I’ve been binge-watching this series that’s basically a remake of “Lord of the Flies“, where one of their themes is how order is created out of chaos.
Someone evil rises up and a lot of the kids start following him because they want to be a a part of the power structure.
The evil kid is kept in check by a collaboration between a smart kid and a cool kid who uses his power for good.. Not meaning superpower, meaning that he assesses what he feels is the right thing to do and then makes strides to make that happen.
When they make these stories, they practically invariably make the good guy a 100% good guy.
This isn’t actually possible because the only thing that can check and constrain evil is a higher level of evil.
Let’s say you have a schoolyard bully. He’s the bully because he’s bigger and stronger than other kids, probably because he got left back a year or two and he’s had more time to grow.
Whatever the reason, he feels really good about his ability to beat kids up one-on-one, but then he suddenly calms down and becomes a regular citizen when several kids team up, beat his ass, and tell him to stop bothering people.
This bully was not convinced by chatter about “he should do the right thing”. He was convinced that he’d rather act properly than get beaten up every day.
This doesn’t mean anybody *SAW* him get beaten up. They just saw his personality change overnight.. or if not overnight, the next time they actually saw him in school after he received his market correction.
Beating people up publicly has a different goal. That’s when you want to embarrass someone. That’s when you want to show off that you have more power than someone else. That’s when you’re telling the story to the masses instead of to the one person who needs to learn the lesson.
Beating people up privately serves the proper purpose, but it comes with an associated cost.
Action, Not Words
Let’s say the kid in the series refuses to physically threaten the evil kid.
Nothing’s going to happen because the people who team up behind evil kids are weaklings, who are immediately exposed when that kid gets humbled because nobody’s ready to step up and take his place. They were *ALL* followers, and none of them were leaders.
Weak people, in order to make themselves feel better about their own lives, attempt to low-rate other people, in this case, the kids who want peace and who want the right thing to be done in their society.
So all that will happen without action from the personality-checker is that the system will continue as usual, the weaklings will prey upon the nice kids, and the evil kid will remain in power. The situation will get worse instead of better.
But what if the do-gooder doesn’t actually like beating people up? o_O
What if all he wanted was for people to act properly so the society ran the way it was supposed to?
That means every time he has to kick one of these vultures in the teeth, they aren’t the only ones who lose out.
Yeah they get embarrassed and their egos get damaged and they hate their lives and all that good stuff, but the do-gooder has to become someone he doesn’t want to be to stomp them into the ground.
Actually, let me say that another way.. The do-gooder has to access parts of his personality that he doesn’t enjoy unleashing on people even though it always existed and it isn’t something he “becomes”.
This leaves two bad choices.. One more permanent than the other.
You either get involved and do the necessary work that shuts down the offender or you refuse to get involved and live with the fact that you could have stopped something from happening to people who don’t have the personality & willpower to stop it from happening to themselves.
Either way, your *responsibility* to the community takes you on tangents from your actual life.
It’s up to you how brief those tangential journeys are going to be.
Freedom & Posts
This same dynamic exists on the internet, which is mainly chaos because nobody is willing to put in the work to control their area.
Internet Vultures are people that you never hear from unless they have something negative to say.
They *neeeeeever* have anything positive to contribute and they never start any good conversations. They always arrive in conversations just to talk shit and chuckle about it in front of their basement keyboards.
However, these same bitchassed dudes complain when they get disciplined for being assholes.
Loser Society dictates that whatever someone DOES is ok, but what happens to them because of it is NOT ok. 😀
Stopping people from being assholes for the greater good of the community is viewed by some people as being a bully.
In fact, similar to the series I was watching, it’s merely a greater evil putting a lesser evil in its place.
Without that evil, as Nicholson says, the entire community suffers and perhaps even ceases to exist.
“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it?… You?… I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom… You have the luxury of not knowing what I know… You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall… You need me on that wall… I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it… I would rather you just said Thank You, and went on your way… Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post.”
This is exactly the thing. People want freedom without standing a post.
This means you’re riding in a car you aren’t driving.
If you aren’t putting in any of the work, you aren’t making any of the decisions.
People want the freedom to say whatever they want about someone else without getting verbally embarrassed and backed down by someone applying that exact same freedom to skewering them so they learn to stay quiet next time.
Life doesn’t work like that. There are rules or there aren’t.
If there are rules, follow them and be a model citizen.
If there aren’t rules, then when you do what you want to do to other people, a greater evil is going to do what it wants to do to you.
Then you can decide whether being a creep on the internet (or anywhere else) is worth it or not.
Raining Blood From A Lacerated Sky
This is only ONE of the issues that most people never figure out about online or IRL communities.
The creeps are only suppressed and oppressed by fear of reprisal.
They’re willing to do *anything* to *any* community members so long as they believe they aren’t going to pay a price for their behavior.
As soon as they figure out it’s going to cost them, they decide whether they want to keep getting smacked around for being creeps or the greater evil excommunicates them because they’re a lost cause and a waste of time to attempt to rehabilitate.
