“Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times.”
These hard times require the rise of strong men. But now the tables have been turned. The police have now become the weak men creating hard times. The new league of strong men will be those with the courage to police the police themselves.
In a lot of ways policing has always been corrupt. But, in other ways, historically, police had a stronger code of ethics. Now, for the most part, cops blindly uphold outdated laws. It is no longer a matter of protecting and serving, but a matter of blind allegiance to law and order and obediently following the chain of command out of fear of the thin blue line. This weak, offense-minded policing has created hard times through aggressive overreach and oppressive extortion.
As Doctor Robert Higgs definitively stated, “The whole Good Cop/Bad Cop question can be disposed of decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appear to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) A cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) Many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) Therefore every cop has to agree to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. Therefore, there are no good cops.”
There must be a way to get the cart back in front of the horse of moral policing. There is. But it will take a complete overhaul of the policing system as we know it.
Replace offense-minded policing with defense-minded policing
“We don’t so much solve our problems as we outgrow them. We add capacities and experiences that eventually make us bigger than the problems.” ~Carl Jung
The reason why top-down “leadership” (without checks and balances) ultimately fails can be summed up in two words: entrenched power. And it can be further summed up in the following quote by Lord Acton, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This can be seen in both groups and individuals holding too much power. As Lincoln profoundly challenged, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
As it stands, offense-minded policing gives police way too much power. Both liberals and conservatives can agree that cops have too much overreaching power, especially when it leads to them acting as judge, jury, and executioner in the street.
The solution is to base the entire foundation of policing upon a defense-minded philosophy of policing. A firefighter defends the public from fire. That’s their job. Police should defend people and property from violence. That should be their job. But the current system of police overreach leads to extortion, civil asset forfeiture, and quota-junkie cops who oppress their communities through the enforcement of petty crimes, using bloated, offense-minded policing strategies based upon outdated and unjust laws.
Defense-minded policing must remain the core philosophy if a police force is intent on remaining a moral institution. As such, most laws on the books must be either updated or eradicated. This isn’t optional. Bad laws must change, and the thin blue line reinforcing them must be dashed. Otherwise, the neo-cop cannot emerge. They would just be suffocated by the justice system that they work for. And they would still fall victim to Doctor Higgs’ premises (see above quote). A good, moral, defense-minded neo-cop cannot act as such if he/she is forced to enforce outdated, immoral, and wicked laws.
Deeper more extensive training is desperately needed
“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” ~Harry S. Truman
People on both the left and the right of the political divide can agree on this one. Cops are ill-trained. Plain and simple. Something must be done about this grievous state of affairs. It begins with aptitude: physical, mental, and psychological. The standard must be high because police will be holding the life and death of the people in their hands on a daily basis. Here are six recommendations for how to train candidates to become defense-minded rather than offense-minded police…
First: A recruit should not take on a job if they are unwilling to face its pressures, and they should be disqualified if they prove that they are unable to handle its pressures. Also (extremely important) they should be held to a higher IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional quotient) than they are currently being held to.
Second: Recruits should be trained on how to deescalate rather than escalate tense situations (possibly even training in The Art of Fighting Without Fighting). This seems like a no-brainer. But unchecked power tends to lead to ego-trips which tends to lead to a Cartman-like “respect my authoritah!” mindset which leads to the escalation of trivial situations into deadly ones.
Third: Recruits should be thoroughly trained in hand-to-hand combat and how to disarm violent people using deadly force only as a last resort. Training in the use of firearms is important but should be secondary to all other forms of defense. Tackle first, taze second, shoot-not-to-kill third, shoot-to-kill last, and only ever in defense of others first and oneself last (the opposite of the scared, hyper-militarized, offense-minded policing, and the opposite of the “shoot first, ask questions later” mindset of the overreaching cop acting like judge-jury-executioner).
Fourth: Recruits should be trained on how to hold other officers accountable and should be rewarded, rather than shunned, for doing so (the opposite of the thin blue line). Also, recruits should be trained on how to spot and ignore outdated, immoral, unjust, and wicked laws and how to focus more on enforcing updated, moral, just, and honorable laws until the law books can be thoroughly updated.
Fifth: Recruits should be required to go through a long (considerably longer than the measly five months, which is the average for most police academies) and highly demanding police academy that highlights the physical, mental, emotional, and psychological demands of defense-minded policing as listed above. Furthermore on psychological demands, recruits should be trained in how to recognize and reconcile the psychological effects of perceived power as cautioned by the Stanford Prison Experiment.
