This latest psychologically defended condition of ‘affluenza,’ or, to put it simply coddled children who were never given boundaries of behavior in which to follow; does exist I believe. However, not as a legal defense to bad behavior. Brought to recent prominence by the Texas teen who’s driving under the influence of alcohol resulted in the death of another person, his legal defense team is claiming “affluenza” renders him harmless from the death of the individual.
It’s human nature to push our boundaries. That’s where adrenaline junkies get off, how racecar drivers push for that tenth of a second world record, or otherwise. In the same respect, it makes perfect sense that when people, children, especially, are given no boundaries for behavior, they’ll be apt to step outside the social norms.
Often, I go back to an intro to political theory course I took a couple of years ago… while I’d read many of the texts, everything from The Leviathan to Locke and Hobbes’ social contract theories, I’d never had a chance to academically put them to use and to critically analyze them before then. The Leviathan always comes to mind when I think about social contract issues. To live under the protection of a society, we give up our rights to that society, and we live under the rights that the Leviathan gives to us, to exit that State of Nature. This is what keeps us from going BACK to that State of Nature: a combination of subservience to the machine (that is the Leviathan), and fear of retribution from our fellow people and, more importantly, the Leviathan… or the Sovereign, or whatever term you chose to associate with “the State.”
Fortunately, the Leviathan also protects us from these people stricken with ‘affluenza.’ While I’m sure you won’t find it in ANY DSM text ever, I do believe the condition exists — however, it is upon US, as people living under the protection of the Leviathan and the Sovereign, to determine what behavior is conducive to the social contract that we accept, by simply existing in that society. If you don’t like rules, you vote to change them — you don’t take it upon yourself to sneak up behind the Leviathan with a dagger, or endanger others simply because “you” want to live your life your way — that endangers others. By simply existing in that society (admittedly with some exceptions), you contract to it the ability to be judged and punished by it. It’s as simple as that.
- What’s the future for ‘affluenza’ defenses? (usatoday.com)
- JILL PERTLER | Affluenza – blame the parents (kitsapsun.com)
- Texas ‘affluenza’ case incites anger, lawsuits and call for jail time (sacbee.com)
- ‘Affluenza’? (fashioningsociology.wordpress.com)
- Woes not over for Texas’ “affluenza” boy (nydailynews.com)
- Was it ‘affluenza’ or permissive parenting? (members.jacksonville.com)
- All the injustice money can buy (cnn.com)
- Texas judge pressured to give ‘affluenza’ teen drunk driver jail time (rawstory.com)
- All the injustice money can buy (rss.cnn.com)