Police, People and the Public

As Mencken reminded us about a century ago, a police officer is given a truncheon for only one reason, and that reason would be to beat over somebody’s head.  Police today, in any capacity, are given guns for no other reason but to use them. And we want to take the Second Amendment away from the people because the only people we want to have guns are the police, the military and the criminals? That makes a lot of sense to me–not to you?

I do not wish to be insensitive, and I am not agreeing that I am being so; nonetheless, whenever police officers shoot at people we should not ask why they have done so, but why they do not do so more often. And they could, which is not to say we should be grateful that they do not, or not to be outraged when the shoot is wrong, bad, I think it is called in jargon. It is, though, a wonder to me that more of the people are not shot by the police; and I am a white guy saying this, which isn’t to say that I agree unilaterally with the received idea in currency that all police in America are racists, and that all policies by the police are racist, or that even most are. Nonetheless, I do understand perceptions and received ideas and media fostered impressions and the politics that go along with these rhetorical strategies used by one or another minority group and the use of this rhetoric toward gaining one or another kind of hegemony. This cluster aside, the people would always need some threat to relinquish the will to be at liberty, to transform from being one of the people to being a publican, a full member of the public who serves the State; that is, who defers his humanity as one of the people for a more lucrative role as one of the public, always less than a person.

We say the people must be free, but what do we mean when we do? We have to settle this. It is not an easy question. To be free or not to be free, that has been our question in America since the time of the War for Independence. But where does our freedom reside, where and when is our liberty at liberty, how should we consider citizenship, how do we?  What delusions go along with our ideas about the government’s responsibilities to the people? With consideration for the latter, the government usually serves the state, and yes, the State and the government are about equal with mind and brain.

The people have a tug of war going on with the State concerning their freedom, and this will continue so  long as the people remain the people and do not move in aggregate numbers toward becoming the public; states only recognize the public; in America we confuse public for people, our grossest mistake.  Any one of the people who move toward becoming a member of the Public and only the Public to the abdication of one’s responsibility as one of the People will help tip the scales in favor of the state.

In America we still have a chance to act as the people, the same we the people of the United States that Jefferson had so much faith in, had deposited so much responsibility in countermanding the dictates of the state, as well as with the weight of their responsibility to liberty and democracy becoming counterweight to the density of state.

One thing we must always remember, if a Court Officers shoots anyone, it is a member of the people; they never shoot members of the public. A person ceases to be a member of the public as soon as he is shot by any member of the authorities whose job it is to police the people for the State.  Remember that as a part of the President’s Oath of Office, he swears to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic; this includes everyone, all of us.

The People are thus always potential enemies of the Constitution; and here then is the pretext for infringing on the rights of the people:  the People always represent potential enemies of the State.  What happens in the minds of the agents of government sworn to protect the Constitution and the United States if the latter is true?  Where then are our civil liberties, our freedom, our democracy if we the people continue to abdicate our responsibilities to freedom in name of deferring to the state as members of the public?

The inferences above  are truths I take to be self-evident; but in as much as each one of us is free to understand how he does and when he does, I write this as if these truths were not self-evident. But however we slant our truth to eclipse the Truth, you and I are always potential enemies of the State, always suspect by most agents of the government.  Herein we have human/species profiling of the overt kind, yet one accepted and institutionalized.

There is always a tenuous relationship between the police and the people, the former always looking for the public they most often serve. The public being the people when they are in the context of serving the state, supporting the state. A police officer in uniform acting in the capacity of police officer is not acting as one of the people; he is one of the public. This has been delineated before in other essays, and it has become a central position in my theories about democracy–and I mean theories, not hypotheses as we often times confuse the two, the latter often asserted as the former, thus a reciprocal misunderstanding of theory arises. When fascism comes to America, it will be multicultural and diverse; it will be bureaucratically abstractly upheld and enforced, and because no one people or ethnicity, or race, or religion will be singled out, we will naively say it is not happening here.  But make no mistake, in as much as the state will always hold the people in suspicion, every police officers gun, in or out of the holster, is aimed at every one of us.


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