The Banality of Evil

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Here’s a video depiction of what the writer Hannah Arendt called the “banality of evil” – referring to the bureaucratic insouciance of Nazi war criminals. Not Hitler or Goebbels, but rather, the on-the-street thugs who enforced their policies in a matter-of-fact way, just doing their jobs.

This term is italicized to make the point. Nazi war criminals like Adolf Eichmann said essentially the same thing. He was, he told the court, merely  following orders, another way of saying he was just doing his job.

The armed government workers in this video are just doing their job – bureaucratically mulcting a man who committed a traffic “violation” on his way to the emergency room. No one was harmed but the AGWs show no understanding or empathy. The law must be enforced.

No human-level conversation. Just robotic demands in a kind of authoritarian pantomime. “your license, sir”.” “your license, sir.” “Provide your license.” Are you refusing to sign the summons?”

“Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Yes. How about thinking a little bit about the brutality you inflict with such smug indifference?

. . .

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12 COMMENTS

  1. It’s great to see the swamp drained. But there’s another swamp in “law enforcement” that needs draining. Other government workers (armed) who have forgotten who pays them and who they’re supposed to serve are in need of a thorough purge as well.

    Sadly, with civil servants, it’s tough to get rid of them even when they’re not doing their job.

    I’m not anti cop, I’m anti bad cop.

    I really don’t think they realize it but too much of the heavy handed stuff is bad for their future. People will have deep malaise for cops and they’ll get taken down on a more regular basis.

    Not my wish, but human nature when people have had enough.

    We true patriots like our freedoms and hold tremendous disdain for *any* entity that would try to limit or eliminate them.

    Cops should be much better. It’s ridiculous that so many of them settle comfortably into the culture of “authoritah”.

    I knew one guy who graduated NY State Police Academy and his class was told by whatever made up rank the person in charge had that they were now “members of the biggest gang in NY State”.

    This was the wrong guy to tell something like this to, he acts exactly like the human garbage seen in a lot of these videos. Imagine some of the worst of that graduating class. Don’t have to imagine it much these days.

    This upstanding gentleman had an unfortunate conflict with me one day and asked me to step behind my garage to settle it (shades of Joe Biden?). Because I’m not suicidal and never put myself willingly into a situation where I’m at a tactical disadvantage, I elected to put my arms behind my back and tell him “Nah man, you wanna make a move, do it here in front of everyone”.

    At the risk of being even more long winded, as a teen, an off duty cop misconstrued a conversation my pal and I had before going to rent a video and screeched up in his (shot out) Z28, jumped out and put a gun in my face. It was cleared up fast but this small mistake on the part of the cop could have ended me at 17 years old.

    Wonder why I feel so strongly about this? 😂

    • Hi James!

      It took me a few years to arrive at my current position in re AGWs – which is that they are all bad, by definition. Here’s why:

      A large percentage – probably a majority – of the laws in force are tyrannical and evil. This is inarguable.

      It is the job of an AGW to enforce all laws.

      If he “does his job,” he must enforce tyrannical/evil laws as a matter of course.

      Therefore, he is serving evil to the extent he enforces a tyrannical/evil law.

      As a purely practical matter, he cannot avoid such “duty” – without losing his job.

      Moreover, even if he is a “good” man and tries to avoid enforcing the tyrannical/evil laws, it is tyrannical/evil for anyone to have that kind of discretionary power to leverage/hold over others – even a given “good” AGW who doesn’t do so. The fact that he could, at his discretion, is alarming to anyone with sense.

      Finally, no one has the moral right to force others to pay for their “services.” It doesn’t matter – morally – how “essential” you (or I) might consider a given “service.” It doesn’t give us the right to compel others to finance it.

      If peacekeeping/security forces are valuable, let those who value it pay the market rate for such – and (this is no small thing) let them exercise the power of the purse over it. The easiest way to end a tyrannical thing – without resorting to violence – is to defund it.

      • It all went to heck when they changed from being “peace officers” to “law enforcement.”

        Even when they are not “bad” then they are mostly worthless as far as keeping the peace. I wish we could just fire our entire county sheriff department and have a few volunteers who mind their own focking business until there is a breach in the peace. It works for all of our fire departments 😉

  2. Brutality inflicted with smug indifference indeed. This begs the questions: What causes this? What is missing in a human when he’s devoid of empathy and compassion- where did his humanity go? Fascist regimes have this in common: Godlessness. Nazis were secular humanists worshiping the State. The inner ring were ardent Occultists- Himmler being the ring leader in this depraved religion. Stalin outlawed God in Russia. Recently here in the former Republic still known as the USA Robert Francis (Beto) was clear on outlawing God. Ditto Sanders who wants to remove tax deductions for charities (read Christian charities). Removing a Bible based world view from a society removes troublesome teachings like The Golden Rule, the First commandment per Jesus “Love thy neighbor”, do not lie, cheat, steal, kill, take your neighbors wife, if you don’t work neither shall you eat, the important value of personal property, lot lines, inheritance, etc. all things in opposition to the all-powerful State. Empathy and compassion are taught in a Bible based culture like America. They are rejected and outlawed by fascists because they are a threat to the power of the State.

    • Hi Auric,

      Without empathy – without being able to feel compassion for others and (attendant) the obligation to behave decently toward others – society devolves into a hyena pack.

      In our society, much of this is hidden from view even though it is in plain sight. That’s why I harp on it – to make people see it. We are not “asked” to “contribute.” We are forced to – by the threat of murderous violence. Etc.

      • You’ve described sympathy. Empathy is the ability to share the feelings of others. The distinction is important. Being forced to contribute causes two things: sympathy, an often condescending emotion that can make the already down feeling worse. Indifference, which makes the weak notice the deficit between them and the strong. Both things facilitate a class divide that wont allow solidarity by its very nature. Trouble is, talent and smarts are fairly distributed. Privilege is not. One run in with the wrong entity can cause an unrecoverable set back for a person otherwise talented and capable. Forever caught in the systems of sympathy and indifference.

      • Right you are Eric. I like the attention you give to Giverment interference into places it does not belong. I also get a kick out of Hut! Hut! Hut! My mind goes to that picture of the AGWs in The Blues Brothers repelling down the sides of the Cook County building. What a hoot! Can you imagine Hollywied making a Blues Brothers or a Blazing Saddles today? Those Humorless Bolsheviks are so hobbled by their bitterness that nothing can be funny.

    • I’m the opposite, I had already learned most of the bad from school and media. The more I learn, it’s the good things I was never taught. Like bringing Germany out of poverty, fighting the bankers, protection of nature and health. The kind of stuff that makes you Time magazine’s man of the year.

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