The Stockholm Syndrome?
Do Sections of American Society, To Some Extent, Exhibit Symptoms?
From our friend in Belgium.
Most articles dealing with the Stockholm Syndrome usually start off with a brief description of what it is, so I will follow the usual path. Stockholm Syndrome is the name given to the identification some hostages have with their captors. Often the captors become regarded as benevolent and even admirable. This usually takes a few days to set in. After denying the hostages their liberty and threatening them with death, the captors then begin to offer small liberties and luxuries in exchange for obedience. For example, a person who does not misbehave can be given better food than the other hostages, or allowed more comfortable shelter. By extending a carrot in exchange for servility, the captor begins to be seen as the bringer of freedom to the hostage, and looked up to as a child may look upon a parent.
It was a letter to Joe Bageant which first captured my imagination, from a 70’s hippy lady Karen, who never stopped living the dream. She and her husband live on a small homestead in up state
It must be said from the outset that Stockholm Syndrome is a trend not a universal. Unlike the female hostages in the original Stockholm bank, one of whom became engaged to her captor and the other who began a defense appeal fund, in a later bank hostage situation two women lured their captor in front of a window so that police marksmen could get a clear shot at him. When he was only wounded the two women picked him up and held him against the window so the police could get a second shot in.
What is known about the groupings and conditions in which Stockholm Syndrome is likely to occur? The social groups in which it is more prevalent are:
Prisoners of War
Criminal Hostage Situations
Concentration Camp Prisoners
In the final analysis this type of emotional bonding is a victim’s strategy for survival and apart from the specific list above it can be found in any other situation in which one person or group exerts draconian authority and control over another.
There are several behavioral traits which can be attributed to the occurrence of Stockholm Syndrome. Some or all of the following may be present.
Positive feelings by the victim toward the abuser/controller
Negative feelings by the victim toward family, friends, or authorities trying to rescue/support them or win their release
Support of the abuser’s reasons and behaviors
Positive feelings by the abuser toward the victim
Supportive behaviors by the victim, at times helping the abuser
Inability to engage in behaviors that may assist in their release or detachment
Additionally, it has been found that four situations or conditions are present that serve as a foundation for the development of Stockholm Syndrome.
The presence of a perceived threat to one’s physical or psychological survival and the belief that the abuser would carry out the threat.
The presence of a perceived small kindness from the abuser to the victim
Isolation from perspectives other than those of the abuser
The perceived inability to escape the situation
So, what does the Stockholm Syndrome have to do with the State? First, the relationship between a State and its citizens is virtually identical to that of a hijacker and his hostages. A State can deny its citizens basic rights and freedoms, and uses force to keep them under its thumb, just as a captor does with his victim. If you are good and live by the State's laws, then you can enjoy whatever freedom it allows you to have without interference (note that what this amounts to is the State saying it will not take anymore of your freedom than it already has — for now anyway). This is analogous to a captor setting down the rules by which the hostages must live by while under his purview, and if they are good then "no one gets hurt." Good behavior is rewarded, and as the hostages continue to have their needs provided by their captors, much as a State provides certain services to its citizens, they are seen less as the criminals they are and more like benevolent caretakers.
Also, the rationalizations hostages give are similar to the arguments for the necessity of State action. Without the State, we are told, there would be no good or service and so the State is actually providing a positive benefit to society through its existence. Similarly, hostages say that those who held them against their will went out of their way to please and provide for them, and thus are not the evil people others see them as. As the State supposedly institutes law and order, and thus brings stability and protects life, hostages can see their overseers as giving and protecting their lives as well, simply because they do not take it from them. Can you identify any of this with the current situation in the
Apart from the relationship between a state and its citizens, are there any examples where a citizenry seeks appeasement from perceived threats other than directly from their own state? The one which has the greatest risk to world stability is the relationship between the ordinary people of
By direct contrast, the inhabitants of the Israeli prison camp known as
The guiding principle which served President Nixon throughout his Terms in office was “People react to fear not to love”. Keep people afraid and you can control them. The message has not been lost on those who followed. And what was good for a president is good also for the advertising industry that taps into our mental insecurities and supplies us with symbolic substitutes. If this fear which is now paralyzing us, suddenly turns to panic then the tables may suddenly be turned on those who now have control.
What are the things we should be afraid of? Many are afraid of social rejection, to be outside the ‘in crowd’, to be out of step with their respected peers, to be smiled at slightly disapprovingly and kept outside their inner circle. Perhaps we should also fear Satan; the Pied Piper; bird flu; chemtrails; WMD, the militarization of space, Earth’s collision with a dark Sun, terrorists and anyone who hates our freedoms enough to want to take them away. The three most common fears this administration uses against its own people are:
1) Fear of a foreign threat (Communists, Terrorists, etc.).
