The Law, Society, and The Police

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Covert surveillance photograph of David Myatt by the BBC

Covert surveillance photograph of David Myatt by the BBC, taken in Spring 2000

 

Editorial Note: Reproduced here are some quotations by David Myatt about the law and the police, written between 2011 and 2012 which quotations (compiled by JRW in 2012) are, in our view, quite illuminating considering: (a) Myatt’s thirty years (1968-1998) as a violent neo-nazi activist, (b) his convictions for various criminal offences (including violence and running a gang of thieves) resulting in three terms of imprisonment, (c) his conversion to Islam and decade long (1998-2008) activities as a staunch advocate of “Jihad, suicide missions, and an ardent defender of bin Laden” [Source: Wistrich, Robert S, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad, Random House, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4000-6097-9] and who as a Muslim travelled and spoke in several Arab countries [Source: Mark Weitzmann, Anti-Semitism and Terrorism, in Dienel, Hans-Liudger (ed), Terrorism and the Internet: Threats, Target Groups, Deradicalisation Strategies. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series, vol. 67. IOS Press, 2010. pp.16-17. ISBN 978-1-60750-536-5, (d) the recent anti-police hysteria in America; and, last but not least, (e) persistent (but as yet unsubstantiated) rumors of Myatt being an agent provocateur employed by the British state, which thus might indicate (as someone once wrote) that “the ONA [Order of Nine Angles] may well have been created by a state asset as a means of gathering intelligence and recruiting suitable individuals to undertake acts of subversion, extremism, and terrorism, under the pretext of occult training,” which acts are of course the raison d’être of the agent provocateur.

N.B. In lengthy and interesting essay, published in 2011 and entitled The Uncertitude of Knowing (pdf), Myatt outlines the basis for his ‘numinous way’ – a way he later refined into the philosophy of pathei-mathos – with Myatt remarking that:

“What I written in the past few years derives from my own diverse personal experiences, from my reflexion upon such experiences; from my pathei-mathos, from my experience of diverse ways of life, diverse religions, and by my interaction with individuals of good intentions and with individuals of bad intentions. Given such experiences I feel I understand in some small way something of the nature of suffering – having also personally caused and contributed to suffering – and why I assign myself to the fourth option above, for I find that to overtly condemn the honourable actions (and I stress, the honourable actions) of others requires one to have a belief in some particular abstraction or adhere to some dogmas or to have some faith in some conventional religious perspective. Having no such religious belief, no adherence to some political dogma, no desire now for such abstractions, who am I to condemn, to blame, to judge such honourable actions? I have made enough mistakes in my own life to know my fallibility, as my views have evolved, matured, as a result of my experiences, my pathei-mathos.

So all I have is my own perspective, my own uncertitude of knowing. Which perspective of mine is of feeling suffering, understanding how empathy and compassion and a personal honour in the immediacy of the moment are my answers to the problem of suffering – and yet which perspective also includes a knowing, a feeling, an understanding, of how suffering will continue, for centuries, if not millennia, and why some individuals are motivated, have been motivated, and will be motivated to try in their own way according to their own understanding to do something to alleviate such suffering, here, now. And why I have no right to condemn the actions of such individuals because I have no dogma, no adherence to some conventional faith, to base such a condemnation on. That is, I give them the benefit of the doubt, and only apply the criteria of honour, and which criteria express my own limited understanding of this complex and ethical issue.”

His essay The Uncertitude Of Knowing thus provides the necessary context for the Myatt quotations (on law and the police) presented here.



Myatt On The Law, Society, and The Police

“I have some forty years experience of interaction with the police, from ordinary constables and detectives, to custody sergeants, to officers from specialist branches such as SO12, SO13, and crime squads. During that time, I have known far more good police officers than bad – corrupt – ones. Furthermore, I realized that most of those I came into contact with were good individuals, motivated by the best of intentions, who were trying to do their best, often under difficult circumstances, and often to help victims of dishonourable deeds, catch those responsible for such deeds, and/or prevent such deeds […]

In truth they, those officers, as one of them once said to me, were guided by what ‘was laid down’ and did not presume to or tried hard not to overstep their authority; guided as they were by the law, that accumulated received wisdom of what was and is good in society; a law which (at least in Britain and so far as I know) saught to embody a respect for what was fair and which concept of fairness was and always has been (again, at least in Britain and so far as I know) untainted, uncorrupted, by any political ideology.

Now I know, I understand, I appreciate, that for that reason – of so being mindful of the limits of their authority, of being guided by what had been laid down over decades – those people, those police officers, were far better individuals than the arrogant, the hubriatic, extremist I was; an arrogant extremist who by and for himself presumed ‘to know’ what was right, who presumed to understand, who presumed he possessed the ability, the authority, and the right to judge everyone and everything, and who because of such arrogance, such hubris, most certainly continued to contribute to the cycle of suffering, ignoring thus for so long as he in his unbalance did the wisdom that Aeschylus gave to us in The Oresteia.” Notes on The Politics and Ideology of Hate (2012)

“I have known more good Police officers than bad, and some who were indeed honourable individuals, motivated by the best of intentions, trying to do their best in their own way to help victims of dishonourable deeds and catch those responsible for such deeds, and who strove to make a difference and who in their own way understood what Muslims mean by Amr bil Maroof wa Nahi anil Munkar […]

