Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Blood and Virtue; The Unconventional Philosophy behind SAMCRO and Sons of Anarchy Installment 2 Matthew Powers #8
Link to installment 1 http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/11/blood-and-virtue-unconventional.html
Aristotle claims that only someone who is virtuous can be a true friend. It is not secret that the members of SAMCRO are far from virtuous in terms of society, but what about within their own counter-culture? According to Aristotle, the members would not even be true friends, or brothers as they call themselves. This seems true because it is not really the members themselves, but rather a club as a whole that they pledge their loyalty to. This is apparent in situations like when Jax says that he will kill Opie (his best friend) in cold blood if he rats on Bobby for killing somebody. This shows that the loyalty that all of the brothers is really to the club, not necessarily to the brothers themselves. By looking from this perspective, it is clear that, by Aristotle’s interpretation of true friendship does not apply to SAMCRO because they are not really virtuous to each other when put in tough situations. However, at the same time, they do risk their lives for one another. That does seem to be virtuous between the individual members of the motorcycle club. While their does seem to be moments throughout the whole story of The Sons of Anarchy when the members show that they are true friends, I believe that their loyalty and virtue lies deeper in the club than the members’ themselves, thus not making them true friends according to Aristotle.
Nietzsche could have very well been apart of the Sons of Anarchy. Though not as extremist as the brothers of SAMCRO, Nietzsche did consider himself to be an “immoralist.” He, like Jax, looked into history to find where good and evil (for Nietzsche in the world; for Jax inside of SAMCRO) became separated and how both turned towards evil. Nietzsche argued that “good” does not mean to show goodness, yet was originally used by people of power and their ability to keep it. He called this the master of morality, which seems to fit the Sons of Anarchy quite nicely. All throughout the show’s life, the Sons perform whatever actions they deem necessary in order to stay at the top of the food chain in their counter-culturalistic world such as crazy parties followed by massive shootouts, thus fitting nicely into Nietzsche’s master of morality and contemptness of conventional morality, just in a more modern way than the “beasts of prey.”