“We don’t want to hurt you, [Joel],…”

“We just want your compliance.”

The conversation happened a long time ago, but it was sufficiently unpleasant that every time I see that word I’m reminded.

A highwayman would say exactly the same thing – with exactly the same motive. For the record, I wouldn’t feel any duty to oblige him, either.

The government has the drop on us from the moment we’re born, then sends us to school for twelve years to condition us to the notion that compliance is good. By contrast, at least the highwayman has to work at it.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to “We don’t want to hurt you, [Joel],…”

  1. Claire says:

    Long before “compliance” became the favored term, for me the line was, “If you don’t cooperate, we’ll have no choice but to …”

    I was 18 and naive. But I recognized an evil authoritarian lie when I heard one. I never looked for help from anyone with coercive connections again.

    It took me years longer to understand the lesser evil domestic lies in that same family:

    “You made me do it.” “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” “I’m doing this for your own good.”

  2. And yet people get uncomfortable when I say cops are scum… Go figure.

  3. Claire says:

    The person who made that “gentle” threat against me was not a cop.

  4. John says:

    But Claire, same mind set yes?

    Robert A. Heinlein:
    The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

  5. Waepnedmann says:


  6. Claire says:

    “But Claire, same mind set yes?”

    Oh yes, John. Same mindset. This person was worse than a cop. This person claimed the right to control minds, as well as bodies. But definitely same mindset, same allegiances.

  7. Phssthpok says:

    “Why are you doing this to me?”
    “You are doing this to yourself.”

    I’d swear to my dying day this was a quote from Orwell’s 1984 during Winston’s torture, but I’ll be damned if I can find/confirm it.

  8. Goober says:

    But all you have to do to avoid them is not break the law you guys! :)

To the stake with the heretic!