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Friday, January 8, 2010

Why Don't Superheroes Kill Super-Criminals?

Sometimes, comic book superheroes behave really stupidly. Batman catches the Joker. The Joker goes to jail. The Joker escapes from jail or gets paroled. The Joker resumes his life of crime. This doesn't just apply to the Joker, but to *ALL* of the criminals that Batman pursues.

After a few iterations, wouldn't Batman say "**** this! I'm killing the Joker myself!"

In the eyes of the brainwashed masses, Batman is a proxy for the State. If State enforcers decide that you are breaking their rules, they don't normally try to kill you. Instead, they try to kidnap you.

Of course, if you arm yourself and attempt to defend yourself, then the State police *WILL* murder you.

Escaping from a State prison isn't as easy as the Joker makes it seem. It's practically impossible.

Sending someone to jail for 20 years is almost the same as murdering them. The criminal could be freed later, but a huge chunk of his life was still stolen.

By having "Kidnap criminals!" be a higher goal than "Kill criminals!", the authority of the State is legitimized. By trying to kidnap instead of kill, the police seem like the good guys in their own mind. This also leads to the belief "If someone is wrongly jailed, they can always be released later!" Sending someone to jail for 10-20 years and then releasing them still is stealing a huge chunk of their life.

This illogical behavior by superheroes occurs because the superhero is a proxy for the State.

1 comment:

TJC said...

i would argue that its not that superheroes are a proxy for the state, but a proxy for state enforcers. They don't kill criminals to reinforce the idea that only a state judge can decide on punishment. This only reinforces the idea that nobody but the state can make a just decision.

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