[Editor's Note: The following post is by TDV Editor, Gary Gibson]
To see how the private sector outperforms public policing in the real world, just take a look at Detroit.
Yes, Detroit of all places. So ruined by government planning, Detroit is becoming a hotbed of spontaneous order…of the market stepping in to do what the government has never managed to do properly. Frustrated with the poor service from their tax-funded overseers, Detroit residents have turned to the private sector for security and protection, like the customer-satisfying efficiency of private protection as provided by Dale Brown and his organization, Threat Management Center.
Managing Threats for Money with Love
Dale got his start in 1995 trying to help a Detroit community during a wave of home invasions and murders. What he found among the police force were complacent, uninterested officers. And why shouldn't they be uninterested in murderous home invasions? They get paid no matter what and are more incentivized to write traffic tickets and terrorize people in their own homes for buying plants. Sure there were some officers who were motivated to help and it was such officers that Dale used to get his start. (Click on the above video image to hear Dale tell his story.)
Today, Threat Management Center has a client base of roughly 1000 private residences and 500 businesses. And TMC also provides free service to those who cannot afford their prices. That free help is available because of the healthy profit margin left from providing excellent services to the bigger corporations. (Ah, the evils of the for-profit world…)
The key to effective protection, says Dale, is love. Not guns, not violence, not laws. His employees have to love their customers. They have to care about their customers' safety more than their own. They also have to be the kind of people who would rather not use violence first. This is the exact opposite of what the government advocates for its police officers. Government teaches police that their own safety is paramount, and in these late stages of the degenerate empire, local governments are also recruiting recent war veterans who have become well used to using violence against the people whose land they occupy to keep them in line.
Dale's protective services are fundamentally different from those of the government police not just because of his loving philosophy, however, but because of the source of his funding. Dale's services are market-driven. If he doesn't provide protection in the way his customers want, he will go out of business. This is not the kind of pressure the government's tax-funded sentries have to worry about. So while "to serve and protect" may be emblazoned on their squad cars, their real purpose is to enforce brutally. Their actions are funded by money extorted from their victims. They only happen to protect now and then…and practically by accident. And note that it's their employer the state which creates the poverty and prohibitions that result in crime in the first place. (Government, after all, is like a self-licking ice cream cone; it creates its own demand.)
What Kind of Protection Do Customers Really Want?
Sane people don't want no-knock raids, surveillance cameras and drones, and the general fear and loathing that comes from armed, violence-ready thugs with a sense of "authori-tah!" marching through the streets. They simply want to feel safe, to have someone watching out for them, not spying on them, invading their homes and pushing them around.
But the state can't give people what they want. The state can only cartoonishly, violently approximate the market. This is because the state is based on violence, not the feedback of profit and loss. It can never beat or even match the market when it comes to satisfying consumer demand. The market is negotiation that responds to economic incentives while the state is just a blunt force weapon brought to the surgery room. Sure, its violence is dressed up as the "will of the people" with words like "democracy" and "republic"…but in the end the state's only will is its own. The market is the true will of the people. Providers have to respond to the people's will or else they will be out of business. The state has no such pressure. At most it has to worry about its image a little, sort of the way a serial killer has to worry about mimicking human emotion so his victims will let their guard down.
So while the market provides protection and peaceful resolution –because those are what consumers really want– the state can only provide a para-military praetorian guard with varying levels of officious aggressiveness. This guard is paid for with money stolen at gunpoint (taxes) and can only ever fundamentally violate property rights, not protect them.
The police aren't around to help recover your stolen property or protect you from harm. They are here to enforce the law. Even when they capture thieves and murderers and rapists, no resititution is made to the victim. Instead the violator is jailed for his trangressions in order to repay his debt the mythical collective called "society". He may be sent to a rape camp that itself is paid for with stolen money.
But catching dangerous offenders is a secondary goal at best for the police. The majority of their resources are thrown at generating revenue by enforcing the freedom-limiting prohibitions that the politicians set up in the first place (though the revenue generation is secondary to reminding you that you are state property conditionally allowed certain privileges that can be taken away). The cops ticket you for driving above absurdly low speed limits and for not wearing seatbelts and for driving after downing two beers. They invade your homes and rough you up on the mere suspicion that you might own plants that politicians don't like. Is this what you would pay for if you had the choice?
Oh, and if you really want to see the police marshall their resources, by all means organize a protest to exercise your right to free public speech. Do it in opposition to a politician or government policy. Then you'll really get to see the kind of "protection" your stolen money pays for.
In a free market, people get what they want. What people don't want doesn't get funded enough to survive very long. In a free market, producers respond to consumer demand. Or else those producers have to find another line of work. So that's why Dale Brown's Threat Management Center uses peaceful protection based on love and sacrifice. The consumers have spoken. Dale's services are what they want, not bullies and war-scarred, testosterone junkies who enforce prohibtion, invade homes, harrass innocents, get off on exercising authority and occasionally shoot "civilians" but who fail to actually serve or protect them.
[Editor's Note: Look at the above video only if you have a strong stomach. It contains just some of the evidence of the kind of brutal police state into which the US is rapidly devolving. If you have the means to get out before the US becomes indistinguishable from the former East Germany –including the use of deadly force against those who try to escape– then start planning your permanent escape by clicking here.]
Instead, consumers want people who will bravely protect them without policing them. They do not want enforcers to treat them as subjects and regulate their behavior according to some state-imposed policy. They want valiant guardians of their bodies and other property who respect their other rights of self-ownership. They want people who are also willing to put their customers' safety above and beyond their own and who are willing to find the most peaceful and least violent solution possible to disputes and danger. What the market would have is protection, not policy enforcement. Servants, not overseers. Peace makers and keepers, not police.
Gary Gibson, The Dollar Vigilante’s Editor, cut his teeth writing for liberty and profit as the managing editor of the now-defunct Whiskey & Gunpowder financial newsletter. He now writes for and edits The Dollar Vigilante. In his capacity as managing editor of TDV’s monthly subscription letter TDV Homegrown, Gary insists on playing Russian Roulette by basing himself in the USSA heartland so he can round up information on how the TDV readers stuck in the USSA can best survive and profit in the increasingly turbulent times in the morally and financially bankrupt empire.