Thursday, January 13, 2011

3CPO & Private Police

3CPO stands for Canadian Common Corps Peace Officers. It's one of those Freeman-On-The-Land things. It's actually a pretty good idea.

People are free to do what they want, and if that involves opting out of the State using Canadian law, then feel free. I merely find the whole thing interesting, although I don't buy into it.

It's not that I'm anti-Freeman, it's just that I prefer to live under the State apparatus and go about my life informing and educating people about the true nature of the State. Personally, if I opt-out now I'll have to deal with cops, lawyers and the courts until either the State defaults or I decide to leave the country. Kind of seems counterproductive.

There's a series of videos posted by Robert “of the Menard Family” on Youtube entitled 3CPO. Star Wars, right? That's what I thought too, but it turns out that it actually stands for “Canadian Common Corps. of Peace Officers.” Basically, it's the police force for the Freemen.

The basis of this argument is that Canadians can be their own peace officers. In his videos, Robert cites the Criminal Code of Canada as his proof. Here's how the Act defines “peace officer”

The only loophole I can spot is section (c),

(c) a police officer, police constable, bailiff, constable, or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace or for the service or execution of civil process, [emphasis mine]

This can also include pilots (section f), mayors (section a) or even a fishery guardian (section e). So section c seems to indicate that anyone that has the consent of the public to preserve and maintain the public peace is, in fact, a peace officer. What constitutes the public? In Robert's view it meant the people that showed up to see his self imposed oath and signed his peace officer contract.

Of course one still has to deal with the "public officer."

(a) an officer of customs or excise,
(b) an officer of the Canadian Forces,
(c) an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and
(d) any officer while the officer is engaged in enforcing the laws of Canada relating to revenue, customs, excise, trade or navigation;

But according to the Freeman doctrine, by not consenting to be governed we cease to relate to revenue and therefore no longer a "child of the province" and subject to the authority of "public officers."

This gets at the core of my overall problem with the Freeman movement. The State is going to do what it wants to do; the “Criminal Code of Canada” is just a way of legitimizing the criminal organization that is the State. The State makes the rules, therefore there are no rules. But I like Robert's initial idea.

It is a fact that governments hire police monopolies. For example, most municipalities in Ontario actually hire the OPP in their budget. At anytime if the councilors feel that the OPP has become a burden on taxpayers, they can hire another private security force to take over the jurisdiction. This is where Robert is wrong, Robert of the Menard Family believes the problem lay in profit motive. This is a common economic fallacy that still rings true for most Canadians.

As it stands (in Ontario, but I'm sure it's similar in all of Canada), the OPP make money by charging the municipalities for their service. In return governments get enforcement of various statutes (like tickets and fines) that bring in revenue for the State. Likewise, lawyers get a cut of the deal as private law firms make money by buying into the statutory law scheme.

Rob blames the government, monopoly police force and the private law firms as being greedy and looks to the courts as our only means for freedom. The fact is, all but the private lawyers make up the individuals of the State apparatus, although the police force is perfectly capable of providing services on a competitive market - working for the people instead of the State monopoly.

Rob's solution is the 3CPO, where peace officers enter into voluntary contract with the community to preserve and maintain the peace. At 2:45 in this video Rob can be seen receiving money, presumably, for his services as a peace officer. That throws out his "profit-motive" argument, but the basis of entering into a voluntary contract with police is what will help fix the system.

Here's my take on the problem:

The municipalities should just stop hiring the OPP as their peace officers. We already have private law, why not private defense? Cops free from the provincial (and federal) monopoly are free to compete by offering better services, to meet their consumers demands on what crime actually means to them. If police go around busting cars going 90km in an 80km zone, or a young couple growing and smoking marijuana - then people aren't going to pay for that service unless they feel its necessary. Consumer demand and profit motive weed out inefficient businesses and reward the good ones. A police service that supplies the needs of individual communities, whatever those local needs may be, will be far more effective when there's a greater variety of choice.

Of course, there's always the problem that the various statutes the police are enforcing are actually provincial and federal statutes. That way, despite the requests of the munis or even the individual, cops (public or private) are required to enforce the law.

But here's the great part: without coercion, the State has no power. If the cops in your community stopped enforcing drug laws or speed limits, then what difference would it make what some parasite in Parliament thinks? The worst case scenario (and the probable one) is that the Feds send their cops in to crush the dissidents. The best case scenario (another probable one) is that the police realize they're not getting any pensions and the State paycheck isn't buying what it used to. In this case the private sector, or the counter-economy, will look increasingly appealing.

The essence of the Freeman movement is freedom now for the individual. In anarchy and libertarianism, it's freedom later for everyone. There's a reason Albert Jay Nock was depressed when he died. There's a reason Ayn Rand muttered the words “it's sooner than you think.” A free society is a long-term project, something that's definitely kicked into high gear in the recent years, but it's a long process nevertheless. Opting out of the State doesn't create a Stateless society. I imagine most Freemen find living outside the apparatus even more challenging than living in it. It was for this reason that Robert created the 3CPO in the first place. Cops and lawyers “working for profit” keep dragging Freemen back into the system as they try to live outside it.

But I'm injecting my own view into this movement. Perhaps Freemen don't hate government as much as I imagine they do. It seems that, from some of the videos I've watched and articles I've read, that a lot of Freemen (Canadians in particular) see the State as working to their advantage, whereas I see the State as an inherently violent criminal organization. Freeman like to use the courts and legal definitions to live free. I prefer just to live free, and to keep getting the word out. Perhaps these two quotations will sum up part of my philosophy:

“The best we can do is spread the word using all the means at our disposal to explain that what you've been taught is bunk and the people you've been told to admire are, frankly, parasites.”
– Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”
– Professor Bernardo de la Paz, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

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