The liberal identification of security

The liberal identification of security with liberty and property in fact masks an underlying insecurity at the heart of the bourgeois orderthe insecurity of propertywhich is deeply connected to the question of classSecurity is part of the rationale for the fabrication of order. In terms of the demand for order in civil society, it is under the banner of security that police most often marches. Mark Neocleous, The Fabrication of Social Order

Police function to produce race, a category essential to the workings of the state-market under racial capitalism. Any analysis of US policing must consider its constitutive relationship to the racialization of Black and brown subjects, not only theoretically but also in history, with the US polices structural formation as an antiblack force. Micol Seigel, Violence Work

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
The liberal identification of security
Just from $9/Page
Order Essay




The modern police force in the US was created to protect capital and the owners of capital. As the coercive arm of the state, the police are the primary instruments of state violence, particularly racialized state violence. They function as an occupying force in Americas impoverished ghettoes, barrios, reservations, on the Southwest border, and in any territory with high concentrations of subjugated communities. Their defense of corporate property and capitalist extraction was clearly on display during the protests against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

The Other BLM (Bureau of Land Management) hired armed officers, employed local police forces, and worked with the FBI to stop what US officials called domestic terrorism. At Standing Rock, North Dakota, the police and private guards used tear gas, batons, attack dogs, water cannons, rubber bullets, bean bag rounds, and mass arrest to attack Indigenous land defenders and water protectors and their alliesall in the name of protecting the interests of TC Energy Corporation, Energy Transfer Partners, and their various


R O B I N D . G . K E L L E Y ( H T T P S : / / S P E C T R E J O U R N A L . C O M / AU T H O R / R O B I N D G K E L L E Y / )

N o v e m b e r 8 , 2 0 2 0

Insecure: Policing Under Racial Capitalism


Insecure: Policing Under Racial Capitalism Spectre Journal

1 of 22 2/27/21, 10:31 AM

investors. And despite the handwringing and outrage over the Trump administrations flagrant violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 limiting the use of the military in domestic matters, the police have long functioned as an army against dissident social movements.

The police are the first line of defense against strikes and protests by Black, Brown, Indigenous, antiracist, antifascist, left-wing, queer, and feminist assemblies, while often becoming a cordon to protect Klansman, Nazis, and the Alt Right. For readers of Spectre this is all common knowledge. The idea that the police were created to uphold bourgeois class rule and white supremacy has pretty much been accepted wisdom among various Marxists for at least a century. And yet, abolishing the police has only recently become a chief demand among broad sectors of the Marxist leftand even now, it is not universally embraced.



Abolishing the police has only recently become a chief demand among broad sectors of the Marxist left.

We shouldnt be surprised since the current push to defund or abolish the police grew from a decade of organizing by radical movements that are frequently relegated to the margins of the left or dismissed as identity movementsnamely, anticarceral feminists, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous radicals, community and youth-based mobilizations against police violence. Among them are Black Lives Matter, the Dream Defenders, Black Youth Project 100, We Charge Genocide, BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity), Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, Dignity and Power Now, Ellas Daughters, Assatas Daughters, Black Feminist Futures Project, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Let Us Breathe Collective, Hands Up United, Lost Voices, Organization for Black Struggle, Millennial Activists Unitedorganizations that at some point fell under the umbrella of the Movement for Black Lives.

While the demand for police abolition surfaced in 2014 during the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in response to the killing of Michael Brown, it doesnt begin there. Critical Resistance issued a statement calling for the abolition of police as early as 2009. Instead of police, the statement asks what if we got together with members of our communities and created systems of support for each other? We are capable of looking after and caring for one another, providing each other with our basic human needs, creating community self- determination. Relying on and deploying policing denies our ability to do this, to create real safety in our communities.

Critical Resistance was part of a wave of radical formations in the 1990s that laid the foundations for the current wave of police and prison abolition: the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Prison Activist Resource Center, the Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, Labor/Community Strategy Center, Project South, POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights), Southerners on New Ground (SONG); INCITE: Women of Color Against Violence, Sista II Sista, the Los Angeles Community Action Network, Black Youth Coalition Against Civil Injustice, Miami Workers Center, the Praxis Project, FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment), Queers for Economic Justice, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), to name a few.

