Tag Archives: bad faith

Carla Drift – Behaviour 1


The recovery of my tropical disease took a long time. I noticed with my body that a European was not created for the tropics. I received good medical care and the residual effects of the disease disappeared after a recovery of many, many months.

These months I used to write my report of my first study trip. In the second part of this report, I described my findings about the influence of individual behaviour of offenders, rulers and opinion leaders on genocide [1].

Sreaming drill sergeant [2]

To date, genocide was never committed by an individual. An individual had not been capable to do so. This will change in the future, because the weapons of mass destruction [3] have acquired an apocalyptic destruction and operation of these weapons can take place by an individual or a small group of people operating together. Several films already give a forecast of this possibility [4].

Hiroshima Nakajima area [5]

Hiroshima Nakajima area in ruins [6]

In Central Africa few heavy weapons are present. A good deployable air force is lacking. The few available tanks are poorly maintained and there is a lack of personnel for operating this weaponry. Usually these weapons have only a symbolic value for enhancing the status of the owner/ruler.

On the other hand, there are many automatic rifles and machine guns available in this area. These weapons can afflict great slaughter among the local people when used by a limited group of soldiers, by revolutionaries, by armed gangs and by raiders. A larger group can also afflict genocide with hand weapons such as machetes.

Based on my findings I concluded in my report that in Central Africa sufficient resources – small arms, light and medium automatic rifles and machine guns – were present for a genocide. These weapons were delivered by several rich nations to perpetuate or enhance their position by supporting local groups. These weapons raise – just like the possession of spears in the past – the respect of a warrior/soldier. In reality, these weapons are usually used for deterrence or threat against opponents.

The first providers of the light and medium automatic rifles and machine guns are often countries outside Africa who want to enhance or perpetuate their influence in the politics. The first recipients are often local leaders or groups who distribute the weapons to settle or defend their influence. The individual receivers are often young men who want to establish their position within the group as a warrior or soldier: the need to receive respect in the pyramid of Maslow [7]. This respect gives next to a position in the group also opportunities for female partner choice and eventually self-respect. Sometimes older men want to defend their interests: the need to safety in the Maslow’s pyramid.

Individual people are or become part of a group. Through initiation rites [8] they are accepted in a group. Warriors often may carry a weapon after their initiation rites – they become part of their warriors group or army. The group gives the individual an identity and the mutual relationships between the individuals give a group/army an identity and a culture. In peacetime, groups of warriors should be kept busy. Traditional activities for groups of warriors in peacetime are: maintenance of equipment and skills, hunting and conquests far away from home.

Congolese soldiers with automatic weapons [9]

Most of the time the people of Central Africa coexist as good neighbours. They practise a comprehensive form of hospitality that exceeds the habits in Netherlands. People take their time to have mutual contact. For most people the material prosperity is rather low. Much attention is given to clothing, appearance and eating; other forms of prosperity are scarce. Just like in many societies and large corporations, the top layer of the society usurps the most of the limited material prosperity. This top layer has control over the distribution of food and prosperity over the entire group. If the groups are in balance internally and externally, then there still is a great inequality within and between groups, but possible tensions are dampened or smothered in many ways. Everything and everyone lives together in a more or less pleasant way.

Ashanti Yam Ceremony 1812 [10]

Literature and the findings during my research show that during internal conflicts and in conflicts between tribes, neighbours perceive each other in a radically different way. Within a fraction of a second, people distinguish between foreigners and members of their own group. When tensions arise, the own good qualities are exaggerated and the own bad characteristics are overlooked. In strangers, the bad qualities are seen a characteristic for the group and the good characteristics are neglected. The group pressure is often so great that the opinions are compulsorily imposed to the group members – otherwise forms of exclusion will follow [11].

In one of his works [12] Jean Paul Sartre described how an individual/stranger is robbed from her/his innocence and freedom of action by two mechanisms. By the mechanism of the “bad faith”, group members will reduce a stranger to an object with a very limited number of qualities – the stranger is robbed from all her/his other qualities. In line with the “bad faith”, Jean Paul Sartre describes the theory of “look” – Prof. Dr. W. Luijpen called this the “look of hate” [13]. The actions of a stranger are captured in a stigmatising look. Hereby the stranger is deprived from her/his ability to change and from his humanity; she/he is reduced to a thing.

