Carla Drift – Behaviour 3


People accept tensions and feelings of injustice (or perceived injustice) to a certain extend. They adapt themselves to these tensions or (perceived) humiliations. Examples are: those who see their life completely change after a defeat, those who must live within a society that doesn’t fit their needs, those who are dominated by a dictatorial regime that never seems to end.

Very long, people can tolerate this tension and discontent until a breakpoint is reached. Suddenly a tipping point of no return arises. Man revolts [1]

[2]

A situation that was still bearable before the tipping point, suddenly is absurd and unbearable. The social inhibitions, the normal rule of justice and the ethical principles are temporarily abolished. Suddenly everything is permitted to end these tensions and the feelings of (supposed) injustice.

A primary form of extreme rebellion is seen when a man suddenly acts extremely violent whereby all forms of social behaviour, legal norms and common ethics are put aside. Usually family, friends, acquaintances and society have not foreseen this violent action in any way. After the violent act, they try to explain the extreme behaviour – the explanation is usually more meant to restore mutual trust than to clarify this particular flare-up of violence. This primary form of rebellion is found in all times and in all societies. In Indonesia and Malaysia, these unexpected acts of violence – whereby the rebel attacks all and everyone in his way – is indicated by “amok”. In the Western world all amok-rebels, if they survive their deeds, end in a psychiatric asylum where often no apparent mental disorder is found for this murderous behaviour [3]. We see this manner of primary rebellion in persons who start shooting with a firearm at a crowd or within a school without any reason.

Another primary form of extreme revolt is seen in a small group of people who suddenly do not accept their (perceived) injustice. They rebel against their situation. Examples are: lynchings and murders against individuals or small groups that exceed any form of case-law, norms and ethics. In Dutch history an example of this rebellion is the murder of the brothers de Witt by a mob in The Hague [4].

A weakened form of rebellion are rioting by supporters. These riots of supporters are of all times. An example of riots of supporters that eventually culminate in a serious rebellion, is the Nika revolt [5] in Constantinople in 532 A.C. where 30,000 people lost their lives. Small riots during chariot racing occurred often in that time; after these riots convictions of arrested participants followed. In January 532 A.C. two escaped convicts of these riots sought refuge in the sanctuary of a church under protection of a crowd. The position of Emperor Justinian was weakened by political problems. He wanted to assert his authority and the convicts were arrested again. During the next chariot races serious riots broke out in the hippodrome. The Emperor decided to flee, but Empress Theodora said: “It is not important if a woman must say to men to behave brave. One must do what one can in the event of danger. Flight is foolish. Everyone must die once and I have decided to die as Empress” (and not as a refugee). Two generals – with their battle hardened Germanic troops – decided to crush the rebellion. Hereto they lured a part of the rebellions out of the hippodrome with money coins. The remaining 30,000 rebellions were massacred in hippodrome by the troops .

[6]

In the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, I always visit the place for the Empress in the women’s gallery. From her place I see the sanctuary and from the ground floor, I look to the women’s gallery: “Empress for once and for always”.

[7]

A complete society can accept tensions and feelings of (perceived) injustice to a certain degree. Until the tipping point, the situation is seen as perfectly normal. Everyone has a suitable place until the rapid change occurs in society. The outward cause for the tipping point often seems a tiny issue for an outsider.

At the end of the 18th century the Ancient Regime in France was outdated financially, administratively and intellectually. According to a large part of the population it no longer suited the changes in that society. A decline in wages was foreseen and riots broke out. By clumsy interventions of the Government the riots got out of hand and the trust in Government declined further. The storming of the Bastille by armed revolutionaries was the start of a period when social inhibitions disappeared and the sense of justice and ethical awareness declined. The guillotine did overtime and after a very short time the revolutionaries were worse than the Ancient Regime ever was. The French State began its existence with the slogan “Egalité, Fraternité et Liberté”, but it took a long time before it was realised.

[8]

First Napoleon with the French Grande Armee had to retreat from Moscow [9] and afterwards defeated at Leipzig and Waterloo. This revolution caused next to a stream of blood also that militarism became endemic in our society and rationality was shaped inter alia in the meter and the kilogram.

The following post is about my personal life.


[1] See also: Camus, Albert, De Mens in Opstand. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1974

[2] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rebel_(book) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Camus

[3] See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amok en http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_amok

[4] See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_de_Witt

[5] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nika_riots and Cotterell, Arthur, Chariot – From chariot to tank, the astounding rise and fall of the world’s first war machine.” New York: The Overlook Press, 2004, p, 280 – 288

[6] Remnants of the hypodrome in Istanbul. Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nika_riots

[7] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia

[8] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne_(embleem)

[9] See also: Zamoyski, Adam, 1812 – Napoleons fatale veldtocht naar Moskou. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Balans, 2005

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