Abolish ICE

Really, the entire fact there’s a disagreement with the parameters of the one that’s apparently emerging shows how fucked-up and detached from reality Establishment political narratives tend to be.

First, when Democratic politicians talk about “ablolishing ICE,” they’re talking about a rebranding, not an abolition. Politicians in the service of the State will stay politicians in the service of the State, and the State will remain the State. It will still have borders and laws, including laws that mandate respect for borders. The laws will be meaningless absent some way to enforce them.

ICE hasn’t existed forever. It’s only been around since 2002. Did the USA have borders prior to 2002? Were there laws about those borders prior to 2002? Were there people enforcing those laws prior to 2002? Of course! It’s just that the enforcement was done by other agencies called by other names and operating under a slightly different management structure, that’s all.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that any Democratic Party-backed bill which “abolishes ICE” would accomplish any amount of overall change more significant than the one that happened when ICE was created in the first place.

Second, there is going to be no anarchist world of no nations and borders in the next few years; it is simply not possible to create one in so short a time frame. Third, it is a contradiction in terms to suggest that such a world would be possible to create by legislating from above via the machinery of electoral politics.

So, we are now at three very good reasons why the whole premise of this emerging “debate” is totally bogus. Not that I expect such facts to make much difference when it comes to the continued presence of the “debate.” Establishment politics is often totally divorced from reality.

A far more relevant short-term question to be arguing over would be how to defang the State, as permanently as possible, so it is not so easily able to engage in the sort of cruel, authoritarian policies it recently has been engaging in on a wholesale scale.

Rebranding might be part of this, because labels can be powerful things. Changing them can be a way to express and continually remind people that the standards and rules have changed, and that what was done in the past is no longer acceptable today. On the other hand, rebranding can also serve as a smokescreen to distract from how a “reform” is just a pseudo-reform and the same injustices are still happening at the same scale, just under a different name.

Ultimately, the rebranding is far less important than the need for underlying change which should accompany it. Arguing about the rebranding while mostly ignoring the need for underlying change is just stupid.

This suggests the best way to respond to any Establishment figure who asks about “abolishing ICE.” Reject the question and challenge its premises. Say something like:

I think the fact that there is so much obsession over this topic is in and of itself a sign of the fundamental sickness of the system and the need to change it. Because, really, who cares what label is attached to the name of those enforcing border laws? What matters are the actions, not the label attached to them. This cruelty to children must stop, and there must be permanent systemic changes that make it impossible for any president of any party to ever order it into existence again!

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