Why It Makes Sense That Police Are Outlaws

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

Exclusive to STR

There’s been a lot of talk for quite some time now about police brutality, misconduct, and unaccountability.  In fact, last year saw an unprecedented level of demonstrations, riots -- and even multiple shootings of police – in response to cop actions against the populace deemed to be abusive and outside of written code, often with little to hold them in check . . . except perhaps for a short paid vacation at taxpayer expense.  In the media, any number of mainstream talking heads parrot the usual proposed non-remedies:  Better training for cops, body cameras (which can always be shut off), federal intervention (taxpayer-funded watchers watching watchers), more racially-inclusive hiring practices.  All tweaks of the overall socialist policing model (exactly analogous to any and all “reform” proposals concerning public [government] schools), and hence, all completely ineffectual methods of addressing the fundamental problem.
Or is there even a problem?  I suppose, as with many things concerning government, that depends on which side of the barricades you are.  Either way, there are a number of things I’ve noticed that just aren’t being talked about – and quite possibly with good reason . . . to a certain way of thinking.
Take a moment and ponder what would happen if cops were actually held accountable to the letter of the written codes and statutes (let’s us, at least, not dignify them by calling them “laws,” but rather, leave that designation where it belongs – to science) as they exist.  I think it’s fairly clear to see that if such were the case, many more of them would be fired, sued, fined, and jailed than currently are.  And that would invariably mean fewer cops – both in the initial purge, and in terms of future hiring.  Let’s not forget that, as in virtually all things governmental, it’s the most sociopathic and psychopathic elements of society who are predominantly attracted towards such taxpayer-financed positions of hard-to-ever-challenge power.  Making such venal individuals open to full liability greatly reduces the appeal of such occupations to them.
Thus, fewer cops means there must either then be far fewer codes, regulations, and statutes to enforce – or else many or even most of the existing ones will go unenforced.  Meaning, of course, a weaker governing body that would soon be seen for precisely both what it is, and would then be:  An entirely illegitimate band of ruling thugs, reduced to the status of a paper tiger.  Freedom would begin to ensue, and society at large, no longer fearful of the politicians’ tax-collectors and gendarmes, would begin to step out of its cage.  Some violently and with dishonest intentions themselves, true, but those on-the-job police remaining would likely – even if for no other reason than to try to recoup some sense of being needed – focus on such actual crime, instead of simply serving to back up the whims and opinions of the political class at gunpoint . . . and in turn, fill their coffers with more revenue than what is already extorted from the public via taxation.
Is it not clear now why it makes perfect sense -- from the bureaucratic perspective, even if from no other -- that police are and remain outlaws?

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Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 153

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales.  He has also written and published poetry, non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues.  He currently lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University.  Alex's Amazon page can be found here, and his work may also be found at both Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.  His MeWe group can be found here.


Samarami's picture

A) A few months back two local policemen were murdered while on duty, sitting in patrol vehicles, at separate locations, but about 15 or 20 minutes apart. A warm evening, I presume both had windows down, and were shot point-blank -- from close range -- for no discernible reason. An immediate, exhaustive and massive manhunt resulted in the prompt apprehension of the apparent "lone-gunman" -- post-haste.

B) A day or so prior a 14 year-old youth had been murdered not far from the above wickedness -- somewhat similar circumstances -- also for no apparent reason. The crime has not been solved, but "...The Des Moines Police Department is asking anyone with information related to the shooting to come forward..."

C) Around the same time, a 12 year-old boy was killed -- hit by an automobile while crossing the street -- a short distance from A) and B) above. This likely the result of classic carelessness 12 year-old lads display that keeps us parents on constant alert. Nobody was charged in this instance.

My purpose for listing these three appalling incidents -- catastrophes, certainly, for friends and families of the victims -- is the mass-psychosis to which your nice article alludes. This is what we're dealing with, Alex, while contemplating personal liberty and freedom for us all:

A few days after these misfortunes, one afternoon I was biking to my part-time Wally-World job. Along University Ave, between a large municipal golf course on one side, a large cemetery on the other (close to 1 1/2 mile detour if I can't use University) I noticed up ahead were dozens of emergency vehicles, "advertising" (all lights flashing). The street closed, large crowds packed street and sidewalks. Turns out to be the funeral for one of the "fallen officers". Needing to get to work, I walked the bike on the sidewalk through the "unwashed masses", past the barricades, then biked the street between huge crowds lining sidewalks and grassy areas both sides of University most of the way. Felt like Quasimodo. Firemen and policemen growlingly allowed me back through the barricades on the other end.

