There has been a long-term, bipartisan consensus in favor of austerity politics and that has meant the shifting of resources away from social needs, and when problems develop as a result of that, we address those problems through punitive, coercive policing actions. We really need a major rearrangement of that politics, where the only positive thing the government can do is give more tax breaks to the rich. We need some kind of reorganization of our priorities.
Sociologist Alex S. Vitale explains why the problems of modern policing - brutality, militarization and corruption - can't be reformed away in a capitalist system with only force to offer the poor and disenfranchised, and how only democratic solutions to address the roots of social problems can deliver a safer, more just society for all its citizens.
Alex is author of The End of Policing from Verso.