"It is a policeman’s duty to protect men from criminals -- criminals being those who seize wealth by force. It is a policeman’s duty to retrieve stolen property and return it to its owners. But when robbery becomes the purpose of the law, and the policeman’s duty becomes, not the protection, but the plunder of property -- then it is an outlaw who has to become a policeman."
by:
Ayn Rand
[Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum] (1905-1982) Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter
Source:
Atlas Shrugged, P. 535 (1957)
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Reader comments about this quote:
The quote begins on an incorrect premise. It is 'NOT' a policeman's duty to protect men from criminals. Law enforcement is an oxymoron (who can enforce gravity or fiscal law?) Tyranny's enforcement is more accurate. A sheriff's duty is to be an agent of justice, such as would retrieve stolen property and return it to its owners. Prior to the war between the States, police departments were considered standing armies for the purpose of enforcing a despot's designs. Today's standing armies are outlaws that act contrary to the laws of nature and of nature's God and plunder property.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike, you are a scholar! Great points
     -- thomtown, PNW     
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    "No mans life,liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session".
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
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    Perhaps a policeman's duty is to protect criminals from criminals.
     -- wayne, naples     
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    I so agree with her that "robbery has become the purpose of law."
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    In the absence of justice ,what is sovereigntly but organized robbery.
     -- amalsleiman@live.com, cairo     
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    " Just as every cop is a criminal. And all the sinners saints." Rolling Stones
     -- Anonymous, Potland, Or.     
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    When the law is used to plunder the people under the guise of security and prosperity, the American republic becomes nothing but mob rule. Who will protect us from the police?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Police= the new mafia, America. Agents for corporations. And yes , Mike, you are a highly intelligent human, and you can write it down right. I only know they are ignoring rulle of law, and are NOT there to help us, but have hurt so many. My son is one, he has two more years, and he cant wait to retire.he ses the injustice, as we all do. We have been "lawed" into a corner our rights all but gone now. Yes sir Mr. Archer, who will protect us from the police? We live in a time when neophites rule over us.
     -- Kimo, Hawaiian Nations     
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    I think we must remember that policemen are not robots and in most cases are family men and likely patriots as well. I would hope reason will prevail over "duty" when choices become blurred.
     -- Chris, Paradise,cal     
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     -- ED, willow grove      
     
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