To really appreciate this article the reader is entreated to honestly perform an "experiment" in his or her mind.
Will the reader apply for a job that includes the following:
– "Not long after telling the police that she had been raped, a woman from South Delhi looked out her apartment window and saw the man who had attacked her laughing with a police officer who had given him [the rapist] a ride back from the police station… the woman, a 30-year-old mother of two …" [The International Herald Tribune, January 23 , 2013]
– "The infliction of physical punishment is not every man's job, and naturally we were only too glad to recruit men who were prepared to show no squeamishness at their task. Unfortunately we knew nothing about the Freudian side of the business, and it was only after a number of instances of unnecessary flogging and meaningless cruelty that I stumbled to the fact that my organization had been attracting all the sadists in Germany and Austria without my knowledge …" [Erik Larson, "In the Garden of the Beasts", Random House, 2011, page 370. The verbatim words belong to Rudolf Diels, the creator of the most "effective" police force in world history; the "Gestapo".]
– The man has earned: A Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, the Vietnamese Cross Of Gallantry and two Army Commendation Medals for Valor and was honorably discharged from the US Army. For 20 years, as a policeman, he had been torturing people in Chicago. Today he is serving a four and a half year sentence, instead of a 30 year one. His name: Jon Graham Burge. He will be released on February 14, 2015
– "In 8/07 I reported an officer (Ofcr. Teresa Evans/now a Sergeant), for kicking a suspect … once in the face. The kick in the face left a visible injury …" There is no normal human that doubts the veracity of the words of Chris Dorner, formerly of the LAPD.
My feeling is that most readers of this article would answer that the original question, about the application for a job, is redundant. Because, most people show "squeamishness" about "inflicting physical punishment".
Yet, the problem exists. The policeman not only exists, but he enjoys an incredibly "privileged" existence. Rational, and therefore honest, thinkers, through the centuries, have not solved the problem. The same problem exists for the case of Justice. Is Justice acceptable by honest humans that rests on the single vote of a person like Clarence Thomas or of Antonin Scalia of the US Supreme Court? Of course, Thomas and Scalia are not "self-luminous" they follow the "noble" wishes of the owners of the world (to borrow the Chomskyan term). However, this article deals solely with the problem of the policeman.
The owners of the world and their proxies in the various parts of the world, historically had two main tools to protect their "property", the professional soldier and the policeman.
The professional soldier in his turn uses the drafted ordinary man, the lowly soldier, to do the criminally dirty job. The soldier has a fifty-fifty chance to stay alive, as he and his opposite number both carry weapons.
However the policeman has the "privilege" to attack, fully armed, his unarmed enemy; the citizen. He has the "privilege" to tantalize any person if he dislikes the way he or she glanced at him. He has the "privilege" to shoot and ask questions later. Finally, and most importantly, he has the "privilege" of full protection by his employer and "owner", no matter what his [the policeman's] crime.
The problem of the policeman is difficult to solve. Today, it is inextricably connected to the general problem of the barbarity of the owners of the world. An important step towards a solution is to, at least, raise the awareness of the ordinary people as to the extent of the police brutality and try to erase the fear, the quasi "respect", the indifference, etc., of the citizen for the policeman. As for our vision for the future it is crucial that the problem of the policeman should be solved in a rational way. The pareconish way of dealing with it is a good start.
The Greek case
In 2012 the Greek Ministry of the Police, a.k.a the Ministry of Public Order, was renamed to the "Ministry for the Protection of the Citizen". Inevitably, the word that comes to mind is: "Orwellian". But, there is more from Orwell, than the adjective. Here it is:
George Orwell was born in 1903. In 1922, at the age of 19, he joined the Indian Imperial Police and was sent by the British to Burma (now Myanmar). He writes: "Theoretically-and secretly, of course-I was for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British. As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters… all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt. But I could get nothing into perspective. I was young and ill-educated… "["The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell", Vol. 1, p. 236]
So, what about the Greek policemen?
They still do "the dirty work of the Empire". This time the Empire being the US.
Their voting record, during the last parliamentary election shows that around 45% of them voted for the Nazis.
Of course, for a person of my age this is not "news". In 1947, only two years after the "defeat" of the Nazis during the Second World War, the British and the Americans, the "victors", built a concentration camp on the Greek island of Yaros , in the Aegean, and filled it with Greek leftists. Probably it was the first concentration camp after Auschwitz and the other Nazi camps. The dominant feature of the Yaros camp: torture; brutal torture. That was almost two thirds of a century before 2013 and before the "intellectual" discussion in the US of the Hollywoodian-type of torture by the US elites. As for the British, Orwell's words render any comment superfluous.
A few decades after the closing of the camp, I visited the island of Yaros. As I was wondering around the camp, I entered into one of the wooden sentry boxes of the camp. On the wooden planks of the sentry box there were the usual graffiti "created" by the bored policemen guarding the camp. Prominent among the graffiti, the swastika. Again, this happened a couple of years after the 1945 death of Hitler.
Besides the wickedness of the sadistic rank and file of the police, of paramount importance is the choice of the top dog of the police.
It is quite instructive to search the personality traits of the various police top dogs through history, worldwide. These individuals are chosen because they have attributes useful to their "masters". They are vicious, cruel, ruthless, brutish and cowardly. Also, politically, if such a person can have a political ideology, they gravitate towards rightist extremism of any color, with Nazism or crypto-Nazism as the ultimate stage.