2) Fear of a domestic threat (Minorities, Crime, Poverty, Drugs, etc.).
3) Fear of some sort of decay in moral values (sometimes referred to as 'family values’), which are to be used if the first two don’t do the trick.
I saw a two or three minute You Tube spliced video of Bush in different suit and ties and on different podiums just saying the words “Terror; Terrorist or Terrorism”. It reminded me of a soap powder commercial, if the word is repeated over and over, it forms a bridgehead in the mind and nothing will make it go away. We have fear by proxy and it is our protector who is promulgating this fear within us. Here are two quotations from President Bush which will serve as examples.
“There will be no going back to the era before
“Our security will require all Americans to be forward looking, to be resolute; to be ready for preemptive action”.
The response to this fear is to remove the freedoms of which our adversaries are so envious, for our own protection, of course.
Here are some of the ways we are now being protected:
By intercepting and scanning for trigger words, any piece of electronic communication entering, leaving or being passed internally through the
Ripping up the Geneva Convention and allowing US representatives to torture any others it feels so inclined to do, without any reason, so long it is not done on Mainland USA soil.
Repealing the Posse Comitatus Act, and thus allowing the military onto the streets, in place of the police, for the purpose of controlling US citizens.
Disallowing any persons right to ‘habeas corpus’ so that they can be held in custody indefinitely without ever being charged or brought to trial.
The building and staffing of in excess of 800 detention centers each capable of holding tens or hundreds of thousands of inmates.
More stringent passport control so that US citizens can no longer enter Canada or Mexico without these documents, even though Mexicans with truck loads of furniture can freely enter the USA.
The Department of Homeland Security’s operation End Game whereby all
It would appear these are the freedoms that the terrorists hate you having.
But no, these are the measures the US Government is taking on your behalf, to protect you from their evil. Like the handle from the book and film ‘
By feeding a constant war footage and collusion from a compliant media who serves us a diet of toxic news we are taught by rote and repetition to be afraid. And what do people do when they are afraid? As Marilyn Manson so astutely observed, they consume and by consuming they make big business even bigger. Whether it is the teenage girl who is led to believe the boys won’t like her if she doesn’t use this brand of spotty cream or the politician who tells us that if the terrorists break through the line in Iraq, they will come to the West and take away the few freedoms we still have left, thereby keeping Big Arms nicely ticking over.
Does this make us bond closer with the Muslims? I suspect not. Does it make us bond closer to our protectors who are pushing the fear agenda at us? Probably for a significant number it does. Even though Bush has the worst popularity ratings of any previous president, there are still a third of the population who think he is doing a great job. Many will be died in the wool Republicans who follow their party, right or wrong but I suspect not all are from this camp and some are looking for personal appeasement from those who are holding them in fear. These are the ones who are exhibiting the Stockholm Syndrome.
Society is a complex business and although the Stockholm Syndrome is likely to exist in significant numbers, it is not the whole story. A more probable likelihood is given by Derrick Jensen in his book “A Language Older than Words”. He describes an unhappy childhood at the expense of a mentally disturbed father who would routinely beat and rape his wife; himself (Derrick) and his brothers and sisters. What was the boy’s reaction when his father stood up and dragged his brother across the dinner table? He was just a child, not able to go ‘mano a mano’ with his father. Just like soldiers going over the trench top and seeing comrades fall as they charge the no mans land, they were thankful it wasn’t them. Likewise the small boy on the dinner table was thankful it was not him. He kept his head down and carried on eating. But just like the soldier on the battlefield who sees his comrades fall, it does not mean he is excused his turn.
The Stockholm Syndrome appears to be a real effect on society however a probable greater effect on the dumbing down of the people is the hope that keeping your head down and hiding in the crowd will be enough for you to be passed over. Deep down, most Americans know that their turn will eventually come and the possibility increases with each passing day. As King Solomon noted in his famous song “All the world is vexation and vanity”.
What response should be offered to this inevitability? Should we form some sort of alternative breakaway self sustained grouping and leave the present ways behind? Should this group defend itself, if and when its time comes and maybe suffer the fate of so many other indigenous peoples at the hands of the Europeans? Should it rage against the passing of the light? Should it collectively put its head through an open window and shout “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”, or should it adopt a more pragmatic approach and calmly wait its turn?
Karen’s letter to Joe Bageant
Definition and relation of SS to the State
Conditions necessary for appearance of SS
The Jewish Connection
Fear and Consumption (1)
Fear and Consumption (2)
Derrick Jensen – A Language Older than Words (Intro reader)
Quotation “Rage against the passing of the Light”
Quotation “I’m as mad as hell”
From the film “Network” spoken by character Howard Beale