Poisonous Pedagogy and our Culture of Violence



(a reprise from December, 2012)

As often happens when a diary grows too long for comfortable reading, I’ve found it necessary to rewrite it, and edit out all but what seem to be the most important themes.  While considering the inherent difficulties of reducing firearms violence in this nation by the most prevalent ‘fixes’ discussed in the media and in the liberal blogosphere: gun control and mental health ‘help’, I collected a lot of links to facts and opinions on both.  Most data collection and op-eds were spurred, of course, by the heinous mass murder of innocents at Sandy Hook elementary.  Rather than loading this post up with worthy considerations, allow me to shorthand most of it with links.

Mother Jones has compiled information on the past three decades’ worth of mass murders and spree killings here; they report that ‘a majority of the shooters were mentally ill’, and ‘had exhibited signs’ of such prior to the shootings.  The Guardian has an interactive US states map of gun crime statistics as well as admittedly incomplete global statistics.  For those of you interested in how FBI instant background checks work, and especially the category three-fourths of the way down the page: Categories of Persons Prohibited from Receiving, it’s here.  Note that the mental health prohibitions are pretty narrow, as they perhaps should be, lest the FBI be privy to prescription databases.  There are plenty of videos and printed material concerning SSRI antidepressants and increased violence; I’ve even been involved in some online discussions about neuroscience and the illusion of free will’ (Sam Harris).

The theme concerning our nation being engaged in perpetual war as being related to our tolerance, or often even reverence for military violence is a worthy one, as studies have shown a correlation between the two.  But that still doesn’t get to the point of asking why ours is such a violent society, or even aside from the profitability of Incessant War, why so many of our ruling elites  either love or don’t mind killing, and extol the virtues of torture and drone assassinations, as do far too many of our citizens.

Even as experts theorize that the glorified violence in movies, television programs and video games may play a part, few seem to ask what drives the desire to watch or play, even become immersed in those socially bankrupt genres? 

Of the many pieces I’ve read that offered some counter-arguments to the conventional fixes of mass murders and gun violence, this piece by Mike King at Counterpunch; he’s done a lot of research at the intersection of mental health and criminality, including soldiers.  It’s a great piece, even though King may cause you some discomfort as he pricks some holes in your/our sacred cows by showing the many historical and current social injustices that have been created by even what he calls ‘well-meaning’ legislative fixes.

King’s piece comes the closest to what I see as a brief but careful analysis of the situation, but still…I’d like to look even further behind the American Curtain of mistrust, fear and violence that is so endemic to our society.

While the many beliefs of how individual consciences develop (or don’t)  are too broad a discussion for this post, the general definition of conscience is that with which we make moral judgments as to Right and Wrong, to which can be added: experience remorse when we act in ways that work against our moral principles.  Religious views are even more complicated than philosophical/psychological ones, since the divine is involved.  In most psycho-social models, I think it’s safe to say that as an infant’s brain and awareness develops the most rapidly over its first three or four years, that each experience is imprinted for better or worse, on the child.  Attachment theory, or bonding with at least one primary caregiver, as a basis for learning to trust that a warm someone can be trusted to provide the care (physical and emotional) required for the infant to thrive and learn and become self-aware and authentic as it individuates from its caregiver/s or parent/s, ventures out on its own both physically and figuratively, and finds a secure base on its return.  Trust, learning, and beneficial deeds are rewarded, thus imprinted, and if parenting is consistent, warm and stimulative/creative, so much the better.  And of course the importance of warm and loving touch can’t be overstated.

There are many schools of thought that violence and psychopathology are bio-determined (one example), and clearly in cases of brain abnormalities, that’s possible.  This post will consider the experiential ones.

Poisonous Pedagogy

Polish Ph.D. and author Alice Miller (1923-2010) rejected her lengthy practice of Freudian analysis and spent the next decades of her life immersed in the childhood causes of psychopathic violence and cruelty later in life, as well as early experiential causes of simple neuroses and personality disorders.  There are others who’ve written extensively about Trauma models, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll use her body of work since it was so extensive and familiar to me.  It happened that much of my life was spent in researching answers to questions she and many others wrote convincingly about, although many of their conclusions have been reviled and rejected as heresy against conventional psychiatry.  She understood the great backlash against her conclusions and activism well, and grasped that only those who reflected on their own childhoods honestly could hope to embrace them.  It’s Miller’s belief that most all psychiatric models fail mightily in rejecting childhood treatment as the key to later mental health status and interpersonal relationships, which has allowed parental and institutional cruelty to flourish for far too long.

