[Paleopsych] welfare and psych

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 24 20:10:57 UTC 2004

>>Welfare has been pared back and more people are 
working. Social security will run out of money, and
the ownership notion may be a way to salvage it.<<

--The problem may be psychological. It is not easy for
anyone to give up autonomy and freedom to depend on
another with absolute trust. For males especially, it
is perceived as humiliation and loss of status.
Welfare enables people to have freedom, or relative
freedom (the freedom to persue an education, read or
otherwise improve themselves, or to be "naughty"... we
often talk as if they're all in the "naughty"
category), and asking people who are used to freedom
to depend on some privatized community help projects
may not work well. We can assume it WILL work, but it
may not, and it's a bit irresponsible to change things
drastically in a short period of time without knowing
how it will affect the ecological balance of the

Psychologically, it is assumed that whoever has the
money will be 'daddy' and the ones without will be in
the 'child' role. A good child who flatters daddy and
pumps his ego gets a raise. A bad child who
contradicts daddy and makes him look stupid risks
demotion. Forcing people into those roles is always
perceived as a tremendous slap in the face, especially
if one ethinic group tends to get pushed into that
position. A few corporations and private programs will
genuinely understand people and work well with them,
and for them it will be very positive. For those who
are not so good with people, a system which forces
some into dependency roles and enables others to
become 'daddy' will produce chaotic results. The
Stanford Prison Experiment is one example. State
programs have the possibility of transparency and
accountability, but private programs can be slippery.
Numerous "boot camp" programs for teens have been
caught in scandals involving horrific abuse. That kind
of thing is why we have public supervision over
programs involving people controlling other people.  

Many adults in the business world and in politics get
addicted to that 'daddy' role and misuse it by
emotionally abusing those in the 'child' position.
Some degree of accountability is always necessary, and
it cannot be private regulation of private enterprise.
If your product is an object, no problem... but if
your product is human beings, you need another layer
of accountability not needed in normal companies. You
just can't say "everyone take care of everybody else,
I trust you". You have to provide systems of
transparency and accountability, and some degree of
government involvement, or at least involvement of
independent NGOs, is necessary when private entities
perform psychological experiments on human beings.
Messing with someone's sense of security is always a
psychological experiment, it is social engineering.
Welfare too is social engineering, so it all has to be
looked at in terms of its real effects, not on
ideological assumptions about what will happen if
people are thrown out of public programs.

Never try a social engineering experiment on a large
scale without first trying it on intermediate levels.
Welfare reform is not a bad idea, but it has to be
done in a way that doesn't put people in a
psychological bind because that just creates extra
tension which is taken out on real children. When
adults play those daddy/child games, it is humiliating
for the losers, who often inflict their humiliation on
whoever is below them on the social hierarchy, i.e.
kids and submissive women. People need to know the
system that keeps them from falling is not run by
people who despise weakness and use their position of
power to abuse the weak.


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