This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
__ ._ .. _._._. ------~===---
INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT
come from the way people define and perceive the worth of what they contribute to a social relationship and what they get out of it. Through certain social and psychological mechanisms, not all of which derive from the fact of domination, human beings can teach each other, and more significantly teach themselves, to put a low value on their own worth, to accept pain and degradation as morally justified, even in some cases to choose pain and suffering. Whole societies can at times teach themselves an ethic of submission. The Semai have made a virtue of timidity. For them it has worked so far, because it has turned out to be an effective way to cope with encroaching and stronger neighbors. Through the analysis of a variety of extreme examples I shall in the next chapter try to specify some of the main forms and causes of this self-devaluation, this embrace of the moral authority of suffering. Reversing the focus of interest I will then try to specify the processes through which human beings try to overcome self-devaluation, to redefine upward the worth of their actual and potential contribution to the social-order as well as what they deserve from society. At that point, after we have worked our way toward some general conception ofa recurring social contract and the main forms and reasons for deviations from this contract-including efforts to tear it up and write a new one-we shall in Part Two look for some of the historical components in the way human beings define and redefine acceptable and unacceptable treatment by their social superiors.
\,iy.Themoral authorit~ of
i<uffering and injustice
since the Laws of Manu long. . As such. Also. as can happen among the Hindu U The practitioners of asceticism are the objects of "PhPlr" curiosity. social . be our central cern. 208. Ascetics deliberately choose a life of pain and suffering.Religion of the Masses." though in the case ian monasticism in its earlier or purer forms.. . be recommendations rather than a description of 1Partly because what is known or suspected about this aspect 'has through the deservedly well-known work by Anna Freud. II. A common thread ties .INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT human behavior. not to say notoriety. Das Ich mechanismen. 99-100.' Instead we shall try to understand the social and factors that create these feelings. Some concentration camp victims identify with their tormentors._/ 2. Saints of India. vivid quotation on ascetic practices. however. Many Hindu Untouchables appear to take pride in their servile status and degrading work rather than resent their situation. surrounded and supported the individual in such a sustain the role. these examples together: suffering and submission come to these people with such a powerful aura of moral authority they take pride and pleasure in their pain. To a modern Westerner the self-tortures of Hind appear extraordinary indeed. . In general. Asceticism In analyzing ascetic practices it is important to notice that the suffering is primarily physical. which. That one can do best by scrutinizing several particular manifestations of this behavior in some detail.. Each of the three examples chosen presents a prima facie challenge to our assumption. Evidently the practice cism in India is quite ancient. that of ascetic is self-chosen. unlike the role of touchable. psychological dynamics will not. examining the context and the responses themselves from various viewpoints until explanations emerge that illuminate the general issue. 89-90.: Religion and Ethics. . It is definitely not suffering in the form of degradation or damage to the' aI's self-esteem. A larger number of prisoners in this and similar situations resent and punish fellow prisoners who attempt to resist the authority of the guards. ings become ascetics "voluntarily.
. m u..rl· the universe through their practice of self-inflicted would inflict such tortures e estival.••.. on '~"V£'~"'<> of some ascetic's spiritual power. rOman.ion... ey dIS. note 102. Only the intercession of the souls of his forefathers Indian asceticism was an att ess cycle of bir th and rebirth..... If the damsel succeeded. 153-154. •••In Christianity too.•.•._~ and painful type of human experiences.l" Nevertheless both Christian and legend and tradition there are um~n 1_lat~re. 100. a equalitarian conse•. in Christian asceticism the effort to al.•. HOman. Accor di eance han control .. in the micro cosm... Whenever Indra. < .. 170. In a rough parallel to the story of the crucifixquences.. property out of love for one's fellow man in Christianity.. Hindu asceticism..• beautiful. will of even the Supreme Being.. Mystics.. Likewise.. II. Die Motivierung der Askese.••..••. tradition..••.. low-caste individu b jom. .•• 25-26. 399-400. it ... spnng saturnalia. not a form of renunciation im ced athlete.lOIn .~. see Zimmer. there occurs the scene of castration for Another theme. o .•.' 01_l e ot er hand. . outcastes mIght" D. sant SOCIaburdens inherent in ••..... the jealous thread and the tuft of hair 8 Ad' uism such as the sacred of the gods.or aeon of passion poured away the whole charge of cism was the avoidance of un plea . . . einrich Zimmer.. 89. members of the sect .. Mystics. .. Thus there was on ." This piece of :viden an .. ~. self-denial.. 6 ity. . 75-76. Even t another tale from the M h bh eJOlc~d. 536-537... In the case of Saint Francis of Assisi.~. even Sudras and e important ascetic sect which all > penances for thousands of years in order to obtain sovereignty . 21.. to be sure. especially prom' of salvation to bring about the return of God.•.INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIEN CE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE of a? effort to escape from the endl .. t crsrn constItutes for individual "th es ern sc olar.•• .•..•. by hIS resolve to destroy single-h d dtl the most dire .•..•. In contrast with obtain what one covets..•... Die Motivierung der ASMse in der Alten Kirche urul der . He set out to subject himself ongs su l~red by .•. :L.acrocosm by bdui . Philosophies of India.• m are..••••. Here Zimmer also points out that Indian epics of accounts of holy men who exploded irritably at slight an- . see . some striking contrasts between Chris. world. for the duration of tt s fi ec~me members of this r... .~ to~~e -! • • ... •human society in favor of an active search for the nature was exceedingly r~~ieved e~:~ ~s~e~lcm.. an e y every creature in i ~Coo .•. .m Indian asceticism. asceti....••• ..ominant ones. and desire:mr to cut l?ose from the hopes. car d e d the outward symbols of Hind . over all created things. What· to be absent in Hindu asceticism.•••.. . At this time they 11 m~tal skewers through their ~~~. t h err reflection. il l and Hmdu asceti. sensed a threat to his cosmic sovereignty from the other hand.I3 aggression against the self for th kinenft Hindu asceticism is . and suffering constitute the most effective way to Christianity the notion of e ? . On the other ?eSIre to conjure the unlimited hidden treme.. In this manner it is possible to compel the xpianon 0 sin th h appears to have played little or no . Mystics. heavenly damsel to intoxicate the senses of the n Ic~es that asceticism was . will for power.t his dea~h.. so' su uing completely·. mg to one W .... This aspect of asceticism resemthe context of the caste system th part... cravmg for vengeance on 'f e ICacquired a . the privile' es ~~?r l~g t~ the Laws of Manu. least one component in this aggressive current was a fear At might eat together accepting £0 d f ._. stress the rejection of the ordinary routine were regarded as dangero Wh many indicationx that . unng the . . Ascetic demons were supposedly able to sect temporarily. force that he had spent a lifetime striving to accurnumarriage and property. 400. In much of Hindu legend rigid austerfears... a/ was a prominent virtue in the main current of III the unconscious vital part of h energies t~at are s . the saint in a sublime d... Sexual temptation interfered with asceticism and ' 0 rom any H' d Th . a a arata one asc t .•• misery of others through charity plays a prominent It r~presents IS an expression of an ex wn orga_lllsm.." In bles primitive magical practices found all over the world and may routine demands of the soci..•••. criticism within the main current of Hindu tradition. one " .. 53 .. sexuality.as~~t1c were confined to the .u~~e~~~lves as passing thick ..••. he sent an unbetwice-born.. ~ncyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics.earthflY hfe. It is worth noticing that these extreme forms of aggresance~tors... 48-50. afflictions. Accordin .Peter Nagel.. lOH astI~gs.. persuaded him to desist. e sa e 0 veng d' over th e outside world . to speak of any overt aggression or search to control of the universe itself the m s e way to conquer the powers .•• . the Hindu Supreme Being himself endured self-inflicted Hindus... Common to C~~sti e lower cl~sses by the < •.l O:d~~t1~~of escapinf? from the derive from them..•• "Oman. 52 9H .• . account 0 wr ff .. a major threat to the ascetic..
