Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Spoils of conquest

Institutionalizing a public monopoly on law enforcement may be partly rationalized by the idea that, by incorporating the largest variety of interests, the public monopoly acts without partiality and does not profit itself by the distribution of its efforts.

So it was with some interest that, while reading a London Free Press article in which Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Monte Kwinter muses about establishing a grow house registry — itself probably calculated to realize more political stigmatization of marijuana than any practical benefits — that 2005 legislation makes provisions for proceeds from the seizure of assets from grow houses to be spent on:

crime prevention, law enforcement or the administration of criminal justice, including property management […] and victim restitution, in accordance with the principles agreed upon by the Attorney General and the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services from time to time.
By such vague legislated directions as this is so much spending removed from direct legislative oversight — just who are the material victims here, for example? — but it is more alarming that ministries supervising law enforcement create incentives for themselves to pursue particular crimes, an emphasis that must come at the expense of pursuing less sensational and rewarding crimes. As a monopoly that sets the rules of engagement and seizes the spoils of its ventures for itself, there is little to distinguish such opportunistic law enforcement from marauding and pillaging adventurer-soldiers.

1 Comment:

Pietr said...

Just when will the so-called Libertarians sponsor a video game in which thugs compete to be the government?
It's so obvious!