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The Cop Question

[1]2,265 words

Allow me, dear reader, to open with two interesting anecdotes. Each depicts an interaction between myself and law enforcement officers. One is pleasant, the other isn’t. Both end happily and both would have ended in my arrest and possibly death if they’d happened in America or Britain.

The first transpired in my lovely homeland of Macedonia, in April of the year 2011. I was on my way to college, on foot, to sit for an exam. I was stopped by two policemen. Now, these were not the proverbial bobbies on their bicycles. No, they were heavily armed, highly trained members of the EBR (Rapid Deployment Unit) of the Macedonian Ministry of Internal Affairs. While they weren’t visibly packing anything deadlier than a 9mm sidearm, I couldn’t help but notice their scary-looking assault rifles, by which I mean actual high-capacity, rapid-fire capable long barrel rifles, stored in the back of their armored police Jeep. They asked for my identification while regarding me with some suspicion. When I handed my ID over, I asked them to hurry things along, as I needed to get to college. As one went to the police Jeep to run my ID through the system, the other one stayed behind. I was a smoker back then, so I stubbed out my cigarette on a nearby concrete post, jokingly asking the officer who’d stayed behind not to fine me for the littering, as it is very obviously not the concern of the EBR. He chuckled and lit a cigarette himself. I could feel the tension deflating.

His colleague returned, informing us that, no, I’m not the guy they’re looking for, even though I looked very much like him. I asked what he did, and apparently, he was a literal bank robber. The first officer stubbed out his cigarette on the same spot where I’d stubbed out mine and jokingly said that I’m not wanted for anything. . . yet. I responded that I’m relieved they hadn’t found the bodies. . . yet. All three of us laughed and the officers left. I went on to college and aced the exam. It was just one of those days.

Now, I was a libertarian at the time and very concerned about the militarization of police, but the fact that I just had a friendly and even enjoyable interaction with two policemen armed to the teeth and deadlier than most soldiers flew clear over my head. At no point did I feel threatened, disrespected, or even delayed. The whole incident did not last more than five minutes, just as I requested of the officers in the beginning. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The second anecdote hails from the Montenegrin-Croatian border, in August of 2017. Traveling in a bus full of hippie-looking youngsters to the city of Dubrovnik, I was asked by a hostile and rude border guard whether I’d be willing to subject myself to a drug test. I asked him whether it’d be absolutely necessary. He responded by searching my person and luggage and taking me to the border guard post for interrogation. I noticed while he was searching my luggage that he wasn’t armed. He looked doughy and unfit for combat. When he found nothing of interest (and learning with some embarrassment that I’m a well-respected attorney in my own country), he let me cross the border. As a parting exchange, he asked me why I did not want to take a drug test. I responded that I did not want to delay the bus. The drug test would have taken about two minutes. The delay from the search and interrogation came up to thirty minutes. I tried to laugh about it, but this guy was so rude and official about it, it fell completely flat. I took my parting shot, inviting him to look me up if he ever had a traffic accident in Macedonia, leaving my business card. Backhandedly, I wished his brains would get splattered all over our infamously crappy roads.

While appreciating the irony of searching the straightest-laced guy in a bus full of hippies of smuggling drugs, this was 2017, only 2 years out from the peak of the migrant crisis, and I was already a nationalist. I understood that the border guard was right to suspect me, to search my luggage and person, and to interrogate me. The only thing I disagreed with was the guard’s rudeness. But then again, does he really owe each outlander politeness?


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Now, negro bellyaching aside, it is undeniable that American police are in general more trigger happy than what I’m used to here in Macedonia, ruder and more hostile than the Croatian border guard. As an American friend pointed out, if I’d behaved the way I did with the EBR officers with an American cop, I’d be in prison or sporting 20 superfluous bullet holes. Being polite, but relaxed, compliant without surrendering your dignity and integrity, and treating policemen as men rather than as otherworldly beings would have earned me a hostile police interaction event in the USA. Even the Croatian border guard, rude and hostile as he was, did not significantly threaten me in any way. From what people tell me about American police, this is not the case. American police seem to demand robotic compliance from citizens, have no consideration for people’s dignity and integrity, have no tolerance for people using levity to break up a tense situation, and get mighty miffed when they’re treated as men rather than as Judge Dredd without the muscle. They somehow manage to make boilerplate American cop-speak sound rude. There are countless examples of whites suffering wrongful deaths and arrests at the hands of police, even though these are suppressed by the anti-white media who’d rather rend their garments in memory of Fentanyl Floyd. If I were in America, I’d avoid the police like the plague.

If you’re waiting for the usual European condemnation of American policing practice, it ain’t coming. I understand why these things are the way they are. Declining policing standards as a result of affirmative-action hiring mean that giving a policeman broad discretionary judgment is just asking for trouble. Policemen have to become automata implementing predetermined protocols rather than men keeping the peace per the law and their own wisdom.

If, by chance, the citizen deviates from the protocol and this results in his unlawful death or imprisonment, then it is his fault.

