Nation Reconciliation and Reconstruction

Resources for the Concerned Activist



• How different forms of organization influence the behavior of individuals in groups. How to create organizations that handle information and initiative in a eufunctional way.

• Survey of the relations between individuals and community (society) in tribal, primitive agrarian, and other forms of social organization.

• Description of socialization similarities and differences among current major societies.

• Determine the ways that each subculture in one's domain gain control of the behavior of their youths. One approach is to look at how the family can either give various kinds pain to a child in consequence of his/her behavior:

Needs of the child:
Parents can withdraw:
Parents can pile on:
Worst Results:

Protection of the family
Warmth and Acceptance
Coldness and Ostracism

Approval of behavior
Approval given to behavior
Punishment of behavior

Approval of the person
Respect, honor
Disrespect, ridicule, assault on ego

Physical touch, cuddling
Love and contact
Anger and isolation

Physical comfort
Corporal punishment

The above methods of control all ignore the ability of the child to reason and to recognize consequences.

What parents may say to their kids—aversive reactions:

Protection of the family vs. denial of family protection: "Are you sure you don't want to live with Aunt Prudence?" "You don't really like being in this family, do you? How about if I farm you out to the guy on the hog farm outside of town?"

Approval of behavior vs. disapproval of behavior: "That's not a way to do things." "For doing that you lose privileges for a month."

It's not entirely clear what the difference between disapproval of behavior and disapproval of the person may be. Presumably one kind of judgment says something like, "This guy is even-tempered, naturally affectionate, rational, easy to get along with. When he behaves he does well, and when he does something wrong he is quick to make corrections," Another kind of judgment says something like, "This other guy is erratic, irascible, hard to get along with. When he behaves well it's a wonder, and when he misbehaves he creates trouble for everybody."

Approval of the person vs. disapproval of the person: "I always thought you were somebody I could respect." "You're the rottenest kid I've ever seen. You wouldn't fit in with a family of pigs. You're a nothing, a zero."

Physical touch, cuddling vs. Skinner Box: "Mommy doesn't hug little brats, you know." "Get away from me you little monster! Get out of my sight! I never want to be around you again!"

Physical comfort vs. deprivation: "Well, if you don't want to be a part of this family, you can just start figuring out how to get food for yourself. There'll be no dinner for you tonight." "Take that! And stop crying! If you don't stop crying I'll really give you something to cry about." "How dare you cry!" Hits child with hickory stick. "How dare you cry!" Hits the child again, and again, and again.

Going over the line:
Protection given by the family vs. abandonment or sacrifice of the child.
If a child receives protection and appropriate guidance, how will the child be as an adult compared to a child who is threated with or actually experiences abandonment or even sacrifice?

Approval of behavior vs. mutilation or death in order to prevent the behavior.
How will the history of maturation of children differ if some get approval even for failed attempts to do the right thing and others are given severe corporal punishment resulting in mutilation and putting them on the verge of death?

Approval of the person vs. ostracism of the person.
What happens to children who are given love, acceptance, and approval for their usual range of behavior, as compared to what happens to children who receive strong disapproval and are threatened with or even really experience being cast out of the family, ostracized?

Physical touch, etc. vs. physical isolation, solitary confinement, exile to an unpopulated island, etc. What are the likely consequences when one group of children is offered frequent hugs, other friendly physical contact with parents and relatives, etc. and another group of children is relegated to some kind of physical isolation, even subjected to solitary confinement, or exiled to an unpopulated island?

Physical comfort vs. malnutrition, hardships, even death. What are the likely outcomes from two different plans for child rearing? In the first, parents do their best to make sure that the child is kept warm, dry, well fed, etc. In the second, the child is made to suffer malnutrition, put to work at an early age (perhaps as an "apprentice"), or even put in circumstances that could lead to his or her death?

Honor vs. humiliation: "You're the spawn of the devil! You're not my child. You don't even count as a human being. You're so ugly and deformed even a baboon wouldn't want you!" How do you think a young person would grow up if he or she were treated to this kind of diatribe every day until he or she escaped the family? Noted psychoanalyst Erich Fromm would once again repeat the European folk saying, "Call a man a thief and he will steal."

Look at this set of alternatiuves in diagrammatic form. Some of these ways of controlling human beings do so by killing in the extreme cases: killing the child by abandoning it, killing the child by punishment of death, killing the child by malnutrition or other neglect.

Disapproval or rejection of the whole person tends to result in a maximum of ostracism, and refusal of physical or mental touch tends to result in psychological damage.

So what do we get when we attack the several dependency needs of a child?

             ° Shame cultures: Japan and others.
             ° Guilt cultures: American and others.
             ° Corporal punishment: China, America, and many other places

             ° Coercive persuasion: Intense assaults on the ego, as in the "brainwashing" techniques used by the Chinese Communists before the end of the Great Cultural Revolution.

             ° Humiliation: See the following document from UNICEF. [Link]

For the purposes of young leaders, it may be more important to display the insights into how humans interact in groups than to become entangled with the differences in the way this knowledge is systematized in the various systems of theory employed in the field.

Leaders need to be able to deal with the social construction of realities, social constructs such as race, the characteristics of interactions among various ethnicities, religions, etc.

Books and other documents:

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword by Ruth Benedict [External Reviews] This book shows the social and warfare consequences of traditional Japanese shame culture.

Americans and Chinese, Francis Hsu. [External review] This book details the differences between the American way of enculturating children and the traditional Chinese way of accomplish similar goals.

In the Presence of My Enemies, John Clifford  Father Clifford's autobiographical account of five years in Chinese prison show how the thought control (brain washing) system of the CCP uses many different methods to humiliate captives, tear down their ego systems, and impose their own system of values on them.

Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, Robert Jay Lifton. See his remarks about the book made 20 years later [here].

The Social Construction of Reality by Berger, P.L. and Luckmann, T. [External Reviews]

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Goffman, Erving [External Reviews]

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language by Robin Dunbar

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Intellectual Impostures by Sokal and Bricmont

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman [External Reviews]

We Have Never Been Modern by Bruno Latour

Bowling Alone  by Robert D. Putnam

The Classics

Elementary Forms of Religious Life by Emil Durkheim

Capital, by Karl Marx  Condensed edition of Capital.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber

Important concepts:

Graphing betweenness
[Image source Wikipedia Commons]
Social Network Analysis

Last updated 15 August 2016

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