some of the america "black culture" dysfunctions, which did not endear it to the local population (clash of cultures, it is a thing). But that was not a deep, structural thing, it wore off. There's kind of second wave of that going on now, but it too will prove weak I think. Mostly they are "integrated", except for the poorer neighborhoods. There a culture of victimization, supported by "anti-racism" organizations, and a culture of racism within the local police, fed each other. The dynamic of the thing is obvious for anyone observing closely! Watching this, the vicious circle of it, was the one thing that years ago made me so dead-set against "identity politics": I've watched them being divisive and destructive, making it much mode difficult to manage and solve the real problems of poverty and class discrimination.

    The police does have a sub-culture (in fact split into several sub-cultures). Interesting that you notice it also in the Netherlands, I guess it's one of those things that always arise within some professional groups. Here there is this problem with what I can describe as personal casual-racist attitudes (fortunately it never became institutionalized), but I'm optimistic that it will slowly fade away. The actual problem to solve is ending the remaining poor neighborhoods. When the troublesome (in terms of police work) informal economy there is reduced and/or the population is more mixed, these troublesome associations of ideas simply disappear.

    I'll hazard a guess that class discrimination and poverty is the big problem in the US and other countries (Brazil certainly!), preventing progress in other areas.
     
  6. abradley

    abradley Chieftain

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    A couple of pages back some body mention the US' high incarceration, but why does it have such a high rate?
    Maybe because
     
  7. Arwon

    Arwon

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    There appears to be some mistake, that's a random youtube opinion video
     
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  8. inthesomeday

    inthesomeday Immortan

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    Well the development of police in the two regions (Europe vs the Americas) simply followed entirely different trajectories. In the US, an urban “police force” really developed in the late-ish 19th to early 20th century as a response to three primary trends: the influx of European immigrants, the great migration, and the rise of labor organization. It wasn’t anything like the noble old night watchmen that a lot of people envision, it arose from forces directly intended to suppress workers, especially minority workers.

    I don’t know much about the development of the police in Europe, but I do know most European cities didn’t have quite as much diversity or racism throughout most of the earlier 20th century as the US, save for perhaps London where as far as I know police served quite a similar function to the American ones at least in the 19th century.
     
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  9. REDY

    REDY Duty Caller

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    I love police as idea of "protect and serve". But the reality is somewhat disconnected.

    The good police tradition was removed by communist regime and since there was no proper decommunisation, its still felt that police means repression and trouble. Now the police mostly just waiting with ticket inspectors to catch fare dodgers or being bureaucrats just drawing up protocols when gypsies stole you something. They are completely ignoring anything what would mean trouble. They are also considered mindless, they have to do what the state please, acting one time against demonstration of liberals, another time against conservatives. Its manpower is from people who wanted to be soldiers but were not good enough. The view of the police is slowly changing because new generation and challenge of migrant crisis, but its very slow.
     
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  10. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    The police in Europe developed along similar lines: controlling the urban working classes in the fast-growing cities. Outside the cities the European ancien regime had developed methods of social control far more genteel than those required by the slave states in the US, whose territory constituted a totalitarian police state ruled in large measure by open terror.
     
  11. inthesomeday

    inthesomeday Immortan

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    And then I imagine the more violent and corrupt police in Europe only managed to develop that way in the wake of regimes founded on brutal civil control? How come I never hear about mass repression by Italian police then?
     
  12. Takhisis

    Takhisis excuse me

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    up yours!
    Italy already had the mafia, the 'Ndrangheta, camorra, etc. who were better at some functions of the police than the actual police.
     
  13. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Noting also that policing also developed in the post war period as a way to continue to suppress the freed black population. Police were essential to the whole structure of Jim Crow. Along with explicit racial laws, entire tranches of law like vagrancy laws were written with the purpose of being selectively enforced along racial lines. Selectively enforced laws with jail terms helped roll back freedom and agency, as well as supply prison labour (unfree labour by other means). Combine this with felon voter bans, and you've got a pretty effective tool of racial suppression. Then racist drug law enforcement became a big new tool to achieve the same thing.
     
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  14. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Eh? Is this directed at me?
     
  15. Takhisis

    Takhisis excuse me

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    up yours!
    I think that the mouseover text from this comic really does apply:
    ‘Once I'm rich I promise to apologise for things that result in me continuing to be rich’.
     
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  16. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Meanwhile, in this country, colonial police were a tool of genocide. A favourite method was recruiting native police (much better at tracking and navigating the terrain) under white officers. They were deployed to a distant part of the country from their homes, to serve as a paramilitary force to kill and terrorise in order to expand the colonial frontier, under the euphemism of "dispersal". The Queensland force killed at least 20 000 people and probably more (noting that private citizens killed plenty of people as well, it wasn't just the police forces).
     
  17. Broken_Erika

    Broken_Erika Nothing

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    Official Anthem of Police Surveillance.
     
  18. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Contrary to this, I'm nearly entirely satisfied with my police force - but it's not clear that more police would be able to do anything better, and they would cost more money.
     
  19. inthesomeday

    inthesomeday Immortan

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    Yeah but genuine curiosity, not trying to zing or anything lol
     
  20. Takhisis

    Takhisis excuse me

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    up yours!
    Yes, but, contrary to what most people think, Canada is not the 51st state.
     

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