agents provocateurs

“Rutkowski!”

“Yes, sir?”

“You certainly think I consider you a born policeman because I see you hiding from view, obeying the basic law of police behavior, as you imagine it, of course: camouflage oneself, mimic the environment, remain unnoticed at any price. Correct?”

“Yes, sir,” I assert dejectedly. “That’s exactly what I had in mind.”

“You didn’t have anything in mind, Rutkowski. Nothing at all! Because if you had, you’d have known that a good policeman does precisely the opposite. He insists on being noticed. He does everything to elicit a reaction, not avert one. He knows the real bullshit can never be prevented, only put off. Rutkowski, the police is obligated to be the yeast, and not the retardant of popular fermentation. Only a weak police limits itself to the quelling of insurrections. A good police is their catalyst, fermenting agent, instigator.”

“And the very best?”

“They organize and lead them.”

Borislav Pekic, How to Quiet a Vampire (1977)

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