Episode 12: Wire Blog

The HBO series The Wire: Season Three, is a television drama that focuses on the illegal drug trade in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Wire uses the illegal drug trade to provide insight into the relationship between police enforcement and criminals.  Justice and injustice appears to be present in both the police enforcement and criminals.

Although this episode continues to show the struggle between criminals and enforcement, it does not provide a stop to illegal drug trade.  The name of this episode is Mission Accomplished, ironically because although the city’s crime rate decreases by 14 percent, crime and drug activity quickly restates itself once Amsterdam is destroyed.

The relationship between drug lords and drug pushers of Baltimore are similar to the guardians and the producers of the state in Plato’s Republic because they both are based on honored contracts.  The illegal drug trade is a complex business that is constructed on verbal agreements that result in unjust actions.  Verbal agreements are necessary because they are untraceable.  The drug business begins on the streets when pushers sell illegal drugs.  The “dirty” money is then given to the high power drug lords.  Business is successful because the pushers are loyal to the lords.  Although their loyalty might be out of pure fear, it is still maintained.  The character of Stringer, one of the most powerful drug lords can be compared to the guardians in the state because they both are responsible for making decisions.  The pushers on the streets are compared to the workers of the state because they are the ones who make the actions.  Both, the drug trade and the state function by means of honored contracts, but the drug trade works through unjust means and the state through just means.  Exclusively, do just actions result only in just ends, and unjust actions result in unjust ends?

The role of the media in this series uses the advantage of the stronger to manipulate and exploit the meaning and idea behind Amsterdam.  In the Republic, an idea of justice is that it is the advantage of the stronger, and can be interpreted as intentionally taking advantage of the weak.  When the new cameras and reporters invade Amsterdam, citizens watching the news are given images of crack heads, sex trade workers and other uneasy sights.  It is the media’s responsibility to report the truth.  In this case, the media uses its power and advantage to focus on the negative rather then the positive aspects, like the decrease in crime.  How effective is the media in broadcasting justice to the rest of the world without staining the truth?

One of the characters that is just by the end of the season is Dennis “Cutty” Wise.  Although Cutty’s past suggests that he was unjust, his present state shows that he is just.  Although this example is on a small scale, it still provides significance in showing that a part of justice deals with treating others good. Cutty partially follows the idea in the Republic that one ought to treat friends good and enemies bad.  Cutty decides to start a boxing gym which gets the youth off the street, teaches them how to properly defend themselves without arms, and show them how to gain respect.  Through many attempts, in return Cutty is given respected by the boys.  Although Cutty follows the idea of doing only good to friends, he does not follow through with doing bad to enemies.  Maybe having already been to jail because of doing bad to enemies, Cutty realizes that it isn’t the proper way to attain justice.  Is it possible and just to achieve justice through treating all individuals good?


Hannah F.


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