This is a reflective piece on the styles of writing which I, have witnessed with my very eyes.
After many deliberations, of studies to research the contemporary social psychological aspects; of the reasons why people riot.
I came across a display of dysfunctional bias opinions; albeit— only focused on the political aspects and how a leader can evoke —the spirit of the people when they are destitute.
Seems, a bit of a cop out to me!
I go back —as far as—the Peasants revolt, 1381.
Did we create a mythical character to overcome our poverty?
Did we use folk devils as an approach to overcome poverty?
What other forms of oppression did the people of the past go through?
(Note how I have the questions at the beginning of my abstract even in a reflection)
I got to the end of one research paper from Sussex University and thought;
‘why are you asking me this question at the end????’
You can have a look at the research paper yourselves, just click on the highlighted part: Contemporary understanding of riots: classical crowd
psychology, ideology and the social identity approach, University of Sussex, 2011
It is okay to be rhetorical, it is another thing to impose or imply something completely random in the conclusion.
Here is my slightly academic rhetoric, tirade; with the subject matter at hand; regarding mythical characters being a way to overcome our poverty.
The Peasant’s Revolt 1381
When England was between, cheap land, free trade and the abolishment of serfdom and forced labour. So, collectively there was a social norm to have the freedom to choose.
The Magna Carta and common laws for the people whom lived in England; meant they needed to give consent to things. They were no longer the property of the nobility, and just slave labour. They had to be paid.
With this, there was another form of suppression; the government began to enforce on the people. This was known as Poll tax.
Poll tax was about to increase in 1381, but the peasant farmer’s would not allow it.
The Magna Carta gave the common man —the right to say; ‘no’— to increased taxes; if they feel it is going to financially cripple them.
Hence, it is in the blood of every man, woman, and even child: to say —stop — when, they feel someone is encroaching on their own freedoms.
This only further contributes to the social principles and norms developed in a country. Not of social conformity— but a cognizance — you can actually act upon with your rights to protest.
They did this for 3 weeks. The peasants did not not stop rioting until Sir William Walworth allegedly, killed Wat Tyler: the head of the peasants revolt.
You know this is going to be a gruesome display of 14th century, torture; to show, the peasants they are not to revolt again.
Sir Walworth had Tyler’s body, quartered into 4 sections, by tying Tyler’s body to horses; getting the horses to slowly tear the body in front of a huge crowd of people; to show the peasants this would be the outcome of their deeds.
These people were not only hungry; they were all gripped by fear.
Of which, led them to creating a fictional character of an outlaw— so they could overcome their hatred towards —those whom were better off than them.
This fictional character is obviously, Robin Hood.
No offence to French people, but, you did not have sadistic, tyrannical people reigning over you after all. For centuries, the English have had this social psychological, belt strapped around their necks; preventing them from causing any kind of barbaric insurrection.
The first ballad of Robin Hood was made during this peasant revolt. Many have said this folk vandal, existed as an outlaw. So, perhaps he was real, but the story is embellished a little to give people hope. As they had seen Walter Tyler being drawn and quartered before their very eyes.
Imagine the amount of trauma being witnessed by people. Many psychologists, journalists, and researches do not really talk about this psychological period in time, which I find perplexing.
You want to talk about the rebellions in people, but, you do not want to cover the reasons. Well, this means, quite frankly, you have to be pretentious.
Maybe the threat of people taking from rich people, is not really something you fear?
As, an outlaw stealing from the rich; surely this would mean, the rich used jesters to play ballads — to help them see their folk devil —as opposed to hero of the people.
This would be a juxtaposition of how, a jester is able, to sing about his hero, on the other hand; amuse the rich and make out he is evil. Because it is a mythical character, the rich do not seem so afraid.
So, to coin this a better way, would the fear not be but into the people that are rich?
In the way we tell the story today, and the way it is ignored in academic circles, shocks me. This mythical character, even has a statue in Nottingham square.
Surely, we should be reflecting back and thinking; we should not want to be treated like that?
I have not read all of Noam Chomsky’s books, but, I have read snippets of Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1965). He has a plethora of things to say in regards to Language and how it was formed in those days. However, today we see how politically this theory is being saturated in scholars; as a sort of distain for the true barbaric nature; human beings endured during these times.
Yet, I can understand that the French, decided to uproar in such a way; with the making of the guillotine which only heightens; this basic point of justification for violence against oppressors. As they perhaps understood that Walter Tyler, was killed by someone rich.
