Home / Captured, Cuffed, and Jailed: A Personal Story - Jeffrey Tucker  
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By day’s end, it was over. Except not really. This one incident is over. But the reality that none of us really control our lives, that none of our property is really our own, that we all stand vulnerable to legal kidnapping at any moment. This is an ongoing reality for the whole population. To be arrested and jailed is to experience first-hand the terrifying realization that there is no real freedom, not under the existing system...

When someone is arrested, people’s first question is: why? There’s an implicit anxiety to the query: how can I avoid this fate? Maybe if I don’t do something stupid like he did, it won’t happen to me. We want to assure ourselves that the problem of the police state is really someone else’s problem. It is felt by people who live on the edge, who do drugs, who are “illegal aliens,” who don’t know how to speak politely to the police, and so on.

These are complete illusions.

...

“Just doing my job.” I must have heard that phrase 15 times during my ordeal. The cops use it. The clerks use it. The guards use it. The whole system sees itself this way. It is just doing what it is supposed to do. It seems a bit like war, how soldiers do terrible things every day, morally objectionable things, but come to terms with it because they have no real choice. They do what they have to do.

And so it is for the whole criminal justice system in America today. Everyone is just doing what they have to do. No single person is responsible for judging the morality or justice of it all. It is the system, and they work within it. They can’t change it. They cooperate with it. They live by the book. It’s the book itself that is the oppressor.

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In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. - Carl Sagan