Monday, September 21, 2020

DOJ Designates New York City, Portland and Seattle as “Anarchist Jurisdictions”

The Justice Department has designated New York City, Portland and Seattle as "anarchist jurisdictions" under guidelines issued by President Trump earlier this month.

Trump's order gives the director of the Office of Management and Budget 30 days to issue guidance to federal agencies on restricting eligibility for federal grants for the cities on the DOJ list.

Federal grants play an important role in the budgets of these cities. In the case of NYC, the grants make up a huge portion of NYC's already strapped annual budget -- more than $7 billion in fiscal 2021 alone, or 7.5% of the city's projected total revenue.

“When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest,” said Attorney General William Barr.  “We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance. It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.”

From a libertarian perspective, this is a mixed bag. The potential shrinkage of federal government funding is a positive. However, to the degree, this may become simply a negotiating point for the federal government to dictate the terms of how cities should operate, which sets a very bad precedent.

On the other hand, to the degree it results in more protection of private properties in these localities it will certainly be looked at as a plus by those who own property in the localities.

Bottom line: This is a very mixed bag. The move toward protection of private property is a plus but the role the federal government is playing can be a slippery slope. Shrinking federal funding is always a plus but the federal government dictating to cities can evolve into something very dangerous.

And, of course, there is no attempt by the DOJ to differentiate between radical leftist private property destroying anarchism and anarcho-capitalistism and private property society anarchism.



  1. Mixed bag indeed. if it negates only the economic anarchy and destruction that is politically driven agenda to forward radical marxist socialism then I have to laud it as a decently tempered response. Hitting the permissive states in the wallet will have an impact there is no doubt

  2. Well! Maybe if I keep saying I am a anarchist on my radio show the Trump administration will end the flow of money Alaska, which wouldn’t be great for the state, but good for the people, because no federal money comes without strings attached.