Oppression cascades like pollution and concentrates in the most vulnerable.
Oppression has many similarities with money. Not surprising I know. We think money is fine because in any particular situation it can be seen to be all around and every one has a chance to make some. So they carry on responding to the sense of needing it and they keep hard at work (see Get a Job) trying to make some more. It is, however, like musical chairs and someone has to lose.
To simplify things a bit what happens is that people lend money to people. There are all those stock brokers in New York, banks, companies etc who are lending money right left and centre. As they well know the markets are largely influenced by confidence. It makes sense because if you have some shares in a company and you hear on the grape vine that they are having problems with their creditors you will get nervous about your stash with them. Secrecy is vital in business. They call it confidentiality. There is a massive sea, a giant network, of loans between businesses out there. When you owe the bank money and they know you have shares with company x and they know that company x is in trouble it would make complete sense for them to call in the loan they have given you. There is a neat biblical story about the man jailed for bad debt. He is bemoaning his predicament and begs to be let out so that he can pay the loan. The first thing he does when being
released by his creditor is to go to the man that owes him money and has him thrown in jail. I guess the story is meant to say that you should not be vengeful like the man released but should be merciful like the man who released him. But there is another message and it is one about how people "are", not how they "should be".
In this complex chain of loans when one person calls in a loan from someone else the first thing the someone else does is to call in their loans. Obvious really. So it cascades down the line. Businesses know that in recession banks get more ruthless. What happens is that everyone is looking for someone else to borrow money from in order to pay their debts. Britain abandoned the gold standard in 1931 and by the 1970s the economy was in a desperate state. Oil prices rocketed by 400% in as many days, Britain went on a three day working week, and the Callaghan government had to borrow more than 2 billion pounds from the international monetary fund. The eighties and nineties were full of this money being shared around but it was clear that the fundamental debt crisis was being transferred from "national" debt to "personal" debt. Sure enough in 2007 it was no longer concealable. Britain, as with many other developed countries was in the throws
of a debt crisis conveniently called the "credit crunch" putting the blame on the population. Laws have been passed that if people are unable to pay back their loans that the credit card companies and banks can do nothing but accept an interest free payback regime of a minimal payment. This was forced due to the unsustainable number of court cases resulting in paperwork but no profit. So now the people are to blame and it follows that they will suffer (when we run out of other countries to rape like Iraq that is). An irony of this bail out is that it is the developing world who has financed the developed world's rescue plan. But as rescue plans go it simply means that the balance of power is shifting and we will inevitably be indebted to the developing world and we will be working for them in the decades to come.
It seems that oppression works the same way. It cascades down the line as described extremely well by Primo Levi in "If This Is a Man / The Truce" about the hierarchy in the German concentration camps. Everybody is beating up on everybody else. It seems so innocent and reasonable in any given situation. The whole language is about who is to blame and who is responsible and who should do this or that. When someone squeaks too loud they are ridiculed for being feeble. If they squeak a lot louder then often the oppression gets spread around a bit to avoid a crisis. But the bottom line is that the teachers bully the parents and the parents bully the children. Oppression is to some extent the imposition of one persons world view onto another. It works to pass on the perception and unfortunately there is a history of brutal control. Slavery is nowadays regarded as unacceptable. But the economic system is a kind of slavery. And somewhere in the development of humanity and it's culture there is a growth out of slavery but the mechanisms are still entrenched. The workers were oppressed and they fought for their rights. The women were oppressed and they fought for their rights. Many died and many more suffered. Now it is the time for the children. They are the final recipients of all this cascading oppression but inadvertently we are also giving them the education (see Educating Children) and the cultural ability to recognise the inherent contradictions in the moral framework that has worked so well to justify the oppression for generations. We are getting more and more children, many from the better educated parents and the middle classes who have ADHD, anorexia, bipolar disorders, depression, anxiety, anti-social behaviour, self harming, bulimia, and list goes on.
It is inevitable. These children are the ones who can see, in fact they live, the self contradictory paradigms of our culture. The cancerous self destructive moralistic junk that is being spewed out by the institutions and authorities that reside in the culture. Basically the children are the product of the oppression. They are dying of brain screw-up. The values that they are trying to live with are simply contradictory and therefore not reliable values at all. There is no amount of right wing authoritarian, judgemental oppression that will sort this out. As Bob Dylan famously sung "The times they are a changing." But at the moment we are not only looking at the results of our inaccurate comprehension of reality in the form of global warming, catastrophic financial collapse world wide, billions of starving people on a planet which has enough food to feed them all, but we are seeing the final destruction of the vehicle the oppression requires, the children. Again
there are biblical indications of the way we are as opposed to should be.
But looking to religion, that wonderful attempt to recognise the very best in humanity, it has succeeded in being taken over by the oppression and it talks of Armageddon, the final battle between good and evil. Perhaps the fictitious model of the world born of fear and insecurity which is the patterned behaviour which manifests itself as oppression and control and abuse of the population on which it survives, is the evil and the good is the genuine humanity and the love and the hope and the beauty which the bible and other holy books keep waxing on about. perhaps the "good" is the humanity in us all. You know - the stuff that gets beaten out of us. The stuff we have to "grow up" from. The fictions of love and peace are in fact reality and they are attainable by humans but not by the evil patterned junk of oppression. Perhaps, just perhaps, humanity is going through a predictable transformation a final battle between good
and evil. Perhaps good will win.