It forme? a ness that desires c~n n?ver th-cent~ anarchism... of SOCIal life. form of utopianism. an escape from life by the suppressrono desire instead of its satisfaction.'. .' '.. its anticommercial and antiurban animus. In a secular age with powerful technology human beings are unlikely to turn to ascetic practices until or unless it appears that technology fails to satisfy human wants...... (Here asceticism verges on rites of initiation.•. One is the renunciation of or escape from routine social obligations. Asceticism is a . for example. 1 a source of control over the . A second is aggression against the self..•.. youth .. ···t epts su lermg .'.... practice. h If ..•. d self-dema as b.. ti w f h e rou tiIn e obligations . asceticism mayb seen as a characteristic though not inevitable reaction to .l. It is obvious that asceticism presupposes a distinct social and intellectual climate. .•. ..INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT AND INJUSTICE . Asceticism is also . however."e. Three related themes emerge from this survey of ascetic practices. however. in certain food fads.. It exists also as part utopianism even in its modern forms... life. are especially painful and mutilating.• ments. is very widespread in popular beliefs at aU levels civilization.. . With its emphasis on the return to older and simpler forms..sex~al modern .) The common element in all three themes is an effort to cope with generally unavoidable or apparently inevitable suffering by the deliberate infliction of pain on oneself. asceticism displays affimt1~s the notions of rigorous trammg .. ..'.. db ffering inward agamst t e se <:'. world. Still another part of the intellectual vrronment may be a distinction between the soul and the body.. Initiation rites. THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFERING Saint Francis forced himself to endure close contact with lepers for whom he had earlier in life developed a special detestation.. training) derives. be wholl satisfied. some of which.. Despair about the possibility of piness on this earth and a general religious environment encourages such despair would also appear to be further prerequisites... w: .: likely to spread first within the classes that are not at the very·· bottom of the social order.n Its reJec 10. f i< for future crises an . especially in primitive warrior societies. 'directs t of outwar d agam st Its social causes. for the sake of some larger objective such as personal salvation or personal control over the powers of the universe. not repressIon. . ith modern revolutlonary n. .15i Self-inflicted suffering is one possible response to a high level of : frustration produced by uncertainty about the natural and social . The same IS true a ou. perhaps out of the a !'This may be one reason for the incongruous mixture of hedonism and asceticism some leftist circles as. y suo ::' •.•. At the same time s sufferini ISs inevitable in this life and '.. .. aa .••. . . partrcusi nificant curre~t in ~met~end as alre7dy noted.•.. environment. are hardly voluntary in societies where all normal young males are expected to submit to them at a certain age. even in the la~lY in the Spamsh varIa::. <' 54 . he hostIlIty produce..> . revolt. especially prominent in Christianity and from which the word asceticism (Greek askesis = exercise. change and strain in preindustrial times.. and the inability to control it.• revolution smC?I ace '••. The third theme. is preparation for painful experiences that the individual can expect to encounter at some later point in time. functional su stitute or :•..t0.:~t has shed the aspect of . .••. including the repression of sexuality..
. a task that ?ften means climbing down into the places There is rather more evidence t~at they have accepted Hmdu where the excrement IS dropped and carrying it off in the form beliefs about pollution..•... ration. They remove the carcasses of dead animals..r The Chamars.. There is no hint of these Untouchables themselves there are sharp divithe sources.. especially since they are to such a large extent from "higher" Hindu culture. particularly transgressions against ~he .... the . and degradation erworke~s in Western and Hindu civilization. Their foul mode ofliving . we can exclude military and police force or application of overt terror. They clean the latrines and cart away the beliefs (Karma) about fate and the transmigranon of s~mls.dom_inant Hindu the most severe toil. There are grounds for sk~ptIabout the extent to which Untouchables actually believe north central India b~t exist ~l.m history these scavenging functions may have . What other social and psychological U<''''A. The Hm~u In this_.m WIth the carcasses of cattle.so i~ ot~er parts of the country. On the other hand.connectior. 1·Paraphrased and slightly abbreviated from George W. an esse_nual baSISof ~he c:'lste system. the next reincarnation. The Chamars' quarters ~bound In ~ll kinds of abommable filth. Untouchable: The Autobiography of an Indtan Outcaste. important ..•.uchables are born to this status and outcastes fall Outside Indl~ there are sm:nlargroups. by the different treatment or holiness on the one hand. depending upon both local practice and the exact to transgressions.In ~he ~ttempt to explain why ~~e Untouchables put up clVJLlUIU1Ut castes and to enforce these aspects for the 20 thel~ slt~ .. 57 . These divisions distinguish then_.. an outcaste stratum in Japanese soaety.duties of caste. 56 "".. there is also a on the other hand.HU''JLH various subcastes. system.to no~persons. however. There will be ..ell' I.• among Untouchables in :onnection :-vith polluonly remove the skms from the cattle that have died. states flatlythat the Chamars accept the doctri~es of transHazari....•. In Hindu society as substantial common core of agreement. . reinfo~ci~g economic . it is worth r:~ticing that although there is organized ideally and.. Untouchables who are most numerous in in. partial explanation emerges from some evidence that the close. is a political as well a~ a religious ~ategory: it s~ortly to show more clearly just what the Hindu concepts.. on the othe~ hand.INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE most disgusting ta~ks in Indian society. for example... produce ~heir overwhelmingly compliant beha of uncleanliness or potentiality for pollution.. such as the eta. excrement..IS d<.ward tural laborers. occupy utterly ?egradu:g posinons m VIllage life. .. . U~to... but also eat pollution is one of the most .. Briggs...>w?. . beliefs the individual accepts fate patiently and fulfills followmg account published In 1920 is not particularly exaggerated.treets.. As the literature on the Untouchables is somewhat superior confine the discussion to them. . human terms. in the preceding life. For a long time....-.Conversely.Is .. Untoucha..and political dls~mcacts are msurmountable.the ~ the flesh: The defilement and degradation resulting from . name connects the. .. Higher castes notions. the reward will be to be born into a highe.. If.!" convincing evidence about the internalization of the IS 'prove~blal.••.• to conceal unpleasant aspects of the social order . regard t?em ~lth loathing :'lnd disgust.. Though there IS considerable variation in their in the next life.. The very . havior.. with the upward mobi~ity postponed until the next life.. as well as a great deal of touchables have accepted and absorbed the . At an :~uls may be described as upward social mobility for good ?eearlier p~)lnt . .J.• is some evidence of the acceptance of these beliefs. E~~ept when absolutely necessary a clean-living ... t of Hindu beliefs about human destmy and transrmgranon of By ~xtensl~m I~ ap~ears they are often also leatherworkers. Thus evil and misfortune III this hfe are treatment..ultural differerices m the definitions of cleanliness and a series of status gradatIOns between the polar C~)llnon.•. the sanction for evil behaVIOr:defined v~ry largely as bles have also made a heavy co~tribution to the supply of agriculfailure to show proper respect t? super~or castes. to a marked extent III c. of he~d-Ioads.••. accordmg occup'_ltion that a parti:ular Untouchable caste pursues. been their prImary ones. gives a variety of concrete references ~o the acceptance of one source for transmission of such doctrines to Untouchables and Danger: An Analysis j of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo...•. standards of the society whose victims they are comes Hindu will not VISItthe ~hamars' section of the village. U""~C'''' out of place" or somethmg to be avoided. Thus dISguSt and pollution mean in concrete.. as shown. Chamars not. Illars ?f. it does not coincide exactly WIth them. The Chamars. They are also the village sweepers charged with For present purposes the pnmary ~onceptlons III t?e f~mous cleamng t?e s.
