Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?

Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?

Dr. Robert J. Burrowes
IAEWP Vice President for South Pacific

In a recent incident in the United States, yet another unarmed man was shot dead by police after opening his front door in response to their knock. The police were going to serve an arrest warrant on a domestic violence suspect – the man’s neighbour – but went to the wrong address. See ‘Police kill innocent man while serving warrant at wrong address’.

For those who follow news in the United States, the routine killing of innocent civilians by the police has become a national crisis despite concerted attempts by political and legal authorities and the corporate media to obscure what is happening. See ‘Killed by Police’ and ‘The Counted: People killed by police in the US’.

So far this year, US police have killed 1,044 people. In contrast, from 1990 to 2016, police in England and Wales killed just 62 people. See ‘Fatal police shootings’.

Of course, these murders by the police are just the tip of the iceberg of police violence as police continue to demonstrate that the freedoms ‘guaranteed’ by the Fourth Amendment have been eviscerated. See ‘What Country Is This? Forced Blood Draws, Cavity Searches and Colonoscopies’.

So why are the police so violent? you might ask. Well, several scholars have offered answers to this question and you can read a little about what they say in these articles reviewing recent books on the subject. See ‘The Fraternal Order of Police Must Go’ and ‘Our Ever-Deadlier Police State’.

While there is much in these works with which I agree – such as the racism in US policing and the corruption of the legal system which is used to violently manage oppressed peoples in the name of ‘justice’ while leaving the individuals, banks and corporations on Wall Street unaccountable for their endless, ongoing and grotesque crimes against society, the economy and the environment – I would like to pose a deeper question: Why are police in the USA so terrified? This is the important question because only people who are terrified resort to violence, even in the context of policing. Let me explain why this is the case and how it has occurred in the police context in the USA.

Violence does not arise ‘out of nowhere’. And, sadly, its origin can be traced to what is euphemistically called the ‘socialization’ of children but which is more accurately labeled ‘terrorization’. You might think that this sounds extreme but if you spend some time considering the phenomenal violence – ‘visible’, ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’ – that we adults inflict on children during the ordinary course of the day – see ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’ – while deluding ourselves that we are preparing them to become just, decent and powerful citizens, then you might be willing to reconsider your concept of what it means to nurture children. Tragically, we are so far from any meaningful understanding of this notion, that it is not even possible to generate a widespread social discussion about how we might go about it.

So, having terrorized children into submission so that they unthinkingly and passively accept their preordained role in life – to act as a cog in a giant and destructive enterprise which they are terrorized into not questioning and over which they have no control – each of them takes their place in the global ‘economy’ wherever they can find a set of tasks that feels least painful. The idea of seeking their true path in order to search out their own unique destiny never even occurs to most of them and so they lead ‘shadow lives’ endlessly suppressing their awareness of the life that might have been.

Some of these individuals end up as recruits at a police training facility, where they are further terrorized into believing an elite-sponsored ideology that precludes genuine appreciation of the diversity of people in the community they will later police (that is, terrorize) in the name of ‘law and order’. After all, elite social control is more readily maintained when people, including the police, live in fear.

Police training further terrorizes the individuals involved and militarizes policing by encouraging recruits ‘to adopt a “warrior” mentality and think of the people they are supposed to serve as enemies’; the equipment they use, such as battering rams, flashbang grenades and Armoured Personnel Carriers, evoke a sense of war. See ‘War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing’.

But it doesn’t end with terrorization during childhood and then police training. Police practice functions within a long-standing cultural framework which has both wider social dimensions and narrower, localized ones. And this cultural framework has been changing, more quickly in recent years too. Unfortunately, more than ever before, this framework is increasingly driven by fear and older, delusional social expectations that police are there to maintain public safety or defend the community from criminal violence have given way to militarized assumptions, language and procedures that regard virtually everyone (and certainly indigenous people and people of color) as both dangerous and guilty until proven otherwise and treat the family home and car as targets to be ‘neutralized’ with military-style tactics and weapons. And this trend has been accelerated under Donald Trump. See ‘Trump to lift military gear ban for local police’.

By triggering fear and using military-style tactics and weapons, however, the very essence of the relationship between police and civilians is more rapidly, completely and detrimentally transformed in accord with elite interests. It equates law-enforcement with counter-terrorism and community safety with social control.

Fundamentally, of course, this plays its part in ensuring minimal effective resistance to the broader elite agenda to secure militarized control of the world’s populations and resources for elite benefit.

This transformation in the relationship between police and civilians has been accelerated by training US police in the use of military tactics that the Israeli military employs against the occupied Palestinians. See ‘Israel trains US law-enforcement in counter-terrorism’.

