Prison guards, police have unchecked power => abuse (e.g. BLM police brutality) [p. 26]
For if socially produced brutality, be it on an individual or mass scale, is largely nothing but the spontaneous result of the critical volume of power generated whenever the human mass reaches a certain magnitude, it can be prevented only through a device that keeps power-breeding social size at a sub-critical level. This can be accomplished in two ways: through the increase of the controlling power to the level of the challenging power, or through attacking the problem at its root by bringing about a decrease in social size. The conventional method is to resort to the first alternative. It provides saturation police forces large enough to match at all times the latent power of the community. This is simple in small social units. But in large ones it is both difficult and dangerous. It is difficult because, as history has shown, social fusion in massive societies can unexpectedly reach such a degree that no police force on earth can check it. And it is dangerous because, as long as police power can check it, it possesses itself the critical volume so that, to the extent that it saves us from popular atrocities, it may present us with the subtler atrocities of a police state instead.
— breakdown-of-nationsp. 34
The answer therefore is not increase in police power, but reduction of social size-the dismemberment of those units of society that have become too big. If we want to eliminate the Chicago rate of crime, we must not educate Chicago or populate it with members of the Salvation Army. We must eliminate communities of the size of Chicago.
— breakdown-of-nationsp. 35
This is an interesting point, given other discussions on justice on a human scale and within communities.
The great powers are the ones which are artificial structures and which, because they are artificial, need such consuming efforts to maintain themselves. As they did not come into existence by natural development but by conquest, so they cannot maintain themselves except by conquest-the constant reconquest of their own citizens through a flow of patriotic propaganda setting in at the cradle and ending only at the grave.
— breakdown-of-nationsp. 58
Policing as requisite only in mass society?
Q: Links to colonial practices / slavery?
breakdown-of-nations Kohr, Leopold. 1978. The Breakdown of Nations. Dutton. ↩︎ 1 2 3