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A Civilizing Influence?

(originally launched into cyberspace on 09/19/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

Examples of the American fascist police state are rolling in
quicker than I can forward them. Here is one that I'm sure many of
you have heard about already, concerning an admittedly obnoxious
guy asking John Kerry questions--and getting tackled, tasered, and
arrested as a result:

(Incidentally, if they chose to, the private owners of the place
where this happened had the right to tell the guy to shut up and
get out, even forcibly remove him if necessary--but not the right
to taser him or put him in a cage. Instead, this was the
"government" police doing their power game, showing us all who's

Even better, here is the story of a 70-year-old woman who was
handcuffed and hauled away for--brace yourself for this heinous
crime--having a brown lawn:

Remember, we're supposed to think that "the law" is a civilizing
force, which reduces violence and ensures justice. (Because us mere
mortals would never behave ourselves without a ruler--or so we're
supposed to think.) Both of the above stories make good examples of
how "authority" ADDS violence to society. In both cases, the people
who ended up being the victims were doing something that could be
construed as at least impolite. The guy asking the questions was
both obnoxious and an attention hog, and I expect that the
neighbors of the elderly lady didn't like having an ugly, brown
lawn in their neighborhood.

The question is, what did "law" and "government" add to the
equation? In a society that actually values individual rights, what
would have happened? Someone may have pulled the plug on the
somewhat obnoxious guy, or they could have just waited for him to
finish his question/rant. (Actually, in a free society, it wouldn't
have happened at all, because no one would pay any attention to
people like John Kerry.) It's pretty likely, however, that no one
would have felt the need to violently tackled the guy, taser him,
and then drag him away and put him in a cage. *

Likewise with the old lady. Her neighbors might complain at her--
heck, they might even offer to water her lawn for her (heaven
forbid), if they want it to be green--but it's pretty darn unlikely
that anyone OTHER than those pretending to be "authority" would put
her in handcuffs and forcibly remove her from her property
(bruising her and bloodying her nose in the process).

"Authority" means the RIGHT to rule--the right to FORCIBLY control
everyone else (even if only in certain ways or certain situations).
And since it is mostly used in cases where you and I would NOT feel
justified using violence ourselves, what "government" amounts to is
and several million not mentioned--demonstrate that quite plainly.

If you do a search for "police brutality" or similar terms on
"," you can spend all day watching videos of just
how much of a civilizing influence "authority" really is. (And, of
course, most of the time oppression and authoritarian injustice
occurs, it is not captured on tape.) Those who haven't been on the
receiving end of authoritarian tactics like to cling to the
baseless belief that "laws" make us more civilized. Those who have
been "legally" oppressed, extorted, robbed, terrorized, assaulted,
cuffed, beaten, and/or locked up know better. (I was going to add
"murdered" to the list, but it's hard to say whether those people
know better or not.)

Almost all of would LIKE there to be some magic ingredient to make
society more peaceful, more fair, more civilized, and more just.
But "government" isn't it. It does the exact opposite.


Larken Rose

(* Though the "taser" is praised as a great "non-lethal" tool for
the fascists--I mean, "law enforcers"--dozens of deaths are thought
to be related to people being "tased." In addition, though I
haven't experienced it myself, I'm told it HURTS LIKE HELL!
However, because it LOOKS nicer than pounding someone into
submission with night sticks--though it amounts to the same thing--
the police don't seem to mind doing it fairly often.)

P.S. Incidentally, what I'd love to see somebody do--and maybe
somebody already has, and I just haven't heard of it--is use FOIA
and the state "sunshine" laws to get the names of the fascists who
do this stuff, and post them all on one web site (something like
"American Fascists Hall of Fame"). I don't have time, or I'd do it

All my past anti-political rants can be found here: