ACAB explained

ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) is an acronym used as a political slogan associated with dissidents who say they are subjected to political persecution and police brutality. ACAB is also one of the main slogans of anarchists.

I’ve seen a lot of discussion about the acronym ACAB (and 1312) recently. People are arguing that not all cops (blue pigs) are bad, which is true, but that’s not what we’re saying.

First of all, we don’t say all cops are bad, we say All Cops Are Bastards. We don’t mean bastard as an unpleasant or despicable person. Bastard is taken from the word bastardize meaning corrupt or debase.

Cops are inherently corrupted in two ways:

First is that they are corrupted by the possessions of power. They can use their authority to inflict power on people.

The second and the most important reason on why all cops are bastards is because the very laws that they are trying to enforce are corrupt and they are used to subdue different identities and minorities.

So cops can be corrupted by their power and cops are corrupted by the laws they enforce; All cops are corrupted, All Cops Are Bastards.

Now that this is clear, let’s have another example. Imagine you’re in a hospital getting ready for a surgery. A nurse comes to you and says most of our surgeons are very well educated, it’s just a few who don’t have a degree and will kill you.

Or, you’re in an airport buying a ticket and the person behind the counter tells you most of our pilots are very well trained, it’s just a few who don’t have any training and will crash the plane and kill you.

It doesn’t make sense, right? Because everybody in those industries must be well trained and educated, because it’s the life of people that is in the matter. We can’t afford to have a few bad jobs there, everything must be perfect.

That is the same thing with cops and law enforcement. Most of cops being good is not enough. It’s either all of them be good or the whole system be corrupt. Doesn’t matter if most of them do their job very well, it’s those few who kill people and abuse power.

The system that is bringing these into power is corrupt so we can’t take a chance or run numbers. People are not numbers, people are living beings. If a system is corrupt, all of those who are in that system, all of those who are subscribed to that system are corrupt, whether they like it or not.

When we say ACAB, we’re not trying to offend anybody, we’re stating the fact that the system is corrupt and it should be dismantled from power. So, stop making excuses for cops and try to reform, rebuild the system in a way that is fixed and can’t be corrupted.

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Ali Reza Hayati

Entrepreneur, hacker, cypherpunk.