Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Does Society Need Victims ? 2

In order to address the question of whether society needs victims, I want to look at what having victims/scapegoats, or whatever we want to call them, does for the group that creates them. In simple terms, what would be the gain?
Interpersonally,for example, if we look at why someone would want to victimise their marital partner, or something such, we find that they are enacting acquired behaviour towards the other person and that this, even in a perverse way, makes some gain for them. The gain is the transfer of guilt. We all feel a lot better if we either don`t have much guilt or we get rid of it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We saw previously that compartmentalising enables someone to single out another person into a separate mental box so that abuse can occur. This very "guiltification" is a "symptom" of abuse, the very act of guilt transfer is evidence of a compartmentalising of conscience taking place. So, I think that when we look for the mechanisms of witch hunting in our wider society, we have to be vigilant for guilt transfer. For this reason I see the growing phenomenon of the "presumption of guilt" in this society as being both a marker for the mechanism of witch hunting taking place, and as a signal that the larger group is finding it`s burden of guilt too big to handle.

A while back I was talking about home education and there being a big drive to have home educating families inspected. Originally ...before government needed to disguise their motivation.... home education was deemed to need to be inspected incase there should be child abuse in families where children didn`t go to school. Ostensibly, the concerns about children were paramount ahead of the almost sacred territory of "presumption of innocence". The imperative of whichever case we examine seems to render the presumption of innocence a mere barrier to the prevention of some possible or imagined crime. Whenever presumption of innocence is devalued in this way, we need to be deeply concerned because we know that an enthroned presumption of guilt tells us that a compartmentalising of conscience is taking place in order to justify actions that are really unjust, and, as we have seen before in compartmentalising, "justification" is the loophole that liberates guilt.

In order to convince a large number of people to persecute certain others, any group has to demonise them. Demonising them makes them "other than like us" and makes it possible to exert cruelty, discrimination, etc, without remorse.

If we look at history where there are mass drives to "guiltify", or down the slippery slope, demonise, certain sections of society, we find that the presumption of guilt enables demonisation and persecution to occur. It is a state of mind that takes hold in a group and feeds upon it`s own spiralling guilt-shift. That is, the more people who believe the particular attributions aimed at these certain people, the more they have to believe it in order to avoid their guilt: with this trap tightening in a large social group, demonisation will become more organised and greater justifications will be sought.
I think that is why there is always a serious danger of any demonisation getting out of hand. I am mindful of political moves in recent years to have people with certain mental illnesses categorised as "guilty of violence" before an act of violence has ever taken place: for example, where it was postured that people should be locked up based upon, what was in affect, a demonisation manoeuvre.... In Nazi Germany demonisation of Jews grew from one man`s personal paranoia about Jews, into a group intoxication where no one questioned the "guilt" of Jews.

Personal standards of rightfulness and established judicial practice, become the enemy of those who seek to do injustice to others. Indeed, frighteningly, those that subordinate such central tenets of a civilised state, convince themselves that it is the place of the new rightfulness to overthrow the very civil liberties that prevent their demonisation crusade from it`s mission ( example present day demonisation of muslims). I use the oxymoron "demonisation crusade " with particular attention because it must be emphasised that the fervour that propels a mass drive to hurt others by defaming them, is pursued with the same blind, self-righteous impulse as a religious crusade. Both are delusional.

A demonisation drive can though, as we were saying, grow out of societies need to get rid of guilt that it collectively holds. Over zealous crusades in the name of right can lead to innocent people being swept up with the guilty, as is already happening in the case of child abuse. The fact that innocent parents can have their children removed forever from them, is something that is the true cost of a group drive that demonises people before it considers whether people are innocent or not. Much of this.... in it`s essence a group intoxication to get rid of societies guilt onto anyone they can attach it to..... has much to do with group survival. Those in any group who are getting brownie points for seeking out the "witches", so to speak, in this case child abusers, have a feel-good factor themselves and this state of well being bonds and enhances their group.

So the essential thing that creating victims does for the larger group is that it divests collectively the dominant group of guilt and thereby helps it to thrive: Guilt is known to damage the immune system so a group guilt-shift makes for better health for group members. I also think that just as the compartmental conscience enables the individual to function, so does the group compartmental conscience, there is little difference really. I suppose that the group compartmental conscience creates a large-scale guilt-box for the ones impugned. The main difference is that the scale of the operation exculpates everybody, regardless of whether they are guilty or not, and bestows upon all those who conform to the group-need, approval and position and well being. It`s something that groups do for their members by instinct and, of course, conversely, the folks oppressed with the imposition of guilt would be "expected" (this is an unconscious intention) to do less well.

I want to come back to this topic soon.There are many examples of sections of society that are being demonised as part of a deliberate campaign.

No comments:

Post a Comment