Ming the Mechanic:
Order and violence

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Order and violence2011-11-20 23:39
picture by Flemming Funch

The governments and the culture of many countries will enforce order, no matter what amount of violence is necessary. United States is noteworthy among them, as most of the rest are non-western dictatorships, like a number of middle eastern countries such as Syria, Bahrain or Saudi Arabia, and countries such as China, North Korea, Iran, etc.

In countries that are ruled by violent enforcement of order, even the most innocent offense will escalate to deadly force, if the offending party fails to succumb and comply. As an example, let's pick a quite innocent event like a parking violation, and as the stage, let's pick the United States. Most Americans will vehemently deny that a parking violation would ever escalate to anything violent, but that just shows how well conditioned they are to accept such a system without question.

Let's say I park my car in some annoying spot, like on a corner in a busy intersection. People can just drive or walk around it, so it isn't like it would stop traffic, but many people would be irritated about it. A cop will probably be around to leave a ticket on the windshield rather quickly. If I simply drive away and pay the ticket, nothing else happens. If I choose to stay, a tow truck is likely to show up. It it really was a very annoying spot, it will show up quickly, otherwise it might take days. The tow truck will try to move the car away. If it succeeds, nothing much more happens, other than that I would have to come up with quite a bit of money to get my car back. But imagine that I take steps to make sure my car stays there. Maybe I drive steel pylons into the roadway under my car, welded to the frame. The police will command heavier equipment into operation. In case I'm still inside the car, they'll break open the doors or smash the windows, and put me in handcuffs and drag me away. But say I passively resist them doing that, insisting on staying there. My car might well be armored, equipped with bulletproof glass. They'll get more creative and bring bulldozers and they'll inject teargas or similar stuff into the air supply. Imagine that I've taken steps to still stay exactly where I am. Sooner or later, and it won't even take long, they will bring in tanks and there will be snipers on the roof tops. Remember, I'm still not doing anything other than staying in an illegal parking space and failing to be removed. Along the way there will be a continuous stream of opportunities for me to do something that would be interpreted as being worse. If I stand up on the roof of my car and yell and wave my arms, that would be a sufficient excuse for one of the snipers to take me down. Let alone that I had the thought of actively defending myself against one of the assaults they would think up, such as throwing the tear gas back to them, or disabling the bulldozers that try to remove my car. But even just by staying there, successfully not being removed, I become guilty of more and more serious crimes. Resisting arrest, destruction of public property. Won't take long before it is considered some kind of terrorism. And sooner or later, either I succumb and obey, or they win and force me to obey, or they kill me. No other outcome is likely, unless I somehow became very popular and public opinion starts supporting me very loudly. If not, I either obey or I'm forced to obey, with deadly force if necessary.

A typical law-abiding citizen will say that this is a really stupid example. All I'd have to do at any time would be to do what the police tells me to do. The escalation stops the moment I obey. So, if I don't, it is surely my own fault. I've been given every chance to comply, and if I then still don't, I'm obviously an idiot and a criminal and I deserve anything that happens to me.

I should note, for the sake of my American friends, that this kind of escalation is not what would happen in any European country. And, sure, in some countries it would happen much faster, and they might just shoot you up front to get it over with. But in most Western countries, there's no system of automatically escalating violence used against regular citizens. If you really can't be moved, even after reasonable measures have been put into play, you'll obviously be giving a big problem to some kind of governmental agency. But that will most likely lead to a lot of talk and negotiations and thinking. It would be much more likely that they would move the whole street than for anybody to consider using deadly force.

This is a very current subject, as police forces all over the U.S. currently are using excessive violence on peaceful protesters that are guilty of no other offense than not moving when they're being asked to. They're beaten up, subjected to chemical weapons, acoustic weapons, their property is being destroyed, they're arrested for charges made up on the spot. And the consequences are only this "mild" because the police manages to drag these people away relatively easily, because they're unarmed and not actively resisting. If they actually were able to stand their ground more effectively, however non-violently and passively, they would be subjected to much higher degrees of violence and deaths would be inevitable.

The point is that this is a very bad system. Not the specific laws and punishments. Not the particular local police chiefs. They might or might not be bad too, but the problem is the overall principle. The basic idea that there MUST be order, that people MUST do what they're told, and if they don't, an increasing and limitless amount of force will be applied to make them comply, even if the force is totally out of proportion to the initial offense.

Luckily, these things attract a lot of attention. No, not my fictitious parking violation. Police brutality against peaceful protesters attracts a lot of viewers in a variety of media. A woman being stoned for adultery in Afghanistan, that easily attracts international attention as well. The world is indeed watching. Lots of people still think that the victims of such brutalities should just have "done what they were supposed to". But a growing number of people think otherwise. If clear attention is focused on the central model that is at fault, it can be changed.

[< Back] [Ming the Mechanic]



21 Nov 2011 @ 12:32 by ming : Parenting
I think that a big reason that so many people willingly will follow orders and carry out violence to make somebody obey, and that so many people think it is perfectly logical, is that they have been brought up that way. I.e. shockingly many parents don't know any better than to treat their children that way. Demanding blind obedience, and using escalating violence to force the child both to comply and to obey without resistance in the future.

Needless to say, one is then bringing up either a sheep or a sociopath, depending on what side of that arrangement one ends up playing out.

Children are not the property of their parents any more than citizens are property of their government.  

