HomeArticleThe People Haven’t Risen Up For The Same Reason Abuse Victims Don’t Leave Their Abusers

The People Haven’t Risen Up For The Same Reason Abuse Victims Don’t Leave Their Abusers

There was a great exchange in a recent interview with singer-songwriter FKA twigs regarding her relationship with actor Shia LaBeouf, who she is currently suing for “relentless abuse” including assault and sexual battery.

 

From The Independent:

In a CBS This Morning interview on Thursday (18 February), King asked the musician: “Nobody who’s been in this position likes this question, and I often wonder if it’s even appropriate to ask… why didn’t you leave?”

 

Twigs replied: “I know that you’re asking it out of love, but like, I’m just going to make a stance and say I’m not going to answer that question anymore because the question should really be to the abuser, ‘Why are you holding someone hostage with abuse?’”

 

She continued: “People say, ‘Oh, it can’t have been that bad, because she would’ve left.’ And it’s like, no, because it was that bad, I couldn’t leave.”

“Because it was that bad, I couldn’t leave.”

This is what so few people understand about abusive relationships. People see friends and family members stuck in relationships that are obviously horrible and say “She should leave him! Why doesn’t she just leave??” If the abuse happened in secret the first question your loved ones ask when you escape is “Why did you let it go on so long? Why didn’t you leave sooner?”

Those who have escaped abusive relationships know how intensely hurtful this question is, how violent it feels to have it inflicted upon you by people who are supposed to be on your side and supporting you. It feels so violent because you have perspective that others do not: you understand that your inability to leave the abusive relationship was itself a fundamental product of the abuse.

Abusive relationships aren’t just one partner doing cruel things to another. If they were, there would be no relationship: there’d just be a woman getting assaulted one time by her boyfriend and then immediately leaving. Abusive relationships necessarily include the construction of psychological barriers to leaving, or else they would not exist. Victims of abuse are kept constantly confused, off-balance, insecure and unsure of themselves, because their abuse always necessarily includes the element of psychological manipulation.

You’re being caged psychologically, and you’re kept too confused and off-balance to even be aware that that’s what’s happening. So you stay where you are, just as surely as you would if you’d been placed in a physical cage.

This is why people stay in abusive relationships, whether it’s abusive relationships with significant others or abusive relationships with empires.

As a collective, we remain in our current relationship with abusive power structures because we are collectively kept confused, off-balance, insecure and unsure of ourselves, as a critical element of our collective abuse is mass-scale psychological manipulation.

Vast fortunes are poured into keeping us from realizing that we are being exploited by powerful wealth hoarders while our nation’s resources are sent to fight wars of planetary domination. That our ecosystem is being destroyed for profit with no real plan for what to do when it’s gone. That we are being increasingly oppressed and impoverished to keep us from having enough awareness and wealth to dethrone our rulers. And that it doesn’t have to be this way at all.

And make no mistake, it absolutely does not have to be this way. The difference between our relationship with the oligarchic empire and FKA twigs’ relationship with Shia LaBeouf is that we are far, far bigger and far, far stronger than our abusers. This isn’t Shia LaBeouf abusing a small female pop star, this is Shia LaBeouf abusing a great giantess the size of a planet. They work so hard to keep us confused and manipulated because they know the second they cease to do so we can crush them like a mosquito.

But the dynamic is the same in both cases: we are being victimized by manipulative abusers. The manipulation is part of the abuse. It is not our fault that they cage our minds like this, it’s theirs. They are to blame, not the ordinary people just trying desperately to get by, voting for the status quo in election after election because they’ve been kept too confused and insecure to see clearly what’s going on. We haven’t left our abusive relationship yet because it is that bad.

The good news, of course, is that people do leave. They do escape their abusive relationships. The light of truth cannot remain hidden forever, and sociopathic manipulators do not understand the depths of human experience well enough to block it out. They are shallow, and we are deep. They cannot understand the dimensions of ourselves which are secretly moving toward freedom well enough to anticipate and prevent those movements.

If you have a loved one who is in an abusive relationship, you draw attention to what you are seeing, you let them know that you are there for them, you trust their inner wisdom to find a way to escape someday, and when they do you are there waiting for them with the engine running. When you have a collective that is in an abusive relationship, you draw attention to the abusive dynamics you are seeing, you trust humanity’s unfathomable depths to produce an escape route, and when the time comes to rise up, you are there at the ready.

__________________________

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Latest comments

  • “Tyranny By Propaganda Is Tyranny By Force”
    No. After all the exceedingly good thinking you’ve offered us, this one is a heavy letdown.
    Letting speech free while judging physical action is the very basis of what we’re fighting for.
    It is in fact the only solid anchor we have. Don’t get rid of it.

    It’s true that propaganda and wordy confusion has a lot of power but it cannot be an excuse, and it cannot be restricted. Otherwise out the window go our principles of individual responsibility and free speech. Do you really want that?

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  • I find your presumption of guilt and lack of skepticism offensive. Abuse is real, but so is the pretense of victimhood.

