"Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you?" Etienne de la Boetie, The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, c.1553Many of you will be familiar with the text and its truth is still self-evident nearly 500 years on. So we have to wonder what on earth possesses people to do this [2min video]:
Volunteers in Wiltshire have stepped in after roadside speed cameras were switched off across the county because of funding cuts. Armed with speed guns, the team collects information on speeding motorists and passes it on to the police.Resplendent in a Wiltshire County Council high viz jacket (the 21st Century fascist / communist uniform of choice), the Community Speed Watch Volunteer, Martin Rea says:
It's a way for us to say to people, you're being checked, and please put your speed down when going through our village, really. It's not to catch people, it's for them to be aware of the speed that they're going at.No, really, it's not to catch people. It is entirely co-incidental that several convictions have resulting following the capture of a driver's car registration and speed by these volunteers and their subsequent passing of the information to the police.
And those of you that cynically believe that this scheme is designed to maintain the police or council's power or income streams, will be reassured by cllr John Thomson:
"I don't believe that it's policing on the cheap, it's a different way of tackling the problem... I think we have to bear reality [that] funding to the police and councils has been cut and you have to choose what your priorities are. Our priorities are providing care for the vulnerable..., the older..., [and] the younger people."...it's just that...
"... the community has to take up some of the slack of some of the things that we'd like to do but can't afford to do any more."It is freely admitted that without these volunteers the state's agents could only catch speeders through police patrols. Of course, Sgt Martin Alvis of Wiltshire police - which trains these volunteers - is an advocate:
"We all got an important part to play and that includes the community as well; we can't just rely on the police. I'd love to be in every single parish at the same time time, I can't and this is the best use of resources ...."Neighbours spying on each other and reporting on their fellow man to agents of the state because the agents of the state do not have the enough resources to execute by themselves the spying and control. How did it come to this? Is not the state apparatus of control and monitoring and surveillance and databases and ...(etc.) enough? How much power is enough? When will it end?
So I repeat:
"Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you?"FAV