On Bullying

Making no claim any of this is original with me. Just putting some scattered thoughts together.

Among the many startling aspects of how people react to the lockups and mandates is how inured a seeming majority of people are to being bullied. I don’t recall where I was reading this, but I came a cross a discussion between a couple Europeans and Americans, comparing reactions to the tyranny. One of the Americans was saying that the typical American reaction was to ignore the rules as much as possible, which is largely possible outside major cities. The tension gets released when the non-cult members get away from the insanity, or live outside the major cities. They don’t feel the pressure as much, and what stress they do have is relieved by being around other sane people. That’s why, the argument went, there haven’t been massive truck convoy in America – yet.

I don’t know if this is true. What does seem to be true, and what would need to be true if this escape and release mechanism is really operative, is that Americans have an amazing threshold for toleration of being bullied, such that we would rather escape than confront the bully. Hell, I still mask up when I shop for groceries, because it’s simpler than having confrontations with the help and Karen every few minutes. Why do I do this? Why do I tolerate being bullied? This – the whole lockdown/maskup/jab mandates thing – is bullying.

Further, perhaps, we think of bullying as typified by the larger kid who take people’s lunch money. That guy is an amateur. You need to look at more sophisticated abusive relationships to really see fully developed bullying. Threats of withdrawn affection if you don’t do this one little thing for me. Gaslighting. Overstepping limits, and then accusing you of being the problem when you point it out. That’s what bullying looks like when it graduates from grade school. Compliance is rewarded, for a while, only to have the cycle repeated sooner rather than later. The victim is left both endlessly anxious and desperately defensive – you don’t understand! He really loves me! I am the problem, just as he says!

I assume we all know of situations like this, even if we haven’t been in any personally. Yet – what is the Coof lockups if not exactly this? We are being bullied by sociopaths. It’s not that they don’t care that we suffer – they get off on our suffering, that’s the emotional component of why they do it.

As Frank Herbert put it in Dune, “All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.” This needs to be taken further. According to Purnell’s Law, all bureaucracies will be run, not by people interested in the goals of the bureaucracy, but by people interested in the bureaucracy itself. This means that the selection mechanisms – hiring, firing, promotion – within any bureaucracy will be in the hands of those seeking, first, to protect their own power. Dominating the class of people obsessing over power are sociopaths.

Conclusion: over time, a bureaucracy of any size will be run by sociopaths for sociopathic reasons. Abusing as many people as possible is the ultimate power. Fauci is a prime example of this phenomenon, as are virtually everyone in this (and, sadly all) administrations.

But yet bullies generally fold once you push back hard. The more sophisticated the bully, the harder and longer you need push back. We are dealing with very experienced abusers here. They will order us about, tell us we are bad people if we don’t do as we are told, attempt to isolate us (classic abusive relationship stuff), stalk us, and finally threaten to hurt or kill us..

Well? That paradise on earth, or at least the ‘defeat’ of Covid, has not yet arrived CANNOT be because the people abusing us are now and were always LYING, mostly via half-truths and exaggeration, but rather, like the abused girlfriend, it’s all our fault. Maybe we’re not good enough for our abusers. Maybe we should be locked up, or even killed! It will all be our fault, if it comes to it.

This should sound familiar. Lockdowns, masks, censoring and propaganda to ensure we are isolated; constant drumbeat of lies to ensure we are terrorized; prompt and brutal dismissal of any dissent. And a drumbeat of how this failure is due to the unjabbed who must be causing the jabbed to get sick. Simple, plain English, obvious explanations must be banned in favor of the latest Just So story. By definition, at least, by any definition current before 2020, if you are ‘vaccinated’ and still get the disease, the vaccine didn’t work. But that is not allowed to be said, because the focus on the badness of the non-compliant must be maintained.

Question: how did we all get so inured to bullying so described, such that probably a good 70% of us just go along no matter what. How did we come to even try to put up with bullying, rather than fighting back at square one? How come I, who have never for a moment bought any of the Coof madness, still try to work around the rules rather than simply refusing?

In the off chance that a new reader has wandered in, here we go: We learned to tolerate bullying, to even accept it as normal and good, in school. Not the bullying of the big kid who wants your lunch money – that may or may not be tolerated by the ‘educators’ – but the bullying that is used to make us comply, on the one hand, and to create emotional cripples on the other.

