June 20, 2010

Acceptable Parameters or the Dialectics of Resistance

I've just read this piece by Arthur Silber - Memo to the Victims. A powerful essay indeed.

He kind of nails it, not fully, but quite, enough to make the reader think...hopefully...

I say not fully, because he uses the "class" concept...I say it's beyond class...It's all encompassing this divide. Class does not cut it no more.

You've got to read his essay. He says what I've been saying all those years. The "victim" is allowed to protest only within the defined parameters imposed upon it. I use the word IT here with deliberation. Because the victim is ultimately objectified into an IT that needs/must fit some category. Some ordained, classified  prerequisite. An acceptable pigeonhole., if you like...

Arthur Silber in his essay was referring to the Spill, or taking the Spill as some starting point. Oh that famous spill, and the world stopped.

I, on the other hand am referring to invasions, to occupations...

He worded it from an American perspective, I word mine from an Iraqi perspective that refuses to speak the language deemed acceptable by the invader.

I touched upon this many a times. I had one post called "On Objectivity" on my Uncensored blog, that post reminds me very much of what Arthur Silber is talking about...

I had several other posts since - where I discuss how even the discourse of outrage has to fit in with the generally accepted conditions of how much outrage you're allowed, of how you are to express yourself, of which words you are to use, of how to go on about it, of how to construct your sentences... it's like the censors are now in your head - either issuing death threats, or harassing you with the fate of another victim, Gitmo or Abu Ghraib style, or tyrannizing you with the politically correct expressions that you are to use or not use, (and that cuts across class - that includes all those prime goody good two shoes lefties and anti war bullshitters), it defines the parameters, the context, the framework of how much you can say, when to say it, how to say it, it basically thrives on "colonizing" the victim ideologically, out reaching its language, its thoughts, its behavior, its ideas, its expressions, its feelings...I say "its" because this is the ultimate aim -- turning IT into a-  asexual, apolitical, amoral, IT . The more one can mold IT into an IT, the better IT is controllable - weapons, torture, ideologies including leftist class ideologies, language...all serve that purpose...

It is not so much stripping you of your voice, it is not so much stripping you of your individuality, it is not only about censorship and acceptable frameworks, it goes beyond that...It is stripping you in order to mold you into an ACCEPTABLE DISSIDENT...

Because with this kind of White colonialism which includes even the Marxist left, it is not about class alone, it is not about culture, it is not about ideas, opinions, it is about SELF.

You've got to get to the SELF. They've got to get to the SELF. A rape of the SELF in the fullest sense of the word. And what does a rape victim often feel ? Fear, Guilt, Shame...

They - they as in the Other who can't accept not only your presence but your very existence, (and this is where I differ from Arthur Silber - he is addressing Americans after all) will have to silence, obliterate, shut you up by ANY MEANS POSSIBLE.

Shutting up someone comes under different forms - the usual stuff : Threats, Torture, Rape, Killing...that is the immediate stuff that appeals to the sense of survival. It arouses FEAR.

But there are different ways to shut up the victim, asides from Fear.

There is Guilt
There is Shame
There is Cajoling and Seduction

These are simple words am using...but if you think about them carefully, you will notice that they are forms of Manipulation, another form of getting you to silence yourself  but the trick is that they make you feel it's coming from you and not from them.

These are ploys to DISOWN you. Re-read that. DIS-OWN you. It means you are no longer the owner of your own experience, land, country, idea, belief, etc...

The way they do it is very simple - really simple. They evoke "higher ideals" - some collective philosophical, religious, even spiritual  Ideal by which you are made to feel guilty, ashamed, remorseful for having thought, felt, experienced what you experienced.

It's an old trick but it works very well. I will give you clues how it is done

Your "empathetic" listener will nod, approve, say - I hear you, BUT
Your "sympathetic" listener will, nod, approve, say - I hear you, BUT
Your " compassionate" listener will nod, approve, say - I hear you, BUT

But you see - you are generalizing,
But you see - we all belong to the same "humanity" --- after you've been ripped apart, literally...
But you see- in cases of trauma like yours, your capacity for discernment is lessened
But you see - they really did not mean it that way
But you see - it's the intention that counts
But you see - we are all imperfect and fallible
But you see- it happens everywhere else

This is the politically correct bullshit I always refer to...

Your interlocutor then takes offense and starts with the shaming with  :

I would have thought that a man, woman like yourself, would act, think, feel, etc..this way
It is a pity that you generalize
I would have assumed that someone like yourself would know better
I am sure there is truth in what you are saying but maybe you're exaggerating here
Come on, if you look at it realistically, it could have not been all that bad

And I can go on and on...but am just giving you little tidbits of how the "victim" is not only stripped physically (through Torture, Rape, Exile, etc...) but how the victim is also DIS-OWNED and DIS-ARMED from his/her experience.

Re-read the above sentence again.

Disowned and disarmed means neutralized in its reactive capacity - a reactive capacity to tilt the balance again, not necessarily in its personal favor, but in favor of the objectivity of its own experience.

In other words - the "victim" tries very hard to articulate, express, describe, enact, etc...the experience and at each stage of its reactivity it is silenced.

In fact when you come to think of it - Silence, that kind of Silence becomes the only acceptable parameter in which you can be heard.

And Resistance, any forms of Resistance is exactly the opposite, It is the ability to zoom in, right where it hurts the most.