The right of Purge (judgment night)
Prologue. On the nature of revenge
Revenge was inherent in people from everlasting times. This is the most popular plot in literature, myths and legends: from Greek tragedies to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In addition, many people in their everyday life often thought of plans for revenge and even tried to carry them out. Since the opportunity to punish our abusers brings a man an incredible pleasure. What makes a person to revenge? From the mass media, you can find out that some researchers believe that this feeling guarantees us some unexpected advantages. However, at the same time, revenge is often difficult to separate from violent acts, and this essentially makes it difficult to study. The line is virtually blurred between revenge and violence. It can be argued that between the moment when a person was insulted and his aggressive reaction, something strange is happening. Our resentment or social neglect causes emotional pain. Researchers say that this pain is emotionally comparable to pleasure. So, if an unfair attitude to a person first causes pain, the possibility of revenge very quickly replaces him with a pleasant sensation. In this process, even the pleasure center in the brain is activated. In other words, people react aggressively to an insult, because such a reaction gives them pleasure. The link between aggression and pleasure has long been known. But the fact that such a connection is not normal from the standpoint of humanism, but at the same time is logical from the standpoint of Darwinism, makes one think about this phenomenon. Even Sigmund Freud understood that when a man throws out his anger, he feels relieved. But the idea that revenge causes a special kind of pleasure, became apparent only recently, when the mass media, or, more precisely, products of pop culture and the media, began to impose the idea that the desire for revenge was very positive! The motivation for such promotion — revenge performs the function of a deterrent that helps to survive and assert itself. But just like hunger, revenge is an instinctive desire that requires momentary satisfaction. Only by quenching that thirst, the avenger can calm down. We are fully capable of resisting the desire for revenge. Indeed, it was not without reason that in the course of evolution we developed this complex part of the brain, which is able to control impulsive behavior and direct it to a more socially acceptable channel. So, the next time a sweet plan for revenge begins to be born in your head, know that a pleasant wait will not last long.
Revenge is a powerful emotional mechanism calling a person to action. Thirst for revenge is the most ancient instinct that makes a human being close to the animal world and often creates many problems for us at the end. Thirst for revenge or retribution is an instinct that was developed in the process of natural selection, because it helped the ancient man to solve many problems. What are the tasks? The most important is a tool of deterrence (revenge reduces the likelihood that someone who has hurt you or your loved ones will do it again). But how important is this instinct in society today, and will not it lead to social chaos? Drama eats such plots. I repeat, once again, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet to Greek myths — the righteous in search of revenge are one of the most persistent and bright archetypes in literature and mythology. On the contrary, real life confronts us with bastards who are ready to plunge a knife into the back and assert themselves at our expense. According to psychologists, up to 20% of all murders in the world are committed because of revenge. This is a common story when offenders and their victims assess what happened differently. When we cause harm to others, we are tending to underestimate its scale in our own assessments, to justify ourselves and push the blame out of our memory. But when in the same way somebody is harming us, we feel ourselves victims of an injustice of universal scale. Unsatisfied thirst for revenge — the cause of mental disorders and bursts of aggressive behavior. For weak-willed people, this becomes an idea fix, and chaos reigns in their psyche. If one does not take action, it can become the meaning of human life, distorting one’s entire consciousness. Revenge only attracts by sweetness, cheating at the finish. We, people, in general, are often mistaken in predicting our future emotions. But revenge even against this background is a cheater of a unique level. Revenge has a more complex goal than simply balancing suffering. The highest task of the eye for an eye principle: not to punish for past sins, but to change the behavior of the criminal in the future. Yes, this is our most important wish: that the criminal demonstrates complete understanding and repentance for what he has done to us — is a utopia, which gives rise to an endless response. Once one has avenged oneself, one enters into the taste, blurring the line between punishment and violence, between justice and murdering.
