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Fri May 11, 2012, 09:02 PM

 

Why did no one try to stop Romney's attack on Lauber?

Last edited Sat May 12, 2012, 02:26 AM - Edit history (1)

As I have been struggling the past couple days with ancient memories of having been bullied in school, one question kept hovering at the edge of my consciousness only to slip away each time I tried to give voice to it.

Here it is:

There were many witnesses to Romney's attack on Lauber. Why didn't anyone try to stop Romney? Why didn't anyone step up and say "This is wrong and must stop"?

I keep flashing on Melville's Billy Budd, where the Christ-like Budd is done in by a conspiracy of silence among his crewmates as to why he struck and killed the villain Claggart and a slavish obedience to the letter of the law at the expense of its spirit by the Captain, de Vere. As with Romney's attack on Lauber, no one spoke up.

Melville's tale is fiction, obviously, and in fiction often lies great truth. But Melville, AFAIK, never answers the question of why good men can remain silent in the face of inhumanity. Why silence equals complicity.

I'd love to hear from the resident psychology experts here, as well as any victims of bullying or anyone with insight into the whole group conformity dynamic.

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why did no one try to stop Romney's attack on Lauber? (Original post)
coalition_unwilling May 2012 OP
teddy51 May 2012 #1
Politicalboi May 2012 #2
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #4
HereSince1628 May 2012 #6
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #8
HereSince1628 May 2012 #22
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #23
handmade34 May 2012 #3
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #5
aquart May 2012 #7
DevonRex May 2012 #9
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #10
DevonRex May 2012 #12
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #20
nadinbrzezinski May 2012 #11
larkrake May 2012 #13
ScreamingMeemie May 2012 #14
jmowreader May 2012 #15
riderinthestorm May 2012 #16
flvegan May 2012 #17
Zalatix May 2012 #18
RZM May 2012 #19
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #21

Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:05 PM

1. I guess for the same reason that they didn't stop the one that I have enclosed here.

 

All of his nerd friends were there and probably no one else that might have been a bully fighter like some of us here on DU.


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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:15 PM

2. Because his father was important

 

Who's gonna stop him. He probably ALWAYS got his way. And back then, a lot of students may have agreed with Rmoney. And he was armed with scissors.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #2)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:28 PM

4. Granted, Romney's father was important. But did that automatically earn

 

Romney top-dog status at the school, presumably attended by a student body of fellow 1%ers?

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #4)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:33 PM

6. Top dog, maybe not, but was it a factor?

There's a story going around that Romney also impersonated a policeman while his father was Governor.

You gotta wonder if the arrogance that follows privilege wasn't the starting place for Romney's narcissism.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #6)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:39 PM

8. I'm an amateur armchair psychologist and wonder whether

 

Romney's marked lack of affect can be traced to early abandonment issues by his parents, wealthy and important people incapable of giving him love and support as an infant.

That said, I'm more interested in the 'followers' of Mitt and the onlookers and why none of them saw fit to speak up or intervene at the time.

Any ideas or thoughts?

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #8)

Sat May 12, 2012, 09:32 AM

22. I'm an armchair anthropologist...as primates human male subadults

Last edited Sat May 12, 2012, 11:22 AM - Edit history (1)

are typically submissive as individuals when within family groups and aggressive when in coalitions. The species itself refers to such groups as gangs of hooligans. {This seems to be particularly true for individuals from high ranking families, about 1% of the total, whose social interactions appear near to creating a subspecies whose existence is based on cannabalism of the other 99%. }



The within mob structure results in a transitional group for these adolescents between the usually supportive family groups of childhood and the competitive social networks/groups they will negotiate as adults. The adolescent coalition creates a setting wherein the family group is replaced by either a self-organizing mob or an age-based imposed social construct such as dormmates, frat brothers, or sporting team-mates. Within the coalition, members engage in status struggles and practice both real --including bullying, hazing-- and ritualized --frat initiations, sport, etc-- aggression toward 'others'.

Within the mob, rejection of establishment rules by the adolescent males is often used as developmental practice towards adult independence. Within the peerage of the Mob, members who gain capacity for such ritualized pseudo independence emerge as leaders. A positive feedback loop is created which leads these individuals into greater and greater acts of pseudo independence--an unfortunate side-effect being the production of both school yard bullies and potentially superannuated individuals trapped in adolescent cognition--as found in corporate raiders.

The combination of loyalty and the human desire to simulate adult domination over other individuals, results in lower ranking members of these coalitions participating in aggressive mob actions. Participation in these 'raids' provides a competitive arena for individuals to exhibit traits which may move them up or down the mob hierarchy. Counter-intuitively, the ultimate rejection of participation in such mob raids is a characteristic signal of an individual's promotion from the pseudo independence of the adolescent coalition into true self-reliant adulthood.






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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #22)

Sat May 12, 2012, 09:37 AM

23. That is positively fascinating also and ties in quite

 

nicely with handmade34's psychological thesis of 'displaced aggression' (post #3 downthread).

FWIW, Coalition of the Unwilling is distinctly non-aggressive (but, according to his wife, occasionally passive-aggressive

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:23 PM

3. "displaced agression"??

