4.23.2008

The Pansification of Our World

Why are we convincing ourselves and others, our children, our neighbors, our coworkers...that when a criminal or other ne'er do well comes along to harm them and steal from them, that we should cower until someone comes to help us?

Think about this for a moment. We are taught to "go along" with whatever the person wants until we can escape, or be helped by the authorities. Muggers? Just give up whatever he wants. Don't try and defend yourself, let the authorities handle it.

Too many American citizens these days are afraid of things like guns, they don't want them in their house, or on their person - which is fine, but they don't want other people to have them either. Let the authorities handle guns, they say. Let the authorities have the guns, and let them handle the bad guys with the guns. But for the good of all, keep those dangerous things out of the hands of law abiding citizens.

We teach our children from the word go, "Tell an adult, right away!" I have noticed that the "tattletale syndrome" has blossomed from telling an adult when something is really wrong, and can't be resolved (or something very serious) to telling on each other simply to tell, or because they cannot resolve the problems on their own anymore.

I can't help but wonder if we are creating a complacent nation on purpose?

Does anyone believe that criminals fear the legal system? Do they fear being caught, detained, or even sent to jail for a short period of time? Perhaps people committing atrocious crimes do, and mayhaps even the white collar criminal who fears the damage to himself and his reputation that a messy tell-all trial and jail time would bring upon him.

But the average criminal? I think not. As a woman I was taught, by various means, not to fight back. I mean in the heat of the moment. I was told that if a mugger wanted my wallet, my shoes, my purse - just give it up. If a rapist came after me and I couldn't get away - don't fight, it will only make it worse. And I believed it. Interestingly enough, the less I fought, the more I endured. Why is this?

Here is my theory, and believe you me, it is only a theory. If the average criminal thought that the average person was well equipped to handle some criminal act, by physical means, perhaps they may be armed, I firmly believe that the average criminal would rethink his or her line of work. Sure, there might still be some easy marks to make, but if the general population were as feared by the criminals as the criminals are currently feared by the population, I highly doubt there would be anywhere near as much crime.

The second part of my theory is that this is not by accident. Crime pays. And not just for the criminals who don't get caught - but for the city, state, and federal government. Police enforcement, lawyers, judges, bonds bailsmen, bounty hunters - everyone in the process is getting a his or her cut of the deal. Of course, prisons and jails cost us money, and keeping criminals locked away keeps them off the streets, which cost us money - hence you have "rehabilitation", probation, and early releases.

What you also have, in a bigger picture, is a complacent, compliant society. One that is full of fear, a fear that fuels criminals to be criminals.

Now, I know what you are all thinking. "But, but, but Anok - those things are all just material things! They aren't as important as your life!" And to an extent, I agree. What are material things? Nothing, honestly. But it isn't the things that one would be fighting for, but rather the depth of character that one needs to survive in a world full of thieves and crooks willing to take every last thing you have, including your dignity.

If anyone can convince me as to why we should be a complacent, pansified society, I'll send them a famous Anok cookie!

In any society, those who are taught to be victims, will be victims. Being the victim perpetuates the cycle of crime and abuse so that ever more victims are created, ensuring that the profitable cycle will continue.

I have no qualm with pacifists, except that in a world without laws, or little regard for laws, pacifists will be among the first to go. It would be a wonderful place to live if there were no violence, no guns, no murders or robberies, but that Utopian world will not exist until we stand up for ourselves.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the "authorities" if they aren't corrupt - cannot instantly materialize to help you out in a dangerous situation. Ergo, you've just got to take care of business yourself.

Furthermore, just imagine how accommodating our government would be if they thought that the general population were just as dangerous, when provoked, as the very people they are telling us to be terrified of? I think politically speaking, the world would be a very different place.

24 comments:

Kelly said...