John Taylor Gatto, who spent 30+ years as a public school teacher in New York, pointed out that the kids who are most unmanageable, who simply will not do what the school wants them to do, are those who have been unconditionally loved at home – a very small portion of students, it turns out. Such kids, unused to being simply bossed about, unused to demands being made on them with no regard paid to what they might want or what might be reasonable, do not respond well to schooling. The graded classroom model is nothing if not arbitrary. Grades segregated by age? Why? Performing to ‘grade level’? Double why? I have to raise my hand to get permission to go to the restroom? Why? I have to study what you tell me to study exactly when you tell me study it, and stop exactly when you tell me to stop? Why? Why can’t I just keep going if I’m interested, or do something else fi I’m not? Recess? Why? Why can’t I take a break when I need it? Why does a bell trump whatever I happen to be interested in at the moment?

The kid who simply misbehaves is nothing to compare to the kid who doesn’t accept the premise that doing whatever the local adult tells him to do is some sort of divine commandment to be accepted without question. Such a kid not only can calmly question his parents (who unconditionally love him, remember) and express displeasure without any withdrawal of affection, but is used to reasonable, affectionate compliance, not blind, arbitrary demands.

But that unconditionally loved child is rare. Most of us who have gone through graded classroom schooling – including me – have accepted all sorts of Just So stories to explain to ourselves our compliance with what is the fundamental irrationality of such schooling. A look at the educational experiences of extremely accomplished people through history show a dearth of anything resembling modern classroom schooling. Newton, Franklin, Jefferson, Edison, Abigail Adams – these are among the best educated and least schooled people you could hope to find. And people of great achievement, not merely having a great collection of degrees and certifications that got them a make-work positions

The purpose of compulsory schooling is to produce exactly the behavior we see among the Branch Covidians. The control is the essential part; all the reasons given for it are backfill and gaslighting. We humans have millennia of experience learning and teaching, none of which supports the idea that kids should be grouped by age, spoon-fed predigested and utterly context-free knowledge bits, forced to ‘learn’ at the same rate as others their age, forced to switch off of something a kid may or may not be interested onto a new subject every 45 minutes, forced to ask permission to get up and move around or go to the restroom, and so on.

And we’re all gaslighted. We are told that we need to do these things – we need to do as we’re told – for our own good! 6 years old and already know how to read? Tough! You’re sitting with the other 6 year olds and listening to the lessons until all of them either also learn how to read or get humiliated and shunted off to ‘special’ classes. You have no interest in math? Tough! You will be made to feel like an idiot and shamed into pretending to pay attention – for your own good!

You can fix cars, or make dresses, or write stories or any one of the million worthwhile things people do that give their lives meaning? Irrelevant! The schools hands out the gold stars and the diplomas and degrees. Comply, or be humiliated at best.

And thus, when the nice man in the lab coat tells you to avoid all your friends and family, wear a mask, take untested drugs, and to be very, very scared, we not only comply, but defend these orders with the vehemence of someone under threat of being excluded from the tribe, or labeled a terrorist, or otherwise marked for culling. We all rush in, eager to comply, to get that gold star, that pat on the head, that affirmation that we are OK.

Reason doesn’t enter into it, and never has.

The bullying stops when we refuse to be bullied.

Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

21 thoughts on “On Bullying”

  1. I sort of agree and sort of disagree.

    “Question: how did we all get so inured to bullying so described, such that probably a good 70% of us just go along no matter what. How did we come to even try to put up with bullying, rather than fighting back at square one? How come I, who have never for a moment bought any of the Coof madness, still try to work around the rules rather than simply refusing?”

    I think it’s easier than that. To me, wearing a mask indoors just isn’t that big a deal; frankly a lot of the time I do it’s because I forget that I don’t on principle. Or it’s because I don’t want to get kicked out of a place I like to eat because of something that basically doesn’t matter.

    Most of the time those protests at the grocery store don’t do anything but make you a story of a particularly annoying customer a minimum wage worker had to deal with.