But consider the implications of this.

As Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, has noted in discussing this phenomenon: US police are learning paramilitary and counterinsurgency tactics from the Israeli military, border patrol and intelligence services, which enforce military law.

‘If American police and sheriffs consider they’re in occupation of neighborhoods like Ferguson and East Harlem, this training is extremely appropriate – they’re learning how to suppress a people, deny their rights and use force to hold down a subject population’. See ‘US Police Get Antiterror Training In Israel’.

Moreover, the most tangible evidence that the militarized training is having an impact on US policing is that both Israel and the US are using identical equipment against demonstrators, according to a 2013 report by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem and photographs of such equipment taken at three demonstrations in the USA. ‘Tear gas grenades, “triple chaser” gas canisters and stun grenades made by the American companies Combined Systems Inc. and Defense Technology Corp. were used in all three U.S. incidents, as well as by Israeli security forces and military units.’ See ‘US Police Get Antiterror Training In Israel’.

Given the sheer terror that drives Israeli military policy towards occupied and militarily undefended Palestine, it is little wonder that this fear is transmitted as part of any training of US police. All knowledge and technology is embedded with emotion, and fear is utterly pervasive in any military activity. Especially when it is directed in defense of unjust ends.

So what can we do?

If you are interested in working to reduce police fear and violence, you will get plenty of ideas in the document ‘A Toolkit for Promoting Justice In Policing’ which is summarized here: ‘15 Things Your City Can Do Right Now to End Police Brutality’.

If you want to organise a nonviolent action while reducing police fear to minimize the risk of police violence, there is a comprehehensive list of guidelines here: ‘Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression’.

If you want to work towards ending the underlying fear that drives police (and other) violence, consider making ‘My Promise to Children’. In essence, if you want powerful individuals who are capable of resisting elite social control, including that implemented through police violence, then don’t expect children terrorized into obedience by parents, teachers and religious figures to later magically have this power.

And if you are inclined to resist violence in other contexts, consider participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’, signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ and/or using the strategic framework explained in Nonviolent Campaign Strategy for your peace, environmental or social justice campaign.

Why are the police so terrified? Essentially because they were terrorized as children and then terrorized during police training to violently defend elite interests against the rest of us. Elite control depends on us being too terrified to defend ourselves against their violence.

If humans are to survive this elite-driven onslaught, we need people courageous enough to resist police violence and other elite-driven violence strategically. Can we count on you?

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.

Robert J. Burrowes
P.O. Box 68
Victoria 3460
Email: flametree@riseup.net

Websites: https://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com/
(Nonviolence Charter)

          https://tinyurl.com/flametree (Flame Tree Project to Save Life
on Earth)
          https://tinyurl.com/whyviolence ('Why Violence?')
          https://feelingsfirstblog.wordpress.com/ (Feelings First)
          https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/ (Nonviolent Campaign
(Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy)
          https://anitamckone.wordpress.com (Anita: Songs of
          https://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com/ (Robert)
          https://globalnonviolencenetwork.wordpress.com/ (Global
Nonviolence Network)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Dangerous Trend Threatening the Future of the Nation-State

nation-states-splinterlandsThe Dangerous Trend Threatening the Future of the Nation-State

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Hero Turned Villain: [Nobel Peace Laureate] Aung San Suu Kyi and the Annihilation of Myanmar’s Rohingya

A Hero Turned Villain: [Nobel Peace Laureate] Aung San Suu Kyi and the Annihilation of Myanmar’s Rohingya

NOBEL LAUREATES, 16 October 2017
Neve Gordon – The Nation
They potentially face the final two stages of genocide—mass annihilation and erasure from the country’s history.

At the UN, a Latin American Rebellion


At the UN, 

a Latin American Rebellion

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Obama: The Fairy-Tale President?

Obama: The Fairy-Tale President?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The View from 2050


The View from 2050

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Fall of the House of ISIS

The Fall of the House of ISIS

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Nonviolent Strategy to End Violence and Avert Human Extinction

Robert J. Burrowes
IAEWP Vice President for the South Pacific

Around the world activists who are strategic thinkers face a daunting challenge to effectively tackle the multitude of violent conflicts, including the threat of human extinction, confronting human society in the early 21st century.

I wrote that ‘activists who are strategic thinkers face a daunting challenge’ because there is no point deluding ourselves that the insane global elite – see ‘The Global Elite is Insane’ – with its compliant international organizations (such as the UN) and national governments following orders as directed, is going to respond appropriately and powerfully to the multifaceted crisis that it has been progressively generating since long before the industrial revolution.

