As Jay hauled her luggage up the path a small figure darted out of nowhere, grabbed the luggage from her and darted ahead.
“Hi. I’m Lin” she called over her shoulder. “you must be the new tenant”.
“I hope so saying you now have my luggage”.
Lin giggled, then pushed the front door open with her foot. “You are on the first floor, overlooking the garden. Can I help you carry that upstairs?”
Together the two girls walked up the stairs balancing the luggage between them. The room was indeed small, like a student’s study bedroom, just a single bed, storage and desk. But the view made up for it. A large garden enclosed by mature trees and a tennis/volleyball court. Lin put her end of the luggage down and bounced on the bed. Jay looked at her curiously. The landlords hadn’t mentioned that they had a daughter. Lin looked…
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The King woke late. The sun was well up. He stretched his hand out for his morning refreshment but it wasn’t there. Well, he would have the servant punished. He called for his servants to dress him. But was answered by silence. Something was wrong.
He pulled his robe around him and went out into his ante-room. The Chief of Spies was sitting there.
“What has happened?” the King asked.
“Somehow the truth got out. What we were doing. The people have walked away. The soldiers too. Even the police would not obey. The prison guards opened the prisons ….”
The spy chief looked stunned.
The King stared at him in disbelief. “It can’t be. It was the perfect system”.
The spy shrugged. “Agreed. They worked – and we would take everything that belonged to them. They were always in default of the laws because we kept changing the laws…
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First, some background and current applications in “learned helplessness” from a Guardian report on torture.
Torture victims will bear psychological scars long after CIA report scandal fades http://gu.com/p/446dp/stw
Long before the theory of “learned helplessness” was identified, the methods of “breaking people’s spirit” were well-known to tyrants and slave-owners through the ages.
The subjugated person, sometimes obviously imprisoned or imprisoned within the invisible confines of a family or group structure, such as a cult, has their life and circumstances completely controlled by another person. The person in control abides by no recognisable legal or moral standards of behaviour. Rationality is thrown out of the window. The person in control mimics the behaviour of a mad person or a person seriously mentally defective. That is they do not respond to reason. They are deliberately inconsistent. The target is subjected to arbitrary punishment, supposedly because they have broken the “rules” which the person in charge has enforced. But the controller is inconsistent, sometimes punishing, sometimes not, and arbitrarily changing the rules on no rational basis. The objective is to destroy the victim’s inner values, so that they feel the only course of action available is to comply with every demand made by the person in control.
People who have experienced this are victims of bullying, battered wives, abused children, slave prostitutes, slaves, members of cults, prisoners of war, and inmates of communist “re-education” camps.
It occurs to me that methods of inflicting “learned helplessness” are being incorporated into Western institutions. Politically it is nearly impossible for the electorate to vote for a party which will represent their interests against the undemocratic power interests of the wealthy. The fastest route to wealth is through exploitation and creating monopoly conditions. This disengages people from the democratic process which accelerates their helplessness as citizens.
Political correctness is using a variety of techniques to replace the ideal of everyone as equal before the law, into a situation where special interest groups get favoured treatment. In the process groups which should get favoured treatment, such as the ill, disabled, elderly and poor, are being de-prioritised, and the view that these groups should be entitled to some consideration is being replaced with stigmatisation – that all such people are scroungers.
Political correctness is also undermining the ability of people to reject the manipulation bring forced on them by not only altering the language, altering the meaning of words, but doing so continuously so that there is no general agreement of accepted terms. This has most obviously been used with respect to race. Most people would accept that the word “nigger” is unacceptable. Words that have been viewed as acceptable since have included black, coloured and each in turn has been reinterpreted as derogatory, even though the choice of words was chosen to be non-derogatory. Now people are accused of racism for using the word black in completely unrelated settings – such as being told not to use the word “blackboard”. The latest shift in acceptable language has had people criticised for using the term coloured instead of person of colour. In line with the principle of applied helplessness involving arbitrary changing of the rules on no rational nor reasonable basis, tiny infractions of these arbitrary rules, arbitrarily applied have included penalties such as people losing their jobs.
The political correctness police are vigilant in attaching labels of racist to school children in the school playground who use the “wrong” word in a childish squabble. Yet the same authorities are helpless to prevent bullying, even bullycide and sexual abuse up to and including rape.
In the UK welfare claimants are now facing a Kafka-esque nightmare when attempting to access their just entitlement paid out of a lifetime of taxation. Tax freedom day in UK is now in June. When dying claimants are denied sickness benefit while the bureaucracy claims they are fit to work, and the system is designed that way, and the methods of learned helplessness are clearly being applied, there is reason to suspect the motivations of our political establishment.
Are the methods of learned helplessness being applied to the general population?
child abuse, child abuse by Roman Catholic church, child labour exploitation, corruption, forced adoption, forced labour, imprisonment without crime, institutional abuse, Ireland, Irish Free State, Magdalene Laundries, Profiteering, slavery, worked to death
Racism in the USA has always been a contentious political and social issue, well publicised and always in public view.
