Economic Multipliers (83)
Do you know what these are?
They help CREATE wealth in systems.
Vigilante justice is not an economic multiplier.
I was going to state that ‘justice is an economic multiplier’ but that requires no thought.
The presence of ‘real justice’ is a measure of any community’s or nation’s strength: It’s a measure of its interconnectedness.
When people define themselves, they usually think of their relationships within specific groups: family, friends, their community, their social circles, etc. If they have good relationships within those groups, two words normally pop up: ‘trust’ and ‘respect.’ But trust and respect are not ‘givens’ just because any group exists which is why the choice to honor agreements is ultimately what defines a community’s or nation’s strength.
When people in nations and communities value ‘real justice,’ they are valuing ‘an agreement.’ The mere ‘agreement’ that everyone will abide by laws is one of the strongest forms of interconnectedness any society can ever have. Then, whether you know someone or not or like someone or not, you have formed an implicit bond with them that is based on trust and mutual respect.
When a victim of a crime lives in a community or nation that does not believe in ‘real justice’ (that agreement defined by laws) or that believes in ‘selective justice,’ vigilante justice might seem like the only justice that anyone would ever get (and it just might be and the victim and their family might even condone it).
Likewise, if the ‘vigilante justice’ applied was the same ‘sentence’ a person would have gotten IF they had been in a ‘fair’ and ‘equitable’ justice system, ‘vigilante justice’ might SEEM like a good substitute for ‘true justice’ but it could never be.
What if you were falsely accused of something? Not only would you want to be able to defend yourself, you’d want people to defend you who knew that you had been falsely accused.
When ‘real justice’ does not exist and societies have run amok and creating ‘havoc’ is the norm, not the extreme, it’s easy to understand why people would think they need to take things into their own hands.
But anger and/or favoritism are not good bases for sound decisions. If you ‘attack’ a person who has never had a chance to defend themselves and they are innocent, you haven’t become a ‘judge and jury:’ You’ve chosen to become a criminal (if the attack breaks any laws) or an abuser (if the attack harms them in any way).
Ripping the fabric of societies apart is much easier than keeping things in good repair. When a child builds a block house, they know it takes time. Unless the pieces are strongly interconnected, they know that it takes no time to knock it down.
When any society condones ‘vigilante justice’ or ‘no justice,’ they condone destroying the interconnectedness that would allow their society to be and stay strong.
I never know how much prior education and experiences have ‘colored’ my world but recently I watched the ‘book turned into movie’ version of ‘Lord of the Flies’ on DVD. ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding was required reading when I was in high school. I can’t remember appreciating the literary selection and wouldn’t have initially recalled any of the storyline prior to watching the movie but it is about a group of well-educated boys who got stranded on a deserted island for a short period time and what they devolved to (fiction of course … in real life, I’m sure people always behave better).
What struck me today was that in a short period of time, the boys:
managed to kill some of their fellow students (individuals who were voices of reason),
managed to destroy tools that were required for survival (such as a pair of glasses that were used to start fires),
were quickly ‘convinced’ that it was OK to abuse the individuals around them (even those they supposedly liked) and if help hadn’t showed up,
would have killed the one individual who originally knew how to start a fire (along with a number of other things).
This storyline is not particularly unique: It just highlights how easily the world can spin out-of-control.
If ‘interconnectedness’ is based on ‘trust’ and ‘respect’ and societies stay strong IF it exists, I would always argue that any community’s and nation’s strength lies not in people’s ‘social connections’ but in the percentage of people who agree to abide by a common set of laws.
On the day that someone decides to lie while on the job or abuse someone in the community (etc.) who was among your social group and who you counted as your friend, the trust and respect are gone and all that is left is the agreement to abide by laws.
If you yourself are a ‘gossiper’ or ‘joiner’ and you get ‘caught up in’ any lies or abuse (etc.), your credibility and reputation are gone too.
‘Real justice’ is the only thing that can ever mend a world that has spun ‘out-of-control.’