East Germany was the epitome of a police state. While relatively wealthy, at least compared to other communist states, they closely monitored speech for any signs of dissent. Critiquing the government could easily land you in jail. With this in mind I recently watched “The Lives of Others,” a movie set in East Germany.
Watching this movie I noticed something very peculiar. The Stasi were far more civilized than most SWAT teams are today. Rather than serving warrants at night with body armor and guns drawn, they knock on the door and wait for it to be opened from the inside. They then have a chat with the owner of the apartment, instead of yelling at him to get on the ground. Their search methods are far less destructive than the search methods of SWAT today, leaving the apartment looking the same as they found it. While the apartment doesn’t have a dog, given how the Stasi acts it is impossible to imagine them shooting one.
Of course, it is far more odious to arrest people for speech violations than drug violations, though I support the legalization of both speech and drugs. That being said, the Stasi seem much more… civilized. There is no violence, nor do they draw their guns. Both of which routinely occur in SWAT raids. It is disconcerting much of our country serves search warrants in a more aggressive, violent, and confrontational manner than the Stasi.