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Police MilitarizationThere is a world-wide trend going on but most people have not yet caught on it. Year after year police departments around the world have been quietly purchasing more and more sophisticated (and lethal) weapons. This news in and by itself is not really news. Police departments have always done so. What is news is that these new weapons are scaled-down military gear or outright military gear.

Of course, most of the time you don't see them because for now they are hidden in "specialized" units which are not deployed very often. If this would be the case, then this phenomenon would not be a problem. Yet, this is not the case. These weapons and weapon systems are coming down in price. How so? Because there is only so much gear that the military can absorb. Researching, developing and setting up a manufacturing line is expensive. Once the military contracts are fulfilled, the line is still there but there are no buyers. So, what can these companies do but to sell it to other so-called "law enforcement" organizations.

Scared yet? No? Here is a sample list of gear that police forces around the world already own:

  • Drones
  • Grenade Launchers
  • Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs)
  • Assault Rifles (yes, fully automatic)
  • Tear and Incapacitating Gas
  • Amphibious Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs)
  • Military Surplus Pistols
  • Military Surplus Rifles (automatic, semi-automatic with or without sniping capabilities)
  • Night and Enhancement Vision Scopes
  • All-Terrain Vehicles - 3 and 4 wheels (ATVs)
  • Full Body Armour
  • Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs)
  • Utility Trucks
  • Aircrafts
  • Military-Grade Encrypted Communication Systems
  • Military-Grade Surveillance Equipment

This trend towards militarization is most visible in the USA simply because it is a new trend. However, in other places around the world is not noticeable because it is simply an upgrade to an already militarized police force. The problem is that this trend is accelerating. Have you noticed how more and more police forces now receive "tactical" training and "specialized" operations training and "special" weapons training and "counter-terrorism" training and so on? If you add all those "trainings" together they actually come close to military training. This is no mistake either. What do you think that "security" training companies do when they run out of clients for private armies? You guessed it! They sell this training to the Police. And where does the Police gets the money to pay for all this training? From politicians. And why would politicians do so? Because there has been an incredible surge in violent crimes? Terrorism? Death, destruction and mayhem? Not exactly. If you take a look at most police statistics in "stable" countries you will notice that "crime" is actually decreasing in numbers. Politicians do this because they know that they control the Police and the Police controls you. It is a simple equation: lethal toys for oppression. A very good deal indeed for politicians.

But there is something else. Along with the lethal toys there is something more being brought in: a new mindset. People are no longer victims to be protected but potential terrorists; the "enemy" to be brought down. Stop and think for a second. How do you think that a police officer in full armour, face hidden and armed with assault weapons feels? Invulnerable? You guessed it! This is all part of the new "philosophy" that is trickling down (or that already existed and was now enhanced) where only preventative action is sufficient. Why wait until a crime is committed if we can prevent it through the use of brute force? They are being told. Problem is, suspicion is not a crime… or at least it did not used to be. Now, persecuting suspects is all the rage. You are guilty. Period. Can you demonstrate your innocence? It does not matter, you are still a suspect and therefore you are guilty. Guilt by suspicion. The ultimate police rush.

Technically speaking the police is supposed to be there to protect us, the people. Yet in this twist, they end up protecting politician's jobs from our rage. But hold on, there is an ever better twist. Where do you think that politicians get their money to pay for all those toys? You guessed it again! From your taxes, direct or indirect, hidden or overt. You are actually funding your own oppression. How about that? Feeling sick yet?

This is yet another reason why we are Absolute Austro-Libertarians, because we do not accept this. In a Libertarian society every person is free to choose and purchase whatever they may want. However, you are fully responsible for all the damage (and we mean absolutely all of it) that the use of such weapons may produce. In a Libertarian society the market for expensive gear such as Military Vehicles, Drones, Fully Armoured Gear would be small indeed and even people buying such gear would be exceedingly cautious in its use.

One of the basic principles on which almost all police forces around the world operate (at least theoretically) is the principle of "minimum force". This is in direct opposition to military war doctrine that dictates the use of overwhelming force. Yet, the instruments designed to fulfill the latter policy are now being used to fulfil the former. Does this make any sense unless somebody, somewhere has a hidden agenda? Of course not. The point is that there isn't an evil organization "out there" pulling the strings of all politicians world-wide. This is not necessary. The very democratic process that was heralded as the "best" political system so far creates the conditions for those agendas to exist and the existence of governments act as enablers.

And there you have it. The usual culprits at work.

No?

Not true?

OK, they please you explain why would politicians give such quantities of money to police forces around the world? A world trend can't be a coincidence...

Unless you believe that governments are here to help you. Well… in that case we can't help you and you are probably reading the wrong website. But this is just our opinion. Feel free to vary yours.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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