An honourable Police officer doing their honourable duty in, for example, England or the United States, is certainly (in my fallible opinion) a good example of someone acting in an honourable way who also has the ability, by so acting in accord with the official duty they have sworn to do, to both alleviate at least some suffering and to guide individuals to do what is honourable […]

The Police force in England (or the United States) does [embody] personal honour and does manifest honour in a consistent and practical manner and thus alleviates some suffering and guides some individuals to do what is honourable. Therefore, I give all of them, and have given all of them, the benefit of the doubt and respectfully interact with them on the basis of mutual honour, as I admire them for the work that they do and have done just as I appreciate that they do and have, as a society, as an extended family, presenced something of the numinous. Of course, being human, some members of the Police family may err, make mistakes, or even do something dishonourable; but these few should not detract from the majority, for on balance – as my personal experience reveals – the majority do strive to do what is honourable. Thus in my view the society which is the Police in England (and the United States) is capable of guiding, and does and has guided, honourable individuals to do what is honourable, and thus has the ability to, and does, alleviate at least some of the suffering which blights this world.” The Uncertitude of Knowing (third edition 2011)

“The simple truth of the present and so evident to me now – in respect of the societies of the West, and especially of societies such as those currently existing in America and Britain – is that for all their problems and all their flaws they seem to be much better than those elsewhere, and certainly better than what existed in the past. That is, that there is, within them, a certain tolerance; a certain respect for the individual; a certain duty of care; and certainly still a freedom of life, of expression, as well as a standard of living which, for perhaps the majority, is better than elsewhere in the world and most certainly better than existed there and elsewhere in the past.

In addition, there are within their structures – such as their police forces, their governments, their social and governmental institutions – people of good will, of humanity, of fairness, who strive to do what is good, right. Indeed, far more good people in such places than bad people, so that a certain balance, the balance of goodness, is maintained even though occasionally (but not for long) that balance may seem to waver somewhat.

Furthermore, many or most of the flaws, the problems, within such societies are recognized and openly discussed, with a multitude of people of good will, of humanity, of fairness, dedicating themselves to helping those affected by such flaws, such problems. In addition, there are many others trying to improve those societies, and to trying find or implement solutions to such problems, in tolerant ways which do not cause conflict or involve the harshness, the violence, the hatred, of extremism.” Notes on The Politics and Ideology of Hate (2012)

“There are many honourable individuals in various societies who have strived and who strive to do what is good and who for so being honourable and so striving cannot – at least by me from my mystical airy-fairy ‘above Time’ Ivory Tower – be condemned. Such as an honourable Police officer seeking to find the person who has perpetrated a dishonourable deed, and whose whole professional life centres around such a noble seeking. I understand such a person; I respect and even admire them for their honourable behaviour, even if I personally and philosophically have reservations about The State, and the laws of such a State which give to such a Police officer certain authority. For it is the dishonourable nature of the deeds done by a dishonourable person, and the instinct for honour, for fairness, which motivates such an officer, which are important, which transcend the temporal nature of some law made by some government and the temporal nature of some police organization existing in some temporal State. For what is honourable is what is honourable and right, and what is dishonourable is wrong, Aeon after Aeon. Thus, such honourable individuals transcend their context, their causal Time, the causal form those individuals might personally adhere to, such as the British Police force. But perhaps it is necessary that I here in further explanation add that I have known such people, such honourable Police officers striving to do their honourable duty, and so am writing and talking about that which and those whom I have some practical knowledge of.” The Uncertitude of Knowing (third edition 2011)

“Given that the concern of the philosophy of pathei-mathos is the individual and their interior, their spiritual, life, and given that (due to the nature of empathy and pathei-mathos) there is respect for individual judgement, the philosophy of pathei-mathos is apolitical, and thus not concerned with such matters as the theory and practice of governance, nor with changing or reforming society by political means […]

This means that there is no desire and no need to use any confrontational means to directly challenge and confront the authority of existing States since numinous reform and change is personal, individual, non-political, and not organized beyond a limited local level of people personally known. That is, it is of and involves individuals who are personally known to each other working together based on the understanding that it is inner, personal, change – in individuals, of their nature, their character – that is is the ethical, the numinous, way to solve such personal and social problems as exist and arise. That such inner change of necessity comes before any striving for outer change by whatever means, whether such means be termed or classified as political, social, economic, religious. That the only effective, long-lasting, change and reform is understood as the one that evolves human beings and thus changes what, in them, predisposes them, or inclines them toward, doing or what urges them to do, what is dishonourable, undignified, unfair, and uncompassionate.

In practice, this evolution means, in the individual, the cultivation and use of the faculty of empathy, and acquiring the personal virtues of compassion, honour, and love. Which means the inner reformation of individuals, as individuals.

Hence the basis for numinous social change and reform is aiding, helping, assisting individuals in a direct and personal manner, and in practical ways, with such help, assistance, and aid arising because we personally know or are personally concerned about or involved with those individuals or the situations those individuals find themselves in. In brief, being compassionate, empathic, understanding, sensitive, kind, and showing by personal example.” Society, Politics, Social Reform, and Pathei-Mathos [in The Numinous Way of Pathei-Mathos, ISBN 978-1484096642]


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