    Contemporary feminism has made billions from it even though women in the West, on average, fare better than men in nearly every area relevant to well-being: longevity, health, health care spending (even after accounting for maternal and reproductive care), education, homelessness, suicide, alcoholism, drug addiction, favoritism in the criminal justice system, reproductive rights (for all the wrongful assailing of women’s rights in this regard, men of course have no reproductive rights), violent crime victimization, even sexual assault, according to Human Rights Watch, Prison Watch, the NYTimes Review of Books, Scientific American, and feminist icon Hanna Rosin in her 2014 article “When Men Are Raped,” which acknowledges that “women are often the perpetrators.”
    .
    In all these areas and more women do better, often far better than men–in fact, in the U.S. women routinely do better than men than whites do compared with blacks.

    • Sing it, man – white males are #1 in victimhood.

    • No offense, but your comment has nothing to do with the article. Nothing at all.

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    • I checked this out. Just send them $49.95 to receive your money making “kit”.
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    • If you’re making $12,000 – $18,000,…what are you doing here ?

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      well you know what they say,…"if it sounds toooooo good to be true,…then they are probabaly lying"

  • It’s really all pretty perfect. The abuser is preforming their job excellently. The victim is performing their job excellently. There is no right, there is no wrong. It’s an event happening.

    The existence of an abuser and a victim is because both think they have a role to play. They both are taking it all too personally. When one takes things persnally drama can continue to play out.

    I know,…why does it appear I’m so callous and non-caring about the victim. Because I as once a victim,..or I thought I was. I don’t mean to get cliche but it’s to make a point,..”There are no victims only willing participants.”

    I wasn’t a victim. I just had a shitty self image of myself and that attracted exactly what I needed to shake me out of it. An abuser in a different physical form than mine so I’d have to get the message. An example that was so in my face I could no longer deny who I really was.

    I was the abuser. The abuser of my sacred beingness,..an abuser and denier of my spiritual light…an abuser of my true self and nature. The nanosecond I realized that I was the one doing this to myself through the form of another individual a light went on inside of me that displayed that the abuser was in more pain than I was. I began to love the abuser and the experinece. Sounds strange,..the power of love is what heals it all.

    When you are in love with your heart center,…nothing can take you out of it. You see clearly and no individual can do anything to you you don’t agree to have performed on you.

    So,..the key is ,…”What did you make more impiortant than staying in your heart center ?”

    “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

  • sheep are not known to be unhappy, nor goats. lions are always fighting off some pack of hyenas. baby stealer dogs were nasty until we started throwing bones at them.
    signifyin’ monkeys are not unhappy. birds of different colors might squabble, but still flock together. nature has this built-in restraint. lions never kill ALL the impala–but what would they do if they had refrigerators?
    we HAVE choice. so we HAVE to think. humanity MUST wake up…or you might diagnose us in general, suicidal. too stupid to choose.
    some have da fridge. some have da bomb. the majority does not. HOW COULD WE BE SO STUPID? people who fight for human evolution die younger. want proof?
    make 2 lists of assassinated victims vertically on one reg. piece of paper:
    put leftists or progressives on the left and right wing or fascists and their allies on the right.
    you will list the dead only.
    i can name 20 big time famous super star heroes and include many women…on the left. on the right killed by even popular demand like Louis and Marie Antoinette or Anastasia and fambly.
    charge into it:
    here’s a starter kit:
    jesus. Louis 14
    gandhi { your turn }
    sitting bull
    lincoln
    MLK
    jfk
    rfk
    malcom x
    f.hampton
    torrijos
    arbenz
    allende
    joan of arc
    the nuns of nicaragua
    romero
    bosch
    lumumba
    mossadeq
    qaddafy? (for his pan african currency dream)
    j. lennon
    che
    Socrates
    marilyn monroe
    john brown
    lenny bruce

