The worldwide demand by millions that African (Black) lives matter can be vehemently disagreed with by whomever, but the demand definitely cannot be ignored. That rawness is such a wonderful thing in its sincere expression, but we cannot forget that the reason the capitalist system is so resilient is due to its ability to make adjustments. It can absolutely oppose something and use its massive violent mechanisms to attempt to crush that something. Yet, if that tactic is ineffective, as it is with these protests against police terrorism (the more violence inflicted on the people from local, state, and federal agents, the more people who are hitting the streets), capitalism has plenty of other tactics up its sleeves. One of those other tactics is for this system to prepare itself to make cosmetic concessions that appear to represent real progress while ensuring that those changes do absolutely nothing to threaten capitalism’s stranglehold on power to oppress humanity.
The question of police defunding, or even abolition is an example of this capitalist subterfuge. The people marching have been basically demanding that this question of police be addressed or else the threat of this country being burned to the ground is eminent. And, to demonstrate how much the people’s leverage around this has evolved over the years (whether people recognize this or not), the people burning down capitalism today are not just the oppressed African masses as in year’s past. Today, its some of everyone (speaking in terms of sincere movement activities, not provocateurs). You may see this as unquestionably savage, but the power structure recognizes (even if you don’t) that power concedes nothing without a demand. They know that this current reality means they have to give up some ground. They have no problem doing this because they know they can determine and define what that ground give actually looks like. And, they know most people won’t have the political sophistication to decipher exactly what’s happening.
Regarding police defunding/abolition, this is one of the concessions capitalism is willing to concede to. To many people on the street, sincere, but inexperienced in understanding how the capitalist system actually works, these people see calls to defund or abolish police naively as police going away and never existing anymore. For the capitalist system, what they mean is changing the form while keeping the essence the same. Eliminating public police and replacing them with private security companies, which was the primary tactic utilized before police departments were created when private racist slave posses (the forerunners for police) roamed the plains terrorizing our people back to the plantations.
There are plenty of reactionary forces at work today who would like nothing more than to see this happen. For the ruling classes, privatizing police is really nothing different than the anti-public sector policies they have been pursuing for years anyway. Look at how they have sabotaged the U.S. Post Office. In an effort to privatize mail delivery, the reactionary U.S. Congress voted in 2006 to force the Post Office, previously an agency that ran in the black every year of its existence up to 2006, to fund its retirement program 75 years in advance. This is something unprecedented, but a move that was designed to bankrupt the Post Office as a means to justify closing Post Offices and replacing what they do with private entities like Federal Express, UPS, etc. From their perspective, this is the same strategy they will use with defunding/abolishing police. From the standpoint of the ideologues for white supremacy, for example white/right militia groups, you will see many of them seeming to abandon white supremacy to support calls for police defunding/abolition. For these militias – groups like the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, etc., their allegiance to white supremacy is found easily in their mission statements. And, for someone like yours truly, who has had plenty of confrontations with these people, I can tell you that their strategy is rooted in gaining public support for their militia groups. These groups stand on a full anti-government platform. So, for them, it makes sense to support police defunding/abolition because they see their militia groups gaining that support and stepping in to serve that policing role. With that in place, they have full reign to operate with their evangelical white supremacist/patriarchal/homophobic views. Certainly, anyone can see that this reality creates no positive developments for any of us.
The disconnect is any call for defunding and/or abolishing anything in capitalism that is divorced from an actual revolutionary process designed to organize for the seizure of power by the masses of humanity to replace capitalism with socialist development is nothing more than a pipe dream. Thinking we can defund/abolish police without addressing the capitalist system which is the reason police exist to terrorize people in the first place is like thinking we can wipe out hunger by feeding everyone McDonalds everyday. Capitalism is the engine that powers the oppressive institutions like police. The reality that profit is more important than people and that any people who realize that and challenge profit over people must be brutalized is a clear indication that capitalism is where the problem exists. And, to eradicate capitalism requires a revolutionary movement that focuses on the actual work to overthrow this system while also dedicating equal resources on creating new hims/hers/thems who develop a human over profit mentality and system to carry out those values. That system is scientific socialism leading to communism.
If you disagree with the above at least have done some serious work to understand exactly what we are talking about here. We cannot continue to react to the programming the capitalist system has indoctrinated us with whenever we hear the words revolution, socialism, and communism. We are now at the point where we need to make sure all of us truly begin to understand what these concepts mean. If you reading this and you haven’t read a single book on any of these concepts then stop pretending that you have a position worth respecting.
You cannot separate capitalism from white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, etc. Those isms are appendages of the capitalist system. Police terrorists are simply carrying out the will of the capitalist system. They always have and they always will. As long as we are stuck and don’t have an analysis on these concepts, the power structure will continue to lure us into believing progress is tied to their definitions on things like defunding/abolishing police, etc.
The role of capitalism is always to take the legitimate frustration and anger from the masses and redirect that anger so that we are believing the bourgeoisie electoral process, 100% controlled by the capitalist system, is the absolute only answer to any grievance we have. A healthy and well thought out strategy would suggest that some of us should continue to evaluate and utilize the electoral process in ways that benefit us while others of us should be engaging in door to door, community to community revolutionary community defense work to ensure we can start building capacity to create real community consciousness and skill building so that no outside mercenary force is required to “patrol” people when people are organized and capable of organizing safety for communities ourselves.
So, don’t be confused by calls by right wingers to side with Black Lives Matter and support defunding/abolishing police. Understand that when they say that they aren’t saying the same thing that you are saying and they aren’t saying it for the same reasons you are saying it. And, they certainly aren’t calling for and supporting any systemic change away from the capitalist system that perpetuates the violence against the entire planet every single day. For all peace and justice loving people, your responsibility is always to question why this is so and the answer will always lead you back to the question of this backward, oppressive, capitalist system.