Who becomes a police officer or a soldier?


I am most definitely biased against soldiers and I have a general dislike for police officers. Just to be clear I have cop friends but I think their training (especially here in Kenya) makes them inhuman.

1. They join because they are broke

2. They join because they want adventure

3. They are out of options( have no better job prospects)

4. Are children of higher ups somewhere and have been enlisted because of who they know

5. A false belief that soldiers are heroes

6. Come from a family of soldiers

Did I leave something out?

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

52 thoughts on “Who becomes a police officer or a soldier?

  1. I’m not a fan of the term ”hero”. It’s way over-used, & over-blown. Going to war, blowing things up, & killing masses of people is not heroic. Cops are not totally trustworthy in many cases.

    Liked by 1 person

    • my husband, US Army vet combat engineer/sapper, absolutely hates when people who simply serve in the army/law enforcement are thoughtlessly called “heroes”.

      Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      Our cops are a different breed.

      How is it humans have come to consider killing other humans heroic

      Liked by 4 people

      • if one is willing to fight and die to save people from evil people, it can be heroic. Do you find people who fought nazis heroic?

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          if one is willing to die to save others, that would be heroic. Who is the evil people in this case? The rank and file soldiers who are disposable or the generals who give the orders?

          Like

          • Let me pose you a question:

            There is someone threatening a person. You’ve tried talking to the person to get them to stop. They won’t.

            You have a clear shot that will end the threat.

            What do you do?

            “if one is willing to die to save others, that would be heroic. Who is the evil people in this case? The rank and file soldiers who are disposable or the generals who give the orders?”

            Neither in the scenario I gave. The evil people are the nazis.

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            • makagutu says:

              The person being threatened has no agency? Is it a knife threat or a gun threat? Can shooting this person on the legs save the other person?
              To accuse all the Nazis of being evil is simplistic in my view. It is a failure to consider the circumstances the rank & file found themselves.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Interesting attempt to dodge the question. Is it moral to shoot anyone anywhere for a pacifist since you do not know the implications? I would think not, but I may be mistaken.

                If someone is going to shoot a person, you can do violence. You can sacrifice yourself for that person. You can do nothing at all. What is the future implications of what you do? If the person being threatened is a child, do they have agency? You see, for all you claim that other ideas are not so simple, you fail to think about this situation fully.

                Let me postulate a scenario: you can stop someone from killing someone else. You can choose one of the three choices above. if you sacrifice yourself, you end your ability to act and the attacker is still alive to harm more. If you choose to do nothing; same result. If you choose violence, you can end the threat now and in the future. This is where I find the morality, to prevent future harm and present harm. Would I prefer not to do violence? yep, but I have no problem with the idea of doing violence to eliminate the problem.

                wow, so you find that the ideals of Nazism are okay and not evil? The idea of a superior race, the idea of it is okay to murder those “less” than you, If these people have agency, as you claim above, do they have an excuse for their acceptance of what they do and the ideals they support? I think that they do. So, I find all Nazis evil by the title they choose to give themselves.

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                • makagutu says:

                  You can choose violence and lose.
                  No, I am not dodging your question. We have been friends for so long for me to dodge your questions.
                  You are putting words in my mouth. I didn’t say I find the ideals of Nazism okay. I said for the rank and file, some or many could have well been brainwashed to kill their neighbours same as happened in Rwanda between the Tutsis and Hutus. It would be hard to make a case that even the child soldiers involved in that war were inherently evil. That’s the only point I am making.

                  Like

                  • I’ve asked you several questions, Mak. I don’t see answers.

                    ” Iโ€™m also curious if you think it was worth opposing Stalinism with its gulags and failed pseudoscience agriculture.”

                    “Do you know anything about what they (Nazis) had planned if they had won? ”

                    wow, so you find that the ideals of Nazism are okay and not evil? The idea of a superior race, the idea of it is okay to murder those โ€œlessโ€ than you, If these people have agency, as you claim above, do they have an excuse for their acceptance of what they do and the ideals they support? I think that they do. So, I find all Nazis evil by the title they choose to give themselves.”

                    “If someone is going to shoot a person, you can do violence. You can sacrifice yourself for that person. You can do nothing at all. What is the future implications of what you do? If the person being threatened is a child, do they have agency? You see, for all you claim that other ideas are not so simple, you fail to think about this situation fully”

                    “Is it moral to shoot anyone anywhere for a pacifist since you do not know the implications? ”

                    in regards to your comment, who has agency then if people can be “brainwashed”?

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                    • makagutu says:

                      Iโ€™m also curious if you think it was worth opposing Stalinism with its gulags and failed pseudoscience agriculture

                      Was war the only option? Where in my post have i said I support Stalinism?

                      Do you know anything about what they (Nazis) had planned if they had won?

                      Enlighten me, please.

                      wow, so you find that the ideals of Nazism are okay and not evil?

                      Tell me where I have said anything resembling this?