Essentially, she believed that when children were either neglected, abused physically and/or emotionally, and reared in accordance with a ‘might makes right’ authoritarianism, they weren’t able to build authentic selves, the natural ones that were instead stifled, preventing the victimized children giving voice to their emotions, personal truths and creativity.  She described how personally empowering the simplest loving kindness is, and how toxic the long term effects of withholding it, or worse, being ruled by punishment, rather than simple discipline, meaning teaching…or learned personal developmental accountability…is.

She describes the various voices we often hear in our heads, chiding us, disempowering us, creating shame or guilt reflexively, based on nothing more than negative imprints, rather than negative deeds, which some religions call sins.  Her belief was that one of the most toxic dictates of religion was the ‘honor thy father and thy mother’, and by extension, all adults, rules, rather than the opposite: ‘Honor thy children, for they will inherit the world, and must needs be ready to be able to perceive truth, behave lovingly, with dignity, act cooperatively for all, and to be creative and honest in their communications with others’.  Or something like that.  ;o)

At the further end of childhood abuse is the dislocating and often ruinous practice of hurting children, sexually abusing them, or creating such fear in them that their bodies, brains, and even cells…record and remember the abuse, and become central to their perceptions of others and their social interactions.  (My apologies; I seem unable to write along that road much further, but your imagination will fill in the blanks I’ve left with your own knowledge.)  Author Ron Kurtz, from whom I took classes and had personal sessions, explained in both The Body Reveals and his Hakomi Therapy manuals that our bodies respond to negative influences by tightening muscles in certain areas to desensitize us from emotional pain.  The body doesn’t lie.  An easy example would be if a toddler reached toward his/her caregiver for help, food, anything, and were regularly smacked for it….that child would begin to build tensions around its heart area to protect it; another might ‘armor’ its solar plexus to dull constant fear, etc.  Great emotional burdens unresolved can lead to hunched shoulders (kyphosis), a fear-driven bully might stand with elbows cocked, ready to ‘draw on’ the next person he/she meets.

Of course there are varying degrees of silencing or manipulating children to bend their wills through coercion and deception, but she and her mentor Katharina Rutschky named both the individual and institutionalized practices poisonous pedagogy.  She explains that since children are pretty much hard-wired to love their parents, they tend to internalize abuse or neglect as their own fault, and repress their anger, hurt and indignity where unless one day let out into the light of day, it brews more poisons that will one day be heaped on others, as in bullying, coercion, revenge, and violence, either latent or actual, and/or turned inward, creating depression, shame and guilt, most of which stays buried and unrecognized (repressed), ‘poisonous perpetrators and voices’, unidentified.

Miller says that one of the worst themes that’s been perpetuated over time is the notion that authoritarianism and corporal punishment has been institutionalized in most schools, and is touted as ‘for the child’s own good’.  Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, she’s even found a lot of resistance to the dangers of spanking and hitting from parents who were hit or maltreated as children, which she wrote about, and Arthur Silber (the Power of Narrative), featured in one of his many essays on her work.  The resistance often goes: ‘Look at me; I was spanked, and I’m fine’.  She guesses that since most psychiatric therapeutic models are based on blaming us as victims, and hastening ‘forgiveness’, far too many of us will be, and are, taking medications to alleviate the symptoms of toxic parenting and institutional authoritarianism, rather than being willing to do the hard work of remembering what we were encouraged to forget.

