The city of Philadelphia has announced an agreement to pay a $9.25 million settlement in connection with the police response to protests after the death of George Floyd in 2020. While dozens were killed and billions of dollars of damage were done during the riots that raged across America for weeks in the summer of 2020, it is the participants themselves who will be paid restitution by the government.
Law and order in the United States have now descended to a level of anarcho-tyranny in which the government funds rioters with the tax money of their victims. The slow death of the rule of law in America would be ugly enough, but what we are witnessing instead is the twisted, grimacing corpse of a system that was once designed to protect the safety of Americans now being used to punish us for disagreeing with our political elites.
The breakdown of law and order is common in nations that are in a general state of collapse. As the Constitution reminds us, the primary duties of a government include establishing justice and ensuring domestic tranquility. A nation that delivers neither will usually exhibit a wider range of systemic failures that would doom the larger civic project.
America, however, is perfectly capable of collecting taxes, surveilling its citizens, and fighting a proxy war against a nuclear-armed opponent in order to maintain a global empire. The destruction of rule of law by our leadership class does not seem to be a product of general incompetence, but a specifically engineered outcome designed to terrorize the average citizen. Conservative commentator Samuel Francis coined the term “anarcho-tyranny” to describe a state that is still capable of performing most of its essential functions, but intentionally chooses to use the selective enforcement of the justice system to punish law-abiding citizens while rewarding the criminal actions of its political supporters.
The pandemic lockdowns and subsequent riots of 2020 put this phenomenon on full display. Churches that had been banned from opening during the lockdown had their windows broken by rioters who stormed through the streets. Schoolchildren, isolated and locked indoors as parks and beaches were shut down, watched BLM and Antifa burn and loot their way across American cities. Average citizens who were forced to view the funerals of their loved ones via Zoom watched large crowds of Biden supporters embrace and sip champagne in the streets after their candidate was declared the victor. Conservative leaders remained silent as pastors were arrested for holding religious gatherings while abortion clinics and liquor stores continued to operate as essential services.
No one learned a more brutal lesson about the nature of anarcho-tyranny than the January 6 protesters. The BLM and Antifa riots functionally received state endorsement, as law enforcement knelt in submission, politicians and celebrities raised money to bail out participants, and corporations made major donations while altering their logos to show solidarity. It seemed perfectly reasonable to those who gathered outside the Capitol that they would be able to enter the building, whose doors were in some cases opened for them by police, without penalty.
CNN may have described the BLM riots as fiery but mostly peaceful, but the Trump protesters received no such media cover. A story about murdered police officers was quickly fabricated from whole cloth, and no celebrities came to the aid of those arrested on January 6. Many still face trial on wildly exaggerated charges while their lawyers are denied access to critical exculpatory footage.
Sadly, this phenomenon is nothing new. In his original piece on anarcho-tyranny, Francis recalled stories of police officers arresting shop owners who armed themselves with the intent of protecting their stores during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. The same officers who arrested law-abiding citizens who intended to exercise their constitutional right to protect their property studiously avoided confronting rioters, even going so far as to pass by stores that were actively being looted.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey faced a similar fate after attempting to protect their home from a BLM mob that had smashed through the gates of their neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri. The couple initially had felony charges filed against them for using legally owned firearms to deter the mob from further advancing onto their property. Mark McCloskey pleaded down to a fourth-degree misdemeanor and was eventually pardoned by Missouri Governor Mike Parson, but the message was clear: There is no right to self-defense against the agents of anarcho-tyranny.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has no issue with arresting peaceful pro-life protesters, has claimed that his organization is unable to apprehend those who firebomb crisis pregnancy centers because they do so at night when it is dark. The same state security apparatus that just cannot seem to find a way to prosecute the associates of Jeffery Epstein instructs FBI agents to target Catholics who attend a traditional Latin mass because they may be prone to violent extremism.
The application of the justice system in the United States is so laughably corrupt and nakedly political that it would make the dictator of a banana republic blush. Federal agencies regularly collude with media giants and tech companies to interfere with American elections but refuse to provide the most basic level of safety and security to the citizens they theoretically serve.
While our ruling elites have no interest in restricting the dangerous narcotics dealers and human traffickers that pour over the southern border, they have plenty of time to prosecute Douglas Mackey, who has been charged with the very serious crime of posting memes on Twitter that make fun of Hillary Clinton. The FBI may have refused to prosecute Clinton herself for her repeated mishandling of classified information due to the political ramifications of such charges, but it seems like Donald Trump will not be granted the same courtesy.
According to Trump, a leak has revealed that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg intends to charge the former president in connection with hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels during Trump’s first campaign. While it is unclear when the Soros-backed prosecutor would move forward with those charges, Bragg specifically ran on the promise of prosecuting Trump, so his intentions are very clear.
Bragg has also declared his commitment to anarcho-tyranny by setting a policy of not seeking the incarceration of criminals except in the case of homicide, economic crimes, and a handful of felonies. Releasing violent criminals to harass law-abiding citizens while prosecuting political opponents on fabricated charges is not a contradiction; it is a political formula designed to secure power.
While the naked politicization of the justice system in the United States may deliver short-term victories for progressives, it feels a lot like stripping the copper wiring out of a house that one intends to demolish. In major American cities, taxpayer money is being funneled to those who organize left-wing political violence while the streets are made increasingly dangerous by the very civil servants charged with their safety. Opposing politicians and dissidents who mock the regime face ludicrous charges intended to terrify the rest of the population into silence.
Popular sovereignty and rule of law are supposed to serve as the bedrock justifications for the power granted to America’s ruling class, but it is difficult to brand people like Donald Trump and Douglas Mackey as threats to democracy if they are rotting behind bars for the crime of opposing the Democratic Party.