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Forum Post: From Bullies to Buddies

Posted 8 years ago on Nov. 6, 2011, 9:26 a.m. EST by derek (302)
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A comment someone made about "getting even" (presumably with the 1%) reminded me of some excellent advice by Izzy Kalman, who is a school psychologist with a technique that has beet proven successful at reducing bullying in schools and other places. Could his "Bullies to Buddies" ideas somehow work for reducing the economic bullying in our society by the 1% (or some of the rest of us)?

He writes here on the problem of getting "revenge" for a life time of bullying all at once, that it would probably end with you in prison for doing terrible crimes: http://bullies2buddies.com/Sample-Chapters/lesson-6-getting-revenge.html

As he says there: "Accept that your teasers are not completely to blame for what they have done to you. Of course, you are very angry at them and want to see them punished for the terrible injustices they have committed against you. As far as you have been able to tell until now, you have been nothing but an innocent victim of cruel kids [and the 1% and the banksters], and they deserve to pay for their cruelty. And its true— you have been an innocent victim because you did not want your teasers to be treating you the way they have. However, that doesn't mean that it is all their fault, either. ... They were really just playing a game with you, but you couldn't see it, and you couldn't see that anything you did to win would automatically make you lose. By getting mad, you were forcing them to win. ... Of course, you couldn't understand this at the time. But now you do. Can you really expect them to receive a horrible, horrible punishment when you were practically begging them to torment you? It's really not fair to them. It's like throwing bread crumbs to pigeons and then shooting them for the crime of eating the crumbs."

From the point of view of the 1%, this is how some may see it: "If God Had Not Meant Them to Be Sheared, He Would Not Have Made Them Sheep!" http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/11/if-god-had-not.html

Step by step, we let the 1% build these economic cages around us. Many of us willingly but perhaps unknowingly played along with the game. We voted for people who let this happen, and even voted them back into office (like Bush and now Obama). See for example Howard Zinn's point here: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncomrev24.html "In a highly developed society, the Establishment cannot survive without the obedience and loyalty of millions of people who are given small rewards to keep the system going: the soldiers and police, teachers and ministers, administrators and social workers, technicians and production workers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, transport and communications workers, garbage men and firemen. These people-the employed, the somewhat privileged-are drawn into alliance with the elite. They become the guards of the system, buffers between the upper and lower classes. If they stop obeying, the system falls."

In a way, we of the 99% have as a society let the 1% bully much of the rest for decades in various ways (including accepted a twisted logic of "The Market As God" related to supply-side economics). http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1999/03/the-market-as-god/6397/

But as Izzy Kalman makes the point, we let this happen. We the 99% are in that sense partially at fault. We let it happen, year after year after year. Maybe we did not ask for it, but we allowed it. Now we have to find our way out of that hole we helped dig.

We need to move beyond that mindset of us/them. We need to move from thinking in black and white to thinking in color: http://www.anwot.org/

And we need to make broad changes in a non-violent way: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/change/science_nonviolence.html

And, even though it may be hard to have compassion for the wage-slave masters, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oztdRo9GLLk it turns out that the 1% have made their own lives and their children's lives miserable too. See: "Children of the Affluent, Challenges to Well-Being" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1948879/

And: "The Culture of Affluence: Psychological Costs of Material Wealth" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1950124/

Anyway, the tone of what Izzy Kalman talks about bullying might be useful here. The 99% is demanding the economic bullying to stop and for wealth from increased industrial productivity to be broadly shared in a more egalitarian way. But that is not going to change until we all see how complicit we all of the 99% have been in the whole system.

That's why things as simple like moving your banking from a big bank to a local credit union can be a start of getting out of that hole we have all dug together. Other ideas: http://occupywallst.org/forum/to-owsers-learn-from-musicians-improve-your-dialog/#comment-298549

In many ways we need to move beyond what John Taylor Gatto calls "A conspiracy against ourselves": http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/16a.htm

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[-] 1 points by derek (302) 8 years ago

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[-] 1 points by derek (302) 8 years ago

The Zeitgeist Movement stuff is interesting, but take a look at this for a broader perspective on economics than just a resource-based planned economy: "Five Interwoven Economies: Subsistence, Gift, Exchange, Planned, and Theft " http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vK-M_e0JoY "This video presents a simplified education model about socioeconomics and technological change. It discusses five interwoven economies (subsistence, gift, exchange, planned, and theft) and how the balance will shift with cultural changes and technological changes. It suggests that things like a basic income, better planning, improved subsistence, and an expanded gift economy can compensate in part for an exchange economy that is having problems."