  • Great article on a disturbing and difficult to understand issue.
    `
    It made me think of “gaslighting.” The Dr. in a comment below made a reference to it.
    `
    The term gaslighting comes from the old Movie “Gas Light” where an abusive husband intentionally does things to cause his wife to doubt her confidence in herself to the point of doubting her own sanity. If I remember correctly, the wife also had the psychological barriers to leaving that Caitlin refers to.
    `
    Some examples of gaslighting might include a husband (for example) moving a small object in the house and telling his wife it’s always been there. Or hiding a personal object of hers and watch her look for it for days, then put it in a place that it is easily found. But there are many others.
    `
    Caitlin has made this comparison between abusive, manipulative domestic relationships and abusive, manipulative relationships with power structures many times before. I always had trouble completely wrapping my head around the similarities.
    `
    It wasn’t until I read an article at Aeon, called “Turn Off The Gaslight” by Ramani Durvasula, last month, that I began to understand it.
    `
    (Sorry for so many quotes, they seem relevant to the article.)
    `
    https://aeon.co/essays/what-gaslighting-does-in-exploiting-trust-therapy-can-repair
    `
    Here’s a few paragraphs:
    `
    “The play and films introduced the term ‘gaslighting’ into our vernacular to refer to a specific type of manipulation – one in which a person’s reality itself is hijacked by another. This can also be manifested by minimisation, deflection, denial and coercive control.”
    `
    “A parallel process unfolds with any putatively trusted source of information – this can include religious organisations, media, governments, justice systems, educational systems. We’re socialised to trust and obey these systems. In fact, they’re branded on trust and integrity (often unsubstantiated). Individual success is often predicated on adherence to the expectations of these institutions. Blind trust means that, when these systems generate policies, recommendations, information or behaviour that might be out of sync with our reality, the tendency is then to doubt ourselves rather than the intention of the organisation.”
    `
    “It is comprised of initially drawing in a target; establishing trust and authority (or capitalising on existing trust – for example, a family member or a spouse); slowly dismantling that person’s sense of trust in herself through doubt and questioning or by manipulating elements of the physical environment (eg, moving or hiding objects – and then denying it); eroding a sense of self-trust and self-knowledge in the victim so the victim is less likely to doubt the gaslighter’s word; and finally winning over the victim’s agreement with the gaslighter’s reality. Ultimately, this robs the victim of his or her autonomy and cements the victim’s ongoing consent.’”
    `
    “We want to trust newspapers, so sometimes it’s hard to believe that they might obscure reality. A religious organisation wouldn’t deny the bad behaviour of its leadership – would it? A president or a prime minister or congress or parliament wouldn’t deny the reality of their constituency – could they?”
    `
    “Gaslighting is bigger than denying where you moved the car keys, or telling someone they’re overreacting or being too sensitive. This is a model for understanding systemic and structural oppression. The denial of a marginalised group’s history or experience not only flies in the face of data but of reality.”
    `
    “The global epidemics of insecurity, inequality and their attendant uncertainty have turned the world into a childhood game of ‘King/Queen of the Hill’ played by adults, with damaging consequences for the most marginalised and least privileged. Totalitarianism and authoritarianism rely on gaslighting to silence and destabilise their citizenry. Far more than a cinematic trope, gaslighting is the tip of a toxic iceberg that undermines not just relationships, but the very foundation of civil society.”

    • Tell me true, Shocker, do you think that people in general, even the sort of people who follow Caitlin’s blog or Ed Curtin’s, are capable any longer of coming together and envisioning, and then getting about the urgent business of implementing, a Great Reset of civilization, the absolute necessity of which was obvious pre-pandemic once we understood that capitalism, especially neoliberal capitalism, was not only oppressive and imperial but also ecocidal? Why these days do I find more reason for hope and optimism, more creative and constructive thinking, coming from the elite bastards at Davos than I do from so many who comment on this blog?

      • The seductive event in Davos. They already have everything. I was there in the last meeting before the pandemic where this talk about this “great reset” was in the table. What did they said? “we need an opportunity. A short window to be implemented the great reset”. What a coincidence, isn’t? Tell me, how do you feel right now about living in this beginning of the great reset? if you don’t mind, of course. Share with us your viewpoint. Don’t blame Caitlin and her followers for your feelings and optimism being hurt with this strange new world. I’m new here but to not let you down on this topic, I think Cait and this group here already fulfilled the Hundredth monkey effect. Look what people on Twitter did with that WEF statement. Or try to use a badge in your sleeve: “WEF, I was there” and go till Westminster in London to spread the word about what you learned there.

        • We have to start here, don’t we? With the brute fact that a great reset of the neoliberal capitalist world order was a pressing necessity, an existential imperative, well before the pandemic. And also with the brute fact that such a reset, if it is to be accomplished as rapidly as it must be, will necessarily include filthy rich and obscenely powerful people like the Davos elite, some of whom are at least beginning to call for a fundamental restructuring of the global economy by removing its inbuilt obsession for short-term profit. While we should obviously watch the elite like the hawks they have been to date and do all in our power to cause them to translate their recent words into concrete actions, what can possibly be gained by simply flipping them off in response to their new rhetoric? Or by simply giving up and saying we’re cooked, as so many here seem to have done? And as I’ve said over and over again, I’m not talking about Caitlin when I say these things. I come here precisely because she believes that we CAN pull off a great reset, one which puts people and planet first, for the first time in human history.

          • With that Mr Newton, I can totally agree.
            Let’s do a check-up about this winter. Here: Thousands of small business had to close activities’ bankruptcy, lockdown depression making people go to psychiatric doctors. About that, there are more people looking for treatment for others health problems than the covid thing. The cattle is divided. If you’re using a mask to drive your car alone, or even if you live alone in an apartment, you’re a democrat. If you are just using the mask to go shopping in public places, you’re republican. They more concerned about affiliation than what’s this all about.

            • That’s how it looks right now. Let’s continue to do checkups as we go along and raise enough hell so that the bumper sticker on my car will become a reality. “We’re in this together / Bail out everyone.”