For reasons that are readily explained psychologically – see Love Denied: The Psychology of Materialism, Violence and War’ and, for more detail, see Why Violence? and Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice – this insanity focuses their attention on securing control of the world’s remaining resources while marginalizing the bulk of the human population in ghettos, or just killing them outright with military violence or economic exploitation (or the climate/ecological consequences of their violence and exploitation).

If you doubt what I have written above, then consider the history of any progressive political, social, economic and environmental change in the past few centuries and you will find a long record of activist planning, organizing and action preceding any worthwhile change which was invariably required to overcome enormous elite opposition. In short, if you can identify one progressive outcome that was initiated and supported by the global elite, I would be surprised to hear about it.

Moreover, we are not going to get out of this crisis – which must include ending violence, exploitation and war, halting the destruction of Earth’s biosphere and ongoing violent assaults on indigenous peoples, ending slavery, liberating occupied countries such as Palestine, Tibet and West Papua, removing dictatorships such as those in Cambodia and Saudi Arabia, ending genocidal assaults such as those currently being directed against the people of Yemen and the Rohingya in Myanmar, and defending the rights of a people, such as those in Catalonia, to secede from one state and form another – without both understanding the deep drivers of conflict as well as the local drivers in each case, and then developing and implementing sound and comprehensive strategies, based on this dual-faceted analysis of each conflict.

In addition, if like Mohandas K. Gandhi, many others and me you accept the evidence that violence is inherently counterproductive and has no countervailing desirability in any context – expressed most simply by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. when he stated ‘the enemy is violence’ –  then we must be intelligent, courageous and resourceful enough to commit ourselves to planning, developing and implementing strategies that are both exclusively nonviolent and powerfully effective against extraordinarily insane and ruthlessly violent opponents, such as the US government.

Equally importantly, however, it is not just the violence of the global elite that we must address if extinction is to be averted. We must also tackle the violence that each of us inflicts on ourselves, our children, each other and the Earth too. And, sadly, this violence takes an extraordinary variety of forms having originated no later than the Neolithic Revolution 12,000 years ago. See ‘A Critique of Human Society since the Neolithic Revolution’.

Is all of this possible?

When I first became interested in nonviolent strategy in the early 1980s, I read widely. I particularly sought out the literature on nonviolence but, as my interest deepened and I tried to apply what I was reading in the nonviolence literature to the many nonviolent action campaigns in which I was involved, I kept noticing how inadequate these so-called ‘strategies’ in the literature actually were, largely because they did not explain precisely what to do, even though they superficially purported to do so by offering ‘principles’, ‘guidelines’, sets of tactics or even ‘stages of a campaign’.

I found this shortcoming in the literature most instructive and, because I am committed to succeeding when I engage as a nonviolent activist, I started to read the work of Mohandas K. Gandhi and even the literature on military strategy. By the mid-1980s I had decided to research and write a book on nonviolent strategy because, by then, I had become aware that the individual who understood strategy, whether nonviolent or military, was rare.

Moreover, there were many conceptions of military strategy, written over more than 2,000 years, and an increasing number of conceptions of what was presented as ‘nonviolent strategy’, in one form or another, were becoming available as the 1980s progressed. But the flaws in these were increasingly and readily apparent to me as I considered their inadequate theoretical foundations or tried to apply them in nonviolent action campaigns.

The more I struggled with this problem, the more I found myself reading ‘The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi’ in a library basement. After all, Gandhi had led a successful 30 year nonviolent liberation struggle to end the British occupation of India so it made sense that he had considerable insight regarding strategy. Unfortunately, he never wrote it down simply in one place.

A complicating but related problem was that among those military authors who professed to present some version of ‘strategic theory’, in fact, most simply presented an approach to strategic planning (such as using a set of principles or a particular operational pattern) or an incomplete theory of strategy (such as ‘maritime theory’, ‘air theory’ or ‘guerrilla theory’) and (often largely unwittingly) passed these off as ‘strategic theory’, which they are not. And it was only when I read Carl von Clausewitz’s infuriatingly convoluted and tortuously lengthy book On War that I started to fully understand strategic theory. This is because Clausewitz actually presented (not in a simple form, I hasten to admit) a strategic theory and then a military strategy that worked in accordance with his strategic theory. ‘Could this strategic theory work in guiding a nonviolent strategy?’ I wondered.

