Written in 1851 Pierre-Joseph Proudhoun:

To be governed is to be kept in sight, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right, nor the wisdom, nor the virtue to do so…. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

So I’m in a Jamaican airport right? And I’m doing the shakedown-for-security bogey. As required, I’ve removed my shoes, and been scanned, sniffed, x-rayed, commanded and prodded. I breathe a sigh of relief that the goons haven’t pulled me aside for some extra tender loving care. Having made my face into a mask of ambivalence, I’ve successfully hidden my seething fury at being treated this way.

Reaching the end of the x-ray line I put my shoes on and then I place first one foot, then another, up on the low counter in order to tie my shoes. With both hands occupied I have my passport and boarding pass jammed in my mouth. One of the Gubmint apparatchiks attending the sheep-herding says something to me about taking my foot down.

Now there is NOTHING even remotely related to a degraded state of national or airline security associated with me having my foot up on the edge of her counter! I ignore her and continue tying my shoe. Now she places her hands on her hips in a display of impatience while taking another breath in preparation for strengthening her command. I finish at that precise moment and rather dramatically make a show of taking my passport out of my mouth, leaning forward and with all the fake innocence I can muster saying “Did you say something to me?”

“Yes” the bureaucrat says. “I told you to take your foot down.”

“Oh… well I’m already done now” I mockingly said with a big sh*t-eating grin all over my face.

It was at the same time a tiny meaningless gesture, AND the source of deep personal satisfaction for me to flout the order of the Gubmint’s drone on the scene.


Rio Arriba said...

It's interesting that you quote a socialist, anarchist, colleague of Karl Marx against our present government. (At least I assume you were making that point.)

It just goes to show how screwed up everything has become.

Your story of the power-junky factotum at the airport is a good illustration of the effect of a heavy badge pressing on a soft and tiny brain. Funny, but also sad and infuriating.

GunRights4US said...

I read and liked the quote before I knew anything of about its author. There's no denying the accuracy of his description of government however.