Experts call it “ John Wick morality”( or at least they should ), named after the movie series in which Keanu Reeves’ dog is killed by Russian mobsters, and in response he killed 738 of them in the psyche. You wouldn’t suppose any real person considers that a reasonable moral code to live their life by, until you look at specific comments under any article about a police shooting and understand …
… or ensure entire commentary sections full of people rooting for a guy who shot a auto burglar to death. The logic virtually makes appreciation if you squint — if the victim hadn’t defied( or suddenly moved their hands, or smoked weed, or failed to signal, or illegally crossed the border ), they’d still be alive, therefore they have no one to blame but themselves.
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That “no one to blame” phrasing is key. It implies that once someone transgress the standard rules, you can do whatever you want to them and you cannot be blamed . Listen for it, and you’ll hear person using this reasoning once a day, even if it’s just over stupid shit. Do you have some poor bastard in your social circle who’s gotten stuck with a demeaning nickname based on something they did when they were 13? If you crave a famous instance, try to find a single discussion about Richard Gere, anywhere, that doesn’t bring up the urban legend about him jostle a gerbil up his ass( a rumor that got started during the freaking Reagan administration ).
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We necessity that one mortal sin which will let us rescinded a person’s status as a human are worth dignity, respect, empathy or anything else. It’s the proverbial John Wick’s Dog, the moral trump card. We cannot be accused of racism or pettiness as long as we’ve got a bloody JWD carcass to jiggle in response to critics.
How does this apply to you, a good person fighting the good oppose? I’m getting to that.
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We Use “Justice” As Cover For All Manner Of Awfulness
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“Hold on, ” says the hypothetical skeptical reader who’s been following me from article to article for the last ten years, “you’re employing immigration hardliners and police shootings as an example of this shit in action? Those are just the outcomes of racism, dude.”
I don’t think that’s the complete truth. I reckon the reason so many racists could pass an “Are you a racist? ” polygraph exam is that they don’t belief minorities are inhuman due to their color, but rather their guessed criminality. The policeman who shot Philando Castille as he sat in a auto with his girlfriend and four-year-old daughter said that he thought he smelled marijuana. In his mind, this single indication of a single minor felony intended perfectly anything done in response was justified.
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RTAG 13 TTThat he would not have done this if the motorist were a whimsical white stoner dude never passes to him — prejudice almost always conceals behind a supposed zeal for justice. Internet hate mobs never flood a woman’s inbox with death threats without a JWD to justify it.( “She wouldn’t be get these calls in the middle of the nighttime if she hadn’t stimulated fun of us on Twitter! “) And where a crime doesn’t exist, we’ll extrapolate one. “Of course I belief their own families was in mortal peril when that Mexican man approached the car! After all, if a guy will cross the border illegally, he’ll rape a woman. He’s already proven he doesn’t care about the law! “
RTAG 14 TTIt’s an utterly insane double criterion, of course — our own mistakes are singular instances and in no way should affect others’ overall ruling of us.( “Just because I lied doesn’t induce me a liar ! “) Yet it’s so seductive that virtually every hateful asshole you’ve met in your life has built their fetid nightmare of a personality upon this very foundation. They all think their daily cruelty is in response to some extreme provocation.
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RTAG 16 TTBut this article isn’t just about piling despised on those people; virtually everyone reading this already beliefs of them as ogres. My phase is that none of them were born monsters, so we should be having the same conversation people do in the second act of every zombie movie. “How do we stop them and, more importantly , how do we maintain ourselves from get become? ” If brutality wears justice as a disguise, then anyone who believes in justice is at risk. In fact, the more strongly you believe in justice, the more at risk you are.
RTAG 17 TTOnce, as a well-meaning child, I asked my Sunday School teach how it was okay for God to mail people to Hell for infinity based on fairly minor infractions, while if an earthly ruler punished rulebreakers with indefinite torture, they’d be considered cruel autocrats. The answer built appreciation to me at the time, and ran like this 😛 TAGEND RTAG 18 TTBecause God is endlessly righteous, He has infinite loathing for unrighteousness. His very purity is what makes any tolerance of impurity impossible.
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RTAG 19 TTTherefore, our modern pansy-ass attitude toward lawbreakers( insisting on reform and humane care) is actually evidence of our dishonesty. If we were more righteous, we would be more cruel toward the unrighteous. Therefore , not only is that cruelty justified, but it is in fact a key barometer of our own goodness. Petty meanness toward atheists and homosexuals is exactly what God craves. If you’re reading this and sure that this kind of medieval supposing only applies to Christians … well, maintain reading.
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We Start Hating People For All The Wrong Reasons
HETAG 5 TT RTAG 20 TTA critic of any female politician/ pundit/ activist can’t withstand pointing out how ugly/ fat she is( if she’s somewhat, then the insult is that she’s a slut or that she only got her position based on lookings ). Racists will start with high crime rates and unemployment, but will promptly move on to how rap music is shitty, how ghetto women wear trashy clothes, how blacks can’t speak proper English. Never mind that it’s impossible to justify music, way, and dialect as examples of moral failure. For some reason, it’s not sufficient for their foes to be merely incorrect; they have to be disgusting on a visceral level.
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RTAG 22 TTIt’s crazy how those racists do that, isn’t it? Those unclean, toothless, inbred hillbillies. They’re almost as bad as the gamergaters. You know, those fat virgin neckbeards in their mothers’ basements? They all likely voted for Trump — that guy with the gross weird whisker and fake tan and tiny hands. Disgusting, right?
