They get confused cause it brings awareness to Black folks and that makes them uncomfortable so they project that “only” when we really mean “too”. You’re saying apolitical but I know what you really mean.


Corruption implies that the system is broken, or that cops aren’t doing their job, which is false. As the domestic enforcement arm of capital, cops do their job extremely well: protecting capitalist property rights.

Black Tulip

my only issue with the phrase is the lack of nuance. If all cops are bastards, and we never talk about the cops being nothing more than enforcers of the will of the ruling class, then people start to assume all cops, everywhere, are bastards. But, I’ve been told a plentitude of times that the police in Socialist states tend to be a lot more community-minded, they tend to actually “protect and serve” and actually make their communities safer. The phrase lacks all nuance for these cops, perhaps because ultimately the bulk of the people who say “ACAB” tend to be on the libertarian end of things, and tend to fail to identify the differences in authoritarian structures - seeing all authorities as bad.

I wish the phrase could have more nuance about this, or at least discussion about the phrase. But it’s much too late to get people to change over to saying something else, as ACAB has been in use since the 1940s and it’s been deeply rooted into punk and counter cultures in the west. So all we can really do is help those who will listen realise the nuance that the phrase lacks.

I’m not satisfied with the standard motto either. There’s an issue with using ‘bastard’ as an insult, but that’s a separate matter. The main problem with the phrase is that it’s too simplistic and misleading. A cop who acts polite and spends a year handing out tickets before either quitting or getting fired isn’t on the same level as somebody who repeatedly commits police brutality every year; one is annoying, and the other is atrocious. They both ultimately uphold the capitalist system, but the phrase doesn’t really convey that; it just conflates the two.

I wouldn’t say that the police in a people’s republic is just as wrong, if not worse, than that in the empire either. I do question their future utility and would prefer to see their obsolescence, but that’s quite different from opposing the oppression that neoimperial police routinely commit.

Maybe I’m just nitpicking, but I have seen people mention these loopholes repeatedly and it gets pretty tiresome.

All Cops Are Bastards
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A community for bringing attention to the totality of the bourgeois policing force.


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