You’re a smart guy, so you shouldn’t formulate arguments which are both incomplete and contain false statements.

Please — don’t take this to mean that I have a rosy view of US cops because I do not. I lived in New York City for 30 years. I’ve seen cops do all sorts of things, and statistically a very great deal of those things were either inept or downright dishonest and bad.

But your statement 1 is, in absence of anything else, not correct. Yes, I agree that the police forces in the United States have as one aspect oppression. I might be sympathetic to the argument that this is one of their most important aspects, even the most important.

But the fact is that real crimes happen — crimes that would happen anyway because people are a mixed bag. Some crimes are prevented by the police. Some actually bad people are punished for crimes they have committed.

To say, “1. The police are an institution of oppression,” the end — that’s a sophomoric viewpoint, a reductionist viewpoint, and it is essentially incomplete.

Now, you are also missing a statement 1.5 which renders your argument so much sawdust. Statement 1.5 would have to say something like, “People who join the police forces are completely aware of the truth of statement 1 before they join the cops.”

In other words, if people don’t know statement 1. is true, your whole argument falls. And I believe they do not. Indeed, I believe they are recipients of a lot of propaganda that makes the police seem much better than they are.

Statement 2 is also bogus. Oh, sure, in some fundamental sense everything we do is “voluntary” but a large number of individuals have in practice no real choice about what they do for a career. If your entire family is in law-enforcement, if you have no particularly interest or talent for academic things, if you’re athletic but not quite good enough to get a sports scholarship, then you really don’t have much choice — particularly when you also don’t have much information.

Statement 3 is a restatement of (1 and 2). Waste of good electrons.

Statement 4 is the culmination. It depends on the previous errors, so is already worthless, and more, there’s an additional assumption — that no one joins an oppressive organization to effect positive change.

I’m a pretty radical guy. Yes, I consider some large number of US cops to be individually bullies and overall, the US police system to be a force for oppression.

But to say that everyone in the system is a bad person is logically wrong.

More, you’re going to alienate almost everyone except a few impractical radicals that way. Most people, even radical leftists, are going to say, “A state without any law enforcement at all, the logical consequence of your argument, is going to be even worse than this oppressive state.”


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