I'm in charge of hardware and sporting goods a few evenings per week. Suddenly -- and ever since -- there has been a huge demand for "blue light bulbs" (we've been out -- swamped). Seems somebody has declared blue light bulbs to be "...a-show-of-support-for-police..." I understand crafts & fabrics department have also been out of blue ribbon. Almost every street there are blue ribbons around trees.

When customers complain of the outages, I try to (diplomatically) show "shock -- SHOCK" that nobody seems to want to refer to the other two tragedies [ B) and C) above] as "fallen boys". I try, very carefully, to show them that these two events, from a parent's perspective, are every bit as devastating to "..the community.." as A) above.

I do get some "awakening" expressions from some -- have to sidestep resentment from others.

But even to this very day (2 months after the fact) the local news reports declare additional segments having to do with those two "fallen officers". Don't remember seeing anything about funerals for B) or C). Sam

Alex R. Knight III's picture

I remember another incident from some years ago, Sam, in Washington (not the District of Criminals one, the northwestern one) wherein a funeral was held for one of the boys in blue, and a sports stadium was needed for the services.  There was even a massive contingent of bright red out there -- RCMP from across the imaginary line in Canada.
As I believe you are wont to say (and please forgive my inexactitude in paraphrasing, if you will), the immensity of the truth is mind-boggling.

Samarami's picture

It's why you'll never see me preach down my nose at fellow STR participants over expressions of religion. And I won't wail and gnash teeth over "police brutality". As to the former, at least the g-d religion thing is out in the open with churches, liturgy, etc. -- not harmful or threatening to you or me or our freedom. And the latter, as you've concluded in your essay, "police brutality" is putting it nicely. And it's the most natural thing in the world. You can say it's a scientific axiom:

    When all participants of a "system" are psychopathic, feeding from the same nose-bag, free from competition -- and are allowed and encouraged (by your neighbors and friends -- hopefully not you) to

    • Make laws,

    • Enforce laws,

    • Prosecute laws,

    • Hire prosecutors,

    • License “defense” attorneys,

    • Pay “judges”,

    • Build jails,

    • Contract jails out to private entities,

    • Employ and pay wardens,

    • Employ and pay guards,

    • Employ and pay parole officers,

    It is not a "justice" system. It will always result in kinship and tyranny

(Rephrased from an old Daily Bell article, link to the archived copy scuttled by their new regime)

The latter is, indeed, the most dangerous of all religions.

The enormity of the truth is incredible


Jim Davies's picture

Glad, Alex, that although you abandoned your commitment to market anarchism you have retained your hostility to the fuzz.
Certainly, if cops were held to the standards of the law the job would be much less attractive, hence fewer of them, hence more liberty. But why would the judiciary do that? - cops constitute the teeth of government, one of the key means by which it keeps its subjects in fear and submission. Seems to me you are asking them to behave out of character, to change their nature.
I see also a few other problems. First, if (as you have said) nobody has any rights, there is no logical basis to complain when cops intimidate and push us around. Might would be right.
Second, if (as you have said) nobody has any conscience - that the concept is, in your word, "asenine" - I'm wondering what hook you might use, to persuade cops and their law-writing masters to mend their ways.
And third - a very minor point - it's not accurate to say that "laws" belong in science. The reverse is the case; laws belong in government (and not for long, all being well.) Scientists form theories, which are always open to revision in the light of new discovery. It's true that when a theory has been around for a long time, some get complacent and call it a "law", but they really should not. The law of gravity is merely a theory; Newton proposed it, Einstein claimed to modify it.

Samarami's picture
    "...The law of gravity is merely a theory; Newton proposed it, Einstein claimed to modify it..."

However, should you stand in the middle of the room, place your right foot in your right hand, then (without removing right foot from right hand) attempt simultaneously to place your left foot into your left hand, you might discover that gravity is not merely a theory -- it's the law.

However, you have the right to defy it, Jim. So I guess there are "rights" after all.