Remarkably, the more I read Gandhi (and compared him with other activists and scholars in the field), the more it became apparent to me that Gandhi was the only nonviolent strategist who (intuitively) understood strategic theory. Although, to be fair, it was an incredibly rare military strategist who understood strategic theory either with Mao Zedong a standout exception and other Marxist strategists like Vladimir Lenin and Võ Nguyên Giáp understanding far more than western military strategists which is why, for example, the US and its allies were defeated in their war on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Some years later, after grappling at length with this problem of using strategic theory to guide nonviolent strategy and reading a great deal more of Gandhi, while studying many nonviolent struggles and participating in many nonviolent campaigns myself, I wrote The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach. I wrote this book by synthesizing the work of Gandhi with some modified insights of Clausewitz and learning of my own drawn from the experience and study just mentioned. I have recently simplified and summarized the presentation of this book on two websites: Nonviolent Campaign Strategy and Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.

Let me outline, very simply, nonviolent strategy, without touching on strategic theory, as I have developed and presented it in the book and on the websites.

Nonviolent Strategy

You will see on the diagram of the Nonviolent Strategy Wheel that there are four primary components of strategy in the center of the wheel and eight components of strategy that are planned in accordance with these four central components. I will briefly describe the four primary components.

Before doing so, however, it is worth noting that, by using this Nonviolent Strategy Wheel, it is a straightforward task to analyze why so many activist movements and (nonviolent) liberation struggles fail: they simply do not understand the need to plan and implement a comprehensive strategy, entailing all twelve components, if they are to succeed.

So, to choose some examples almost at random, despite substantial (and sometimes widespread) popular support, particularly in some countries, the antiwar movement, the climate justice movement and the Palestinian and Tibetan liberation struggles are each devoid of a comprehensive strategy to deploy their resources for strategic impact and so they languish instead of precipitating the outcomes to which they aspire, which are quite possible.

Having said that a sound and comprehensive strategy must pay attention to all twelve components of strategy it is very occasionally true that campaigns succeed without doing so. This simply demonstrates that nonviolence, in itself, is extraordinarily powerful. But it is unwise to rely on the power of nonviolence alone, without planning and implementing a comprehensive strategy, especially when you are taking on a powerful and entrenched opponent who has much to lose (even if their conception of what they believe they will ‘lose’ is delusional) and may be ruthlessly violent if challenged.

For the purpose of this article, the term strategy refers to a planned series of actions (including campaigns) that are designed to achieve the two strategic aims (see below).

The Political Purpose and the Political Demands

If you are going to conduct a nonviolent struggle, whether to achieve a peace, environmental or social justice outcome, or even a defense or liberation outcome, the best place to start is to define the political purpose of your struggle. The political purpose is a statement of ‘what you want’. For example, this might be one of the following (but there are many possibilities depending on the context):

To secure a treaty acknowledging indigenous sovereignty between [name of indigenous people] and the settler population in [name of land/country] over the area known as [name of land/country].
To stop violence against [children and/or women] in [name of the town/city/state/country].
To end discrimination and violence against the racial/religious minority of [name of group] in [name of the town/city/state/country].
To end forest destruction in [your specified area/country/region].
To end climate-destroying activities in [name of the town/city/state/country].
To halt military production by [name of weapons corporation] in [name of the town/city/state/country].
To prevent/halt [name of corporation] exploiting the [name of fossil fuel resource].
To defend [name of the country] against the political/military coup by [identity of coup perpetrators].
To defend [name of the country] against the foreign military invasion by [name of invading country].
To defend the [name of targeted group] against the genocidal assault by the [identity of genocidal entity].
To establish the independent entity/state of [name of proposed entity/state] by removing the foreign occupying state of [name of occupying state].
To establish a democratic state in [name of country] by removing the dictatorship.

This political purpose ‘anchors’ your campaign: it tells people what you are concerned about so that you can clearly identify allies, opponents and third parties. Your political purpose is a statement of what you will have achieved when you have successfully completed your strategy.

In practice, your political purpose may be publicized in the form of a political program or as a list of demands. You can read the five criteria that should guide the formulation of these political demands on one of the nonviolent strategy websites cited above.

The Political and Strategic Assessment

Strategic planning requires an accurate and thorough political and strategic assessment (although ongoing evaluation will enable refinement of this assessment if new information emerges during the implementation of the strategy).

In essence, this political and strategic assessment requires four things. Notably this includes knowledge of the vital details about the issue (e.g. why has it happened? who benefits from it? how, precisely, do they benefit? who is exploited?) and a structural analysis and understanding of the causes behind it, including an awareness of the deep emotional (especially the fear) and cultural imperatives that exist in the minds of those individuals (and their organizations) who engage in the destructive behavior.

