First: It's completely within the power of communities to NOT fund their police, but most of them want to fund the police. I highly doubt it's because they believe their police are building gulags / exhibiting secret police behavior, or because, you know, "no matter what protect the thin blue line because we're conditioned as a police state!"
Second: Militarization of the police is much more a result of the recent terrorist attacks and surplus equipment and military training from the Iraq / Afghanistan wars than anything having to do with the cold war. (Focus on response to mass shootings with automatic weapons, requiring / wanting to wear body armor, etc vs. community policing approaches have different perceived risk profiles)
Third: I'll give you the prison industrial complex is a thing, but there is simply no data in the article presented about overall private prison usage vs. publicly funded prisons. I think private prisons should be outlawed, but a quick look yields 8.5% of people incarcerated are in private prisons.
The hyperbole in this article is offputting, doesn't help the purpose of the author, and honestly misses so many facts about postwar military spending and WHY that it boggles the mind of any reader with any sort of background in this. Hard pass next time.
They have blurbs saying how great they are from Naomi Klein, JK Galbraith, Martha Nussbaum, Henry Gates and John Rawls. Do not expect anything written there to give an evenhanded look at the security and public-safety concerns of post WWII Americans.
It is still upsetting to see the equivocations in the article in question. These, by a faculty club Cambridge trot currently whining in absentia at Hopkins, would rise to the level of Big Lie material if there were not people still alive with firsthand experience of the Soviet system. As it is, it just makes him look silly and any student that buys it look like a rube.
The thing I don't get about the "militarization" of police is that:
1. Police responses to mass civil disturbances is probably less militarized today than it has ever been in the history of the United States. See: Philly police dropping actual bombs on citizens, all of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, George Washington himself sending several regiments of the newly-formed US Army to pacify tax protestors, and everything in between.
2. Everywhere that keeps records going back several decades has seen police shootings decrease. In New York City in particular both shootings and deaths have decreased at a rate that exceeds the drop in crime and are the lowest they've ever been-- and NYPD is one of the most "militarized" police forces in the US (so I've been told).
In 1972, NYPD fired 2,510 shots during 994 incidents, injuring 145 subjects and killing 66.
In 2017, NYPD fired 52 shots during 242 incidents, injuring 9 subjects and killing 10.
3. Surplus military equipment has always been given to police forces. Some police forces used to have belt-fed machine guns and hand grenades in their armories.
A libertarian publication, Reason, used to maintain a meticulously-curated list of SWAT raids, with handy-dandy links to purchase their publications on the downward spiral of American society and the trampling of the rights of every citizen at the hands of the militarized police, which they terminated around 2012 when their own graphs showed incidents of police brutality falling off a cliff.
Today, the most police forces have to report every time they strike, tase, or shoot, a subject.
Back in "the good old days" when police "weren't militarized" they just sprayed bullets at people, dumped the corpses at the morgue, and went out for a drink.
One hundred years ago, during the May Day Riots and Red Summer of 1919 the police used the actual, literal, military (including WWI tanks) to kill protestors (mainly socialists and African Americans).
When were the police (and the overall response to civil unrest by authorities) LESS militarized than they are today?
I might disagree in terms of usage of heavy equipment, body armor, and prevalence of swat team raids (as a percentage) over older incidents. Beat cops often look like they’re ready for battle. I understand why but it’s not necessarily neighborhood policing, shaking hands, etc.
For instance, prisons house people who broke the law and were convicted by their peers...but let's pretend prisoners are all somehow virtuous and blame the prisons. If only good law abiding people weren't so damn bad, they'd realize that prisons aren't a great place to be for prisoners.
Since we are in the process of flipping vice and virtue, let's also make freedom of speech unpopular. Once we do that, let's start by fining people $250K for using legal terms, like illegal immigrant to describe people that have entered the country illegally...because feelings.
GenX (my generation) is too small to do much politically, but the Millennials will be the next big power in US politics, handed over from the Boomers. Millennials, make sure you not only fight to preserve every freedom, but fight to regain ones we've lost since the Cold War. It's getting pretty dark in the US.
Wait, didn't the boomers become famous for having lots of kids? GenX should be the biggest.