Jim Davies's picture

Very amusing, Sam, but unfortunately wrong. Seriously, it is vitally important to understand that the scientific method of reasoning does NOT produce "laws" fixed for ever, but rather theories that are open to be tested and modified.
Science News has an account here of how Einstein modified the Newtonian gravitational theories, and I came across a claim that his General Relativity theory has itself, in turn, been recently challenged.
Why is this important, especially in the context of a forum supposedly dedicated to striking the root of evil? - only to the extent that clarity of reasoning is critical in both contexts. From Bonneau, Knight, and here unfortunately your goodself, that has been in short supply.

Samarami's picture
    "...the scientific method of reasoning does NOT produce "laws" fixed for ever, but rather theories that are open to be tested and modified..."

I suppose we could get off track into argumentation over "science" and the scientific method as it affects reason. Laws are not produced by "scientists" (quotes intended) -- they are discovered and perceived. All the "science" of the acclaimed experts does not change the law of gravity. It might change perceptions and theories, but law is law.

Of course I'm not referring to "white man's law".

I'm thinking of a "law" that governs liberty and freedom. And I suspect the most simple of folks tend to discover that "law" more quickly and succinctly than do the acclaimed intellectuals espousing "the-freedom-movement".

I'm not a fan of antagonistic adherence to "theory", as you may have discovered ("scientifically"???). It bores me. And it angers me. Because there's no point in you or Alex or Paul or anybody else lambasting each other over pointless, meaningless squabbles. And it drives sincere seekers of truth away. Sam

Jim Davies's picture

Sam, the link you provided to info on the scientific method is not bad.
That you can (presumably) read it and recommend it and then write that more recent perceptions do "not change the law of gravity" fairly boggles the mind. Please, get yours in gear. Contradictions exist only in the minds of those who fail to think clearly.
The relativity theory doesn't alter your homely illustration about feet and hands. But (if further verified) it certainly does change the whole theory of gravitation. In science, "law" is NOT law. That's what makes it so dynamically exciting. 

Samarami's picture
    "...That you can (presumably) read it and recommend it and then write that more recent perceptions do "not change the law of gravity" fairly boggles the mind..."

And you believe that perceptions DO "change the law of gravity"?

OK, Jim. You win. I give up. Sam

Jim Davies's picture

Very wise, Sam. You're out of your depth.

mishochu's picture


It is a wonder that more people aren't attracted to your ideals of liberty what with your empathetic and charming manner : )

Jim Davies's picture

mishochu, it's a disappointment to read your use of the second person, in "your ideals of liberty."
My understanding of liberty is documented in several hundred articles, 243 of them on STR and all indexed on or via this page, and in six full-length books, listed on my STR bio. That's in addition to the Freedom Academy, in whose preparation I played a leading part. Therefore, you have ample opportunity to know what my "ideals of liberty" are, and will know that they are very close to those of the great libertarian pioneers like Rothbard, Spooner, von Mises, Friedman, Rand and Alexander.
Since you say they are only "my" ideals and so not yours, which of them do you reject and why?
On the secondary (or tertiary) matter of knowing one's intellectual limitations, you may be able to construct a more charming and empathetic way of pointing out Samarami's to him than by complimenting him on being "wise" to discover them. If so I'll gladly endorse your choice of words.

mishochu's picture

"Since you say they are only 'my' ideals and so not yours"

Wrong, I did not say what my ideals are. I am merely commenting that messengers like you are "shot" (or rather ignored) not for being bearers of bad news (as the case for liberty is always good news, in my opinion) but for being so disagreeable that the intended audience never gets to parse the message.

You have every opportunity to not come off disagreeably, you are free to choose (which I predict will have a little correlation with how many other people you are capable of reaching).

Jim Davies's picture

Correct, you did not state your own ideals. However, by referring to mine in the second person, you did imply that they are not yours; that you reject at least some of them.
Hence my question. What are they? Are you in fact a libertarian? If not, why are you here?

mishochu's picture

You impute a lot on other people. Some would call that straw-manning. It's one of the reasons you appear to be disagreeable.

You keep on harping on whether I want to identify with a label or not. I refuse. You've ignored the point which is that the way you act does not broaden your potential audience. Not my problem, just pointing it out...since you seem to think if just enough people read your articles and go through your training they (and you as a result) will become free. If such a thing is possible, and that's your goal, you are working against yourself.