but also to construct separate wells for Untouchables within the Untouchable castes.:eply. II. Ill. S. inculcated and sustained among the Untouchables. Class and Occupation. which is to say for the . the ~u~ss ~hat the not sear the consciousness of inferiority into the ...mly never have answers.uthonty o~ superior castes.. Isaacs. The s~z~~f this ~ar~in of safety in relationships Untouchables IS m Itself an indication of the potentially nature of the situation. Untouchables were VB ~U. hemisphere.H"'. 52. but. 234. In earlier times Untouchables over many parts of India "Harold R.overwhelming majority of in premodern tunes. the Untouc~aslaves or at least as a rule not in most parts of India. challenged by many UIlILuuc.•. I would hazard. I . . Pure Untouchables are regarded as polluting only by their touch. the etiquette of relationships among castes serves to the line between permissible and forbidden actions at a well before what is realistically dangerous for the groups. existed in a form not dlffer~nt from that of modern times as long ago as the Laws of Manu. To these quesnons we.depths of history. and.66.?f Manu that strongly support this view. purpose of these sanctions is to prevent individual U from a~quiring any sense of se~f-esteem that could challenge a. For some quotatr:>ns froJ?the Laws . ~Wedo know that the caste 'system. they stood up against the wall. In parts of India this form of collective selfimprovement has led to a situation where above the impure Untouchables are the pure Untouchables who have given up beef and other such polluting diets.. a substa~tlal body of . 59 58 . today.f~is insufficient to explain why Untouchables accept their positron. 95. III of real anger WIthi myse If.. in as painful a way among Untouchables as among though their status certainly was. for Untouchables as has now been collected for slavery . but so far as I can see incorrectly.INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE Members of the separate Untouchable castes will not eat together nor take water fr?m each other nor allow intermarriage.ua. India's Ex-Untouchables.. 27-28. some Untouchable castes try to iI?prove their status by mimicking the customs and taboos of the hIgher castes. Ghurye. see . It is impossible to determine the exact age when this episode context it appears that Hazan was then a young adolescent.P! Likewise.. '"G.•.shall almost certa. Caste.evidence reveals the concrete sanctions through . there is not nearly as much information about caste . The thesis of the antiquity bility has been hotly. for the first time. This distressed me ~.69.. . As late as 1960 the Indian government found it necessary not only to construct separate wells for Untouchables in the villages. It would be most enlightening to know how these beliefs arose in the first place and even more how ~he Untouchables were . as soon as they . and on~ of. which by now ~re lost In the .51..26 .: ~hIch these behefs~or at least the appropriate behavior-are .them shouted to the ..P Although these practices demonstrate the acceptance by the Untouchables of at least some of the major moral standards of the dominant society around them. 2 as I was going through this very narrow street. ..made to accept them. By itself this set o~ belie. .. One .91. 23 On the other hand.L·' Ex-Untoucnabtes. 228.•. LIke old-fashioned military nons. keep clear of the Untouchable. because I was weak from illness. including Untouchability. the effort to move up the caste ladder shows that acceptance of moral standards is not the same thing as contentment with their application in practice. cl?faedla if Rellgzon and EthICS. 29. I saw a Hindu children coming toward me. .
. similar attitudes have . In his youth he had been able with other students....---. You might get beaten. and i._ -.. who a~ a member of a scavenging caste.• tell lies that might hurt other people... ' stairs to the verandas of upper-caste Hindus. If Hazari's family C as had wished.owed to the <..amble. It could have sold the family's right to work in their' street to another family of the same caste. . drink only in ~. even if you have only a piece bread and a cup of water for a meal. and the main benefits of the rights ..''C. It is of some piquant interest that 60 61 . in the sense that Untouchables' accept the legitimacy of their low.r~mained very ad even in urban areas. INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE "" =. gIves an instructive historical analysis of the relationship an Untouchable caste and its employers in southern India from the early century down to the present day. cleaned latrines.. however dirty. status and of the 0 ' that they had to perform. . .•. given up ours.. 28 ~U'''F. Yet it seems highly like ''''''I:. living.n many respects remains.... The impact the system was profound.--.. 5. But these sales were ra~e because they meant losing one's birthright and family reputation.. "Social . 37-65.. but 'i inside or drink water.1V>1 neve. Each village constituted a largely independent system of exchanges of goods and services regulated through the caste system. Hazari's father III advice to hIS son at one pomt sums up the \/ traditional "good servant's" ethic: "Never steal. all fired up .lommant caste. 8-9. Harper. though modjfied and chalunder new conditions. I ?el~eve. . It was exploitative because the ~am burden of the obligations fell upon the lower castes. In another passage Isaacs cites an interview -three-year-old rather lively young man who had city from his village. and salvaged dead animals..• u sequences Unsuccessf~l' Low Cas~e Movement. good concrete account of relationships with those \or. editor. ~here were Untouchable ca~te cou~cils which punished VIdual Untouchables who failed to live up to their under their own systems. source of these attitudes even among the young ._"'" . l. "Come in !" The old man stood there and looked at him sternly. if hIS family wanted to move out of town. the humiliating and offensive circumstances still . Better keep quiet. the economic system III which the etiquette was embedded and which it served to uphold. espe~ .. fl. Do not go.T~ough ~here has been some scholarly debate on the matter. Foreign influences H~"a...------"_.. Do not do this.~rI'~r"'T··. With : traditional norms have decayed. Social System in India. He observes that great masses of Untouchables remain Untouchables not only in fact but own minds..l'' Alth~ugh eyid~~ce of the impact of these sanctions upon personality of individual Unt~mchables is fragmentary.._.)Uchable." A Brahman friend told his return from school one year as a youth. angry..~.. never despise any .• '.. creased economic pressures have evidently generated among more and more individual Untouchables a set of unbearable psychological pressures.. h."29To dismiss this type t as mere camouflage or rhetoric would be a grievous There is such a thing as pride in resignation. There are many In 'rl 1r'':I Tl'nn ambivalence and aggreSSIon to be discussed in a moment sure." 11-31. His family had instructed '. such data are in a sense contaminated.. . whom hIS caste worked. but was still not allowed to Untouchables. never g. i ve not. ." .--_.uch ~as.UC''V~. the young man reported. in the words of a high ex-Untouchable "in psychological cages. Nevertheless by discounting the obviously modern features and combining what remains with known facts about earlier times it is possible to glimpse the social and personal meaning ?f bei~g Unt(. young master. What else make their situation tolerable? As Harold Isaacs's account in revealing detail.L.' ?f the Hindu jajmani System. "Toward a . have given up your religion. According to unwritten law. aJ?pro~riate to designate this system as a for~ of exploitative recrprocity.nn and always thank God. Untouchable.". Hazari." Isaacs came upon only one person who had .:" S.RING AND INJUSTICE hereditary servants. it was a system of rights and duties that was regarded as legitimate by its ' . for India's emancipation from its dead past. 28For a sfstemat~c rev~ew of the literature see Pauline Mahar Kolenda. It IS.• "7 .. it would first have to find another U~touchable family to take its place.. cially the U ntouc~ables.. . gwes a." he said.> hOIC~ to who should work for them. His father's family had served a l~mIted number of landlord ~ouses from generation to generatl~m.-. Nevertheless.ad swept roads.• AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFF. never take another man's wife. discern. Do not do that. there enough to support two tentatrve generalizations.•. He old Untouchable standing outside the gates of his in!" the boy urged the old Untouchable.. The high castes had n<. life of Untouchables into a condition of violent anger.. Edward B." in Silverberg. ..r did so fully and co~pletely. ••...'U 27 Hazari.p~rportedly for centunes.
