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Let them hate, provided that they fear

Gleockler

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"Let them hate, provided that they fear".
This is a possible phrase to be added to our new SWAT patch. Another agency has something similar and used the latin phrase - Oderint dum metuant. Not sure if that is good or gibberish. Any help would be appreciated.
 
 

cinefactus

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Unless you are establishing something like the Gestapo, you might want to look up the historical background before you use it.
 

Gleockler

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It is attributed to a roman poet named Lucius Accius. I see that it was also a favorite saying of Caligula. Quotes should be evaluated by their context, not be biased by the writer or in this case... someone who enjoyed quoting them 200 years later. If I quoted gospel while performing evil acts, that would make me an evil man. But it wouldn't make my words necesarrily evil. I have a very dangerous job that generates much hatred towards me. Unfortunately, it is often the fear of consequences (such as my swat unit performing a search warrant) that subverts crime or at least makes them wary. While I appreciate your concern, I don't believe a comparison to Nazi Germany is deserving.
 
 

cinefactus

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I understand your reasoning. I just want to alert you as to how others may view it.
 

Manus Correctrix

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Quotes should be evaluated by their context, not be biased by the writer
Hmm, in that case you could also consider plenty of fine alternatives. Arbeit macht frei is another nice one.
 
 

cinefactus

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Although MC may be exaggerating slightly, you can see from Suetonius' account that Caligula was a despot in the same league as Hitler. Oderint dum metuant is a famous quote, and anyone who can read it would automatically associate it with Caligula. They would seriously wonder if you were wishing to emulate him - which would mean summary executions, arbitrary murder, torture, and depravity.

I think this motto, which will be photographed and commented on by the press, would make your job more, rather than less dangerous.
 

socratidion

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Seneca (one of our sources for the quote, in his essay 'On Anger') had this to say when he quoted it:



Take the famous words: "Let them hate if only they fear," which are so dread and shocking that you might know that they were written in the times of Sulla. I am not sure which wish was worse -- that
he should be hated or that he should be feared. "Let them hate," quoth he; then he bethinks him that there will come a time when men will curse him, plot against him, overpower him - so what did he add? O may the gods curse him for devising so hateful a cure for hate! "Let them hate" - and then what? "If only they obey?" No! If only they approve? No! What then? "If only they fear!" On such terms I should not have wished even to be loved. You think this the utterance of a great soul? You deceive yourself; for there is nothing great in it - it is monstrous.

(trans taken from http://www.stoics.com/seneca_essays_book_1.html)
 

Gleockler

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I understand the concern some of you are presenting, but again... comparing my comments to nazi slogans over concentration camps, is more than a cheap shot. I was not fully aware of the history of this quote. I knew it came from an old roman poet, but was not aware that Caligula had made it infamous. My point of view was concerning context and I don't believe "Arbeit macht frei" applies. My swat unit is never called for good reasons. Its only interaction with the public is when we are called upon to stop evil people from doing evil acts. These people do not fear the good aspects of society, they don't fear law, they only fear the eventual end of their criminal enterprise which is prison or death. And while I wish things were different, if that fear they possess is my only tool against them, it is the tool I will utilize. I do what I do because I love my community, it is my family. I have been shot twice protecting those I love, but feel neither hate nor fear against those attackers. I very much appreciate the history lesson given and Cinefactus is correct, it would not be worth the negative PR. Thanks again for the assistance.
 
 

cinefactus

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There is lots of material in your post for a motto which could not be misinterpreted. I am sure we could come up with something suitable.
 
 

cinefactus

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As it is the evildoers you want to fear you, what about something like:
caveat nequam - let the evildoer beware
pereant impii (From Psalms 68:2) let the wicked perish
timeant scelesti let the wicked be afraid
deficiant impii (Cobbled together from Psalms 104:35) let the wicked come to nothing
 
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