So, for example, if you do not understand, precisely, what each of your various groups of opponents is scared of losing/suffering (whether or not this fear is rational), you cannot design your strategy taking this vital knowledge into account so that you can mitigate their fear effectively and free their mind to thoughtfully consider alternatives. It is poor strategy (and contrary to the essence of Gandhian nonviolence) to reinforce your opponent’s fear and lock them into a defensive reaction.

Strategic Aims and Strategic Goals

Having defined your political purpose, it is easy to identify the two strategic aims of your struggle. This is because every campaign or liberation struggle has two strategic aims and they are always the same:

1. To increase support for your campaign by developing a network of groups who can assist you.
2. To alter the will and undermine the power of those groups who support the problem.

Now you just need to define your strategic goals for both mobilizing support for your campaign and for undermining support for the problem. From your political and strategic assessment:

1. Identify the key social groups that can be mobilized to support and participate in your strategy (and then write these groups into the ‘bubbles’ on the left side of the campaign strategy diagram that can be downloaded from the strategy websites), and

2. identify the key social groups (corporation/s, police/military, government, workers, consumers etc.) whose support for the problem (e.g. the climate catastrophe, war, the discrimination/violence against a particular group, forest destruction, resource extraction, genocide, occupation) is vital (and then write these groups into the columns on the right side of the campaign strategy diagram).

These key social groups become the primary targets in your campaign. Hence, the derivative set of specific strategic goals, which are unique to your campaign, should then be devised and each written in accordance with the formula explained in the article ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’. That is: ‘To cause a [specified group of people] to act in the [specified way].’

As the title of this article suggests, it also explains the vital distinction between the political objective and the strategic goal of any nonviolent action. This distinction is rarely understood and applied and explains why most ‘direct actions’ have no strategic impact.

You can read appropriate sets of strategic goals for ending war, ending the climate catastrophe, ending a military occupation, removing a dictatorship and halting a genocide on one or the other of these two sites: Nonviolent Campaign Strategic Aims and Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategic Aims.

The Conception of Nonviolence

There are four primary conceptions of nonviolence which have been illustrated on the Matrix of Nonviolence. Because of this, your strategic plan should:

1. identify the particular conception of nonviolence that your campaign will utilize;

2. identify the specific ways in which your commitment to nonviolence will be conveyed to all parties so that the benefits of adopting a nonviolent strategy are maximized; and

3. identify how the level of discipline required to implement your nonviolent strategy will be developed. This includes defining the ‘action agreements’ (code of nonviolent discipline) that will guide activist behaviour.

It is important to make a deliberate strategic choice regarding the conception of nonviolence that will underpin your strategy. If your intention is to utilize the strategic framework outlined here, it is vitally important to recognize that this framework is based on the Gandhian (principled/revolutionary) conception of nonviolence.

This is because Gandhi’s nonviolence is based on certain premises, including the importance of the truth, the sanctity and unity of all life, and the unity of means and end, so his strategy is always conducted within the framework of his desired political, social, economic and ecological vision for society as a whole and not limited to the purpose of any immediate campaign. It is for this reason that Gandhi’s approach to strategy is so important. He is always taking into account the ultimate end of all nonviolent struggle – a just, peaceful and ecologically sustainable society of self-realized human beings – not just the outcome of this campaign. He wants each campaign to contribute to the ultimate aim, not undermine vital elements of the long-term and overarching struggle to create a world without violence.

This does not mean, however, that each person participating in the strategy must share this commitment; they may participate simply because it is expedient for them to do so. This is not a problem as long as they are willing to commit to the ‘code of nonviolent discipline’ while participating in the campaign.

Hopefully, however, their participation on this basis will nurture their own personal journey to embrace the sanctity and unity of all life so that, subsequently, they can more fully participate in the co-creation of a nonviolent world.

Other Components of Strategy

Once you have identified the political purpose, strategic aims and conception of nonviolence that will guide your struggle, and undertaken a thorough political and strategic assessment, you are free to consider  the other components of your strategy: organization, leadership, communication, preparations, constructive program, strategic timeframe, tactics and peacekeeping, and evaluation.

For example, a vital component of any constructive program ideally includes each individual traveling their own personal journey to self-realization – see ‘Putting Feelings First’considering making ‘My Promise to Children’ to eliminate violence at its source and participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’ to preserve Earth’s biosphere.

Needless to say, each of these components of strategy must also be carefully planned. They are explained in turn on the nonviolent strategy websites mentioned above.

In addition to these components, the websites also include articles, photos, videos, diagrams and case studies that discuss and illustrate many essential elements of sound nonviolent strategy. These include the value of police/military liaison, issues in relation to tactical selection, the importance of avoiding secrecy and sabotage, how to respond to arrest, how to undertake peacekeeping and the 20 points to consider when planning to minimize the risk of violent police/military repression when this is a possibility.