I completely agree! This is slightly different but along the same lines as what you are saying. My oldest son is 9 and this boy in school has been bothering him the entire year. He has told the teacher and the boy gets a mild scolding and it continues. Although we do not promote our son starting a fight, we tell him to stand up for himself and not let others pick on him. The other day, the boy shoved my son so my son had enough and layed it on the boy! He got in-school detention but he was not in trouble with us at all. In fact, I thought "good for you"! Others might not agree but we are raising him to be a man, not a pansy! Not that being a man means fighting, but it sure means being able to defend yourself and/or your family.

cayasm said...

It would seem that the criminal has got the upper hand, we have become victims even if no crime has been perpretrated against us, because we remain silent, as we do not wish to face possible reprucussions by doing the right thing, luckily I was always taught to fight back, not just for the sake of it but to let others know that I was not to become their victim. We have the same problems in the UK people being murdered on their doorsteps for speaking out against vandals etc. There is always talk of changing the laws why not enforce the laws that are already in place!

timethief said...

I've had it with the pansification too. Jeez Louise - there's a wimp virus being communicated from person to person out there and it's time to turn it back around. Moreover, it's ridiculous that we are not teaching our children how to defend themselves and are allowing them to lump out rather than being fit and healthy.

There's no way on this earth that I'm willing to wimp out if I'm attacked. I have taken self defense classes on 4 different occasions over the last decade. One class was focused on teaching us how to spontaneously turn any object into a weapon.

I'm small but I'm fit. One idiot tried to grab my purse at a bus stop a couple of years ago. My training kicked in instantly. I jumped on his instep, kneed him in the face giving him a nosebleed when he bent over and then I clubbed him over the back of the neck with my purse. When he turned to run away I kicked him in the ass for good measure.

The people at the bus stop stood there with their mouths hanging open except for 2 young teenage boys who said: "You rock!" as I got on the bus in front of them.

Anyone who messes with me messes with a country woman, who can and who will come back at them with full power and fierce determination.

SSB said...

I agree. Even in the fast food industry if you have an irrate customer you go to the mananger. If the place is robbed then you're supposed to do everything the attacker tells you to do. It's annoying. These people think they can get away w/ criminal attacks because it takes some time to call the police. If they knew that we could defend ourselves would they be quite as likely to do something illegal?

Anok said...

Yup, I agree with you guys and gals 100%

Kelly - great comment, great points. The "Zero tolerance" bullshit policy in schools are removing kids from responsibility, as well as problem solving. Granted - bullying sucks but that is in the realm of poor parenting, not in the realm of educational standards. I've always felt that an instigator should be punished for his actions - but the "victim" who wallops him should go unpunished. Punishment of course, depending on each individual situation.

Cayasm - Great points. We DO give criminals the upper hand, by leaving all manner of justice in the hands of so-called authorities.

Timethief - Your post made me literally laugh out loud - not that getting almost mugged is funny - but still. The mental picture was priceless. I too will kick serious ass, now. It took a long time before I realized that not only that I could, but that it was OK too.

Shirley - yes! The mindless operations of corporate society - food service industries and the like is a great example of this problem with problem solving. We are taught that we aren't "authorized" to make decisions on our own - or at all. Maybe if we focused more on proper education (problem resolution included) and allowed properly trained employees to make decisions on their own - we would have happier employees - and less problems all around.

Renegade Eye said...

This blog is good, on such issues.

If jail doesn't affect crime, what does? It beats the death penalty.

Anok said...

Ren, crime will only be affected by preventative techniques.

Education, (REAL education), solid economy, solid family structures (not traditional - I'm not saying that, just solid families), self awareness, self defense, the list can go on and on, really.

Retaliatory techniques don't prevent anything, and our legal system has such holes in it that many criminals know that they can do it, and either get away with altogether, or get a slap on the wrist.

The threat of the death penalty doesn't work either (obviously). Overt and meaningless threats don't work. Particularly not of the punishment will occur long after the fact.

Laws do nothing. Action, preventative, defensive do.

But that's just me.

RickB said...

Well yes it is part of deference to authority that is preferred by...the authorities. I wouldn't say it's really about criminals as such as a culture where violence resides only in the state hence self defence is disallowed. Also an iconography of uniforms, wait for help from the big brave...mob of heavily armed cops.

