Souless? Not such a bad thing…

18 12 2008

Mike Gogulski’s recently beginning the first stage in becomming  a stateless person got me thinking about ID, certificates, passports and all sorts of other paper.  Ever been stopped by a cop and asked for ID?  Then questioned for what seems to be no reason?  I have.  The first thing they always ask for, is ID.  It’s amazing isn’t it, that such a fundamental building block of fascism could be incorporate so voluntarily into a democracy.  The very words, “Hey, can I see some ID?” remind me of a softer version of the phrase, “Halt! Show me your papers.”  Can you see the trick being employed here?  The key difference between the phrases is that the former is a question and is found frolicking upon the tongues of cops who function under a democracy, whereas the latter is a command and is used where the officer no longer has to hide behind the pretence of virtue.  “Democratic,” virtue to be precise.  And really, nowadays you pay a few hundred dollars (that could be better spent elsewhere) in order to qualify for a ‘drivers license,’ which are now kindly encased in plastic and have become a efficient replacement for the old-school paper design we saw in various countries under occupation.  Ever wonder why the faintly depressed, pissy bureaucrat down at MotorReg stresses to those recently acquiring their license that they must, “carry their license with them at all times?”

When you think carefully about it, the profound meaning of each phrase is startling.  They mean the same thing, to all intents and purposes.  The first, however, is merely an evolution of the second that better suits democratic society and so the pretence of liberty.  The question is more humane, allowing whom ever is on the receiving end to believe that they have a choice in the matter.  A rose by any other name, perhaps?  Then there’s a case of questioning the officer on why you are being questioned.  Or whether you have to give them the details.  I can tell you, they get irate — in fact, in my own experience I never asked either of these questions (the cop had misheard me).  You do not question their authority.

Now, I might be a little behind the heard in discovering this revelation, but more or less you’re soulless without your papers.  Really think about.  Think about those implications.  Just being alive and in existence isn’t enough.  You may eat, drink, laugh, fall in and out of love and yet without government issued ID, according to the great bureaucratic system of ultimate truth, you’re not really a person unless you’ve been violated at least once by one of its many tentacles — which explains the bizarre policies on immigration regarding the treatment of ‘asylum seekers’ and ‘illegal immigrants’.  Following on from this, in fact, when you’re brought into this world as the spawn of a (hopefully) loving mother and father, you’re given a piece of paper that tells you you’re alive.  Still, when you kick the bucket, your surviving kin are issued with a death certificate — to prove you’re no longer among the living.  It’s bizarre.  Having karked it isn’t enough, you’re going to have to back up with 100 points of ID, at your expense as well as hand over a cut of your final estate for services rendered.

What kind of people have we become in that we think even go so far as to justify this with a ‘yeah-but…’  We lead our lives according to ink on paper and the official authority of some bureaucrat, who, incidentally, are only separated from us by the ink on yet more paper.  Oh, and the sum total of every fire arm and trained enforcer they own or can employ.  It doesn’t matter whether those officials be packing a gun or a pen behind a desk, we have this habit of exhaling, uttering, “you can’t fight city hall,” only to bend over and take it.  We bow to paper and ink so often and most merely view it as proof (excrement) of the behemoth system’s existence.  Yes, the very system we all love to hate but treat it as inevitable as death (and the resulting paperwork).  Many among us even believe that paper and ink are powerful enough to restrain the greed and abuse of power by our respective government?  A single sheet, in fact.  If the American government is any model to go by, paper and ink seem fairly untrustworthy characters.

You and me, we are soulless in the eyes of the law without our papers.  We may exist, but we aren’t alive.  God forbid we forget them and drive down the street to the corner deli without our drivers license.

Oh, and while I have your attention, I thought Australian was supposed to be out of Iraq already?  Am I the only one who noticed this seeming contradiction? Oh right.  Before it was probably  just careful PR political speak for, “not going out of their way to shoot more people.”  Now we’re getting out for real.



6 responses

18 12 2008
Mike Gogulski

Just posted something in response to this, very timely. Looks like the pingbacks ain’t working, though.

18 12 2008
Identity theft |

[…] post, which I was inspired to release based on Royce Christian’s posting yesterday of “Souless? Not such a bad thing…“, which in turn references my own recent loss of “identity” vis-a-vis […]

20 12 2008
Mike Gogulski

oh, it is working! nevermind then 🙂 Good show on the new blog, I like it, though in my mind there was nothing wrong with the old version either. Cheers!

20 12 2008
Royce Christian

Thank’s Mike. I appreciate it. But like I think I said on my final post on the old one, this new blog gives me a chance to break out and more accurately reflects who I am and my values. The name of the previous blog was a mistake and represents a different period for me. This way I can do things differently and (hopefully) better.

20 12 2008
Mike Gogulski

Then good on you, Royce. Onward and upward!

23 12 2008
Elsewhere, part 2 |

[…] Christian, at his new .urbandissent blog: Souless? Not such a bad thing… (post on state provision of the identity, partly inspired by my […]

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