Essay 2 Legal Studies.docx - Garrett Budlong Legal 250 Fri....

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Garrett BudlongLegal 250 Fri. 1:2511/30/18Professor McCarthyKarl Marx and the Militarization of PoliceThe enforcement and structure of police militarization reflects Karl Marx’s theory of therelationship between law and society because it represents the bourgeois’ use of law to dominatethe proletariats. The bourgeois is the higher, wealthier, capital owning class and the proletariatsare the working, middle to lower class. According to Karl Marx, the relationship between lawand society is that law is designed to oppress the proletariat class in order for the bourgeois classto maintain financial and physical dominance as well as the capitalist structure.The whole ideaof the bourgeois exploiting and dominating the proletariats through law and capitalism wasnamed the Superstructure by Karl Marx. According to Marx, the purpose of law is to maintainthe capitalist structure and ensure that the bourgeois class maintains societal power through a“false consciousness” of rights. This means that the law creates a “false consciousness” by beinguniversal and equal but is then applied to a fundamentally unequal social structure. Being appliedto an unequal social structure would mean that although the laws apply to everyone, they’d onlyeffect the proletariat class. For example, a law could be put in place that outlaws sleeping in thestreets. Although this applies to both the bourgeois and proletariats, only the poor and homelesssleep in the streets, therefore the law only impacts the proletariats. The structure of law allows itto target the proletariat class while appearing to be equal to everyone, which is the origin of the
“false consciousness”. Marx sees the law as a tool used by the bourgeois to ensure classinequality and rule over the proletariats.The mere idea of the militarization of police plays into Marx’s theory of law and society.The fact that law enforcement is getting stronger and military-like supports his theory that law isin place to dominate over the proletariat class. The police do not need to be militarized to fightthe common crimes going on in society, they’re being militarized to assume dominance overcitizens and ensure that the people remain in their place. According to Jeffery Fowler, evensmall-town departments are receiving military supplies, “The Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, PoliceDepartment, policing a village of approximately 6,700 residents, has received 10 helicopters, a

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Term
Spring
Professor
Holmes

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