How Do You Rule Me? — A Conversation With a Cop

A: Do you have some ID on you?

B: Sorry, who are you?

A: It doesn’t matter who I am. I’m going to need to see some identification.

B: Why?

A: So I can verify your identity.

B: But you’re a complete stranger. I have no idea if I can trust you or why you are standing in my way. In fact I should be asking you for ID.

A: First, I’m a cop. You don’t have a choice. My name is on my uniform. 

B: Why are you stopping me?

A: You look pretty suspicious walking out here this late at night.

B: According to who?

A: Me.

B: I’m gonna be on my way now. 

A: And then I’m going to arrest you for obstructing justice. 

B: Where is the injustice?

A: I’m just trying to make sure everything is okay here, and that no injustice is occurring. 

B: I’m just walking home. I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve not trespassed or violated anyone. 

A: I don’t know that. 

B: Well, that’s too bad. I don’t know that you’re not an abusive violent assailant, either. 

A: But I’m a cop.

B: So what?

A: So you know I’m not a criminal.

B: You’re pretty naive, huh.

A: Time for talking is done. ID now. Or you’re gonna be under arrest. 

B: Last question: How do you rule me?

A: What?

B: How do you rule me?

A: I don’t “rule” you.

B: Great, so I am free to go?

A: No. I just said I don’t rule you. The law does, however.

B: Okay, how does “the law” rule me?

A: The law is the law.

B: I didn’t agree to this law that lets you harass me out here at night for no reason, whatever it is. 

A: Doesn’t matter if you agree. Society does. 

B: I am not part of society? Interesting. Here’s my ID. Does it ever bother you?

A: What?

B: That your idea of justice is literal mob rule. And that you can treat your fellow humans as literal property who must obey your every command apropos of nothing but arbitrary say-so, and a magic uniform. I never consented to be ruled by you. I’m non-violent, keep to myself, and yet have to submit to completely unfair and inhumane rules just because of where I was born, and what a few complete strangers say. And I have to pay your salary to top it off.

A: You done yet?

B: Yes, I guess so. Back to your extortion-funded work. Maybe tomorrow I’ll make a magic suit that lets me own other people’s bodies, too.

By Voluntary Japan

Living life.

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