of course. immediately! I can't tolerate it!"30 In a reasonably diligent search of the literature. stereotype held by the dominant caste about the low-caste persons. perfectly with the continued acceptance of the prevailing order . On this occasion a young man burst out. "The Congress party is making fools of the Scheduled Castes! We need to revolt against the whole caste system! Half of all the caste Hindus must be killed. 60. that is true of all There are several clues to the existence of hostile feelin Hindu texts mentioned in an authoritative handbook rpl~lpr. of the moral authority of the oppressors. L. 32Here we the tragic.. India's Ex·Untouchables. such behavior . "'Briggs. In the absence of any severe repressive apparatus-there was certainly nothing resembling the infamous krypteia. 145.. 235. Chamars. Again.INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT this episode occurred when Isaacs was attending a meeting with a group of students.. feigned ance and incompetence. A. 33.• They represent one form of the familiar demand order for treatment that provides a measure of CP'T_r. the Spartan secret police used to hold down the helots-it appears reasonably certain that what psychologists call the internalization of the norms of Hindu society must have taken place.t fears of what might happen if Untouchables became too n"--''''''-r" ful. "Social Consequences of an 'Unsuccessful' Low Caste 60-61. I have been unable to find any trace of open revolt among Untouchables. 31 In north central India Untouchables were popularly garded as poisoners of cattle."~n"''''~1'd:. Elsewhere there existed such standard r"">"~""h Untouchables as careless and inefficient work. Basham. vicious circle in which circumstances . at any rate. it would be more accurate to speak of an acceptance . 161.~< Since the prevailing order is the only one they have it would be unreasonable to expect them to feel othe '·Isaacs. 31 "Harper. The Wonder ThaJ Was India. Such reactions are. They had a bad general repu . If there was a definite trace of ambiguity in this acceptance. for crime. a reputation that one author regarded as In turn this reputation for criminality was one of reasons why the Untouchables were despised.: enough hostility among an oppressed group to make tion worse. A sign of the coming of modern/times has been the the Untouchables to compel an individual member to his duties. In this instance. .
of admissions 65 . or dIsmtegr~t1on of. ~~d that o~herwise might ~ave "'''.. 4. Among the Untouchables suffering has not been a matter of choice but of fate.•. ns were the beginning of a regtrne tha_t ~epnved of all but a minimum of food and a nummum of as possible. They needed some mmimal.. its most horrible aspect. which informal networks of cooperation could and d~d spnng In ng the prisoners to mitigate at least some of the ngors of a amo war of all against all. the grounds for offense disappear.Under such circumstances one might expect that the suffering would seem most unjust and would have no moral authority whatever..cesses that I shall now attempt to explain. Hence there w_erew~ys . What is or appears to human bemgs unavoidable must also somehow be just.36 As we however most of the brutalization came from the of other prisoners in the same situation..•. coope~atIon f om the prisoners in order to carry out the day s r~utme of :tting them to the dormitories. To a great extent. These rites of passage had two closely related e~fects. still others have suffering thrust upon . see Eugen Kogon. in the Concentration Camp. as well as in their choice or rejection of for survival that camp soci~ty created. '•.... a set of expenwas to continue during the rest of their stay. even to the . Elkins.d ma~mg them ~ork. Under the Nazi regime some concentration camp' ca~e to accept the moral authority of their oppressors qUIte.. manner that would be ludicrously comic had not the. displayed their own shar~ vanatIo~s 1~ their to survive.oClal.INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE taneously or it was beaten out of them. or some combination of the two. i1. But th~ SS could not carry this policy of atorruzmg the pnson s po~u~ation throug~ to its logical conclusion. others are. In its operation of the camps the 5S delibera tried to break up all social ties among the inmates and them to an atomized. Such is not the case... Problem mAmencan Instiuuiona! and Intellectual Life... .« cumstances been so tragic. however. To paraphrase S~akesp~are some men seek suffering..complex pro. 104-115. SS:Staat: Das ~yste~ .m. In contrast to the situations of both ascetics and Untouch~ble~. the destru~t1~n. Furthermore. From of these ceremonies.'Proces~ed".••.pn. born to suffenng.known betwee~ planta~ion slaver~ and the concentration camp in Stanley M.. straightforward degradation.cooperathat did arise spontaneously. There is a more psychological mterpretauon III . and helplessly a·Though my explanation and use of these data differ from the well.•..cal an? a~1nPlrl·. to its own cruel purposes the networks of s. How and did the different responses develop? A focus on the social aspects yields a twofold answer..i" certain camps this acceptance sometimes reached the where some inmates tried to achieve identification with the copying its style of dress (to the limited extent possible) .rP<. other contexts see the well-known description tstitutions" by Erving Goffman... feeding them. in~ comes wi~ moral authority. the obliteration of whatever IndIVIdualIty .. homogeneous. 'he or she .. The 55 ~as able to we .. 3. of t~e self-respect. and especially offensive to those who are now engaged in militant action to undo this misfortune.P" camp officials '. 64 mass.rj foci of opposition to. different individuals... Such an explanation is likely to be offensive to the victims of historical misfortune." . the degree of acceptance is surprising.point of ~ivin. was to make the prisonpendent upon the camp officials. Asylums. De. If the explanation is a valid one. society.may have enjoyed in the ?utside world. entering the camps the p~Isoners faced welcommjS :hom(~s"of a thoroughly brutalIzmg nature.••..ese two esis hrlD()SlnlItendencies toward atomization and cooperation was. chap. marked by differen~ h~ston. c~mp. t~ey succe~de~.lillU:>t dialectical one..n-op. go this far. . i In each case a sizable number of the victims feel that the suffer. The ... Concentration camps In ~sce~:ism sufferin&" appears as a self-imposed choice due to an inability to cope WIth a dangerous and unpredictable environment. prisoners in concentration camps have cruelty and suffering Imposed upon them with a maximum of violence and coerci<.g them and selected periods of time for unnanon and of course. The synt hesi 0f th. camp officials put the prisoners to The officials controlled nearly every moment waking life. there were aspects of pnson life about which the guards did not want to bothe~. shall see.'.. because to take offense implies the existence of moral opportunities that simply were not there. the pnsone~s to make alike as possible by issumg the~ umforms and confiscating all personal pOSs~sslons. his work made me the potential theoretical relevance of this human experience.. Though most of the inmates . an. 72-79. 14-35.
