Driven to put right an injustice.
I return to a theme I have been exploring in various ways: what drives people. I had written about When you’re right in March 2012.
Injustice is something that one feels inside. It’s not like a physical pain. It may be a form of mental discomfort. It is something that keeps you awake, thinking, planning, devoting every fibre of your existence to correcting it.
And – there is the big problem: ‘What differentiates my putting right any injustice perceived against me, compared to a Boston bomber putting right some injustice he perceives?” Well there is one fundamental difference: I would be prepared to act within the law of the land in a transparent and conspicuous way – and a Boston bomber would do the exact opposite.
But there is a problem for people who take justice into their own hands. I think many of them will share some of the following characteristics in varying degrees:
They are unable to think clearly and extract the core features of the injustice they would want to address, in relation to applicable laws or moral principles.
So, the injustice they formulate may not be well referenced against accepted principles of law or morality.
They do not have the intellectual or financial means to put things right.
They require rather quick relief from the discomfort caused by the injustice.
They may be driven more by a need for revenge than for justice [But I won’t rehash all the factors in the balance at When you’re right.]
They perceive that their ‘back is to a wall’ and that they have no other options.
They’ve decided on the ultimate sacrifice: the self i.e. they’re not really any longer interested in being caught, convicted, facing capital punishment, or in self-preservation (they’re suicidal in their mission).
Yes – somebody is gonna pick on my choice of word, ‘suicidal’. By that I do not mean they’re mentally ill, but that they’re involved in an act where the end of life is a forseeable possibility and they accept that risk.
Note that in the video above and several others on YouTube, you will find various analyses of the profiles of the bombers. You then see Chechnya washing their hands of having any influence on these bombers – and asserting that (the younger one ) was brought up in America etc. All these analyses cut to ‘personality’ profile. Yes – I cannot argue that personality is not a factor. However, it is emerging that some people who started off as fairly normal have had their minds twisted to the extent that they decide to take justice into their own hands.
It’ll take another 10 years of research to work out that the impact of ‘personality’ is not to be overestimated. Rather it is about how seemingly normal individuals come to think that some injustice needs putting right by the actions of their own hands. I’m not interested in Professor ‘Know-it-all’s’ views on this above. There are tons of different views – and I am reading them as I go on.
Services that defend the ‘realm’ need to look into the minds of suspects more.. else they will miss the big picture, as the FBI clearly did in the above case.