Skip to main content

I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

 I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

- Jay Gould

Killing the Poor Part One

The high concept at the heart of The Purge franchise is that following economic collapse,  a new political party has taken control of the United States on a platform of ending crime. The New Founding Fathers (NFF) have ripped off an old Star Trek episode and instituted a sort of festival where all crime is legal for one night a year.  The politicians are, obviously, exempted. You aren’t allowed to kill your Senator.

Over the course of five films and a TV series, The Purge has mutated from a clever home-invasion horror into Swiftian political satire with very ragged teeth.

American Fascism is on the rise, and the NFF bears a striking resemblance to Trump’s GOP. The NFF scapegoats immigrants, the poor and other groups. They use fear and overblown rhetoric about crime to gain power, then wield that power like a chainsaw.

The value of purge night is multifoliate to the ruling class.  It's population control (side note, tech bros all seem to harbor Malthusian philosophies); it keeps the poors in line; it’s entertainment of the Roman Coliseum variety.  (another side note: the makers of these films seem to grossly underestimate just what a major problem fire would be in the purge. All cities should probably burn completely on the first purge night).


There has been much discussion about the philosophy of the Purge series and some of it is questionable. For instance, the first film (The Purge) has been held out as an example of the “inquiring murderer” objection to Kant’s Categorical Imperative. For those playing along at home, the TLDR here is that Kant argues that lying is always ethically wrong ("Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.") The objection asks you to imagine that an innocent person being pursued by a killer has taken refuge in your house. The killer appears and asks you if their intended victim is there. If you answer truthfully, the innocent will be killed.  This objection is unanswerable.  I question its use in discussing The Purge, as the scenarios on offer don’t really line up here. While Deontology fails, it is unclear that this is the best way to demolish it.


A better discussion around these movies can he had by considering Utilitarianism.  

The Purge could be used as an objection to Bentham’s Utilitarian ethics. Consider that the masked murderers causing mayhem on purge night are akin to a Utility Monster. That is, a creature that gets so much pleasure from causing pain, that it outweighs the pain caused.  If the purgers enjoy their acts enough, then those acts are actually moral.



Popular posts from this blog

The Blackening


The Living Dead Legacy: A Comprehensive Exploration of the Franchise and Its Offshoots

  The Living Dead Legacy: A Comprehensive Exploration of the Franchise and Its Offshoots Guest Post by B. D. Latham Introduction The impact of  George A. Romero's  "Night of the Living Dead," released in 1968, extends far beyond its initial impact on the horror genre. Not only did the film redefine zombies, but it also gave birth to a vast and intricate franchise that includes sequels, remakes, spin-offs, and inspirational works. This essay delves into the evolution of the "Living Dead" franchise, analyzing its sequels, remakes, spin-offs, and related series such as "Return of the Living Dead," "Zombi," "Contagion," and more. We will also examine the influence of the franchise on broader media culture. The Original "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) Romero's original film set a new standard for horror cinema. Its story of a disparate group seeking refuge from a zombie apocalypse resonated deeply with audiences. Th


  The Bloodfest gang took a day off to visit Crypticon Kansas City and now we are here to tell you about it! We saw so much cool stuff that it’s hard to cover it all. P.J. Soles (Halloween, Carrie), hugged Nate. We interviewed Nick Castle (Halloween, Escape From New York), Lauren Lavera (Terrifier 2), Jenna Kannell (Terrifier, Renfield), Dean Cameron (Summer School, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and so much more.   We talk a lot about Bootleg as Fuck Toys. Also cosplay, collectibles and more!   This week the Bloodfest gang talks about their trip to Cryticon in Kansas City. We have mini-interviews with Lauren Lavera (Terrifier 2), Nick Castle (Halloween), Dean Cameron (Summer School) and Jenna Kannell (Terrifier). We talk cosplay, Bootleg as Fuck Toys, collectibles, the ugly truth about Doug Jones, Robert Rusler, Cracker Barrel and so much more. Plus Nate learns that he needs Josh.   #Bloodfest #Crypticon #CrypticonKC #Horror #Convention #Terrifier #JennaKannell #PJSole