[Parenthesis: Bulletin from Athens for today, Thursday, February 14, 2013:
– Two days ago a Greek took his very sick mother, an intensive care case, to a hospital. He was informed that there was no bed for her and was shown a very long waiting list of people waiting for an intensive care bed. The mother of the Greek died a few hours later. He wondered, when interviewed by a journalist, as to what happened to the other people on the list. The Greek(?) Minister of Health announced that he will hire medical personnel for the intensive care units that he has closed after firing the previous medical personnel.
– Three days ago, the general secretary of the Greek Finance Ministry, a certain George Mergos, while speaking at a conference of insurers, said that the minimum wage of Euros 586 (or US $ 780) for the Greeks is too high. Master Mergos, a rather mature yuppyish Greek gentleman and an Oxonian, got his degree in economics from the University of Athens, his Master of Science from Oxford University and his Ph. D from Stanford; an interesting case.
People like Mergos are planted in every square mile of this planet. The seed originates from the illustrious Institutions mentioned above, but the approval for planting and the planting itself originates with "benevolent" people at other parts of the universe of the US elite. Compared to the effectiveness of these institutions for "running" the US Empire, through these plants, the US Marines or by now the Navy SEALS are simply auxiliary personnel.
I wonder if the "plants" themselves are aware that they were chosen by the Empire because they possess certain "qualities" beneficial to the Empire and not for their mental prowess. Many years ago (1950s) an engineering colleague of mine and I were discussing the abilities of another colleague, a mechanical engineer. He told me that the mechanical engineer could do in 15 minutes what he himself and other engineers needed 4 hours to accomplish. The mechanical engineer and I were both in the class of '55 of the Athens Polytechnic. When I asked him what his plans were after graduation, he told that he could not go to the US (MIT or Harvard) because he was a leftist. So he started to study German and try to go to Germany.
So, back to Mr. Mergos, Ph.D: On February 13, the next day after Mergos offered his wisdom about the minimum wage for his fellow Greeks, a group of members of the "Youth" of SYRIZA, the leftist party, visited Mergos at his office to protest against what he mentioned in his talk. Mergos decided that it was beneath his intellect to meet them. The students left, after leaving posters, etc. in Megros' office. As they were coming out of the building, the police were waiting for them on the sidewalk and beat them up.
– Yesterday, the chief of a police precinct in Athens was caught extorting protection money from a Pakistani shopkeeper. On our TV screens we saw: the chief, in civvies, entering calmly, with his hands free, to the courthouse. The Pakistani was pushed towards the court house … handcuffed!
– About one in five of the kids in the Greek elementary schools, now, attend school hungry, as their families starve. Some relief comes from the teachers themselves and from parents of other kids, who try to help by spotting the kids that withdraw away from kids eating lunch in the schoolyard during recess.
– By now hundreds of thousands of families have their electricity cut, as they cannot pay their bills. Also, a great number of households tamper with the electricity meters to reduce their bills.
– Most Greeks have no money to take care of the mechanical needs of their cars. The streets of Greece are full of cars that resemble moving "bombs", ready to kill. End of this depressing parenthesis.]
There is a classical Greek saying, whose content is rather too "generalized". The saying: "There is no bad, that does not have traces of good in it". A "grain" of the bad in Greece, today, was listed in the above Parenthesis.
Here is the good: The Greeks proved that humans, when forced to think, they think rationally. There are two examples to prove such a happy development:
– The notorious "love affair" of humans with the automobile does not hold anymore for the Greeks. Today the Greeks hate the automobile, fervently. There are three ways to show their hate: they either throw the license plates in the face of the government, or abandon their car anyplace, or, finally, sell it for a loaf of bread, if lucky.
– The disputed "instinct" for property, supposedly prevalent in humans, proved to be very weak for the Greeks of today. Excepting, the home they live in, the Greeks not only hate any property, but they cannot avoid the harm this property inflicts on them. They cannot rent, sell, or otherwise get rid of the property, but they have to spend, sometimes a significant part of their meager income, to pay property taxes. Hundreds of thousands of Greeks, simply do not pay, because they do not have the money.
If an ordinary Greek, two years ago, was told by a friend that there was going to be hate for the car and for property, he would recommend a shrink for his friend.
The US case
The ultimate virtue for the Anglo-Saxon societies is discipline. Discipline, in essence, is fear. Fear of any authority and obedience to it. This is instilled to people since childhood starting with the family, the elementary school, etc. Therefore, in these societies fear ends up being a "family value".
On the contrary, for societies at the rim of the Mediterranean, the cradle of civilized humanity, the ultimate virtue is support by the family to its members, a value with a history of more than seven thousand years. That the Greek society today is still resisting the unraveling imposed on it by the Empire, is due to this family value of support.
In a society as the US, where discipline-fear family value rules, it is easy to create a monstrous police system; the FBI, the CIA and the "ordinary" police. All three use the same tools: the ratfink, torture, and assassination.
Here again, the choice of the top dog is very important. Take the "legendary" J.Edgar Hoover of the FBI. Why was he chosen? Because, he would not "show any squeamishness at his task", whichever that task might be. This applies even down to the lowly top dog of the infamous Arizona sheriff.
Today, it is necessary to insist that the case of "Ofcr. Teresa Evans" of the Dorner case, the lady who kicked the suspect in the face, as mentioned above, is equally important to that of J. Edgar Hoover, as there are hundreds of thousands of female and male "Teresas" in the streets of the world and there was only one Dorner to report her. That they burned even Dorner's corpse, if he committed suicide, could be considered as fear on the part of the police. What were they afraid of?
To close: Is there a solution to the problem of the policeman, or of what is, usually, called the "police brutality" problem? No, if there is no worldwide solution of the brutality of the Empire and its proxies. Then, people will be able to rationally solve the problem of the policeman, for future societies.