Most severely abused children, of course, didn’t turn into monsters, and are able to have loving relationships, even though they may need to deal with plenty of emotional baggage, as most of us do.  Miller writes of the crucial ‘helping witness’, a figure that is unable to rescue a child, but provides enough love and consistent attention that the child can learn some measure of trust in others; it might have been another adult, or even a sibling who helped to ameliorate much of the potential damage of abuse.  Those who grew up without helping witnesses can benefit tremendously from ‘enlightened witnesses’, or those who intimately understand the consequences of child abuse, and can encourage us to find their own inner truths, thus neutralizing their needs to inflict hurt on others or themselves, and instead building healthy relationships.

From Alice Miller:

I have wrongly been attributed the thesis according to which every victim inevitably becomes a persecutor, a thesis that I find totally false, indeed absurd. It has been proved that many adults have had the good fortune to break the cycle of abuse through knowledge of their past. Yet I can certainly aver that I have never come across persecutors who weren’t victims in their childhood, though most of them don’t know it because their feelings are repressed. The less these criminals know about themselves, the more dangerous they are to society. So I think it is crucial for the therapist to grasp the difference between the statement, “every victim ultimately becomes a persecutor,” which is false, and “every persecutor was a victim in his childhood,” which I consider true. The problem is that, feeling nothing, he remembers nothing, realizes nothing, and this is why surveys don’t always reveal the truth.

Of the 192 nations worldwide, only 32 have outlawed corporal punishment; in the US, nineteen states still permit children to be beaten, and some states describe the permissible protocols for abuse as punishment ‘for the child’s own good’.

As an aside, neither Miller nor most shrinks I’ve read seem to consider how psychologically poisonous grandparents can also be, all the more powerful in that we are led to believe that grandparents always offer unconditional love and support.

Re: the young, socially marginalized profiles of mass murders:

When I began to consider some of the apparent characteristics of Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, and Adam Lanza, my mind got stuck on their marginalized-loners status at school.  All were considered to be weird, geeks, Goths, any of that.  I remembered William Pollack who’d written Real Boys : Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood; the blurb:

Based on William Pollack’s groundbreaking research at Harvard Medical School over two decades, Real Boys explores why many boys are sad, lonely, and confused although they may appear tough, cheerful, and confident. Pollack challenges conventional expectations about manhood and masculinity that encourage parents to treat boys as little men, raising them through a toughening process that drives their true emotions underground. Only when we understand what boys are really like, says Pollack, can we help them develop more self-confidence and the emotional savvy they need to deal with issues such as depression, love and sexuality, drugs and alcohol, divorce, and violence.

In a short video, Pollack rued the fact that young men are encouraged to ‘suck it up’, never ask for help as it’s a sign of weakness, and above all, never admit to being in pain or fear, which conversations could be healing for them.  In a staggering statistic, he claims that between the ages of ten and nineteen, boys commit suicide four times as often as girls. 

What can we do about any of this?  For one, honor our children and grandchildren as they learn to navigate themselves and the world.  We can act as helping or enlightened witnesses to others; some counties have organizations like Big Brothers and Sisters, or Partners, teaming adults with trouble teens; and encourage people to lovingly discipline their children.  Perhaps most importantly, we can speak truth to our friends and relatives, and bring light to the shallow and false mythologies families often promote down the generations.  Secrets held inside us have immense power to poison our souls and psyches.  I submit that honest dialogues are supremely loving acts, and can be healing tonics, as can apologizing earnestly to our children and grandchildren when we screw up and dishonored ourselves, temporarily forgetting our love, as Alice Miller says.  We can make community, and try to behave lovingly and honestly even with those we don’t care for.  Most of don’t have the money to spend on therapy, but we do have each other.

Addenda:

Two excerpts from Miller’s ‘For your own good’ can be found here (the bolded portions toward the end), including:

Disassociated from the original cause, their feelings of anger, helplessness, despair, longing, anxiety, and pain will find expression in destructive acts against others (criminal behavior, mass murder) or against themselves (drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, psychic disorders, suicide)” and

“People whose integrity has not been damaged in childhood, who were protected, respected, and treated with honesty by their parents, will be – both in their youth and in adulthood – intelligent, responsive, empathic, and highly sensitive. They will take pleasure in life and will not feel any need to kill or even hurt others or themselves. They will use their power to defend themselves, not to attack others. They will not be able to do otherwise than respect and protect those weaker than themselves, including their children, because this is what they have learned from their own experience, and because it is this knowledge (and not the experience of cruelty) that has been stored up inside them from the beginning. It will be inconceivable to such people that earlier generations had to build up a gigantic war industry in order to feel comfortable and safe in this world. Since it will not be their unconscious drive in life to ward off intimidation experienced at a very early age, they will be able to deal with attempts at intimidation in their adult life more rationally and more creatively.”