The global elite and many other people are too insane to ‘walk away’ from the enormous violence they inflict on life.

Consequently, we are not going to end violence in all of its forms – including violence against women, children, indigenous and working peoples, violence against people because of their race or religion, war, slavery, the climate catastrophe, rainforest destruction, military occupations, dictatorships and genocides – and create a world of peace, justice and ecological sustainability for all of us without sound and comprehensive nonviolent strategies that tackle each issue at its core while complementing and reinforcing gains made in parallel struggles.

If you wish to declare your participation in this worldwide effort, you are welcome to sign the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’.

Given the overwhelming violence that we must tackle, can we succeed? I do not know but I intend to fight, strategically, to the last breath. I hope that you will too.

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Trump’s Bluster at the UN Shows He Doesn’t Understand North Korea at All

Trump’s Bluster at the UN Shows He Doesn’t Understand North Korea 

at All

Saturday, October 28, 2017



Prof. John Scales Avery
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (shared 1995 award),  
Chairman of the Danish Peace Academy, 
Copenhagen, Denmark

Greed is driving us towards disaster, but compassion can save us. This book is a collection of biographical sketches of women and men whose wise voices can help us to solve the severe problems that the world faces today. We need their voices today, and yours. For the sake of the future of our children, please don't be silent.

Click below on this link:

More Free eBooks

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Psychology of Mass Killers: What causes it? How can you prevent it?

The Psychology of Mass Killers: What causes it? How can you prevent it?

Dr.Robert J. Burrowes
IAEWP Vice President for South Pacific.

In Las Vegas on 1 October 2017, it appears that one man (although it might have been more) killed 59 people and shot and injured another 241 (with almost 300 more injured while fleeing). The incident got a lot of publicity, partly because the man managed to kill more people than most mass killers. However, because the killer was a white American and had a Christian name, he was not immediately labeled a terrorist, even though his death toll considerably exceeded that achieved in many ‘terrorist attacks’, including those that occur in war zones (such as US drone murders of innocent people attending weddings).

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there is now an average of one mass shooting (arbitrarily defined by the FBI as a shooting in which at least four victims are shot) each day in the USA. By any measure, this is a national crisis.

However, while there has been a flood of commentary on the incident, including suggestions about what might be done in response based on a variety of analyses of the cause, none that I have read explain the underlying cause of all these mass killings. And if we do not understand this, then any other suggestions, whatever their apparent merits, can have little impact.

The suggestions made so far in response to this massacre include the following:

1. Making it much more difficult, perhaps even illegal, to own a gun. See ‘Guns’.

2. Drastically reducing the prescription of pharmaceutical drugs (which are almost invariably being consumed by the killer). See ‘Drugs and Guns Don’t Mix: Medication Madness, Military Madness and the Las Vegas Mass Shooting’.

3. Recognising and addressing the sociological factors implicated in causing the violence. See ‘violence is driven by socioeconomic factors, not access to firearms’ argued in ‘Another Mass Shooting, Another Grab for Guns: 6 Gun Facts’ and ‘a deep sickness in American society’ argued in ‘The social pathology of the Las Vegas Massacre’.

4. Identifying whether or not the killer had ideological/religious links to a terrorist group (in this case ISIS, as claimed by some). See, for example, ‘ISIS Releases Infographic Claiming Las Vegas Gunman Converted 6 Months Ago’.

5. Identifying and remedying the ways in which constitutional provisions and laws facilitate such massacres. See ‘Las Vegas Massacre Proves 2nd Amendment Must be Abolished’.

6. Recognizing the way in which these incidents are encouraged by national elites and are sometimes, in fact, false flag attacks used as a means to justify the consolidation of elite social control (through such measures as increased state surveillance and new restrictions on human rights).

7. Limiting the ways in which violence, especially military violence, is used as entertainment and education, and thus culturally glorified in ways that encourage imitation. See ‘People Don’t Kill People, Americans Kill People’.

However, as indicated above, while these and other suggestions, including certain educational initiatives, sound attractive as options for possibly preventing/mitigating some incidents in future, they do not address the cause of violence in this or any other context and so widespread violence both in the United States and around the world will continue.

So why does someone become a mass killer?

Human socialization is essentially a process of inflicting phenomenal violence on children until they think and behave as the key adults – particularly their parents, teachers and religious figures – around them want, irrespective of the functionality of this thought and behavior in evolutionary terms. This is because virtually all adults prioritize obedience over all other possible behaviors and they delusionarily believe that they ‘know better’ than the child.

