You can do anything, as long as you don’t get caught
In an attempt at explaining how the world works, my father had told me as a youth that “you can do anything, as long as you don’t get caught.” He was trying to tell me about how there are things the government or police don’t want to let you do, but you can do them without any problems coming your way as long as you can get away with it.
I think it was his way of teaching a lesson about doing things that aren’t immoral, and even some that are, can be done as long as you don’t get caught.
You can not wear a seat belt, and not get a police ticket, as long as you don’t get caught by the dominating controllers who want to force you into doing it. That’s not an immoral thing to do.
But it can apply in a negative way as well. You can also get away with immoral things, like stealing. You can steal or get away with murder as long as you don’t get caught. That’s why some people do things.
If a wrong action was guaranteed to result in getting caught and punished for it, I doubt as many people would even try. The urge or passion of the moment might still be an issue as you don’t think about getting caught when you instinctively do something. But premeditated wrongs would be null as you are 100% guaranteed to get caught.
Essentially, there are two ways that the saying can be applied and reflect how things operate in the world:
- get away with immoral things
- get away with things the controllers/dominators want to force you to do or not do
One is about moral law, the other is about the legal system and so-called “law”.
People can steal, assault, rape and murder. Some get caught. Some don’t. Some get away with it. Some get punished with consequences applied for their wrongs.
If we didn’t have anyone getting caught, wrongs would go on as long as the wrong-doer wanted to keep doing them. The only way for them to stop is to make them stop by acting in moral authority to apply consequences to behavior.
Applying consequences could be in an apophatic non-action way of removal of support, or through direct justified force applied as punishment of various kinds. Ostracism, expulsion or exclusion are methods in between. It has a long history of use in societies and communities, both on justified moral authority and also as a wrong in itself when someone stands for what’s right but gets punished for it.
The politicians, police and other members of authoritarian groups in our system will create and uphold “laws” that force us into a certain way of doing things. Wearing a seatbelt or getting extorted for it is one obvious example.
Morally lawful acts that don’t create harm are deemed wrong to become illegal or criminal. We can do these things and get away with it as long as we don’t get caught. If we get caught, then the authoritarians want to punish us for not doing what they say, for not abiding by their system of control over our lives when we don’t harm anyone.
Control and extortion is exerted over our lives so easily. The seat belt is the best example that comes to mind. Just because you don’t wear a seat belt that risks your own life, the controllers and dominators justify stealing your money if they catch you not doing it. And we think we are free and accept this in our lives. It’s pretty insane.