      • @Newton Finn
        `
        Happy to continue this conversation with you, Newton.
        `
        “Tell me true, Shocker, do you think that people in general, even the sort of people who follow Caitlin’s blog or Ed Curtin’s, are capable any longer of coming together and envisioning, and then getting about the urgent business of implementing, a Great Reset of civilization, the absolute necessity of which was obvious pre-pandemic. . .
        `
        Honestly, I quite often think we will never be able to come together to create a sustainable, compassionate, peaceful society.
        `
        It’s just a thought, though, not reality.
        `
        I never intend to loose hope in humanity’s ability to deal with these challenges we face.. In fact, I very much believe in Caitlin’s last sentence:
        `
        “When you have a collective that is in an abusive relationship, you draw attention to the abusive dynamics you are seeing, you trust humanity’s unfathomable depths to produce an escape route, and when the time comes to rise up, you are there at the ready.”
        `
        Here’s another thought I have much more often:
        `
        The same, unelected, neoliberal, criminal, robber barons, who took full advantage of the neoliberal capitalist system, to create this unimaginable nightmare we’re living through WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO COME TOGETHER TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE, COMPASSIONATE, PEACEFUL SOCIETY.
        `
        And they’ve a got a long, long track record that virtually makes that a reality.
        (Sorry about the caps don’t know how to embolden here.)
        `
        Peace.

        • I have much the same thoughts, Shocker, go back and forth, up and down. But I think we’ve reached an unprecedented point in human history–uncharted waters–as Caitlin has described on many occasions. And I further think that in such a situation, with no compass or map to guide us, we should expect the unexpected. Which might, just might, include some plutocrats getting scared as shitless as we are in this roiling ocean they steered us into. And maybe, just maybe, getting scared enough to help us all get the hell out of the raging storm, given the fact that we’re all on a single ship called Planet Earth. That’s my big picture on my better days.

          • @Newton Finn
            `
            It’s not clear to me that we have “much the same thought’s” on this. I don’t go “up and down back and forth on this.”
            `
            Furthermore, I don’t see where the global, robber baron, crime syndicate are getting “scared shitless,” at all. To say the least.
            `
            In fact this all seems very much like the abusive, manipulative relationship Caitlin describes.

            • Even abusers, being human, can become scared…and can change. Have you “othered” our oppressors to the point of denying their humanity? Can you say that in their place, raised in the same environment and coming to occupy a similar privileged position in an evil system, you would have done differently than they have done? And even it you can say this, do you know it? Have you been there and turned your back on it?

      • Reply below Ragnarson.

        • I don’t understand anymore this nested thread. Too much answers to this post and I don’t know where to reply about what Shocker LoL.

          • Not sure what happened there. When the replies get too long they become one word lines and almost unreadable. Here, I thought I was replying to Newton to tell him I posted a reply, before he replied to you. Obviously that didn’t happen.
            `
            In an attempt to keep things in the realm of the readable, I often reply to a comment higher in the thread to keep things readable. With no time stamp it’s confusing, I know.

            • Ahh, smart decision. Yes, I can see the one column with a half word almost similar to reading in Mandarin. I will have to ask to my son if he can help me to see if my laptop is okay with the screen thing settings. Maybe I’m the problem, LoL.

          • @Ragnarson
            `
            Just to try to clarify this.
            `
            In order for this reply not be one word per line, I hit the reply button to your “I don’t understand anymore . . . ” comment. . .” But I’m replying to your “Ahh smart decision . . .” comment.
            `
            When the replies get to the one word per line state, which they do quickly, they become hard to read and the conversations, inevitably, die quickly.
            `
            I’m trying to figure out a hack to get around this feature of this commenting system.
            `
            It’s really not conducive to people trying to communicate conversations. (Perhaps a feature and not a bug?)
            `
            Clear as mud, right.
            `
            In any case, pretty sure it’s not a problem with your settings.

            • Thank you Mr. Shocker. And according to my son you’re absolutely right. He said you can fix this thing if you know CSS and how to put correctly the script without making the “sky fall” with you theme. I don’t know what the heck this means but it was what he said. And something about reducing the number of nested comments to 4. Yeah, I’ll stop. it doesn’t mean anything to me this dialogue, LOL. Kind wishes.

          • Bottom line: This commenting system sucks. No offense Caitlin.
            `
            Welcome to the blog Ragnarson.
            `
            Peace. I’m out.

            • Sometimes it seems best to move back to making a free-standing comment that responds to another, rather than making a single word post on the right side of the page…or going off the page altogether. I’ve found that if you reference the comment you’re responding to in making your new standalone comment, it usually gets picked up and the conversation can continue with requisite additional space.

    • People fall into the hands of such controlling people throughout the ages. Marquis DeSade opperated with impunity. Today we have laws to help once it is brought to light. Society alone protects the weak and defenseless. As society breaks down such protections will wane. Then only the strong survive. Brutal but true.

      • Abused ID: Ragnarson;
        Profession: Abused guerrilla..
        Political affiliation: Food chain snack.
        —-
        Abuser ID: Khatika;
        Profession: Guerrilla punk and Sex Pistols kicking the patriarchate since 1990.
        Political affiliation: Natural selection at the Socialist Party.

  • “When you have a collective that is in an abusive relationship, you draw attention to the abusive dynamics you are seeing, you trust humanity’s unfathomable depths to produce an escape route, and when the time comes to rise up, you are there at the ready.”

    Our collective, which has been in an abusive relationship since day one, is now > 7 billion persons strong. So to break out of this, Caitlin’s answer, if I’m reading correctly, is to “trust humanity’s unfathomable depths to produce an escape route.”

    How about even a hint, Caitlin, of what or where that route might be. Ishkabibble claims to know, but won’t share the insight.

