The Economic Freedom Solution to Police Brutality
Written by Chris Chew.
Given the recent coverage of police brutality around the world in both mainstream and independent media outlets, I thought I would offer my perspective on the matter and offer a suggestion on how we might put a stop to it.
I personally believe that if individuals in a community are for any reason unhappy with the services offered by a police department (or services offered by any business for that matter), they should have the freedom to unsubscribe from those services, which includes having the freedom to cease payment for those services without punishment. This weird/bizarre idea is what is known as “economic freedom”, and it is an idea that has been suppressed and resisted by tyrants and rulers since the first institutions of political power were established.
Economic freedom is having the freedom to choose how to produce, sell, and use your own resources, while respecting others’ right to do the same. It is the key to greater opportunity and an improved quality of life, and it is what drives innovation and prosperity. Economic freedom is also one of the most powerful tools an individual can wield to prevent injustices against their person or property. I strongly believe that without first securing economic freedom, there can be no social justice. Compulsory payment for goods or services via extortion (aka “taxation”) works in direct opposition to economic freedom and thus, in direct opposition to social justice.
“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” -Robert A. Heinlein
I suspect that a vast majority of the brutality initiated by agents of the State would all but disappear if individuals were allowed economic freedom and freedom of association (and disassociation) with police agencies instead of having police services (and payment therefor) forced upon them without their individual and explicit consent.
Rather than complaining or protesting in mass about their displeasure with the goods or services that are forced upon them, individuals in communities that allow these freedoms could simply unsubscribe from the goods or services they dislike, and seek alternatives which better meet their individual needs, values and preferences. This allows individuals the power to, through exercising their economic freedom, hold police agencies or agents of any business accountable for their actions while opening the door to a plurality of voluntary solutions which would compete to meet the variety of needs of potential customers. If a given protection service agency fails to adapt to their customer’s demands, they must either adapt their business/service, or risk losing customer(s) to their competitors. Agencies that fail to adapt would, as any honest business competing in a free market would, quickly go out of business while agencies best able to satisfy their customer’s needs would likely thrive.
It is my hope that at some point in our lifetime, we will see more communities adopt a plurality of voluntary solutions to solve problems that would result from first securing economic freedom and freedom of association. This cannot happen if individuals continue to advocate institutionalizing extortion (“taxes”) to force individuals to pay for services they may or may not want, or that may or may not adequately meet their individual needs.
Thank you for taking a few minutes of your time to read this and it is my sincere hope that it will inspire you to do your own research and to consider the benefits and possibilities of economic freedom.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to read the article which inspired it, please see “How Policing Works in a Privatized City”, by Jeffrey A. Tucker.