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“The Purge” is the Laziest, Most Easily Debunked Pro-State, Pro-Police Propaganda

The Purge Movie Statist Propoganda

This post was written by  and originally published at the Center For a Stateless Society (C4SS) under the title “A Lazy Anti-Anarchist Meme That Needs to be Purged.” Posts and other content you think are worth sharing with the CopBlock Network can be sent in to us via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

(Note: This has been posted in its original form and no edits to the original text were made. Some links may have been added within the text and images have been added. In addition, the conclusions expressed within this initial introductory summary represent my own interpretation of what is being stated within Kevin’s writings.)

In the post below, Kevin discusses the latest “Purge” film, a series in which the premise consists of one night per year being designated as a “free for all” where no laws are enforced and those who would normally prevent criminals from victimizing the general population take the night off. In doing so, he argues that things would likely go down very differently than what is depicted in these movies.

In reality, one of the worst aspects of the State are the restrictions those who control and benefit from it place on the general population’s ability to defend themselves. The most obvious reason for doing so is that it eliminates the general public’s ability to threaten that control. (As an illustration of that, attacks on high ranking officials are still prohibited even during the Purge.) The somewhat less obvious reason behind it is that when your options for self defense are limited then your dependence on the State and the protections they offer increases.

The net effect however, regardless of the motivation behind it, is that most people are less safe because they are forced to wait for the police to show up, rather than having an option to defend them self directly and immediately. That is even more so in the (many) cases when their assailant is a member of the police force.

A Lazy Anti-Anarchist Meme That Needs to be Purged

I see there’s another upcoming installment in The Purge series of films — a franchise whose basic premise is that there’s one night each year in which all crime is legal and police and rescue services are unavailable, setting the scene for lots of dramatic action footage of terrified people barricading themselves in their houses against marauding psychopaths.

Next to Somalia (“If you hate government so much, you must think Somalia is a paradise!”), The Purge is probably liberal goo-goos’ favorite thing to throw in anarchists’ faces. They’re the same idjits who say “but what about the rooaaaads?” and like to quote Justice Holmes on taxes as “the price we pay for civilization” (of course the civilization Holmes was so proud of included forced sterilization of “inferior races” and throwing people in prison for opposing WWI).

The basic idea, in equating a stateless society with The Purge, is that without the state to compel cooperation and prohibit violent crime, society would revert to a Hobbesian nightmare of mayhem and terror.

Of course the basic assumptions about human nature shared by both critics of anarchism, and the movie they like to throw in our faces, are ridiculous. Both the creators of The Purge and the people who treat it as an abject lesson in anarchy assume, first of all, that the only thing restraining people from murder and violent acts is the fact that they’re illegal and they might be punished by the state. And they assume that people are incapable of helping or cooperating with one another absent the state to force them to do so.

In the real world, the vast majority of people — probably close to 99%, if not more — don’t need fear of punishment to prevent them from committing murder. They don’t go around murdering people simply because it’s something they consider unacceptable behavior. And of the tiny minority of people who don’t refrain from murder and violence because of their own internal constraints, most are deterred most of the time by the significant risk entailed in the act itself. Even for someone with no moral compunction against harming others, in most cases it’s simply more trouble and risk than it’s worth to attack people who are capable of fighting back.

banner govThe biggest suspension of belief involved in The Purge, even bigger than the basic premise itself, is the relative dearth of precautionary measures taken in anticipation of the Purge. There’s a market for home security systems (albeit of limited effectiveness against large-scale assault) for rich people. But people of ordinary means, and especially the destitute and working poor in urban neighborhoods, are considered defenseless and prime targets for attack. None of the marauding gangs seem to consider that the people whose homes they’re assailing are equally capable of acquiring guns and explosives, cooperating with their neighbors, and fighting back in some extremely nasty ways (which are also legal that night). Considering the lack of certain knowledge of what defensive preparations even a poor person might have undertaken, and the risk entailed in even a large-scale assault on their home, it’s hard to imagine what such a household would have of sufficient value to compensate that risk.

In the real world, if people knew a year in advance that a night was coming in which murder was legal and no cops would be available, it’s a fair guess that would be a major topic both for household planning and for discussion with the neighbors long before the date arrived. In short, Purge night would be the single most dangerous night of the year — not for peaceful people staying at home — but for would-be murderers, robbers and rapists planning to invade a house.

The assumptions behind The Purge are the same as the assumptions of those who see The Purge as a critique of anarchism: ordinary people are incapable of peacefully cooperating in their own interest, and force is the only thing that holds society together.

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No “More Cops” for the LVMPD. They Aren’t Needed and They Aren’t Wanted.

Metro displaying just how shorthanded they are on Fremont Street. (Notice the massive, unruly crowd being held back behind them.)

Metro displaying just how shorthanded they are on Fremont Street. (Notice the massive, unruly crowd being held back behind them.)

This was received via submission after originally being posted at the website of the Sunset Activist Collective.

Once again, Sheriff Gillespie and County Commissioner Tom Collins are trying to push the “More Cops” sales tax down the throats of the people of Las Vegas to fill the self-inflicted gaps in Metro’s already bloated budget and hire even more cops to harass and abuse the members of that very community.

Yet another sales tax is wrong from a practical standpoint in a time when the Las Vegas economy consistently ranks at or near the bottom in every financial category and most local residents are already just barely hanging on. By nature, sales taxes are regressive. Unlike wealthy people that have the capability of stashing most of their income in the bank, poor people generally have to spend most, if not all, of their money on the basic necessities of life. It’s not a coincidence that crime rates have increased as the economy has tanked. People that have little or no other options resort to whatever they have to do to survive. Taking even more from people that are already struggling just to keep their head above water is not the way to “take a bite out of crime.” It’s an unarguable fact that poverty leads to even more crime.