But what else are you going to do? Enforce a high standard of police work? That’d mean hiring a better quality policeman, which precludes a disturbing number of magical minorities from serving. So, no, you can’t have a friendly interaction with the friendly neighborhood policeman. There’s no friendly neighborhood policeman anymore. Just a low-IQ goon sent out to follow a simple, colorblind script. American police cannot have a nuanced approach to interactions with the public because they’re not allowed to notice nuance, especially if such nuance tends to transcend racial boundaries. In fact, it is better to hire police who pretend like racial differences in behavior and criminality do not exist. Accordingly, police impose a one fits all protocol on the American public.

What I learned from thinking about my two aforementioned run-ins with cops is that both the EBR officers and the Croatian border guard had the right attitude. The EBR guys might have been a bit too friendly with me and the Croatian border guard might have been rude, but ultimately, the difference between a relaxed and tense interaction with law enforcement is the difference between interior and borderland.

It’s a conceptual, but also physical division of the world. You can plot it on a map. There is an area populated by our people. Let’s call it the interior. Within this area, there are criminals, yes, but for the most part, it’s our people. Here, the agents of the law might interact with criminals, and those interactions are inevitably hostile, but most of their interactions will be with law-abiding, peaceful citizens. The attitude of law enforcement should be relaxed, friendly, and polite. They should think of themselves as members of the community — in fact, it is preferable they actually are members of the community. The ideal should be the bobby on his bicycle, someone who doesn’t even need a gun to enforce the law, mostly because the law enforces itself. The law not being insane also helps with this self-enforcement. This is the archetype of the policeman.

There is also an area that exists at the edge of our lands. Let’s call it the borderland. In this narrow strip of land, interactions aren’t between people of the same group, but of differing groups. They are necessarily fraught with tension, distrust, and precaution. The agent of the law in this context cannot act as a policeman. He is not there to serve a community or maintain order. He is there to protect what lies behind him, the interior, from outside pollutants and threats. His disposition must necessarily be rougher than that of the policeman. He cannot give the benefit of the doubt to the people he interacts with. What might be dangerous paranoia in a policeman is a security-conscious mindset in a border guard. He cannot afford to be as flexible with the rules as the policeman; there’s not as much room for error or understanding. He isn’t a part of the community — there is no community (more precisely, he does not interact with his community in his official duties). The policeman is an organ in a body. The border guard is a link in the armor that the body wears.

The hidden, third part of this division of the world is the warzone. This is a place where neither the policeman nor the border guard belong. This is the provenance of the soldier. The soldier is not loyal to the local community. There’s not even a community behind him, no line where our lands begin and their lands end. The soldier’s loyalty is to his squad, to his platoon, to his division, to his band of brothers, even though these entities are theoretically loyal to a state. The soldier is the most automatic of the three, unless he is a commander. He must diligently and without question carry out orders, which means implement a series of protocols. His discretionary judgment is not called for, except in exceptional circumstances, and even then only if he is in a command position. His is not to reason why. His is but to do and die.

This division of the world is mirrored by the Islamic understanding of the world, as divided into Dar al-Islam (house of Islam), corresponding to the interior, Dar al-suih (house of truce) corresponding to the borderlands, and Dar al-harb (house of war), corresponding to the warzone. But I’m sure most sensible conceptions of the world have similar divisions.

Circling back to the old libertarian bugaboo about the militarization of the police, the problem is not that the police carry weapons fit for war. The problem is that police carry with them attitudes fit for the borderland, or even a warzone. This is not because American police are racist, evil, or even mush-headed donut addicts. This is because the American border has collapsed and what should be the American interior is now the American borderland, liable to become a warzone in short order. The police are merely responding to this changing fact by “militarizing.”

Recall my very positive interaction with the heavily armed and highly trained EBR. Their guns and military-style training did not prevent them from acting as policemen. Contrast that to the rude and hostile Croatian border guard, who wasn’t even packing. The militarization does not lie in the acquisition of deadlier weapons, but in the growing attitude of cops as border guards, and increasingly, of cops as soldiers, loyal to their squad rather than to any community in particular. There are many exhortations to “back the blue.” While I, living in a relatively cohesive country that still has a functional interior-borderland distinction, theoretically agree, consider that as the interior devolves into a borderland and then into a warzone, the blue might stop backing you and indeed anyone except itself.

Therefore, anyone looking for a solution to the problem of militarized police, police violence, unlawful deaths and arrests as a result of interaction with the police, and police insularity (division of the world into cops and others) should seek to restore the border. Only in restoring the border (in both the conceptual and physical sense) and staffing it with border guards can we have an interior, which is the abode of the friendly neighborhood policeman, the bobby patrolling on his bicycle, helping old ladies across the street and rescuing cats from trees, while nevertheless prepared to fight and die in the name of law and order. But to do that, we’d have to have a clear delineation between who is us and who isn’t: who belongs in the interior and who doesn’t. But that’d necessitate coming to grips with the reality of internecine ethnic conflict and the character of America and other Western nations.

Unlike Fentanyl Floyd, I’m not holding my breath.

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