A side note:  Arthur Silber is still very ill, has almost no money, and could use any financial help you might be able to give him; his Alice Miller essays are here.

‘The “Pseudocommando” Mass Murderer: A Blaze of Vainglory’, psychiatrictimes.com (srsly)

“The term “pseudocommando” was first used to describe the type of mass murderer who plans his actions “after long deliberation,” and who kills indiscriminately in public during the daytime. He comes prepared with a powerful arsenal of weapons and has no escape planned. He is sometimes described as having the intent to die in a “blaze of glory.” [snip]

“Mullen7 described the results of his detailed forensic evaluations of 5 pseudocommando mass murderers who were caught before they could kill themselves or be killed. Mullen noted that the massacres were often well planned out (ie, the offender did not suddenly “snap”): the offender arrived at the crime scene well-armed, often in camo or “warrior” gear. He appeared to be pursuing a highly personal agenda of “payback.” Mullen’s study also found a number of traits and historical factors that these individuals had in common: They were bullied or isolated as children and had become “loners” who felt despair over being socially excluded. They were also described as being resentful grudge holders who demonstrated obsessional or rigid traits.”

The revenge romance:

He piled upon the whale’s hump the sum of all the general rage and hate . . . and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.

~ Herman Melville,  Moby Dick

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wendy davis's picture

and coercion by religion here over the past couple days (and thank you all for the free-ranging discussion!), 'all chirren born in sin', i kept musing about alice miller’s work, and thought i’d share miller’s theories here for those who might be unfamiliar with them. i’d reprised this for the café in oct. 2017 after the las vegas spree murders, iirc.

given that the amerikan zeitgeist is increasingly abuzz, aflame...with economic violence, endless war and related bellicosity, ever more militarized police departments on the rampage, and now Herr Drumf’s planned military parade disgusting showmanship theatrics and penis-measuring declarations to the world, Miller’s theories seem even more pertinent, not just to mass murders of the innocents, but to the bullies of the empire is its last throes having to double-down on brutality and military threats around the globe and of course, in ‘the homeland’...due to totally unrecognized fear, which so often seeks an outward enemy, as Miller rightfully claims.

now the fundamentalist big box Televangelists preachers and ministries exhibit the same authoritarianism as the catholic church, of course, as do Xianist authors like (dr.?) james dobson. he writes that the way to train ‘the strong-willed child’ is to hit the child with a stick, not your hand, so that the child will know that it’s not YOU that’s hitting him/her, but gawd’s stick, or some such monstrous notion. yeah, mr. wd’s brother 'gifted' that choice book to us, and his wife said that our daughter’s problems were obviously due to the fact that her ute birth mother would have been practicing witchcraft, so our daughter needed dobson’s brand of ‘help’. i'd fairly begged mr.wd to let me send them a ouija board for xmas...

see bill van auken’s: ‘Trump’s parade and the threat of military dictatorship’, wsws.org, for instance, and mad dog’s ‘more small nukes, kim jong: you’re on warning’, etc. please understand that i realize that orange julius's nuclear posture is just following in Obomba's footsteps.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

Xianist authors like (dr.?) james dobson. he writes that the way to train ‘the strong-willed child’ is to hit the child with a stick, not your hand, so that the child will know that it’s not YOU that’s hitting him/her, but gawd’s stick, or some such monstrous notion.

Again, it's The Satanic Temple who are the good guys in all of this! The Temple runs a nationwide operation called "The Protect Children Project" which is dedicated to the protection of children from violence and rape!

It still bends my brain to have so-called "Christians" (note quotes) advocating evil while Satanists are out there doing the corresponding good!

