From The Distributed Republic http://distributedrepublic.net/
The Terror State Is Built With Many HandsSubmitted by Randall McElroy iii on Wed, 2008-09-03 19:12.
Tyrants are not directly responsible for what goes in under their rule. Certainly they're to blame for setting the terror in motion, but it takes thousands or millions of underlings to really turn a regular country into a terror state. Adolf Hitler did not personally gas and starve millions in the early 1940s, nor did Stalin or Mao personally shoot, starve, and otherwise eradicate tens of millions of people whose interests they were allegedly representing.
Watching videos of police brutality and reading stories of dozens more every week is seriously depressing. U.S. presidents have encouraged the mindset that makes this possible, but the individual police officers who brutalize and kill people are just as much a part of the problem. Lately the blogosphere has been highlighting police brutality at the RNC protests, another fine example of how a great many individual decisions by state henchmen ruin a country. I am sure George Bush, Dick Cheney, Nancy Pelosi, and all the others of the state apparatus--as well as their "private" friends in other state-allied positions--are perfectly fine with what's happening; if they were in the riot gear, they'd be the ones pulling the triggers, tightening the cuffs, and swinging the truncheons. But they're not, and they leave these decisions up to a willing multitude of police departments.
That murderer is not Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, or any of the other names you might have heard. That's a young man. As far as I know, he disappears from history after this photograph. Hitler is only indirectly responsible for the kneeling man's murder. That young man is the actual murderer.
We ought to be blaming Bush for the crimes that happen on his watch, just like we should have blamed Clinton, Nixon, and the others before them. But to let the actual agents of terror off the hook is a serious moral error.
It's a tragically flawed example, but it might help to remember that the Irish Revolution was successful largely because the population grew more and more sympathetic to the revolutionaries' aims. But as far as actual strategies, the boycott of the Royal Irish Constabulary was critical. The English-allied police eventually found themselves unable even to buy groceries from ordinary citizens. Enlistment in the RIC plunged to zero in just a few years.
This requires a radical reconsideration of the role of the police to work, I know, and here in the U.S. the police aren't seen as collaborationists with a hostile foreign occupation. But if we remember the Last Jew of Vinnitsa and his killer when we watch the news, the constant stream of police brutality, abuse, and consequence-free killing, we'll be halfway there.