Psychology Today: “The Police Officer Is Congress. Our Banks. Our Clerics. The Students Are Us”

It Is About Contempt from Those in Power and the Wanton Use of Force Against the Powerless

Psychology Today writes:

This event [the pepper spraying of peaceful UC Davis protesters] is powerfully symbolic. It is about contempt from those in power and the wanton use of force against the powerless.

We have seen similar things over and over again in the past few years. We have seen it in banks lobbying for public handouts and then denying relief to millions of exploited homeowners. We have seen it in tax breaks and bonuses for the rich while millions of Americans are out of work. We have seen it in church and university officers abusing children and then covering it up…. We have seen it in the absurd declaration that corporations are “people” and entitled to spend billions of dollars to elect representatives that they will then own. We have seen it everywhere we turn.


The police officer is Congress. Our banks. Our clerics.

The students are us.

If I had to sum up the attitude of America’s governing classes in one word, I would say: contempt.

But as psychology today notes, nonviolent resistance has great power to bring down even the most brutal regimes:

As Gandhi and Martin Luther King so well understood, nonviolent resistance is extraordinarily powerful. It shows who holds the moral high ground. It reveals the thugs and bullies in high places for who they are. It creates sympathy and evokes principled action. It clears the way for thoughtful men and women of conscience and character to speak out for rational courses of action.

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