If you can handle it youself do it, if you need help get reinforcements, it's not rocket science. However I don't think an automatic negative judgement on someone who doesn't resist should be made (parents make victims and bullies of their children, behind closed doors many traumas are visited on children), rather empower them to be self possessed. Also some extremely physically capable people become pacifists so there is more to that than simply not wanting to fight, I wouldn't call a special forces vet who becomes a pacifist a pansy...well I suppose I could what would he do? Hmmm.
(also pansification isn't that really a bully's slur with roots in misogyny & homophobia that values violence above any other quality? Pacification would be better, because it is what is happening, hand over not only your physical weapons but your spiritual/mental resistance to authority and show due deference to uniformed agents of the state, at the same time violence in service of the ruling class is lionised.)
When does the time of self defence against those criminals come due?

Dave Dubya said...

This all goes to the fact that governments want sheeple to govern. That way the government will always be the suprememe authority and enforcer, regardless of any effect it really has.

A fearful populace is a compliant populace.

It also profits from the criminal/legal/corporate prison/surveillance complex. It profits so much that it even establishes crime when there is none. Hence cannabis prohibition. Perfect for suppressing the vote and demonizing counter cultures.

All this adds up to a permanent state of government cultivated fear. Years ago, I always saw the war on drugs as a sort of dress rehearsal for the coming war on terror. Both are the perfect tools for instilling fear and offering false protection for the loss of civil liberties.

Our government's manufactured culture of fear is what is truly destroying us. We are the most xenophobic, paranoid bunch of sheep ripe for the corporatocracy's fleecing.

For the Reich, this is mission accomplished.

Daniel Owen said...

Hear hear!

an average patriot said...

The Pansified American! You're funny but I'll take one of those cookies. I may need the food. to a lot of people it might be good advice to do nothing but not for me and the men I raised. Being Pansified plays into the needs of this mis-Administration.

PoliShifter said...

I was going to say something similar to what Dave Dubya said.

Government thinks it can function better if everyone respects authority and if the public is in a state of fear. There is some truth to that. It was the politics of fear that allowed Bush to manipulate the media and the public into supporting an invasion of Iraq. Waiving the bloody shirt.

But at the microlevel it's also taught from birth to respect authority. We are to listen to our parents, mind our teachers, and not question authority.

We are taught to be passive and average. Never try to achieve too much....safety in numbers....stay in the thick of the curve.

I think those that teach not to fight back or resist are largely doing CYA.

You can't have a police officer go to the school and tell the children to fight the mugger or rapist because if the victim is killed or injured the police dept will get sued.

On similar lines to perhaps training people to defend themselves I've often thought a compulsory once a month service in the National Guard or State Militia should be mandatory.

I think that would go a long way toward actual National Defense if we were all organized and could band together into a giant army in the event Al Qaeda plans a D-Day and invades America (/snark).

I think it would also prepare people for what to do in the case of natural disaster (what some call God's Wrath for TeH Gays.)

Then again, if we weren't a nation of cowards who lived in fear then Government wouldn't be able to convince us as easilty to spend 50% of the U.S. Treasury on Military.

Anok said...

RickB - You make some good points. I don't necessarily agree with them - but they are good ;). To me it is less about say - a vet becoming a pacifist on a large scale (world peace - peace resolution of international and national conflicts) and rather our nation teaching women and children and men, to lay down and play dead every time someone tries to do something harmful to them. They are being taught to be afraid of everything.

By the way - I'm using "Pansification" because I overuse "Wussification" ;) No homosexual slurs are intended by that whatsoever. To answer your last question - I think the time is due right now.

Dave Dubya - my sentiments exactly.

Jim - Hey one of these days I'm coming over to invade your house. I'll bring cookies ;)

Daniel - I knew you'd like it!

Polishifter - Hey! Good to hear from ya! You bring up some excellent points. About sue happy people - that is a different issue altogether, and one that grinds my nerves even worse than this issue. There are ways around that though. The authorities - schools, teachers and parents don't need to tell people to fight and be held responsible. Instead they can simply teach the up and coming generation when to fight, how to fight, and why they should fight, if need be.