So, they made the guillotine as a sign to show they had dominance. They nicknamed the guillotine ‘the window’, according to the Britannica Encyclopedia. This is the human development from 14th century to 19th century.
Even though, there was five century difference and these things were abhorrently clear, human nature referred back to violence to show dominance.
The only person in history to describe civility and re-barbarization is John Adams.
The most remarkable thing about John Adams, was: he has to be known as a forward thinker, a social psychologist before his time. As he was able to establish this before even the French revolution.
There is a point of depravity in which, your basic human needs are not being met, you become barbaric and he was able to see that.
This is the psychological point, which, I cannot find :- with research papers from the United Kingdom, even when I read some of the articles these days about the fragility of a nation.
Here is a summary from Arthur Milikh about John Adams and his theory on civility and re-barbarization; The Heritage Foundation 2021:
“The human passions — in particular anger and the desire for revenge, which especially characterize man in the barbaric state — must be ordered, moderated, and channelled so as to form human beings capable of civilized self-government and rule by laws. These passions, however, are ultimately ineradicable, which means that a permanent transformation into a state of civility is not possible. Indeed, entertaining such hopes is dangerous. Rebarbarization always remains a human possibility. Should it occur, nations may find it impossible to re-civilize major portions of their inherited order. “
It seems very acute, pompous and ridiculous; to not even describe crowds civility and the ability to do so without uproar. When discussing the context of the reasons why people need; to create a heroic character that comes to save the day.
Once ‘the window’ in form of barbaric ways, changes the perspective; there are still folk devils written but in a more refined way. Metaphorically speaking about the French revolution.
Jean Valjean, in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, 1862; deeply grasps the concept of a outlaw turning good.
Jean Valjean was not the hero in the story, but he signified the window of change. The glass celling had been shattered and this poor man who became a convict; helped provide others with jobs; rescued a little girl from being exploited.
There a certain amount of recovery, due to having a uproar. However, like Victor Hugo explains; the fragility in the minds of the people, was their goal to change things for the better.
In regards to the folk devils, such as Robin Hood; he has been in written form by William Stukeley since the 18th century.
However, another folk devil; became even more popular than, Robin Hood (as he was fictional character);could ever have accomplished. Every year on the 5th of November, masses gather in the UK to light bomfires in solidarity over a gentleman called Guy Fawkes.
Guy Fawkes, wanted to blow up parliament in 1605, but he was caught in the act.
Yes you guessed it, this man was hung, drawn and quartered: – his head stuck on a spike and he was seen buy millions on the tower of London; alongside the skull of Oliver Cromwell.
Unfortunately, someone recently stole the models of these heads, which were, on a display outside the London Bridge in August, 2019.
I am beginning to wonder about the nature of the people; if your history does not mean anything to you: Your government can—and will — over power you.
Even if someone rebelliously disposed of the model heads; to cause an uproar, they perhaps do not understand; the nature of oppression people faced; this was a sign of the history of civility, which, needs to be a reminder, also — to governments to keep it: civil.
If we are going to talk about any; hope —or restoration of a population of people, put under psychological constraint; preventing them from becoming barbaric; it would be through the means of capital punishment. However, we do not want to go back there.
The stories of Guy Fawkes’ torture was enough to inflame people, into a rage undiscovered for many centuries.
The people dared not try —to up rise; although, burning a bonfire is significant sign, or a reminder to the government— if they (the government), continue being tyrannical; people will gather and blow parliament up. It is a nice bit of pressure applied, in a social acceptable way.
These are sentiments of significant solidarity, shown throughout the centuries. Has been enough to subdue the barbaric beast.
We live in times where we are not able to create folk devils, or heros to come and save us. However, in our times of need; we do write and allow fictional characters to sway our opinion.
Before it becomes literature, an idea is formed. Through this, we possibly—may have —some civility. Despite what politicians, psychologists, or journalists tell you all today. There is a possibility to be civil and for the government not to re-barbarise society.
Now that I mentioned the possibility; I am reminded of Anne Frank. During WWII, the folk devil was Hitler. He went around killing people in mass genocide because of their biological features.
The Holocaust was real and Hitler was real. Anne Frank was real.
The only thing which is not real is, the Star Wars Saga; where you do feel as though George Lucas hinted, with huge connotations linking to the Holocaust; you would have to be really socially inept, to not connect the dots with this one.
Anne Frank is also known to be a martyr; she died at the hands of the very government whom oppress her, whereby she was forced to live in an attic . Therefore, Anne Frank becomes a folk hero. Due to the book, The Diary Of A Young Girl,1947.
