Re: the psychology of dissent

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Tue Jan 06 2004 - 19:49:23 PST

Sorry. A follow-up on my earlier post: humans share a small number of
emotional affects with the animals, producing the wide spectrum of
emotional experiences we humans have only in combination with the vast
spectrum of historically-constructed cultural stimuli. Can anyone tell me
what exactly are those small range of distinct emotional feelings?

Fear is obviously one; anger; I have heard that shame is in common with the
animals; joy.

Can people help me with this one?

At 01:55 PM 7/01/2004 +1100, you wrote:
>XMCA friends,
>I have a little problem in my current investigations, to do with the
>psychological conditions corresponding to progressive social change.
>Vygotsky can't help me, because so far as I can see, while he saw youthful
>rebellion and dissent as a healthy thing, he had no experience of
>successful dissent and social movements other than the great Russian
>Revolution itself, something he and millions of others would have
>experienced as a fact, which you could either join or oppose.
>What are the psychological processes involved in the situation where
>conditions which have been borne for centuries become unendurable and
>rebellion becomes the order of the day?
>"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily
>given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed ... We have
>waited for more than 300 years for our constitutional and God-given
>rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed
>toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at
>horse-and-buggy pace towards gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.
>Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of
>segregation to say, "Wait". But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your
>mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim;
>when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your
>black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty
>million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the
>midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted
>and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old
>daughter why she cant go to the public amusement park ... There comes a
>time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to
>be plunged into the abyss of despair ... Oppressed people cannot remain
>oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself
>and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has
>reminded him of his birthright and freedom, and something without has
>reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has
>been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and
>his brown and yellow brothers of the Asia, South America and Caribbean,
>the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the
>promised land of racial justice." [Martin Luther King, Letter from
>Birmingham Jail, May 1963]

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