The grim lessons of CHOP

The happy inmates of CHOP—the residents and business owners of the Capitol Hill district—were initially reported to be perfectly thrilled with their position at the center of utopia. Then again, surrounded as they were by massive mobs of angry people, with no expectation of police protection, they weren’t exactly free to speak their minds, were they?

There’s not much autonomy for those unfortunate enough to be trapped inside the Autonomous Zone…

This is the massive contradiction of the whole campaign to use street protests to delegitimize and defund the police, because it’s now clear that the anarchic forces unleashed when the police withdraw are far more dangerous.

One of the organizations that was still trying to run interference for CHOP even in its final days, blaming the chaos on everyone and everything but themselves, is called Black Collective Voice. Well, that’s the problem, isn’t it? Setting yourself up as the self-appointed voice of the “collective” is a great way of avoiding any actual accountability to the people you are claiming to represent.

This illusion of “collective” power is an old lesson of socialist utopias. It always turns out that some people are more equal than others.