The bane of the Fifth Column Treasonous Media and the Blogsphere are the Slow News Days, where very little of note takes place, and the No News Days where nothing of note takes place. How are you going to get eyeballs on your content, if you don’t have anything Newsworthy for them to be attracted by?
Jazz Shaw over at HotAir takes a swing and a manages a ground single today by employing one of the Fourth Estates oldest and most trusty tactics.
The Stewart case described in the article is another case where things not only turned out badly, but could have been even worse. When police are “invading” a home to arrest a suspect and seize contraband, it’s hardly an unreasonable assumption that the suspect may react violently in an attempt to defeat the police and escape. Stewart may have “thought” he was being invaded by other criminals, but it was his choice to grab a gun and start shooting. The result of the police response may have been regrettable, but it was hardly unexpected.
Do we need “kinder and gentler” cops interacting with the community in a friendly fashion? It is certainly to the benefit of the police to be in good standing with a cooperative community and to know the people they protect and serve, but they also deserve a fighting chance when the situation suddenly turns violent and ugly. The rise of “warrior cops” may not be what everyone would hope for, but I don’t see any realistic alternatives.
While it is true that HotAir has gone from being the preeminent conservative blog on the internet to becoming the La Brea Tar Pit of moderate RINOism, this reality reflects more on the management of HotAir than it does on its readership. Furthermore Jazz is far more of a moderate than conservative, a fact that does not mean Jazz is a bad guy, just, well, a bit confused.
In this particular article Jazz takes the authoritarian police sympathizer role. Whether it is because those are genuinely his views, or, because it’s a “No News Day” and Jazz is attempting to stir up a bit of controversy is up to debate. What is clear is that Jazz isn’t preaching to the choir here, but if you read then comments, he is decidedly to quote the New Testament, “Kicking against the goads that prick”.
My own views on the subject are pretty much the opposite of those expressed by Jazz, in fact, they are summed up just about perfectly by Pete Kofod in his excellent article, “The Rise of the Praetorian Class”.
Legions and Lictors – the Praetorian Class
The Praetorian Class includes members of the Armed Services, federal, state and local law enforcement personnel as well as numerous militarized officials including agents from the DEA, Immigrations, Customs Enforcement, Air Marshalls, US Marshalls, and more. It also includes, although to a lesser extent, various stage actors in the expanding security theater such as TSA personnel. The main mission of the Praetorian Class is to keep the order of the day. This requires displaying an intimidating presence in their interactions with the Economic Class.
As the Praetorian Class ascends, the clear, albeit unstated, message that emerges is that actions and events in the Economic Class only occur with its tacit consent. Whether driving on roads, traveling in the air, visiting public land, walking down the street or even living in your own home, every action you take is predicated on its permission. By preconditioning the populace to enforcement of its edicts, most of which are completely arbitrary, the Praetorian Class sets itself up for a high degree of autonomy in its actions. This is confirmed by the fact that consequences for malfeasance within the Praetorian Class are almost never observed, and when it happens, it typically becomes a grotesque spectacle in which one of their own is sacrificed as an example, so as to keep appearances of effective internal controls.
Members of the Praetorian Class are typically recruited from the Economic Class and usually from the lower socio-economic spectrum, which offers them an opportunity for personal and professional gain that otherwise might be out of their reach. Early on in the training and indoctrination process, a strong emphasis is placed on teamwork and advancing the welfare of the team above the individual. While independent thought is never overtly discouraged, the fact is that questioning authority and failing to display complete loyalty to the team results in censure, shunning and even expulsion. Naturally, the recruit learns in short order which behavior is rewarded and responds accordingly. This forges a lifelong, unbreakable bond between the brothers-in-arms. This bond can be observed when people proudly display unit insignia and decorations decades after their departure from service.
As they serve in their martial role, members of the Praetorian Class learn to despise members of the Political Class and to view the plight of the Economic Class with detachment or even contempt. Law enforcement and military personnel will converse behind closed doors about the most horrific injustices and brutalities with cavalier amusement. While perhaps natural, their training for violence and teamwork is a fundamental cause for why members of the Praetorian Class abandon their roots and in time come to view their peers “back on the farm” with contempt. Likewise, the steady displays of the craven and treacherous character of the Political Class causes the Praetorian Class to privately disavow emotional allegiance to their masters, usually early in their service.
Naturally, as the members of the Praetorian Class socially distance themselves from both their origins and their masters, even though they are paid to do their bidding, a new group identity among them emerges. Adoption of this group identity, forged by the training, indoctrination and work, defines membership in the Praetorian Class. Some of the characteristics of this identity include:
The full article deserves not only being read, but given serious thought. Those who hold views similar to those which Jazz appears to be supporting probably won’t bother to do either. Regardless, I heartily recommend reading Pete Kofod article and recommend it highly as a profoundly insightful series of observations on the current state of American society.