Myself, I await the minute in the Last Judgment where Jesus tells Dobson:

Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

-- Christian Scriptures, Matthew 7:22-23 (KJV) source

Diablo

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

but srly, that's fascinating. and now that many schools in amerika have po-po 'resource officers' who seem to taze at will, including elementary kids...or handcuff them to chairs for 'causing disturbances...oy. is there a study on that by now?

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

hey, dead head; you tryin' t convert us? (smile)

More like the attitude of Winston Churchill and his Conservatives towards Stalin and his USSR during World War II. Churchill declared that anyone opposed to Hitler, regardless of other differences with him, was an ally. Likewise, I'm no Satanist. I'm a Pagan. But anyone opposing James Dobson, especially with respect to beating children, is an ally of mine in that conflict!

And, of course, having grown up as a Catholic Christian, it still tweaks my brain that the "Christians" are on the side of evil here while the Satanists are fighting the good fight.
Wink

but srly, that's fascinating. and now that many schools in amerika have po-po 'resource officers' who seem to taze at will, including elementary kids...or handcuff them to chairs for 'causing disturbances...oy. is there a study on that by now?

I doubt it, but it's a fight that needs to be fought....

Diablo

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

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wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

Cops Rebranded as “School Resource Officers” Can Injure and Criminalize Schoolkids; The over-reliance on law enforcement in the nation’s schools is reflective of a national attitude — one that is in dire need of adjusting; mintpressnews

“SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Last month a video emerged of a La Mesa police officer violently slamming a 17-year-old student onto the ground at a San Diego charter school. The juvenile, who had complained of feeling ill, was accused by a teacher of being on drugs. When the student consented to a search of her belongings, no drugs were found but some pepper spray was.
Since the spray was classified as a weapon, the student was suspended and asked to leave the campus. The student felt the suspension was unfair and refused to leave; that’s when police were called.

A statement by La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez says the girl, who had been handcuffed, tried to escape from the officer, who used force to subdue her. In a video of the incident, the officer is seen throwing the girl over his shoulder onto the concrete sidewalk. He then used the weight of his body to pin her to the ground. The officer forced her to the ground twice, witnesses said. You can view the video for yourself below.”

And, over the past five years, cops like this one were responsible for 28 violent incidents injuring children and youth on America’s secondary-school campuses. One student was killed. As Mother Jones magazine reported back in 2015, one student suffered a brain injury from a chokehold; another suffered a Taser-induced brain injury; one was beaten with a baton, and a fourth student was shot to death.

The most well-known instance of “school resource officer” violence is that of a South Carolina police officer yanking a student out of her desk and throwing her across the room. That incident, which also happened in 2015, started when the youth was asked to leave the classroom and, similar to the La Mesa student, refused to do so.”

and every time we see the po-po brutalizing kids or any other citizens, it's obvious they're enjoying themselves. bet ya dollars to donuts (pun intended) that they were abused as chirren.

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About ten years ago I noticed, buried in the news articles, that the phrase would always appear - "the killer (Columbine, Va Tech) had been prescribed Prozac approximately 18 months ago, but had discontinued the medication." (in Talking Back To Prozac the author reported that the single most common reported side effect of Prozac was "violent nervous irritability", often manifesting after about 18 months if not instantly)
Also about a decade ago I read that (and had it confirmed by someone who said that he heard it from "a girlfriend who worked for the EPA") that the 2 drugs with the highest concentration in the water of San Francisco Bay were Prozac and Viagra.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

Pluto's Republic's picture

@doh1304

...that anyone who drinks the water in the US is on a sustainable level of SSRIs at all times.

Under the circumstances — with a population armed to kill — a little extra serotonin is probably not a bad idea.

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If it is a monopoly, then it IS your government.

@Pluto's Republic
I recommend psilocybin.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

me, i eat homegrown. ooof, have we had some good crops!

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wendy davis's picture

@doh1304

pharmaceuticals, of course, don't get removed waste treatment plants, and if the water is 'treated' over and over, i reckon the bigPharmas do get concentrated. the most common Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) according to da wiki are: Citalopram (Celexa, Escitalopram (Lexapro), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Fluvoxamine (Luvox), Paroxetine (Paxil)
and Sertraline (Zoloft)

but you'll gag at the down sides, and as we've learned recently, in teens, they increase 'suicide ideation', which must translate to actual suicide sometimes. some shrink treating our daughter at a crap rehab (her claim of drug use was a con, tragically) gave her neurontin for 'depression', another off-label use that docs are so adorable about prescribing. she learned 'cutting' in there, as well. gawd's blood.