Edit: It's not the biggest: https://www.statista.com/statistics/797321/us-population-by-...
If anything, millennials would be their grandchildren.
40 years, it fits just fine when you don't take the latest possible boomer and the youngest possible millennial.
What you said is what they want you to think. Lord knows both major parties in the US have serious problems, but if you think they're indistinguishable, you're not paying attention.
He used to hang out with the 1960s Democratic Party mighty, even ran in an election. His essays are pretty sharp.
I never said that the Democrats are perfect. They're not even all that good. As often as not, they're the lesser evil. That doesn't mean it's rational to stay home and let the greater evil win.
I'll grant you there are other topics on which they differ, but depending on what you look at, your options quickly blur together.
I don't disagree with anything you said, either. It sucks, and I said so. People are reacting like I said the Democrats were nearly perfect, and I'm not sure how anyone got that from what I actually said.
Sure, they swamp social media with their anger, demonstrate, disrupt conservative speaking engagements, burn and vandalize private property and call for violence in the streets and revolution but have never really voted in huge numbers:
In a number of other key battleground states, such as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, it looks like millennials didn't show up at the polls in the same levels they did for President Obama, and that was a problem for Democrats.
The millennial coalition Obama created just didn't translate to Clinton, despite the Beyonce and Katy Perry concerts.
In many of these states, Clinton still won the young vote, but her margin of victory was substantially smaller. In Florida, it was 16 percentage points less than President Obama's; Wisconsin, 20 percentage points smaller; and Pennsylvania, 19 percentage points less.
And I believe most younger voters once they have to pay taxes, raise a family, and start building their retirement and saving for their kids college, become more Conservative and less "progressive" or Liberal.
Is that accurate? It's conventional wisdom but I've never seen it convincingly demonstrated.
Of course, some of the issues change. Gay marriage is rapidly becoming a bipartisan consensus (45% of republicans support it, more than Democrats did 20 years ago). Other issues, like abortion, have not changed. Still others have changed in the opposite direction, like the gun rights: https://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/o....
What I was asking about is the assertion that as a person ages they become more conservative. Comparing generational differences won't directly answer that question.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that any given person got more conservative as they aged. But most people must have done so, because the group as a whole did.
Of course this is, as you say, based on self identification. But conservative and liberal are best described in terms of self identification, because they’re relative terms. As recently as the 1990s, a “conservative” view of the family would have meant two parents of the same race. Today, that wouldn’t be a conservative viewpoint, but a far right or reactionary viewpoint. Given how quickly the acceptance of gay marriage has accelerated (much faster, after Obergefell, than the acceptance of mixed race marriage after Loving), a “conservative” view of family could soon be two people, regardless of sexual orientation. (And that doesn’t only move in one direction, either. In the 1960s, a “liberal” might have actually believed in government ownership of the means of production. Today, most “liberals” identify “socialism” as a strong welfare state within a free market framework.)
If someone were to ask me if I was liberal or conservative, I'd have to ask them, "for which policy?"
Is get because you believe that the current criminal justice system is fundamentally wrong and would be better completely abolished?
No, Tulsi Gabbard did during the first Democratic primary debate.
>Is get because you believe that the current criminal justice system is fundamentally wrong and would be better completely abolished?
No, I don't think it's fundamentally flawed. I feel prosecutors need a better check and balance against shady tactics like over charging to scare (innocent?) people into a plea. I also think the public defender's office should get the same budget as the prosecutor, because .. justice.
Why would they ever let this happen? It's an excuse to own you.
But let's say they did "let it expire", to put on some political pony show for the concerned voter, would they then stop spying on you, because of the new rules?
It's a stretch, but let's imagine that the agencies now decide to "follow the rules". They really miss that Patriot Act though! All they'd really need to get their favorite Act back is another major terrorist attack.
I wonder what the next disruption will be.
If you're looking for the "fundamental differences in incarceration" that separate Gulag from prison, maybe it would be wise to also consider how executions and severity of forced labor come into play. This statistic generated by adding number of people on parole to people locked up strikes me as meaningless BS.
I'm not happy that the US seems to be developing police state tendencies and a lot of the rest of this article rang true, but based on how disingenuous the intro seems I can't help but assume the whole thing is trash.