Overton window and Hollywood
This prelude was before thinking about the possibility of introducing such a tool as ‘’the right of judgment night’’, or the right to revenge, the right to avenge our offenders, and deservedly or unjustly completely irrelevant. In our information age, when technological progress became the essence and core of human civilization, and moral standards and high notions of eternal values, morality faded, at least, into the background, Overton’s windows began to be used more and more as a tool to prepare society to certain institutions that are controversial with the evaluation of morality, humanity and humanism. One of the propaganda instruments using the Overton Window technique is cinema, pop culture and information products. In this regard, for example, the plot of ’The Purge’(2013) is an alarming bell, showing that certain political circles of a radical liberal nature are beginning to gradually prepare society for the right to lynching. The latest trend in politics on a global scale in general is the merging of right and left radicalism. If the ‘’right’’, something is saying in the name of elimination, then the insolent ‘’left’’ is saying the same thing, in the name of improvement. Moreover, what evil of them is the most dangerous and hidden from the unprepared mind of the citizen remains behind the scenes. What are the goals of such a propaganda, we consider lately. It is difficult to call the plot of this film dystopian, because the screen shown is not very different from the realities of today’s USA. It is more correct to use the term “warning film” here. So, what is the film “The Purge” about?
In the near future, the United States found a way to solve its economic and social problems — “Judgment Night” (The Purge), when once a year, any crimes become legal under the slogan “Killing, we clean up”, and the dead are considered as “victims in the name of deliverance from crime”. In fact, the idea is implanted in the mind of the audience that in the future, the success of the state and the community will depend on the quality of suppression of the weak and control of the animal instinct of revenge, giving the citizen the right to kill out of revenge, and in the end kill anyone — out of hate, envy or their sadistic inclinations. It is terrible that such a scenario of public relations in the state is shown in the plot with such details, and allegedly shows such delight of fellow citizens who kill each other in accessible ways that the details of this are perceived only as propaganda of such a mechanism in the future. If you think that this is impossible in real life, you are already deeply mistaken. Perhaps, it is already used, and partially promoted by politicians, that there is a dangerous precedent. One such example is the activities, statements and actions of the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, who called for the extermination of drug addicts and drug traffickers without trial, and within a month the police and activists completely legally killed from 400 to 700 people. There is a little good in the venture: since it became just enough to throw a drug for the legal killing of a person, your rival, opponent, and neighbor. Facts on the outcome, just talked about such frequent cases. Now imagine all this on a planetary scale. The question remains — why is it all promoted in Hollywood?
For me, the answer is simple — the state, and most likely those who hold and control the state power, not only in the US, but around the globe, are tired of fulfilling their social and humanistic obligations of the second half of the 20th century. The state no longer wants to spend resources on social security, on job creation, on health care, on affordable education, on the rule of law, on the maintenance of the judicial system, and so on. In fact, gradually working through the issue of legalizing lynching violence and killing, such people in the face of the state machine are trying to solve many resource-consuming problems with just one action — to remove the extra mouths and demands of citizens from their eyes. In addition, at the same time — the weapon market will be stimulated and legalized everywhere. Do you think these are sick fantasies? You should not think so, as you always have to remember that the Hollywood in general, have recently turned into some factory of the projection of a possible future. Just remember the movies that you watched 20 or 30 years ago, what was all about? And what do we have now today, on the threshold of 2019? Social networks, modified gadgets, robotics, nanotechnology, gender issues, and so on. Therefore, there is every reason to look at this issue seriously.
Mob law — certainly a sin. All the sinful passions, which can only be at the excited crowd to the limit, are present here: condemnation, anger, hatred. In addition, all these passions are literally going wild. We must remember that any sin can be difficult to cure, because it parasitizes something good. At the very basis of such a phenomenon as lynching, lies condemnation, reaching the point of anger, some kind of emotional state. In fact, this is an ugly imitation of a desire for truth rooted in a person, a desire for justice. The desire for justice in itself is a good human trait. But when it is corrupted, horrible things are obtained, those that are known to us as the sin of condemnation, the sin of intolerance, of hatred. It is all just observed during mob trial, when the desire to achieve justice in any way overpowers understanding and remembrance of love, mercy, forgiveness. When a person starts a volcanic eruption of passion, the spiritual world is completely lost — the most important thing that underlies any relationship between men. A person loses the understanding that the judge is not he, but the Lord. So, of course, there can be nothing good in lynching. We are all connected with each other, and any phenomena of our life are connected with each other. It is not only the people who make up this crowd that are guilty of lynching of