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@wendy davis
there was suddenly a lot of talk about the violent side effects of SSRIs, so pHARMa started the Teenagers and suicide story. But then again I'm a cynic and am always looking for plots by evil people to lie about their evil.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

wendy davis's picture

@doh1304

but i took note when some friends kids had either tried or committed suicide while taking prozac. that said, of those i know, the parents just let it lie that it was down to the prozac, and no matter how i (kindly i hope) badgered them to ask their chirren what the emotional cause was, they dissembled or at least: failed to ask. and that ain't good, although my personal experience has been that most therapists aren't worth their weight in salt, sadly.

kinda why i took the body/mind approach in my long career in bodywork/massage therapy.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis Black box warnings appear on all prescribing information, whether package inserts or magazine ads proclaiming dangerous side-effects frequently occurring. The number one black box warning is suicidality in patients under 18. This is not to say that older people are immune from SSRI suicidality, just as they not immune to other major drug side effects (where "major" means life threatening).

It should be no secret about physicians handing out pills as a substitute for taking the time to understand the genesis of a patient's emotional problems as it is easier and faster to simply hand out the drug-of-the-month. If a physician is so overworked, then he/she should either cut back on the number of patients or hire others to reduce the burden.

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wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

i'd given up looking to see if there were new ones after some time had passed.

do patients read the black box labels? or just pharmacists, who slide the pills into phials? thanks for the nursing home stats on rugs making patients 'tractable, and yes, i've seen it plenty. so glad to hear that you liked the diary, alligator ed. wish i could still string thoughts together this way (smile).

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Pluto's Republic's picture

A couple of other points come to mind. The brain being the only organ that continues to evolve during life suggests a genetic transference of some senses and knowledge. Some of that is very old and cultural. It's sometimes elemental and connected to the land/environment. There can be an abiding strength in that genetic legacy. Or a weakness. There may be newer instincts or gifts that come through, as well. But as you say, parenting will alter that altogether.

Do you think the situation was better during the million years or so when humans raised their children, more or less, communally? That only ended very recently. Did they raise humans who were a better social fit? Perhaps with fewer existential dilemmas and demons?

There are some modern psych traits I often marvel over. Denialism, for example, is highly evolved, although completely unsuited to survival in any other era. God only knows what's tucked into that pouch they live in — but they often seem happier than most. Unconscious Bubble Life is very robust now, too, where a person can live fully in the world and never experience a lasting context with things outside the bubble. Unlike denial, it requires a preferred population occupying the same bubble space. The world looks and feels much differently from inside the bubble. I'm not sure that these traits are the products of the broken brains of childhood or whether they are logical coping mechanisms for a modern world. Certain addictions can be grouped here, as well.

Finally, there's so much to say about the sociopaths and psychopaths we tend to select for when exercising democracy. So, I'll hold back there. On that note, however, it has always been my position, for as long as I can remember, that I cannot vote for someone unless I see the brain scans first. Much better metric than tax returns. Hope that informative criteria snaps into place real soon, now that the technology is available. Or is this application of mental health still taboo?

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If it is a monopoly, then it IS your government.

wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

first, yes, we've been reading about cultural pain being passed on genetically, but what i'd read was pegged to the indigenous. the authors failed to note that healthy memories must have come along, as well. positing 'tied to the land', though make a wonderful image in my mind. but yes, in this society the conditioning to forget comes awfully early, doesn't it? and how few of us actually lead 'examined lives' that could provide a reset to the psychic injuries heaped upon us? hmmm, in fact, i'd pasted together a 'Know Thyself' diary for the café not long ago, but wasn't sure if it would fit here. let me know if you might think it would.

