IN A CROWD
By: Ted Lang
Those who feel that people are basically evil and therefore need to be controlled to do what is right, rely on big, powerful and intervening government to ensure a righteous society. Those more spiritually oriented and appreciative of the marvelous gift and experience of life are forgiving of individual foibles and believe in the natural goodness of Man, which is greatly enhanced by individual freedom and responsibility devoid of government force. Such freedom from government results in a powerful desire for peace and goodwill among all in a society.
Mob rule is dangerous because it diminishes one’s identity and one’s responsibility. A crowd, mob, or organization cannot experience freedom – only an individual can
experience it. This
explains the intent by government, which, by its nature, is neither peaceful
nor conducive to freedom. Government, however, needs to assign individual
responsibility when any one person "incites" a group or crowd
to riot. Government permits individuality only when it needs to fix responsibility
to a specific person to allow it to mete out the only deliverable it is
capable of; namely, force.
The similarity between mob violence and normal government force couldn’t have been more clearly demonstrated than by the horrific killing by Boston Police of 21-year-old college student, Victoria Snelgrove, during an exuberant yet peaceful celebration by Boston Red Sox fans after winning four straight games from the Yankees to wrest from their almost one hundred year-old nemesis the American League pennant.
To be sure, the pepper gas dispatching weaponry, supplied to Boston Police via US taxpayer funding, provided the City financial aid to defray the costs of hosting the Democratic National Convention this past summer. This indirectly involves the federal government as well in this heinous crime. Why a "heinous" crime, one might ask? Was the life of a police officer, or anyone else for that matter, being threatened by Ms. Snelgrove? Was anyone near Ms. Snelgrove threatening anyone? Eyewitnesses offer that virtually all the revelers were boisterous and joyful, but no one was threatening anyone. Those same eyewitnesses offered that the only ones posing a real threat were the Boston Police.
The overly aggressive action by the police is an outgrowth of "assertiveness training." A meek, "Take it out of the wallet." may eventually progress to physical violence against the inquiring police officer. Police are trained to take charge early on and keep the target in a constant state of retreat and obeisance. This, combined with the "singling out" of mob leaders and inciters in order to deprive the crowd of a leader, puts the police in total and constant control. And even the slightest sign of irreverence, good humor, or even a smile directed towards a police officer pointing a non-lethal weapon in a lethal manner at a reveler’s face at a too short and lethal range, is all it takes for a trigger of something harmful but not lethal to be angrily depressed.
It is, at best, extremely difficult to believe, that the officers involved were unfamiliar with the power of the compressed gas propelled pepper spray projectile gun. Experience with the recoil of the weapon as well as the impact of the projectile at close range were not elements of deployment that the police were unfamiliar with. Nor are the police unfamiliar with the danger of a loss of total and constant control, normally immediately recognized as humor, a smile, or any other indication of the absence of fear on the part of the targeted, suspected offender. Perhaps someone remarked that the cop looked like Darth Vader or one of his storm troopers. Perhaps someone laughed.
And although the police commissioner and the mayor stated that they "accept full responsibility," the state always maintains its potency in precisely the same fashion as does a rioter – by losing themselves in a crowd and dodging both individuality and responsibility. Responsibility isn’t merely accepting blame, but accepting also the punishment for irresponsible action and the initiation of some form of restitution. Who will pay any monetary claims against the city for damages? Certainly not the government officials in charge!
originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice
and hyperlink intact."
Ted Lang is a freelance writer and political analyst. He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
Ted Lang can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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