The Social Division Franchise: part two
In the twentieth century, and under the influence of Pavlovian research and Freudian theory—due also to the Cold War mentality (and bearing in mind that at the time of the Korean War, the fear of a third world war bringing atomic catastrophe was very present in the minds of world leaders)—a destructive cloak of secrecy was thrown over experimental initiatives, some of which were weapons-oriented; some of which were behavioral in nature. (We will talk about experimentation on unwitting human subjects, when we talk about the Atrocitor.)
One type of fall-out was a “campfire tales” manner of spreading imperfect ideas, that were more or less derived from Freudian psychology. Those concepts that could be used effectively to bully others—inhibition, latent tendencies, repression—took root, and grew a life of their own, in the realm of institutionalized folklore.
The effect was destabilizing to our society. How could it not be so, when people were permitted to ignore what others said of themselves, and assign their own diagnosis, even on the basis of gossip between two who had not spoken personally to their “subject”?
People have always had their harmless vanities, their embarrassments, their personal failings. Polite society viewed these things with discretion.
But at some point, the idea began to flourish that other people are concealing the truth about their real natures; that the clever individual, busy setting the world right, will not let them get away with it…for their own good. This practice was bolstered by a spread of clinical language; also, the self-help industry introduced shields behind which intrusions could be made into others’ private affairs.
Some of these are:
“Hey, that’s my humor. I tell it like it is; I’m totally honest.”
“I’m only introducing this topic for safety’s sake.”
“I’m concerned for you.”
This ability to objectify people, and assign pseudo-clinical assessments to them—labels, that is—leads to larger societal problems.
Shopping while black.
Mechanisms of constructive discharge. (A.k.a. forcing someone to quit his/her job.)
The stylings of the molester.
Again, the Scenic Overlook