Watching the chaos that has infected Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Maryland, and most recently Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it is easy imagine civilization itself dissolving into chaos beyond most political categorizations. As social order simply ceases to be, people normalize violence, looting, and destruction with no consideration for who they harm or what they are unwittingly giving up. As ghettos and burned out shells of neighborhoods threaten to consume entire cities, a question begs an answer, and society needs to reply.
When it is clear that our police officers are no longer patrolling civilized city streets but a paved wilderness where the law is seen as a hostile threat, should the state continue to impose itself on people who have so rejected society that they can no longer see any benefits of remaining part of it? This is not an easy question to answer, because it’s so far outside the bounds of a civilized person’s definition of normalcy, but the question remains valid, nonetheless.
Let’s consider seriously, if just for a moment, the very real possibility that the answer to the question is “no“. What does that look like? The fundamental principles of the founding of our society are clear, so a people who no longer wish to be party with a government, local or otherwise, have the right to disentangle their lives from any government that they no longer see as representing their best interests. So on the grounds of fundamental Liberty, it is immoral not to allow them to do so.
It is also immoral to endanger the lives of the men and women in uniform, simply to impose the laws of a municipality that clearly has no interest in participating in the laws of the municipality. From a practical stand point, these areas are unlikely to be generating the tax revenue to justify the expense of providing municipal services. In all fairness, these communities are taking services and resources from other areas that probably need and appreciate them more. That said, the land belongs to the State and to the nation, so this precludes outright secession.
By these arguments, the only just thing to do is to disincorporate these communities from the municipalities, and turn them over to their respective counties. This, of course, means that the municipalities will no longer provide police, fire, ambulance, utility, sewage, or coroner services for these disincorporated areas. On the other hand, this necessarily insures that the communities will be freed of the police that they claim are brutalizing them. It will also mean that they will have to decide whether to buy back into the municipality, establish their own city government, or simply exist as an unincorporated community.
This is an imperfect solution to conflicts between minority communities and municipal authorities, and certainly can’t be implemented in many cases, but this is clearly a just solution, with firm grounding in the principles of the right to self governance balanced with the principles of state sovereignty. The only possible difficulty is if a disincorporated communities are so dysfunctional so as not to even be resemble a community at all. At that point, it will likely be up to State level government to restore order.
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