Defunding Police – Is This the Right Choice or the Next Step in Revolution?

by Martin Armstrong

All of the protests making this a racist issue have distorted the real problem which remains immunity created by the Supreme Court. We must look at these protests in their historical context for calling them simply racist rather than abuse of power hides them from the view of these events forming part of a revolutionary cycle. We must step back and look at these events not in the context of simply race or those who have exploited this to simply loot stores. The central position is one of police brutality and the lack of any accountability.

There are more whites killed by police than blacks which further illustrates that this is not a racist problem but one of no accountability because of this qualified immunity which is not supported by the constitution. This should not be Black Lives Matter, but ALL Lives Matter. The riots have spread worldwide as in Paris over police abuse further illustrating that the core issue is the fact that governments are not accountable to the people.

Why has this one incident cascaded into a global contagion? Because of this COVID-19 virus abuse of locking people down which has resulted in people losing their jobs which has exceeded 300 million on a worldwide basis, this provides the incentive to protest regardless of the incident. Following the Panic of 1837, massive unemployment took place and this was the period when the Irish immigrants where fleeing to the United States. This resulted in actual gun battles on the streets in Philadelphia because the Irish were willing to work for less during a period of significant unemployment. It is simply human nature to rise up during economic declines.

During the Great Depression, it was the Bonus Army where veterans were demanding their promised bonuses. The Hoover government sent in the troops even with tanks in 1932 to force them to leave. We saw the same with the Coxley’s Army which was the march on Washington following the Panic of 1893 and massive unemployment. What the governments have done with these lockdowns have set the stage for these protests. It is only human nature to take that frustration out after losing your job and this issue of the police has simply exposed the corruption within the entire system which extended from journalists to politicians. We cannot attribute this exclusively to racism. This has been the first global contagion of a mass uprising because governments have suppressed the rights of the people, destroyed their jobs, and have abused their power in destroying the livelihood of so many people.

Many police forces have militarized and this creates the image mentally of an opposing force against the people. Suddenly, we now see the technology companies who have been so actively assisting governments to go after the public from illegal red-light cameras to creating systems for the police to use facial recognition software to target individuals. Camera and facial recognition software  track who is even walking down the street.

These high tech companies are suddenly realizing perhaps they have been on the wrong side of history and it would not take much for the mob to turn against the companies that have helped create this police state. IBM disavowed the facial recognition technology entirely and CEO Arvind Krishna condemned its use “by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms.” Amazon responded by putting only a one-year moratorium on police use of its Rekognition software, closely followed by Microsoft’s promise not to sell the technology to US police. These companies have had no problem exploiting the public for profit.

These are the same technology companies who jumped at the chance of creating tracking apps for this orchestrated coronavirus all to further erode our basic human rights. Then there is Bill Gates who wants to track every person on the planet and pushing his ID 2020 and digital vaccine markers claiming he is not destroying people’s privacy. Microsoft constantly updates windows downloading everything you look for so they can sell your computer use to companies for advertising.

This entire issue of rioting against the police is historically part of the Revolutionary Cycle. We have already reached Stage TWO which is a serious warning of what lies ahead.

The FIRST STAGE in a revolution is always the the rise of intellectual whistleblower disagreement which government simply ignores as a passing phase. This stage is the realization of corruption and and injustice of governmental rule. Perhaps the symbolization of this was the revelation of Edward Snowden that the government was violating the constitution and abusing its power against the people constructing a 100% surveillance state tapping into every phone call and email account of every citizen. Then there was the British whistleblower Katharine Gun who they charged but could not put on trial without exposing themselves. They labelled both as a traitors as if the government possessed inherent power of sovereignty and the people were the great unwashed economic slaves.

As Thomas Pain described they confuse themselves as the political embodiment of the nation rather than the people. This is the intellectual stage which governments refuse to admit mistakes and simply ignores the cries of injustice.

The SECOND STAGE is where the intellectual debates prove pointless and this is where the initial conflict begins. This corruption has run its course and governments transform justice into their own self-interest. This stage is usually accelerated by governments raising taxes in the midst of an economic decline. The economic hardships may vary per individual but as a whole they will tend to focus upon the prosecutorial arm of government which includes the police who will far too often claim they are moral under the pretense of simply following orders.

This is when history will typically produce some leader who can be a moderate that sees the problem and will often try to reason in order to reach a resolution which is ignored by the government. This further intensifies the feelings of injustice especially in light of the economic decline. The leadership can also be seized by extremists who demand complete change such a Lenin. This initial stage results in the first demands change with protests rising. The mobs rarely are able to even articulate the reform because they then make demands that they want certain actions which go far beyond what they actually need. This is where mobs will often turn to revenge rather than justice. Governments will typically refuse to reform and become often very defensive.

Otis-James

In February 1761, James Otis, Jr. (1725–1783) argued brilliantly against the Writs of Assistance that was authorized in 1660 by the King but became an instrument of tyranny in 1758 in the American colonies as a means to raise taxes. Writs of Assistance allowed the government to arbitrarily search whatever they suspected for any reason. For nearly five hours, Otis made a brilliant oration in court against the Writs, but he lost the case, for what judge would ever rule against his master? John Adams later wrote that the child independence was then and there born, [for] every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I did, ready to take arms against writs of assistance.”  As Thrasymachus warned about 2600 years ago, justice is only the interest of the state regardless of its form being democratical, aristocratical, or tyrannical.

