American History Reveals the Alternative to the Police State

by Robert E. Wright
The American Institute for Economic Research

Americans could reform their police departments in many ways to make them less brutal but some protesters go further and seek to dismantle them entirely. Cynics might see such a move as a ploy to spend taxes on local income redistribution programs while drawing policing resources from state and federal police agencies. After all, nobody is going to finance businesses that cannot obtain adequate insurance coverage due to a dearth of local law and order infrastructure.

Eliminating the police entirely certainly would stop police brutality but many people fear that even more violent alternatives would arise to fill the resulting void. They imagine violent anarchy, mob rule, or rule by the Mob, i.e., organized crime syndicates like the Mafia or Mexican drug cartels. Something like that could result, but with a proper transition we could also end up with a more peaceful, prosperous society without a police presence.

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