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The Drug Lords Fallacy -- The Philosophy of Moritz Zimmerman's Redemption -- Why We Need to Work On Ourselves Over Getting Power

Updated: Jun 16

A drug lord.

Synopsis by Ms. Tamara Moskal

By confronting our flaws, we can achieve redemption and become better, moral humans. Success and power do not make us better individuals or more deserving of love. The essence of true love is being loved for the core of our being and not for our achievements.
Three fictional drug lords, Moritz Zimmerman, Walter White, and Tony Montana, shared that they were not loved for who they were and that success didn't change their personalities.
Only Moritz understood his flows enough to fix them with redemption. The Drug Lord's fallacy is the false assumption that success will grant you love and respect. We can only earn love by improving our character, not gaining success or power.



In real life, like in fiction, we are capable of what is called a "redemption arc". According to Krystal N. Craiker:

A redemption arc is a literary term for a type of character development in which a bad or morally gray character turns into a good person by the end of the story. They redeem their worst sins through their actions in the story’s resolution.
Redemption is a major theme in storytelling because it appeals to our deepest selves.

Ask yourselves the following question: Were you evil in your lives? By not denying the darkness within you, not only you can recognize the deeper aspects of yourselves, but also work towards your own redemption from it, to become better, moral beings. This is why, in the name of greater moral behavior, we must not deny our flaws, must not deny criticism, and allow ourselves to face distress. For the agony included is a means to the greater end of becoming morally-better people.

For redemption arcs cannot be done without facing our true selves. That includes the aspects in which we deny. Should we fail to deny them, we might as well remain, unconsciously, the morally-grey/evil people that we currently are. But we can be stopped. In the name of the reduction of unnecessary suffering, and even avoidable deaths in some cases, we deserved to be stopped through redemption.

This article shall further explain why it is through redemption, and not through power, one can become a better person.

Why a Great Success Reveals Who You Are

To quote Moritz Zimmerman, the morally-grey protagonist of the show, "How to Sell Drugs Online":

Success doesn't make you a better person, it just makes you a more successful person.

Some of us may think that we would become better people by becoming richer, by becoming more powerful and so on. The problem comes when we realize that people would love us for who we are, and not for our success. That is the essence of true love: Being loved for being, and not for building great things.

Moritz Zimmerman failed to accomplish what I myself already knew I won't be able to accomplish. That fictional character and myself both have suffered heartbreaks. However, the fallacy in his thinking was the belief he would be loved by his former girlfriend should he attain a massive success. As for myself, I already knew that she, Chen [fake name], will not love me either way. But this article isn't about my successful revenge against her, expressed by not letting myself become like her.

Moritz's girlfriend, Lisa Novak, is one he knew from his childhood. At one point of time, she left him for America, and when she returned to their homeland of Germany, she told him that she is taking an indefinite break from him, leaving him for someone else.

To win back her love and appreciation for him, Moritz did what Walter White did to reclaim back his honor: Become an international drug baron (while hiding his identity as a high school student).

However, the teenage drug lord, despite his international success through a start-up app he developed with an accomplice, failed earning back the love of his life. Instead, he remained the same nerdy, social outcast he was before.

That is also in parallel to Scarface, AKA, Tony Montana, who, despite his own massive success, remained the same foul-mouthed, low-life thug he was before his transformation.

All three fictional drug lords have one thing in common: They were never loved for who they are, as their success didn't change them, but only expanded on what was in them, all along.

And if we are to return to Walter White/Heisenberg, some may claim he had that potential within him, to be evil, all along. The nickname he adopted refers, in theory, to Werner Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. In layman's terms:

The uncertainty principle states that we cannot know both the position and speed of a particle, such as a photon or electron, with perfect accuracy; the more we nail down the particle's position, the less we know about its speed and vice versa.
In other words, if we could shrink a tortoise down to the size of an electron, we would only be able to precisely calculate its speed or its location, not both at the same time.

By applying the Uncertainty Principle to success, we need to understand that there is no necessary correlation between success ("speed") and who we are ("position"). If anything, success is there to make us more successful, not necessarily change or "transform" us. Think of success as an illuminating opportunity to know more of who we are and what we're capable of. Just like with a particle's potential for greater speed. It might be slow, but with enough velocity, it reveals how fast it can truly move.