    As for larger things, like lockdowns – again, I’d love to defy the lockdowns. The people that tried to in my state were fined thousands of dollars and threatened with prison – one guy who ran a gym managed to slip away with “only” thousands in fines and parole. He’s running for Congress. And me “defying” a lockdown is…what? Going to a store that’s closed anyway? Playing on an empty playground so you can get in the paper with a viral photo of a cop forcing you to leave the closed park?

    I guess I’d say the issue is that there is no “bully” you can just “stand up to”. There’s a government that makes laws and you need to decide what’s worth defying them on. I will never deny Jesus Christ and I will never lie because the government told me to; after that compromises are necessary, if unfortunate.

      1. Right. If this individual thing is that important to you, ORGANIZE (which in fact is happening over major issues like the vaccine mandates in Canada, as you pointed out).

        I think it’s simpler even than that. Do you know why it isn’t happening in the U.S.?

        Canada’s mandates were much, much worse. Ours never even made it through the courts.

    1. “To me, wearing a mask indoors just isn’t that big a deal; frankly a lot of the time I do it’s because I forget that I don’t on principle. ”

      There you go. You do not need to be a human toothache. But can’t be lazy, or cowardly, or intentionally stupid and act as if it doesn’t matter. So you make them *ask* every time. And then you go, “okay” and put it on, and take it off 5 minutes later. Repeat and rinse as needed. Be nice as pie.

      But you are correct: play-acting defiance is pointless. If you are not going to the park any way don’t go. If you were, when they ask you to leave, leave. Peachy-keen & polite. Then go back. Keep it up.

      Oh, and whenever you figure something like this, share it. This ride is not over.

      1. “There you go. You do not need to be a human toothache. But can’t be lazy, or cowardly, or intentionally stupid and act as if it doesn’t matter.”

        It does matter – to other people. Sometimes a lot. Sarah Hoyt has talked about how huge of a problem it is for her though. For me though? I was working 8 hour shifts at walmart. I barely notice it. And I am lucky enough to work in a school that doesn’t require masks, which is extraordinary nowadays.

        I’m not saying “This makes it okay”, I’m saying that half the time I forget I’m even supposed to not think it’s okay, if that makes sense.

      2. I know. But if you stick a gun to my head and make me wear green to work every day, to keep the fairies away, I’m not going to forget. I’ll probably have to pray every morning and evening to forgive you when I put on the *&^! green shirt.

      3. Sure, if it was accompanied with a dramatic event and a gun I’m sure it would stick in my head. I’d also make sure to wear the shirt because a gun was put to my head.

    2. Well, not *laws*, per se. The law, at least in my state, specifically said that the governor couldn’t do what she was doing; the state Supreme Court ruled on it and everything, struck down a fifty-year-old law as unconstitutional – and the governor’s response was to keep doing it, and the populace’s response was to keep acquiescing. There may have been a time in this country when laws mattered; I just wish I’d been alive for it.

      Which leads into the next point. The trouble with saying that you’ll never lie for the government, but you’ll make compromises otherwise, is that, when you’re dealing with a master propagandist, every compromise *is* a lie – because these people work by pictures, and compromising with them means consenting to fit better into their picture. A room full of people in face condoms isn’t just a room, it’s a statement: to wit, “There is no-one in this room who does not acknowledge that the official Covid-19 policy is worthy of respect and deference.” Which, if you’re in the room (I hope and believe), is a lie, even if you don’t say a word.

      (And I wanted to close this comment with a little homemade meme involving Gary Cooper, but the site isn’t being cooperative. Oh, well, c’est la vie.)

      1. I don’t know that I’d call Henry VIII a master propagandist. (His younger daughter, maybe.) But, sure, if you find yourself in a situation where your very compromise is a standing rebuke to the civil authority, by all means go for it. And maybe you are, but I’m not, and I don’t know anyone who is. We’re all John Fisher out here.

        (And again I find myself wanting to close with a homemade meme, this one involving two Pennant’s cats. Dagnabbit.)

      2. I’d be more convinced if that was More’s justification. But it wasn’t. He was trying to AVOID being a rebuke to civil authority as much as he could. Then a line was hit and he wouldn’t cross it.

        You’re going to have to work harder to convince me I’m responsible for what propagandists do.

