It seems as though lately it is fashionable to discuss “triggering” and people want trigger warnings everywhere. The thing is, you never know what will trigger a person, so it is a pointless and censoring endeavor — a fine example of how the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. And with these fine intentions in mind, a thought occurred to me: why change the environment so as to lessen their anxiety when you can simply put them in an environment in which their anxiety is most appropriate.
In my case, my greatest fear is getting into trouble, therefore, I think my brain is ideally suited for life in a totalitarian regime.
You’re lawless now
Imagine a world where jay-walkers were fair game for oncoming traffic, where committing one crime or one mistake lead to the dissolution of your Hobbesian social contract with the state, thereby rendering you a “free citizen”, neither subject to the law nor protected by it — a prime target for psychopathic murderers and bounty hunters. As I am typing this, I wonder why this would be a concern of mine as if you automatically lose your rights, wouldn’t you then also lose the authority of the laws to govern you? Anyway… I never claimed anxiety was always rational.
According to the deterrence theory of crime, it isn’t so much the severity of the punishment which dissuades people from committing crimes, but rather the probability of getting caught.
I hate public transportation or anything where the honor system is used. I’m not a bad person, but I am a cheapskate and firmly believe in the saying, “don’t tempt an honest man”. If I am given even the slightest opportunity to get away with not paying, I do not see that as stealing, but rather as saving. If I pay for a ticket and that ticket was never controlled, I feel like I have been ripped off for being honest. However, if I don’t pay for the ticket, I end up feeling stressed during the entire ride, on the edge of my seat, waiting for any signs of a uniformed ticket control officer so that I can pounce out of the bus as quickly as possible. If that particular municipal transport system has tickets controllers that dress in civilian clothing, then I become even more stressed out as now I must scan for anybody who looks suspiciously confident and authoritative when walking into the bus or metro.