The following is by Reed Kinney
Dear Douglas Becker,
In response to your excellent essay PTSD:
Douglas Becker writes: “BUT, many battered wives, many abused employees, many former religious believers eventually come to the point where they accept that – quite literally – no matter what happens in the future, it is not going to be worse than this. And that realization is what sets them free. Free to begin working on learning a new way to live, with no guarantee of where the new path will lead.”
What should we expect from people in mass centralized society after the illusions of its stability and fairness are demolished? The impact of the central bank on society, and all its ramifications, is criminal. Criminality is implicit any time power is centralized in “few hands”. What our society suffers from is a structural problem. When people are awake to the abuses of mass centralization, and the profound damage they suffer consequent of hierarchical systems of control, then, they are ready to undertake their autonomous organization, of necessity, the opposite of centralization; organization where in power is shared equally among all members.
The idea that the opposite of mass centralized society can be another type of organization, rather than chaos, is something few people have considered. That type of organization, described in my book, Decentralized Economic Social Organization, DESO, and Neo-New World, is precisely the way to prevent centralized power from dominating, and impoverishing the lives of people.
Organized Religion in Mass Centralized Society
Some church organizations do things to help the less fortunate in appreciable ways. There are many types of religious groups with their respective agendas. I will not elaborate the topic here. The fact remains that not all churches are entirely altruistic, and some are entirely deceptive.
When a “church” is the means by which its “leaders” earn a living, or enjoy opulence, at the expense of their congregations, then it is not a church, but, rather, it is a conniving business that “sells” promises; promises of subjective experience for the member with the most “faith”.
When a “church” is a business …it is a means to power, power for the few people that manage it. Such systems may become autocratic bureaucracies expanding influence, and encouraging members to recruit new members. …By contrast, there are congregations that stagnate, and remain close knit groups, under the control of their chief, and principle acolytes. …A “matured” powerful, religious institution like the Catholic Church manipulates the mentalities of its members to over populate. The Mormon Church uses different deceptions, but with the same result.
Douglas Becker writes: “This blog entry began with an example of fear in the PKG Weinland CoG. Even after Weinland’s 2012 Pentecost prophecy went bust, proving he is certifiably a false prophet, followed by his conviction as a felon for evading the Federal Income Tax, his followers are still… well… following him… mostly because of fear. It may be fear of suffering or the fear of losing out. The bottom line is fear.”
Systems of control, by whatever name, are attractive targets for unscrupulous, psychopaths and sociopaths. See my essay on that topic at: http://decentralizationblog.wordpress.com
“My favorite line from the movie “Shawshank Redemption” is (paraphrased), “You can get busy living, or get busy dying.” It just seemed like the members we saw (except for Ron and his family) were so busy preparing to die, that they had forgotten how to live.”
Unscrupulous “church leaders” do not share the “faith” of those whom they dominate.
Douglas Becker writes: “Complex PTSD applies to people who have been subjected to totalitarian control over a prolonged period (months to years), for example, hostages, prisoners of war, concentration camp inhabitants, victims of domestic battering or prolonged sexual exploitation and abuse, and cult members. Symptoms include persistent negative feelings of anxiety and / or sadness, chronic suicidal preoccupation, self-injury, explosive or extremely inhibited anger (may alternate), compulsive or extremely inhibited sexuality (may alternate), reliving or ruminating over experiences, a sense of helplessness or paralysis of initiative, a sense of defilement or stigma, a sense of complete difference from others (specialness, utter aloneness, a sense that no other person can understand, or not feeling entirely human), and preoccupation with the perpetrator *(includes preoccupation with revenge or unrealistic attribution of total power to the perpetrator). Complex PTSD is sometimes called Disorder of Extreme Stress. “As adults, these individuals often are diagnosed with depressive disorders, personality disorders, or dissociative disorders. Treatment often takes much longer than with regular PTSD, may progress at a much slower rate, and requires a sensitive and structured treatment program delivered by a trauma specialist….”
Analytically, you can correlate what you describe here with the overall socioeconomic – structures – that the members of mass centralized society are obliged to adapt to, and react to. Humanistic psychiatrists including Erich Fromm, and C. G. Jung, and even more explicitly Alfred Ribi, among others, have made it clear that alienation, the consequence of conformity within hierarchies of centralized power, is itself a life depleting, mental pathology.
People in Secular Psychopathological Civilization
Competition is natural, since the quality of goods and services varies. To base a civilization on competition alone is nonsense, because competition alone becomes petrified by monopoly. Bogus competition in monopolized systems includes the fight among too many applicants for too few positions. That mentality is reflected in the televised game shows that choose one winner from thousands of competitors. By contrast, a high civilization is mutualistic, a structural feature, as well as competitive, a natural feature of production.
There are few, or no, options for most members of a stratified, competitive, power-based society. Extreme conformity includes the expense of adequate training in order to compete for entry levels in for-profit corporations, or in public services. Not having credentials or due to one’s inability, or refusal, to conform to authoritarianism can result in a life-long, day by day, struggle for money.
Conformity to the behavioral standards of systems of control causes fear; fear of disapproval, of ostracization, banishment, or punishment.