Shakespeare’s famous line “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” (Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2) reflects the injustice for the people could not hire a lawyer only the king making them prosecutors. This stage is typically sparked by an economic decline which further breaks the employment and suppresses even harder the poor. During the American Revolution the slogan was “No Taxation without Representation” and the French Revolution used the words of Marie Antoinette: “Let them eat cake.” The French Revolution began on Saturday June 7th, 1788, when merchants closed down their shops as groups of 300 to 400 formed, armed with stones, sticks, axes, bars.  They seized cathedral’s bells which became a call to all French peasants which the crowd grew swiftly. The Royal Navy soldiers injured a 75-year-old man with a bayonet drawing the first sight of blood. The people became enraged tearing up the streets and they climbed onto the roofs throwing down the roof-tiles on the soldiers. The soldiers took refuge in a building and began to shoot through the windows into the crowd. By six PM, a crowd estimated at ten thousand people began shouting “Long live the parliament.” They finally agreed to to refuse to pay all taxes not voted by the Estates-General and they demanded an end to arbitrary imprisonment – police abuse.

Maximilien Robespierre (1754-1794) pursued a planned socialist economy and he grew paranoid about any opposition and unleashed the Reign Of Terror of 1793–1794 to silence all enemies of the Revolution. He was overthrown by the moderates who had Robespierre executed on July 28, 1794. His famous quote: “The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.” This remains the core of fake news today.

Even Lenin who declared “All Power to the Soviets” (Collected Works, Vol. 25: June-September 1917 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1964), 155-56) presented a lucid strategic indication, which projected the course of the revolution and the construction of socialism through the seizure of power by the soviets. Lenin elaborated: “The imperialist war was bound, with objective inevitability…to turn into a civil war between the hostile classes” (Collected Works, Vol. 23: August 1916-March 1917 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1964), 299.) 

In Russia, on Sunday, January 9th, 1905, the people began to march unarmed and locking arms to see the Tsar. Some carried religious icons and banners, as well as national flags and portraits of the Tsar. At 2 pm all of the converging processions were scheduled to arrive at the Winter Palace in Russia. There was no single confrontation with the troops. The infantry was backed by Cossacks and Hussars. As reported, the soldiers simply opened fire on the crowd and were not provoked. The official number of victims was 92 dead and several hundred wounded.  Some leaders vanished and others were seized. Expelled from the capital, they circulated through the empire telling everyone “The Tsar will not help us!” The government suppressed the uprising, but this would only fuel the discontent in the years ahead.

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) explained that because people are “quick to change their nature when they imagine they can improve their lot,” he wrote, a leader must also be shrewd. “The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous. Therefore, if a prince wants to maintain his rule he must be prepared not to be virtuous, and to make use of this or not according to need.” Machiavelli rejected the philosopher’s view of politics being a good leader is one who is humble, moral and honest. Instead, Machiavelli said quite frankly, “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot have both.”

Modern politicians simply lie to our face while rejecting kindness or morality. They follow Machiavelli who argued that “Making an example of one or two offenders is kinder than being too compassionate, and allowing disorders to develop into murder and chaos which affects the whole community.” Indeed, people like Snowden are demonized by politicians as an example not to betray government for the sake of the people, morality, or justice. Machiavelli  also warned that keeping one’s word can also be dangerous since “experience shows that those who do not keep their word get the better of those who do.”

Therefore, the Second Stage is one of rising protests and discontent with initial confrontation against the government who relies upon the police state they have created. As long as the police continue to support the government against the people, this will inevitably lead to the next next Revolutionary stage.

The THIRD STAGE is where it often becomes outright war in the streets as governments seek to retain power and refuse to see the error of their ways. In some revolutions, such as the Nika Revolt of 532AD, the police side with the people or stand back. In the case of the Ukrainian Revolution against Yanakovich, once the police saw that the people coming to the aid of the president were Russians, the police switched sides and supported the people. In the case of the Nika Revolt, the government called in the army who then massacred the people and the police. In the case of the American Revolution, the central power was in England and not local. This allowed the local authorities to differentiate themselves from the British.

In the case of the Russian Revolution of 1991, Boris Yeltsin stood on the tank as asked the army not to fire upon their own people. Once the military power stood down, the government fell. It will always depend upon the loyalty of the police and army as to how a revolution will unfold.

The FOURTH STAGE is retribution when in a domestic revolution in direct confrontation with the government and head of state. In the case of the American Revolution, the head of state was not within reach. However, they confiscated property and hung those who supported the king. Of course, in the case of the Russian Revolution, they executed the entire Romanov family. This is the phase of evening the score for years of suppression and injustice.

The former head of state is often publicly killed and typically all their ministers. This was the case not just during the Russian Revolution, but the French Revolution with Louis XVI an his wife but the English Revolution where they seized King Charles I and beheaded him in public as well. There have also been incidents of assassination even after a loss as was the case with Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

The FIFTH STAGE is typically the recovery stage where a new form of government emerges from the ashes. The intelligent political Moderates take power as was the case in the United States typically on the ideas of some Utopian system. Once again, this differs insofar as the political power was in England rather than America so there was not a wholesale murder campaign of all former ministers. In the case of the French Revolution, after the retribution stage where even the moderates were killed by the radicals led by Robespierre who seized control. As the French Revolution fell into the hands of Robespierre (1758-1794) he began a Reign of Terror (September 5, 1793-July 27, 1794) that would come to an end with his own death. This was followed by more uprisings and eventually the French Constitution was drafted (August 22-September 23, 1795), and approved with the Directory taking power.

It is during this recovery stage where the radicals are usually overthrown and sometimes a new head of state emerges such as Napoleon or Oliver Cromwell. In the case of the United States where the former head of state was not local, the bureaucracy begins and we see the rise of political parties and divisions emerge once again between opposing political views. There is at this point the restoration of a sense of nationalism but the cycle of corruption slowly begins to take root.