Saturday, June 30, 2012

What is Submissive?

I was reading an article titled, "Are Americans Not Submissive Enough?" The argument is that we are too submissive; we should resist more; that the other author (Brooks) referenced in the article is wrong.

I, too, think we should be less submissive, but most people do "not submissive" in the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with being anti-establishment, skeptical of authority, or "not submissive"; being so is a Right directly protected by the Constitution.

Belief, though, is one thing; violation of the law another. A person is allowed to believe, and to talk, and to write, all they want. But when that person steps outside the bounds of the law, they become subject to penalty.

We have a problem in this country with people who think that "not being submissive" means punching, fighting, shooting at law officers, violating court orders, and so on. All that does is place them in the position of being penalized. The person that does any of these has already lost the argument, because society is on the authority's side.

Most of the cases I see of "police abuse" begin with the citizen breaking the law; and while that does not justify excessive police force, it means that appropriate police action is justified. A recent example is of someone who spit on the officer, which is assault; the officer then stomped the citizen, which was excessive force. But the officer would have had no justification for action if it weren't for the spit. With the spit, the officer is justified to make an appropriate response and has that as a defense. And who won't get carried away when annoyed?

So when society reviews the action, this is what most see: The officer was justified to make a response and got carried away. If any penalty is given, it is for getting carried away and not for any abuse of authority. If, for example, the officer had no authority to stop the person in the first place, that abuse becomes "irrelevant" due to the justification provided by the spit, and won't even be considered.

The correct way of being "not submissive" in our society is: Comply with the law, comply with the officer, comply with the court. Then file complaints, file charges, lobby changes to the law, and so on. Fully use your Right to seek redress. Despite belief to the contrary, every authority and every law in this country is accountable to some other authority or law. Make authorities explain themselves to their authority, without any shred of justification.

Because then society's full sympathy is with the oppressed and its full anger is directed at the unjustified and abusive authority.

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