Ari Kohen: Well-meaning but naive apologist for state brutality
So, my good friend A. Kohen concedes there is a problem.
But the problem is not with the state (because how could there be a problem with the secular God you worship?). The problem has to be with the acolytes, who are confused and not in touch with the true spirit of the loving God-state that, really, deep down, cherishes us all. Dr. Kohen is opposed to capital punishment, which majorities love. But that's just a mistake. Dr. Kohen is opposed to amendments against gay marriage, which majorities love. But that's just a mistake, too. All the rest of the time we should be forced to obey the majority, at gunpoint*. At least, when the majority agrees with Dr. Kohen (because, being a political theorist with absolutely no political experience, he has a special connection to the truth.)
[*"Gunpoint" means the guns held by the state. Dr. Kohen does not believe the rest of us are smart or responsible enough to have guns. Fortunately, as soon as you take a job with the state, Dr. Kohen believes that you become much, much smarter!]
So, let's try it again. It's not like the random strip search of innocent citizens is rare, or anything. The events I have in mind:
1. Little girl draws picture of her dad with a gun. Not shooting the gun. Not a picture of a child with a gun. A picture of an adult man with a gun, drawn in crayon.
2. Teacher goes nuts. Calls the police. Police interrogate 4 year old girl. Police say, "Kid seemed scared." They conclude that the home was unsafe. Alternative proposed explanation: 4 year old girl being interrogated by strange, scary men with uniforms would be enough to explain "Kid seemed scared." That would certainly explain, "Mungowitz seemed scared."
3. Because child was able to describe gun (meaning, presumably, she had seen it?), police arrest father when he comes to pick up daughter. Police STRIP SEARCH the father, arrest him, and jail him. Their "probable cause"? Daughter had drawn a picture of the gun, and could describe it in detail.
4. Police break into house, search house, find gun. It is a clear plastic toy. TRANSPARENTLY fake, if you will. Not remotely resembling a real gun.
5. Even if it were a real gun, there is no reason to believe that it was loaded or handled unsafely. Again, the picture was of the DAD holding the gun. The little girl admired her dad, so she drew a picture of him. Said that her daddy was going to shoot the "bad guys and monsters."
Now, the point. You state lovers will, as always, say that you fall out only with the abuses. And you will likely point to the fact that guns are in fact misused.
But the more constant misuse, the daily, immanent misuse, is the state's misuse of power over its citizens. Dr. Kohen wants to argue that the problems are minor compared to the many advantages of the state forcing everyone to do what Dr. Kohen and his "liberal theory" has decided is good for us.
That separation is an illusion. It is intrinsic to the state to be abusive. And it is the nature of the majority to sanction that abuse, to abet it, even to foment it. I was a little surprised (no, that's a lie, I'm not at all surprised) to learn that school officials defended the arrest/strip search/home invasion without probable cause on the grounds that "you can't be too careful."
No, in fact, you must be too careful. The 4th amendment used to tell us so. Canada, where the events above transpired, doesn't have a 4th amendment, of course. But neither does the US, because we have come to worship the state and its infallibility.
When the dad was released, the little girl was crying and crying. "Are you mad at me, Daddy? What did I do wrong?"
Nothing, child. You just had the misfortune to be born in a modern democracy. I'd say "police state," but that would be redundant.
UPDATE: A lot of the comments here are amazing. Interesting to see how Dr. Kohen's peeps think.