But the persecution of juvenile women in the Irish Free State, was carried on for decades, concealed by the Roman Catholic church, with the active complicity of the state authorities, and in a country with a small rural population where everyone knows everybody and everything that is going on, was regarded as a non-issue by the general populace.
Young women were under-nourished, over-worked and when they got ill had no resources to fight infection. Some died as a result. How was it possible in a democratic country in the 20th century to get away with imprisoning innocent people without trial and treating them like slaves?
It has taken decades for the survivors to start to speak out about their experiences.
(Left out links as they did not work).
The first answer is in the methods they use, lies, ignoring law, bullying and manipulation.
The second answer is in whom they despise, vilify and exploit.
Small business people
and anyone who stands against their exploitation –
Those who uphold Rule of Law
Christians or moral people of any/no faith
People who complain
Supporters of democracy
Supporters of Free Speech
There appears to be an ideological war being waged against free Western democracies and the principles on which Western culture is based. All those mentioned in the title are parties to the assault. All their victims/prime targets are listed in the text.
All those listed in the title share the same objective. To turn society into two classes of people – predator and prey, exploiter and exploited, master and slave.
All targeted groups need to unite around the core principles of Rule of Law, the same law applied equally (blindly = without favour) and nobody “above the law”.
Democracy which involves not simply putting an X on a ballot paper, but those elected offering policies which the people want, and compelled to carry them out.
Social Justice – we all pay a huge proportion of our life long incomes in taxes, and those taxes should be retained within the country to maintain infra-structure and provide insurance support for the citizens, such as welfare and pensions; and our elected representatives are elected to represent ALL of us, not privileged interests who grease their palms, whether directly or indirectly. We also need transparency. No change should be foisted on the populace without public debate, examination and permission, or with the origin/originator of the change being concealed.
Christianity was purveyed to the people over centuries by the ruling class. The feudal pattern held that the eldest son of the nobility inherited. A second son entered the military. A third son entered the church. Following the priesthood was less a vocation, more a ruling class strategy to cover all bases.
But Christianity was founded on the poor and oppressed. It was a powerful counter-stroke against the many prevailing ideologies of “god-kings”. Christianity has always had the powerful political theme, that we should not have as our first allegiance any human power, human law or human custom, but acknowledge that Divine power and authority is greater than these. It laid a solid moral foundation for resisting immoral leaders, unjust laws and unfair social customs.
As such, it presented an ongoing dilemma for those in power. Christianity not only gave ordinary people the right to judge their rulers and refuse…
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The detriments of slavery are both short and long-term, especially category slavery. That is where candidates for being slaves is attached to race, sex or socio-economic status.
1. Slavery is inefficient. Being a slave demotivates. A person will work hard for their own benefit, but there is no point in bothering when someone else takes the benefits. Social potential is lost and the productive level across the board is reduced.
2. Slavery creates personal, moral, social, philosophical and politically destructive mind-sets. Human psychological health is destroyed along with social health. Once the slave discovers the social value placed on him is worthless, he may apply the same value to everyone. As slavery is maintained by violence, the method educates the slave to use violence. And he has already been educated to view life as worthless.
3. The slave is forced to adopt a different mind-set where respect for authority, trust in anyone, and cooperation all become redundant. Qualities such as love or affiliation not only become redundant but self-destructive. The slave disinvests in himself, the people around him and society in general. What else can he do? Society is his enemy. Effort is futile.
4. Once a person has experienced slavery because he belonged to a category, even after he is released from slavery the damage continues. Trust between the exploited group and the exploiters may never return. If slavery was upheld by law, as it usually is, respect for law may be completely lost. If slavery was practised by one social class against another, class hatred may become permanently entrenched. Human and social relationships are poisoned long into the future. Slavery creates ongoing insecurity in the “owners” and guarantees future social conflict.
5. Those who enslave others undermine their own personal, family and group security long into the future. They have worked to create a large category of enemies, given them a justification for retaliation and educated them how to oppress, employ violence and kill as the only possible self-defence.
6. The slavers cannot depend on the support of their slaves if they are under attack or need help. They have created and trained a large category of potential supporters for their enemies. It is in the slaves interests for the society which enslaved him to fail. A society that relies on slavery makes itself vulnerable.
7. Making others slaves turns friends/potential friends into enemies.
8. For what? Fragile egos which need massaging – inferiority complex? Greed? Laziness? In life there are no short-cuts. Every option has a price tag. Slavery might look good value – obtaining the value of someone else’s work for nothing. Degrading others is self-degrading. And the eventual price to pay is unknowable and could be unaffordable.
Inventing and trapping people in double-binds are specialist tactics of dominant and criminal groups. They have the power and absence of scruples to design situations where they can’t lose and their victim can’t win. Perhaps this similarity in mind-set is why rulers co-operate with criminals so readily. They are on the same wave-length. They are the predators and we the prey.
My learning that the world we live in is not as presented to me by my intelligent, moral, law-abiding parents has taken a lifetime, and the process has barely started. Like my parents I believed we lived in a rational, rule-of-law society, where our “superiors ” had as much dedication to carrying out their employment in an honest and professional manner as we required of ourselves. It did not occur to us we were being ruled by charlatans and crooks. Of course we accepted there would be “bad apples” but we had no conception of “the poisoned tree”.
