Sunday, March 28, 2010

Are Americans Too Broken By Corporate Power To Resist?

We need to take a look at what forces in American society are preventing people from being able to resist tyranny and dehumanization.

From Alternet:
The following is the transcript of a recent interview with Bruce E. Levine by OpEd News' Joan Brunwasser. Levine is a clinical psychologist and author of Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007).

Joan Brunwasser: Back in December, you wrote 'Are Americans a Broken People? Why We've Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression.' Could you tell our readers about your theory?

Bruce E. Levine: There are times when human beings can become so broken that truths of how they are being victimized do not set them free. This is certainly the case for many victims of parental and spousal abuse. They are not helped by people explaining to them that they are being battered, exploited, uncared about and disrespected. They know it already and somebody pointing it out is not helpful.

So, it seems to me that it is also possible that human beings can become so broken by the abuse of the corporate elite that they also are no longer set free by truth.

While certainly the corporate-controlled mainstream media does not report many important truths, the majority of the American people do know enough to oppose the war in Afghanistan, but they do almost nothing in response to recent troop surges.

Polls show that the majority of Americans actually support single-payer, Medicare-for all plan and even a larger majority support a public option, yet there are relatively few people on the streets protesting the Democratic party betrayal of them.

And look at the 2000 U.S. "banana-republic" presidential election, in which Gore beat Bush by 500,000 votes and the Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount, and 51 million Gore voters were disenfranchised. Yes, there were small protest demonstrations against this election farce, but the numbers of protesters were so small that they empowered rather than concerned the future Bush administration, which went on to almost vaunt its regime of anti-democracy and piss on basic human rights. How humiliating for an entire nation. The shame many Americans feel, at some level, for allowing torture and other abuses is similar to the shame that spousal abuse victims feel -- and this routinely makes people feel even weaker. So, while not all Americans are broken, demoralized and feeling powerless, many are. Read the rest here.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

What Dr. Levin says is very important and reminds me of the stories about the Jews during the years prior to the Holocaust. The question always was posed as to why they didn't resist the tyranny of their Nazi oppressors. Why did they "go along" when they knew, intuitively, what was going to happen to them?

But where does the innate human instinct for survival come in? Is the process...the gradual taking away of rights, the incremental wearing down and slow initiation of dehumanizing forces, not allowing the natural "fight or flight" reaction to kick in?

You've really made me think about this whole thing in a different light.

9:59 PM  

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