"tJews. . of bemg alone.•. No someone who bears this stigma. . '"Kogon. were the most likely to disintegrate and unjustly imprisoned. This isconditioning or m ~tsraw~st form. 38 !rom the mome~t of entry ~heI_l. ever. 67 . It was fear of·· ot~er prisoners. the heterogeof the prison community rendered cooperation and soland hence resistance almost impossible . Is fea~ of the guards. mentions the case of Allied officers taken .•. In the concentranon camps. social disinte was by no means complete. concentration camp population.-- . and disappeared.. the absolute .£. the· prisoners were their own worst enemies. bullies small . as Bettelheim observes. variations in social and cultural background had very . it does not appear to qurte so SImple a matter. even if SS power and mflue~ce were pervasIve.INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUI'HORITY OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE psychol?gists' experiments on animals it is safe to conclude that this regIme of extreme but not total deprivation also increased hunger. Due only in part to competition s~arce resources. It may be from a middle-class background. includlClU.. To the extent that fear was a significant com. SS-Staat. and was the acceptance of SS morality-when it occurred-no more than simulation? The answer. 123-124. have given them a self-respect they badly sometimes in youthful communes.u. and perhaps other drives. ~. even though a small amount of additional food was a reward. point th~ • said.the complete lack of prIvacy. everyone egotist. by Calm M. ~ohen quotes the assessment of a female prisoner: "Will surv~ve. 76-78.. . See also 136. One of the milder forms of the prisoners' mistreatment each other was stealing. As details to be mentioned in due course will ~how. Furthermo~e.HumanBehavior. and lack of prisoner solidarity occurs under the very much prison analyzed in Thomas Mathiesen. most of the time it was not fear of the SS. as we know. SocietyofCaptivl!s: A Stwly oj a Maximum Security Prison. Conditioning. The presence of only a .~uman Behav~or.P'' . tly enough to create this atmosphereY' In addition to internally generated pressures. can change attitudes..ttent sa~age beati~gs by th? SS if one happene.tions there is the same fear and suspicion. to take advantage of other prisoners and steal from them.. the SS often appeared like a hurricane . ASIde from mtermI. made the situation even less intimacy may be an enemy of solidarity and cooperation.• . in such a way as to speed up the processes of adaptive learning. th~ beha~ior of at least many prisoners went beyond be~levable simulation. there was a widespread breakdown of ties.• number of "outlaws among the outlaws. The lnfonned Heart."UU"'-'-Iu<e'u'-'_CO in determining an individual's response camp life and hence ability to ~urvive despit~ all to grind the prisoners down into an at<. Brutalization ~ulled their senses '. prisoner was subject to a the re~pme of ac~tely p~mful deprivation and fear for life and limb. 186. In American prison popula. S~nce survival Itself often required some of cooperation among the prisoners.... 4°Cohen. There are two additional considerations. the be~avlor of the Africans who had lost their traditional hunting grounds. 372.. Bruno Bettelheim.. 3 The camps ~ prisoners of both sexes. The Mountain People. enough to explain the prisoner s behavior.. than to a generalized reluctance of the prisoners to all of them are labeled as needing psychiatric help..d to att~act t~eIr att~ntlon.•. An?ther fact<.••.~~s~all I? As ~oon ~s this was at stake.." in effect. .]ews from different nationalities.•. In Theresienstadt Jews frequently hated German Jews. all ages. 135-154. ponent.. however.. then. There the situation appears to be due much less to competias food.UU.v' Thus the prisoners' fear and hostility to~ard ~ach othe~ were by no means )ust a consequence of any direct intervention or deliberate policy on the part of the SS. . and all social statuses members of the highest nobility to the lowest ordinary There were also prisoners from different ethnic between whom there was often violent hostility.>mlzed individuals of middle-class background. The Defencesof t~e . Turnbull. At one. In the first place the prisoners became used to fear. as .>r as the w fact that ordinary criminals made up a fair proportion of the . <u"""F. 3BCohen. I have been told. I believe. There are striking . "Now the Germans will see what transport (Transport was the euphemism for shipping pri~oners extermination camp.. the prIsoner might be killed for re~atIvely mmor infractions of arbitrary and uncertain disciplIne. 66 .) Czech Jews also tought with the Neither repression nor misery was sufficient to unify came to the situation with very different backgrounds "Ul. 135. Ac~ording to a common saying in the camps..~ . is no. F~r a great many prisoners. Japanese who sometimes fo~nd it impossible to hold to their refusal to work ~n~mywhen they were promised an ~xtra ration ofrice. they dared not oppose even in thought.
the perilous capacity for getting used to things.. aroused self-pity and deprived them of the energy necessary for survival. 253. these men ceased to act ~ltogether and Just .:. 144. earthly possessions had so taken possession of them that could not move. Thcresienstadt. See Weissberg. Bettelheim makes some penetrat. usual private life brought them to destruction. Human Behavior. along with the decline m instinctual (in the later stages they stopped eating) displays sug.47 For some. 103. instead of under~ll1nm& their CO~vlc_tIons. the feeling of being innocent. then they gave up feeling.n the dlsaPl?earance of all "social corsets. they put blame for camp conditions less on the SS than on "misunderstandings" or on failures of the internal management which in this case was in the hands of other Jews.rl beliefs and expectattons of the leftist the that such persons were really dangerous that the Nazis took them seriously.r. was an attempt to control an unmanageable envi. ~oth more more important than the J e~ovah s ~I~nesses by prisoners with strong ~e~t1st OI_lVICt10~S."50 Th~ same tendency could develop even inside a camp . similarities to the famous phenomenon of voodoo death in.e. The consequence was a wave of opti~istic self-deception among the prisoners"which ~. 4'Kogon.r· meant giving up their homes and places of business.•• This attempt to withdraw completely mtt? th~ ~elf ~nd to all external stimuli. "Voodoo Death: New Thoughts on an Old Explanation.eptance. 258.andoned all ia.k~. Shortly ward there followed a brief cessation of the transports to 45Bettelheim. <"Cohen. Among the "Moslems" the attempt was abandoned as > 'UJ~U'.. .. 367." 69 nnprrsonment 68 . ~ould h~rdly be a more grisly illustration of the let~al potentlahtl~s of this very necessary and highly developed trait of Homo sapzens.. separated themselves from these marked me.The . 50Bettelheim. because was mainly painful or dangerous or both. with apolitical prisoners WiththeIr. a r~~ction that is perhaps characteristic of privileged . showing how the Frank family s effort to continue with their. In Buchenwald< Bettelheim asked many German Jewish prisoners why they • not h~~tGerman~ beforehand because of the utterly .~f familiar routines. and yet havmg to suffer. In manner they were often stiff. instead of using them.. Finally..the mIddle-class responses just described as a form of c."" lJ. had the same reaction In the SOVietUnion. sIems" the self-destructive process went further.52 In the case . Who were arrested as objectors. but ceased to do anythmg on t~elr When the other prisoners recognized what was happemng.. wal~mg s who had given up any effort to assert themselves agamst helming environment. A~."! Th~re.<H opposite end of the spectrum a~ accounts a&r~e that like to survive were persons WIthstrong religious or Jehovah's Witnesses.... .INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE needed.. ' It might be more accurate to charact~r1ze . 304. ~ distinguished Soviet physicist....otted.. For many a German middle-class persO. Ss-Staos. 84. pedantic.. Informed Heart.similarities to some forms of asceticism. They were elderly and brought up with a blind faith in law and order. mg c..nticisms of the once v~r~ popular Diary of Anne Frank. Theresienstadt there was once a short period of that even included the opening of a coffeehouse. they were run them.<".apitulatlOn to the moral '. First they had ab.. and tragicomically correct.n because association with them could lead only to their own . was a traumatic shock they could not wit~stand. Conspiracy of Silence.mdIvlduals. stood an excellent chan... In the lat~r they still obeyed orders in the sense that they ~oved the~r when told to do so. .r~ible n:ista. Indeed they 128~129.. 4" Adler.. 49 Among middle-c~ass prisoners generally another factor that ~at~llyweakene~ their powers of resistance and adaptation both mSld~ and out~l?e the ~amps was a tendency to cling to the ~ecun~y. camp. ~6 extermination camps. Lex.. For an explanation of the phYS10logl." the comforting etiquette and titles of respect and status.de.. Now they could not see that this law and order had thoroughly r.he m_ost • extreme form of capItulatlon was that of the Moslems.. Unable to understand why they were in the concentration camp. 120" Ale"xander W_eissberg. C .~·h~. conditions to which they had already been subjected in Their answer was to the effect that they could not leave u . 48 The German Jews who came to Theresienstadt in the summer '1f 1942 displayed an extreme form of this reaction.firm behefm l~w ..(:tlon as utterly pointless.dler apt~y attnbutes to "die gefahrliche Macht der Gewohnung.t" Many of them were inclined to think it was all a hO. Informed Heart.••• authority of the opp~esso: rather than Its ac<.whlc~ gives up and dies. 107.a.