The Rise of the Neo-cop
“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” ~Arthur Ashe
The Neo-cop rises above the pettiness of offense-minded policing by embracing defense-minded policing. Armed with solid, ethical and intelligent training on how to deescalate hostile situations, the Neo-cop is equipped to adapt and overcome with a defense-first, violence-as-last-resort mindset. Sure, defense-minded policing is more challenging, riskier, less comfortable, and more dangerous, but that’s the nature of courage. Courage is being afraid and then getting the job done anyway. The defense-minded Neo-cop is the personification of courage under fire, which requires them to hold both their peers and themselves to a higher standard than perhaps any other job.
The beauty of being a defense-minded Neo-cop, despite the challenges, is that they won’t need to be overreaching in their duties. They can keep it simple yet effective. Defend the community against any and all forms of violence. That’s it. No need to write petty citations. No need to fill jails with petty criminals committing petty crimes. No need to set speed traps. No need to pad the wallets of judges and lawyers through “legal” extortion and civil asset forfeiture. No need to harass innocent citizens. No need to continue the failed war on drugs. No need to chase after the dangling carrot that the typical quota-junkie cop chases after. No need to worry about the thin blue line, because everyone would be trained and rewarded in police accountability at all costs.
The Neo-cop is a cop that the community can respect rather than fear. A true hero of the community –physically, intellectually, and psychologically equipped to protect and serve. They act in good conscience and with moral intent. They are compassionate and empathetic to the plight of every citizen, good or bad. They seek to be strong men and women, despite hard times. In short: they put the “peace” in peace officer.
As Thomas Merton said, “Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.”
UK Queen’s Statues Torn Down Amid Anger Over Mass Graves for Indigenous Children
This year may have had one of the most muted Canada Day celebrations, but this didn’t stop Indigenous protesters from making their anger felt – especially in the wake of the discovery of over 1,000 children’s bodies near the residential schools run by the Canadian state and church authorities.
And with churches being likely targeted by arsonists for the crimes of Catholic clergy, protesters are now attacking the symbols of Anglo colonialism – namely, statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.
About 150,000 First Nations children were forcibly separated from their families and communities and forced to attend the religious schools which were established in the 19th century to assimilate Indigenous children into the Anglo settler-colonial culture of Canada.
Former students have testified to the horrific sexual, mental and physical abuse they suffered while enrolled at the schools. Myriad children died from preventable diseases, as well as in accidents and fires. Others disappeared when trying to escape. The Commission has denounced the schools for institutionalizing child neglect and for being organs of “cultural genocide.”
The discoveries have churned up deep-seated anguish and memories of the suffering visited upon First Nations peoples, with many lashing out at the symbols of colonialism.
At least seven churches, all but one of which were Catholic, have also come under apparent arson attacks throughout Canada in recent weeks.
In June, a statue of the late Pope John Paul II at a Catholic church in Edmonton was splattered with red paint and red handprints.
On Thursday, July 1, residents in Canada also held organized protests and pulled down the statues of the top figurehead of British colonialism: Queen Elizabeth II, as well as that of her great grandmother, Queen Victoria. Sky News reports that the toppling of the statues was accompanied by the chant, “No Pride in Genocide!”
In Ottawa, protestors gathered en masse at Parliament Hill chanting ”Cancel Canada Day” and ”shame on Canada,” urging an end to the national holiday over the deaths of Indigenous people.
Indigenous groups and Canadian politicians are demanding an apology from the Catholic Church – specifically Pope Francis. The event could take place by year’s end, according to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
However, it remains unlikely that the British crown will offer the same amends to Canada’s Indigenous nations who, like many across the globe, suffered greatly in British Colonialism’s worldwide search for riches and glory.
3 Reasons Why Introverts Are Undervalued in Today’s Society
It’s undeniable that our society favors assertive extroverted personalities with strong communication skills and underestimates the quiet ones. If you are an introvert, you have probably learned it the hard way.
It could be that you felt unseen in the classroom as a child or teen. Or you may have watched your less competent co-workers get a promotion thanks to their social skills.
It feels unfair, but if you think about our society, it makes perfect sense. The consumerist mindset that has become our second nature inevitably affects the way we treat other people. It seems that everything, including our personal qualities and worth as human beings, is translated into some kind of market value.
In other words, to make other people see your worth in personal or professional life, you need to be able to ‘sell yourself’. Yes, this expression alone tells it all.
You need to know how to make a good first impression, say the right things, and be assertive. If you can’t do it, you are perceived as incapable and uninteresting – whether we are talking about a job interview or an informal social gathering.