                      โ€œIf someone is going to shoot a person, you can do violence. You can sacrifice yourself for that person. You can do nothing at all. What is the future implications of what you do? If the person being threatened is a child, do they have agency? You see, for all you claim that other ideas are not so simple, you fail to think about this situation fully

                      You can do violence and lose or make the situation worse. That’s also a possibility.

                      โ€œIs it moral to shoot anyone anywhere for a pacifist since you do not know the implications?

                      Logical fallacy

                      in regards to your comment, who has agency then if people can be โ€œbrainwashedโ€

                      That people can be brainwashed is not disputed science.

                      Like

                    • I didn’t say anything about you supporting Stalinism. I asked if you supported the actions to limit it.

                      I’m sorry to lose a friend, Mak, but you appear to be intentionally misrepresenting my question to not answer them.

                      Like

    • makagutu says:

      Our cops are a different breed.

      How is it humans have come to consider killing other humans heroic

      Liked by 3 people

  2. well, my brother was a US Marine tanker (6 years) and a state trooper for Pennsylvania (20 or so years) and now works for the federal gov’t evidently working with tribal councils on law enforcement.

    I don’t know what of your reasons fit him. He just seems to like following orders. He’s never been very curious about much of anything and always kept his room clean even growing up.

    We are very much opposites ๐Ÿ˜‰ He’s also a Trumpie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • btw, my husband, also a vet, joined the army after his friend in college committed suicide and he had no desire to keep on going with college. He may have fit #2 since he just wanted to see if he could do it and he wanted an combat position. He did this with a heart condition, a bad knee, bipolar disorder, flat feet and a inguinal hernia. He lied to get in. So he finds any moron who wants to play soldier like the morons in this country who run around with assault weapons, and who are too much cowards to actually enlist, are completely disgusting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      He is like a believer. The general is the priest who shall not be questioned

      Like

      • things aren’t quite as simple as you present them, Mak. There is a need for the “rough” people in this quote (attributed to many)

        “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          Do you think toppling Saddam or Gaddafi has contributed to your sleeping peacefully? Or the assault of Vietnam?
          Our army has been in Somalia for I don’t know how long and the threat of an AlShabaab attack remains always just on the surface. We have lost good men and women in that non ending war, for what?

          Like

          • Mak, don’t try to compare apples and oranges. No, I don’t find that the oil wars were worth anything. I do find that WWII was worth stopping the Nazis. Do you know anything about what they had planned if they had won?

            Vietnam was such a clusterfuck. If we had allied with Ho Chi Minh who thought democracy was a good thing, it would have been very different. I’m also curious if you think it was worth opposing Stalinism with its gulags and failed pseudoscience agriculture.

            Like

            • makagutu says:

              I can give you examples of many scenarios which were worth stopping & no war was declared which means there were other ways of achieving peace.

              Like

                • makagutu says:

                  During the Algerian war of independence, France bombarded it with bombs, war was not declared on France.
                  Britain had its concentration camps in Kenya, no war was declared on Britain.
                  South Africa’s apartheid regime attacked Angola, no we was declared. Those are just three examples and I am sure if you looked, you would find various cases.
                  In short, I am saying war is not the answer and other solutions are possible.

                  Like

                  • this is what you claimed “I can give you examples of many scenarios which were worth stopping & no war was declared which means there were other ways of achieving peace.”

                    are you claiming that no violence was done by the Algerians, the Kenyans or the Angolans in their cause?

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                    • makagutu says:

                      You have missed my point by a million miles.
                      International law recognizes self defence as legitimate. And when I say was not declared, I mean, France or whatever country you name did not declare war on Britain to save the Kenyans nor was war declared by say Germany against France to save the Algerians.

                      Like

  3. There’s all kinds of reasons why people join up. Recruiters here have been known to misrepresent job opportunities and incentives to potential recruits. Sometimes there’s peer pressure, where one person who joins gets followed by friends who have joined. And some people join because their civilian life is shitty enough that a career in learning how to kill people is an improvement.

    Then there’s drafts, press gangs, child soldiers who were kidnapped and forced to fight, and all sorts of other involuntary reasons why people join a military.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’d like to become a dictator but I still haven’t figured out how.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. basenjibrian says:

    In this day and age, it is hard to justify the propaganda trope that American soldiers are defending FREE-DUMB in any way.

    As for police…unlike some here, I am too cynical about human nature to believe that modern, complex, urban society can exist without the cops. Anarchism didn’t even sound good to me when I was 14, sorry. They are a necessary evil, but still necessary. Doesn’t mean that many? some? cops are lunkheads? Sure. But there is still a degree of “community service” involved-and that does appeal to some people. But this probably depends on the community or nation involved.

    Plus, one can pan ANY career choice. Given that most architects design nothing but horrific suburban junk for large corporations, Maka…can you justify “architecture”? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Society can/ could exist with police trained to be more humane in their dealings with civilians. Generally they exist to protect property of the haves.

