ever lived in a big city, you’ve probably had to deal with
the squeegee man.
your car – even though you have not called him over. Without
asking your consent, he commences to wiping your windshield with
his greasy rag. In a moment, he will demand payment for his “services”
– which you’d better hand over, if you don’t want
him to attack you (or damage your car).
encompasses everything that is subsumed under government:
Random people accosting you with demands for payment – for
“services” you never asked for, don’t approve
of and don’t use – with the menace of violence looming
over everything. Neither the squeegee man nor the politician nor
government “worker” ever asks whether you’re interested
in what they have to offer – not really. Because they never
give you the option to decline. To say, “no thank
you.” And have them leave you alone.
Both take the
position that “services” having been provided –
asked for or not, used or not – translates to pay up!
The only difference
between the squeegee man and your local county commissioner, school
board – or governor or president – is that some of them
have better teeth (usually). And of course, more “resources”
(read: violence) at their disposal. After all, you can
still roll up your windows – or better yet, just drive away
– when you see the squeegee man. You’re even allowed
to fight him off if he physically attacks.
No such luck
with the representatives of government.
This will never
change – and will inevitably become worse – until enough
people make the great ethical-conceptual leap connecting the squeegee
man – and the more adroit squeegee men who have arrogated
unto themselves the power of organized “legal” violence.
Until a sufficiently large number of people – enough to tip
the balance – reject ethical-conceptual compartmentalization;
the habit of mind that prevents a person from grasping that theft
is always theft – whether it is done by an individual
squeegee man on the street or by squeegee men in offices. That aggressive
violence is always to be condemned – no exceptions,
ever. And more, to be openly named. You are not “asked”
to “contribute” to Social Security – or any of
the other myriad forms of theft employed by the squeegee
men who control legally sanctioned aggressive violence. You are
told you will hand over a specific sum of money –
or else. The “or else” being aggressive violence directed
against your person. No matter how minor the sum involved, eventually
– inevitably – it will lead to a violent assault on
your person. Death, perhaps, if you fight back.
It is not pretty
– which is exactly why it must be euphemized. And
precisely why these euphemisms and evasions must be ripped away
by relentless insistence on plain, honest language.
The forms and
niceties must be done away with. The ethical-conceptual exceptions
no longer tolerated. We must stop giving them our sanction by pretending
the interaction is something other than what it actually is. Make
them bare their blood-dripping fangs. Do not permit them the illusion
that they are anything more than thugs – however
neatly dressed, whatever their titles.
the rest of the article
[send him mail] is an
automotive columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2013 Eric Peters
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