First, I would like to point out that a “police state” is not a society where we have good policing. It is also not a concept that our Founding Fathers envisioned for our country. Additionally, the United States is not currently a police state. However, that could unfortunately change in the future.
Also, the current situation in Georgia does not closely resemble what you are about to read about. The vast majority of police officers and their superiors strive to adhere to the Constitution when carrying out their duties. I am a grateful citizen who knows that a call to the police when I or my family is in danger will yield a quick response through our highly efficient 911 system.
With that being said, this healthy relationship between the citizens and law enforcement has not always been prevalent in countries around the world. Historically, the term “police state” was first used in 1851, in reference to the use of a national police force to maintain order in Austria. This European term would coincidentally come into full force 80 years later in the same region.
In general, a police state is a country or political subdivision that adheres so much to governmental control of its population that law enforcement has unfettered power to arrest, detain, abuse, and even execute “criminals” without due process of law. It is the purest example of left wing ideology where the people have absolutely no right to challenge the power of the government.
Under the political model of a police state, the ruler is the “highest servant of the state” and exercises absolute power to provide for the general welfare of the population. This model of government proposes that all the power of the state must be directed toward this end, and rejects codified, statutory constraints upon the ruler’s absolute power.
The ruler, or dictator, is said to be charged with the public good, and is implicitly infallible by right of appointment. Even critical, loyal opposition to the ruler’s party is a crime against the state. The concept of loyal opposition is incompatible with these left wing politics. As public dissent is forbidden, it inevitably becomes secret, which, in turn, is countered with political repression via a secret police force.
Secret police, like the Gestapo, are almost always prevalent in a police state. It is also interesting to note that in police states, individual gun ownership is always outlawed.
History provides some crystal clear examples of police states. The Soviet Union and its many satellite states, including North Korea and East Germany, were notorious for their extensive and repressive police and intelligence services. The same was, and probably still is, for Cuba, China, and almost every communist government that has ever existed.
Another example is Germany’s Third Reich in the 1930’s and 40’s. Nazi Germany was a dictatorship that exerted horrible repressive controls over its people. Nazi Germany was indeed a police state; using the SS and SA to assert control over the entire population leading up to World War II and during the War. (Some folks are convinced that Germany at this time was a right wing government because of its strong sense of nationalism and big business involvement in war production. However, nothing could be further from the truth. For a detailed explanation of why Nazi Germany was an extreme left wing regime, read the book Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg).
Not surprisingly, police states exist today as well. Reporters Without Borders ranked North Korea second to last out of 168 countries in a test of press freedom. It has been reported that the only TV channel in North Korea predominately eulogizes the country’s past leaders Kim Jong Il and his father Kim Il Sung. As a result, some locals in Pyongyang have been quoted as stating that their leaders are gods. This god-like worship of political leaders also existed in police states when Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Fidel Castro were in power.
As I said in the beginning, thankfully we do not live in a police state. However, it takes vigilant and informed citizens to remain active in the political process to prevent our country from moving into the direction of a police state.
History going all the way back to the Roman Empire teaches us that the more we rely on government and the less we rely on ourselves will eventually lead us down a dark path of destruction where there is no turning back.