Well...how did I get here? And you may ask yourself, how do I work this? And you may ask yourself, where does that highway go to? And you may say to yourself yourself my God!...what have I done?!Long story short, nothing has changed for Ferguson. Yet. Is there still a chance that it will? Chris Blattman sums up Alex Tabarrok's recent heartfelt contribution in this post, "Ferguson as organized crime and the failed state". Here is the published investigation of the Ferguson Police Department.
Some have tried to speak to the truth, basically saying "This is about more than race". Even so, the complexities of the situation - and the actual economic circumstance of the population involved - don't readily surface in the dynamics which dominate this discussion. While pro government factions tend to emphasize race, libertarian factions also stress what has become a parasitic local government. And yet there has been no way to respond, to a complete lack of normal economic complexity in Ferguson. That's the scariest part of all. How can a true marketplace exist, if nothing is in place to make certain it does? When markets are broken, despair is the natural result.
And how can concerned libertarians respond when someone says, "Liberty? Hell, you just want to impose your own set of rules." Everyone has a different idea as to what needs to be done, and often times what gets proposed isn't conducive to productive outcomes. Who is actually on board for a freer marketplace? Instead of momentum along these lines, multiple social disasters which begin with economic circumstance, are mostly followed by discussions of more proposed rules, justice or retribution. Or sometimes, war. What everyone doesn't want to occur in terms of social or even economic breakdown, is not sufficient to make the difference for a better outcome.
Never mind the fact that opposing factions see this differently, because the real problem is thugs are going to be the result of every marketplace which is allowed to disintegrate or fall apart. Thugs of every kind imaginable are going to take over, whenever populations as a whole are told too many times what they can't do, instead of what they can - regardless of who is doing the telling. Governments certainly have no monopoly on abusive or parasitic functions, for there are plenty of business based versions as well. And oddly, the two seem to go together...
Occasionally, bloggers will even chalk up thugs as a southern phenomenon. Reacting to the horrible story of a dog that was shot multiple times and tied up on railroad tracks to die (in Florida), Beverly Mann of Angry Bear penned this post title:
Please Southern-Brutality Culture: Leave me, and dogs, and cats, and other animals, alone. (Although you're welcome to brutalize other animals like yourselves.)Seriously, do southerners have a monopoly on this sort of thing? Come on Beverly Mann...really? Yes, I'm a southerner and yes I've been called an egghead in the past. Even my mother liked to tell me I spoke too fast for someone who lives in the south. Just the same: were I to pull up stakes tomorrow and move up north, I have absolutely no doubt I would still find plenty of thugs and other atrocities. In fact, who was cradling the injured dog in a blanket? A concerned policeman. Are there concerned policemen in Ferguson who don't fit the power abuser profile? Certainly.
Social atrocities are often the result of too many pressing matters left untended which affect entire populations - whether or not atrocities end up attributed to specific groups or individuals. Neither proponents of freedom or government have enough to contribute, if they mostly spend their days telling people what they can't or shouldn't do - instead of doing their utmost to maintain clear paths for humanity to walk and explore.
This is the real problem for Ferguson: an almost completely parasitic government, which is also a likely result of a community which has precious few jobs for anyone. As for those who do have jobs and are responsible: if they're black, apparently the police department is relying on them for extra funding purposes as well. Chances are the main issue for some of these unfortunate (working) individuals who get ticketed and thrown in jail, is that the police department assumes there is no one for them to complain to who will change the dynamic. Unfortunately that has proven to be quite true, even if the nation is appalled at what has happened. Passing judgement on a corrupt police force is not going to turn Ferguson around.
Ferguson is the canary in the coal mine for the rest of us, and yet too many continue to miss the significance it holds. One only hopes their call will be answered while there is still time, because answering that call matters for everyone else as well. No one can chalk up Ferguson's underlying issue as a racist government which became compromised in the extreme. The only way out of this mess is to quit saying "no" to every form of economic access imaginable. For Ferguson, the time has come to create a blank slate where "yes" is once again possible - whatever it takes. "Same as it ever was" is not going to cut it, any more.