California’s First Experiment without Police
Excerpt: The temporary collapse of authority in many American cities, and the proposals of “defund the police” advocates to make that collapse permanent, has illustrated a timeless truth: When government authority dissolves, people will form their own armed enforcers of order. You will not get a peace-and-love utopia: You will instead get vigilante justice, posses, and lynchings. It will not be pretty; in Kenosha, Wis., it has already led to one well-publicized shooting. More force still will be needed to retake control. Come back with me to San Francisco in the 1850s to see how Americans learned this lesson once before.