Not really, but that should draw some clicks so allow me to explain.
We are a week into nationwide riots that broke out after a Minneapolis cop, Derek Chauvin, knelt on the neck of a Minneapolis net tax-consumer, George Floyd, possibly causing or contributing to Floyd’s death.
I’m not aware of any evidence that Chauvin acted out of racial animus. He seems to be a problematic cop–many are. From the video I’ve seen, Chauvin was attempting a restraint where you put the weight of your knee on the point of the suspect’s jaw. It produces exquisite but entirely transient pain–I’ve practiced it–and while you’re doing that your cop buddies can truss him up like a chicken. Nobody dies, nobody riots. But it’s dangerously easy to end up with weight on the carotid, which is where it looked like to me Chauvin was, and that impedes blood flow to the brain and breaks off plaque from the arterial wall. So Chauvin’s restraint may have caused Floyd to stroke out.
It’s a fascinating bio-mechanical problem if you’re into that sort of thing. Smarter cops probably would be into that sort of thing, but then the smarter-cop-tests would have disparate impact and a judge would declare them illegal. Oh well.
Floyd was under arrest for attempting to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. In more seasoned jurisdictions if you call in a counterfeit bill the police will tell you they will get to it when they get to it. But passing a counterfeit bill is probably still considered Serious Business in Minneapolis.
Arrests are fraught events these days. A physical struggle results in a middle-aged black man’s death and hey-o, millions in property damage, nationwide riots, the National Guard, freeways blocked, journalists gibbering, celebrities weeping, and on and on. For police departments dealing with gangland levels of disorder, counterfeit bills are just not worth it. “That’s what insurance is for” becomes the refrain in low-trust US jurisdictions.
Historically the standard first party-insurance policy did not cover riots or civil commotion. The economic rationale for the exclusion is the policyholder cannot be incentivized to make his environs riot-free unlike, for example, making sure his electrical wiring is Code-compliant or that his brakes work. He doesn’t wield the machinery of the State, so the loss of a stable civil order is considered a systemic risk which only the State can mitigate.
In present-day America the State no longer maintains a stable civil order. Instead, the State maintains anarcho-tyranny: the State can’t or won’t enforce laws against the criminal and the sociopathic (anarchy) so it enforces them against the socialized and the tax-paying (tyranny). In Minneapolis, the State declined to enforce the civil order so one of its citizens, John Reiple, did. The State cannot stand too much of that sort of thing because then the citizens start asking why they’re still paying taxes. So the State arrested John Reiple for murder.
The State has spent all the money doing everything but the one thing all taxpayers agree it should do: maintain the civil order. The State is broke and incompetent, so the State offloads more systemic risk on the private sector. I have previously written on the liability of property owners for the risk of criminal behavior here and here. Riot coverage is now written into a lot of policies even though there is absolutely nothing a business owner can do to mitigate the risk of riot except not locate near the riotous. Then the State, in thrall to the democratic Left, lectures us about food-deserts.
As the democratic State enters its terminal, anarcho-tyrannical phase more people begin to disregard its edicts. Notice that these nationwide riots are happening during one of the more vigorous flexes of State power in US history: the COVID-19 lockdown. With thousands of people engaged in marching, looting and assaulting in complete defiance of the State, it’s safe to say the lockdown is history–except, of course, for the law-abiding; see anarcho-tyranny, above. The State, ready or not, enters its denouement: anarcho-capitalism.
I actually doubt we see something quite so radical but then again, maybe we will. I do think within a few decades, or one, we are getting a new State–probably several of them. If we are fortunate, we will have a Sulla at the head and nobody will care whether every damn fool got a vote.