This is my analysis of Cantwell’s self defense incident. In my capacity as Mad Monk of the Church of the Invisible Hand, I will present it based on the principles of the Church, which are Peace, Love, Balance and Harmony.
First, let us examine principle of Peace. The Church believes that the best rule of behavior to achieve Peace is the Non-Aggression Principle. We believe that the only legitimate use of violence is in defense of yourself, another human or the property of a person. It is the only principle we will impose on others … we will forcibly prevent others from doing us harm. Cantwell’s behavior was completely in line with the principle of Peace. He does have a natural right to videotape a public street — public being defined as unowned or owned by an illegitimate entity like Government. Not only did he not initiate force, but when a credible threat of force was brought to bear against him, and he legally and morally could have fired in self-defense, he still forbore from firing, and brought the incident to a conclusion where nobody was harmed. That is the best possible outcome of a self-defense situation.
Secondly, let us examine the principle of Love. The Church believes as our Estimated Prophet Robert A Heinlein wrote.that “Love is that state where the well-being of another becomes essential of our own”, An
expression of love is relieving suffering, and whenever possible, doing so in a way that will help the person helped to become healthy and whole and be in a position to help others. I believe that Cantwell approached this situation in the spirit of Love, and with the intention of relieving and preventing suffering. This is consistent with the principle of Love.
The principle of Harmony is where this video is somewhat lacking. It is hard to comment on this aspect, because none of us knows what the situation looked like before Cantwell turned on the Camera. The good side of filming is that it leaves a record for future comment. But the Principle of Harmony suggests that one should not borrow trouble. There exists a plurality of the population that reacts very badly to being filmed. This is frequently the case with a belligerent drunk who is looking for something to give him an excuse to do violence. Other people, for example drug dealers and prostitutes, have reason to fear being filmed. Filming such people can create problems. As I have noted above, Cantwell has a right to film people on a public street. However, I have a natural right to swim in Shark infested waters while carrying my lucky ham, but yet I choose not to do it, because the consequences could well be bad. I am very sympathetic to the situation of wanting to help someone in distress, but there are other ways to do it. I probably would have approached but not engaged, remained close enough to help if violence broke out but far enough away to avoid becoming part of their problem, and observed until I had a feeling of whether violence was imminent. Video taping Cops is vital, because the whole system is rigged to allow them to avoid prosecution, and their words are frequently accepted as fact by juries and not questioned. Also, they can be expected to respond rationally to being filmed, which is not the case with the general public all the time. These conditions do not apply to the general public.
One should keep in mind that filming unwilling civilians is at best rude, and avoid undertaking that action unless there is clear and present danger. Even when their is, ask yourself, is it better to film or just to stand by to help? As our Estimated Prophet Sun Tzu said, the best victory is to win without fighting. A situation that resolves itself is a victory for all.
I don’t mean to single Cantwell out for criticism, and I have seen other Free Keeners play “stupid camera tricks” in ways of which I disapproved. But since Cantwell publicly posted this video, he has no expectation of privacy, he must expect his public behavior to be noted and commented upon, and now, once again, it has been.
I would like to close by saying that I am extremely pleased that nobody was physically harmed in this encounter, and thanking the KPD for their very professional behavior. You guys looked like Peace Officers out there, not Law Enforcement Officers, and we at Free Keene do not acknowledge as frequently as we should that KPD is a different breed, and a much better breed, than any of the Big City police departments I have dealt with. This is not to say that I approve of all of their behavior: these guys are out there enforcing drug laws, for example, and harming peaceful people by doing so, but their behavior in this situation was exemplary, and I appreciate their not shooting my friend.
The Church of the Invisible Hand is an Agnostic form of Deism which teaches that one should base his behavior on the principles of Peace, Love, Balance and Harmony. The Estimated Prophets of the Church include Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Steven Hawking, Sun Tzu, Laozi, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, Jerry Garcia, Murry Rothbard, Robert Malthus, Thomas Jefferson, Ayn Rand, Robert A. Heinlein, Samuel Konkin III, J Neil Schulman, Michael Z Williamson, Ron Paul, Martin Luther King and many others. All of these Prophets are Estimated … none were or are perfect people, nor is their entire corpus doctrine of the church, but all have produced works worth study.
Please check out http://richpaul.freekeene.com for links to my projects and fundraising information. It is the donations of Liberty Lovers like you that enable my activism.