RTAG 23 TT”Well, but that’s different! In those cases, the specific objectives deserve it! ” Oh, I get it. It seems great to poke our adversaries in their sensitive places. We know Trump is insecure about his whisker, that Chris Christie is likely sensitive about being fat, that social castaways are so ashamed of their virginity that some of them will blow their brains out rather than live with it. So why not use those weapons? This is total war, after all — everything about the opponent is fair game. And remember, the more cruel we are to bad guys, the better we are as people. God himself said it.
RTAG 24 TTBut what about all of the good people out there with weird mane, those insecure guys shyly trying to hide bald places? Or your allies who are unattractive, nervous, and unsuccessful at sex? How are they not supposed to do now take home the message that personal appearance apparently topics just as much as their moral selections, and that sexual failing is something to be profoundly ashamed of? That it doesn’t matter if you’re one of the good guys if you likewise have poor grooming and social abilities?
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RTAG 25 TTWell fuck , now look what’s happened. We’ve not only justified brutality toward our foes based on their past sins, but justified cruelty to totally unrelated people . Just throw away collateral injury like John Wick’s stray bullets, mowing down passing sightseers with gun-fu until the whole metropoli is brought to a panicked impasse. We surely don’t stop be interested to know whether the dog would even have wanted this.
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We Wind Up Radicalizing Ourselves
HETAG 6 TT RTAG 26 TTOne genre of angry message I’ve gotten over the years goes something like “I’ve been a daily reader since 2010 and thought you were the good guys, but after recognizing[ gag/ article they found offensive ], I’m recognise how wrong I was! Goodbye forever.” Guess about that for a moment. They are claiming to have read and enjoyed literally thousands of articles and videos before encountering one single offensive suggestion, at which point they proclaimed the whole endeavour a loss. That’s super weird.
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RTAG 28 TTWell, it’s weird until you deem what particular bubble they expend their time in. I’ve never been around an activist group that didn’t be transformed into an endless series of petty purity exams. I was raised in a church where everyone was looking for more and more inconsequential things to judge one another by. R-rated movies were of course forbid, but which prime-time network TV reveals were permissible? Any of them? Of course rock music was of the devil, but what about country? Aren’t those anthems about religion, kind of?
RTAG 29 TTThe natural evolution is toward tighter and tighter criteria for what behavior get you shunned from different groups. The end outcome is that the central cause, the group’s JWD, can be as pure as the driven snowfall, and yet the tint will get more and more toxic over time, the members becoming less and less charitable with each other. Here, for example, is what my Twitter timeline looks like 😛 TAGEND RTAG 30 TT”Nazis are bad and must be opposed.”
RTAG 31 TT Agree !
RTAG 32 TT”People who enable or protect Nazis must also be opposed.”
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RTAG 33 TT Makes appreciation !
RTAG 34 TT”Unlawful violence is perfectly acceptable when opposing Nazis and their enablers.”
RTAG 35 TT Wait, I’m not sure I’m on board with that …
RTAG 36 TT”Anyone who opposes the use of unlawful cases of violence against Nazis is also a Nazi enabler.”
RTAG 37 TT What? No! I’m one of the good guys !
RTAG 38 TT”Also, if you think about it, all American institutions and capitalism itself help support white ascendancy, hence all are Nazi enablers and eligible for violent retribution.”
RTAG 39 TT Hey, I think you just said campaign on literally everyone who isn’t currently in the chamber with you .
RTAG 40 TTYou hear experts talking here how radicals get “radicalized” — how a guy went from ATAG 13 TTa mild-mannered meat inspector in San Bernardino to a indoctrinated suicide attacker in the course of a year or so. But it really isn’t a whodunit, and we all form less-murderous versions of this. All it takes is a closed like-minded social circle in which it’s considered unacceptable to disagree with different groups, and then devote that group to hating something. It doesn’t even matter if the thing genuinely deserves hating — it still turns toxic. In reality, it runs better if it does. “How are you able criticize any flaw in our group’s behavior when the other side is Nazis ! That’s literally saying that both sides are the same! The mere existence of pure evil on the other side mathematically means our side is pure good! “
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RTAG 41 TTAt that degree , no criticism is possible and there is nothing to moderate the rage. The rhetoric ratchets higher and higher as each member tries to top one another( to prove their own righteousness by demonstrating they dislike the target most ), and there is no technique for reining it in. Moderate voices from outside the group are excluded wholly, anyone from the inside who takes a moderate tone can be screamed down with the allegations of being an adversary supporter. Soon, everything from objectively grotesque insults to elaborate torture fantasies are tossed around without a second thought.
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… Until You Reach A Point Of No Return
HETAG 7 TT RTAG 42 TTAt some phase, an act will be suggested that you would normally hold immoral. It doesn’t have to involve armed rabbles or build bombs. Depending on the time, place, and induce, it might be as minor as agreeing to spread a lie.( “I signify, even if they didn’t actually do it, they are likely did something as bad! It’s not like they never lie about us! “) Or maybe someone will recommend digging up a member of the opposition’s address, maybe wondering where they operate, show them how serious we are.
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RTAG 43 TTIn every occurrence, some members will be nervous. There is also possible outcomes to this kind of thing, right? But will they risk their status in the group by objecting? Will they have their commitment to the induce questioned?
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