The recent outrage and indeed the death of George Floyd is certainly extremely distressing. This is so for multiple reasons. Primarily due to the values that the ‘protesters’ have begun to fight for. None of what I am about to write derogates from the tragedy that has taken place. Surely our world would be a better one if none of this had ever happened. But the aftermath of this occurrence is extremely regrettable, although it has put on the facade of “civil rights”. In the preface itself it is important to state that civil rights is indeed a noble goal, provided none are violated in the process of gaining these rights. Moral subjectivity as an excuse for moral attrition is not a road we want to go down.
Now why is the aftermath particularly pervasive and problematic. One reason might be the idea of ACAB. This notion that all policemen are inherently bad is the result of prevalence of police brutality. This ideology begins from the premise that all policemen voluntarily join and take a vow to uphold the law. A law which they deem to be unfair and manifestly unjust. Hence, surely if you’re voluntarily agreeing to enforce unjust laws, you are the bad guy. There are a multitude of problems with this idea. Lets begin with the notion of voluntarily. These #BlackLivesMatter folks probably would be the first to say that there does not exist equality of opportunity in the US simply by virtue of the fact that African Americans are poorer and have lesser access to the same resources. Hence, unless and until a welfare state helps them out, they do not have agency or free will. By the same logic, many police officers join the force through familial means. Meaning that being a cop is familial occupation. Surely then there exists a hindrance to free will, thereby meaning they have not voluntarily agreed to enforce the law. Secondly let us take a closer look at the idea of unjust and unfair laws. Laws do not have to be fair. Fairness need not always indicate the ‘good’. Where there exist certain truths that the law aims to uphold, all fairness must be thrown out the window if it means the survival of the truth. The presumption of innocence is one such truth. The moral turpitude of murdering someone is another example. Hence those who claim that they are fair and unjust laws do saw from the point of view of the relativist. Thereby fairness or being just only implies taking into considerations certain fashionable interests. The study and evolution of law cannot be left to such lowly standards of fashion. Now finally to the idea that policemen by virtue of agreeing to enforcing the unjust laws are bad. This stems from the promotion of the activist mentality. Reformation of society in the mind of the activist is the highest ideal trumping even self-preservation. If you are not an activist you are simply complicit in the problem. If a man is not a feminist and does not actively protest for women’s rights, he is the embodiment of the patriarchy and toxic masculinity. If a policemen does not fight the system, then he is complicit in the problem. Regardless of whether he needs the job to put three square meals on his plate. There is no other ideal. It is simply sacrificing for the greater good (not that it always is good). When confronted with this eventuality the activist claims that he does not ask for cops to lay down their lives, but wants them to try in other ways to help. But when you say that a cop is bad because he enforces unjust laws, and you want him to help you reform those laws, the only way for him to help is to not enforce those laws. That is the only thing that makes him by any metric good. And not enforcing the laws results in him being relieved of his job. Hence essentially the policeman has to give up his livelihood i.e. his life, for the supposed greater good.
The activist mentality arises from the deluded idea that participation in society includes a duty to reform it, when the need for such reformation arises. This is a hilarious notion. There perhaps exists a duty to not stand in the way of potential reform. But no duty to actively participate in it. This is because the highest ideals above societal reform is that of individual progress. Individual needs should and will always outweigh societal needs. This is the same logic progressives use in order to provide justifications for the decriminalizing of homosexuality and adultery. And they may be right. But all of a sudden in these cases society reigns supreme. Hence, this ideal of taking care of our lives and our families would also be a potent raison d’etre. If there are these two highest ideals, it implies that there is no objective standard to determine a duty to participate in reform. Not to mentions revolutions, especially violent ones such as the one taking place across the US of A, do not reform for long. Take for example the French Revolution, the US War for Independence and the Russian Communist Uprising. They are temporary for they create a vacuum of power, to which usurpers rise to occupy. George Floyd it would seem passed away not solely by the actions of the policemen. I have already given my views on the important of presumption of innocence. These presumptions must be applied to the policeman too. Charges have been filed and he has been fired, that seems to be reasonable for the time being until further investigation is done. But in all this hullabaloo, the preciousness of civil society must not be lost. Anarchy is not a solution, even if one perceives the order as tyrannical. It is the same logic that was used by Robespierre, and I doubt many non-activists would like to see the return of the guillotine. I do not however make any assumptions about the contorted mind of the activist.