  2. Yeah, covid response from “normal” people has very much the same ring to it as the responses I’ve gotten from the same people about homeschooling my kids. “But they won’t be NORMAL if they don’t have this pointlessly miserable soul-killing experience thrust onto them. What irresponsible thing are you doing to them?”

      1. My MIL went through all that when we started. These days she confines herself to a brief passive-aggressive “so when are you going to put them in school?” whenever she visits, along with telling me I should convince my husband to get a vasectomy. All terribly polite. It ensures that I’m never sad to see her go, and never enthusiastic to return the visit. Her COVID paranoia is mystifying to me. We recently had a visit from her, for a week. She insisted on wearing the full-95 gear to church, public parks (outdoors!), and basically any time we went out in public… but not at home with us, even though my kids play with other kids, we don’t mask in public, and my husband works in a hospital. She claims she does this to protect my FIL, who is old and in poor health, but it’s so inconsistent and irrational. She’s already depressive, and I worry that all this is activating some latent OCD– it’s the anxiety-releasing ritual that’s important, not actual sanitary procedure (and she should know! She’s an RN!). And for her and a lot of other people, the root of the anxiety is fear of authority. Be good or Daddy will be angry.

        I’m still pondering how CNN weaseled into the role of Daddy, for so many boomers.

  3. Overstepping limits, and then accusing you of being the problem when you point it out.

    That’s a major *predator* warning sign. A lady whose got a lot of blood relations suffering from it (and making others suffer more) says that it’s recognized as a trait of “cluster B personality disorders.”

    She accurately predicted what would be happening in liberal areas *nearly two years ago*, based off of knowing narcisists.

  4. “According to Purnell’s [sic] Law, all bureaucracies will be run, not by people interested in the goals of the bureaucracy, but by people interested in the bureaucracy itself. This means that the selection mechanisms – hiring, firing, promotion – within any bureaucracy will be in the hands of those seeking, first, to protect their own power.”

    Well, no, not really. I honestly don’t know why you keep quoting Pournelle’s Iron Law as though it were some sort of pathological diagnosis of bureaucracy, as opposed to the almost tautological insight into human association in general that it in fact is. If you want somebody to tend to the practical needs of an organization, of course you go to somebody who values the organization for itself, not someone who sees it merely as a convenient tool to achieve certain ends. (For instance, if you want a senator or a Supreme Court justice, you don’t pick someone who cares only for social justice, but someone who cares for America – and, therefore, wishes her to be just.) This would be the case even in Eden; I have it on good authority that it *is* the case on the planet Tumiferan, whose lizard-like denizens never fell from grace and abide invisibly in the Aevum, but still have chess clubs and building societies and whatnot. So the Law itself is not the problem.

    “Then what is the problem?” I’m glad you asked. The problem, to put it bluntly, is that we who recognize a calling to love things according to their natures seem to have a real problem doing that for offices and organizations. Take, for example, my own Catholic diocese of residence: I could go on for quite some time about the indignities this poor local particular church has suffered in its half-century of existence, but suffice it to say that I don’t think anyone has ever even considered doing anything he would not otherwise have done, solely to maintain the honor of the See of Gaylord. The very idea would, I think, be greeted with laughter in most places. And that’s an organization whose members would, in theory, acknowledge it to be a holy sacramental reality; if we can’t even rouse ourselves to regard *that* as a noble heritage whose honor must be preserved from besmirchment, how in the world can we expect ourselves to so regard merely secular organizations?

    Result: those who have a genuine vocation to administrative work never pursue it, because what they fundamentally want is to uphold worthy institutions, and nothing they’ve ever seen makes the Office of Educational Research and Improvement recognizable as that. (Probably they all go into the military instead, or join street gangs, or something.) And so, having no competition, the *other* kind of pure bureaucrat – the power-hungry-sociopath kind – swims in and flourishes and grows strong, where in a healthy society he might well be scared away by the presence of even a handful of men and women of true mettle. (As you say, bullies don’t tend to be all that brave.) I’m half inclined to say that the matter is summed up in the very name of the Law: a good administrator is made, not from the gold of abstract zeal, but from the iron of loyalty and honor; neglect your iron, and you have only yourself to blame when you are ruled by dross.

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