In politics as well as sociability there is a problem. This problem is persistent but despite being nearly reviled in most walks of life and ideological groups, it not only persists but also is upheld by the vast majority of people to be helpful, something which cleans up the community of undesirables, enables the police apparatus, and supposedly even saves lives. I am, of course, talking about snitch culture. The culture of the snitch. That germinating fluid which allows troublesome home-wreckers and pushy moralists to flourish.
The aim of this post is not to discuss snitch-jacketing in Leftist movements. There are many other able commentators able to provide a handy list of reasons why it is never a good idea to rat on a comrade regardless of the circumstance. Instead this post is focused more on the cultural aspect of snitching: whether it be over a conspiracy to commit a crime, the selling-out of those who committed a crime, informing the authorities on those people who tried, or are desiring to commit suicide, or what-have-you. I aim here to sketch out some reasons why people behave the way they do in regards to delegating these matters to the state; matters of morality and control will be utilized as each are co-dependent on one another. Suicide and state control are utilized as the vehicle to which the examination is propelled both of which are articulated as political reflections.
Strictly speaking, yes, it is politics (against the irrational, revisionist musings of some comrades who believe it is a pro-life matter (to repatriate a nascent term)): if you are relying on the police in order to resolve the moral issues valued (bourgeois, existentialism, theism, etc), and if the police are the enforcers of the bourgeois state, then the problem of how to resolve this quandary of opposition is a political one, as it demands a solution without one falling-back on state power. The two are intimately connected, especially insofar as life post-state: if you are, as a suicidal person, forced into a “treatment” program, and fail to comply with the ruling of the court/doctor, then the police are the ones who come looking for you (this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone engaged in actual struggle). Penultimately, It is a question of authoritarianism: stopping someone’s suicide is a enforcement of will, one person forcing their views on another; when discussion fails then the tactic switches to brute force, a force which also happens to prop up, through legitimization, the state apparatus. Socialist society, with its spiraling towards decay, naturally emphasizes a weak state but strong enough to combat the counterrevolutionary armies: the issue is not one of micromanaging peoples lives as a revolutionary government will not have either the resources or the manpower to allocate such materials towards when fascists and conservative and liberal saboteurs are hacking away at the foundation of genuine democracy. While In post-capitalist society there may very well be a force similar to the police in terms of hauling people away who were suicidal this society is 1. Nothing that I want to do with, and 2. unlikely to transpire as this issue is one connected deeply to power and legitimization: If you are arguing that a anti-suicide force is present in society by what material and immaterial basis is this force founded upon? Many so-called “revolutionaries” fail to answer this point, instead pointing to vague, reformist-bourgeois talking-points regarding the sanctity of life (presumably as means to ensure the continuation of the mode of production post-capitalist). Such a position enables the capitalist(s) by vindicating their laws and moral guidance: so as long as it appears that the police, capitalists, and ruling functionaries have a place in society, the oppressive and repressive nature of the capitalist class will forever be in power.
Snitching has appeal in modern culture because it is seen as a virtue; snitching is not an evil because is spreads truth, that moral which theists so cherish. Snitching enables the enforces of property to punish those who transgress against Biblical law: violent criminals are jailed, suicidal persons committed, and those sinners which evade the light of that higher power discovered. While it may not be immediately perceptible this is the same reason why in postmodern society, however degenerate it may be in this late hour of capitalism, advances snitches as doing the work of society: because the people being snitched upon are portrayed as “other”. The snitches are merely helping society locate the ne’er do wells, those individuals who need “help” (whether it be political, religious, or health) but cannot find it for themselves. The theistic undertones line the whole conceptualization of snitches, with the false-dichotomy of “Good Vs. Evil”, as one which keeps society in check; monetary rewards, think of “most wanted” posters, back-up this reinforcement as drilling into the populace that snitching has its material benefits in addition to the supposed moralistic ones.
The point is, however, that whether a group or individual, snitching is never a good idea. The cops have no purpose other than to be abolished. Anything, any activity which places them on a pedestal is something to be critiqued seriously with peoples liberty and-personal-existential self-determination in mind; the hero narrative, regarding the halting of murders and thieves, are to be confronted with the same fever that the media pundits give to “terrorists”. Meaning, that at every turn imaginable the revolutionary forces must muster a revolutionary morality which enables the peoples to live according to their own personal law (so as long as it does not infringe upon another person’s life). An alternative needs to be offered; one with ties to reality and the material conditions prevalent in that person’s epoch.