Safety Justifies Anything and Everything
guest post by Dr Rob Long from www.humandymensions.com.au.
Once we have the safety moral high ground we can offend anyone, because we care about them? Once I have this moral high ground I can manipulate data for my own ends, I can police others, crusade and oppress others because, in the name of care, I must drive as hard as I can for the absolute goal of zero.
Isn’t it strange how the quest for safety is used to justify all range of unethical practice. As long as we put the intention and words of safety in front of some practice or some idea, we are somehow allowed to bully, intimidate, manipulate, overpower and say anything offensive, as long as we speak the sacred unchallenged words of safety.
Isn’t it strange how someone in some moral tirade about caring for lives then bullies people into submission because ‘it’s good for them’. Isn’t it odd that safety has now achieved such unchallenged power in the workplace that it justifies dominating others, ‘saving people from themselves’ and hitting anyone over the head with a verbal assault, because people are dying at work.
This is the thin edge of the wedge of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism states that the end justifies the means, that is, the goal over rides the process, the outcome over rides the method. This is what drives such patronizing and dangerous practices as dubious psychometrics in the name of zero harm. With such practices and such blindsidedness one can ignore the by-products of behavior because the goal of zero harm is unquestioned and paramount. In some strange form of logic I often hear the justification of bullying others because they ‘care about them’, I deem ‘it’s good for them’. Recently I was told by someone that we have to ‘save unsafe people from themselves’ as a justification of some nonsense pseudo-science. This is simply more of this unethical and superior ‘this is good for you’ nonsense, dished out to adults as children. Let’s help the fallible humans underneath us with a good flogging.
It seems as long as we have the moral high ground of zero harm it; justifies putting people out of work, intimidating people with fear and retribution and, taking the superior ground over other fallible humans. These disguise a host of unethical and ulterior motives, political behaviours and nasty dehumanizing practices.
Once we have the safety moral high ground we can offend anyone, because we care about them? Once I have this moral high ground I can manipulate data for my own ends, I can police others, crusade and oppress others because, in the name of care, I must drive as hard as I can for the absolute goal of zero. Anyone who questions zero must then be marginalized as an unbeliever. Once people are made unbelievers, anything can be justified against the demonised.
Isn’t it a strange logic that asserts authoritarianism in the name of risk aversion. When risk is made evil, then any inquisition is justified. It justifies seeking out the offenders in a hazard (witch) hunt, diagnosing the unsafe people, those sinful risk takers and marginalizing them out of the workforce. What is needed is compliant obedient believers who do as they are told, who do what I tell them. It’s one rule for all, except me. It’s perfectionism for every fallible worker, except me.
It’s about time we named bullying justified by safety as bullying. It’s about time we named the method of justifying the assault, dehumanisation and be-littling of others, in the name of safety as unethical. The end doesn’t justify the means, if we allow this mindset then we open up our organisations to anything in the name of safety.