The Safetyization of Normal Life
One of the delusions of safetyism is the naive belief that safetyism works for normal fallible people. One of the delusions of Zeroism is the idiocy of speaking absolutes to fallible people. Strangely safetyization is only a workplace thing, no one lives this nonsense at home. No one runs their home or family on the principles of hyper-safety.
When I was doing some workshops in Canada recently, I discussed how the ideology of zero must lead to brutalism. One cannot have an ideology of absolutes for fallible people and enact a culture of care. An ideology of zero can only generate fear in a culture, blame and victimisation. The propagandistic language that floats about in zero organisations about care is tokenisation spin. As one safety person said to me in a workshop, ‘Rob, people are the problem’. I asked him if he had ‘people’ in his family.
Safetyism is a cult of people hate. Safetyism hates people much more than it seeks care in safety. The mantra that helps guide this hate, is zero. The enemy of true safety is Safetyization not injury or risk. Safetyization doesn’t believe in ALARP, it must have zero.
Normal life is driven by relationships and love, not by statistics. Normal life is often about getting from A to B, than the obsession about safety. If you have an obsession about safety, you have a disorder called Safetyism. The enemy of safetyization is kindness, mercy, learning, trust, forgiveness, and grace.
We don’t count TRIFR rates at home. We don’t measure success of family matters by injury rates. We know our family is functional because of its quality of trust, forgiveness and understanding. Safetyism and the safetyization of life destroys real living and any hope of being resilient. Safetyization is about the denial of life, wisdom and fallibility. Safetyization expects people to make no mistakes. And when mistakes are made, it is either due to stupidity or poor programming. This is the delusion of zero. Zero is the ideology of pureitism, when joy is found in attacking vice rather than teaching virtue.
The ‘go to’ technique of safetyism is the ‘terrible ten’, 10 cardinal rules or 10 life saving rules. The same terror of the failed 10 commandments in Old Testament theology is the favourite tool of Safetyization. Of course in OT theology, god gave the 10 commandment to Israel to prove they don’t work. But the Israelites demanded them and god gave them the 10 life saving rules as the natural torment for their naive desire. The 10 Commandment myth emerges from a group of people who worship a calf? Safetyists guard the law not the care and learning of people.
What a wonderful way to mask brutalism through safetyism as care, to sack someone for breaking a life saving rule. What joy and glee in hyper-safety to match ‘the enemy’ out the door as a ‘rule breaker’. Of course when the CEO is paid unethical bonuses and promotions are dished out. Life saving rules hide the importance of relationships through ‘social contract’.
Cardinal rules etc are a technique for the reduction of thinking. This is the by-product of life saving rules. Safetyization takes delight in persecuting the fallible and dreams of its own infallibility.
Safetyism and Safetyization are about militancy. Militancy and authoritarianism often attract people to safety and enable people to exorcise power in the name of good and salvation through brutalism. Brutalism and militancy have no place in an ethic of safety. BTW, safetyization can be just as easily found in the Safety 2 movement as Safety 1.
The litmus test for Safetyization is how you treat people. People sometimes accuse me of hating safety, that’s not true, what I do hate is the dehumanisation of safetyism. Safetyization privileges safety over humanity and personhood. Safety demands care and helping and helping and care judge Safetyization. The average worker smells safetyism and runs a mile.
Bernard Corden says
Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda – Hannah Arendt