and align the coverlets so that the pattern a ~lUUlL'V"~ '-U.. 308.. Illness. As Kogon. myself.. and doing what they could to undermine the confidenc~ a~d II_lorale of the SS. the prisoners had to "build" . 53 Criminals were in an intermediate situation. conditions in the camp as a whole. . lawyers.310-315... In so doing they had to compete with other informal groups of prisoners. SS-Staat. absolutely every detail of the prisoner's life.t" . the c<_tmpin tailor-made with little dogs on a leash. for example.. hunger. quotes a .. verbal rudeness. have to be left to prisoners in order to get them to do such simple things as march to their eating and sleeping quarters at the appropriate moment... he usually of obscenities. All this in the midst of the chaos of misery.. The concentration camp had the further spice of putting them on an equal footing with bankers. All this was possible because.212." 54Kogon. Kogon. the officials could not control. In the 55 gave people ta~ks to perform that ".. Fo~ the failure ~f the whole unit would receive punishment. In this way severe factional struggles developed among prisoners..to carry out.. Eve. 168. table. they could not affect real policy: they could n<. through fear or other sanctions. Like the political left they had rejected bourgeois society and had no reason to make pathetic efforts to cling to its outward symbols..role. 55Bettelheirn.Ity of the. Chests of f??d from supplies were smuggled out and sent to the families of the elite.>the:camf:1s. Informed Heart. Asylums.v" As Bettelheim they generated in this manner the typical justifications and blindness of a ruling class. •.nr''. U".. Under other circumstances this sense may be very difficult to maintain. that is. while fighting against _it they beca_me tamt~d by It.Ir "'''''. or at least pseudo-autonomy.Informed Heart.. shoes.~c". 71 . 309-312. Coffman. partial autonomy provided an opening that the Communists did .LL~ feeling innocent.••. One symptom of this high level of hostility . the distribution of news. ThIS enormous hostility to any prisoner who by attracted the attention of the 55 to his or her •. 315. perhaps intensified by th~ fact that i~was impos. an imprisoned conscientious objector who expresses "the curious UH>llLU. In the latter stages of the war some members of prisoner elite paraded around...317. the Communists by no means owed their survival to their convictions alone.. For criminals the jungle world of the concentration camp was not totally unlike that which they had known beforehand.. to direct their hostility where It belonged.rp was mainly an affair of the pnso~er elite..:ere powers of most human bemg:s. Such networks grew up around common membe~ship dormitory or assignment to the same work detail.. and a complete end of such ts of daily social intercourse as "please" and a newcomer used these phrases. and exclusion from the list of those to be sent to extermination camps..•. 136. as is usual in such situations. filth. Though their convictions were essential to their survival. 184-186.v. T~e the prisoners formed or was caught up In other social . Some areas of autonomy. They formed a cohesive group and managed in some camps to take over much of the camp administration including two key functions.56 Thus the concentration camps forced the revoactivist into a highly ambiguous "reformist". 372.o wore high boots but only ordi~ary army. t~elr activities required at least a minimum degree of collaboratIon with the 55. this at a tune when the 5S n. SS-Staat.. SS-StMt. Theresienstadt.t prevent the death transports.. became thoroughly corrupt. confesses. 70 organizing covert propaganda.. As informal camp ~anagers. and aristocrats."~H'~UV Bettelhcim. I?artlcubeings in a semistarved condl~lon.ct"y.. ··SS itself. mcludmg even the liticals.INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE took pride in their imprisonment. 57. 183-186.. death.. a non-Communist mem~er of this pnsoner elite. particularly those among the common inals. restuff the straw mattresses so that . their best to seize and expand as a bridgehead for their own power. Enemies in turn they placed on these The Communists and those who worked with them accepted the guilt inherent in decisions to condemn death in the hope of saving a few and purportedly . 188-189.••. This grant of ... The Communists used their position to punish enemies and reward their friends and allies with safer better food. the allocation of work details and the assignment of prisoners to other camps for extermination. Kogon. Among the political prisoners the Communists played far and away the dominant role. In time a segment of the camp ehte.." Nevertheless they created the of what resistance there was and could be within the 53Bettelheim.. Informed Heart..n individuals never accepted the moral author. In this manner they became the core of the camp elite (Prominenten) in Buchenwald and c..••••••..
ene aI_Idr~po~ted It m disgust to some official. but then was Informed Heart... mlg~t be dIsm!ssed. To other pnso~ers he .lnformed Heart. But if his action to the knowledge of the camp administration. In a f:w mor~ ~ay~ other of the column died.. .the~r labor c?mmand. in a strictly limited period of time..T·"r< "If a prisoner tried to protect others and it came to the attention.. 375. resent Its protector because he brought them suffering."58 Hostility was especially strong against the newcomer. prisoners regard him as a welco~e symbol of .what out of the ordinary.. Sometimes the 5S used yardsticks and levels to make sure that the beds were built correctly.•••.. known as a "ball buster. Havmg lost hIS brother that day.) The 5S.n ~he face of . Several days later his corpse came into the under strange circumstances. -.. as .6z Bettelheim reports a 141-145. "Cooperation between a few friends. In one maximum sefor.. Old prisoners had a pride in their own toughness at having survived and become an "old hand. information. for the sake of childish emotional outboth in and outside the concentration camps behavior that could be identified as Jewish ase anti-5emitism.)leceof sadism appears to have be~~ . GO pressures toward rejecting the role of heroic resisin American prisons and i?-deed may be p~rt of the . One of the brothers lost his PVf~<T"::l<:<:. either by drowning or heart failure. -- ---.r.. 213-216. any man who engaged in hopeless •. others shot their guns across the beds to see that they were absolutely fiat.~"""""'~--- INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE of checks on the coverlets was in perfect alignment. was ineffectual against the ferocious disorder that reigned among the majority.." which played some part in this hostility.········one who sacrificed the well-being of the inmate a whole...•. contemptuous of heroic gestures other than their own has already appeared. was successful in preventing martyrs or heroes from being rro". the group came.. < Bettelheim gives a concrete example. But it was too late to recant and o testimony.. Bettelheim observes. ""Bettelheim...some. nificant aspect of the prison camps' social organization was the way it worked to inhibit any action that smacked of heroic resistance. Only the brother of the victim felt obhged to do . They encountered an S5 officer who the members of the column to throw themselves down ~uddy road several times.•. Two brothers marching back to the camp as part of a column that had an outside detail. 170-171.-----." . and t>. opposition. It was that his statement had not only endangered himself but all omrades in the same labor group. Kogon.•.<__.P~L· water-filled ditch beside the road...... There was an mveStlgatIOn into the death... had to fear for his own life. the prisoner was usually killed. human response to oppressIOn. But the main reason was that a newcomer endangered the group because he or she did not know the ropes.--. 72 73 . In this way.. give up.-.. tension. Later that evening the brother was ~alled to appe~r before .. Those sleeping in the top row messed up the mattresses of those below and those alongside of each other frequently did the same thing. There was the same hostility toward weaklings who were also felt to be liable to turn informer.the guards and asserted his dignity i." Illg to S5 custom. 58Bettelheim.example..----- . 5S-Staat. the delicate system of compromIse a~d corrup.. the basis of prison society. By then he was m utter d~spalr. the whole .••. .••. a relatively harmless "sport. subordinate SS officer. per~a~s because a German civilian witnessed the sc." Only to avery limited degree . fightings. But the 55 man forced him to ?ive agai~ ar:'-dagain u~til he died. was a relatively soft one.. As Bettelheim reports. (Its effect on the Communists.. was ah~ays punished severely.epro:aClles f his comrades. He asked for and permission to look for them and dived into the water-filled. for his labor command...•.. The whole column was brought before the comman<.. The result was generally frantic chaos. . He came up without them and dived again. who are inclined to be . and beatings among the prisoners.. which would . ThIS I. having been killed by mJectlOn: In .ier of the camp and asked to ten what they knew about the ep~sode.•. All members feared not c the vengeance of the 5S but :'llso that .~ .disaster for all concerned. All this the prisoners had to do. 59 From the stand point of the present inquiry the most sig..•.. anxiety. three months the entire command and all possible had been eliminated... Each member stated that he had seen no~h~ng and co~ld gIve no .. t was possible to avenge his brother's death and told the < . as well as go to the toilet and wash. " . More often they treated ~llm as a fool. which existed in most units. A newcomer was liable to be clumsy and to bring down the wrath of the SS upon the group.
