The State’s Priority Is Protecting Itself, Not You

"The instincts of the political class was to haul mothers in parks and hair stylists away in handcuffs, while standing down and allowing private property owned by citizens to burn"

Murray Rothbard pointed out in his book Anatomy of the State how the state is far more punitive against those that threaten the comfort and authority of government institutions and workers than they are against crimes against citizens.

This, according to Rothbard, exposed as a myth the notion that the state exists to protect its citizens.

“We may test the hypothesis that the State is largely interested in protecting itself rather than its subjects by asking: which category of crimes does the State pursue and punish most intensely—those against private citizens or those against itself?” Rothbard wrote.

“The gravest crimes in the State’s lexicon are almost invariably not invasions of private person or property, but dangers to its own contentment, for example, treason, desertion of a soldier to the enemy, failure to register for the draft, subversion and subversive conspiracy, assassination of rulers and such economic crimes against the State as counterfeiting its money or evasion of its income tax.”

Boy how recent events have proven Rothbard right.

For weeks, we saw police aggressively pursuing and punishing peaceful people merely violating arbitrary lockdown orders to go surfingcut hair, or host a child’s play date.

But in the first nights of the George Floyd protests, police allowed rioters to run amok destroying property, with political leaders dismissing the damage as unimportant.

This stark contrast in police responses dramatically underscores Rothbard’s point.

Take the first nights of rioting in Minneapolis. As reported by the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, the source of the “police stand-down order that allowed his own city to burn,” merely “shrugged off responsibility and minimized the damage.” Moreover, according to the report, “Frey kept repeating that the destruction was ‘just brick and mortar.’”

And consider the example of Raleigh, North Carolina Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, who said:

When the greater risk is of injury to the officer, and I had five injured last night – a building? A window? A door? The property that was in it can easily be replaced. But for a person who has had officers shot. And more recently than not, I will not put an officer in harm’s way to protect the property inside of a building. Because insurance is most likely going to cover that as well but that officer’s safety is of the utmost importance.

Got that? The officer’s safety is the primary concern, not the property of citizens.

Agents of the state whose sole job is supposedly to protect the people and their property instead refuse to do their job at the first hint of danger.

Worse still, as Ryan McMaken pointed out in a recent article at Mises.org, “A failure to protect taxpaying citizens from violence and crime in a wide variety of situations is standard operating procedure for police departments that are under no legal obligation to protect anyone, and where ‘officer safety’ is the number one priority.”

McMaken further notes that it is “now a well-established legal principle in the United States that police officers and police departments are not legally responsible for refusing to intervene in cases where private citizens are in imminent danger or even in the process of being victimized.”

Police absence during riots is nothing new. As McMaken wrote: “During the 2014 riots that followed the police killing of Michael Brown, for example, shopkeepers were forced to hire private security, and many had to rely on armed volunteers for protection from looters. ‘There’s no police,’ one Ferguson shopkeeper told Fox News at the time. ‘We trusted the police to keep it peaceful; they didn’t do their job.”’

As the violence of the riots intensified, mayors instructed police forces in cities across the nation to step up their presence.

But their initial reactions are the most telling.

The contrast between police actions against peaceful lockdown “violators” and the rioters is striking. The instincts of the political class was to haul mothers in parks and hair stylists away in handcuffs, while standing down and allowing private property owned by citizens to burn.

The former involved disobeying a government order, an act which would threaten the perceived authority, no matter how arbitrary, of the state. The latter involved violation and destruction of citizens’ property.

As Rothbard would have predicted, the state was far more interested in preserving the illusion of its authority than the property of its citizens.

Putting a tragic, but fine, point to Rothbard’s point: George Floyd was choked to death by a police officer sent to detain him for the “crime” of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes.

The state is not us. It does not exist to protect our person or property. It exists first and foremost for its own benefit and to exert power and control over its subjects.

Events of the past several weeks should make this crystal clear.

Source: The Libertarian Institute

19 Comments
  1. bob says

    Oh, the Libertarian Institute 😂😂😂😂😂

    And just what would a Libertarian world look like???

    Just how workable would it be in contemporary America???

    It’d probably result in total anarchy,private armies,micro states and all out war in America,or for that matter anywhere else

    Maybe thats why king of the Libertarians,Ron Paul,often appears on RT International????

    What exactly is this contribution for?

    What purpose does it serve other than to further undermine whats left of authority in America?

    What solutions do the Libertarian folks in America have,workable ones that is ,as opposed to the pie in the sky thinking they’re renowned for ???