With enough resources and opportunities, we can better understand who we are. Power is a form of expression, we use to get what we want. Power, therefore, is a means to better tell us who are -- an opportunity of self-discovery, otherwise unattainable by having less power.

For it is with power that we can at least try to achieve what we desire. As such, power is an illuminating flashlight to the deepest part of ourselves, otherwise restrained by complying to society and to its conventional limitations.

Therefore, by this logic, Tony Montana was Scarface all along. Walter White was Heisenberg all along, and Moritz Zimmerman was M1000 all along. Even before their nicknames were created.

How come? It existed within them as potentials. Through their own rises to power, these potentials merely manifested themselves. We do not know ourselves as much as we think we do. For we need to understand not only who we are currently, but also what we could become, given the right tools and circumstances.

Redemption: How the Drug Lord's Fallacy is Solved

The Drug Lord's fallacy is one I am coining in this article. It is the assumption that through a great success, you will surely reclaim or attain from humanity the love and respect you desire. However, this is contradicted not only by these fictional examples, but also by the fact that it is lonely at the top.

We need to create this distinction between attraction and love. To quote Marc Wallace:

Love is something that is built over time. It’s a deep feeling of affection and connection. Attraction, on the other hand, is more physical. It’s an initial pull towards someone that is often based on looks or chemistry.
Attraction can lead to love, but it doesn’t always. Love involves much more than just physical attraction. Love is about trust, respect, compromise, and communication. It’s about sharing your life with someone and growing together.

The allure of power and success is one that can either attract or captivate many. But it is nothing more than the initial impression we have over someone. To love them more, we must understand the man or woman behind the power they hold. This is also why, power won't necessarily make you a better person, but simply and certainly, a more powerful one.

Moritz Zimmerman achieved what both Heisenberg and Scarface never managed to achieve: He redeemed himself. Redemption begins when we understand that we are flawed, and that these flaws need to be either changed or atoned for.

By the end of his story, Moritz was faced with a decision: Either murder a former associate who tried to kill him, or refuse to. Had he killed the man, Moritz would then become truly evil: A man beyond the possibility of redemption. How can one be redeemed when he murdered someone? His allies won't forgive him, and most importantly, Lisa Novak will not forgive him.

Only through his friends and love interest, who were there for him, two people were saved on that day: The former associate, from death, and Moritz himself, from becoming evil.

To redeem himself even further, Mortiz deceived everyone to leave the crime scene, so he alone would be arrested for his crimes. He understood that he needed to redeem himself for his past actions. Only that way, he would improve.

And only through improvement, through working on ourselves, we can be loved. Walter White didn't want to redeem himself, admitting that he did what he did for himself. Tony Montana not only refused to redeem himself, but did whatever he did to keep his empire afloat, despite his eventual defeat.

But the only reason Moritz wasn't as villainous as those two, was because he understood his flaws well enough, to fix them through imprisonment and through atonement. The first two forgave themselves without a second thought, knowing well what they were doing. But Moritz, because he knew what he was doing, refused to forgive himself, in the name of the greater good. In the name of his friends, family, Lisa Novak, and himself.

Should we forgive ourselves for the things we have done, or should we atone for our actions? Whatever our choice will be, we are flawed like everyone else.

And we will be more loved by others, once we work on our being, not on building a great thing.

Mr. Nathan Lasher's Feedback

Redemption should be viewed as a blessing. It is external acknowledgement that you have turned your life around. It is really all about replacing bad habits with healthier ones. You do this by making those good habits a part of your daily routine. It can be nice to have another person acknowledge your redemption but in this case you must be minorly selfish and believe you have it inside yourself to be redeemed.
Every person is capable of changing their reality at any point. As above so below: If we were to use this analogy towards how to change your life, all external created things were the result of a person imagining it in their minds. [If] you want to be a better person, and gain redemption in your own mind, start by imagining in which ways you can be better. Those thoughts are gateways to actions. 
The quicker you realize that you have no control over what’s going on in a person's cognitive reality the sooner you will begin to realize that change only occurs through your own actions. Yes, we all love being outwardly redeemed, but as you have no control over if other people do or not you only have your actions. At the end of the day they are the most important tool a person has. Your actions are seen through daily habits a person has.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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