This is the beginning of a first draft of some principles to think of when listening to Reeducated people and Reeducands.

1. I chose my schools and my majors. My choice of schools was stellar and my choices of majors were well considered. If someone else paid for it or for part of it, that is not my fault. I was hardly too immature to go away to a large, urban, research university as a freshman; I chose it because it was what I needed.

2. I reserve the right to feel grateful for, not resentful of these opportunities.

3. I have accomplished a great deal as a result of effort on MY part, and I can accomplish a great deal more MYSELF.

Most of my choices and accomplishments in life (aside from those coerced by others or based on poor information or fear) have been good.

5. My first thought is usually the right one and I need to listen to it more often rather than less often.

6. Even  in poor circumstances I can and should take more, not less control over my life.

7. I am not more defective than others. I may even be less defective than those who insist I am defective.

8. The existence of persons like me is not hurtful to others except in terms of carbon imprint and so on.

9. I have a future and I can find a solution to any problems I have in my life either myself or with the help of smart people. I have no obligation to negotiate with people who believe only desperation is decorous.

10. I am under no obligation to comprehend peoples’ convoluted world views and then negotiate permission from them not to participate. I already have permission.


44 thoughts on “Anti-Reeducation

  1. No, of course your existence isn’t hurtful! That is the whole point. People only attack you because they want a piece of your benefits (your positive qualities) and are too cowardly to ask for that directly.

  2. Gracias, y’all! (Are you sure about that last sentence, Jennifer? I thought it was because my being threatened the internal consistency of their world view!)

  3. I suspect it is very likely true, Z, because an world view that is genuinely self-contained and happy is not easily disrupted by outsiders who simply happen to be different.

      1. More work, more relationships, more expertise, more knowledge, just always learning and expanding.

        What they used to call “Having it all.” Instead of buying into this idea that you have to make sacrifices to be successful.

        Last night I had a wonderful time with two delightful little girls who were daughters of a friend. They were fun and wild and so eager to enjoy life and know about things. Those are the qualities that the duties of life can ruin in a woman. Now that the workload in my life is less, I can allow myself more playtime, and what I find is that I’m working harder than ever, but it’s only at things I really enjoy.

  4. It’s freaky how the technology works. I did get a spam comment from Russia and spam it (never approved it, it went right to spam). But this must be it. And it happened while WordPress was having technical problems that scrambled my other site. HMMMM.

    1. Just thought I would let you know, incase people thought you were sending them weird stuff that you weren’t even aware of. Australia has elections today. I hope we don’t all go down the gurgler. I know people who will vote for policies that damage them because they want to feel like moral and upright citizens.

  5. Thanks! And good God, this is indeed the reason people vote against their own best interests: “vote for policies that damage them because they want to feel like moral and upright citizens.” Ay!

  6. So it seems the Australian elections are still undecided.

    And I’m not saying I don’t still like this list, but I find it somewhat distressing since it seems to indicate that I’ve been a torture victim and out of disempoweredness of some kind, may have been complicit in this to some degree.

    1. Take a leaf out of the book of Erich Fromm — those who realise that they are torture victims are the superior torture victims, the ones who have enough moral resilience and awareness to say, “this is wrong”. This was Fromm’s argument. I remember reading something to the effect that those who are deemed neurotic are the ones who are still fighting the battle for their integrity when the others (the majority) have give in. Nietzsche’s view was very similar.

  7. Nietzsche’s view was that one had to have exceptional strength to break away from a state of unity with the herd. But these are the guys who create consensus to punish those who are different from them. So the more awareness you have, the more neurotic you become, and the more internal pressure you feel in trying to justify your right to break from the herd. You really need to just blast off from them, using a lot of combustive energy. And even then, your troubles are only starting.

  8. Yes, it’s true, and also interesting is the amazement of this IRL friend of mine whose eyes widen as I say these things. She says: “It is so amazing that you can actually SAY that. Not just that you see it, but that you can also SAY it.” Insufficiently repressed, that’s me. 😉

  9. You are. You need to take time out, however, and go to some place like Zimbabwe, where everybody realises (because the revolution is still fresh) that oppression has a material (not moral) origin.

