Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Real Crime In Canada

Is violence against women. Today is Dec. 6 and we remember the massacre of women Engineering students in Montreal by Mark Lapine. And yet in Canada violence against women has not declined, while other forms of violent crime has, including crime linked to drugs. Nurses remember victims of abuse, call for end of violence against women Which makes Harpers get tough on crime announcement on the weekend as misplaced as they get.

"I want to talk about the values of a peaceful, orderly and safe society, and a problem none of the other parties seem to care about -- the problem of crime and the threat it poses to our families and our communities," Harper said at a recreation centre in Burnaby, B.C.

Yep well instead of focusing on the symptoms like drugs or guns, we must look at the culture we live in that continues to allow for domestic violence, sexual assault, violence against women.

"We've got to get to the root causes of crime -- despair, poverty, addiction -- in our communities," Layton said during a campaign stop in Vancouver."That means we've got to put an equal emphasis on the prevention of crime in the first place, as we put on dealing with the results of crime at the end of the day."

Harper would bring in draconian measures that will only lead to a growth in the prison industrial complex, as has occured in the U.S. The Liberals responded after Dec. 6 with tougher gun laws and the billion dollar boondoogle of the Firearms registry, which has not reduced gun crimes but has criminalized gun owners. Nope neither of these approaches will work, until we begin to actually teach about human relationships in our schools.

We can no longer leave this up to the dysfunctional patriarchical families and churches to teach moral and character education on an adhoc basis, or on the basis of patriarchical beliefs that women are the property of their husbands to with as they will.
It's time to address the real issues around the crimes against women and children which is the fact that in our society they are still seen as the property of their husbands/fathers, and what happens in the home is not the concern of society.

Such is also the ideology of the Conservatives daycare announcements, that society should not provide early childhood education, rather parents should do this or choose who does it. We don't allow this for children aged 5 and up who HAVE to go to school, nor should we continue to allow it for younger children. We are socially disadvantaging them.

The conservatives disadvantage working mothers, that's a crime, by denying them access to publicly funded and regulated day care. Instead they complain of the Nanny State will funding tax breaks for nannies. Nannies who are from the Phillipines and are exploited in the homes of the rich, because as indentured servants they have no rights, and no one to monitor their working conditions. Again the exploitation of women for the sacred family of patriarchy.

Women are still fired for getting pregnant in some workplaces, including Catholic Schools if they are unwed. And as more women enter the workforce, and remain the primary care givers for children and the elderly, the workplace has yet to meet their needs with onsite daycare. The rare exception, such as the CIBC, gets an innovative workplace award from the Conference Board of Canada, when this should be the norm not the exceptional.

Yes we have crime in society much of it based upon the failure of the nuclear patriarchial family to meet its social obligations, because it is dysfunctional as Wilhem Reich correctly opined. When the right reacts to youth crime, they call for getting tough on hoodlums, tough love. But many of those committing these crimes come from broken homes with little love in the first place. Nor did our social institutions create a home like atmosphere for them, instead shoveling them through agencies and schools until they got expelled from the 'system' with no future.

Such as Mark Lapine who 16 years ago took his frustrations out on women whom he blamed for his low self esteem as a patriarch in training. His upbringing in a single mother family, isolated ,from the community in modern urban Montreal, in his own little world, all this contributed to his madness. Being a patriarch in the making he had no male role model in his own world or in ours. So for his own personal psychological reasons he was going to go out and prove to the world he was a man. And to do so as society around him told him he did it by taking a woman, or in this case women, literally.

His crime was not the gun he used, or his hatred of women, his crime was that of being a patriarch in the making rather than a human being in the making.
His crime was seeking power over others, a crime that politicians, priests and bosses practice everyday.

"We see that the compass of the emotional plague coincides approximately
with the broad compass of social abuse, which has always been and still is
combatted by every social freedom movement. With some qualifications, it can
be said that the sphere of the emotional plague coincides with that of
"political reaction" and perhaps even with the principle of politics in
general. This would hold true, however, only if the basic principle of all
politics, namely thirst for power and special prerogatives, were carried
over into those spheres of life which we do not think of as political in the
usual sense of the word."