That some of these organizations and many of the leading abolitionist thinkers identify as Marxist or Marxist- orientednotably, Angela Davis, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and Mariame Kaba, among othersdoesnt seem to matter. There is a tendency among sectors of the left to treat these movements as narrowly focused on identity, at best, or race reductionist, at worst. According to this logic, the only movements that matter focus on universal issues of classjobs, healthcare, taxes, and the environment.

The problem with this argument is that it confuses opposition to institutional oppression and marginalization with identity politics. None of these movements are exclusionary. They not only resist racialized and gendered state violence but capitalism itself. Besides, what is more universal than a movement dedicated to





Insecure: Policing Under Racial Capitalism Spectre Journal

2 of 22 2/27/21, 10:31 AM

eradicating all forms of oppression and exploitation; ending state-sanctioned violence; replacing police, military, and prisons with genuine, humane, noncarceral paths for safety and justice?

This narrow conception of the US left has largely rendered invisible a Black Marxist critique of state violence and policing within established socialist and communist movementsone exception being the Communist leader William L. Pattersons landmark appeal to the United Nations, We Charge Genocide. There has been surprisingly little discussion of the CPUSAs National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, which grew out of the campaign to free Angela Davis. Nor has anyone, as far as I know, acknowledged Paul Boutelle (later known as Kwame Somburu) who called for abolishing the police when he was the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Partys (SWP) vice-presidential candidate in 1968.

The Harlem-born Boutelle left school at age sixteen, tired of being indoctrinated with Christianity, Capitalism, and Caucasianism. He drove a taxi for a living and became active in a number of Black nationalist and anti- imperialist organizations during the early 60s, including the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and the Freedom Now Party, an all-Black political party that endorsed African American SWP leader Clifton DeBerry for president in 1964. That year Boutelle ran unsuccessfully for a New York State Senate seat on the Freedom Now Party ticket.

He joined Malcolm Xs short-lived Organization of Afro-American Unity and witnessed his assassination in the Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965. Boutelle immersed himself in SWP politics, running for Manhattan Borough president in 1965, state attorney general in 1966, chairing Afro-Americans Against the War in Vietnam and the Black United Action Front, before his historic vice-presidential bid as Fred Halsteads running mate.

Boutelles campaign plank in 1968 could be adopted today. In one of his early stump speeches in Philadelphia, he called for free college education and medical care for all, a reduced work week with no corresponding reduction in pay, ending the Vietnam war and reinvesting those resources in schools and hospitals and decent low-rent homes, nationalizing banks and major corporations and placing them under the control of democratically elected workers committees, and the abolition of police. The latter, it should be noted, was not part of the SWPs platform, but Boutelle nevertheless proposed a public safety alternative that would entail electing representatives from communities to replace troops and police.

Following a wave of urban rebellions against police violence during the summer of 1967, Boutelle argued that the militarization of police mirrored US counterinsurgency measures abroad. The capitalist class determines the means of the struggle in this country, and their means is violence. They are ready to do anything at all to suppress the black movementhelicopters, armored tanks, chemical warfare, even concentration camps.

In other words, the Black lefts protracted struggle to dismantle the US police state has for too long remained at the margins of Marxist thought and praxis. The problem was highlighted recently in Spectre by Peter Ikeler in his excellent response to Dustin Guastella, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) leader who not only opposes defunding the police but affirms their role in ensuring public safetyparticularly the safety of people of color and the poor.

Ikeler demolishes Guastellas arguments, point by point, and his fundamental conclusion repeats what police and prison abolitionists such as Mariame Kaba, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Angela Davis and, indirectly at least, Paul Boutelle (Kwame Somburu) and others have been saying for decades: To End Police Violence, End Racial Capitalism. Ikelers piece is compelling and persuasive, but it opens up a larger question: what is the role of police in reproducing racial capitalism? This article is an attempt to offer some schematic answers to this question, particularly with respect to the function of police in real estate, finance capital, and technology, as generators of revenue, and as labor.






