A while back, in 2018, I was in a philosophical debate with someone basically about Rawls versus Aristotle regarding the hypothetical of a gamer, high functioning heroin addict, with no daylight or culture and whether society should, in the normative, encourage the person to have a fuller life. I said yes and the other person said no. Her position was that society should not judge the personal choices of an individual adult bothering no one else and therefore the normative ethic of being cultured and fully human was wrong. That made sense although I disgreed with it but then she brought up Ted Bundy.
If someone is very afraid of another person then, in a sense, they may become Rawlsian since they only care about the respect of their basic rights and don’t care anything else about the other person. However, in the metaphorical collesium one should wish well upon one’s persecutor so, religiously, I disagree. DEFCON ONE also lacks any dignity or class and, often, martyrdom is preferable to the sorry state of hysteria. Tis far better to face eternity with grace and poise than to scream and whimper. The way to win the scene if you’re about to die in a horror movie is what Freddie Mercury sang in “The Show Must Go On”, “my makeup may be flaking but my smile still stays on”. Whatever fear is behind your eyes, keep a smirk on your face, a sharp wit on your lips, and a sentiment which says with an air of fun “Do your worst, dahling! Let’s dance!”
Yet, there is something yet more tragic about her mode of thought. Rawls’ reasoning for developing the thin-good was to create a peaceful, pluralistic, society but this girl’s reason for Rawlsianism was not nearly so noble. It turns the lens through which we view the world into that of Liam Neeson’s bat-shit sociopathic character with a mild intellectual disability in the movie Taken. In his narcissistic paranoia… Also, theory here, his daughter was not kidnapped but he was having schizophrenic hallucenations and this was a wet fantasy of heroically rescuing his daughter.
In his state, he no longer saw people as people or the world as verdant. His worldview was that of the D.A.R.E. Program but on steroids. D.A.R.E.’s worst problem, and this is delicious, was that it would actually introduce kids to drugs and educate them on drug culture thus taking suburban kids who would have stopped at cannabis and gave them the ability to find hard drugs they would otherwise not have been able to. The program was also so cartoonishly oafish it could not be taken seriously. At a level of jingoism, propaganda losses credibility.
It was run by police officers who wanted to be heroes and to make themselves heroes, they imagined a much, stereotypically, grimier and sordid landscape than was reality. If these kids had the same street lives as the drug dealers they arrested in their normal beats then the world was very dark and the police were the glimmer of light. Alas, the kids did not and possessed very little street smarts had by drug gangs. The cops took information from places like the Bloods and the Crips and taught them in a multi-week course to relatively innocent students because they were so narcissistically deluded and for their narcissistic delusions they got kids hooked on crack.
In a later article, I’ll cover sexual knowledge in Special Ed which also touches on the misplaced belief that, by high school, everyone is sordid and worldly and the significant problems that assumption causes. The real world is less Grand Theft Auto and more the ultimate and most accurate of all dystopias: Idiocracy. How innocent is the average person? Well, an astrophycisist who doesn’t know what 69ing is and a madaam of a brothel who beleives the Earth is flat. Those are plausible. There is no gritty, street, world out there, just a circus and a freak show in which we are all exhibitions.
One thing is for certain, however. Ted Bundy is more famous than Desmond Tutu, Kim Kardashian is more famous than Greta Thunberg, media about schadenfreude is popular while mudita is completely absent from the pop culture, and the front page of this website mentions that I used a frame from Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” in place of the Christmas Truce of 1914 because most people don’t know the latter ever happened. They were unaware when the Higgs Boson was discovered, they cannot point to Canada on a map, and there is no conflict between science and my religion since they hold lifelong grudges against non-abusive exes so they’re incapable of any even marginal degree of love and ergo Christianity and they are wholly ignorant of science. I am certain that more people believe in Q-Anon than can name the four main moons of Jupiter. Honestly, I can’t imagine living with that much stupidity, hatred, and ugliness.
Returning one paragraph. Ironically, a lack of sexual knowledge can lead to labels of creepiness. For instance, “If they were so innocent, why would they talk about masturbation?” Well, they didn’t get a cultural sex ed from their lacking social lives or prosocial lessons so that taboo is, um, largely absent from them. The problems are, especially, when the surrounding people don’t figure out that the person has almost no awareness of sexual culture. They’re labelled as creeps when their “creepiness” is actually innocence. Watching a special needs person being treated as a sex offender from rhetoric borne of innocence is among the saddest things ever have I seen. Which is an example about how DEFCON ONE can go horribly wrong. The D.A.R.E. program was another example. These are major issues with basing a political philosophy on the DEFCON ONE of true crime and why DEFCON ONE needs to stop.
The emphasis on safety as opposed to eudemonia and dignity by silently screaming “Do whatever the fuck you want just don’t touch my daughters!” is a teleology so empty and cruel it makes me want to puke. The assumption that people are dangerous and casting them to the harsh elements for that reason. The people who ran D.A.R.E. did not want full lives of learning and art for their students. They saw them as at-risk youths whom society needed to be protected from. This is evidenced further by the emphasis on the legal effects of drugs as opposed to the health effects. They didn’t care if these kids had decent lives but wished, mostly, to scare them out of anti-social behavior. It wasn’t that heroin will prevent you from loving relationships and creative hobbies but that it will put you in the slammer and drive you to become one of the worthless urchins, one of the greasy extras in the action movie the cops wanted their life to be.
In the end, that is the teleology for people in true crime. It is being so afraid of people that you focus on operative and classical conditioning to deter what you’re afraid of and reduce people to potential threats and therefore monsters out of fear, with a considerable number of collateral people caught up in that compared to the relatively small number of acute threats stopped. It is a truly sad approach to human life and way for one human to regard another. Viewing people as potential threats having that your only desire for them is for them to leave you alone. Humans cannot be, by default, threats, and I would consider the life and verdance lost to that system to be a price worse to pay than the potential harm deriving from the lack of alertness.