The essay highlights a real paradox in the thinking of what I will for the purposes of this comment call the radical Left. By the term, ‘radical Left’, I mean those activists and thinkers who are explicitly committed to a socialist future and who see this coming into being outside the existing state and the two major political parties. The term, ‘socialist’ is used here loosely, but roughly correlates with what Marxists would define as the end of the system of wage labor.
The pamphlet, ‘A World Without Police’ touches on one aspect of what this loosely defined socialist future would look like, public safety. In this vision a socialist future is one in which the public function of the police has lost its character as a special body of individuals. That function is now carried out directly and immediately by the members of society. It is, of course, tentative, as should be expected: It is impossible to say how those who have never grown up with armed men and women patrolling a community will function in absence of those men and women. But, the pamphlet tries to paint a realistic picture of what this looks like for those of us for whom the police seem as necessary as food and water.