To all the new followers


Greetings and welcome.

Once in a while I write clever things.

Most of the time, I write not clever things.

We are always learning and changing our beliefs

We support abolition of the police and prisons.

We are igtheists.

We cycle.

And we are architects.

I tweet a lot. If my tweets offend you, maybe your beliefs are the problem, not my tweets.

We hope you will find something you like.

Our comments policy is no insults. You can disagree robustly with the host or those who visit his spot but matusi, haikubaliwi kamwe.

with that, we say, karibuni

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

26 thoughts on “To all the new followers

  1. I beg to differ, my Kenyan brother. Frequently, you write clever things. More often than not, you write very profound things. More than likely, I, on the other hand, am too stupid to know the difference! ๐Ÿ™‚ Naked hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. john zande says:

    The Royal “We,” I’m impressed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rautakyy says:

    Ha, I am by no means a NEW follower, but I do not know why do you support the abolition of police? Not all police are bad. Are they? How would you deal with actual criminals without the police? Prisons can be very bad, but there are also better prisons, that manage to turn criminals into productive members of the society. Or am I mistaken?

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Hi rautakyy
      Most police are bad. Our police force is colonial in origin and in practice. No reform can possibly save it. And in most cases, the police started as militia to defend capitalists from striking workers or rather to beat workers into form. Maybe we work towards more equitable communities. We can build communal ways of addressing crime. Make education, healthcare and all accessible.
      I have read of the work the prisons in Iceland are doing towards rehabilitation. This is to be commended. Prison complex in say America is racist in origin and in practice. What reform would help it?

      Like

      • rautakyy says:

        I see what you mean, and mostly agree about your reasons. However, here in FInland just some hundred years ago, our justice system used to send worst criminals into exile to Siberia. This was the custom, as we were a part of the Russian empire. So, infact our police force is “colonial” in origin (in a sense) also. Not much over fifty years ago, the Finnish police was active in trying to break a general demonstration and strike by the labour movement. That would be unthinkable today.

        Our military is a sort of a “peoples army”, as most of our male population serves as conscripts and remain as military reserve to our elder years. The Finnish army has a tradition of having fought on the wrong side in WWII and this inevitably means there have been a lot of fascist ideals within the system, especially since our generals were not convicted for war crimes, as our allies were. But the Finnish army is and has been from the beginning, ideologically and in practice totally committed to serve the democratic political leadership. Without it, what do you think our beloved neighbours, the Russians would do? Finland is right beside their second biggect city.

        Not long ago there was an article by an Egyptian journalist student who visited Finland and a Neo-Nazi rally. He was threatened by the nazist demonstrators, but he felt safe after some young people looking at the demonstration had directed him to the safety of the police. He noted, that this was different from the demonstations he had visited in Egypt, especially, since he felt he could trust the Finnish police to actually protect him.

        It is rather telling, that when there was this terrorist knife attack here, the local police responded to it within minutes, and they did not kill the suspec (the dude running amock with a knife), they simply subdued him by shooting him into a leg. To me, this was good police work on so many levels.

        Today we have a lot of rehabilitating psychological work being done within our prison system. Not everybody can be so easily mended, but the direction is clearly for the better. The prisons, the police and the legal system is run by higly skilled professionals, the bigger problem is that in a democracy we have a lot of poorly educated people as voters, who think that the purpose of the prison system is mainly or even merely to punish the vicked, rather than rehabilitate them. Right wing populist politicians ride on the fears of these people. Some of those populists and voters work within the police, prisons system and other judical processes. While they are compelled to and rather universally act according to the high standards, they may have a very bad influence.

        I am not saying we have it perfect, or even trying to brag about how well of we are here it out here, rather than to point out that a change for the better is possible.

        I would like to hear more about your ideas how to replace the police, and communal ways to deal with crime. To me crime is usually either a representation of desperation, or an expression of a social and psychological problem of overt selfishness, but as long as the world is mostly run by overtly selfish people (who in most cases have no sense of illness) and capitalism is presented as an ideal, it is hard to see how we could manage without prisons and police.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. basenjibrian says:

    Yes. agree with rataukyy. The Police are often horrible. But so is the “village justice” of the anarchist or primitivist dream.

    Not sure everyone will be turned into productive members of society, though. Some people just need to be kept away from everyone else.

    Especially, sad to say, kept away from the women.

    https://www.bing.com/news/search?q=East+Area+Rapist&qpvt=East+Area+Rapist&FORM=EWRE

    It took a ton of effort, lots of police, lots of resources to finally find the guy. In the good old days before the police, towns would have just decided the local odd woman or the “fairy” or the religious nonconformist was obviously guilty, and he or she would have been lynched.

    Coming from the United States, the history of popular justice without police and courts and prisons is not….positive. Usually, minorities and the odd were simply killed for convenience.

    The Police are often horrible. All human institutions can be.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      The police are almost always horrible. That they solve crimes is not actually their active duty. Most times they exist to protect the status quo, together with the army and all.

