08 February 2010

In the psychiatrist's chair

Why are people hostile to us?

It appears that social approval is very important to people. When they see someone aiming to do something without social approval, even something perfectly legal and respectable, because he or she has not given up on what they originally wanted to do, it makes them angry. Why is this? Is it because it reminds them that at some time in their lives they gave up on something important to them, perhaps gave up their original ideals and aspirations, lowered their standards and became uncritical of socially approved goings-on, in order to go with the flow and take advantage of the reduced and rather mouldy pickings that were on offer?

Perhaps so, and perhaps it is so even when people have no conscious awareness of having done this.

We here are trying to build up an institutional environment in order eventually to fulfil the same functions as intellectual writers and researchers (in the sense of heads of research departments) as we should have been able to fulfil within the context of the recognised universities, but found ourselves blocked in working towards doing so.

When people see us doing this it evidently arouses no sympathy or inclination to help us move even a little faster towards our goals. Rather, it arouses anger and energetic opposition. Perhaps this is because it reminds them of the aims and aspirations that they have themselves given up. Probably they have a predominant underlying anger, resentment, and sense of loss; some very obviously so. If people are reminded of what they have given up, the anger is aroused, but it is directed against individuals who have not given up, and practically never against the society that has ruined their lives, or the agents of that society who made things difficult for them at crucial times in their lives.