Monday, May 27th, 2019

Why Governments Aren’t All That Different from Street Gangs

Published on November 6, 2015 by   ·   No Comments

Police-State

Joshua Krause

At some point, you may have heard someone call the government a “gang of thieves writ large,” which is a generalization of a quote attributed to libertarian thinker Murray Rothbard. However, if you’re not familiar with the philosophy behind that quote, you might mistakenly believe that it is nothing more than a clever observation on the wasteful and corrupt nature of government. That’s because you may not be aware of the meaning of “writ large.” It’s synonymous with “clearly” or “obviously.” In reality, Rothbard wasn’t trying to make a clever statement. He was quite literally calling the government a gang.

Most people would have trouble wrapping their minds around that notion. Clearly there are differences between governments and gangs right? Agents of the state don’t lie, extort money, murder rivals, train and initiate uniformed enforcers, go to war with their neighbors, protect the integrity of their borders, enforce protection rackets, or conduct any other activities that aren’t permitted in their legal codes.

In case you didn’t detect my sarcasm, governments and gangs routinely engage in all of the activities I listed above. That’s because they are one and the same. The only significant differences between the two is that gangs are usually smaller than governments, and their borders are a little more fluid.

If you still don’t believe me, you might have one last counter to my argument: Criminal gangs don’t protect people; or at least not the average person that happens to reside in their territory. They’re only interested in their own profitable endeavors, and staying alive. By contrast, protecting the people is the cornerstone of every effective government.

Instead of responding to that with another snide comparison between gangs and governments, I will say this. Gangs really do protect the people who live on their turf. Sometimes it’s the kind of compulsory protection that governments provide, sometimes they wait for someone to ask them for help in exchange for money, and other times it’s a completely incidental result of their business practices. But make no mistake, they do protect people, and they do maintain law and order (or at least, their quick and vicious version of it).

If you want proof, take a look at what happened in this Chicago neighborhood after the police busted a local drug operation.

“When the drug dealers had left, that’s when everything started getting worse on this block,” said Mariah Monae, 16, who didn’t want to give her last name. “But when they was here, they was protecting us. They ain’t let none of that shooting stuff happen.”

About half an hour earlier at 9:55 p.m. Friday, a 19-year-old man had been shot while riding a bike in the 1100 block of South Central Park Avenue in the Homan Square neighborhood. He was hit in the back and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition, leaving Mariah Monae and her 15-year-old cousin, who live nearby, to check things out.

Read More HERE

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