21 Nov 2011 @ 18:14 by a-d : With your commet here....
...you are spot on! very well said short , clear, to the point! THANKS!!!  

24 Nov 2011 @ 13:03 by celestial : Parenting
In the past, Christian leaders believed that "blind" obedience to them by their children was the primary goal that indicated that they were raising their children up to be good law abiding citizens. Not being permitted to speak except when spoken to was, and still is, extremely detrimental to democracy. These "leaders" are still in power and I compare them, and their government, to whales, which beach themselves and come to a premature end of life (along with the whole pod).

Your examples are right on; they may seem far fetched but that is exactly how it is going down!

"OUI," THE PEOPLE are fed up...  

28 Aug 2015 @ 14:53 by Swan System @ : I discovered your blog post
I discovered your blog post web site on yahoo and check many of your early posts Preserve up the good operate I just additional the Feed to my MSN News Reader Seeking toward reading far more on your part later on…  

28 Aug 2015 @ 15:21 by Mony @ : Parenting
Neat post There's an issue with your web site in internet explorer may check this¡K IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a good portion of people will miss your fantastic writing because of this problem.

9 Sep 2015 @ 03:04 by ming @ : Ming the Mechanic: Order and violence
Je cherchais le vérifier quelques trucs Internet et trouvé votre site que je voulais vous dire que je pense que votre site a un contenu bien et que je l'ai déjà en favoris pour ce site afin que je puisse visiter bientôt bon travail.

10 Sep 2015 @ 06:54 by happy wheels unblocked @ : Opps
Sometimes, with some people, we need violence...  

16 Sep 2015 @ 10:02 by auto likes facebook @ : auto likes facebook
Thank you so much for sharing this great blog.Very inspiring and helpful too.Hope you continue to share more of your ideas.I will definitely love to read.  

16 Sep 2015 @ 10:02 by youtube hack @ : youtube hack
Thank you so much for sharing this great blog.Very inspiring and helpful too.Hope you continue to share more of your ideas.I will definitely love to read.  

19 Sep 2015 @ 13:11 by bolapojok.com @ : bolapojok.com
This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works.  

17 Oct 2015 @ 11:33 by Biogenics @ : Biogenics
Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people  

27 Oct 2015 @ 04:34 by Herrajes para Puertas @ : Herrajes para Puertas
That is the excellent mindset, nonetheless is just not help to make every sence whatsoever preaching about that mather. Virtually any method many thanks in addition to i had endeavor to promote your own article in to delicius nevertheless it is apparently a dilemma using your information sites can you please recheck the idea. thanks once more.  

26 Nov 2015 @ 04:54 by http://kaylaitsineguide.yolasite.com/ @ : http://kaylaitsineguide.yolasite.com/
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.  

3 Dec 2015 @ 14:00 by Thomas @ : Useful Information
I realise this is off topic but while your site looks pleasant it would be far better if youll be able to use lighter colors too in the design This will encourage a lot more readers come to check it out more often. [link]  

23 Dec 2015 @ 07:02 by wq @ : WQ
Your symptoms should prada sunglasses clear pandora rings up tory burch shoes after vuitton handbags a couple hollister clothing store of ugg australia weeks. the north face However, longchamp handbags if instyler ionic styler they persist burberry arrange prada outlet an appointment abercrombie with your GP. jordan release dates After cheap michael kors taking air max 90 your soccer shoes  

8 Jan 2016 @ 16:49 by xender for pc @ : Xender for pc
Xender for PC
Xender for PC
Xender for Windows Phone
Xender for android
Xender for iPhone
Xender for PC  

15 Jan 2016 @ 09:05 by agario @ : agario
I want to thank you for this great article. Really loved reading your way blog post. The information was very informative and helpful.  

15 Jan 2016 @ 09:05 by happy wheels @ : happy wheels
This article is mind blowing I read it and enjoyed. I always find this type of article to learn and gather  

15 Jan 2016 @ 09:06 by car games @ : car games
What's even more comfortable when you are entertaining after a day of hard work.  

15 Jan 2016 @ 09:06 by pacman @ : pacman
Thanks a lot for sharing such a good source with all, i appreciate your efforts taken for the same. I found this worth sharing and must share this with all..Pls visit us: - See more at:  

15 Jan 2016 @ 09:06 by solitaire @ : solitaire
I came across a video it is really good information that you share. thank you  

15 Jan 2016 @ 09:07 by plants vs zombies @ : plants vs zombies
I think you did an awesome job explaining it. Sure beats having to research it on my own. Thanks.  

Your Name:
Your URL: (or email)
For verification, please type the word you see on the left:

Other stories in
2014-09-30 23:43: Good products
2011-12-01 17:56: Are jobs becoming obsolete?
2011-11-15 23:30: Being prepared
2011-11-10 01:11: World Transformation
2011-02-23 23:12: The Collective Intelligence Singularity
2009-06-16 00:39: Baseline technology
2009-06-07 15:00: The Giant in Nantes
2008-10-14 19:56: Money and the Crisis of Civilization
2008-05-08 23:01: Why Denmark is the world's happiest country
2008-02-22 14:42: God talks about Richard Dawkins

[< Back] [Ming the Mechanic] [PermaLink]? 

Link to this article as: http://ming.tv/flemming2.php/__show_article/_a000010-001984.htm
Main Page: ming.tv