  10. Well I do go to such places and even spaces, I just have trouble connecting with that mindspace when here. This is my main problem with being here.

  11. Yeah, somehow I did get into the mindspace of Zimbabwe. When I say my whole trip was “a trip”, that is really how it seemed to me. You have to be kind of “wrecked out of your wounds” before you get to this point. It also helps to have a local guide.

  12. hahahaha.

    I think there is a reason people take drugs if they want to open themselves up (legitimately) to new experiences. It is because the existing cultural frames and superego repression do not, otherwise, allow you to experience anything new.

  13. Yes well — I have a superego I need to move aside and/or reconfigure … an ongoing project I would do well to articulate in those terms ALL the time.

    Perhaps drugs might help. Salvia divinorum is legal but when I tried it, it seemed not to have an effect. Perhaps it would now.

    1. Salvia divinorum looks interesting. I don’t know. Mike has taken heavier drugs than I. My experiences have been very, very limited.

      I think the important thing in shamanism is to be able to create a dialogue between various components of one’s self. One is no longer one, but many — and thus one is able to tweak certain components of the self so that they start to behave a little differently. Maybe one has to already be thinking a bit this way before one partakes of anything chemical — I mean, if one is to get a good result.

      1. That could be true, to start thinking this way first. I adopted a new superego today, of sorts — a large sort of space alien or robot, I’m not sure, it doesn’t say what to do but it is armed and helps fight the whiteman style superego. 😉

  14. It also helps to depersonalise personal feelings — that is, to see them as being manufactured not by one’s mind or body, but by the structure of the system at large. One says, “Yes, I see now. How I am feeling is exactly how influential power structures wish to me to feel, so that I may be brought into line with the values and ideals of those who would rule over me.”

  15. Had an awesome dream last night that I drove to my old school, and was trying to catch armfulls of seagulls swarming around. I think my instincts have not betrayed me after all.

    By the way, here is some more information on women’s status in Zimbabwe, FYI.

    I went back to Zimbabwe recently, where a small group of people still living the colonial lifestyle still prevail. In Zimbabwe’s black and white cultures, women are still referred to as “ladies”, for the most part, and are expected to have concomitant characteristics, such as being too delicate to do a number of things and needing male protection. This system of gender does not work against individual women, although it generally works to keep them as a group in their place. For instance taxi drivers will often pick up women first, rather than a male client, especially if she is calling at night, because they believe that women need to be protected more than men do. On the other hand, “ladies” are supposed to do their part by dressing real, real nice, especially on Sundays, or for a trip to the shopping centre. They are also supposed to uphold the belief that women and men are essentially different kinds of beings.

    Another thing is that Zimbabwean men generally have no idea about female biology — and neither do many Zimbabwean women. I’m suspecting that the pill is now widely prescribed there, so many of the women deal with fairly bad menstrual cramping. This is explained, in polite company, as “having a headache”. Men believe that women suddenly become shy, are unable to eat their food with much gusto, and so on, because that is part of women’s psychological nature. They do not make a link to the actual biological cause of this behaviour. Furthermore, a lot of women also seem to be confused about this matter, believing that prolonged bleeding (for a month or more) can be caused by “witches” (those who are jealous of you and wish you harm) or by the womb becoming tipped over so that it can “no longer hold any blood.”

    I was teaching women’s self defence there, at a rural primary school, and was asked also to address the issue of female hygiene — although this certainly was not my area. The Shona man I was with said he didn’t know anything about that topic, and he seemed, from what I could see, to be speaking quite literally.

      1. The seagulls mean flying without having to try to.

        Zim is pre-feminist, except for a few alert activists. The negative side of this is obvious. The positive side is that the men are not yet completely at war with their women, but seem to deem it appropriate to perform intermittent acts of gallantry.

      2. In general my trip makes me less likely to side with “difference feminism” rather than “equality feminism”. I see that males are quite capable of treating women as their moral equals, especially if one is considered to be of the same social class. It’s when the idea of “difference” is introduced that the male mind goes awry and starts seeing all sorts of things that are not there to begin with.

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