To Protect and Serve


It is remarkable, I think, that some of the facts about government which might be considered obvious, are not considered at all by the general public.

For instance: the rulers make the rulers, which they call The Law, and insist that we take very seriously indeed. But rulers can make rules all day long (and they do!) and it will do them little good if there’s nobody to administer and enforce them. And so we have the bureaucracy and the police. Those sullen inefficient clerks at the auto license office are not there to serve you, obviously, but to serve the organization that hired them, and pays them. If you ignore them, and attempt to drive your automobile without the various devices which they insist you buy and apply, the police will enter the picture. Do the police protect and serve you? There are under no legal obligation to do so, but they might, if a situation arises wherein you need their help. But, for sure, they will serve the rulers, making sure the rules are being kept, and arresting those who spurn them.

And should you have the temerity to question the legitimacy of the laws, or the actions of the police in enforcing them, the judiciary will enter the scene. Dressed in a black robe, and seated above everyone else (so that you must look up to him, if only for that reason) one of the ruling class, called a judge, will most solemnly and formally decide that whatever action of the rulers you might be protesting is, in fact, utterly proper and lawful, and your protest is without merit, and frivolous. ("Frivolous" is a legal term used by the rulers to describe any challenge to their demands, especially one that proves the lawlessness of their claim.)

That the rulers, and their associates, are a privileged class becomes undeniably obvious when you see how they treat their dead. You’ve probably seen those impressive military funerals, with the twenty-one-gun salute, and the folding of the flag, to be given the bereaved family. Recently, here in Missouri, there was a spectacular example of the high regard with which the ruling class regards itself.

A young man broke into a store in a small town southwest of St. Louis. He took the car keys of a woman there, and some cash. Local police arrived, but he escaped, after firing a shot at them. He didn’t hit anybody. He was later spotted in a wooded area nearby. Deputies summoned a state trooper who had been trained as a sniper. As this young man rushed to the scene, his car struck a tractor-trailer parked on the highway while the driver was assisting another motorist. The Trooper was killed in this accident.

A terrible tragedy, without doubt. The young man left behind a wife and children, who have our sympathy. But now the story becomes bizarre. The fugitive was charged, and convicted, of second-degree murder. Whom did he murder? Why, the state trooper who was on his way to assist in the manhunt. Of course, the felon had never seen, or even heard of, the trooper that he murdered. The two men had never met. But Missouri law permits a felony murder charge to be brought when an officer is killed while coming to aid in a felony arrest.

In this state you can be convicted of the murder of someone you have never met! But only if your "victim" is a policeman coming to participate in your arrest. Could there be better proof of the privileged nature of the ruling caste — a privilege that, of course, they bestowed upon themselves? If a handler of bloodhounds were to be killed in an auto accident en route to assist in a manhunt, would the criminal being hunted be charged with his murder? What if the villain’s Mom were summoned to the scene, to try to talk her son into surrendering. If she were in a fatal accident while on her way, would her son be charged with her murder? You know the answers.

The motto "To Protect and Serve" is often applied to the police. It is altogether appropriate. The question that isn’t asked — at least often enough — is: protect and serve whom? Is it you or I? Maybe, coincidentally. But beyond doubt, it is the ruling class. Make yourself sufficiently obnoxious to them, and if the officer sent to arrest you is killed in an auto accident along the way, you will be accused of his murder! That’s how important they are, and how insignificant you are!! Don’t complain about it; you don’t want to upset them. Do you?

Dr. Hein [send him mail] is author of All Work & No Pay, which is out of print, but may occasionally be obtained on eBay.