The still face paradigm, the just world fallacy, inequality and the decline of empathy

This is long but by far the best analysis of the horrendously damaging toxicity of neo-liberal strategy to manipulate populations through stigmatising and ‘othering’. People need to know about this in order to resist it.

Politics and Insights

r-wilkinson-spirit-level-lecture-november-2010-10-638

UNICEF’s reports have consistently put the UK at the bottom of the child well-being league table. See also: UNICEF criticises UK’s failure to tackle child inequality as gap grows.

pie-wealthSource: The Equality Trust 

The still face paradigm and inequality

Before Christmas I read an excellent and insightful article by Michael Bader called The Decline of Empathy and the Appeal of Right-Wing Politics, which was about Edward Tronick’s Still Face experiment in part. Tronick is an American developmental psychologist at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His studies illuminate the importance of trusting relationships and consistent human responses in children’s development and learning.

Tronick’s experimental design was very simple: mothers were asked to play as they usually would with their six-month-old infants. The mothers were then instructed to suddenly blank their face: to make their facial expression flat and neutral – completely “still”  – and to do so for…

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The Wrong Road Taken

However did we leave His Way

Of justice for the poor, and peace?

To sell our souls to Constantine

And fighting over Creeds?

Align ourselves with Power and Kings

To fawn, exploit and kill ?

So often done unspeakable things

And claimed they were God’s will ?

So much of all this tragic folly

Has for so long been justified –

By literally reading as ‘Word of God’,

The Books of the Canon were deified.

They told of an angry, violent God,

Of arbitrary favouring –

Such stories clearly gave the nod

To bigots, wars and slavery.

But though we’ve strayed from Jesus’ Love,

We can still change to choose His Way.

22nd, January 2017

 

Father of My Child

Midst all that you have done and been –

The struggle undergone, unseen,

So many knew and loved you well

Yet only one has this to tell –

You were the father of my child.

You stood for justice, freedom, peace

And bravely spoke against deceit.

Your influence will surely long outlive you –

A heritage your friends will give you.

And I, despite storms, dark and wild,

Still love the father of my child.

What will be your legacy ?

DearHeart – a true equality

Where justice grounds the polity

And innocents from fear be free ?

Grandpa Keith – our visionary schemer –

Sleep well, inspire our hearts,

Beloved activist and dreamer.

May 2009

Who are you Really ?

I hear you’ve gone and changed your name again.

Not sure when or where.

I knew you never stay the same.

I wonder if you’re happier there ?

And if you’re tiring of this game ?

Marianna was a lovely name,

But you’ve changed it to be Jo!

Now Marianna’s story – no one may ever know.

Will Jo’s existence be the same ?

Forgotten, when you choose to go ?

Can there be no continuity

For such as you, who must be free ?

Must you live so unconnected,

Wild and cool and disaffected ?

– Marianna   –  Jo  –  Cherie ?

February 2009

The Unbelievers

It is Hard for us to Understand

It is hard for us to understand

Why men were made this way….

That some great god had really planned

A home for such as they.

For nature does not teach us,

The Bible cannot reach us,

Nor holy men convince us

That God will bring a cure.

It is hard for us to understand

That death is not the end….

That to some vast and ghostly land,

Our spirits will ascend.

We cannot quite believe it

And even if we wished it,

We still could not receive it

Until we were quite sure.

So we must try to live without

Knowledge of Truth and Right

‘Til death relieves us of our doubt

And steeps our souls in night.

Then if He’s there we’ll see Him

(Though we may have to flee Him)

Because we could not see Him

On earth and were not sure.

The Neo-Liberal Con

Insidious evil stalks the Market Place

Spreading so fast.

Its  deceptive embrace –

Seductive and vast.

From ‘Ivory Towers’ to ‘City Banks’

And ‘Corridors of Power’

To our Media’s corrupted face.

Alas for humanity, divided society,

Undermined solidarity –

Lost without trace.

Cry out for the thousands, collateral broken,

Give voice to the millions who never are heard.

There’s not much more time for truth to be spoken –

Let’s make commitment to spreading this word.

15th August 2015

 

 

My Dearest Friend

Sixteen she was – funny and smart,

‘I want to be good’ she cried.

Her wistful sadness stole my heart –

But fun and laughter came beside.

Then when we went our different ways

We never quite forgot –

The highs and lows of all our days

We shared, though not a lot.

We nearly lost what we had back then

Which would have been so sad.

But when at last we met again –

O what times of joy we’ve had.

As years slip back

It seems no time

Divides us from our age-old craic.

I know this love will never end

For Jenny is my dearest friend.

Christmas 2014

Genvieve’s Questions

So very many questions

From the years of pain and grief.

But the ‘answers’ do not satisfy

And do not bring relief. Came, hoping for some insight

Where there weren’t none to be found.

Puzzled by a less-than-certain faith-style –

Yet where hope and love abound.

We, who do not have your answers

And cannot explain your loss,

Still are focused upon Jesus

And the mystery of his cross.

For his magnetism draws us

Down the labyrinthine years,

His Spirit captivates our hearts

And his love dissolves our fears.

We still hear his invitation

To his Kingdom of the free.

We can let go the complications

Hearing simply ‘Follow me’.

[ Prompted by a dialogue in cyber-space 2002]