Police

 


 

[1791]  Wilhelm von Humboldt,  The Limits of State Action, Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, 1993

-  "If it were possible to make an accurate calculation of the evils which police regulations occasion, and of those which they prevent, the number of the former would, in all cases, exceed that of the latter." (p. 81)

 

[1945]  Bertrand de Jouvenel, On Power : its nature and the history of its growth (Du pouvoir : histoire naturelle de sa croissance), Liberty Press, Indianapolis, 1993

-  "No absolute monarch ever had at his disposal a police force comparable to those of modern democracies." (p. 23)

 

[1964]  Vance Packard,  The Naked Society, Lomgmans, London, 1964

-  "Currently the most flagrant abuses of individual rights by police occur in the way the police apprehend and treat persons suspected of possible involvement in a crime." (p. 257)

-  "Today the hurt inflicted by arbitrary arrest is perhaps greater than it was two century ago." (p. 257)

-  "The Uniform Crime Reports showing U.S. arrests by categories disclose that in two recent years, 1959 and 1960, the number of arrests on 'suspicion' was close to 100,000 each year. As Mr. Barth points out, 'suspicion' is not a crime anywhere in the United States. Suspicion is a far cry from the constitutional requirement of 'probable cause'." (p. 258)

- "The overwhelming majority of people arrested on 'suspicion' - and thus given the stigma of an arrest record - are released without being charged with anything." (p. 258)

-  "In Washington, D.C., during some recent years virtually none of the thousands of persons arrested 'for investigation' was ever charged with any crime." (p. 259)

 

[1999]  Martin van Creveld,  The Rise and Decline of the State, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999

-  "... the distinction of setting up the first nationwide police force responsible for all forms of internal security belongs to Napoleon. Beginning in 1799, he systematically merged the various forces already existing with each other and put them under a single minister, Joseph Fouché. A sinister genius ... Fouché developed his command into a vast organization; the number of provincial commissaires de police alone rose from thirty at the beginning of the empire to four times that number ten years later. Even so, the uniformed police which now made its presence felt in every district and town only represented the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Not visible to the public eye was the Sûreté, established in 1810 and at first headed by a reformed criminal and daredevil jailbreaker, François Vidocq, to say nothing of a very large number of professional, semi-professional, and amateur informers known as mouchards." (p. 167)

-  "To compare the security forces run by the likes of Lavrenty Beria, Arturo Bocchini, and Heinrich Himmler with the police apparatus maintained by the democratic countries of the West is less than fair. Yet it should be kept in mind that, however great the differences that separated them, in the end they were all offshoots of the same tree whose roots had been so firmly planted by Napoleon." (p. 223)

 

[1999]  Louis Bériot,  Abus de Bien Public. Enquête sur les milliards gaspillés par l'Etat. Les chiffres, les preuves, les responsables, Plon, Paris, 1999

-  "... si la France ne possède pas de police politique, elle dispose, en revanche, de sa police fiscale pour mater les citoyens récalcitrants ou trop critiques. Certains ministres se sont même vantés d'en avoir fait usage." (p. 14)

 

[2000] John Torpey,  The Invention of the Passport. Surveillance, Citizenship and the State, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000

-  "All the experts essentially recognize that the really dangerous people almost always find a way to get in and out. Passport requirements and especially visa requirements, thus result in an heavy burden on the movement of the broad mass of innocent travelers. An enormous - and largely useless - administrative effort is expended trying to get a few wrongdoers by issuing millions of passports and visa to innocent people." (p. 148 - from a discourse of the West Germany Interior Minister, 26 September 1951)

-  "Our everyday acceptance of 'the passport nuisance' and of the frequent demands from state officials that we produce 'ID' is a sign of the success with which states have monopolized the capacity to regulate movement and thus to constrain the freedom of ordinary people to come and go. The state monopolization of the means of legitimate movement has thus rendered individual travelers dependent on state regulation of their movements in a manner previously unparalleled in human history. In this regard, people have to some extent become prisoners of their identities, which may sharply limit their opportunities to come and go across jurisdictional spaces." (p. 166)