    Otherwise, a wonderfully expressed article. Thank you.

  • There was a reason Stalin executed all the lawyers, philosophers, academics and psychologists. He recognized they were screwing the world up with all their psychobabble and litigation.

  • The Rogue/ Socialist revolution will rise up and crush the Abusers… As soon as I’m allowed out of my house. Until then there’s our Patreon and Bitcoin.
    $
    Buy a Tesla for the planet. Be less White with Coke.
    $
    Message from the LGBTQ CIA: Black lives matter. Brown not so much.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EvIIAXgUcAYugYa?format=jpg&name=medium

    • Lol

  • Why do people join the military and submit to it’s abuses?

    • Maxim, in the USA they don’t study in schools real history. I had to educate my kids in parallel with school about that. Since an early age the children are educated as they parents, grandparents to see Russia, China and anyone else as the antipodal elements of the American society. American people are good people. They are victims of brainwashing and because they don’t understand how the world really works in terms of geopolitics. To build bridges made of steel is to show to the visitors from other countries: We got the money. They have no idea where the money to make inviable engineering projects (from avionics to civil engineering) came from. Of course, there is the comfort of the situation: “If I have money to have a car, house, to go shopping and to travel”, they don’t care if it came from the budget of Syria, Venezuela, Portugal, France to feed children in schools. But now, with the pandemic that strange feeling about something is not right in the world is showing up. They are seeing signs of crisis in the horizon. And they know very well that the first ones to pay the price are the people. These uptight lockdowns are creating the perfect environment to explode a social gunpowder barrel. Stronger than gun control, Black Lives Matter. It’s a ridiculous irony. What no one in this world could do to implode a whole country, this pandemic thing is doing right now. Maybe this is the way to wake up everyone at the same time.
      A note about democracy. There is no democracy in the world after WWII. We have the illusion of choice with general elections. For example, if one country decide to make a different political approach from what the empire and multinational industries desire, this government is faded to lose one president to be replaced by one who will follow what the empire wants. We can see it through the media. When they are undermining Ecuador, Nicaragua, Argentina, Ukraine, Venezuela, Bielorussia everyday on CNN & others you can be sure they are making a coupe d’etat using the local media in these countries, loyal to the empire in exchange for eternal exclusivity there. If you want to be free of the American influence you need to live under total isolation and economic sanctions or to move to another planet.

      • The plandemic is making people even more fearful. They have lost the ability to see the forest for the trees. Everything is going as “planned.”

        • Can you say that again. I couldnt understand you with that mask on your face.

    • A. They need a job with good benefits.
      B. They are given a choice of military or jail.
      C. They believe they are doing their patriotic duty.
      D. They got drafted or were required to join for a set length of time.

  • “Canada, the UK and Australia, three members of the Five Eyes alliance, have recently taken action to put pressure on China. They have formed a US-centered, racist, and mafia-styled community, willfully and arrogantly provoking China and trying to consolidate their hegemony as all gangsters do.”

    While major mainstream press covering this editorial decried China Times’s accusations as conspiratorial and foolish, it is worth asking if there is merit and truth underlying the condemnation?”

  • Groundhog Day! Time for everybody to repeat what they did yesterday. I’ll once again deliver my lines, but first, Caitlin and Tim’s lines.
     
    “If you have a loved one who is in an abusive relationship, you draw attention to what you are seeing, you let them know that you are there for them, you trust their inner wisdom to find a way to escape someday, and when they do you are there waiting for them with the engine running. When you have a collective that is in an abusive relationship, you draw attention to the abusive dynamics you are seeing, you trust humanity’s unfathomable depths to produce an escape route, and when the time comes to rise up, you are there at the ready.”
     
    Just exactly HOW does the abused human being escape their abuser? Very simple. By employing whatever means necessary, including listening to supportive friends that hopefully have cars with well-running engines, that person increases the physical distance between him/her/whateverself to the point where there is no longer any interaction or communication of any kind with that person.
     
    Now, just exactly what MUST the abused collective DO, collectively, but also as individuals, to escape THEIR abusers when both the abused and the abusers live in the same democracy, and both want to continue to live, in close quarters no less, in the same democracy? What is the abused collective’s “escape route”? Hint: The escape route may, and probably will, also involve the use of a vehicle with a running engine or electric motor, but what will be that vehicle’s exact destination?
     
    For people living in a democracy, who want to continue living in a democracy after they “make their escape”, there is one, and only one, answer……….. one, and only one, destination. And that destination is so obvious that I’m not even going to mention it, because doing that would be an insult to human intelligence and I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence (this Groundhog Day, anyway; but “….. after all, tomorrow is another day!”).

  • “This is why people stay in abusive relationships, whether it’s abusive relationships with significant others or abusive relationships with empires.”

    And why they do not leave abusive employers, either. When the question is asked, Why didn’t you leave for a better job, well, it may well be that the employer’s agents built a psychological cage that kept the abused and underpaid worker mentally chained to the job.

