Ballerini Ethics: The Ethics of Loyalty

I term this Ballerini Ethics after Kelsea Ballerini’s song “If You Go Down” in which she says she’ll lie to protect her friend from the consequences of murdering of her friend’s husband. Now, of course, the singer would claim this was an exageration but if that’s true, it doesn’t sound much better. If her friend, say, urinates on a special needs person for schadenfreude would the natrator defend it? Good friends encourage their friends to take responsibility for their transgressions, not to cover their ass under any circumstance. That song represents an increasing trend that I have covered on this blog before.

Helicopter parents won’t usually even encourage their children to apologize to their bullying victims and will call for the police or the vice principal if their child is bullied. While this is blatantly hypocritical, the common thread is their child’s happiness. To call the police if someone hurts their child’s feelngs and to pathologically lie to defend their child’s reputation so they face no consequences for their child hurting another’s feelings. It is the apotheosis of contemporary fragility, to absolve oneself of all responsibility and to label anyone who hurts your feelings as toxic and undeserving of any understanding, mercy, or empathy.

What is worse, is it becomes an Orwellian approach to truth. It begins to sound like a third-world dictator’s propaganda ministry. There is no common truth. There is no capacity to resolve any conflict because one side’s epistomology is based on whatever serves their purposes. If there is any plausible deniability, they’ll use it because they are incapable of admitting any wrongdoing to the point that their clean record is the official line which their friends and family will defend. It is not merely a lie, however, it is an accepting of a false narrative as true. It is a form of doublethink. Through the power of oxytocin, they will believe in the rationalizations they make on behalf of their own.

A world where everyone is a corporate PR department is one where people never admit wrong unless they are overtly caught and if one’s opponent is caught the worst revenge is wished upon them. This creates an epistime where people believe that system is right because social psychology imprints it on them. They will overreact to the unlucky to be caught and ignore the subtleties, the dogwhistles, and the coded transgressions. The ultimate result of this system, once people are conditioned to it, is a vastly less sophisticated and far more moronic discourse. They’ll take the subconscious cues from society and the media and ignore the metaphorical systemic racism and panic and get enraged at the metaphorical N-word. Or to put this paragraph more simply, a discourse of PR departments makes for a world where the dumb and obvious causes outrage while the sophisticated and subtle is ignored. It is extremely stupid.

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