Maoists, Leninists & Trotskyites: “Capitalism is the root cause of police brutality!” (note the 1917 newsletter)
One of the first things I learned when I moved to Budapest was to beware of the police. The dreaded Rendőrség were as equally well known for their low IQ’s as they were for their unpredictability and occasional violence. The Communist government liked them this way; dumb enough to be controllable, yet scary enough to keep people in line.
I experienced the horrors of Soviet style policing first-hand in Moscow where I was robbed at gunpoint by a cop, forced to pay numerous “fines” to the traffic police, and had two colleagues (expatriate accountants) who were brutally beaten. The first thing I thought watching Quinton Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in Moscow’s infamous Slavyanskaya Hotel was how similar his stories were to some of those I’ve heard from my Russian friends.
I’ve heard so many horror stories about Soviet era policing, there’s one thing I’m very certain about- the 1917 Russian revolution is in no way a good model for reducing police brutality (neither are the works of Chairman Mao). Of course, not having lived through decades of horrors, the speakers at Thursday’s police brutality protest think differently. As one so eloquently said, the only way to stop police violence is to smash the “racist, imperialist” capitalist system!”.
Adding further irony, the protest’s participants included a guy recently denied entry to the US on terrorist grounds, a man who was once accused of inciting a riot, and a stereotypically unpleasant lawyer who upset an indigenous woman with his politically incorrect language. A good time was had by (almost) all.