The “problem” exists between wanting a community that works and having to make that community work.
Swayze informs us to be nice… Until it’s time to not be nice.
“People who really want to have a good time won’t come to a slaughterhouse, and we’ve got entirely too many troublemakers here… Ask him to walk.. be nice.. If he won’t walk, walk him, but be nice… I want you to remember that it’s a job.. It’s nothing personal… I want you to be nice until it’s time to not be nice… You are the bouncers. I am the cooler.”
If there’s no cooler, there’s no community.
Without consequences & repercussions, evil will slither around and do what it wants.
There’s no *talking* evil out of evil. You have to *force* evil out of evil.
The only way to do that is to be a greater evil.
If you aren’t the greatest evil, it isn’t your community.
Whoever’s willing to go farther than you will will take it over as soon as they feel like it because you’re a back-seat driver.
Someone has to make the laws and someone has to enforce the laws.
Pleasure & Pain
In the series, we saw several interesting power struggles. People who thought they were somebody and had convinced other people they were somebody became nobody overnight.
This happened partially because “the people” are fickle and tend to gravitate towards whomever they perceive to be the most powerful at the time so they can reap benefits they didn’t sow.
This also happened because good people turned on their evil to override what was previously assumed to be the strongest evil.
Let’s be clear on what I mean by evil. 😀
Let’s say you think it’s evil for someone to punch someone else in the face.
Evil people aren’t worried about that and will go ahead and do it.
Good people will turn the other cheek or attempt to talk the evil person out of hitting them again.
The greater evil is willing to inflict physical or emotional pain on someone that changes their programming.
People basically respond to two things.. Moving towards pleasure.. Moving away from pain.
If good people can’t elicit the proper response from evil people by offering them pleasure, pain will get the job done quick fast in a hurry, Flava’s vision ain’t blurry.
So the tough guy thought he was a tough guy until the good guy informed him that he wasn’t the toughest guy in the area.
This is because of the dilemma I mentioned earlier.. Not everyone WANTS TO smack vultures, but sometimes they’re the only ones capable of doing it, so Dr. Bruce Banner turns into The Hulk for a second, wipes the floor with them, then resumes his life as a fun, friendly citizen.
Once people realize where the true power exists, Dr. Banner is recognized as being superior to Dr. Fraud.
This causes fewer people to jump on the creep bandwagon because they see what’s been happening to the other creeps who tried this before them.
They decide to exhibit their creepy behavior elsewhere or they’re excommunicated.
Either way, the community is rid of them at the cost of the do-gooder having to access elements of his personality (The Hulk) that he’d rather not experience, and which in a perfect world he would never have to resort to.
Where Your Business Ends
Another interesting element in that series is that one of the characters allowed another character to hate him for something he didn’t do.
His reasoning was that if she would have found out the truth, she would have felt worse than if she thought he had done it.
In fact, he had always been a perfect friend to her. Letting her believe the lie was his way of continuing that way of life, essentially protecting her from the truth at his own expense.
This is another element of being a squad leader, which I mentioned earlier.
There are things that you do that people see and don’t properly understand because the reasoning behind your decision isn’t any of their business.
If you didn’t put in any of the work, you don’t get to make any decisions. Period Point Blank.
If you’re not driving the car, you don’t get to turn the wheel.
If I turn left when you think I should have turned right, your choices are to hop and roll out of the car at full speed, or enjoy this new direction.
I couldn’t possibly care any less about your uneducated opinion.
Simultaneously, I won’t be putting other people’s business in the street, so if you see me treat someone the way a creep’s supposed to be treated, you can assume there’s a very good reason for it, but you probably will never find out what that reason is.
Not from me, at least. 😀 haha You’ll have to do your own research.
This sometimes spills over into IRL, when people think they know who you are, but they really have no clue.
That’s something a squad leader has to elect to live with.. or not.
If you don’t want people living with unwarranted opinions about your motivations, stay out of the public eye.
Don’t attempt to be a squad leader until you understand what it takes to “pick up a weapon and stand a post”.
What’s going to happen is that you’re going to get tired of Smacking Vultures.
What’s going to happen is that other people are going to be speaking for you and doing actions that are attributed to you since you’re supposed to be the leader and you’re going to look like a running dog.
What’s going to happen is that your “community” is going to be COMPLETE TRASH like the majority of the unregulated internet.
What’s going to happen is that a year from now, you’re going to figure out that you CAN’T DO WHAT I DO and you’re going to quit.
What’s going to happen is that all of your followers are going to figure out that you’re a Fraud and a Liar.
What’s going to happen is that people are going to figure out who’s the real deal and who isn’t.
So it isn’t worth your time. 😀
Don’t bother trying to be someone else when you don’t know what it requires to be him or her.
You’re going to drive as far as you can until you smack into the brick wall that you can’t pass and they could, and then you’re going to be done because you quit on your own or because someone else forced you into retirement.
Someday, the true leaders are going to retire or die and stop Smacking the Vultures.
That’s when you’re going to find out who you really AREN’T.