Violent conduct on the part of policemen is a common malice. However the question to be asked is, ‘Why do I pay these people to beat me up?’
As the arms of the law, policemen are the beneficiaries of our taxes. The point is that they should protect us. However the statist nature of the modern nation means that policemen are accountable only to politicians and legislators.
In Delhi for example, with the recent commonwealth games, large parts of the city seemed to be under emergency rule. A number of citizens during this time were caught at the wrong end of a policeman’s short temper. Meanwhile politicians demanded patriotism from the same harassed citizens in the name of the commonwealth games. And so one must ask: is patriotism a feeling of envy we induce in other nations by hosting the commonwealth games, or a feeling of pride in a nation that protects us and serves all the basic functions of nation state.
Protection of the citizen is the basic function of the state. When the force meant to protect becomes a suppressive force in the hands of the government, on a daily basis, patriotism can seem to be a rather comical expectation