The idea that each child is the only one of their kind in all of living creation in Earth’s history and, therefore, has a unique destiny to fulfill, never even enters their mind. So, instead of nurturing that unique destiny so that the child fully becomes the unique Self that evolution created, adults terrorize each child into becoming just another more-or-less identical cog in the giant machine called ‘human society’.

Before I go any further, you might wonder if the expression ‘phenomenal violence?’ isn’t too strong. So let me explain.

From the moment of birth, human adults inflict violence on the child. This violence occurs in three categories: visible, ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’. Visible violence is readily identified: it is the (usually) physical violence that occurs when someone is hit (with a hand or weapon), kicked, shaken, held down or punished in any other way. See ‘Punishment is Violent and Counterproductive’.

But what is this ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’ violence that is inflicted on us mercilessly, and has a profoundly damaging impact, from the day we are born?

In essence, ‘invisible’ violence is the ‘little things’ we do every day, partly because we are just ‘too busy’. For example, when we do not allow time to listen to, and value, a child’s thoughts and feelings, the child learns to not listen to themSelf thus destroying their internal communication system. When we do not let a child say what they want (or ignore them when they do), the child develops communication and behavioural dysfunctionalities as they keep trying to meet their own needs (which, as a basic survival strategy, they are genetically programmed to do).

When we blame, condemn, insult, mock, embarrass, shame, humiliate, taunt, goad, guilt-trip, deceive, lie to, bribe, blackmail, moralize with and/or judge a child, we both undermine their sense of Self-worth and teach them to blame, condemn, insult, mock, embarrass, shame, humiliate, taunt, goad, guilt-trip, deceive, lie, bribe, blackmail, moralize and/or judge.

The fundamental outcome of being bombarded throughout their childhood by this ‘invisible’ violence is that the child is utterly overwhelmed by feelings of fear, pain, anger and sadness (among many others). However, parents, teachers and other adults also actively interfere with the expression of these feelings and the behavioural responses that are naturally generated by them and it is this ‘utterly invisible’ violence that explains why the dysfunctional behavioural outcomes actually occur.

For example, by ignoring a child when they express their feelings, by comforting, reassuring or distracting a child when they express their feelings, by laughing at or ridiculing their feelings, by terrorizing a child into not expressing their feelings (e.g. by screaming at them when they cry or get angry), and/or by violently controlling a behaviour that is generated by their feelings (e.g. by hitting them, restraining them or locking them into a room), the child has no choice but to unconsciously suppress their awareness of these feelings.

However, once a child has been terrorized into suppressing their awareness of their feelings (rather than being allowed to have their feelings and to act on them) the child has also unconsciously suppressed their awareness of the reality that caused these feelings. This has many outcomes that are disastrous for the individual, for society and for nature because the individual will now easily suppress their awareness of the feelings that would tell them how to act most functionally in any given circumstance and they will progressively acquire a phenomenal variety of dysfunctional behaviours, including many that are violent towards themselves, others and/or the Earth.

Moreover, this emotional (or psychological) damage will lead to a unique combination of violent behaviours in each case and, depending on the precise combination of violence to which they are subjected, some of them will become what I call ‘archetype perpetrators of violence’; that is, people so emotionally damaged that they end up completely devoid of a Self and with a psychological profile similar to Hitler’s.

These archetype perpetrators of violence are all terrified, self-hating and powerless but, in fact, they have 23 identifiable psychological characteristics constituting their ‘personality’. For a full explanation of this particular psychological profile, see Why Violence? and Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice. Of course, few perpetrators of violence fit the archetype, but all perpetrators are full of (suppressed) terror, self-hatred and powerlessness and this is fundamental to understanding their violence as explained in ‘Why Violence?’

Rather than elaborate further in this article why these perpetrators behave as they do (which you can read on the documents just mentioned), let me explain why the suggestions made by others above in relation to gun and drug control, socioeconomic factors, ideological/religious connections, constitutional and legal shortcomings, resisting efforts to consolidate elite social control, and revised education and entertainment programs can have little impact if undertaken in isolation from the primary suggestion I will make below.

Once someone is so emotionally damaged that they are effectively devoid of the Self that should have defined their unique personality, then they will be the endless victim of whatever violence is directed at them. This simply means that they will have negligible capacity to deal powerfully with any difficult life circumstances and personal problems (and, for example, to resist doctors prescribing pharmaceutical drugs), they will be gullibly influenced by violent ideologies, education and entertainment, and they will have virtually no capacity to work creatively to resolve the conflicts (both personal and structural) in their life but will do what was modeled to them as a child in any effort to do so: use violence.

