R.E.M started their song “It’s The End Of The World” with a phrase, “That’s great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, an aeroplane, and Lenny Bruce is not afraid”. But the brutal truth is, Michael Stipe’s atheist philosophical pontificating aside, that’s not how it starts. The origins of the phrase “the apocalypse will not be televised” are somewhat obscure, though, it’s probably a modification of “The Revolution will not be televised“. Like so many prognostications, it turns out that, “The
Revolution Apocalypse will not be televised” is wrong. Not only will the apocalypse be televised, it will go into syndication and make it to re-run hell for your children and grand children and great grand children to watch.
No, the apocalypse did not start with a earthquake, birds or snakes, or even an aeroplane. Not only did it not, it also unfolded in ultra slow motion. So slow, that well, almost nobody noticed that it was happening right in front of their faces. That is not to say that there weren’t signs, that there weren’t people who took notice that something was amiss. Those who took notice, who tried to speak out, were punished severely for their actions. Not only will there be no commercial interruptions of the apocalypse, there won’t be any interruptions of any kind at all.
What happens when you screw up and interrupt the apocalypse?
Via Reason, the key bit starts around two minutes in. Alternate headline: “The fish rots from the head down.”
The cop told a radio host this morning he was being sarcastic (audio here) but he’s under investigation anyway:
Special Police Officer Richard Recine now is the subject of an internal affairs investigation after the video was posted online and was seen by Police Director Robert Manney, who called the comments an “embarrassment.”…
On Wednesday, Manney said Recine’s words were “uncalled for and unprofessional.”…
“I’ve already spoken to that officer in regards to that. In my opinion it’s an embarrassment.”
Recine’s obviously criticizing Obama in the clip (he’s “decimated the friggin’ Constitution”), not earnestly citing him as an example to emulate. I think he threw the “if he doesn’t follow it, we don’t have to either” thing out there because he assumed that the guy he’s arguing with is an Obama fan. I.e. if your guy doesn’t have to play by the rules, why demand that we lowly cops do so? But your mileage may vary.
Pete Kofod wrote a brilliant and highly disturbing essay titled, “The Rise of the Praetorian Class” if you haven’t read it yet, it should be way at the top of your must read list, right next to or just under, The Belmont Clubs “The Three Conjectures“.
Peter predicted in “The Rise of the Praetorian Class” so much of what we are seeing in America today, right down to what is happening both between Special Police Officer Richard Recine and Obama, and Recine’s masters/employers.
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:
Viewing everything and everyone according to a perceived threat posture. The members’ thought processes, beliefs and actions center on viewing the world through a paradigm of a graduated conflict spectrum and how to posture themselves accordingly. Even in the most mundane settings, their conversations tend to be awkward if not centered on their martial duties.
Tight internal socialization. Because they view life through a martial paradigm, members tend to socialize almost exclusively amongst themselves. Immediate family members are expected to do the same, which naturally occurs anyway as they can share experiences that external relationships simply are unable to address.
Loyalty is the highest honor. Whether referred to as the blue wall of silence or the brotherhood in arms, even the most egregious transgressions are buried. If the misdeeds are internal, meaning member versus member, the justice is handled internally. On the other hand, external missteps are typically swept under the rug and significant chicane is experienced by outsiders who seek to learn the truth.
In a relatively free and peaceful society, members of the communities that form the Praetorian Class lead a discrete existence. Members of the military commute to and from their place of work and are largely invisible to both the Political and Economic Class, certainly in communities that are not “Praetorian” communities. Attendance at cultural events in uniform is frowned upon, if not explicitly forbidden. During these times, members of the military and law enforcement are expected to live and operate outside the perception of other members of society, their purpose and function regarded with a sense of detachment and perhaps even subtle curiosity.
As the Political Class increasingly calls upon the Praetorian Class to ensure their order, however, their martial nature becomes more visible in the fabric of day-to-day life. This serves several purposes. For one, it allows the Political Class to demonstrate its willingness to use unlimited force to achieve its objectives, something that was always the case but is now made publicly visible. Rationalizing the increased public profile, a stream of honorifics is bestowed upon the Praetorian Class so that they may be presented as defenders of the Economic Class. This is accomplished through the time-tested use of pageantry, pomp and circumstance.
Over time, additional perquisites are bestowed upon the Praetorian Class including preferential treatment in both private and public facilities. Preferred air travel accommodations for uniformed personnel, including dedicated lines at TSA checkpoints and preferential boarding, have recently emerged as cultural standards that further distance the Praetorian Class from the masses.
Another clear change is the physical appearance of members of the Praetorian Class. The uniforms transition from relatively inconspicuous attire to “battle uniforms” such are those now standard issue to both the military and law enforcement personnel. These optics reinforce the position of the Praetorian Class as maintainers of public order, convey a message of physical dominance and establish chronic low-level fear among the masses. Sometimes referred to as the militarization of the police force, this characterization traditionally refers to the increasing firepower in even municipal police departments. Frequently lost in this observation, however, is the psychological impact that such a heavily armed police presence has on the “civilian” population – specifically that it further separates the Praetorian Class from the Economic Class.
Special Police Officer Richard Recine did the unforgivable for anyone in the Praetorian Class, he took the side of the Economic Class of that of his own class of his masters. For that Special Police Officer Richard Recine will be made into a Kabuki Theater sacrifice designed to deceive those in the economic class into thinking that the Praetorian Class are their protectors and saviors, while at the same time proving to their masters in the political class that they are still loyal and can still be trusted to do whatever their masters require.
Yes, this is where the apocalypse really starts, with Praetorian Class sacrificing their own to deceive the economic class and appease their masters in the Political Class.