When I was seriously studying martial arts I was taught to pick my battles. So along with what RickB was saying above, there is a time and a place for pacifism. There is a time and a place to fight. I think so long as we stop thinking in terms of black and white - fear and pacifism - we could, theoretically create a world where neither exists.

Daniel Owen said...

I've had enough of working-class people being terrorised by scum. I think the "community policing" developed by the IRA was dead-on. We need punishment for anti-social criminals.

Don Lewis said...

Well said Anok, and all the other non-sheeple here as well.

The other day, on a discussion group, I mentioned that all humans have a fundamental Right of self-defense. I was immediately directed to the UN charter on human rights, where I was told, no such right was listed. LOL! The UN, a haven for thugs, gangsters, and tyrants has decided that I have no Right to defend myself from the likes of them.

I'm always shocked that so many people mistake a Right for a privilege. I have certain inalienable Rights as a state of human existence (And so do all people.) A Privilege, like owning the means of self-protection when granted by a Government, can never be a right because it is revocable.

And revoked it will be, whenever a state believes itself to have pacified its citizen-slaves to the point where they will surrender their Rights in exchange for dross.

Can I have a cookie now?

an average patriot said...

Anok Bells on my toes baby! That would be a long day! i thought through quite a bit last night and this area of the State will do well while much of the country is hurting and I will get it started. We have some great local resources!

Pentad said...

I feel that you are discussing several issues at the same time, and tying them all together. Yet, as you stated, it is your 'theory'. It is also a bit important to not throw all of a differing position into one bag, connotating negativity to the word or label, 'pacifist', and as being an equivalent of 'complacent'. That just does not make sense to me, although I understand that this is how others see it. That doesn't concern me too much at a personal level.

I am definitely a peace-loving person, and not ashamed to admit it. I am also for the legalization of most things (liberal laws, and retaining rights that the people hold dear). I really don't fit into any political party for this reason.

I tend to look at issue by issue, following the evidence as to what is necessary in a society, and what may not have any real effects. To this I feel that we have too little research to base decisions upon. Unfortunately. It also seems to be that too few are not funded by lobbyist groups, as with much else in society.

I would prefer if people in a country were more concerned with discussing the causes of ill-happenings, rather than fighting about the symptoms. I do also think, and have experienced elsewhere that a more economically equalizing fundament in operation in society does help with criminality in general. With everyone doing OK, the need for petty theft, house burglaries, etc. for example, kind of falls away. That doesn't mean that we rid ourselves completely of crime. I believe that there are more important issues that people should be using their emotional energy on. Another example of this is legalizing pot. I don't understand why it cannot be legalized, and especially for medicinal purposes.

I've personally been physically attacked many times by psychiatric patients in my nursing years. Worked for awhile on the high-security ward for the criminally insane. It was a pretty dangerous working environment. It did teach me, though, that there are many ways in which to handle dangerous and potentially life threatening situations. Discussing alternative thinking and solutions is quite refreshing. That doesn't mean that one is anti-weapon, but being allowed to question practices and common beliefs.....well, I see that as necessary in every society. Why is questioning always seen as something threatening?? I think everyone really just wants solutions that work.

Anok said...

Don - you don't get a cookie unless you convince that I'm wrong, silly :D . Oh hell, I'll send ya one. It might be stale by the time it gets there though.

Daniel - yup community policing that's what it's all about in my mind. Maybe policing is the wrong word. How about community cooperation? As in, actually working on prevention - like Pentad brought up.

Pentad - you have some excellent points. I would say that I personally categorize pacifism into different grouping with slightly different meanings and applications. Pacifism on a large scale - globally let's say is a fantastic goal, and not something that has been pansified. Pacifism on a small scale can work too - however I would only agree with it so long as the pacifist is only so with him or herself, and not with regards to people who cannot defend themselves.

For example - a parent with a small child. The parent may be a pacifist for herself, and may choose not to use force to defend herself in any situation - but it is her duty to protect the child who cannot make that choice, even if force is necessary, the pacifist will have to use force - other she will have allowed harm and force (which is not a pacifist ideal) to come upon someone who cannot defend themselves.