"...Researchers have shown a close relationship between certain group phenomena in our society and psychotic processes (Jaques, 1954). Basing their views on the work of Melanie Klein (who believed that personality development includes psychotic processes), these theorists suggest that understanding psychotic mechanisms can facilitate the understanding of group behavior. Bion (1954), for example, believes that the emotional life of the group is understandable only in terms of psychotic processes. Jaques (1954) emphasizes how individuals use institutions to help defend against primitive anxieties linked with psychotic phenomena. And Menzies-Lyth (1960, 1988) has come to understand social structures as a defense against primitive forms of anxiety, guilt, and doubt...

...Those scapegoated, according to Volkan (1985), serve as a receptacle for the projections of unacceptable impulses experienced by the group. Typically, scapegoats are vulnerable to attack because of some characteristic that makes them different from the main group. The projection of unwanted parts temporarily relieves anxiety while justifying this displaced aggression. And this act of projection binds members of the “good” group closer together..."

from:
The Psychotic Element in Everyday Group Thinking: Reflections on the Salem Witch Trials
http://www.radicalpsychology.org/vol7-1/semmel.html

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #3)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:30 PM

5. Wow, that is fascinating stuff. Basically, because Lauber's hair and

 

sexual orientation differed from the brunette, hetero group, he was easy for the group to attack to relieve its own anxiety.

Anxiety about what? Sexual orientation?

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #5)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:38 PM

7. Probably nothing that specific.

All it takes is some doubt in you that you belong........so you quickly find whoever clearly belongs even less and point..."Over there!"

And questions about your place in the world are epidemic among teens.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:40 PM

9. Because they knew they'd be the next target if they did.

It's that simple.

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Response to DevonRex (Reply #9)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:44 PM

10. OT, but you had the absolutely best, most chilling description

 

of Romney's mentality that I've read thus far:

"Let me add that evil is not irrational necessarily. He thinks and plans. He knows right from wrong perfectly well. There are no voices in his head telling him to do the wrong thing. He simply does not care and he knows he does not care. He also knows he should care."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=673813

I posted it to my FB page earlier today



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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #10)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:51 PM

12. Oh, wow. Thank you.

When I put it all together my mouth was completely dry. To think that he has gotten this close and no one has stopped him yet. To think that people can tell "funny" stories about pranks he has pulled that aren't funny at all but always have sadistic little twists to them. It's just horrifying. My mouth is dry again.

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Response to DevonRex (Reply #12)

Sat May 12, 2012, 02:11 AM

20. It sounded like you were describing Hannibal Lecter. It is

 

pretty mind-boggling that he has risen as far as he has.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 09:48 PM

11. Group dynamic, and humans are herd animals

 

As a herd the alpha male is rarely challenged.

As a fellow one who faced this, quite publically at times, it does not surprise me.

Read the prisoner experiment, the Stanford Prisoner experiment. Yup, as simple as that.

I hate that conclussion by the way.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #11)

Fri May 11, 2012, 11:21 PM

13. He was the govs son and the school bully

 

well established as the cruel practical joker and with a posse at his back, very intimidating

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 11:25 PM

14. Prep school mentality.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 11:37 PM

15. Probably because, deep down inside, everyone there felt he was justified

Which goes to show just how fucked-up of an environment Romney was raised in: a climate that lets you be free to do anything you like, just so long as you like exactly what everyone else there does.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 11:49 PM

16. I presume rMoney's group was the alpha pack - so objecting to bullying would eject one from the pack

 

I'm thinking people believed they would be ostracized from that group if they tried to stop or interfere with the mayhem. When a teen ties so much of their value to their clique, it would be almost impossible to detach oneself from it even to stop the cruelty. They'd become an instant target themselves and since they were once "insiders", they'd especially know how cruel the punishment could be.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 11:52 PM

17. Why would he/she/they?

We're talking kids, young adults here. Individuals who lack the real world experience of those folks that have been out "in the real world" for a time.

What would lead them to defend someone? Empathy? Laughable. Justice? Oh, my sides hurt now laughing at that. Only the exceptional see things that way. Or those raised properly.

How could anyone expect this lot of youngsters to act above the actions taken by their seniors? You know...the ones that take no action to stop the gang-rape of a teenage girl. The ones that take no action to stop morons who choose to commit violence against someone because that person is LGBT? The ones that look the other way when a husband beats his wife. The ones that look the other way when a child is mistreated. The ones that look away while a dog is tortured.

Coward Nation. It doesn't apply to all, but it applies to too many. And it's shameful.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 11:58 PM

18. Romney got away with it because of the cult of the Alpha Male - the REAL face of the Patriarchy.

 

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 11:59 PM

19. I think most of us have stood aside while we witnessed some terrible violence

 

I know I've stood aside during incidents far worse than what Romney did.

I once witnessed a man horribly beaten for a good while (he wasn't resisting either) on the street in broad daylight.

I also witnessed several serious bullying incidents as a kid, some of which were many against one. Maybe if I could go back I would do it differently. But you can't go back . . . .

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Response to RZM (Reply #19)

Sat May 12, 2012, 02:29 AM

21. Even though I was a victim of bullying as a child in grade- and junior-high school, I

 

feel the most regret for my failure to speak up on behalf of a student who was being bullied\sexually assaulted by a teacher. I have apologized to her in detail in the years since, but I still feel great shame that I sat on my hands while it was going on. It was almost like I was in a dream and did not understand what my eyes were trying to tell me.

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