But it’s not the only reason why introverts are undervalued in our society. Here are a few more:
1. They are less efficient in teamwork
Communication and teamwork skills are required for all kinds of jobs. It seems that without being able to work in a team, it’s impossible to do your job even if your duties don’t involve interaction with clients.
Introverts are much more efficient when they work on their own and are given a certain extent of independence. They thrive in quiet environments with few distractions and interactions. This is when a quiet person gets the chance to unleash their creative self and make good use of their analytical skills.
Most office jobs don’t give employees this opportunity. Office meetings, group projects, phone calls and all the other attributes of a 9-to-5 job make it almost impossible for an introvert to be productive.
2. They don’t like to be in the spotlight
Sometimes it feels like we are living in a society of attention seekers. Today, you are expected to go public about the most personal matters, such as your relationship and family life.
People share their most intimate thoughts and feelings on social media, post updates about the most trivial events, such as what they had for dinner, and upload countless selfies.
Introverts are among those who still value privacy. They are less likely to showcase their lives online or share the details of their personal affairs with the whole world.
At the same time, the quiet ones don’t like to be in the spotlight at social events. An introvert will never interrupt you. They will listen to you and talk only when they have something important to say. This tendency to avoid attention can be mistaken for insecurity and even a lack of intelligence.
3. They prefer to be real than to be ‘nice’
If you want to make a good impression on others, you are expected to be nice. But what does it mean to be ‘nice’ anyway?
In an introvert’s mind, it equals saying things you don’t mean. Quiet personalities will never bombard you with compliments or say meaningless social pleasantries just to win your fondness. But if an introvert said something nice to you, then be sure that they truly meant it.
Small talk is another component of social relationships most introverts struggle with. To them, it embodies utterly dull, uncomfortable, and pointless conversations they can perfectly do without. For this reason, introverts are often mistakenly believed to hate people.
The truth is that they don’t – they just crave stimulating, meaningful conversations and choose their social circle more carefully than extroverts.
In my book, The Power of Misfits: How to Find Your Place in a World You Don’t Fit In, I write about the reasons why so many introverts feel inadequate and alienated from other people in today’s society. It all goes down to social expectations this personality type has to deal with from a very early age.
But the good news is that every introvert can overcome the negative effects of these expectations and find the right path in this loud, extroverted world.
The Esoteric Meaning Behind Neo’s Interrogation Scene in The Matrix
More than 20 years old now, The Matrix is recognized by fans across the world as being one of the most brilliant films in history, most notably for its deeper meaning and esoteric philosophy.
One scene that is particularly intriguing, considering the social climate of today, is Neo’s interrogation by the Agents of the Matrix.
Now, before we dig into the potential hidden meaning here, as I perceive it, and how Neo found himself in this uncomfortable position to begin with, let’s first establish some key points in relation to the overall story line that will help us to appreciate the implications behind this scene a little bit more.
What Does The Character Neo Represent in the Matrix?
Neo in ancient Greek (νέος) means new/young one. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help us understand what the directors of the film are trying to communicate to us. With that said, when we assess Neo’s character in the first film, we find that he is a solitary individual that keeps to himself and is struggling to find deeper meaning in this world by constantly searching the internet.
What Does The Character Morpheus Represent in the Matrix?
Morpheus in Greek mythology is a messenger of the gods. He appears to humans through dreams with the intention of delivering divine Knowledge and Truth. In the Greek mythos, he can appear in almost any form in people’s dreams, which could be because anyone, regardless of race, gender, or outward appearance, can be a messenger of enlightenment and Truth.
The First Matrix Film is About The Beginning of the Journey to Awakening
With the understanding of the deeper meaning behind what Neo and Morpheus’ characters represent in the film, we can now appreciate the intro scene of Neo sleeping (whilst searching for Morpheus) through a different lens of perception and awareness.
You see, Neo sleeping whilst searching online for Morpheus represents the early stages of the Truth seekers journey — “asleep” but still searching for deeper meaning in life — and hoping to find that meaning by seeking out a “messenger” of higher Knowledge and Truth.
Truth is Terrorism in the Empire of Lies
Through his incessant efforts, Neo begins to get closer and closer to finding the elusive Morpheus. This, however, also attracts the unwanted attention of the Agents in the Matrix, which represent the enforcers of the shadow government of this system. Their job is to ensure that no one exposes what the Matrix really is, and how it turns unsuspecting every day human beings into useful resources that it can use and exploit.
