Straitjackets of Normalcy

I have so many things to do that it is hard to know where to start. It is hard to know where to start because realistically, there is not enough time to accomplish it all — if there were, I could start anywhere. I would prefer to just start anywhere but I must first discern which task takes priority, since I know I cannot finish everything on time; this is very difficult since I have already reduced the size and scope of everything to a minimum.

I am glad at least that my building at work no longer feels hostile or empty, and that I can feel calm at work. I am glad I no longer dread work because of dreading the feeling of dread that came with it.


It is easy to criticize oneself but the actual meaning of my overly busy situation is not that I do not know how to manage time, but that my responsibilities are too diverse. People used to say that about my last job, but (a) it was not true except in comparison with a job an Ivy/public Ivy or Big Ten school, and (b) they had not seen this job which is far more diverse.

The Reeducated would tell me I am “blaming circumstances” when I should be “taking responsibility.”  Such people haven’t the faintest idea what they are talking about. In addition, if they had ever moved from a more abusive to a less or non abusive workplace, which I have done about three times at this point,  they should have observed that circumstances do in fact change people. It is not all you, and it is not all a question of how “spiritual” you are able to be or “how you look at things.” I am a materialist and I say practice forms theory.


In the Reeducated world, which appears to be the world of the Average Mentality, one cannot know things. In the time of Reeducation this idealist world thought it inappropriate for me to know I did not have time to complete my project as assigned. Nor was I supposed to realize I had not done all the necessary reading. I was to assume that the perception of a need to read was “procrastination,” and that the realization that a deadline I could refuse was unrealistic was “low self esteem” or some such thing. The only forbidden thought was that I could possibly have analyzed the situation correctly.

Now I have discovered that someone else is doing this abandoned project. Reading through the articles, I realize this person really has done all the reading I thought necessary, and more. I was right all along. The project of Reeducation may be to remove one’s legitimate authority, and to keep everyone seething about in some mendicant form of anxious seeking.

In the case my current project, it is past time for me to have started writing — even though there is much more which could be read. It is hard to write because I have so much material, it cannot be put into a small box. The only solution to is to write a great deal, as quickly as possible, and to put as much time into it as possible.

If I were still Reeducated, I would be questioning that thought. How could I be so arrogant as to think I can know for myself what I should do, and so on; how could I possibly believe I had professional expertise; and on, and on. And yet I have.


4 thoughts on “Straitjackets of Normalcy

  1. Most of the time the reeducated speak to me in a very xenophobic way. They can’t imagine that different cultural circumstances exist, and that other ways of looking at things are possible for that reason. They think I must be taking an irresponsible line — inventing these realities with my own mind. That is how the reeducated ones deal with the notion of alternatives. They are viewed as temptations, an opportunity to get off the straight and narrow — to sin.

    1. Those are actually great points. Notice, then, the self centeredness and judgmentalness of the reeducated, which would be the reason why they preach so much about how it is “better to be happy than right” and all those things. Spot on about cultural differences and “sin.”

  2. Also, regarding capitalism and exploitative systems in general — one of the main problems that those brought up in capitalist societies seem to have is in terms of knowing themselves. They suffer from the same problem as those who are brought up by abusive parents (perhaps more so, since ‘the parents’ who abuse them are impersonal, and so they never get to confront them and work it all out).

    To be brought up by an abusive parent is to experience a state of conditioning whereby one does not know who one is. The worker hears the refrain from the capitalist boss: “You are the parts of me that I disavow; that I do not like, which I had to be once, but now fervently disown: you are a humble worker.”

    He or she knows that they have no chance to express their own identity, to be whole and genuine in the way that they would like to be. Rather, they have to take on these negative aspects of identity, and work with them, instead.

    As a consequence of the systematisation of this treatment, a lot of people grow up without every having experienced themselves as a whole being, with the capacity to make radically free choices, and to express themselves in a way that is both healthy and without constraint.

    Due to the repression of their human nature, they learn to understand that self-expression “without constraint” will always come out as an unhealthy bundle of accusations, confusion and rage.

    Hence in Western culture (in particular) being “emotional” is understood pejoratively. This is a direct reflection of the dynamics of capitalist culture.

    The solution to all this is a painful: “Know Thyself.”

  3. That kind of parents, bosses, and teachers, as well as interrogators and torturers always claim they know you better than you know yourself — it’s the whole point of the m.o. Except if you ask for real engagement / discussion / opinions, in which case they (impersonal, distant) will say “you know best.” They all like to exercise authority over other peoples’ BEING very much, while withholding themselves — the opportunity to do this is why they want to be parents, teachers, and so on.

    “…self-expression “without constraint” will always come out as an unhealthy bundle of accusations, confusion and rage.” [We have this problem in my family.]

    “Hence in Western culture (in particular) being ’emotional’ is understood pejoratively. This is a direct reflection of the dynamics of capitalist culture.”

    Definitely — spot on / key points … because emotion is equated with irrationality (the bad kind), yes, yes.

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