    Answers on a post card 💌

    1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

      It worked just fine in 1789, before there was the modern Democratic and Republican parties.
      Dr. Ron Paul has never claimed to be a libertarian, even when he ran for the presidency on the LP’s ticket.
      You don’t appear to understand what a libertarian believes. It might help if you took the World’s Smallest Poltical Quiz: https://www.theadvocates.org/quiz/

      1. bob says

        Woah,thats positively the stone age

        Hang on I’ve just pinched myself and we’re in the 21st century

        I suppose you could wake me the 22nd century!

        1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

          The late David Nolan and the co-creators of the Libertarian Party modelled it on the classic liberals of the late 18th century.
          The late Marshall Fritz used the same premise in his creation of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz and rotated the Nolan Chart 45 degrees counterclockwise to get his Diamond Chart, which placed the left-right spectrum in perfect lateral alignment, to make it understandable to those whose political realities are fixated on a one-dimensional orientation.
          If you are as comatose as you present, I can’t and couldn’t wake you at all.
          It is difficult to access your level of consciousness with those cheap virtual sunglasses that you hide your profile behind.

          1. bob says

            They may have well modelled it on Monty Python,it’d be much more fun

            Blah blah blah,so what,i can blow smoke out of my bottom hole that has more intelligence than the idiots in the Libertarian movement

            Save yourself the trouble,because i really dont care

            Over and out!

            1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

              They have never expected the Spanish Inquisition.
              If you don’t care about it, why do you blather about what you have never been involved in and only know what your propaganda sources and imagination have cooked up from the sludge in your mind?

  2. Al Carbone says

    while on their knees idolizing knee grows the fake right will continue to worship cops. I blame the US destruction on the fake right then the left. the right has made believe they were against the left but were not. the left said to your face…I hate whites and want to destroy the country. the right has lost every encounter for 50 years. all the right care about is israel and not being called a racist

    1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

      Don’t forget their lucrative profits from their MICIMATT stock holdings.

  3. ke4ram says

    Police are not required by law to protect you or your property…. US Supremo’s in the 1970s

    Police/gov employees have Qualified Immunity… means they can kill you without worry of punishment. US Supremo’s 1980s.

    Someone explain why we need them? It’s a lot of money for no protection. Even the Mafia will protect you if you are paid up.

    1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

      All we have ever needed was the “well regulated militia” that the founders assured the right to keep and bear arms. Thomas Jefferson knew that wouldn’t last when he wrote that “(t)he spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may become persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated that the time for fixing every essential right, on a legal basis, is while our rulers are honest, ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will be heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.”
      Is your screen name your call?

  4. Charles Homer says

    As shown in this article, it is becoming increasingly clear that the implementation of contact tracing for the COVID-19 pandemic is being used by governments to track demonstrators:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2020/06/the-real-intent-of-contact-tracing.html

    COVID-19 contact tracing was never about the coronavirus.

    1. Ave Milagrosa says

      Not for demonstrators but for the entire population. Once the currency is digitised and integrated into upcoming subdermal tracking chips, no “demonstration” or any other kind of opposition will even be possible.

      1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

        Until some hackers take down the exchange system and make transactions impossible. That will be fine by me since I have little in a bank.
        youtube.com/watch?v=tt_NMQUPSV4

        1. Ave Milagrosa says

          Thanks for this. Pretty informative. It’s going to take a hacker on the level of “Mr. Robot” to bring this system down.

          1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

            A hacker won’t be involved. It will be an automated shutdown like major falls on the stock market, which are stopped by “circuit breakers,” which don’t always work very well or quickly. The more sensitive they are made, the more false alarms they’ll cause.
            IMO, the only way that the average person will survive what is coming is to be completely out of debt and have several months of cash outside of any FDIC or NCUA insured institution.
            The FDIC and NCUA each have a 1% reserve account, a penny for every dollar insured. That money will disappear like the PPP money did, mostly into the accounts of large corporations. The Dodd-Frank Act makes everything in a bank an unsecured loan from the depositor, that will never be repaid.
            The banking system will be brought down like the electric grid, when a tree falls on a line in a distant state.

            1. Ave Milagrosa says

              Well, the ‘hacker’ comment was just me being rhetorical. But if the economy is taken down the way you describe, i can’t see would good cash would do either. Once bank savings disappear, so too does confidence in money as a whole. We will be down to fighting for food.

            2. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

              We will only get down to fighting for food if we continue to replace saving with the highest level of personal, corporate, industrial, and governmental debt in human history until the Fed can’t keep up with the inflation it will cause. Cash is only a convenient tool to use in barter, which won’t go away when cash does.

  5. Julio Cesar Perez says

    The priority of the Capitalist State is to protect the rich, not the poorer workers or the majority of the unemployed

    1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

      The phrase “capitalist state” is mutually exclusive, since government always collapses capitalism.

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