Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tipping Point Specifics: When the Police Protect the Users and Makers

CNN: Sheriff orders no evictions for foreclosures. [link]

In this earlier rant [ not my best writing ] I'm juxtaposing a class of doers versus a class of investors who make nothing but own merely by speculation. In this post I'm juxtaposing the Users of cultural artifacts versus Absentee Abstract Ownership.

If or when our economy and society implodes/devolves, the most crucial question is who the police and military will work for-who will they point their guns at, serve eviction notices to, or help in standing guard for their property. As people's monetary resources dry up, it will be crucial whether the police/military stay cohesive, and if so, who will they determine owns the physical resources of this industrial society. If they side with the Absentee Abstract Ownership class by removing people from the use of the cultural artifacts necessary for a modern life, then we have a recipe to replay the horror of the early Middle Ages -Roman citizens became lifelong debtors (slaves) to their creditors. ( It took the bubonic plague to kill off those who maintained the status quo of Europe, and allowed in the slow march out of the Dark Ages into modernity).

This sheriff in Chicago is functioning as a counterexample: police siding with the general population rather than the Absentee Abstract Ownership class. Want to avoid decades or hundreds of years of serfdom? Support police like the Sheriff of Chicago. I recommend a meme, THE SHERIFF OF CHICAGO, as a quick reference to the archetype and the political construct.

It is no small detail that this THE SHERIFF OF CHICAGO emerged from the people, rather than academia, and it was first publicized on Fox News and CNN, rather than the alternative-left press or left leaning bloggers. Even if the mechanics of the THE SHERIFF OF CHICAGO is essentially socialist, I think if it had come from the left or academia it would have provoked the police/military, along with ordinary citizens, into a more staunch support of the Absentee Abstract Ownership class. If it had come from the left or academia, I'm pretty sure I would have died a slave.

John Robb's Resilient Community (see his blog) thesis is a crucial concept to anticipate and build upon if our society goes through major disruptions. THE SHERIFF OF CHICAGO meme needs to be spoken easily and frequently by everyone participating in the early construction phase of the resilient community.


The Serpent Lord said...

Police work is inherently socialist. This THE SHERIFF OF CHIGAGO is just the first of many. Absentee ownership does not work without the ability to project influence long distances through trade.

THE SHERIFF OF CHIGAGO does not care about whether lawlessness reigns on Wall Street, his duty is to protect Main Street. The bureacracy and paperwork that he uses to slow down the eviction process exists for exactly that purpose: friction holds the whole thing up. At a certain point - if our connected world fails - the absentee landlords will be kings of nothing, their cities devoured in the chaos.

I disagree with your lumping together the problems of the early and late middle ages. By the time the plague hit the roman creditors were long dead, and the modern banking system was already starting (via the crusades and the terraforming projects of Europe.) The middle class was emerging (or re-emerging) and technology was progressing rapidly.

The plagues, famines, peasant revolts and beer riots of the 14th century were not the end of the old Empire or even the bloody birth of a replacement but the growing pains of the old Empire which after a precocious childhood had languished in prolonged adolescence, bullied at times by it's younger siblings.

Which brings us back to resilience. THE SHERIFF OF CHICAGO has not only bought time for his people to adapt, he has given the absentee owners and the rest of us time to think about the world we want to live in, who is worth bribing with our stolen tax dollars and who is unworthy of our imperial protection.

BFGalbraith said...

Bootleggers - anti-prohibition organized-crime alcohol-smugglers originally, were popularized primarily from Chicago-based gangsters. Now bootlegging - in the form of the casual participation in trafficking illegally obtained intellectual property (primarily entertainment originally stored on CD's and DVDs,), is a common activity that may be taking place in more households than not in most urban areas in our country. This bootlegging - like alcohol smuggling before it - is seen as a necessary evil by those who do it, who face an unjust system where power holders are dictating availability of a product undemocratically. This Sheriff of Chicago is essentially bootlegging housing, bootlegging being the primary social justice meme out of Chicago.