The power to punish, Nietzsche notes, can enhance your sense of social status, increasing the pleasure of cruelty.
Reading this, I recall a white Texas trooper’s encounter with the black woman he pulled over for failure to signal a lane change. As the traffic stop became a confrontation that ended with Sandra Bland face down on the side of the road, she asked Brian Encinia, over and over, whether what he was doing made him feel good.
‘‘You feelin’ good about yourself?’’ she asked. ‘‘Don’t it make you feel good, Officer Encinia?’’
After asking the same question Nietzsche asked, the question of why justice would take this form, she came to the same conclusion.