damn straight i believe kids benefited from communal raising long ago. just think: there'd always be an 'enlightened witness' to go to when mum or dad were pissed a kid. i can't say it's true, but an african mum who visited us when or black/azteca son was an infant told me (thru her interpreter) that african babies never cry, as all their needs were attended to immediately. wish i could remember where she lived, but...those big holes in my memory and all... hard to picture existential angst, though, long long ago. demons, perhaps, or is that just our (my) collective cultural biases at work?

heh, happy in a bubble made me think of the wood allen movie in which he had students stand and say who they were ten, fifteen years later. one young girl said "i'm happy, because...i'm shallow". but think what a coping mechanism it is to never allow your thoughts, unacknowledged feelings, stray outside your bubble. my estranged sister is a class A black and lgbt bigot, pursued money her whole life, inadvertently caused her kids' lives to be modeled exactly as she and hubbie wanted them...and she's happy. "an inner life?" she once shrieked at me. "mike says i'm low-maintenance that way", proudly. but shoot yeah, the consumer chase is one of those addictions: throw out that neww gizmo, buy the new one! be happpy! 'don't sweat the small tuff..it's all small stuff!'

thanks for all that, pluto's republic. oh, brain scans: i watch too much sci-fi to have must trust in them, esp. fMRIs. oh, and pre-thought crime. (smile)

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@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic

Yeah, brains are cool! As you probably know, the areas of the brain most used actually increase in size while those less used decrease. Helps explains why the years of 'right-wing' media conditioning set up the wrong pathways and brain centers for go-to fear/hate/deny reaction over critical thinking, doesn't it?

Guess I shouldn't have used mine to keep pet rocks in, in my head-banging youth, lol. But it was such a handy arrangement...

Edit: perhaps then I'd notice letter typos prior to hitting 'post'...

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

k9disc's picture

That's a quote by a pretty bad ass dog trainer, Pam Dennison. I heard it about 10 years ago, and she was saying it in the 90s.

It's a powerful idea, for sure, and I believe it to be true.

There was a piece not too long ago (it might have been shared here) that talked about how toddler's view violence towards a person or entity based upon how they felt about that entity.

They were more likely to watch someone who was bad to them take a beatdown.

In it, there was a throw away idea on inexperienced 5 year olds "wanting to watch" or some such notion. It reminded me of the Dennison quote.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

wendy davis's picture

@k9disc

revenge reflexively, yes? a new thought to me, but it bears considering.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

wendy, your link to the "Persons Prohibited from Receiving" on the FBI NICS page is broken, throwing 404 (No Such Page) errors.

Try linking to it here, with the same directions as you gave (scroll about 2/3 down the page).

Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

i hadn't checked the links, and all of them are from 2012 in any event. i'd put this together for the readers diaries at my.fdl that long ago. er...when i was still able to string some thoughts together (blush).

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Alligator Ed's picture

@wendy davis I for one am certainly willing to follow the string along. Thanks for posting this insightful essay on c99. I learned a lot from it.

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k9disc's picture

From the Mike King Piece:

Mass killings have gone from extremely rare (a couple every decade until 1980) to common (a couple every year since 2000).

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

wendy davis's picture

@k9disc

yes? a quick bingle brought this up from something like gun violence in amerika, but there are different definitions of mass killings at play. can't copy paste from it, but mother jones used metrics of four or more, not counting the shooter, but in 2017 came up with seven.

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studentofearth's picture

keeps increasing, especially the medicaid and foster home populations.

Watchdog Group: Medicaid's Child Psychotropic Drugging Needs Greater Oversight
The number of children taking powerful antipsychotic drugs has nearly tripled over the last 10 to 15 years, according to a consumer report. The increase, the report says, comes from the drugs being increasingly prescribed to treat behavior problems, a use not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).2

Nursing homes have been regulating psychoactive medications since 1989. Regulations have simply taught most care facilities to change how they document the patient's need for the drugs. Here is another current article from January 2018.

