Call the COPS – But Not the Police

“Call the COPS – But Not the Police: Voluntaryism and Protective Agencies in Historical Perspective” is an essay by Carl Watner originally included in The Voluntaryist newsletter #123, published in late 2004. The “COPS” referenced, is an acronym for the Committee for Peace and Safety – volunteers who help maintain the peace – used by Jim Payne in his book Princess of Navina Visits Voluntaria.

Watner’s essay is six pages long, with a seventh page of citations, and on the eighth page, part of “The Myth of the Rule of Law” by John Hasnas. Watner notes:

The purpose of this article is to present a brief overview of the history and evolution of policing, and to show that the only legitimate police function (keeping the peace) is made impossible when the police are agents of the coercive state.

Even in the most totalitarian of regimes, police rely on granted legitimacy – on people buying into the bad idea that certain acts are permissible for some but not others. Bad ideas acted upon lead to bad consequences (insert any number of historic and current examples here).

Instead of believing safety can ever be obtained from a coercive monopoly might it make more sense to rely on your trusted network (as the Peacekeeper app facilitates), those you choose to contract with (such as those at the Threat Management Center), or any other voluntary arrangement?

Fortunately, we’re each reasoning beings, able to think for ourselves. If new ideas are thought more sound than those currently-held, we can incorporate them and act accordingly. That is the reason this essay is shared and why this site exists – to share ideas. After all, real change happens one mind at a time.

Call the COPS – But Not the Police

Counter the lies you’ve been exposed to by government schools and the corporate media:


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Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.