Many years ago, pre Internet, the psychologist Alice Miller wrote a series of books in which she traced how persons abused as children re-enact this abuse when grown up.
Drama of the Gifted Child
For Your Own Good: Roots of Violence in Childrearing.
According to Miller, many abused children are desperate to believe in the benevolance of their adult tormenters, because often they depend on these same adults for survival or the perpetrator threatens then to keep silent.
In this unbearable predicament, victimized children try to get some
sense of agency, not matter how illusory. Many times, the victim gets a sense of power by allying with their perpetrator. The victim gets illusory agency by willing himself to believe that this is not really abuse, but is for his own good. The victim despises his own vulnerability, then learns to despise anyone perceived as weak and vulnerable.
They convince themselves that the abuse is 'for their own good' or 'character building.' In adulthood, such persons may readily buy into 'crazy wisdom' alibi if the perpetrator is a guru.
Persons in this predicament will attempt to bully whistleblowers into silence.
All this is done quite unconsciously. In the worst scenarios persons egregiously abused in childhood may in adulthood collude in abuse of the next generation. Some adults betrayed and used as children may make a career defending a series of crazy wise gurus. Others may make a career claiming
that adult use of small children is natural, normal and that the children 'want it'.
Alice Miller traced how abuse of children and those despised as childlike is passed through generations in this manner.
She termed it poisonous pedagogy.
And when an entire culture, religion or ideology is developed to rationalize this abuse, and especially if this abuse is tied to moral/political absolutes, its especially easy to rationalize and especially difficult to root out.
In the very worst situations, anyone arguing on behalf of compassion and an end to the abuse is framed as being 'weak'.
In another example of how this dynamic works, we can turn to a film documentary about homophobia and closeted politicians--a film entitled Outrage
, one politician was interviewed who had closeted himself and later chose to come out.
He told the interviewer about other closeted power figures he had known.
The people who chose to closet themselves, live the stress and tension of a hidden and double life, rationalized this by seeing all this self imposed suffering and deceit as a badge of honor, and the ability to 'take it' proof of masculinity, of toughness, of moral excellence.
Anyone who chose to put an end to the charade and come out was despised by these closet cases as proving himself too weak, too inferior to bear the strain if remaining closeted
As a final note, Umberto Eco, who as a child, lived in Mussolini ruled Italy, wrote about a mindset that he termed Ur Fascism -- or proto-fascism.
In this mindset weakness is despised, strength is exalted. And...life is seen as struggle.
In such a set up, anyone designated as weak (including small children) might well be at risk of contempt and that in turn enhances risk of abuse.
One can be sentimental about children as a symbol of innocence, but at the same time also despise the actual needs of real children.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2017 10:20PM by corboy.