      Many architects design horrible buildings that can kill you. Or create unlivable urban environments, but at least, these kill you only over time ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

      • basenjibrian says:

        I totally agree with your first paragraph. I find the second paragraph less convincing. Almost everyone is a “HAVE” when compared to other people. While I have less condemnation of the thievery of the homeless tent dwellers than of the bank vice president who rips off his clients, the fact remains that the collection of children’s bicycles cluttering the outside of the hovel were stolen from someone who may not be that readily able to replace his little girl’s favorite bicycle. There is no society beyond the roving hunting and gathering bands that does not condemn thievery, I want the police to “protect my property”.

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          I agree with you. You make a very persuasive argument that I want the police to protect MY property

          Like

          • basenjibrian says:

            Well, but to be fair, I want the police to protect your property, too. Rampant thievery and thuggery is not a good thing, even when it is committed by the “oppressed” Some of the oppressed are predators-just like wealthy criminals are predators.

            Of course, we get into issues of the appropriateness of a particular type of property or social property arrangement. A society in which the police only protect the property of the top 1% of the population is not a healthy society. There are a lot of unhealthy societies, of course. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

            Like

            • makagutu says:

              A society in which the police only protect the property of the top 1% of the population is not a healthy society. There are a lot of unhealthy societies, of course. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

              This is what concerns me the most. The top 1% have so much control, influence policy and always manage to use the police to their own ends which may not serve the common wealth

              Like

  6. jeremiahmyer says:

    You forgot “bully” here in the USA a great many members of the police are nothing more than bullies who have been given a badge and a gun. During my seventy years of living they have shot and killed tens of thousands unarmed citizens, mostly young men of color. The thin blue line hides a big white hooded sheet. As a US Army veteran I did not see racism out in the open, I’m sure it was there but at least it was not allowed out in the open. The worst part of my countries current state of politics is that has given a political soapbox to radical rightwing racists with tRump. And people who call themselves “good” people and protest “I’m not a racist!” have by their silence allowed it. The same way “good cops” have allowed “bully cops” get away with murdering citizens of color.

    Like

    • basenjibrian says:

      Bullies exist in all walks of life. Cops are poorly trained in the United States, for sure. Giving someone the power of the State exacerbates bullying tendencies. But even the relatively powerless can be bullies. “Radicals” who look back 25 years to a foolish college kid’s violation of current social justice norms and demands that the now relatively positive politician be canned is a different kind of bullying. As EVERYONE has some skeletons in their closets, how do the purity police people expect to find anyone to take on publicly visible roles?

      Liked by 1 person

      • basenjibrian says:

        Of course, I don’t at all mean to imply that Twitterstorms are anything like cop shootings. And one cannot deny the institutional corruption that leads to such a high level of shootings in the United States in particular. Mea culpa for even suggesting that is my argument. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

        Like

      • makagutu says:

        You and I agree that some of the tweetstorms have real life consequences but as you very well put it in your next post, it can’t come any close to cop shootings.

        Like

    • makagutu says:

      I think the badge allows many even those who would not be bullies to act out.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. In both jobs, there are people who do have ideals and are good. To damn them all isn’t fair. If you damn everyone, are you also damning the destruction of the Third Reich and the Japanese Empire?

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      On the first part, no, I don’t damn them all. There are those who are really good. They defect from their positions and refuse to kill.
      On the Third Reich, the US or the allied forces didn’t join the war to save the Jews. You and I know many were turned back from your borders. And if what is reported elsewhere, Hitler had sought a ceasefire which the allied forces refused to consider.
      Considering that Japan was provoked & since then the US army has not left, I don’t know if it is a good example.

      Like

      • Early on, before theknowledge of the camps, the other countries refused to take Jewish refugees. They changed their minds later when it became known what was happening. It was too late but it was a reason to stop the Nazis. We did the same in China when it came to the Japanese.

        Would you have given Hitler a ceasefire when you know what was happening? Accepting what happens with in the Reich’s borders without concern as long as you didn’t have to have a war?

        I suggest you watch this: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/bombing-auschwitz-about-the-film/4685/

        How was Japan “provoked”? What gives an excuse for a sneak attack?

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          Pearl Harbour was not a sneak attack. A month before the attack, the US knew of the scheme.

          Like

          • Your evidence? I see you didn’t address the rest of my post.

            Like

          • basenjibrian says:

            There are certainly conspiracy theories out there that suggest this, Maka. Certainly more tenable than the “the moon landing was staged in Hollywood” or “Donald Trump is anointed of God”, but conspiracy theories nonetheless.

            As for Japan being “provoked”, why yes I agree. Japan, however, was not some innocent victim of U.S. perfidy. There is a reason that in a city of millions and millions (Seoul) you see very, very few Hondas and Nissans to this day. While certainly not under the spell of as pernicious of a doctrine as National Socialism, the militant culture of post-Shogunate Japan was a danger to its neighbors. And America’s own imperial plans, of course. The Kenpotai was no SS, but it was pretty vicious nonetheless. An excellent fictionalization of Japanese imperial behavior can be seen in the television adaptation of The Man In the High Castle if you have some free teevee time. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Like

            • makagutu says:

              I should check that out.
              Swanson argues there is evidence the US was aware of the attack in PH weeks before and did nothing to give grounds for the US army to join the war.
              On the rest, we are agreed.

              Like

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