We all know of the old adage, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Even the greatest crimes ever committed were carried out with what the perpetrators believes were good intentions, for “the greater good.” As a voluntaryist, I almost necessarily have to believe in the inherent goodness of the individual. However, alas, otherwise good people very often believe and act in ways that are not good, not moral, and do not even realize it. So when I say, “There are no good cops,” as I will begin to explain now, “police” is not what an individual is; it's a learned behavior that can be unlearned and redeemed.
Right and wrong from a moral standpoint obviously transcends the law. It transcends all authority. Morality is purely subjective except in the case of damage to life and property. In other words, if there is no victim, there is no crime. You may consider a certain activity immoral or sinful but you have zero right to force that view onto others if that activity does no harm to anyone. Conversely, if the State and its laws are your standard for “right and wrong,” you are blatantly and flagrantly ignorant of history. The worst crimes ever committed against mankind were all legal. But when we think of the holocaust, or Mao's “Great Leap Forward”, etc, we might find it shocking that they were all perfectly legal according to the laws of those countries, because we know them to be obviously immoral. We don't apply the same standard to our own government, because we've been infected with the disease of exceptionalism that is common among strong nationalist societies. For while our government is not rounding up ethnic or religious groups and leading them to mass murder – yet – in this supposed free country it is literally illegal to do almost anything without some kind of government permission, which you of course have to pay money for. Take a moment, if you are incredulous, to think of a single activity you can participate in during your day-to-day that doesn't require permission from government. That's not as bad as genocide but it's not freedom. It's tyrannical. And there is no law so ridiculous that law enforcement will not kill you if necessary to enforce it.
The overwhelming majority of “laws” we must obey have zero to do with protecting life and property. Therefore the overwhelming majority of “laws” exist as a means to extortion and control, and it is not in the very least immoral to disobey or break them – if there is no victim, there is no crime. And yet, it is the duty of every cop to enforce the “Law” regardless of its morality, regardless of whether the individual cop agrees with it or not. We can cry ourselves to sleep over the relentless usurpation of our rights, but it is the order followers who enforce those laws, it is the order followers who are trampling our rights under their feet. What could any tyrant in history do if not for the belief in authority, if not for the order followers? But, at the same time, as the order followers trample our rights, most people worship the order followers – law enforcement.
This fundamental axiom must be kept in mind when disseminating every instance of police force: whether the mundane citizen was right to resist, or whether the police were right in torturing or beating or even killing him or her for non-compliance. If there is no victim, there is no crime, so when the police initiate confrontation with an individual in the enforcement of victimless crimes, the police are primarily culpable morally for whatever happens from then on. Therefore there is no moral standing to say, “If he hadn't resisted, he'd still be alive!” when a person ends up beaten, tortured, or killed in the enforcement of a non-crime. The police have no right to initiate the confrontation in the first place, because no crime has been committed – the victim has done nothing wrong, morally, except rightfully resist being kidnapped by armed thugs attempting to enforce an illegitimate law. So in such instances, the aggressor's crime is two-fold as well as an insult to rational and moral people: in the immoral enforcement of cruel and arbitrary laws, they often dole out summary punishment to those who justly disobey and resist being kidnapped and extorted.
This scourge underlies the uprising that seems to be festering in poor and minority communities. Of all the cruel and arbitrary laws shoved down our throats, the most vicious is drug prohibition, and the resulting “war” has been waged almost primarily in poor and minority communities. It is a fact that no serious person can deny: any correlation that exists between drugs and violence exists solely because drugs are illegal, and, by and large, only the most economically desperate, who have little to nothing to lose, participate in black market drug trade considering the draconian consequences.
As a voluntaryist, I am explicitly opposed to violence except in self defense, and violence in self-defense must be proportional to the threat. However, when government declares and carries out a “war” in the literal definition of the word, with its paramilitary training and tactics and acquisition of surplus military hardware and weaponry from the Department of Defense; when the police purposely morph themselves into an occupation force that treats citizens like an insurgency, while we would prefer non-violent methods were used to resist – the State is prepared for and desires a violent response – rational people can hardly be surprised or offended when the citizens realize they've been in a war for generations and finally start to fight back. And we laugh at the narrative being pushed by the establishment that there is a “war on cops” when cops have been waging war against citizens since before many of us were born.
Was it self-defense to kill cops in Dallas? I answer that with another question: if police were not men and women who live among us, but were an invading occupier, say, from Russia, would the same action then be considered self defense? You didn't consent to domestic law any more than you would consent to a foreign invader's law (implied consent under duress is not consent, despite the Orwellian word magic they try to cast upon us). When we stop making a distinction between domestic occupiers and would-be foreign occupiers – an occupier is an occupier – and agents of the State no longer feel appreciated, welcome, or safe, and, when the grotesque facade of “serve and protect” is pulled away leaving individuals empowered and responsible for their own care and defense as they should be, there will be relative peace in society.
Not a utopia, just immeasurably better.