Altruistic Solo Justice

(Excerpt from The Vigilante's Wraith, mystery novel by Blog's author.)

The Vigilante in his hideout bin answering emails. To an aspiring vigilante who deemed it cowardly to sneak up on a man and shoot him without giving him a fighting chance, he emailed. “Altruist justice, not displays of personal courage, Hollywood type shootouts, is the kind of the vigilantism I endorse. For me, executing incorrigible evildoers is a moral obligation, not a sport, as it seems to be the case with you. You might, if you are lucky, take out a scumbag or two, but in so doing run the risk of a scumbag taking you out first. Me, I intend to take out as many scumbags as I can, anonymously, with a minimum of risk to myself, before I am satisfied and ready to call it quits. But if the thrill or the glory of your cowboy mindset is what turns you on, then go for it. But don’t bother to look to me for further counsel. I would have none to give you.”

To a burned-out bureaucrat bent on killing his abusive supervisor: “I understand exactly how you feel, but heed my advice: Killing this man will only give you a short-lived satisfaction, and, unless you are exceptionally clever, land you in prison. Your having despised the man for so long, leads me to think that you have not kept it a secret, that now and then you must have shared your feelings with others, in which case the police will regard you the prime suspect. To achieve the sense of justice you seek without risk to yourself, I suggest that you wreak your vengeance on another S.O.B. of the same ilk, someone who has never harmed you personally, or doesn’t even know you. That way the police will never suspect you. And if you find the experience rewarding, which I’m sure you will, you can go on taking out S.O.B.’s to your heart’s content. Such are not hard to find. Good luck.”

To an ex-Navy Seal who sought to start a fraternity of vigilantes: “Sir, you are an educated person, a history buff obviously, so, before you move forward, I suggest that you study your history in greater depth, for it will show you that people, however, intelligent, creative and resourceful as individuals tend to become stupid, corrupt, and cruel, a many-headed monster, once they band together. All great men and women in history—-artists, writers, scientists, philosophers, discovers, statesmen, prophets, the world’s prime movers--were independent, individual thinkers. Nothing of value ever came from nor could ever from organizations or committees. All these can do, at best, is implement the ideas of individual thinkers, and, at worst, as is usually the case, pervert their ideas and create calamities. Consider, how the Nazi’s twisted Nietzsche’s philosophy, or the Russian Bolsheviks Marx’s economic theories. The millions of Russian peasants slaughtered in their so-called just revolution surely would have been better off had they remained under the rule of their Czar. If our American Revolution yielded better fruit, it was only because the changes had been evolving gradually, for centuries, not a social upheaval as such, but a mere change of government. But I digress. The point I wish to make is that this fraternity of vigilantes you have in mind would likely degenerate into a gang where the collective prejudices and fears of its members would prevail over a true sense of justice. Mark the atrocities perpetrated by the KKK and the Old West posses. True, we have our share of evil types in this country who need killing, but the only constructive, honorable, courageous way to deal with them is to hunt them down solo. Trust your individual gifts and strengths to carry out the justice you so rightly seek. Keep in touch.

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