Jim Davies's picture

Thanks for clarifying that you "refuse" to answer my question (which was to state your own ideals, not just to "identify with a label".) That being so, I see no point in prolonging this exchange. You might be a genuine seeker after understanding and liberty, but your refusal suggests you are just a dilettante. I have better things to do than to bandy words with you.

mishochu's picture

You don't have to prolong anything if you don't wish to do so. If you're last statements on the subject are simple ad hominem you prove what I've said earlier. Some may read your articles, but frankly you limit your prospective audience by your demeanor. It's interesting to watch.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Without dignifying Jim Davies's missives above by responding to them, or even reading them -- thereby giving him the attention he so desperately craves, though in no way deserves -- I would simply reproduce here for anyone interested two prior postings made by him which, together, constitute the very epitome of the hypocrisy he is so enamored of projecting onto others:

Comment by Jim Davies, posted on November 20, 2016

"And correspondingly, a waste of time.
"And I'm quite done with it.
"Just parting food for thought.
"Be damned with you.
"Rest assured I'll be ignoring the promised 'great deal more to come' ... 'And with that, I'm done.'"
These five are not very consequential when compared to the big lie, but all of them are solemn resolves of Alexander Knight III as recorded in this very thread above, and all the first four have been reversed. He has continued to "waste" his time, is not at all "done with it", has by no means "parted" with the matter, and evidently mistrusts whatever deity to whom he uttered his imprecation to damn me.
He will not have to wait long for the first instalment of the "more to come", and we shall all see clearly whether or not is "assurance" to "ignore it" and be "done" is, or is not, worth a red cent.

Comment by Jim Davies, posted on December 01, 2016

For the good reasons stated in this ZGBlog, I asked Rob, STR's Editor, to cancel the membership of Bonneau and Knight. He has declined.
There's quite an irony here. Rob owns the STR site, so is entitled to do with it as he pleases, including driving it off a cliff and contradicting his own Mission Statement. I deplore his decision, for STR has been a major asset to freedom, but support fully his right to control its future. As Hope said to Miss Daisy, "It's yaw chicken!"
Paul and Alex, on the other hand, are no doubt celebrating his decision even as they maintain he has no rights, and therefore no right to make it.
Those interested in authentic libertarian commentary - "Rational, Refreshing Reflections on What's Happening Now" - are welcome over at the Zero Government Blog. The current issue can always be reached via http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/ or via http://TinyURL.com/ZGBlog for short; you could place it among your bookmarks. Its "Recent" button leads to a full dated list of earlier offerings.
Its "About" button has a reminder that all genuine market anarchists are welcome to submit articles for publication. It would be neat if a few regular contributors were to join me, and so provide more frequent reader refreshment. With that encouragement, and other resources like QuitGovThe Anarchist Alternative and above all TOLFA, we can contribute to human freedom.
To the rest - choristers, clergy, ex-libertarians and psycho-babblers - farewell.

I'd ask all to consider at this point just whose "assurances" are worth a red cent and whose are not, since Davies's most recent bid to inflate his ego seems an awfully strange way to say "farewell" -- as he seemingly "assured" us above on December 1st.
This having been duly pointed out, I simply intend to ignore him unilaterally for good.  As it seems most of you have already been doing heretofore.

Jim Davies's picture

Congratulations, Alex! According to wordcounter.net, you managed to type 543 words there, without once addressing the comments I had made about your article.
If the "attention" you say I crave (I don't) can be measured just by the length of the reply rather than its relevance or quality, you have therefore done me proud.
One further remark if I may: the bulk of those 543 words were my own, and they quoted you. So for example on November 20th the phrase "be damned with you" was originally what you wrote against me, not the other way about; I'll cheerfully pour vitriol on your anti-liberty views, but I try to avoid calling down ad-hominem curses on people as individuals.
It is therefore you who declared that you were finished with me, not the other way round; and these 543 words today illustrate vividly how much that declaration is worth.

James Clayton's picture

Last night I watched a short documentary titled Black Power: America's Armed Resistance, which showed how some people are arming themselves and "patrolling the streets of their communities and calling for change" because they are "outraged at the treatment of Black people at the hands of the police." It had some interesting moments. And - perhaps somewhat surprisingly - it was being aired on TVO, which is the government-owned t.v. station in this part of the world called Ontario, Canada; but most people here are probably aware of the fatal shooting of a teenager by a cop in Toronto in 2013 (the cop was convicted of "attempted murder" and was sentenced to six years, which he is probably appealing), so maybe more people are starting to ask questions about police behaviour.