people. Someone else is to blame. In addition, not just a faceless system, but specific people who once did not heed any requests or did not respond to any petitions. Zosima says in the novel “The Brothers Karamazov”: “Truly everyone is to blame for everybody and for everything”. We must realize that everything is connected with everyone, and in the common misfortune, in the same mob law, it may be worth seeing our own guilt … This does not mean that it is necessary to reach the point of absurdity. But with those who commit lynching, should be responsible those who brought people to this terrible thing. All this is a consequence of one terrible reason. The point is the moral state of our entire society in the world. In this respect, mob law becomes violence. Lynching is where one does not believe that the criminal will be punished. Where the state is denied one of its main functions: it has a monopoly on violence, which is delegated to it by citizens, otherwise it will be a war of all against everybody. The emerging vacuum is filled with such a “popular initiative.” However, giving such a right to be realized — the state gets rid of its direct obligations to uphold justice and the right to punishment. Such power, as it were, is given to their fellow citizens for a certain time, while preserving the ancient Roman motto ‘’Panem et circenses’’. Any religion is categorically against the assertion that violence is not something prohibited and seems to be a fairly legal way to solve problems. If you watch TV, hear the news, that there and here are always some situations with the use of violence … The population begins to perceive violence as a legitimate way to solve some problems, which is not acceptable for any religion. We usually talk about Western “double standards” when Western democracies declare certain principles — and then they themselves object to the application of these principles. Moreover, within the state itself there are citizens who live by different standards than those established by law. Those who are “allowed” more than others. On the other hand, remembering Orwell, everyone is equal, but some are “more equal” than others. The non-violent side of biblical and later Christian inspiration is manifested in the long-term historical development of our civilization. In some important respects, since the late Middle Ages, our historical world has moved towards reducing violence. But in the modern world, concern for the victims gradually leads to ridiculous distortions. The history is rewritten from the point of view of victims, which provokes a sharp increase in violence and threats of violence, but the most unpleasant is that it increases interest in it.
The decline of global democracy?
Is global democracy in decline? What exactly is said about the decline of democracy and what could be behind such a decline? Evidence of a global decline of democracy is divided into several types:
· The first type is international indicators, such as Freedom House, indicating that the number of free states is not growing, but, on the contrary, is decreasing.
· The second type is the election results, showing growing support from leaders who do not want to reckon with democratic norms.
· The third type is research data, such as the World Values Survey. Least of all changes — in international terms.
Although Freedom House has pointed out some countries in which democracy is threatened, we can hardly speak of a real “reversal”. Moreover, this decline is more likely due to the overestimation of the present level of democracy in many countries, than the actual curtailment of democracy. What makes these leaders or these parties anti-democratic? Their willingness to violate minority civil liberties? Or willingness to destroy democratic institutions? The first threatens liberal values, and the second — rather, procedural democracy. The importance of diagnosing the nature of these anti-democratic appeals becomes simply necessary when we are facing with evidence of democratic decline stemming from responses to questionnaires in the World Values Survey (WVS). Previous studies have shown that democracy is under threat, based on data from the WVS, indicating an increase in dissatisfaction with democracy and support for autocratic alternatives. Although the number of respondents who support authoritarian alternatives is still a minority, this number is growing, especially among young respondents around the world.
This seems to indicate a growing rejection of democratic norms and support for autocratic alternatives that openly challenge both liberal norms and democratic institutions. First, based on the concept of “disgruntled citizens”, it should be assumed that dissatisfaction with democracy does not necessarily mean less support for it. Secondly, it is possible that questions using democracy measure not at all the degree of support for precisely those democratic values that scholars have in mind. But how much can democracy transforms itself into an anti-democracy by manipulating the concept of “dissatisfied citizens”, gradually introducing radical tools to control society and solve social problems, such as the same right of lynching (mob law) or total use of social ratings? I repeat, the general impression is that the edges are erased between falsehood and truth, between right and left, between good and evil. The public bottom is getting deeper and deeper down.
Position #1 — There is no higher excuse for lynching. Justice is everyone’s own. As a rule, justice is something that a citizen personally considers beneficial for himself. There is no fair “smart” mob. If lynching (the purge) will be introduced into everyday practice, it will immediately turn into a banal settling of accounts. According to statistics, about 70% of intentional homicides are household murders. That is how in practice it will look like mob law. The law is the law, and it must be implemented. And certainly not the one who seeks justification for the murder of his fellow citizens has the right to judge the morality of laws.
