I reiterate that the dicta “you have no power,” “it is ‘dysfunctional’ to believe you have any power,” “you must renounce power” and all similar statements are arguably the meanest and most destructive which can be pronounced.
It was what I was told as a child, to make it clear that I was at the mercy of the adults and that there was no exit. It is what torturers say to their victims – indeed, it is the point of torture.
Indeed, it has long been known that if you want to disable someone and rob them of their selfhood, what you must do is tell them they have no power. Slaves rebel and escape when they realize they do in fact have power.
The passivity and hopelessness Reeducation instilled, the self-doubt it sowed and the confidence it siphoned off, were and are an evil spell.
Right now I am killing Reeducation, which I have met on the street, by stabbing it in the stomach with a sharpened stick. I am picking up the corpse by the stick I have run through it and tossing it into the bayou.
As you can see, I am not Gandhi and I think there is such a thing as violence in the public service. If I were a great wind, I would blow every “reeducative” entity off the face of the earth. I do not care if some of them are “exceptions.” I am sure they come from evil and are here to do ill.
If the earth were swept clean of their wicked spell, the ceilings and skies would be clearer and more transparent. The snarling gnomes of Reeducation would not try to hold us down in tiny warrens. One would walk abroad freely.
Reeducation is an agent of the repressive state and I prefer witchcraft.
Reeducation felt I was too powerful and too realizada, especially given my gender and Reeducation’s view of my background. I really did try to comply with Reeducation and, although I see that this is an error, I carry it in me in ways I still do not always see.
This week I went to see the industrial psychologist we all use because of the permanent state of war which exists in one of my departments. He said I was too accepting of the situation and not exerting enough power. He is perfectly right, although it is still hard for me to believe it when anyone speaks out against the repressive and terribly pessimistic principles of Reeducation.
It would be very nice if Reeducation would simply wither and die but it appears I must still take it on face to face. And the ravages of Reeducation still most closely lodged in me are that one is powerless and must accept this. One must not ask, seek, expect, attempt, or hope for anything. But I do not think it is possible to live this way except as an inmate in a prison or a hospital. Do you?
Power and control were the things Reeducation felt I had too much of. And Reeducation was invented for people who were locked into relationships with addicts, which I was not – although I would say that being locked into Reeducation was rather like that, and that being locked into the dynamic in the more problematic of my two departments is like that. What I have always found, and what I continue to rediscover, is that the way to escape from such relationships is not to renounce power and control, but to assert them. “Freedom NOW!” “Amnesty NOW!” “Independence NOW!” “Peace NOW!” were the slogans shouted in the streets when I was a child; I resonated with them then and I approve of them today. And no, I am not impatient. I simply do not see the point of holding things back when they are ready to go.
And the ideal subject of Reeducation, I am told, is one who does not rule the self and attempts instead to rule over others. I had such feelings at five. I thought I could prevent my parents from killing each other by allowing them to kill me. I would have done better to realize that I could not keep them from killing each other, but that I could at least remove myself from danger. Had Reeducation seen this and pointed it out to me then, it would have been useful. But to atone for having had such misconceptions then by renouncing adulthood thirty years later, as Reeducation wished me to do, was ridiculous.
The problems with Reeducation on the questions of power and control were (1) its assumption that one must be an egocentric powermonger and (2) its multiple misconceptions on where it was appropriate to have and to exert power and control and where it was not. I had long arguments with Reeducation on the matter of when such assertiveness was not only appropriate, but also necessary and likely to be productive. In these arguments I claimed I could only control myself, my career and my life. Reeducation said I should abandon this illusion of adulthood, hand control of my life over to alien wills, and reinitiate the attempts to control problematic people and situations I had abandoned in late childhood.
Reeducation also placed a very great value on helplessness, whereas I did not. And I can in fact be very capable. I do not think Reeducation understood that my optimism and confidence in life came from competence, not from imaginary “godlike” powers. According to Reeducation my belief that I could not control entities outside myself was “faithless.” My belief that I could control myself was “grandiose.” And I disagree utterly. And I was much more lucid before Reeducation than afterward. And Reeducation was about repression, about learning to limit oneself. And I am learning to reclaim power now, and I do not care what Reeducation would say.