Monday, 10 October 2011

David Cameron, the Rioters and the Blame Game : A question of societal dynamics and scapegoating.

If two people with the same fear based hang-up form a relationships that relationship will have that hang-up built into.

If te
n people with the same fear based hang-up create a societal structure that societal structure will have that hang-up built into.

If those people have children, then their children will grow up in an environment that writes that psychology into their brains and bodies, through experience.

This dynamic is also linked to traumatic events, be they natural disasters or the effects of war, mass starvation, invasion, colonisation or personal events within an individual life. Furthermore, it is important to understand the long term affects of such traumatic events on communities and whole societies.

"Historical trauma (HT) is cumulative emotional and psychological wounding, over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma experiences. The historical trauma response (HTR) is a constellation of features in reaction to this trauma.

The HTR may include substance abuse as a (normalised) vehicle for attempting to numb the pain associated with trauma. The HTR often includes other types of self-destructive behavior, suicidal thoughts and gestures, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, anger, and difficulty recognizing and expressing emotions. Associated with HTR is historical unresolved grief that accompanies the trauma.[1]"

Historical trauma is an similar in nature to intergenerational trauma, which is the phenomenon that where a trauma an individual experiences in an earlier generation can have effects that reach into the lives of future generations

Imagine then what happens when it is not ten, but hundred of thousands and millions of people who build or form part of a hang-up based societal structure. Imagine the adverse affects, for example of the Christian Faiths teaching on masturbation, which is a natural and healthy expression of sexuality, which is then turned into something shameful. Imagine the confusion, fear and shame that arises when that many people are taught that their natural bodily functions are something to be ashamed of.
Thus those people will see that hang-up (or any series of hang-ups or fears) as normal, and will codify their compensatory behaviours related to their insecurity as their Laws and Morals.

This is the also the psychological basis of the consumer culture, a secret very carefully screened from the consumer, a secret that was also the foundation of the work of Edward Bernays, the inventor of the 'art' of Public Relations, the science of creating and selling an image.

He knew that many people are insecure, and that they could be manipulated to seek relief from that insecurity through compensatory behaviours, and that as long as the insecurity remained, they would continue to buy what was being marketed - be it a product or an idea. This is the secret of what is called 'aspirational marketing. And of propaganda.

Such people, or groups of people, will also reject and oppress the natural child that says "NO!" and will demonise those adults within their structure who resist or expose the behaviours or psychology that is imposed by such societal structures or who point out the true nature of the fear or the adverse affects and costs of the societal structures that dominate their society.

Understanding how Post Trauma Behaviour evolves, especially when it is not resolved, is essential to de-coding the societal structures we are attempting to change. This also applies to dealing with our own personal stories.

A Trauma event usually causes pain and fear, and the need to get away, to be safe, to cope often over rides the ability to resolve that trauma. This is the fight or flight mode.

” THE ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.
         Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims.
         The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom. “

source : Judith Herman “Trauma and Recovery”

If the trauma is not resolved, then the person or community traumatised must cope with the situation and the feelings, and coping entails suppressing the feelings that might overwhelm, which leads to the need to control those people involved so that no-one brings those feelings up, thus maintain the status quo …..

As such people or communities continue to cope, they re-write their own neurology and behaviour to normalise to that coping strategy.

Justification and rationalisation of the need to control then becomes all the more likely, and in times these justifications and rationalisations become structured into how the affect people live their lives, and over time will become codified as the ‘norm’ for that group.

In order to break the cycle, to resolve the trauma, empathy is essential, a large portion of which is self-empathy. Self empathy is the ability to accurately sense one’s feelings and the meaning of one’s experience. This is crucial to developing empathy for others. As I understand myself, so it becomes easier to understand others. And that understanding must come from within, from an honest and clear self reflection – it cannot be imposed, taught, medicated, analysed externally.

It can be facilitated, as Alice Millers describes it, when dealing with the adverse affects of child abuse, by an ‘enlightened witness’. Someone who truly understands because they themselves “know well of the painful stories of their own childhoods and can respectfully and effectively deal with the suffering of their patients. They will not preach them forgetting and forgiveness out of their own fear; they will know that ALL of their patients suffer from the effects of the denial of having been” traumatised.

Thus as David Cameron and other Authorities blame the  rioters for “a complete lack of responsibility, a lack of proper parenting, a lack of proper upbringing, a lack of proper ethics, a lack of proper morals” and wilfully ignores the prevailing conditions that give rise to so  much pain and trauma in our society that are directly linked to the intentional unequal distribution of resources,  to historical intergenerational abuse, he seeks to scapegoat  the weaker section of community,  the poor, the rioters, the parents, and he seeks to demonise them, thus bringing along all those whose hang-ups align neatly  with his and by this he protects the system of inequality which he represents.

He points one finger, with three pointing right back.

“a complete lack of responsibility," - he refuses to take responsibility for his part in a system that creates extreme wealth at one end and extreme poverty at the other.

"a lack of proper parenting" - he refuses to address the intense stress on parenting that arises from a system that REQUIRES both parents to work to serve the economy as consumers.

"a lack of proper upbringing" - same again

"a lack of proper ethics" - his selling weapons to the Egyptian Military during the uprising and afterwards his silence on the Military repression now underway is but one example of his disregard for ethics of any kind.
"a lack of proper morals” - the morality of the Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Israel, Libya is not in question fro David Cameron, revealing his utter lack of morality.

This is not to say that the rioters behaviour can be justified, rationalised or deemed acceptable – it is to say that to address it requires that it is understood in the context within which it occurred. ALL the elements of this dynamic must be equal before the Law, before the people and that is blatantly not the case. Honesty is the root of all positive change.

As long as leaders and Institutions protect the codified trauma based controls, in effect maintain the denial, the ‘coping strategy’ which is their fear, the conditioning processes that are an articulation of their fear and mistrust of the human being and of life itself, there will be people who accept that control, be it by sublimation of their own autonomy, acquiescence through resignation,  or naked self interest, and there will be people will resist or react in whatever manner they can – and yet the only possibility of liberation for all concerned is honesty. Ruthless self honesty.

To expect such leaders to do otherwise is to misunderstand who they are and what they represent.

Sadly, there are so many examples of this suppressive dynamic operating throughout the Dominant Culture  - Civilisation - that a listing of them would be one of the largest books ever written. These dynamics form the greater part of all Hierarchically Violent Societies.... be they the 'civilised' or the rare 'headhunter' hunter gatherers (who are used to stereotype ALL hunter Gatherers....).

Nonetheless it is vital that this dynamic be understood as a pattern, because then it can be observed and emphatically revealed wherever it occurs, be it on the personal level, within small communities, within Institutions or across entire societies. This means that the utterances of Power, of abusers, can be de-constructed and countered as and when they arise.

Kindest regards


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