“An assault on the king’s soldiers is the same as an assault on the king himself.”
(Op-ed) The pattern of blacks being killed by American police gave rise to the “black lives matter” campaign, which gave rise to the “police lives matter” campaign in response. But there is a fundamental difference between the two. The implication in the first campaign is that black lives matter as much as any other lives (which of course is true), whereas many of those repeating the mantra of “police lives matter” seem to believe that the lives of badge-wearers matter more than the lives of ordinary people. This can be seen in the words and deeds of those in “law enforcement” and many who support them.
For example, in instances where someone was shot to death by police, often in a barrage of gunfire, while pulling out a cell phone or a wallet, police apologists will proclaim that it was the dead man’s fault, implying that police being “cautious” to the point of being paranoid and trigger-happy is justified and acceptable, because they weren’t sure whether the person had a weapon or not. If anyone without a badge exhibited such an attitude—“I will make sure you are dead, because I’m not sure whether you might be armed”—such an individual’s actions would universally be recognized as reckless, irresponsible, immoral and criminal. Yet all a “King’s Soldier” (cop) needs to do to receive unquestioning forgiveness from many, is to proclaim, “I feared for my life.”
As another example, responsible gun owners know that the only time you should point a gun at someone is when you have the moral right to kill that person. Yet there are countless videos of American police pointing guns at people—which amounts to issuing a death threat—without the slightest justification. It is a perfect example of just how much the King’s Soldiers value their own lives above that of the peasantry, when they routinely engage in behaviors which convey the message, “I am willing to endanger your life and threaten to kill you simply because I’m not entirely sure what you’re up to.”
One cliché argument used to excuse police violence is that those (allegedly) brave and noble officers just want to make it home at the end of the day. But when that excuse is used to justify paranoia, violence, threats, endangerment, assault, and outright murder, it becomes clear that their true mentality is, “I don’t care if the common folk make it home at the end of the day, as long as I do.” In other words, they believe that police lives matter more than other lives.
And it’s not merely a case of an individual thinking that he matters more than anyone else (which would be bad enough). There are countless examples of cops joining in a violent assault, or lying under oath to cover up the misdeeds of their fellow cops, showing that cops value the lives of other cops—even those they don’t know—more than they value the lives of the public they pretend to serve. Many have demonstrated that they will eagerly destroy the lives of innocents through planting evidence or lying under oath, or through open assault or murder. But they will quickly resort to paranoid reckless endangerment of the public (such as happened in the Dorner case) if they feel at all threatened themselves. And when one cop does have the courage and integrity to expose police corruption and misconduct, he is almost always fired, as well as being shunned and threatened by his former colleagues for daring to choose truth and justice over loyalty to the gang in blue. Why? Because too many “law enforcers,” victimizing innocent civilians isn’t as bad as turning against guilty cops.
Furthermore, those in the ruling class—the politicians and their enforcers—not only think that their lives matter more than yours; they think that you should believe that too. Whenever one of the King’s Soldiers dies, the media coverage, with all the solemn rituals, the prolonged propaganda about how the cop was a great hero, and how big a loss it is for the world that this happened, is designed to make you imagine that those in power, and those who do their bidding, are more noble, more righteous, and more important than a mere peasant like yourself. If ten people are killed in a city on a given day, and one of them was a hired gun for the politicians, who do you suppose will get the most mention—or any mention at all—in the news that day? That’s right: the King’s Soldier. For all the “protect and serve” propaganda we hear, there is clearly a residual medieval authoritarian mindset in a lot of people’s minds.
We are constantly told that the politicians’ hired guns have a dangerous job, that they put themselves in harm’s way for us on a regular basis, that they are noble, righteous and brave, and that the world would be chaos without them. All of these claims are demonstrably false. More often than not, they are a violent street gang, spending their time and effort either extorting money from the peasantry to give to their political masters, or harassing and dominating harmless people so they can feel powerful and important. So no, wearing a badge and mindlessly enforcing whatever bogus whims the politicians might decide to legislate this year does not make your life matter more than anyone else’s. If anything, the lives of aggressors (with or without badges) “matter” less than the lives of their intended victims.
Larken Rose is an anarchist author best known for challenging the IRS to answer questions about the federal tax liability of citizens, and being put in prison with no questions answered. You can view his work at www.larkenrose.com