Jan. 4, 88.
I am glad to hear that you wish to attend CPREA this year too. People will be delighted to see you again. Peace people are such — “lost souls” looking for companies in misery? —. It is much like A.A. (so I imagine.)
Because the Program Director, Don Bryan fell by a minor heart attack, the notice of meeting and call for papers are delayed. In a phone call to Pat Alcock, I found that out. She suggested me to write up a proposal and send it to him any way. The “proposal” is a way of letting CPREA know of my coming to the conference. It ought to be less than 200 words, announcing Topic and the theme of a paper. they call it “Abstract”, but they know we do not have a paper by this time to “abstract” from. Later, they would ask us if we wish to change Topic and the content.
At any rate, papers are for tickets. Because others put effort in writing in order to come there, I am also obliged to put some effort to it. As you had discovered, we do not read papers in the meeting, except the “new faces” to the meeting. Presumably, papers are sent to participants before the meeting, so that we can spend time on discussions. This is, however, easier said than done.
I would like you very much to come.
You are thinking of a talk on Violence in Alcoholism. That is a splendid topic. In my memory, nobody in the meeting has presented a paper about it. I would beg and appeal to the goodness of your heart for your presence in the conference. And please consider the enormous spiritual righteousness that you aroused in the hearts of those Social Welfare Scientists who had the chance to attack you personally. Please do not deprive of their pleasure and opportunity to uplift their souls in an illusion of knowing what you were talking about enough to attack you. Basically, I am doing the same in criticizing you, though I am careful enough not to talk as if I know Native Science.
Here, I give you my immediate reactions and questions, anticipating your talk.
Why men turn to violence? I imagine the conventional theory explains the phenomenon by saying “When Men lose Intellectual Control of themselves, their Intrinsic Aggression takes over”. The assumes the “Axiom” of “Man is a violent animal in its natural state”.
I do not believe that. I might grant that Fear Reaction is “Intrinsic” (instinctive, innate). But “Fear” is essentially “freezing into inaction” and “inhibitive”. It is not “upper”, but “downer”. Fear makes the “outside” control one’s actions, and behavior. In that , it is quite different from Violence, Aggression, Anger, Intellect, Love, etc. In fact, the very same conventional theory, also insists that Fear is the only effective means of controlling Violence. I might say that Fear is almost “Intellectual”, and henceforth contradict the conventional categorization between “Thinking” and “Feeling”, or “Higher Intellect” and “Animal instinct”. I think Violence is a function of the Higher Intellect, whether Man is conscious of it or not.
Violence require highly coordinate body motions, not mentioning all the calculations needed to do things which aimed at hurting the opponents and victims. At the level of National Scale, Nuclear War is a very “intelligent war” which cannot possibly fought without Science, High Technology, and huge well Managed Organizations. There are differences between Individual Violence and Collective Violence. But the “Intellectuality” is common.
Even during “Black Out”, Man does not cease to be intelligent. It may have to do with long range “Memory”, but that does not say Man is “stupid” during Black Out. I suspect, some people are more intelligent in Dreaming than in working on their jobs. Only occasion I can think of “less intelligent” state is during Sex. And Sex is not “Violent”, unless by the intervention of Intellect it is perverted. (I heard a research result that Intellectual Professionals are more apt to perverted sex than uneducated men.)
I am insinuating that intellect is Violence. Or, if you like to defend Intellect (“Reason”, “Thinking”), then I might concede to a possibility that “tender part” of Intellect is a “Perversion of Intellect” by what is so contemptuously called “Emotion”. This is the opposite of the Sex perverted by Intellect. Perversions go both ways.
Looking at from this point of view, Alcoholic violence is puzzling. I have heard from a few friends of mine who worked with Alcoholics that Alcoholics are the most Sensitive and Tender People.
Why then Violence?
According to my “theory”, (i) Violence had to be learned/taught, and (ii) Violence had to have Social Approval [Milband condition]. The first condition is easy to meet. We have all kinds of “Education” to be Violent. The T.V., Video, Films teach us “How to do Violence” by examples. Judeo-Christianity, Moslem, religions are violent religions. Their God is known to be Violent in Rage. School teachers show us how. Parents train children in Violence, even if their subjective intent may be just opposite.
But the second condition for Social Approval (legitimization) appears to be lacking for Alcoholics. Society does not approve their violent behaviors. It seems that not much “encouragements” and “admirations” are given to the violent acts of Alcoholics. (Our society does give encouragements and admiration for other kinds of Violence. Man in Violence has the Hero Image.) In fact, Alcoholics are “looked down”.
Of course, I do not know percentage of “Violent Alcoholics” among “non-violent Alcoholics” plus “Closet Alcoholics”. I imagine not all of them are Violent. Or is it?
And there is a possibility of a “chemical-Physiological Reaction” for people with certain types of Metabolic Structures. Chemicals could “up” or “down” certain kinds of behavior patterns. You point out that Alcohol makes those people feel (“Think”) more “powerful” and “capable” than what they actually are. But I do not know, if the phenomenon is bio-chemical.
May not it be possible that those who had been under deprivation of the feeling of their own “power” and “capability” for long time tend to get the feeling as a “compensation”? [In Peace research context, Germans under Nazi exhibited this tendency. It is known that “White Supremacists” are from the “Low Prestige Class”. Poor White had been more Racists than the rich ones. While the Well-To-Do Europeans were romanticizing the Noble Savages, the Poor Wretched were shooting at Indians were not much different from them. They hated themselves, and punished Indians, Blacks and Yellow “Gooks” for it.] Alcohol may be helping them to ignore the humiliating “Reality” around them, which they do not like to be reminded of.
If so, the phenomenon is a kind of Impersonation. They may have this “Somebody Superior” in their intellect, who despise them all the time, so much so that Alcoholics learn to impersonate the Intellectual Being. I imagine this “Intellectual Being” is what psychiatrists call “Super Ego” or something similar. This Being is a very vindictive moralist and goes around punishing people. The sense of “Intoxication” beyond disability is not a simple “personality change”, but rather an “Impersonation” which is an acting out of a certain image of personality in their mind, What they imitate (emulate) depends on their “Education”.
The other possibility is the opposite one to the above. Namely the violent person is inflicting Pains to others as an “appeal” for “Sharing Pain with me”. Since other people around them are “uncaring”, “insensitive”, the only way to communicate the Pain is to let them have the Pain.
Parents may hit their children, perhaps unconsciously, in order to let children know how much they are hurting. Of course their folly of pride prohibit them to say directly that they are hurting. They cannot admit that they are vulnerable beings, let alone admitting that their children have the “Power” to hurt them.
Those “odd” behaviors are, however, not limited to Alcoholics. The “salesman” in The Death of A Salesman was not an Alcoholic. But what I read about Alcoholics somehow reminded me of him. And, at any rate, anybody in this Culture is violent. Not only that, I think many university Profs are “Sadists”.
And, Judeo-Christians appear to associate the degree of “Sacredness” with the degree of “Atrociousness”. They are saying, in effect; “The more cruel it is, the more sacred.” [of Apocalyptic Vision for the Chosen Few.]
Perhaps, only Alcoholics are “honest” and “sensitive” enough to admit their own violence.
From my point of view, that is where Peace Learning starts. For Learning (science) start with recognition, acknowledgement of problems. I try to point out Violence of Science, because one who does not know one’s own violence cannot learn anything about Peace. Peace Education is a Therapy for Violent people who beats up wives and children and fight wars etc.; namely it is for “us”. The Angels of Peace and Love need no Peace Education.