All cops are bad – by definition.
Harsh statement? Certainly. It does not make it less true – like an accurate terminal cancer diagnosis. Pretending otherwise doesn’t alter the reality.
Whether the cops themselves are conscious of their badness is immaterial.
No doubt, many cops (as distinct from peace officers) believe in their hearts (and perhaps even their minds) that they are “good men” doing righteous work.
It does not make it so.
The average Nazi functionary was not a frothing fanatic, either. He was a good German with a wife and kids he doted on, who – in his own mind – believed he was doing the right thing.
Which, in his mind, meant enforcing the laws of the state.
The East German Stasi man believed this also.
Just as buzz cut Officer 82nd Airborne believes it today.
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They enforce the laws. It’s what they do. It does not matter what the law is. Merely that it is the law. Many will tell you so themselves. The law is the law. I’m just doing my job. The same things were said in the Soviet Union, in Nazi Germany, everywhere that authority rather than right was reverenced.
Or where the two were confused and regarded as the same thing.
As has become the case in the U.S. today.
Most of the laws on the books (as in Nazi Germany, as in the Soviet Union, as in post-war East Germany) criminalize innumerable actions (and even non-actions, such as failing to buy now-mandatory health insurance) that involve no harm to other people or their property – but rather constitute “offenses” against the state and its statutes.
It is the job of cops to force people to submit and obey – period.
Cops are not expected to consider the rightness or wrongness of an action as such; only whether a given action (or non-action) is illegal. It is the same mentality expressed by a genuinely bewildered Adolf Eichmann at his trial in Israel for war crimes.
He was merely following orders.
Inevitably, as this corruption of the soul takes hold, any challenge to the state’s limitless authority becomes – in the minds of those charged with protecting the state’s authority – the essence of wrongness.
And the response to any perceived threat to this authority grows ever more brutal and disproportionate.
Evildoers must be punished. A Manichean – but morally subjective – worldview takes hold. Ordnung muss sein.
It rapidly takes on the fervor of a crusade, becomes strident and militant, harsh – a sickening admixture of obeisance to and worshipfulness of the state.