I’ve spent part of today watching The Fourth World War with my daughter. This is a very important film, much closer to global reality than something like Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 because it doesn’t get hung up on American oversimplifications (ie, “It’s all Bush’s fault”) and paints a true picture of what’s really happening on the global scene.
My daughter and I were continually struck by the contrast one would see over and over throughout the world: whenever there was a conflict between The People and The Government, The Government enforcers (ie, the police and the soldiers) were there with armor, with guns, with helmets, with shields, with tear gas, with clubs, and with stern, unsmiling faces; while The People were there with signs, with dancing, with costumes, with drums, with guitars, with singing, and with smiles on their faces.
My wife and I have had a disagreement on many occasions about my feelings regarding the police. I don’t like them, and I don’t trust them, and I’ve said so many times to my daughter and my wife. But today, after seeing this film, I was able to explain that it’s not the People who are police officers that I have trouble with, rather it’s the position of police officer that I have trouble with. The problem is structural, not personal. And while in America things are generally docile enough among the sheeple that one can usually trust a police officer, this trust must necessarily go out the window once one expresses dissent toward the government.
It was nice to be able to explain that to my daughter. In a peaceful situation, if she is in trouble, she definitely should go to a police officer if she has no one else to turn to. However, as soon as she places herself in opposition to the government (ie, at a peace rally or demonstration), she in general should not expect a police officer to be helpful.