As I am an over credentialed asshole, I tend to travel in social circles filled by the credentialed class. As a group, credentialed people tend to believe that they are smarter. More logical and rational than the masses. Much of their self worth is wrapped up in the empty pieces of paper they received from an institution of conformity. That they either spent their parents hard earned wealth or borrowed against their future well being to receive this empty piece of paper does seem to escape most of them.
Much of credentialed class tends to think that we can legislate away stupidity. Like the parent of an unruly child, they believe a prohibition is enough to stop bad things from happening. Anyone with kids will tell you that telling a kid to NOT do something is a guarantee that they will find a way to make it happen.
There’s a woman I’ve known for quite a while. She has her credential, a successful job and career, a nice home and material things. She is also angry, bitter, and I would describe her as brittle. Easily broken by the slings and arrows of life as it were. When things don’t go her way, it is the world out to get her.
Now this woman is always looking for an external source of happiness. A man to be a husband. Adopting a child and being a single mother so that she can (she thinks) have someone to love her and make her happy. Material things too. All happiness is external to who she is. As you can imagine, her elusive search for happiness bears little fruit and is fleeting at best.
Her search for happiness is also a search for a sense of security. A feeling of safety in a world that is full of scary boogeymen. The news is fraught with terrifying stories of good people or even animals being hurt, maimed, or even killed. These headlines show up all the time, and every time they show up emotional energy is expended empathizing with the faceless unknown victims of these crimes.
Obviously this woman would prefer to not have to feel these negative emotions. And this is where I think the kernel of crusaderism begins. If she could, this woman would have laws passed to, she believes, prevent all these bad things from happening. When it is pointed out that we already have laws against many of these crimes, like animal abuse, child abuse, murder, torture, etc. she will shrug and say that we need more laws and harsher penalties to stop it from happening. If there was a way to program all citizens with Crime Stop, I think she’d be all for it. If people aren’t even allowed to think in a criminal manner then obviously crime would never happen.
Now take this woman’s attitude and apply it to a larger population. There are clearly many people in this country that also want to legislate away the bad and legislate in happiness. Hence the profligate passage of new laws every time state and federal legislatures meet. Regulation is never reduced, only increased.
Humans being adaptable animals find ways to get around these nonsensical laws and regulations. Circumvention of the law, or at least bending the law is something nearly everyone does in their life now. The most obvious example being speeding when law enforcement is not present. In over half the states in the United States just digging a hole deeper than six inches in your back yard without first calling a utility location service is technically a violation of the law. Bet you didn’t know that.
Ultimately the drive to legislate happiness into existence and legislate negative outcomes out of existence is like chasing unicorns. You can’t find or capture a unicorn and you can’t pass a law bestowing happiness or eliminating bad things from happening. It is a futile pastime.