  • Caitlin goes deep here, right down to the heart of it. What we know as human civilization has been abusive to the vast majority of people (and to our planet) since its inception. It has now gotten to the point that we can’t even vaguely imagine what a non-abusive society, a mutually-supportive relationship between citizen and government, and government and planet, would look like, feel like. The revolutionary/evolutionary leap, humanity’s break for the first time from abusive government, can only occur when enough eyes are opened to the stark reality Caitlin describes. I keep hammering on Edward Bellamy’s two classics from the first Gilded Age–“Looking Backward” and “Equality” (both free on the net)–because they opened my eyes. And I believe they would do so for others willing to engage with two Victorian novels, a task which appeals to some more than others. Why not give it a shot, even if you’re only slightly curious? These two books, read sequentially, remain IMHO by far the best eye-openers ever written, taking you by vivid imagination (as the great Marx doesn’t) into that better, more beautiful world our hearts know is possible, and our minds now know is necessary for our survival.

    • As I’ve mentioned before I did start reading Looking Backward at your suggestion (back in the TruthDig days). I never did finish it, and I almost never do that with a book, because it was just not a very well written book IMHO. And the fatal flaw of its premise is that suddenly humanity as a collective whole did what humanity never has done (and almost certainly never will do) which is go “oh none of this bad stuff we always do – war, unrelenting exploitation of people and resources etc. – is good for the collective whole so we’re just going to stop doing it and work together for the good of us all.”

      Wouldn’t it be nice, as the Beach Boys used to sing. While I didn’t finish the book I did get pretty far and it was never explained exactly HOW this mind-boggling feat of getting everyone on the same page was managed. As I recall people just sort of came to their collective senses all at once, more or less, and implemented this cooperative society where everyone worked for the good of the whole.

      Sorry but that’s just not going to happen, ever. The most likely scenario is in the not too distant future we’ll have effed things up so badly that some combination of climate catastrophe and nuclear armageddon will wipe us all out and over many millenia the earth will crank out another batch of creatures like it always does and it’ll be their turn to have a go at it.

      In the odd chance that some remnant of humanity survives maybe then, extremely painful lesson learned, they’ll be able to come up with some way of cooperating that will work for everyone, but it will have taken an apocalyptic crash that causes our near extinction to bring that about.

      • Thanks, Analogman, for giving “Looking Backward” a shot. In the sequel, “Equality” (essentially a long Socratic dialogue), Bellamy explains how the great Second American Revolution occurred, the sequential steps that were taken to move from private capitalism to public capitalism (socialism). It’s the only viable path I’ve ever seen laid out whereby the public sector, to meet continuing crises, expands and eventually outcompetes and absorbs the private sector. As for never seeing it happen, one fast-spreading mutation of this Corona virus, which mutation allows it to go end-around all the vaccines currently being poured out (albeit too slowly) would likely be enough to trigger an immediate, exponential growth of the public sector, taking us closer to Bellamy World than I’d have thought possible in my lifetime.

  • If you are brown, you have doubts; if you have melanin, always question. These are axioms that are as enduring as the Ghion River and as constant as the Rock of Gibraltar. Of course, we have plenty of reasons to be suspicious and leery of authority; we are not paranoid, we have learned through the tribulations of our ancestors to distrust those who come bearing gifts. Oppressors have always put us in bondage and crushed our spirits through subterfuge and cunning; after generations of selling us apples that only served to shackle us, we have learned to be cautious and to be circumspect when it comes to matters related to our health.

    • Black…get back. White….alright. Saying my black friend told me years ago was commonly said.

    • Yeah, no. Those people were just tied to a slightly different arm of the abuse culture. Qanon crazies and folks who believed Trump was their messiah. More abuse victims blaming their fellow victims instead of the abusers.

    • Every war is fought by abuse victims killing other abuse victims on behalf of their abusers. The “useful idiots” who stormed the Capitol were no different.

  • Or people don’t rise up being that there comfortable with Sadomasochism

  • After reviewing the comments I’d say you hit a raw nerve among some of your readers. Sometimes we don’t like what we see in the mirror. Well done, Caitlin!

  • First the joke….hey, I know the US is abusing me but I cant leave. Switzerland wont let me move there.
    Now comment….You have no idea what people want from their government. As long as certain things are provided they are relatively satisfied. Those are a place to live, food to eat, and some purpose even a war. When the government fails to provide these things problems could occur. However with a brutal enforcement structure of police and military even that can be overcome. Thus send in UN forces to suppress the people when police and militsary balk at the really savage killing ofvtheir own people. Anyone remember bosnia. UN troops are just mercenaries. Military wont kill their own people but UN troops from Chad will not hesitate. That is how our world is currently operating and always has throughout history.

    • It’s a common misunderstanding when people say: UN troops. We can blame the media for that. There’s no such thing as UN troops. What exist is an alliance with the members of the security council- most of time is only USA sending troops – to use the blue helmets. The helmets are the only thing with the inscription UN. The army is anyone willing to send the troops.

      • For money of course. Aka merceneries. They have been used by kings and governments since we had recorded history. There was a Roman emporer whose name escapes me who was about to be deposed when his own garrison refused to slaughter the rebellious citizens. He was about to flee when his wife reminded him there was a legion nearby comprised of mercenaries. He quickly dispatched them to slaughter Romans and put down the rebellion. So be very afraid if you start seeing blue hats running around your country. Thry will teach you what true abuse is really like.