The first stage in getting a prisoner to change his 75 . Some of eXI.point. Quite often t~e. exactly the opposite attitude and regarded ~nSS ?av~ just seen: there existed powerful social pressures on ludicrous. Older prismoving case from Gern:an. such behavior was not universal.SS ~oul? for a hrief time hated ?erself for helping to send Jews to their death.. especially its . as "patriotic" Germans ' as stone. believed Nearly a~lthe non-Jewish prisoners.••. In the indoctrination centers there was the same i 6'Bettelheim. tended t~ identify WIth ~he she had to make a census of families in the town. Heart. 291-293.. however.tors. she also counting of prisoners. 67 drew not moral approval but moral condemnation group.. Informed Heart.. af~er ~he SS... But then she came upon some Jewish •...he un~forms.INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE more thoroughly conditioned pri~oners . as mentIOned earher. Among the more revealing for our purposes because: unlike of the pnsoners It seems clear that tendencies toward .v··. behaved ~ore cruelly t?an t?e S~ itself of disagreeable moral conflict. When Bettelheim' in 193 did not even carry it out the first time. other prisoners long after the SS had lost mter~st. she at '. Thought and sub rosa talk were different matters. in the analysis we can begin to understand how . 169-170.•. Her resentment against them. prison garments untIl they res~mbl~d t. the way. Such prisoners. much less..kewIse. . continued to observe It and tried ~o enforce It IdentIficatIOn. 170-172. She realized that these Jews saw her as a symbol of the ..•. The Communist organization American civilian prisoners of war 10 Korea..65 achievem~nt8 of the National Socialist state. many hesitated to agree that this was dirty. the en. their doi?g. Though the order was never _repeated and shared certain values with the SS. was exactly what the regime wanted her to feel. and WIth a shock realized the meaning of what she was .• even in appearance. certain old prisoners felt great satisfaction If." Although this acceptance of and ideniridividual agamst heroic resistance because such acts the SS seems to have occurred in only a minority. Informed Heart. or to ~end or •. often. From her adored father... i risoners on work details. When prIsoners :-vere in charge of other allegiance to the Fuhrer and to give the Hitler salute repeatedly. Generally the rule was quickly f?rgotten: Some old pn~.•..· obtain for themselves old pIe~es of SS umforms. L1. At school she had to swear th/ SS and Gestapo. were tortured for days an.•.•. civilian life" one that is typical of oners were at times instrumental m getting rid o~ so-called ~nfit many others. A young gIrl m a non-jewish family had a father new prisoners.. <l'm:. althOl_Ighthis was f?rbIdden. above.lanslon through a~nexation.d slowly ktlle~ was copied from rhe and presumably harmless matters.•.•. Later. during the regI!lle and hated her. The superficially bizarre . and not m_erely U n~er these pressures she began to resent her father as a source xi former criminals. families.•. First out with soap and water. who was a convinced anti-Nazi. 74 and privacy though perhaps not to t~e same de!:free. the old pnsoners. rotection required the ehmmatton of traI. 64 In the second place..•. It served the level of "drives» to produce quicker Iearnmg.. they had stood well at atte~t1o~ or realized.•. believed in all rules set down by the SS were desirable standards sup~nonty of the German race and took pride in the .ape~ the SS. but nevertheless modeled. some old asked more than a hundred old political prisoners if not only continued to wash the insides of ~heir sh?es thought the story of t~e camp should be reported in but cursed all those who failed to do rhis as being newspapers.. Then •. WIth the SS took place. that did not differ greatly from the brutality of the SS differences between concentration camps and indoctrination Therefore it is not surprising that some of the are instructive.•. They tned app~~ently a ha. as part of her schoolwork Old prisoners.. What some nonsensical rule ongmatmg m a momenta~y resolution there may have been to this dilemma we are not told 63 . he asserts. on the surface ••.rmless task. an act perhaps necessary ~or t~elr own survival.m which under pressure from her age-mates she began to give in on small .•. She also a snappy salute..although s~lffirst drew the moral strength to resist the Nazi regime..tire situ~tion stressed toughness as a model of 137-138.l·' at least in the camp.. Any act of . Brutahty. A~ this. Bettelheim reports. place in indoctrination centers and ':bramwas~were effectively crushed. It not and did not counter such pressures. unintentionally.. As a result the shoes became substantial number of prisoners. 64Bettelheim. For and par<_tdoxlc~lacce1?tance of the moral authority of the 0 the SS once ordered prisoners to wash their shoes pressor IS explicable m terms of three sets of causes..•. of the survi~al ofth~ group to which he belonged. .
249. 379-380. 384.·.gence of a reformist and arrogant elite "UJl~VILH! those I~ principle oppose~ to the regime.. 129.. though it seems rather unlikely.. into sentiments like pride in doing humsustain the prevailing order. making them exert pressure individual t? adopt a new set of political assum ptions..of . See Edgar H. in general. WIthout being qUlte certain what they wanted.• suffering of the kind accepted and endorsed In these three cidentally. I suggest...".'UlJMHlll~ forms of behavior.sodety under advanced industrialism. 76 . too easIly. 7"'".n tJ.. ······thisanalysis is quite distinct from contemporary critical interpre. of a general model of repression. once they were able to get out. Coercive Persuasion. In later stages the p~isoner w~s forced to hunt around for "genuine" that hl~ mterrogators sou!:?ht. In the etiquette to the Untouchables it is possible to see quite . 197-199. But for."'. . of the three extreme cases reveals certam aspects of process of self-repression. ". Informed Heart."". Self-esteem is something that has to if the desire for it may be innate.. recogmzable caricature of many CIVIlIze? society.feelings can be created. to many mmates the SS seemed more ridiculous than hateful. SS~Staat.ext Bettelheim observes that...is such a thing as a recurring. '. 71 Kogon..·". if possible."?" Most prisoners it is clear hated the SS though not quit~ in the way one ~ight expect....1e.e most part this desire took the form of fantasies. the competinon for crumbs among individuals in the lower the saI?-e e~er.. On this issue see the discussion of rational Thirteen.?nly. pos~ibly pan-~uman. preceding chapter presented evidence for the view that .. .. As a whole...?ut ... 70 Understanda?ly t~e desire for revenge was powerful... Stifling the sense of injustice i would be a serious error to raise the concentration camp to the .. In another c~nt.. deserves to be labeled as unjust repression until and seriously that all hierarchical forms of the division of obsolete... Human Behavior.. Because the concentration camp the most force there is good reason to regard it as the least of the three forms just sketched. stifling can .·.. form of self-esteem and to deflect any . 77 beliefs ~as intensive ~terrogati0l! and questioning about his past life in order to le."! Their reactions recall those t~at have been common in the beginning stages of various revolutionary movements.nge hIS old assumptions ~bout himself and. Informed Heart. the treatment appears to have o meff~ctJve unless the individual returned to a social environment that sustained the new outlook. From the a dominant group the important task is to inhibit .RING AND INJUSTICE Whether this identific~tion w~th the Nazi aggressor went so far as to preclude all hostile feelIngs toward the 55 is not clear from the available data.. nature and the imperatives of social living. which arises from the combmed reqUlrements of m... then. O. ~~----~. There IS the same class hierarchy. to impart a sense of guilt his p~st and pre~ent behavior as an "enemy of the people: Prison authorities manazed mampu~ate the mfor~al groups to which prisoners belonged in much the same ~ha~ ~hlCh took place m the concentration camps. where the~e is hardly any •. The new prisoner was by oth~r prisoners who had already made considerable "progress' in adopting VI~WP?~t. the discussion has in this sought to uncover the ways in which this.72 Let us now try to see of the most important ones are. .". ther hand.?me experimental evidence is remarkably effective in "'<.. 68Bettelheim.····.. There were also the usual social and material rewards ~o the n~w doctrine..·. That is especially true for orODleIll now at the center of our attention: the forms and of self-repression. 69 Another acco~nt mentions a widespread absence of deep hatred. As will appear in due course of these social processes are to be found in the history of the German working classes and are by no means confined to that country.~'T~--·7---"""~----------·-·---···-.- INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFF. 7°Cohen... Schein et al.····= ·· . Stipulatthat it was possible to stifle the demand for justice end of human suffering.. __ . to view the process as mainly one of the of self-esteem... a accordmg to s. r. th. and a variety mechanisms that produce m the subordinate strata an tance of the values of the rulers.·-··----------··-"-_. --=·=· . '. it would . "weakness and submission are often charged with greater hostility than open counter-aggression."Bettelheim. The~ often felt deeper and more VIolent anger agamst the 55 guards for minor acts of cruelty than they felt against those whose acts were much more vicious. In our own emphasis on achievement self-esteem requires in the course of the life cycle. . t~e concentr~tion camp appears as a horri?l~ .. . A diffuse and informal .. . Many camp vrcnms &"ave themselves over to vague and unrealistic plans for a revolution that would leave nothing in the world untouched. sense. with the concrete individual human being..
