In the short time since the killing of George Floyd, demonstrations have taken place in all fifty US states. Riots have occurred in forty of them.
In each of the incidents, many protesters have held up signs saying, “Defund the Police.”
Of course, no one wants to become a riot victim, but in those cities and states that are Democrat-run, there’s a bit of a hitch: Politicians must be seen to sympathise with protesters, or they will not appear to be sufficiently outraged by “systemic racism.”
They must therefore choose between the safety of their constituents, and appeasing protesters. This is not an enviable position to be in, yet, since most all politicians regard re-election as overshadowing all other concerns, they can be predicted to follow the irrational wishes of the protesters.
Minneapolis, where the protests began, has a population of some 425,000 residents. Only a small fraction of them actually joined the protest and, in fact, even the Democratic governor of Minnesota has stated that 80% of the protestors were from out of town.
There are conflicting theories as to whether these 80% were actual sympathisers or whether they were hired by heavily-funded organisations that hope to create a dysfunctional situation in Minneapolis and other cities in the US.
Not surprisingly, Minneapolis is now the first city whose city council has voted to defund the police.
In the place of the police will be a department of community safety that will be staffed with people who have no police training whatever. There will, however, be people with expertise in mental health, social services and counselling.
The reader could be forgiven if he is inclined to shake his head and say, “But the removal of the police entirely won’t decrease crime, it will invite more crime. Don’t those on the city council understand that?”
Well, apparently, yes, they do. In fact, since they themselves will no longer have the protection of the police, they’ve arranged for the city to hire security guards to protect them. Over the past three weeks alone, it has cost the taxpayers of Minneapolis over $60,000 to protect council members.
So how can it be that police are not needed by the general public to protect them from rioters and other criminals, whilst the city council members do? Well, one member has explained that need, stating that she has no fear from rioters, but that white nationalists have made her fear for her life.
Without seeking to be judgmental, I think it’s safe to say that Minneapolis is in for a crime wave beyond anything it has ever experienced. Inner cities have a penchant for being breeding grounds for chronic street crime. And criminals in inner cities have a long-held record for creating as much crime as they can get away with. The only limitation on the crime level is whatever degree of arrests can be made.
And it may be safe to say that social service counsellors will not be making many arrests.
Those of us who are not American and don’t live in the US tend to be stupefied by such developments taking place, as the US had, for so long, been regarded by the rest of the world as a paragon of freedom and common sense.
In recent years, however, that perception has been tossed in the dustbin.
We tend to be stunned that such absurdly self-destructive decisions such as the recent one in Minneapolis could take place, and just as stunned that the majority of Americans, who surely have more sense, would not raise an immediate furor.
But this view leaves out an important factor in US political culture.
Beginning in the 1960s, American youth began to take their country in a new direction. In countless campus demonstrations, they championed causes such as peace and race relations. This was the baby-boomer generation and, whilst these university students may have been somewhat spoiled and self-focused, they were more numerous than the previous generation and had a huge impact on American society.
Also, truth be told, the concepts of peace, racial equality and gender equality unquestionably were laudable and well worth protesting for.
Indeed, it might be said that it would be perennially desirable for younger people to question the previous generation, and to offer possible alternatives. Not all would be workable, but it’s healthy for the grand social experiment to be questioned periodically.
But, unfortunately, this is not what we’re seeing in today’s America.
What we’re seeing is the maturation of political correctness – a movement that at first appeared to be relatively benign. However, from the very first, it contained a tell-tale dark aspect. Anyone who disagreed with a tenet of politically correct thinking was shamed and sometimes ostracized.
Of course, our old friend George Orwell warned us of this approach. He understood that once it took hold – once it had firmly rooted itself in the culture - it would be almost impossible to stop.
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
This motto was created by Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth,” which dictated whatever the State decided was true at any given time.
Today’s Ministry of Truth actually has several outlets – primarily the twenty-four hour news programmes that repeat the same interpretations of events, ad nauseum.
And it does seem that the result has been that a percentage of Americans have come to accept the often-ludicrous concepts that are put forward by the Ministry.
This is how it’s possible for the politically correct but largely non-factual claim of systemic racism to soon be replaced by the very real systemic chaos.
And worse, just as our friend Mister Orwell predicted, the great majority - who thoroughly understand that so many politically correct concepts are nonsense - are so fearful of being singled out as not accepting such dogma that they simply remain quiet and allow their once-great country to be converted into a collectivist oligarchy.
Of course, that term may startle some as possibly being an overstatement, but once those who value freedom and common sense have effectively been silenced, it’s safe to say that it’s game over.
From that point forward, the political class may pass whatever legislation it wishes, with impunity, no matter how illogical or harmful.
As Ayn Rand observed,
“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”