  • Twigs names her abuser. Caitlyn misdirects from who the real abusers are.

    But, muh socialism.

  • This woman here can make the difference to the whole world. All what she needs is an opportunity to make it happen. We all know she will loose to the establishment. I think she will even be fired after the election.Well, help to make the difference. if it’s not intersectional feminism it’s bullshit, isn’t?
    Youtube: https://youtu.be/UMhcRiyAtms

  • Two interesting narratives more than real and poorly connected as if the time to finish it was running out. Or maybe too little real experience from the author to fulfill the gaps. You are remarkable writing about politics but you were not happy to make this one work. I got your intention. Sorry, I cannot lie to someone I respect.

  • A very keen insight. Thanks Caitlin.

  • the abuse also continues because they are convinced we will crush them like a mosquito when it stops.

  • Employers can do this too.

  • The abuse will continue, until moral improves
    “Piñata Planet Syndrome” > CanadaFreePress

  • That’s the most stupid thing I’ve read recently. Just leave. Just stop. Stop being a cry baby snowflake. Have some courage. Stop being an idiotic moron.

  • So,while I was reading this I felt like I was reading a, ‘been there, did that’, piece. I was with you until the last paragraph; in a personal relationship it can get a lot more complicated than that paragraph might have one believe, but the story was only an allegory anyway. Both the recipient and abuser are victims of a larger dynamic that they are rarely aware of, and my last sentence applies both to the personal and impersonal. Our species is overwhelmingly intensively mentally ill,.

    • I don’t think the species is overwhelmingly mentally ill, but the Psychopaths In Charge most definitely are. Those mentally ill are granted center stage to proclaim their delusions are real, and to insist you “agree”, at gun point. The very concept of government is somewhat of a departure from sanity. That a small percentage of the population has authority to direct how you live your life, and to steal your hard earned property at gunpoint to cover their expenses doing so, with plenty of opportunity to take their personal cut. A case in point: I am not the least bit concerned with anyone else’s sexual proclivity. Life is short, enjoy it. I am vastly concerned with being forced to acknowledge, accommodate, and help promote the proclivity of others by this small percentage of the population. Which is in reality, an assault on MY sexual proclivity. We can govern ourselves, or be governed by monsters.

      • That’s interesting.In my lifetime on USA I saw, I knew a lot of people and cities. First, too much religion. Second, too much alcohol and drugs. Third, they are too much uptight. Fourth, they don’t relax. Fifth, they don’t fuck as it should be. American women are horrible in bed. I think the other side isn’t different. Masturbation and dildos are they true business. I never saw so many people in the closet. If not by the presence of smartphones, cars, shopping centers you can truly believe you’re living in a society like the one in the movie The Crucible. Europe is not so much different from the USA but they are more honest about sexuality. They have more fun about that.
        I think I’ll run for president and my solo purpose is to bring back public bathing to the whole world. Everyone naked in town at the weekends, with lots of beers, bbq, etc. Let’s put everyone to “work and to enjoy” without shame.

      • Yup

    • Too many crack, alcohol and cocaine babies are now adults. Two generations and still going up.

  • I have mentioned that Catastrophe Theory has much to tell us about why people remain in clearly horrifically abusive relationships. There are many alternative explanations, but most of them focus on how when we are trapped in certain forms of behavior and ideological memes taken over from the abuser the fear of breaking cleanly from them and beginning a new and completely different kind of life causes massive cognitive dissonance. Thus our natural inclination is to remain in such a relationship much longer than is rational out of a kind of xenophobic Angst. This is also why when people finally do break out of their oppressive conditions that too are deeply baffled by the question “why the Hell didn’t I leave that jerk long before now?” Here is an introduction to some of the ways that catastrophe theory and related psychological research has dealt with this huge problem which, just as you write, operates on the social psychological level as well as the individual level. We are constantly bombarded with subtle and not so subtle warnings that, as that world class gaslighter, Margaret Thatcher, used to love to repeat whenever she could, “there is no alternative.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_of_abuse

    • Oops, that should of course read “when people finally do break out of their oppressive conditions THEY too are deeply baffled by the question ….

    • Caitlin says: “Abusive relationships necessarily include the construction of psychological barriers to leaving.”

      Agreed. So then, how is this construction of these psychological structures occurring? And how/when is it possible to know, without external intervention? I don’t want necessarily to object here — I want to understand. This process seems to require (the isolated) two minds cooperating, both feeding on each other, both likely not fully conscious. How does one understand where there is consciousness, i.e. agency, and where there is not? Who is trapped in what, and why?

      Meanwhile, in society today, people (including both perps and victims) are widely exposed to information of the kind you give, in TV talk shows, magazines, etc. vs (apparently) prior to, roughly, 1960s. (My knowledge of my generation and below, vs ones before me, informs me of this.) One must ask, what is the full picture of what is going on?

      Asking this question is NOT blaming the victim. It is asking how to fix the problem by better understanding the conscious vs unconscious dynamics and so how it is dealt with it in real time, both for couples and societies. I don’t see the explanation in this link you post. Thank you.

