You are a slave. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind. (Morpheus to Neo in ‘The Matrix’)
In this blog I want to investigate whether Morpheus is right. Can it be true that the we are living in world that we perceive as ‘free’, but in fact is a world where citizens are kept stupid, uninterested and submissive? Where elites are eager to keep them that way. Can it really be true that an entire world is suffering from something that can be described best as Global Stockholm Syndrome?
The definition of Stockholm Syndrome goes as follows: ‘a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them’. In simple words: at a certain point during a hostage situation, the hostages start to understand, like and even defend the people that are responsible for their captivity. A very strange phenomenon that seemingly also can be applied to different situations.
Psychologists have identified four conditions that need to be present for Stockholm Syndrome to occur:
1. Perceived or real threat to one’s physical or psychological survival and belief that the abuser will carry out the threat. Meaning that the abuser may:
- Assure the victim that only cooperation keeps loved ones safe.
- Offer subtle threats or stories of revenge to remind the victim that revenge is possible if they leave.
- Have a history of violence leading the victim to believe they could be a target.
2. Small acts of kindness from the abuser towards the victim
- In some cases, small gestures such as allowing a bathroom visit or providing food/water are enough to alter the victim’s perception of the abuser.
- Other times, a birthday card, a gift (usually provided after a period of abuse), or a special treat can be seen as proof that the abuser is not “all bad.”
3. Victim’s isolation from other perspectives
- Victims have the sense they are always being watched. For their survival they begin to take on the abuser’s perspective. This survival technique can become so intense that the victim develops anger toward those trying to help.
- In severe cases of Stockholm Syndrome the victim may feel the abusive situation is their fault.
4. Perceived or real inability to escape from the situation
- The victim may have financial obligations, debt, or instability to the point that they cannot survive on their own.
- The abuser may use threats including taking the children, public exposure, suicide, or a life of harassment for the victim.
My personal research during the last months has shown me how easily these aforementioned conditions can be applied to our own lives and how we are being held hostage by the thumb of a globally regulated corporate machine and by debt controlled financial system. When you apply the same analysis as one would do on a hostage on our society, a strange and disturbing familiarity can be found. Let’s take a closer look at each of the four points necesary to identify this form of ‘Global Stockholm Syndrome’:
- Perceived or real threat to the physical survival of an entire population: Those in power have made it so we have to pay simply to exist on this planet! We have to pay for a place to sleep and we have to pay for food. If we don’t, people with guns come and force us to pay. This might sound very simplistic but it is quite true. At some point in time we were forced by those in power to start paying for everything and since then we assume that it is the way it is supposed to be and we don’t even question it. We are already paying for everything we used to get from mother earth for free (including water) and probably air is up next.
- Small kindness: With strange and small gifts governments and corporations try to keep us happy. Small gifts like rent support and free or cheap (but completely regulated) education.
- Isolation from other perspective: corporate media provides the only valid perspective. On a global scale, over 70% of all the media channels are controlled by only five major companies. In the United States it is even 90%
- Perceived or real inability to escape from the situation: Industrial civilisation has become the air we breathe, and the corporate machine has the power and demonstrated will to use overwhelming lethal force against any and all who would resist. There are more than enough examples of corporations demonstrating this power towards those who challenge for example Monsanto, American Fruit Company, SHELL, etc.
Human beings tend not only to accept life within oppressive social structures, but to love and cherish it. We invent fanciful reasons justifying our subordinate position and go to the extent of punishing those who refuse to accept their assigned position. Such a person is generally considered “well adjusted” in human society. Human society as we know it seams to be Stockholm Syndrome at a global scale. What do you think of this term and theory?
To be continued…
Inspired by the following book and movies:
- End game (book)
- The Matrix
- The Coorperation
- Flow, for the love of water
- Food Inc.