Position #2 — the elites do not care about lynching. High fences and well-armed guards securely fence them off around the world from the people. Ordinary citizens will suffer. When the official police step aside, and the laws of the state are not followed, it is not the highest people’s justice. Instead, there are well-organized and armed gangs, who exercise their own lynching over the rest. As it happens, for example, in Brazilian favelas or in drug-controlled areas of Mexico. Or as the plot of the movie ‘’The Purge’’.
Position #3 Mob law — this is wildness and a sign of deep degradation of society. In a society where there are working courts and law enforcement agencies, in a society that is the heir to the spiritual wealth of its ancestors, mob law is a huge step backward, the path to the archaic.
Position #4 — Justification of mob law and calls for lynching is the justification of crimes, the justification of murder, it is calls for wildness. How can you approve lynching in the modern world, where even without that the level of aggression just rolls over? It is hard to imagine what is going on in the minds of such citizens and such politicians who speak about this in all seriousness. This is a sign of decomposition and disintegration of a certain system of established values and norms that support the traditional social order. However, unfortunately, a part of modern society has already advanced quite far along this curved road. As a result, many citizens removed the cultural taboo on murder, appeared tolerant of murder and murderers. Someone easily kills, others applaud them happily. Moreover, social inequality simply exacerbates this situation. Of course, a reduction in the level of professionalism of justice, as well as the passivity of people in terms of cooperation with the police, for example, and propaganda of pop culture, which we mentioned earlier, also contributes.
Probably, some of you, being in the role of offended, tried to pull yourself together, repeating: “I will not take revenge on him, because it is not worthy of a person. His life will punish him so badly for the evil he caused me!” Other people think quite differently in such a situation: “He’s so mean to me, I’m so violent for him that I will punish him enough!” Revenge is a very strong feeling that is not make people happy. The motivation for revenge is the struggle for justice, to pay the offender according to merit. On the one hand, it seems that this is the right feeling and there is nothing wrong with it, but on the other hand, when a person starts to implement the plan of revenge, the next transformation starts. It all starts with a strong attack of indignation, which is similar to an internal explosion caused by unexpected and unfair events. Revenge can be considered as a painful condition that fever the whole body from brain to fingertips. It can capture a man like love and force him to do strange things, which he later bitterly regrets. For revenge sometimes, the most insignificant reason is enough. It all depends on the nature of the person whose dignity is hurt. Each of us faced in the life with insults, jealousy, betrayal. These are already more weighty reasons to start revenge. It should be noted that if a person lives in harmony with himself and with the surrounding reality, all the little things that happen to everyone would not offend him. Revenge often goes hand in hand with envy. As you know, people sometimes commit very low acts out of envy. They may have a desire to take revenge, because a colleague is doing much better than they are, for example. This is the behavior of insecure people under the influence of others. If someone offended you and it caused a desire to take revenge, then you should not be ashamed of this feeling. You just turned on the natural mechanism of self-defense. But if such a desire arises for no apparent reason — you need to sound the alarm! In this case, it is necessary to endure the struggle with oneself in order not to break the peace. In order not to become an evil and vengeful person, you need to learn to forgive and calculate the consequences of retaliatory revenge. Revenge is a source of great emotional experiences for both parties; it does not make anyone happy. Often in the event of a conflict, revenge may seem the only solution to the problem. However, it is worth thinking about what can be changed with the help of vengeance, what will be the benefit for you, except that you will get some satisfaction? It may turn out that after your vengeful attack the situation will get even worse. Maybe it is easier to solve the conflict peacefully. Or just ignore your abuser? However, again, punching the bottom every time with a new film, new rhetoric of politicians and new rules of the public game in the form of laws, without even noticing it, we follow the populist system and follow the path to self-destruction. Remember one thing: only strong people can be indulgent and forgive their opponents, or ignore them as a person. They never allow themselves to fall to the level of their offenders and do not use dubious methods of revenge, eventually turning into punitive actions. Man is distinguished from the animal world by the presence of deep mental activity, do not forget about it. In addition, of course, humanism is a system for building human society, where the highest value is human life. All that will take lives with impunity will move us away from humanism to the age of dinosaurs. Be vigilant and make sure that social experiments do not drive us back into the era of the Jurassic period.
Sergiy Golubyev (Сергей Голубев)
EU structural funds, ICO projects, NGO & investment projects, project management, comprehensive support of business