Bullyism in Schools, 9-11-2001, The Twin Towers, and the Terror of Islamism

Bullyism is the practice of achieving ends by physical coercion including torture, intimidation, the brain-washing mind-rape of coercive persuasion, and the lies of propaganda. It is a practice distinguished by aggressive rather than defensive action. A well practiced habit of achievement by means of physical torture, mental cruelty, emotional trauma, intimidation and brain-washing (coercive persuasion).

The goal or achievement is eradication or radical suppression of the subject of its condemnation, an individual, group or a society. Bullyism is born out of a perception of power differences and the willingness of the aggressor to use dominating power in a situation where the willingness of the defenseless to acquiesce is sensed. If bullyism is tried and it works, its success breeds a habit of aggressive action.

Bullyism is probably a primary act tried very early in life and habituated before the cerebral cortex has formed as an inhibiting force. Try reasoning with a furious child! Empathize with the mom of a screaming, red-eyed child in the supermarket. Mom isn’t giving, so the tantrum starts. So Mom must become the inhibiting power.

  • Let it scream and ignore it, hoping it will burn out in time?
  • Pacify it with giving in to its demands?
  • Compromise it with the substitution of something equally or more desirable to both Mom and child?
  • Distract it with another object or event?
  • Punish it with a shaking or a few well placed whacks?
  • Remove it to the car outside and the care of a sibling? Hire a nanny?
  • Shame it with the view of others looking on at this ugliness of the little perp?
  • Make promises (bribes) of a future reward such as a trip to Disneyland?
  • Hand it a dollar to spend on anything in the store costing a dollar?

The red-eyed screamer is probably attempting to bully Mom to accede to a wish, making the Mom self-conscious with embarrassment. I doubt that the kid senses a power to embarrass as another situational tool. Its rage probably sense nothing but its attainment of a very material goal.

Should the child be dealt with, at once? On the spot? If so, “discuss” with the child the cause of the bullyism taking hold of the child at that moment.

There are some simple alternatives to be chosen by the Mom and those by the child, giving the child some choices along with reasonable justifications for each alternative. Such a “discussion” would take some extra time out of what was originally to be accomplished at the supermarket that day. Are the child’s concerns of little importance and deemed a very small thing by a busy, overworked Mom? Or, is the child’s instruction in civilized behavior worth the time it would take then and there? Each time thereafter the amount of time required would probably diminish, and the child would have been inculcated with the rudiments of democratic society, the give and take of elementary discussion and argumentation. Some little gray cells will start to make connections for future pathways of behavior. Persistence in this pursuit is the key to instruction.

Bullying Communities and Whole Societies

Regarding other sorts of bullyism, think of the “bad” societies of the past which were led by the bullying of dictatorships, both theocratic and political. Presently, North Korea. Back when, Stalinist U.S.S.R. Pol Pot’s killing fields. Hitler’s “Final Solution” in Germany, which was, oddly, one of the most religious of societies. There were social groups, rather tribes and communities, with human sacrifice, cannibalism, robber barons, drug lords, the Vandals, Napoleon’s France, the Crusaders, the Inquisition, the Dar Fur rampaging genocide, Islamic radical terrorism, sections of large cities in the U.S. (and other nations, as well) controlled by the sub-cultural “gangs”, and so on.

Think, too, of those now on-going movements labeled “Arab Spring” in the Middle-East against dictators and other facist-style leaderships, as harbingers of reformed futures.

The U.S. has its share, in spite of the claim to have a democratic society. It is well known that children in the public schools of the U.S. are required to hold their urine all day, for fear of going to the un-monitored restroom, where frightening acts of bullyism can and do take place.

Bullyism! Ubiquitous facism. A most anti-democratic form of human interaction prevalent today! Ripe for educational treatment, in a later chapter.

The history of the human race can be viewed as a process of the sliver of bullyism working its way through the body of historical experience until it finally comes out. For that, this analogy: I once had a pebble in my elbow from being ridden by my brother on the bar of his bike. We hit a railroad track at an angle which threw us to the ground, me onto my back. The road was wet with rain; we were dumped to the side, my back hit the road, and my elbow hit the gravel. A pebble went into my elbow flesh; I did not know it was there until it came out a decade later. That bullyism character will eventually exit the body politic if I have any power to persuade this society to swallom my medicine.

As for present bullyism, the list of physical and verbal rage goes on. It’s Ann Coulter’s words. It’s “bring-it-on” George Bush the Preempter. (What, btw, was that which was preempted?) It was Hitler’s Big Lie” and Friday night decrees. Taliban public lashings and beheadings. Bin Laden’s Twin Towers atrocity. Name-calling by everyone everywhere, hanging contemptuous, scornful, prejudicial labels on people by verbal bullies. Character assassination. The practices of individuals who have nothing but the willingness and ability to use any means in taking from others by force what they have. The law of the claw. The fright of the bite. The gist of the fist. The crunch of the truncheon. The idea of the verbal i.e.d. (improvised explosive device). The de-individuation of the mask of the perpetrator. The ploy of the verbal bully to grossly over-simplify by stereotyping a person can do damage if the audience for that insulting technique is intellectually challenged to recognize the insult in stereotyping. The verbal and physical ways of the oppressor-bully are multitudinous.

Tyrannosaurus Rex, the giant lizard, would not be a good example of natural bullyism because there was no social content in its formidable nature. T. Rex specialized in size and tool of tooth for satisfying its hunger, at the top of the food chain, and a first candidate for extinction by its ultra-specialization in the characteristic having least survivability, as are all bullies majoring in brute force. Time erases such brute-force tools as a blind alley of evolution because it is unthinking power that submits every time to the shape of its murderous weapons. Crouching in the shadows of such beastly models is the observing organism balancing alternative responses.

In the United States, the national symbol is a high-flying bird of prey, eagle eyes, a ripping beak and sharp talons, but all in the service of a respectable need to feed, although we probably chose it because of its rather fierce appearance. The lone eagle. (True at present because of our belligerent stance in the world.)

[(A digression.) Could our national symbol be the honey bee? It is a rather peaceful matriarchal creature providing sweet food for its young and assures survival by prodigious, full employment, worker industry. But each individual has a stinger, universal military capability, for dying in defense of its hive-nation. (Sounds somewhat socialistic, eh?) Now with its current endangerment we will learn how valuable it has been to our society. The bald eagle (recently on the endangered-species list) is held sacred by those who believe in its intimidating stature, to those who have that base streak of bullyism. And haven’t we made a name for ourselves as the world’s economic and military bully lately? If the choice of a national symbol were being made today, what would you choose? Animal, vegetable or mineral? Bison? Wheat? Gold?]

Perhaps a rogue elephant would better portray an animal driven to bullyism by human intrusions into its space. There is a social element in bullyism. It is learned. Human specimens which have specialized in the powerful physique may also have developed powerful urges to throw their weight around. Athletic models abound for the “peaceful” channeling of individual power. I would propose a law of sport: the more opportunity for sports in a society, the greater is the prospect for a thriving democratic society. Soccer hooliganism lowers the perception and state of the democratic values of that society. I would propose a “law” of culture: the more peaceful relations among cultural groups, the greater is the prospect for a thriving democratic society. Our heritage of separation of church and state, thus squelching the theocratic impulse to be seen in much of the rest of the world, contributes to our claim that we are one of the outstanding examples of a thriving democracy. The playground bully evidences the lack of sportsmanship. He has been taught the power play that comes of size and fighting skill. What has not been inculcated in the playground bully is the alternative human response to inhibit or moderate and control aggression by substituting more democratic attitudes for the good of the whole and his personal future welfare.

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