And by now you have probably realized that I am not just talking about the mass killers that I started discussing at the beginning of this article. I am also talking about the real mass killers: those politicians, military leaders and weapons corporation executives, and all those other corporate executives, who inflict mass violence on life itself, as well as those others, such as academics and those working in corporate media outlets, that support and justify this violence. This includes, to specify just one obvious example, all of those US Senators and Congresspeople who resist implementing gun control laws. See ‘Thoughts and Prayers and N.R.A. Funding’.

In essence then, if the child suffers enough of this visible, invisible and utterly invisible violence, they will grow up devoid of the Selfhood – including the love, compassion, empathy, morality and integrity – that is their birthright and the foundation of their capacity to behave powerfully in all contexts without the use of violence.

Instead, they will become a perpetrator of violence, to a greater or lesser extent, and may even seek employment in those positions that encourage them to support and/or inflict violence legally, such as a police or prison officer, a lawyer or judge – see ‘The Rule of Law: Unjust and Violent’ – a soldier who fights in war or a Congressperson who supports it, or even an employee in a corporation that profits from violence and exploitation. See Profit Maximization is Easy: Invest in Violence’.

In addition, most individuals will inflict violence on the climate and environment, all will inflict violence on children, and some will inflict violence in those few ways that are actually defined as ‘illegal’, such as mass killings.

But if we don’t see the mass killers as the logical, if occasional, outcome of (unconsciously) violent parenting, then we will never even begin to address the problem at its source. And we are condemned to suffer violence, in all of its manifestations, until we inevitably drive ourselves to extinction through nuclear war or climate/environmental collapse.

If you are looking for a lead on this from political leaders, you are wasting your time. Similarly, there are precious few professionals, particularly in the medical and psychiatric industries – see Defeating the Violence of Psychiatry – who have any idea how to respond meaningfully (assuming they even have an interest in doing so). So why not be your own judge and consider making ‘My Promise to Children’?

In addition, if further reducing the violence in our world appeals to you, then you are also welcome to consider participating in the creation of communities that do not have violence built into them – see ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’ – signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ and/or consider using the strategic framework on one or the other of these two websites for your campaign to end violence in one context or another: Nonviolent Campaign Strategy and Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.

In summary then: For the typical human adult, it is better to endlessly inflict violence on a child to coerce them to obey. Of course, once the child has been terrorized into this unthinking obedience, they won’t just obey the parents and teachers (secular and religious) who terrorized them: they will also obey anyone else who orders them to do something. This will include governments, military officers and terrorist leaders who order them to kill (or pay taxes to kill) people they do not know in foreign countries, employers who order them to submit to the exploitation of themselves and others, not to mention a vast array of other influences (particularly corporations) who will have little trouble manipulating them into behaving unethically and without question (even regarding consumer purchases).

Or, to put it another way: For the typical human adult, it is better to endlessly inflict violence on a child to coerce them to obey and to then watch the end-products of this violence – obedient, submissive children who are powerless to question their parents and teachers, resist the entreaties of drug pushers, and critique the propaganda of governments, corporations and the military as well as the media, education and entertainment industries – spiral endlessly out of control: wars, massive exploitation, ecological destruction, slavery, mass killings…. And to then wonder ‘Why?’

For these terrorized humans, cowardly powerlessness is the state they have been trained to accept, while taking whatever material distractions are thrown their way as compensation. So they pass on this state to their children by terrorizing them into submission too. Powerfully accepting responsibility to fulfill their own unique destiny, and serve society by doing so, is beyond them.

The great tragedy of human life is that virtually no-one values the awesome power of the individual Self with an integrated mind (that is, a mind in which memory, thoughts, feelings, sensing, conscience and other functions work together in an integrated way) because this individual will be decisive in choosing life-enhancing behavioural options (including those at variance with social laws and norms) and will fearlessly resist all efforts to control or coerce them with violence.

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.

Other Details:

Robert J. Burrowes
P.O. Box 68
Victoria 3460
Email: flametree@riseup.net
Websites: http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com (Nonviolence
          http://tinyurl.com/flametree (Flame Tree Project to Save Life
on Earth)
          http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence ('Why Violence?')
          https://feelingsfirstblog.wordpress.com/ (Feelings First)
          https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/ (Nonviolent Campaign
(Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy)
          http://anitamckone.wordpress.com (Anita: Songs of Nonviolence)
          http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com (Robert)
          https://globalnonviolencenetwork.wordpress.com/ (Global
Nonviolence Network)