One of the most difficult challenges of life is being on the receiving end of injustice or violence. This is especially true when the perpetrator goes unpunished. The need for vengeance is a visceral and primitive emotion – the anger and righteousness are intoxicating. Enter fantasies of vigilantism.
Vigilantes have always been popular in our culture. They represent the fantasy of claiming the power to deliver justice to the villains and scum of the world. The power to make those suffer who cause the suffering of others.
You know – intellectually – that there is a very good reason we use a theoretically impartial system to meet out justice. That a system based on personal vengeance will lead to chaos, bloodshed and the punishment not fitting the crime.
But – emotionally -it sure is tempting though…
Creator: Like Stories Of Old
In A Sentence: An exploration of justice through the examples of various media depicting vigilantes such as Batman,Watchmen, John Wick and Daredevil.
Favourite Quote: “It is a power fantasy that is especially insidious because it facilitates our own secret desire for absolute power. It indulges us in our own deeply-rooted sense of self-righteousness and the belief that if we could circumvent the law; if we could could claim absolute power – just for a moment – we would be able to separate right from wrong.”
Previous, Related Recommendations: Conformity Is Dangerous In An Insane World, Moloch – Destroyer Of All That Is Good, Mass Movements And The True Believer and 6 Psychological Phenomena That Explain The World
The Deep Dive: Coming Soon
Another brilliant video from Like Stories Of Old. It’s thoughtful, deep and satisfying. Whenever I watch one of his videos, I put everything on hold so I can properly absorb it. I have never been disappointed and this video is no exception.
I love this guy.
I’m sure that you’ve noticed that there has been a marked rise in vigilantism the last few years. People are routinely accused, tried and convicted on social media of all manner of crimes – minor and major. Of course, the court of social media does not afford any rights to the accused. It’s a place where people are free to indulge in vengeance and vigilantism.
It’s exhilarating to punish evil-doers. To claim that power – to become a hero fighting for justice and slaying irredeemable monsters along the way. But as the man said:
“Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster. And if you gaze for long into the abyss – the abyss gazes back into you.”