That is why I believe that pacifism on small, personal scales don't work. Because there will allows be a situation where force is actually warranted. The idea that the world will be a peaceful place right down to every individual is great, just unrealistic.

Your other points, however, are spot on. treat the causes, not the symptom. I think that a fearful society is indeed part of the cause. So is the economy, and lack of proper education. Couple all that with a degrading sense of personal responsibility (also reinforced by a fearful society) and you have the right conditions to grow some serious crime.

Fran said...

All this sounds good, but I'll play devils advocate here. Some people really should not have guns. Take Dick Cheney for instance.
But how do we deal with the guns running amuck in schools- college campuses etc. I can;t think having gun showdowns @ school is where we want to go.

Anok said...

OK, Fran, you got me on the Cheney incident, I just can't argue that LOL.

Guns on primary school grounds are already illegal, as are college campuses. However, both students and faculty members on college grounds are all adults. They are all legally allowed to apply for a concealed weapon permit, and whoever does so, must go through some rigorous checking. There are background checks, safety classes, references, waiting periods etc...

Most people who go through the trouble to get a license like that are also usually highly skilled and practiced in gun ownership and use.

All that said, I think that if we, as a society focused more on proper education (all types from self defense, gun safety, and academic education) we, as a society, would have very few Cheney incidents, and far less crime over all.

kdawg68 said...

Is is just me, or did the "pansification" of our country seemingly coincide with the rise to fame of Ryan Seacrest?

This article reminds me of the high school walkout I organized as a senior. It was classic "common sense" against "institutionalized pansification."

Our school went to a "zero tolerance" policy with violence after a slew of brutal attacks (some race related). The policy said if you were involved in a fight - you would be expelled. No grey area - no questions asked.

Well, long story short, one of my teammates on the football team was taking supplies to a classroom as a teacher's aide late in the day, when he was jumped by a gang of black kids that hooked class (daily) and hung out by the heaters. It was about 10 on 1 and Jarrett, my teammate, ended up fighting back and putting 2 or 3 of them in the hospital before he finally went down.

When they got him down they stomped the shit out of him and did really bad damage.

He got expelled for "fighting." Our question was - what the hell was he supposed to do? Let them kick the shit out of him without fighting back? Is that the message we wanted to send? I've heard of "turn the other cheek" before, but I think that's really taking it out of context.

The problem, as we saw it, was that there were gangs of kids permitted to hook class and terrorize other students actually there to better themselves. That's the problem - that's what needs correction. We'll be a better school if we get that under control. I don't think anyone in the school is worried about being attacked by Jarrett.

Anyhow, we walked out - shut the school down for days and had tv crews there covering the story and all. In the end the administration buckled and caved into our demands.

In fact, I think I ended up serving a longer suspension than Jarrett did. Two of his attackers that could be positively ID'd (because they went to the hospital for treatment) were expelled, and the rest got off scott-free because he couldn't be certain who they were.

So yes, I abhore the pansification of our youth. I teach my son that there are times when you've got to fight. Don't start the fight, but if someone starts it with you, by god be good ready and end it as quickly and decisively as possible.

Linda said...

I feel like my head has been in the sand. I just want to tell you now, your blog is awesome.I am so glad to have found it.
I I also was told to not fight back,until I got to martial arts training, in which my sensei said, "Are you kidding me?! Fight like a monster. You may win or you may lose, but you will hurt the m#@$f#%%$! Take him down girl!" Works for me.
I also tend to believe that complacency is something that is encouraged in our society, sometimes it is gender based which is obvious, but yes, society is conditioned to not fight back, to allow victimization from all levels. To trust in an outside authority figure is the same as not trusting in yourself, to me anyway and yes, it leads to being easily lead or complacent or an easy target on many levels besides safety. Part of the bigger plan no doubt.

Daniel Owen said...

kdawg -- Great post, great story! It's part of this whole bullshit PC lefty-liberal emasculation of society.

Bette said...

Well said.