The Agents proceed to apprehend Neo and interrogate him, where they make it very clear that they’ve been spying on him and keeping meticulous records of his activities, both online and offline, for quite some time now. As we all know very well today, all around the world intelligence agencies are doing exactly that — tracking what we view online and keeping meticulous records on many of our movements.
The agents, however, do not see Neo as being a major threat to the Matrix system, as he is still in the early stages of his awakening and does not know enough to be a major threat. Instead, they offer him a deal where they will be willing to “wipe the slate clean” on his illegal activities online, if Neo will simply help them track down the man they call Morpheus, who they claim is “a known terrorist” that is “considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive”.
This represents that the single greatest threat to this manipulative system — which is overwhelmingly ruled by deception and exploitation — is any messenger of higher Knowledge and Truth that can potentially awaken those who are still “asleep” to what the proverbial Matrix really is. In fact, one could argue this sort of power struggle has been going on for thousands of years, and is possibly why Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth” by the ruling class more than 2,000 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death; or why Fred Hampton was assassinated by government authorities in 1969; or, in more recent history, why civilians that were peacefully protesting against Wall Street and the bankers for their part in destroying the world economy in 2008, were targeted by the FBI and even labelled as potential “domestic terrorists“.
Simply put, Truth is terrorism in the empire of lies.
Neo, still being somewhat naïve and unbegun in his journey, rejects the Agent’s offer and demands he get a phone call because “I know my rights!”
To this, Agent Smith retorts, “tell me Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”, which results in Neo’s mouth warping in the most eerie of ways.
This scene represents a lesson that all genuine Truth seekers eventually come to learn — this system is not concerned with human rights nor is it concerned with upholding authentic justice. Instead, it inculcates these beliefs and misperceptions into our minds from a very young age, because it serves to help legitimize its unnecessary existence in the eyes of the unsuspecting public and indoctrinate us as to why we think we need it. But in reality, our government guaranteed “rights” can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.
In relation to current events, for example, many thousands of people worldwide have been arrested for violating curfew orders; In one Indian state, civilians were told they must take selfies every hour and send it to the authorities to prove that they are staying indoors; in South Africa, some have been fined for not wearing masks while driving their cars; In Boston in the United States, people have even been told that they will be fined if they walk “the wrong direction” down the street; Homeless people in France have reportedly been fined for not staying indoors; Some people have been arrested for attending funerals of loved ones because it violated lockdown orders; Others (including doctors and scientists) have had their right to freedom of speech censored online; In Australia, a pregnant woman was actually arrested in her home for facebook posts that encouraged protesting against the lockdown; According to the International Labor Organization, tens of millions are being pushed into unemployment; and travel all around the world has been severely restricted by these authorities who have taken it upon themselves to be the rulers of this planet by dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. Whether you agree with these policies or not, these things cannot logically be called “rights” since they are so very easily violated and taken away from us.
There are many other examples that demonstrate how our government given “rights” are more of a comforting illusion than an actual reality, such as the CIA’s secretive Black Site torture programs, which have been done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies and authorities throughout the world. In these programs, people have been kidnapped — without any legal criminal charge or trial — and then taken to undisclosed secret locations where many of them are tortured for many months on end, in ways that are considered to be in violation of international law and basic human rights. The CIA, of course, simply claims they are suspected terrorists. In 2014, however, a Senate Intelligence Committee Report found that at least 26 of the people that were kidnapped and tortured were actually “wrongfully detained”.
Wake Up Neo — You Are the One
Fortunately, Neo manages to escape this unthinkable situation without any serious injury or harm. Soon after, he is contacted by Morpheus, where he is told that he was very lucky that the Agents underestimated his great potential and spared him, because if the Agents had known the great secret that Morpheus knows, then Neo would probably be dead.
Confused by the obvious strangeness of everything taking place, Neo asks Morpheus what the hell is going on, and what exactly is he talking about?? Without hesitation, Morpheus replies to him, “You are the one Neo — You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”
This is perhaps the most important lesson the new Truth seeker must eventually come to learn — We are the ones we have been waiting for to change this corrupt world my friends; and we must stop looking for heroes and human leaders to absolve us of this very serious responsibility. Instead, we must all take on the role of Morpheus — which is to awaken as many Neo’s (new minds) as we possibly can, whilst also taking on the role that represents the journey of Neo, by challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we authentically are.
By doing this, we will help to awaken and unleash the unique creative forces of each individual’s problem solving imagination; and we will also find unity in our shared struggle against the injustices, and corruption, of this inhumane system which invariably exploits us all.
If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?
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