In a competitive, stratified society fear is used to form “union,” the fear of an enemy that “threatens” the “well being” of all. The enemy can be the members of a competitive group, a contrived enemy, or an imaginary one.
When the Soviet Union ended, the fear among the American megalomaniacs in positions of control was that in the absence of FEAR, the people might discover each other and initiate dialogue! The new enemy, a contrived enemy, was “terrorists,” mostly blamed on radical Islamists. That was convenient, because, as in any witch hunt, the accused could not prove that she was not a witch, a communist, or a “terrorist,” and untold numbers of them could be anonymous and at large.
The nail that drove the point home was 911. That was the contrived, the engineered, demonstration that brought the “reality” of real danger into the minds of Americans. All of the inner workings of that particular, wicked machination may never be known.
There are many ways oppressors create enemies for their oppressed to fear.
With 911, the powers that be killed two birds with one stone. They enforced fear among most Americans, and they fueled the mass hysteria consequent of 911 with propaganda, and stirred up the working psychopaths among us to enforce support for the Iraq invasion, and so on.
Fear is a contributing factor of PTSD. A society that is grounded on domination uses fear to weaken its members, so they cease being critical, and become all the more susceptible to mass hysteria.
Of course, there are exceptions. Some people become effective, critical non-conformists. And, yes, too, there are people from humble beginnings who become humane, noteworthy folks, who can be kind.
And, there is a “narrow slice of society,” wherein children are born into loving, imaginative families that have the means to educate them generously, and widely. Among those people there are well adjusted independent sorts that have some idea of culture and history, as well as a better view of society and its machinations. And, they may even have the luxury of discretionary time …coupled with the skill of thought.
Organized people are sincerely, passionately, dedicated to conserving the natural environment while, at once, they witness its mass destruction caused by industrial conglomerates.
Kind people create businesses that treat the ills of people in a sick society, not suspecting, or not admitting, that the society itself is the cause of the widespread, generalized, malaise.
Many people seem to comprehend the problem of centralized power, and understand, to varying degrees, its negative impact on people. Most of those people have real difficulty imagining pragmatic, structured solutions to the problem. Marcin Jakubowski has made significant inroads relevant to needed solutions, as have John Seymour, and E.F. Schumacher, among others. But, the organizational principles needed to assimilate all humane contributions that enhance our well being are only now beginning to surface.
Nonetheless, the preponderances of our society’s members are not well. According to Abraham H. Maslow, “Though, in principle, self-actualization [full metal health] is easy, in practice it rarely happens (by my criteria, certainly in less than 1% of the adult population). For this, there are many, many reasons at various levels of discourse, including all the determinants of psychopathology that we now know. …” (Toward a Psychology of Being, P. 204)
The few people born into the actual class of wealth do not focus on “accomplishment,” since they own everything. As children, and as young people, they are taught that they are among that, unexplained, ““Special” ten percent.” They are taught to “rule,” which, for the most part, alienates them from their humanness, and ruins all sense of community.
Psychopathy and Sociopathy
Psychopathy is a form of retardation, not intellectual impairment, but empathetic impairment. There are law abiding psychopaths, as well as outlaw psychopaths. Individually, their intelligence varies. …Psychopaths dislike pain, and they avoid the conditions that they remember had caused it, but they don’t have fear. …They are born into every level of society, 4% of births.
If poor, they may learn, as do members of their class, skills to make money, or become welfare recipients. Being liars, cheats, and coning-people, is characteristic, some become “religious” leaders. They get what they want from whomever they influence.
When born into more favorable circumstances, psychopaths may learn to live off others legally, or otherwise, and, may, or may not, assimilate enough education to manage professional positions. Within their capacities, psychopaths strive to control other people.
Sociopaths, however, are not born, but are “made.” They are people for whom the pursuit of wealth and power is the primary objective in life, and they use any advantage to get it.
Of course, to varying degrees, the unscrupulous in positions of control instill fear in others, which is terrorism, as well as make use of deceit …conflict, murder, and rape whenever they perceive doing so can strengthen their position of dominance, or increases their pleasure in the moment.
The spectrum’s of mental pathologies relevant to PTSD reduce personal productivity, and impoverish lives.
The theme of western society is domination (Paulo Freire). That is the theme sociopaths live by, and conveniently for them, society is structured so that the few benefit from the efforts of the many.
A competitive, profit-based society is invariably monopolized, because it is the nature of power to “fall to ever fewer hands”.
I think that all stratified societies are sick.
Douglas Becker writes: “Naturally, if a person was born or raised in a group, the cult-shaped belief system and behaviors may be all she ever knew.”
Erich Fromm said that, “A sick society produces sick people.”
For-profit institutionalization caters to self-centered opportunism, which is the “drive” of psychopaths. The claim that self-centered opportunism is at the heart of “human nature” is the hollow rant of psychopaths, because they can’t fathom otherwise.
While, at once, the world over, loving parents would like very much for their children to have the support they need for unencumbered growth, even though, sadly, more often than not, that support is unattainable.
There is something that can be done about that …humane pragmatism. Genuine community structured without hierarchies of power, without sociopaths, is well within our capacity to bring into realty. What about psychopaths? In real community, people would deal with psychopathy effectively, and humanely.