Tuesday May 24th 2022

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Raise Your Voice

Way Forward: Abolish?


It appears that a section of the deep state has been mobilized to thwart the well armed Proud Boys, (sons of Little- Boy-Man). Indeed, a thin blue line is forming to defend the degree of democracy afforded us under the capitalist system. Meanwhile, ”we the people” will defend and deepen democracy- the thread that ties us ultimately to socialism. On the other hand, some “fine citizens”™”™ are infiltrating the police. 

In opposition to the looming electric vehicle revolution, the military industrial complex demands more copper from the ground. For her part, Mother Earth declares a limited capacity to serve both. Hence, a developing contradiction is emerging within the present ruling class. 

A framed art print rests on my desk, conveying,; KNOW PEACE, LIVE JUSTICE. There is an image of an African-descended person caressing a dove. The artist, Ricardo Levins Morales, is much appreciated around here, but allow me to pick a bone with him. 

Scattered about in our mini lending libraries is found a book called: Enough Is Enough (the cover is purple). 150 years of MPD misconduct has been documented as a backlog to the almost daily ongoing outrages in this country. Try to remember every name”¦ my aging brain suffers from several head injuries, including two stemming from armed robberies, during which I was knocked unconscious. Brother Ricardo was instrumental in producing Enough Is Enough. The sign on his studio door reads, “Abolish the Police Now!” 

According to Enough Is Enough (p.7) those of us who continue to advocate for reform are guilty of “the ultimate in magical thinking!”. Moreover, in essence the demand PURGE THE RACISTS is said to flow from “frivolous arguments”, i.e., reform is not possible. 

In fairness to Enough Is Enough, “abolition” actually might mean incremental defunding over time (p. 49). In theory, a progressively revised budget would uplift communities, thereby reducing the need for police. However, what cadre of social workers will intervene in potentially violent scenarios without police backup? 

Reality check”¦ 

Has a one-sided focus on the police question dimmed the big picture? No way will defunding the police purchase the required reparations. Enough Is Enough makes no mention of taxing the rich; no mention of demilitarizing the whole economy; no mention of fundamental socialist transformations. Is “the system” eternal in their view? Truly, such is the nature of magical thinking. 

So, what reforms might be implemented in the here and now? Camden New Jersey set the example by firing its entire force, and then reconstructing minus the corrupt elements. Were Minneapolis to follow suit, the door would be opened to COMMUNITY CONTROL (i.e., vetting). 

Might it be possible to humanize the police? 

Some 20 years ago, East Phillips leaders met with a competent police liaison. We were, at the time, a neighborhood full of children and crack cocaine. Might we expand from this experience to have every officer report to public gatherings on a scheduled basis? Hey, once they get to know us, the sum total of their arrogance should diminish! Not every apple in the barrel is rotten to the core. However, toss out the Proud Boy variety, please. 

Despite 150 years of bad precedent, every social formation is fraught with contradiction, and therefor is subject to change. In the not so distant future, in consequence to a ”democratic worker”™s state”, the state (i.e., the repressive arm of government) will wither away. Ricardo Levins Morales and his many friends are good people. Ricardo”™s father was a Marxist-Leninist. I honor his father”™s memory. 

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