There is something wrong with our culture that keeps perpetuating violence to ourselves and others. I am wondering is it a United States experience or did migrate with the majority of us from Europe infecting other migrant groups? Similar to immigrants physical health issues changing as a western diet is adapted by families.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

wendy davis's picture

@studentofearth

were psychotropics and anti-psychotics conflated? in any event, there must be stats on the numbers of amerikan school chirren who are labeled ADD or ADHD and dosed to make them easier to 'handle' in stifling classroom conditions, especially now that most schools are built like...prisons, including: No Windows to divert a kid's attention.

but as far as i could make out scanning, no particular pharmas were mentioned.

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studentofearth's picture

@wendy davis They were originally used as breakthrough treatment for schizophrenia. Their effectiveness was one of the major influence for deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill. There have been three generations. First generation included Thorazine brought to fame in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Side effects were too dramatic to be well accepted for general use in general public. Haldol, one of the highest prescribed of the second generation also caused significant movement disorders unique to antipsychotics.

Risperidol and Ambien belong to the third generation which do not cause the movement disorders. Use crept up again as the "safer" generation of drugs saturated the market. Then a few studies documented older persons were dying faster while on these drugs. FDA required a Black Box Warning to be printed on all Prescription Package Inserts of all generations of antipsychotic drugs included with every bulk bottle.

Perfect solution: public now has the ability to be fully informed of side effects if they know where to look and what to ask. Reduces legal liability of pharmaceutical company from lawsuits. (see diary Mitigating Medication Misadventures)

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

wendy davis's picture

@studentofearth

you've done an excellent job! i'll offer that neither mr. wd nor i have seen a doc for at least twenty years, thus take no meds. but for those who do, your report's a keeper.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@studentofearth It most definitely DOES cause movement disorders--I have seen them, diagnosed them, and treated them (by dose reduction or elimination).

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Alligator Ed's picture

@wendy davis

Analyzing the latest government data, Human Rights Watch estimates there are now about 179,000 people in nursing homes who get antipsychotics every week without having a diagnosis for which the drugs are approved.

"Antipsychotic drugs alter consciousness and can adversely affect an individual's ability to interact with others," the new report says. "They can also make it easier for understaffed facilities, with direct care workers inadequately trained in dementia care, to manage the people who live there."

Having spent years visiting patients with neurological issues in nursing homes, I can assure you that the major use is to make patients more tractable, even if that makes them drooling zombies. They don't scream or throw things and rarely make a fuss when they are incontinent in their wheelchairs--and yes, money has a lot to do with this.

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studentofearth's picture

of controlled substances. Real-time monitoring will not show anti-depressants, antipsycotics and bipolar drugs. The following will be included: stimulants used to treat attention deficit, opiod pain medications, most anti-anxiey meds, most sleeping meds, most meds used to treat opiod addiction, a few anti-seizure meds and a few muscle relaxants.

Part of the crack down of the Opiod Crisis.

Forty-nine states have established or are developing prescription drug monitoring programs (PMPs) to track prescriptions for controlled substances. Prescriptions are captured in a database after the medication is dispensed. Healthcare professionals can check the database to see if a patient has recently obtained prescriptions from another prescriber. Law enforcement officials, under special circumstances, can obtain permission to check the database as part of an investigation.

It is very easy to look at a list of medications and make assumptions of the use of other meds based on common prescribing habits.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

wendy davis's picture

@studentofearth

'Law enforcement officials, under special circumstances, can obtain permission to check the database as part of an investigation.' don't trust no po-po as far as i could throw one, myownself.

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Give our horrendous incarceration rates which put non-violent offenders into jail, I have to wonder what happens to damaged, but non-violent kids or young adults. Or even interactions with the police which I am convinced are more and more psychologically abusive even if a person is not arrested. I have seen law-n-order conservative Christians feel violated over police interactions and who quietly became anti-cop.

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wendy davis's picture

@MrWebster

at least for some. how many prisoners are beaten, tased, raped, put 'in the hole' for failure to obey an order, even quickly enough as on the street? sooner or later even non-violent prisoners might want to exact revenge.

active duty vets w/ ptsd returning and feeling isolated and crazy are a whole 'nother category. they're taught tht 'the other' is their enemy, and that brain-washing must be hella powerful. and then, vets are given preferential hiring for the po-po depts, cuz they know how to operate all that free military hardware they score for their communities. one of those kinks discusses 'war trauma', iirc.

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