Judge Dredd is meant to be a satire for progressive liberals on quasi-fascism, on a state like 1970s Brazil where kids in street gangs are “disappeared” into a car boot (later to be found in a storm drain, terrible accident—he must have slipped). However, Dredd is one of those satires that is too close to the mark—as with Starship Troopers (1997), it is too easy for the viewer to find himself enjoying the quasi-fascist regime that is meant to be satirised. Additionally, progressives are people with high neuroticism who become distressed at “nasty” things; the Dredd universe, with its instant summary “judgement”, disturbs them because it suggests a world with maximal responsibility. If you park your car illegally on a street, Dredd will power down on his motorcycle and sentence you to 15 years in the isocube—block a road like Extinction Rebellion, and it’s a bullet to the head.
For a progressive, this world of swift and precise justice distresses—they want everything floaty and ambiguous, they don’t want to be held maximally to account (especially by a man with obscured eyes—justice being blind—and a black leather uniform). No mercy—mercy is for the weak. However, the Dredd universe is still progressive liberal in form, despite its ambiguities. Why? The answer is the false assumption, the false metaphysic, that underpins the fictional universe.
Dredd operates in the overcrowded crime-ridden multiracial hellhole that is MegaCity One—post-nuclear war, everyone in America is cramped into three MegaCities. The false progressive assumption that underpins the story is that a quasi-fascist police force and rampant crime go together. In reality, if the police were empowered as Dredd is empowered, so that it would be routine to summarily “judge” men like George Floyd, crime would vanish within a year (even in a MegaCity). We live in MegaCities precisely thanks to progressive policies, not because we are under a strict kritarchy. This false assumption is what ultimately makes Dredd a work of progressive propaganda.