"Those who are truly alive are kindly and unsuspecting in their human relationships and consequently endangered under present conditions. They assume that others think and act generously, kindly, and helpfully, in accordance with the laws of life. This natural attitude, fundamental to healthy children as well as to primitive man, inevitably represents a great danger in the struggle for a rational way of life as long as the emotional plague subsists, because the plague-ridden impute their own manner of thinking and acting to their fellow men. A kindly man believes that all men are kindly, while one infected with the plague believes that all men lie and cheat and are hungry for power."

The Emotional Plague /Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich

Lapines crime which so shocked us, is our crime, for society made him the criminal he was as it does all criminals. Locking them away and throwing away the key does not address the real nature or source of crime; the social structure of the authoritarian patriarchical society. It merely reinforces it.

Which is why Harper and the right wing can pass all the laws they want, it will never reduce crime. It is the very reactionary politics that continues to promote the emotional plague that is the social conditioning of patriarchical capitalism.

In Quebec today violent crime including violence against women has decreased, in this largely social democratic country, one that has a fully functioning public day care system. In Alberta on the other hand, home of Harper and the most right wing free market government in Canada, violent crime and violence against women is the highest in Canada. That is the real crime.

For Reich, a key question was: Why did people support the Nazis? Reich stated that he found that several things went together in Nazi Germany:

  • Strong paternal authority
  • Sexual repressiveness
  • authoritarian personalities
  • reactional political ideologies

Economically the Nazi program was not in the interest of lower middle class people of Germany, but they gave their support to it. Reich asked, What psychological reason could be found that would make the fascist ideology compelling to this group of people?

His answer was: The combination of authority and rebellion. Reich said the sons would especially admire an authoritarian person above them who was also rebellious. (Like Hitler and Stalin) That way they could fulfill the desire to rebel but with subservience. This was a submission that came with some real resentment.

FAMILY AND WORK. Reich noticed that the family structure and work structure in the German lower middle class overlapped. In their small farms and businesses, both the family authority and the work authority were the same person.In other cases, if you go off to work you're going to work somewhere else. But if you're in a situation where you're working together within the family, the father's capacity to ensure his authority, to have a kind of totalitarian state within the home, goes way up.

  • Especially in such situations, fathers are better able to sexually repress their sons. So the sons develop a subservient attitude toward authority and a stronger identification with the father, which transfers to other authorities. They develop an authoritarian personality structure. A very strong identification with the authority who is above you and a subservience to it. Reich was apparently the first to look at this. Later Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswick, Levinson & Sanford studied this dynamic in much more detail in their social psychological classic, The Authoritarian Personality. Still later, Milton Rokeach continued this line of inquiry in Dogmatism.
  • The authoritarian agenda is largely unconscious. People are almost totally unconscious of what they are doing, The parents carry out the intentions of authoritarian society. The authoritarian parent finds meaning through identification with a strong leader and nation. This explains why people get so caught up in their nation "being Number 1."
  • Reich held that most of our inner experience has been cut off along with our sexuality, so that "being number 1" is where people of whom this is so find meaning in life.

THE OEDIPUS COMPLEX. Reich's explanation: You also get the Oedipus complex from this kind of situation. Sexual desires naturally urge a person to enter into all kinds of relations with the world, and to enter into close contact with others in a variety of forms. If these urges arep reressed, they can only express themselves in the narrow confines of the family. Karen Horney referred to "the emotional hothouse of the family."

'FAMILY VALUES" The "safeguarding of the family," held Reich, customariily refrers to the male-dominated authoritarian and large family. This, he declared, "is the first cultural precept of every reactionary ideology."

  • Rather than support a variety of family forms, reactionary ideologies bolster the particular form that has an authoritarian male at the head. This sets people up to go for politically conservative ideologies.
  • Jennifer Stone, a contemporary thinker, declares, "Always remember, 'family values' is a code-word for male supremacy."
  • One cross-cultural study found that male dominance in the sultural structure was highly correlated with aggression.
  • A feminist psychoanalyst, Nancy Chodow, maintains that no matter what you say about sex roles, if mother does all the childcare, it will perpetuate sex roles of traditional patriarchal society.