Thinking people are confused by the outbreak of lawlessness in cities like Portland Oregon. Most are amazed by the idea of defunding the police. Some others are in favour of both and have their own ideas why it would make sense.
I think the police, while not perfect, are an advatage to society as a whole. As to the Portland situation, it seems to prove that lawlessness is an advantage to no one.
The other side of the argument is that society is and has been organized in ways that deny some of the people the ability to flourish. In particular the African American population, although you could make a good argument for Hispanics, Appalachian white foks and some Asians. The Irish were there 100 years ago. . These people feel the societal structure must be transformed to something else. What exactly that might be is obscure, but I think the image they would imagine is not unlike a socieity where law and order prevail, people with ability have the opportunity to learn and express that ability, and those who are unable to use their ability by reason of illness, injury, age, or other limiting condition are provided with a reasonable life. I think people would have the right to think and say what they want without interference but would not have the right to have anyone take them seriously. People would have the right to defend temselves from criminal charges and could expect the courts to consistent and non-arbitrary. People should expect prosecution is never contrived. People would have the right, even duty, to vote and elect people who would govern in the interests of the people.
In simple terms a society not so fundamentally different from what the theroetical version is now.
The problem is the theoretical version is seldom practiced. Over the years politicians and their bureaucracies have bent it and shaped it to fit partiuclar circumstances. Some of those to benefit their friends and offend their enemies. That is not objective government and should have died out decades ago. It has instead gotten worse.
If we think of society as a living thing with methods and structures to carry out certain necessary taks, we can see it as similar to our own body. It has sensors like eyes and ears, defense sytems like T-cells, energy systems, like how we digest food and use oxygen, and a central command and control center that decides and communcates.
But even our exquisitely designed system fails sometimes. It is not always from external factors like inury or disease, but sometimes it is from internal factors. Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Mutliple Sclerosis, lupus and others result when the body has a trigger that causes the immune system to over-react. Suffering and even death can result. Most of the conditions are only a little understood and the best treatment available is usually to minimize, not cure.
Is it reasonable to see the various protests and violence as a societal auto-immuse disease? The expression is an over-reaction to some trigger. The over-reaction eventually causes a problem and usually does nothing to solve the trigger. In society, that is more likely than in our body, because society has competing interests and unbalanced power. Some of the system people are acting in their own interest and not in the interest of the people in general.
Add to that the extreme difficulty in getting factual information and knowledge to connect it to. Social media in general is afflicted with people who have no ability to deal with complex information structures and derive faulty, albeit often humourous, conclusions.
Big governments are a problem. The idea that govrnments can help is delusional. Many of the systemic problems we face were caused by the government. It is seldom good policy to ask for solutions from those who caused the problem. Transition to the attitude of personal responsibility will be a long time taking hold. Many government actions in the past have had the unstated intent, or perhaps the unlucky effect, of creating dependents. It is easier to get elected if some of the people depend on you. That’s cynical but If someone from Mars arrived and knew nothing of our history, just what they could see in the present, they would be unlikely to reach any conclusion than that governments create dependents.
It will not be easy but it is and will be necessary.
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