A double-bind situation is a trap. It is designed in such a way that the victim cannot resolve the problems they definitely do face except by doing something ” wrong”. The wrong may be breaking the law, which then defines them as a criminal and therefore entitled to punishment. The wrong may be remaining in the situation, passively accepting it and continuing to be damaged. The wrong may entail being self-destructive or the wrong may involve engaging in immoral behaviour. Whatever the victim does is “wrong” and as a result they get the blame, but the blame, and often punishment, does not fall on the person who is really guilty – the person who designed the situation. The victim is blamed.
When you are in a double-bind there is no right way to resolve your difficulty.
Double binds exploit and heighten another’s vulnerability. Women as a class have always been major victims of double-bind situations. Their sexual vulnerability could be balanced by sensible laws and social customs which counter their vulnerability, but the practice has generally been to heighten, extend and exploit rather than help and reduce.
Women’s reproductive biology is their greatest enemy. It could be argued they are the slaves of their body (which encourages everyone else to pile on the bandwagon). They could do with some help, but who cares? If you are not a woman it ” is not your problem”.
The double-bind for women is this. They are not, without the help of artificial means, in control of their fertility. Societies instead of facing and accepting this reality and accommodating to the situation adopt the short-cut solution of holding women responsible for something they are not responsible for. “No” does not make rapists drop dead. “No” does not make seducers infertile. The woman is left “carrying the baby” and unilaterally suffering the consequences. In some societies the woman isn’t even allowed to say “no”. She is married while still a child herself regardless, and if abused, even if in theory she could leave, her society may deny her earning power outside of prostitution and she, not the perpetrator, will suffer the stigma for being abused while the abuser gets off scott-free.
Females reproductive apparatus is a major trouble-magnet, fertility, pregnancy, marriage, prostitution. Expected to meet impossible standards while the people around you are not held accountable for any of theirs, neither individually nor collectively. A woman’s place is in the wrong.
Akin to women’s situation, so easy to turn into double-binds, is that of slaves. Here it is clear the first stage of any double-bind situation is to deny the prospective victim rights, autonomy, the freedom of self-determination and making their own decisions. Once these rights are stripped away the victim can be manoeuvred into a situation where they are helpless and their easiest option is to comply with the demands of their “owner”.
Double-binds require the victim to be vulnerable or someone who can be made vulnerable. Or a helpless person who is easy to exploit. The person’s original weakness is seized on and enhanced. Double-binds are all about exploitation.
For women, cracking out of their many double-bind situations has been assisted in Western democracies by the availability of contraception, a legal age of consent, equalisation of status with men, and availability of work paying a living wage. Just as in the saying there is no such thing as “a little bit pregnant” double-bind situations are best avoided by not entering them in the first place.
Likewise slavery is criminalised and it’s close relative bonded-labour does not exist. People have rights. No-one has the right to force another to work for them without that persons consent. No-one has the right to imprison nor torture another to force compliance.
The West has taken action to prevent the abuses that huge differentials in individuals power brings. But those rights are always under attack. Would-be exploiters don’t just disappear in a puff of legislation. They work hard to bring-back the situation that they previously, profitably, exploited.
Working class women up to the 1950’s were frequently trapped in the matrix of their own bodies, poverty, unavailability of work paying a living wage, unavailability of contraception, and huge social stigma attached to pregnancy. Many were trapped into prostitution as a result. With contraception, education and decently paid work, they rejected bad marriages and prostitution. 60 years on the status quo is being recreated in trafficking poor women from abroad into prostitution. This does not just happen. It is a major international criminal industry, with deliberate methods employed to trick and force vulnerable women under the control of the pimps often with the cooperation of the police in the countries of origin.
Human traffickers also effectively enslave their human imports.
Dissolving national borders has provided a huge bounty for criminals. Cheap labour undermines the local labour market increasing the vulnerability and exploitability of the local populace. As poverty increases so too does the potential for creating double-bind situations.
What can anyone do if they can’t get a job paying a living wage? What must they do to pay the rent?
Dealing with double-bind situations.
Anticipate where double-bind situations can be created and act to prevent their creation. That is, anticipate trouble in advance and head it off. Become political and fight your corner. It is important.
If you have a weakness, get rid of it.
If trapped in a double-bind situation, you need to study the situation carefully. There may be a legitimate way out that you hadn’t noticed. If you find you really are in a situation where whatever you do is ” wrong” consider carefully the consequences of each course of action. A “wrong” action may lead to right options at a later date. Some consequences are worse than others so opt for the least damage. And put yourself first. The fact that someone has put you in a double-bind indicates they totally disrespect you – so you owe them, and everyone else who hasn’t helped – nothing.
Stop feeling guilty. The situation is somebody else’s invention, not yours. Adopt the view, if there is no right thing to do, there is no wrong thing to do.
Among your choices also prioritise those that cause the greatest damage to the people responsible for creating the double bind. Even if it seems you have nothing to lose, because you have already lost, they have plenty to lose. That is why it is said, attack is the best defence.