Deficient Individualism: How the Police Operate

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As an institute, the concept of the ‘modern’ police developed in Scotland in 1800, and spread throughout the British Isles. This model of policing now exists all over the world. During the Industrial Revolution (form around 1750 onwards), immense wealth was generated for the middle class which possessed the means of production. The middle class possessed the wealth and social status which granted it the economic, political and cultural power to put its ideas into practice (a further product of receiving a good education). The middle class designed and had built the machines which were placed into the buildings (i.e. ‘factories’) that it owned, and ran these establishments continuously over a 24hr period. The machines were operated by the peasantry whose cottage industries had been destroyed by the industrialisation process. The peasants headed en mass into the cities and towns to be employed in very bad conditions and long hours, as a means to prevent death from hunger and destitution. The middle class treated this ‘new’ working class in a despicable manner and paid them little in return for their long hours of dangerous work (this included the exploitation of young children). The middle class paid probably about 10% of the profit generated to the working class, and amassed the other 90% for themselves. This process of production and exploitation continued day in and day out, year after year. The middle class became overly abundant with their accumulated wealth, whilst the workers who made the profit sunk ever deeper into abject poverty, illness, injury and early death. As the workers started to agitate for better working conditions, and as certain elements of the working class took it upon themselves to ‘steal’ back the profit already stolen from them by the middle class, the middle class representatives in Parliament (the workers could not vote), started to heed calls for a body of government representatives at all levels of society, from he village to city and beyond. The Greek word the ‘city state’ and its authority is ‘Polis’, therefore the British government put forth the idea that the middle class would be protected from the working class by a government body empowered to ‘arrest’ and ‘prosecute’ with impunity. This is how the middle class British ‘invented’ the ‘police’. The police exist to protect the middle class interests in society (such as private property and wealth), and oppress and suppress the working class population so that it cannot a) band together and over-throw the middle class, or b) attain any type of independent political or cultural power (other than the ‘token’ representation granted by the middle class). The police are trained a priori to behave like a stern Victorian-type ‘father figure’ whose authority cannot be questioned by his underlings without the fear of arbitrary and/or violent reproach. The police are paid to reduce society to the status of single individuals ensnared in the all-powerful presence of the police. This represents the middle class view of the world, where ‘individuals’ are already empowered by wealth and status. This explains why the police employ two distinct methods for dealing with the general public. For a wealthy, land-owning middle class person, the police approach carefully and with respect (as such people have access to effective lawyers). In this scenario, the police effectively ‘negotiate’ with middle class people of interest, because such people represent the class that created the police to protect their own best class interests. This represents the police responding to ’empowered’ individualism. As the working class band together into ‘unions’ for self-defence and collective bargaining, the police refuse to acknowledge this ‘Socialist’ outlook. The police do not negotiate with working class people of interest, and have no interest in contacting union leaders. Instead, each working class person is reduced to the level of bourgeois individualism, but as each working class person does not possess wealth or property, the police interpret this individualism as ‘deficient’, and act accordingly. With every encounter, the historical dynamic of the 19th century is played-out yet again in the present. The potentially dangerous working class must be kept in its place by any number of legal or lawful sophistries, so as to prevent the middle class losing its wealth, power and property. When it is obvious that a police officer has broken the law he or she is paid to uphold – the State simply declares such a suspect ‘not guilty’. The suspect is then congratulated and promoted as a demonstration of who holds the power within bourgeois society. The working class does not want bourgeois individualism and is alienated by its concept. This is exactly why the police project this concept upon the working class as an intimidatory tactic. As many officers are recruited from working class backgrounds, these workers become individuals who are granted ‘limited’ access to the middle class world they would usually remain permanently excluded from. This is the reward they are granted for turning upon their own class.

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