      Like

      • basenjibrian says:

        I am much, much less sanguine about your “communal justice” Maka. Coming from a country with a history of communal “lynchings”. witch trials and the like, you have far more faith in a population that still supports Donald Trump than I do. Communal is not always good. I am not really very sanguine about relying on the justice of small town America, even though the police are often part of the problem.

        Your system would mean the rich hire their own private bodyguards, and the rest of the population would basically depend on street gangs.

        That is not denying how bad the police can be. Can be.

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          My friend Brian, you had these witch huntings while the police was in existence. It didn’t do much. Will not make a difference if there is no police.

          And currently, the rich hire their own bodyguards or have the police as their guards.

          In a sense, there are no communities. Community policing does not work in isolation of other community services. We must ensure the routes leading to prison or police cells are as few as humanely possible

          Like

  5. Barry says:

    Another who disagrees with the abolition of police. But then our police are unarmed and independent with one organisation covering the whole country. Law enforcement is just one of their roles. When my wife locked herself out of our house, who did she call on to help her gain access? The police. And they didn’t do any damage in the process, but did kindly point out how to make our home more secure, and provided tips on how to avoid getting locked out again.

    On several occasions when I’ve suffered a severe migraine where I experience extreme disorientation and confusion, it has often been the police that have taken me to hospital or taken me home. On one occasion I was locked for a short while as the officer thought I was under the influence of drugs, but that was before I wore a MedicAlert bracelet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      I expected no less from you Barry. Having heard all you have said about NZ, I would have been surprised if this were drastically different.
      More people are killed by cops in Nairobi than by thieves. Our police are responsible for forced disappearances.
      90% if you call the police, they arrive after the fact.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Barry says:

        On average NZ police shoot and kill one person every two years. However almost three people die each year in high speed vehicle crashes while attempting to escape a police pursuit. The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has recommended procedural changes to reduce this harm, but so far the police have not acted on the recommendations.

        Like

  6. basenjibrian says:

    On the other hand (and suggesting Maka’s suspicion of police is well-founded):

    WHITEWASH

    Posted on August 27, 2018 | by Ed | ๏‚† 2 Commentson WHITEWASH

    Every major city has attempted to improve โ€“ in a “let’s not actually address the problem” sort of way โ€“ community-police relations in recent years by establishing some sort of ostensibly civilian review or oversight board. In theory, this provides a layer of accountability over law enforcement who otherwise seem to act with impunity. In practice, these organizations are loaded up with carefully selected, inevitably very old or very white (preferably both) people whose reflex is to make excuses for police no matter what they do. When your Review and Accountability Board judges that every police-involved shooting is justified, it doesn’t take people long to figure out that it might not be a source of independent oversight after all.

    Seattle offers us an outstanding example of the phenomenon when its review board ruled not merely that the Seattle PD killing of 20 year old Tommy Le was justified because police “thought” he was holding a knife (it was a pen) but also that even if they HAD realized he was holding a pen it would have been justified anyway because a pen โ€œcan be used as an improvised weapon. Aimed at vulnerable parts of the body, like the face or throat, it can cause serious bodily injury if used to stab someone.โ€

    The report similarly concluded that Le was advancing on the officers โ€“ a linchpin of their case for having used lethal force against him โ€“ without addressing the autopsy report indicating he was shot in the back twice.

    Le clearly was on drugs when confronted โ€“ he was screaming and referring to himself as “The Creator” โ€“ so it’s not inconceivable that he might have been hard to handle. But if police cannot handle a stoned kid holding a pen with anything short of shooting him three times, then that is a remarkable indictment of how bad the Seattle Police are at their jobs. It’s certainly not a justification for their actions.

    The review board’s statement is exceptional here. It doesn’t stop, as it could have, at whitewashing the shooting. Everyone expects that when police departments and their apologists investigate themselves they will conclude inevitably that the officers “feared for their safety” and thus had no choice but to shoot the suspect however many times they felt appropriate. But they go on to state that even if a set of circumstances that did not exist had existed, the shooting still would have been justified. The officers asserted all along that they believed he was holding a knife. Hey that’s great, but even if you guys knew fully well that it was a pen you can still plug the kid because, hey, a pen can be a super dangerous weapon too, in certain scenarios we’ve seen in movies.

    It’s useful signaling to the police to let them know just how far the institutions that allegedly oversee them will go to cover for them.

    Like

  7. basenjibrian says:

    The same way one reforms any failing system. Constant pressure and protest, in multiple forms (even your humble blog!!!!)

    Expecting a “revolution” to solve the problem has not worked out very well, historically speaking.

    No easy answer.

    Some countries may be unreformable. I fear a good part of my countrymen are indeed “deplorables”.

    Like

  8. […] a recent blog, Makagutu made mention ofย  supporting the abolition of the police and prisons. While, in […]

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