Tag Archives: revolutionaries

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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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