Publisher’s Note: Jesse pens an interesting perspective. Often folks will ask how a someone employed by the government can philosophically be opposed to its very existence yet still draw a paycheck. The answer is deceptively simple. We are all government employees now (that should be what the Time magazine articles should have been about in their “We Are All Socialists Now” issue). Whether you are a drone at the local DMV or the President, if you were to quit and open a private business in any state of this great tax jurisdiction of ours, you would have to surrender 50-60 cents out of every dollar to some government entity and not even be reimbursed for the collection service. In essence, we have no choice unless we are in the underground economy. -BB
Within the anarchist and minarchist (small government) communities there is a running debate regarding the severity of various state paid enforcer roles, for some the military is a necessary evil while for others the military is no different than the police? This of course brings to the forefront the role of the military contractor, justice employee and more.
The police as we well know strong arm the role of the government in enforcing its laws, passed by “leaders” elected by less than half of the real population at any given moment. The military generally forces the states desires over-seas, regardless of how we attempt to explain away the excess’s and murder initiated and carried out by our military as an institution the truth is simple. Domestic and foreign “intervention” has been and remains morally wrong; the use of initiated aggressive force is force regardless of the covering or approach used.
It can be argued that not one conflict of the last 200 years has been real “self-defense” and more so the recent “conflicts” and wars since 1960. In fact, with a little work one can easily see that in every circumstance of “conflict” our nation has in fact instigated the action through covert and provocative action of its own.
So the question is, is there any difference between military and police? I would say that morally there is none, in fact, per capita the military (institution*) has murdered over 1000/1 innocents (noncombatants) versus the police. Now this of course brings up the philosophical question: is working for the system in a contractor or support role any better than working in the justice system, and profiting from the loss of life and liberty that occurs as a direct result of the implementation of these institutions?
The short answer is no, how can supporting the very thing that murders and incarcerates be good. For some, however, there may be extenuating circumstances. For instance, there is the shortage of employment in the United States, destined to reach higher than the 13+ percent it is now. There is a matter of ability and what are some able to do. There is also a matter of necessity, when one has a family sometimes caveats in their ethical approach becomes necessary.
I myself work “in” the system to some degree, while I do not take a salary as a result of what I do yet, I hope to someday make a living instructing. It can be said that as an teacher I will literally be able to change others’ lives and approaches or at least help influence their perceptions. I agree with this, the power of a teacher is amazing especially in a statist world, very rarely does one see fellow students questioning the approach or curriculum that is taught and when it happens many times people do not understand the need.
Contracting, to be honest for purely financial reasons, I would if physically able likely take a temporary contracting assignment, the money to be made is extreme. However, I once worked for a corporation that preyed on people’s consumerism and circumstances, and I quit working for them for that reason. The money was the best I ever made; however, sleeping at night was an issue. In the end, it really comes down to the individual’s decision, however, for me I am unable to cross certain ethical lines at this point.
*I use the word institution as there are individuals in the police and military who desire real change, and or have not seen the “light” yet. I refer to the three percent movement, small in size but large in impact (and others).
Side note: I am currently on SSI; over the course of my life I have paid over 250,000 dollars into the system- at the current rate of payout I have seven more years of reimbursement or the government can simply cut me a lump sum check and I will gladly leave.