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Paris, The Morning After: Part III

Nov 28

G’day all!  I’ve just returned from the LMD and the application for a “class action” being made by those previously referred to here as the “wonder women”.  I was unimpressed by the “turn out” of those in support.  This made me appreciate even more those who did turn out.  Could it be that the”outfit” has intimidated the rest of you?  I was extremely impressed with Mr. David (?) Klein who was arguing the members’ case.  He was very dispassionate and presented a razor sharp position in opposition to the Crown.  I wish I was more like him.

Enough of that and back to our examination of the kind of human thinking and behaving that could lead to a tragedy like what we saw in Paris.  The last submission offered “moral justification” as a possible explanation for the horror wreaked upon, not only Parisians but the rest of us as well.  This behavioural dynamic suggests that humans have the ability to behave in barbaric ways toward each other if we are able to morally justify our behaviour.  In this post I would like to present a second expedient that humans use to aggress against each other and escape the agony that one would expect after aggressing against another.

This dynamic involves the “attribution of blame” to the other side.  (Can you recall being called on the carpet by a parent and asked why you just struck your younger sibling?  What was your answer?  I’ll wager it was something like, “He/she made me do it!”………an example of the attribution of blame).  It is much easier for us to engage in unlawful, aggressive, or murderous behaviour when we can blame the other side for provoking it.  When those in power wilfully disregard legitimate complaints regarding harmful/unfair social policies they create fertile ground for violent conflict.  Social/religious reformers are now able to view their (violent) tactics as acts of desperation or self preservation.  In response, those in power feel a need to defend their position and find it easier to strike back violently against dissenters than to reconsider or modify their policies.  The result of the holding of these intransigent positions is often violence where once again, one side’s hero is the other side’s villain.

Are you grasping this?  Even more so, are you feeling it at a gut level!?  You know that “fire in your belly” (that depression, that anxiety) that you experience at how you’ve been treated by your employer…….that’s it!!!  Moreover, you have yourself convinced that they created it.  And what do you suppose is going on at the Executive levels of the RCMP both Divisionally and Nationally?  They have themselves convinced that you have provoked their headaches!

A destructive interaction (member suicides?) has resulted.  These destructive interactions are characterized by a pattern of reciprocally escalating interactions where each side is responsible for some of the interaction, but neither will accept any.  Each side chooses from the chronology of events an example of the other side’s defensive behaviour and defines it as the problem.  The end result (a prediction?) is often a government inquiry that consumes inordinate sums of money (the lawyers are circling already) that could be better spent elsewhere.

Enough for now.  Let’s hear from you?  What do you think the answer is?  Could your strategy survive the test and be applied to ISIS?  Could your strategy for ISIS (I’m thinking here of the “Nuke ’em” position) be applied to your conflict?)

In closing, a great philosopher once said, “LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF”.  Riddle me this then, what do you suppose the result is when you are unable to “….love thyself”?

Dr. Mike Webster

Reg’d Psychologist






From → A Tragedy, Other

One Comment
  1. Anonymous permalink

    Thank-you for being there for the women. It was so important to them. We are all in this together, supporting and hoping for the best outcome. The men also have to be support by all of you out there. The message for today is think back 26 years ago, and realize nothing has really changed for the women of the RCMP, and women all over this country. We can only hope that the justice system in Canada will come to a speedy conclusion and allow their voices to be heard.


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