Why was her diary significant, when it was published after WWII?
As war crime trials were taking part around the world. Anne Frank became the reminder to many; of the young lives lost, at the hands of such a fascist regime.
Of course, the survivors themselves, have overcome something barbaric. Even for the improvements of the modern day world we live in.
To read her book awakens, young people as they are able —to connect to, Anne Frank in a way— reading about Hitler in a history book, could not.
This is what I think; we lack today, is the judgement of compassion for people whom are going through hardships.
My biggest fear is, even psychologists do not historically pinpoint why people would uproar anymore.
Instead, they are just giving this verbatim about World War 1. Without doing the hard work and the research. To figure out, why people would desire to revolt. In his own word’s Ken Eisold Ph.D. wrote , Understanding Why People Riot, 2011:
Deep-seated resentments, repetitive frustrations, and long-standing disappointments galvanize people into action. And the mob provides cover, an anonymity that makes it easier to overcome one’s usual reticence or moral scruples. One is immersed, engulfed. And it can become an exuberant experience, a joyful release for long-suppressed emotions. It can also become manic, driven, a means of restlessly seeking new outlets. Leadership emerges spontaneously and changes rapidly.
Come on though, really! This has got to be the most dry pursuit after years of evolutionary change.
We —the people— are given the right, to choose our fate as a social collective.
We— the people— decide collectively, if we feel suppressed!
We —the people— make folk laws and have biography’s reminding us: why we revolt.
Emotions are collective at that point in time. There is a moment, where that collective ball — stops, and thinks about the other demands— then joins, a bigger collective ball, to protest.
This is nature, it is like saying; no mowing the lawns on Sunday, then you have a neighbour whom breaks the civil code. You have to go out of your way to inform that neighbour, they need to respect the civil code of conduct.
The code in society has been broken because of the scholars of today; not being able to discuss civility, and the social psychological constructs of creativity. Also, torture!
How, this motivation creates stories that will last a millennium and thrice over.
It really matters, not on a person’s skin colour. Your instincts, begins to take you into a form of written compassion ,or, a diary. A mythical creature, or a real life character. The human mind is the most powerful weapon, to overcome such circumstances, we will never know.
Many other written prose and poetry have been found — at Auschwitz , in Poland— we are yet to have these translated works from Polish to English.
As many know; after WWII, Poland was taken over by Stalin and the communist regime. So, much of the goulash moments where a constant reminder of their pain and suffering.
For about, 30 years these people have been free from oppression. Yet—you have a state of denial going— which leads me to believe; scholars want people to forget about something.
In our time of absolute need, and through oppression. Psychologically it is wonderful to be able to write. But even before we wrote, like Chomsky and the bollards of Robin Hood suggest, we used word of mouth.
If push comes to shove, and there is an apocalypse; guaranteed we will write and try to get over the trauma. But on the grand scale, for a social up rising: if people are shown any form of violence towards the rebellion, it will, crumble.
In rhetoric, the possibility of Hitler being stopped if he was hung, drawn and quartered; just like Wat Tyler— however we will never know— all we know is the monstrous genocidal proof he left behind.
Anne Frank went with all of his inhumane, persecutions, which were; barbaric, torturous, and malignant because people do deny this ever occurred. Alongside, Stalin’s barbaric intent.
It just, phases me how we have a body of evidence, to show this happened. Yet still people deny it. Then, I can understand — Robin hood is a false character—but, Guy fawkes head really was on the tower spikes in London.
We really are a civilised society. We do really need to remind our governments, if they cross a line of — a barbaric nature and turn against — the people. We will have no choice but to become evil and brutal as well.
This is the fear, the French Revolution had on governments. Until now, it had made governments change, the way in which the people’s rights were held after WWII.
I truly believe and have reflected, without the stories and word of mouth; change would not have happened. People would, still live in fear.
I believe John Adams, was trying to create a civilised society without the barbaric nature; subdued within the underbelly of Europe. We lack the compassion needed to make a better world. We lack the compassion for each other to want change. This is the social psychological collectiveness we need. But, we always fear our leaders will become evil.
I believe, John Adams tried to free the hearts and minds of people — giving them a new hope — considering they had seen so much capital punishment to suppress their thoughts.
How this piece was written and what started the good ol’ cogs to work:
Very informative and well presented.
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Thank you, I tried to make decent arguments.
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amazing piece as well WW!
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Thank you once again
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Yes, of course!! 💖
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