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The color of freedom

July 10, 2016

What is the function of a policeman? To enforce the law. What is the law? A set of behavioral restrictions imposed on individuals. It doesn’t particularly matter who creates the laws; the key point to remember is that they exist as limitations on the free will of the individual.

Von Clausewitz defines war as “an act of force to compel your enemy to do your will.” But who is your enemy? If he is one who must be forced to do your will, then it follows that he is one who opposes your will to begin with.

Consequently, if a policeman’s job is to enforce limitations on your will, it is logical to conclude that he is your enemy. Certainly he can’t prevent you from committing a crime. But after you have done so, he can ensure that you are imprisoned and tortured in a form of abstract and impersonal revenge. Unless you are a dedicated masochist, that is probably not your desired outcome. If you were speeding on the highway, you probably have somewhere you need to be; if you are snorting cocaine, you would like to enjoy the high; if you’ve killed someone, it was because you expected to enjoy the state of affairs resulting from their death. The intrusion of a policeman into any of these situations is a form of opposition to your will, and that makes him your enemy.

This conclusion is not contingent on a specific scenario, or on the behavior of some or all policemen. It doesn’t matter if they’ve ever killed or not. It doesn’t matter if they’re fair, or honest, or trustworthy. It doesn’t matter if they’re violent thugs or dedicated public servants. Merely by donning a badge and taking an oath to uphold the law, merely by existing in their role as potential opposers of individual freedom of action, they become enemies of human rights and therefore of humanity. How, then, can their actions be defended, when their presence itself, even as a concept, is a danger to the individual? And their presence is never only conceptual. It is a very real threat that directly influences human behavior. The man considering whether or not he will commit a crime is forced to take into account the likelihood of police interference with his actions, and he alters them accordingly. Without doing anything other than existing, the police have interfered with his free exercise of his will.

A policeman might attempt to justify his actions by saying that some freedoms must be restricted in order to preserve others. By doing so, he is tacitly admitting that he is engaged in the business of limiting freedom – period. But the nature of ideal freedom is that it is limited only by man’s capacity for action. If something can be done, humanity is free to do it. Those who attempt to prevent human beings from exercising this capacity are their enemies. The reasoning is clear enough.

Blue is not the color of freedom.

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