Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sometimes you have to do what you are told....

Thomas Hobbes: " have no pleasure (but on the contrary a great deal of grief) in keeping company where there is no power able to overawe them all. For every man looketh that his companion should value him at the same rate he sets upon himself, and upon all signs of contempt or undervaluing naturally endeavours, as far as he dares (which amongst them that have no common power to keep them in quiet is far enough to make them destroy each other), to extort a greater value from his contemners, by damage; and from others, by the example.

So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory."

When the cops come, and you say, "I'm not going anywhere..." well, you are in fact going somewhere. And for the people who think that it was unecessary to send three policemen...the whole POINT of the state is to overawe the citizens, to make resistance futile, impossible.

The video above is not an abuse of state power, but rather its essence. This is what the state does, and it is ALL that the state is capable of: raw violence, overwhelming force, and putting a knee in your back while you are being handcuffed.

For my own view:

1. The instructor is partly, maybe mostly, at fault. You have to control the classroom by directing the subject away personal attacks. The student actually has a good point: the only reason this escalated was that the instructor insisted on having a whiny public argument, in class. Sure, the student was out of control. But this didn't have to happen. I have to admit some sympathy for the student here.

2. On the other hand, the student obviously thinks that rules don't apply to her. Look, folks, you should be afraid of the state, terrified in fact. The power of the state is limitless, and the first concern of the state is preserving the power of the state. No one is particularly concerned about you, except you.

The HuffingPuffintonPost has a thought....


Steven H. Newton said...

Absolutely the instructor's fault. If she had known what she was doing, this would never have happened. I've had that girl in class a million times and she's not even high-skill level to difuse.

Michael Thomas said...

I would have just ended class after the first 10 minutes and reported the problem to the correct student group on campus responsible for responding to behavior problems. I can't imagine having to resort to violence toward a student. I just don't get it.

This post made me re-read Smith's "On the expense of justice." from book V of WN -- It is distinct from Hobbes. From this I would look to see how the property class benefited from the enforcement of violence. Smith tells us that people have no reason to instigate violence without the preservation of relative wealth.

Anonymous said...

If I had been her classmate, I'd have wanted her thrown out, too!

Anonymous said...

Never would have happened in Tof's class.

Tommy the Tof loving Brit

Tom said...

Today's tip for handling the cops who've come to handle you:

remember that there might be video
you want to look reasonable and sympathetic to any possible jury, civil or criminal
don't get physical with cops unless you plan to go whole hog.

Anonymous said...

When I have to talk to students, I always stop class, and tell them to see me after class. That way, what goes on cannot escalate in front of everyone-b/c if one of my students started dropping F-bombs, I probably wouldn't think straight and would get flustered and maybe even start dropping a few myself-and then would end up looking as bad as this professor