      • Bingo

      • As a survivor of abuse, I hope I can shed some light on this. I also watch true crime stories, including stories of serial killers, the ultimate abusers, not to glorify crime, but to figure out if other people have gone through what I did, if they saw signs of their abuser being what he (or she) was, how did they handle it, and why so many people, like the people closest to me, close their eyes to abuse and other evil. Why are so many decent people more willing to believe the lies of abusers than the truth of the abused?

        First, it is important to understand that sometimes the barriers to leaving are physical and financial, not just psychological. As a child when my abuse happened, I had neither the physical or financial resources or the adult or even peer support needed to leave until I graduated from high school. I left the day of graduation. In the case of abused adults, often the abuser will take control of the finances through deception, persuasion, coercion, or physical or mental abuse. They monitor or restrict contact with others. They’ll tell the target they are too stupid or uneducated to handle the money correctly, or invoke Biblical instructions that the man is in charge (this may sound sexist, but reality is that most abusers are men) or they will just beat, torture or threaten the person into compliance. “Do what I tell you or you’ll get much worse.” Then the abuser will carry out the threat if the person steps out of line, even inadvertently because of their constantly changing rules and expectations..

        Even worse, they may threaten someone else (child, parent, sibling or other loved one of the abused person) and say if that loved one is hurt it will be your fault for not complying. Thus, the abuser adds guilt on top of the extreme stress of enduring abuse, fear and feelings of abandonment, isolation and unworthiness.

        Yes, unworthiness. During the time I was being abuse, one of my most frequent thoughts was, “What did I do to deserve this kind of treatment?” I thought it must have been something, because even the people who were supposed to protect me from abuse, my parents, and all the other people I tried to get help from either did not believe me or minimized what I was going through.

        It is very difficult not to believe you deserve abuse when other people around you corroborate the abusers contention that you do, by not believing you and not helping you, or even adding to the abuse, such as when rape victims are raked over the coals in court, accused of lying, or bringing the rape on themselves. This is true even when you know you have done nothing wrong. Just being afraid to tell anyone because you fear what the abuser, or those in alliance with the abuser, will do, by itself can make you feel cowardly, and therefore, unworthy and deserving of abuse.

        The number one thing that needs to happen to fix this is for the abused person to realize and truly internalize the reality that they do NOT deserve to be abused. No one does. Even convicted felons in prison who have intentionally harmed people have legal protections against outright abuse. If you are abused, know you don’t deserve it. Escape and/or fight back.

        People get abused not because they deserve to be abused, but because the abuser is broken in some way, and the abused person is a victim of convenience or inadvertently triggered the abuser in some way perhaps by a physical resemblance to a hated person in the abuser’s life. The abuser may have been abused him/herself and is, essentially, passing on what they have” learned.” He may be a mean drunk, have an anger problem, be mentally ill, or may even have just been born evil.

        Abuse and other severe trauma leaves a stamp on the survivor. At the very least energetically, on the personality, even on the soul. According to epigenetics, it can permanently alter your DNA in a way that is inheritable. I think some abusers, on some level, can pick this up the way predatory animals can pick out the sick and weak prey animals from a herd. This is why, I think, abused people sometimes fall into a life pattern of abuse. They attract abusers and, I think, on some unconscious level are looking for an opportunity to heal from their abuse and break the pattern.

        An abusive government will work to make certain all society are traumatized and stamped and controlled. Wear your yellow star. Wear your mask. Where’s your vaccine passport? Comply or you can’t work, can’t buy food, can’t be a part of society. We’ll fine you, put you in jail. I think all if us suffer from a form of Stockholm syndrome to some extent. For societies, the solution is the same. Escape and/or fight back. Do not comply, civil disobedience, legal action, or whatever way you can think of.

        Strangely enough, my dog demonstrates the solution for me on a semi-regular basis. Not that he is abused. He just refuses to acquiesce to restrictions. He is a husky, famous, among other things, for their escape artist abilities. He values his freedom and autonomy above all else. No treats or toys or food or anything else can persuade him to come back if he doesn’t want to. Even though he is mostly well behaved indoors or on leash, he is hypervigilant for opportunities to escape. He notices everything, keeps an eye out for any moment when I’m distracted or off balance or loosen my grip on the leash, and always does a perimeter check at dog parks to search for gaps in the fence. Sometimes, he inexplicable creates escape opportunities where none should exist, seemingly defying the laws of physics. When an opportunity presents itself, he takes it without the slightest hesitation, and I swear he is silently laughing hysterically as he runs off into the distance. The thing is, no matter how many times he escapes or where we are when he does it, he always comes back, because he values his connection with those who truly love and care for him, human and canine, second only to his freedom. We should all be more like my dog.

  • Unfortunately people are often in denial when they are abused. How can they know what they don’t know when not knowing is so comfortable?

    What you say makes sense we live in a huge abusive relationship I agree. It seems to be knowledge people do not want to know. The denial is easy. Too easy.

    • Which is exactly why Ancap can gain no traction. People are unwilling to accept we can avoid much of the abuse by avoiding the abuser, a thing called government.
      “We must have someone in charge who has the authority to force us to accommodate their will at gunpoint”.
      Really?

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