Beyond the basic economics it’s wrong on an ethical level to expect poor residents to fund their own abuse at the hands of the LVMPD. People in poor and/or minority neighborhoods are routinely stopped, searched, abused, and humiliated by the police. In fact, Metro employs several “saturation units,” whose stated function is to descend upon certain neighborhoods en masse seeking any excuse they can to stop, interrogate, and arrest residents of that community. And those many, many abuses don’t end with harassment and wrongful arrests, either. The victims of police beatings and outright murder are predominantly members of the Poor People Shouldn't Have to Fund Their Own Abusepoor/ minority classes.

Not surprisingly, it has also been explicitly stated that these “select’ neighborhoods don’t include the ones in Summerlin. Many of the proponents of the “More Cops” tax increase are, in fact, residents of Summerlin and other wealthy neighborhoods, who have expressed the desire to have a cop in their neighborhood because it makes them feel safe. I have very little doubt that the residents of poor neighborhoods would have no qualms about letting them have some of the cops terrorizing their neighborhoods. They rarely make them feel safe, especially within the Las Vegas area, since there is absolutely no hope that any sort of accountability will ever be imposed upon the perpetrators of injustices against them.

Metro isn’t short on cops, they’re short on priorities. Anyone who has witnessed the massive East German style check point erected on Fremont St. every First Friday or the continual harassment of water vendors and buskers on the Strip, both of whom are just trying to earn a living during tough economic times, would have to question the claims of personnel shortages within the LVMPD. When you can afford to employ undercover cops to ensure tourists don’t have the chance to buy water at a cheaper price than the casinos sell it, then maybe you have a few people to spare for other things. Perhaps those plain clothes cops using official Metro vehicles to escort Zappos employees to their parking garage so they don’t have to look at poor people along the way, could be better utilized, as well.

Gillespie and the rest of his mafia dons have expended their budget on raises for an already overpaid police force, shiny new headquarters buildings that they insisted on pushing forward with in the middle of the worst recession in history, and million dollar settlements to the victims of their abuses and murders. Now they want the poorest people within this community to bail them out so that they can hire more cops even while absolutely refusing to do anything to hold them responsible for the crimes they continue to commit against their own neighbors and families.

Just say NO to more thugs!

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“Let Me See Your I.D.” Stop and Identify Statutes – Know Your Rights

Stop and ID Statutes Map States Nevada Cop Block

Everyone should know their rights regardless, but it’s even more essential that you do if you intend to go out and film the police. Therefore, you should know if the state you live in has passed “stop and identify” statutes. If that is the case, then you should also know what is and isn’t required under such laws.

In 24 states police may require you to identify yourself. (If they have reasonable suspicion that you’re involved in criminal activity.)

“Stop and identify” statutes are laws in the United States that allow police to detain persons and request such persons to identify themselves, and arrest them if they do not.

Except when driving, the requirement to identify oneself does not require a person who has been detained to provide physical identification. Verbally giving identifying information is sufficient to satisfy that requirement.

In the United States, interactions between police and citizens fall into three general categories: consensual (“contact” or “conversation”), detention (often called a Terry stop), or arrest. “Stop and identify” laws pertain to detentions.

Consensual

At any time, police may approach a person and ask questions. However, the person approached is not required to identify himself or answer any other questions, and may leave at any time.

Police are not usually required to tell a person that he is free to decline to answer questions and go about his business. A person can usually determine whether or not the interaction is consensual by asking, “Am I free to go?”

Detention

Police may briefly detain a person if they have reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. Embedded below are videos from Flex Your Rights describing what reasonable suspicion is and when you are required to provide ID to the police. Police may question a person detained in a Terry stop, but in general, the detainee is not required to answer.[10] However, many states have “stop and identify” laws that explicitly require a person detained under the conditions of Terry to identify himself to police, and in some cases, provide additional information. (As of February 2011, the Supreme Court has not addressed the validity of requirements that a detainee provide information other than his name.)

Arrest

A detention requires only that police have reasonable suspicion that a person is involved in criminal activity. However, to make an arrest, an officer must have probable cause to believe that the person has committed a crime. Some states require police to inform the person of the intent to make the arrest and the cause for the arrest. But it is not always obvious when a detention becomes an arrest. After making an arrest, police may search a person, his or her belongings.

Variations in “stop and identify” laws

  • Five states’ laws (Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, and Ohio) explicitly impose an obligation to provide identifying information.
  • Fourteen states grant police authority to ask questions, with varying wording, but do not explicitly impose an obligation to respond:
  • In Montana, police “may request” identifying information;
  • In 12 states (Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Wisconsin), police “may demand” identifying information;
  • In Colorado, police “may require” identifying information of a person.
  • Identifying information varies, but typically includes
  • Name, address, and an explanation of the person’s actions;
  • In some cases it also includes the person’s intended destination, the person’s date of birth (Indiana and Ohio), or written identification if available (Colorado).
  • Arizona’s law, apparently written specifically to codify the holding in Hiibel, requires a person’s “true full name”.
  • Nevada’s law, which requires a person to “identify himself or herself”, apparently requires only that the person state his or her name.
  • In five states (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island), failure to identify oneself is one factor to be considered in a decision to arrest. In all but Rhode Island, the consideration arises in the context of loitering or prowling.
  • Seven states (Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, and Vermont) explicitly impose a criminal penalty for noncompliance with the obligation to identify oneself.
  • Virginia makes it a non-jailable misdemeanor to refuse to identify oneself to a conservator of the peace when one is at the scene of a breach of the peace witnessed by that conservator.

What is Reasonable Suspicion?

When Are You Required to Provide ID to the Police?

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