 
[1] See for genocide: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide en http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide
[2] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Drill_sergeant_screams.jpg
[3] See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernwapen en http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon
[4] E.g.: Dr. Strangelove by Stanley Kubrick – see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Strangelove
[5] Source image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HiroshimaNakajimaArea.jpg.
[6] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HiroshimaNakajimaAreaInRuins.jpg
[7] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs
[8] See brief overview in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initiation
[9] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Congo_War
[10] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yam_(vegetable)
[11] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment
[12] Sartre, Jean-Paul, Being and Nothingness. New York: Washington square press: 1977 – See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_and_Nothingness
[13] Luijpen, W., Nieuwe inleiding tot de existentiële fenomenologie. Utrecht: Het Spectrum, 1976 p. 284 – 285

Advertisements

Carla Drift – Years of Flourishing


The spring Sun shines

abundant and generous

Her Smile for us

From an environment where “Yes” could mean anything depending on the circumstances – from a straight “no” to a “yes” said by Molly Bloom in Ulysses by James Joyce – I moved to a country where “yes and no” divided the world completely in half. It was a land that was incredible flat and where each group of people had its own church and faith based on a specific paragraph from the Bible. Only the water was omnipresent. Water was equal for all and everyone lived with it and fought against it. It was constantly pumping or wet feet – many floors of houses along the canals are well below the water level in the canal.

[1]

Later I understood that this pumping listens very closely. If too much water is pumped from the polder, the bottom of the polder will irrevocably drop further down. There must always remain sufficient water in the canals and the bottom of the polder.

In this country, I went to live and study, and here I met my great love – in that order.

As flat as the polders were in my view, also as flat were the manners of the inhabitants of that country. I was invited at a birthday party for coffee – including a small piece of apple pie for each visitor and later in the evening in answer to the offer of a second beer everyone said: “It is time to leave”. I remained seated with my second beer that I drank quickly. At festivity in South Limburg 24 fresh fruit pies were baked for the visit – one did count on several pieces of fruit pie more or less for every guest. And there was always sufficient beer and food.

My room in Delft was near a citizen Rowing Club. I visited the Club: the Club and I liked each other. My three years in Delft I was in a female crew for boat racing.

[2]

In this direct environment I started my study: it matched the straightforwardness of mathematics and physics. Later I noticed that the topics of my study and the inhabitants of Holland what less straightforward.

My study was still as easy as on the gymnasium. Many false securities disappeared during my study. If I had to design an amplifier in a practicum; there were too many unknown variables in the formulas in order to obtain an unique outcome. The solution consisted of adopting a certain bias current – based on experience or daily practise – and if this initial bias current did not fit, the bias was altered slightly.

Determining the results of Lab. tests consisted of measuring several times and then statistically calculating the outcome with a certain reliability interval – also daily practise, but structured and reproducible daily practise within a statistical sound reliability interval.

[3]

In the lectures philosophy we learned the falsification theory [4] of Popper and Kuhn as a criterion for science: an idea or model was only science if the idea or model in question was susceptible – and open – for other ideas/models that stood a chance to refute the first idea. Ideas and models that were not susceptible to falsification, fell into the category of dogma or religion.

During the lectures human sciences I learned the hierarchy of needs described by Abraham Maslow [5]. According to this model I had made a start with self-realisation with a huge hole in love – until then I had played hide and seek with my feelings of love.

The lectures social sciences about the “Milgram” [6] and “Stanford Prison experiments” [7] increased my concern and uneasiness that was arisen at the reading of the oeuvre of Jef Geeraerts and Erich Fromm. A very significant part of humanity was – often by circumstances – very easily moved to lewd, docile and even abject behaviour. In my last year in Delft I made acquaintance with theory of “bad faith” and “the look” of Sartre [8]. By this way of seeing people were severely hampered in their freedom. According to “bad faith” people become an instrumental thing by adhering a stamp to the people in question: a free man with all possibilities is solely by his role as for example a waiter reduced to a limited instrumental serving object. A similar mechanism is acting in the theory of “the look” in which a free man – with all possibilities – is in a glance reduced to a despicable creature. E.g. a man is looking through a keyhole of a room, a second man sees this: by the look of this second person the first man is reduced to a lewd peeper.

These colleges in philosophy and human sciences have influenced my entire further life. Later I will continue my study in a complete other direction in Amsterdam.

First I followed a technical scientific study for three years with amongst others the topics: electromagnetic fields, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, relativity, quantum mechanics and mathematics about matrices and vector fields.

Of course I kept visiting libraries. The general library for literature, general development and relaxation and the technical library for deepening and enhancing my scientific knowledge.

In the second semester of my first year in Delft, love came in my life all-encompassing and inevitable.


[1] Source image: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koog

[2] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowing_(sport)

[3] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rijnhuizen_(FOM)

[4] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

[5]  See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow

[6] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

[7] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

[8] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_and_Nothingness