Episode 10: GRID Blog

In episode 10; “Reformation,” The Wire, Baltimore is under duress from all corners; the drug lords are working to shift the balance of power within their organizations AND the police are divided. Major Colvin’s vision of a better Baltimore through the segregation of the drug culture is attacked by the upper echelon (of politicals) because of their supposed understanding of how the public as a whole will accept the legalization of drugs in one of the vacant lower scale districts.

Ironically, both the gang members and the police recognize that their crew are not soldiers and that their efforts are only corrupting the soldiers.  Major Colvin demonstrates this by making an example of Carver; his actions have made him an unfit member of the team and unvalued member of the community, therefore a bad cop.  To Colvin, the police need to be wanted by the members of the community but warring with the gangs is not the proper way to contribute to the welfare of the community as a whole.

The side story of Councilman Thomas Carcetti represents a thick corruption present in Baltimore’s public system: racism, sexism and bigotry rule the political class and their society is very much a segregated community.  If justice is including the community as a whole, while understanding each individual’s responsibility within each respective layer; then the Baltimore political system is in need of serious reformation with a focus on equality and culpability.

On the other side of the coin is Stringer Bell, who sees that his partner and his crew are deviating from the goal of monetary profit in order to wage unnecessary war on rival gangs. Stringer understands that Barksdale has been corrupted due to his time in jail and is unable to control his violent nature. Due to this conflict, the major drug lords decide to exclude Barksdale’s crew from the next shipment of drugs which cuts them off from future profit. As Plato pointed out, the only capable ruler is the philosopher king: even when diluted to the example of the drug game, the concept of intelligent ruler caries through. Avon Barksdale is a representation of a member of the auxiliary class struggling to become the ruler; he is flawed because his role is that of soldier and he does not possess the intellect to rule effectively. As a leader, Stringer Bell is much more capable of managing the gang than Avon due to his ability to keep his soldiers in line through adequate business tactics and strength of character.

Nigel F.



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