Thus the group's spontaneat defense can easily and almost unavoidably serve to and even intensifyits submission. ThIS mechanism appears not only m the concentratIo. causes of suffering must be collective.... ditioned to accept German law and order without c tioning who explained their current plight as due to derstandings or mistakes in the way this law and order applied to their particular cases. three social processes are so much a part of comge that few comment~ necessary..here.•. In the l~ss overtly t~re~ten!ng f?rm Hindu caste system it occurs m the fully institutionalized ·oflower-caste councils who punish their own members for . and are certainly better than no effort at all < they occur at the expen..I" Nor is to elaborate further at this point on co-option I psychological elements have just..s among t~e the point where individuals are left without SOCIal other human beings. The last SOCIal rocess. comes into play.l(~nagamst the social . O?. n of caste rules.. These cultural formulae define socially <>rr'pnt.. These considerations show that it is necessary to take into account cultural definitions.. But individual solutions that help only a . Thus the available cultural definitions of social H~.. It. Even more the form of the explanation helps to tum aggressive that suffering and frustration produce against the turning inward of aggression is most noticeable in the asceticism. been dis'\""rt"nn with social learning.. In asceticism. .. reduce. and to a extent the concentration camps.' examples is the way solidarity among an oppressed group readily against an individual I?rotester or prot~ctor. In the concentration camps mechanisms appeared among those inmates . does.• control of the situation. simple withdrawal from the situation becomes much more difficult. A critical rejection of the source of gratification seems almost impossible. or resist human causes.•.i)L".. as unfortu. . IS hardly necessary to add that effe~tIve act. comment. the ready-made pointers to danger..•. Hunger increases alertness to cues from the social environment about ways to behave that will reduce the pangs.s: of other . no amount or manner of teaching can be effective. Though there is considerable variation from one individual to another.. a consequence of more diffuse social proces~e~ that . that asceticism can occur as both an individual and a 78 79 .•.the basis of these three examples it is also possible to distinguish four ~ypes of social processes that serve to inhibit col~ective efforts..~n~e the situation. Here material deprivation. by definition do not ch. it is possible to discern a pattern of cultural explanation that stifles the impulse to anything about suffering. . The reasons for this solidarity are : any single act of defiance runs the risk of retaliathreatens the whole group. the effect is to make people eager to learn how to please those persons in charge of the environment. sociologist the most striking set of facts to turn up in To .n camps in ordinary prisons.the disappearance of traditional ways of gammg a . Etiquette is a form of inhibition through teaching people to know their place. originally in the form of hunger. But it is also true of Hindu beliefs about general: failure to show respect to superiors in this life to penalties in the next one... p as fragmentation... It is the elementary form of co-option .victims. and unacceptable needs. the meaning and causes of suffering. Individual efforts are not < to be dismissed. Modern prisoners of war who cannot resist the temptation to serve their captors for the sake of increased rations reveal the essence of the relationship. That can happen as a result policy of an oppressor as in the concentration . Hindu caste. and formulae for coping with it that individuals acquire from . social lore and practice around them. When drives have been aroused.n and s.UU'H ~J'L)<. and what. characterizes the situation of an oppressed or whose previous historical experience into two or more competing groups with their = ~UA~""".uffenng. and in a sense justified. Unless individuals are willing to learn. The result is an acceptance of the social codes and standards held by those in .INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE variety of coercion that begins in early childhood may be the most effective device for this purpose. If every human being to figure out every situation afresh. The explanation produces this by making the suffering appear as part of the cosmic hence inevitable. on the other hand..... . the crucial role of a minimum of social support criticism or resistance will appear clearly in the next is no need for further discussion here. the individual can or should about such suffering. human society would impossible."Ll'J LU .. ever. this re~lity. to Ide~tify.. of pm. if anything. is often the case. One of destruction of prior social ties and habIt. the range of possible responses to.
ethnic..pr. Though the clue seems promising. and occupational lines often interfered with even minimal cooperation among the prisoners in the concentration camps.----------------. All of the psychological. This kind of fragmentation is the opposite of the process of atomizationjust mentioned. religious.. Fragmentation generally implies the intensification of prior social bonds instead of their destruction. If so... ------------------------. will be obvious limits to any exploration until after our tion of the historical dimension.-~ ". and reasoning. indeed that experiences are to a degree morally desirable. -~~~"""""--------------~ir-"''''------------~--'----------.-----. Such divisions along class. In the meantime we the focus of this chapter to consider the social and mechanisms that human beings have used or overcoming hopelessness in the face of adversity. perce tions. therefore.~ themselves also appear as unavoidable or even inevita Perhaps. the conquest of inevitability constitutes core of the issues under consideration. or social support unsuited to the circumstances. and social processes reviewed work together or separately to create the sense 'pain and suffering come with moral authority.--~ -._------ . there has to conquest in the real world as well as in human emotions.A. Similar forms of fragmentation have been an obstacle to wider forms of cooperation in other contexts such as ethnic divisions among industrial workers in the United States or the problems of minorities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.---.----------.-------. can render a person . -. cultural.1 CHAPTER THREE INJUSTICE: THE SOCIAL BASES OF OBEDIENCE AND REVOLT own distinct ways of life. Too much social support..-----. The .-----~ .n~ . -------- ----.----------------------------------. "...Cl-HJl<U' he rejection of suffering • d oppreSSlon 80 .·. ineffective-and perhaps cause as much pain-as no s at all.. An inherited network of obligations and hostilities encapsulates the individual victim of misfortune or oppression to the point where it is impossible to break out and form ties with other human beings in the same plight.--_.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.