The demands of revolutionaries are purposely vague. They always have to do with some feelings-based desire like “freedom” or ending “oppression”. The government can create a law, remove a tax, or do all sorts of specific things, but there is nothing that they can do to make you feel freedom or non oppressed. In today’s America regardless of any factual evidence there are some who feel like they live in a freedom packed utopia while others claim that they are living under the heel of Hitler 2.0. Both of these positions are based on intuition and feelings not a universal rational freedom scale, which simply could not exist. The feeling of freedom is usually derived from being in agreement with society not some Human Freedom Index. So for those that have despised the system for their entire politically active lives there is absolutely nothing that the government can do to remove their feelings of repression. Appeasing a person who is absolutely rock solid in their belief that the state is evil and against them is thus – utterly pointless. In this context it is very surprising that the Black Lives Matter protests that are violently liberating convenience stores of their cigarettes have chosen a surprisingly objective demand from the powers that be – #DefundThePolice.
This peculiar choice of the word “defund” is very interesting. It would seem more natural for a supposedly enraged group of oppressed people to pick something hateful and stupid like “#KillThePolice” or “PigLivesDontMatter. One would also expect from today’s protest generation something that is horrifically naive and obviously not going to happen like #BanThePolice or #FireThePolice, but instead they chose the word “Defund”. This is not a hip and cool word for the rainbow hair colored individuals out there but something very bureaucratic and in some ways pragmatic. This is perhaps the reason why it was chosen.
No bureaucrats on the local, state or federal level (we should not forget that in America the police are NOT a monolithic national entity like in many countries) can somehow just get rid of the police. There is no red button to delete massive government entities, but “defunding” is an action that is very viable from a paperwork standpoint. One could never eliminate the U.S. Army but if it were to have no ammunition or food delivered for months the results would be basically the same. At the very least the army would cease to function and at worst the soldiers would turn to selling or stealing anything they could from the army bases to survive like in 1990s Russia. If the U.S. military needs $750 billion per year but were to only get $750 million then it may as well have just been dissolved. But again reducing a budget is bureaucratically vastly easier than elimination.
As we have seen many politicians have been sympathetic to the BLM cause and may be willing to push to cut the lifeblood of any government organization (funding) to a very uncomfortable or completely nonviable level for some greater good. Even just some changes in the way police policy handles the means of arresting suspects has been enough to start making the boys in blue throw in their badges. This is a matter of dozens of people not thousands, but some salary cuts and a lack of ammo could be enough to cull the police herd. But why is defunding law enforcement so critical to BLM?
How does cutting the purse strings of various police departments (probably in predominantly Blue states/cities) end the supposed existence of system racism that has crushed Black America for generations? It doesn’t, but it sure makes revolutionary action a lot more consequence free.
Although the police claim to “serve and protect” ultimately they exist to keep the masses inline (Black or otherwise) and breakup internal threats in a direct way, much like an army that acts only within its own borders. If some kind of Color Revolutionaries get into a fight they are going to be doing so with a cop and not a leatherneck, so law enforcement is their real enemy. Law enforcement, enforces the current laws and are willing to beat and kill Revolutionaries (who want to change those laws) while doing so.
Some individual people behind the BLM movement who are very unlikely to resemble the “target audience” must be feeling pretty smart about themselves at the moment. They have sent a big signal to sympathetic politicians to cripple their enemy, but the thing is that if the police are defunded even on a massive scale that certainly does not guarantee that Hitler 2.0 is doomed to the fate of Hussein or Gaddafi and that this will usher in some new Liberal utopia.
The irony is that the Antifas, BLMs, Trendy Liberals and some decent people who actually do care about the destiny of Black Americans actually get shown a lot of mercy by the police. In theory they could just shoot them, but they generally when the cameras are rolling the cops maintain the farce that beatings and tear gas are humane and not a violation of one’s right to protest – they do not just open fire. Journalists may write that there are “clashes” between protestors and police but these are not the same type of clashes that happen when organized men with guns engage other organized men with guns. If monument destruction and building tent villages were to turn into a civil conflict the gloves would come off immediately. If the police are taken out of the question, this won’t create a safe space for revolution, but will embolden the Heartland of America to take out its rage. The Right Wingers who have been dreaming of the day when they can finally turn their guns on their enemies would come very quickly in the absence of the police.
For some reason America’s Left has romantic notions about Anarchy when it is really the Populist Heartland Right that that would come out the winners in a temporary absence of government. The dad-homeowner is terrified of going to jail and losing everything he has worked for so the police keep him totally in check, but in a state of complete chaos all of a sudden he is motivated to take violent action to make sure his stuff remains intact.
In the highly unlikely event that the BLM protests do lead to some revolutionary moment, Trump still has the advantage – the military (current and former), the defunded police, homeowners and heartlanders, with no work and the possibility to lose everything in front of their faces will be very easy to mobilize and their wrath will be great. Then again Trump under pressure could take the “Yanukovich” route and just give up to start a fine career in alcoholism in some foreign country.
Defunding the police is a great signal to make revolution easier in America, but it is no guarantee of success. White teenagers who love hating their country of origin and shedding fake tears for the repression of some other ethnicity they have never let into their house are not going to hold the line after the impact of the first volley especially armed with cutesy poo improvised weapons. If certain people want a civil war, maybe they will get it if some politicians are willing to defund, but they certainly are not going to win it.