Insecure: Policing Under Racial Capitalism Spectre Journal

3 of 22 2/27/21, 10:31 AM


Ruth Wilson Gilmore reminds us that Capitalism [is] never not racial. Capitalism emerged in Europe within a feudal system already built on racial hierarchy. Capitalism was/is racial not because of some conspiracy to divide workers or justify slavery and dispossession, but because racialism had already permeated Western feudal society. Racial capitalism extracts surplus value and structures exchange value by assigning differential value to human life and labor: through land enclosure, slavery, dispossession, displacement, predatory lending, taxation, disfranchisement, and the long history of looting through terror and government policies that suppressed wages of racialized subjects, relieved them of property, excluded Black people from better schools and public accommodations, suppressed Black home values, and subsidized white wealth accumulation.

Racial capitalism is dynamic. The last couple of generations have endured a neoliberal variant of racial capitalism that dismantled the welfare state; promoted capital flight; privatized public schools, hospitals, housing, transit, and other public resources; and resulted in the massive growth of police and prisons. These policies have produced scarcity, poverty, alternative (illicit) economies regulated through violence, and environmental and health hazards.

Just as capitalism emerged within the feudal order, so did the police. Capitalists may not have invented police, but they remade police into a tool to secure property, profits, and people who refuse to accept the terms of exploitation. In North America, the precursors to the police were the slave patrols citizen militias deputized by local, state, and federal governments to track down fugitive slaves and put down insurrections and militias deployed to suppress Native communities.

However, the slave patrols were not a police force, per se. They were closer to what Friedrich Engels described as self-acting armed organizations of the population. Using Europe as his guide, Engels recognized the danger that popular militias pose for the state, especially as the class divide sharpens. Fear of armed rebellion compelled the state to replace popular militias with units of armed men employed by the state (police and standing armies) and backed up with material adjuncts, prisons, and institutions of coercion of all kinds.

In settler societies like North America, however, race kept these popular militias loyal to the state and its colonial projects, even as class antagonisms grew. These units were white for a reason. Before the birth of the Republic, colonial landholders had to manage kidnapped African labor, unruly indentured white labor, and relations with what were then sovereign and often powerful Indigenous communities. Unable to stop white servants and Africans from running away together, finding refuge in swamps, hills, and among Native peoples, the landowning class decided to free white servants and turn them into small property owners, proletarian citizens, and/or slave patrollers invested in the white Republic and the dream of attaining wealth and power for themselves.

An armed white population was not only central to legitimizing antiBlack and anti-Indigenous violence, but it also shored up white propertyless and working class support for this regime. However, with the growth of industrial capitalism and the increase in European immigration during the late nineteenth century, the state and owners of capital could no longer depend on white workers to support the status quo. Professional police forces replaced citizen militias.

Although by the turn of the twentieth century the state held a monopoly of lethal force and assumed greater responsibility for maintaining order, upholding the color line, regulating sexuality, and suppressing dissent, bodies of armed whites continued to exist as adjuncts to racialized state violence. Therefore, it is important to make a distinction between the police as a formal, modern institution and policing as a broader set of practices and procedures that operate beyond (but sanctioned by) formal state structures. Historian Peter Linebaugh put it best: Investigation into the history of police soon finds it to be inseparable from conquest, slavery, debt, industrial discipline, and social hierarchies. Armed settlers, pioneers, militia, army units, slave







Insecure: Policing Under Racial Capitalism Spectre Journal

4 of 22 2/27/21, 10:31 AM

patrollers, Texas rangers, posse comitatus, slave catchers, factory guards, troopers, private security forces, vigilante groups, MPs, lynch mobs, Fords service department, death squads, night riders, and the KKK have all served police functions.

Lets take lynch mobs. How do we explain the fact that Congress passed the first antilynching bill in US history in 2020? (As of this writing, the bill still has not passed the Senate since it is being held up by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. ) Since 1882, the nearly two hundred antilynching bills introduced to the US Congress were all defeated. Were inclined to either scratch our heads in befuddlement or blame die-hard racist Southern Senators, but the fact of the matter is that lynching was a form of policing.



Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment Help Service Works

1. Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2. Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3. Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4. Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essay GET A PERFECT SCORE!!! smile and order essay Buy Custom Essay

Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
error: Content is protected !!
Open chat
Need assignment help? You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp using +1 718 717 2861

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.
  +1 718 717 2861           + 44 161 818 7126           [email protected]
  +1 718 717 2861         [email protected]