The social and cultural phenomenon of bullying is an interesting one. We see it occur in any number of contexts, and yet usually with one defining characteristic, it is institutional.
Anthropologists, social psychologists and similar researchers would tell us that bullying is something universal, something omniscient to the human experience, that it has existed in every society and in every age — a general clue that someone is peddling social indoctrination.
The first rule to understanding culture in a clear and factual way is to understand that there is no such thing as normality. And when someone is insisting that their flaws are normal, universal — and therefore beyond scrutiny — then it is important to be especially sceptical.
Are there elements of competition and even dominance in other cultures throughout history? Of course. But did the Mayans and the Aztecs call single out one particular kid and then spent years and years calling him a retarded faggot until he committed suicide? Probably not. I have yet to see a lot of evidence — academic or otherwise — to indicate this.
The only way to make such a notion seem universal is to be extremely vague about it. Truth of the matter is, bullies are the real freaks. They are rare and outlying social roles that are difficult to find in most of human history.
To say that the greasy unwashed pimple faced trenchcoat mafia kid who screams queeroid at the top of their lungs whilst throwing someone’s backpack in a river is our age’s equivalent to Napoleon or Alexander The Great is, in my opinion, somewhat farcical. I don’t recall reading Bonaparte’s memoirs about how the emperor of Prussia was a spergy low energy beta, but maybe that was editorialised, what do I know?
And I think that academics who make such a claim should be censored and fired from their jobs for wasting valuable public resources.
Truth is that most cultures and civilisations have been adverse to bullying. That’s precisely why we have things such as sports, religion, and even honour systems. By and large, humanity has struggled to look for creative and controlled outlets for desires of competition or even domination. Ways to make sure that they were productive and inconsequential. So that, in some way or other, people would shake hands and be friends after the competition was over.
The contemporary phenomenon of bullying on the other hand is a trait that goes very much against the intuition of civilisation. Whether it is undermining a co-worker to gain better candidacy for a promotion, picking on a kid on school, or even keeping a political minority from participating in some avenue of society or other. This is a very contemporary phenomenon.
And there’s many ways to explain it. For one thing, thanks to double standards in criminal law, insurance companies, social security, and similar thing, human beings and human relationships are very undervalued. You can in fact be a horrible person and still enjoy a great measure of personal safety. And that’s fine, that’s not the main cause of this problem, but it does offer a certain degree of momentum.
We sadly do not live in times when you could — within reason — punch someone in the face for being a dishonourable oaf. Instead we live in a time where insults are legal, and to rebuke someone for insults is illegal. That’s a problem. But it is also not the main problem. But words are the tools of cowards and manipulators, actions are generally the expressions of virtuous intent. So the law is very malfunctioning in this sense.
Part of this comes from a false morality that intelligence is somehow better than brute strength. But I fail to see how. The villains of brute strength would be men like Al Capone. But the villains of intelligence, in its manipulation and intrigue, would be that of Adolf Hitler.
And that makes sense, because Hitler was in many ways the archetypical aristocrat. He delegated, lied and cheated his way to the top, only having a love for wealth and profits.
He was a categorical example of the ideal capitalist, holding no bars or compromises when it came to the pursuit of profit motives, cutting it right down to the bone with plundering, slavery and pillaging. Just as how the first capitalists of the Hanseatic trade had done centuries prior in the colonies.
So from this paradox of nonviolent violence, a morality that rewards the coward and punishes heroic virtue, we can see how society is tailor made to invite and encourage bullying, and why bullying is — at least in western capitalist countries — considered such a normal and civilised thing.
And I think it ultimately comes down to the liberal ideology. Because liberalism is a kind of religious devotion to the so-called free market. It is a worship and dedication of the process by which rentiers strip working class people of their productive agency. Liberalism is an intense and searing hatred for the poor, and a self-adulating praise of the rich.
It is the politics of the colonial merchant, the banker, the stock broker, the landlord, the arms trader, the politician and the usurer. Liberalism at its core is the fanatical and extremist devotion to wealth at all costs.
And you can see this in their fundamentalist language. They seek to “regulate” the landlord, and to “regulate” arms trade and military industry. How could you possibly regulate such insanity?
How can you regulate the sense of entitlement that drives power hungry and deranged megalomaniacs into charging people money for living in their own homes? Landlords do not build these homes, they do not even pay for them. They take out a loan, and then the tenant pays off the loan with rent. How do you regulate legal stealing?
Similarly with military-industry, the rich man’s anarchy, how do you regulate genocide, and plundering, and sanctions? The Geneva convention is, in this sense, a laughable piece of satire, as the many liberal nations sit together to come up with means of humane and decent ways in which to make poor people kill other poor people. It’s laughable on the face of it.
This blood-soaked insanity of liberalism I think is at the core of the issue of bullying. Because the liberal ideology is not merely about rich people hating working people, it is also about coming up with ways to make working people hate themselves.
Look at how the liberal intelligentsia describes working class people:
Lazy, uneducated, racist, violent, savage, unintelligent, uncultured, etc. etc.
In the eyes of the liberal, working class people are little more than beer drinking, illiterate football hooligans who spend all day either sitting in a couch or a bar stool. This is the image of workers that is purported in media, both fiction and nonfiction.
The stereotypical working class person has been the scapegoat for every possible political failure imaginable, as the liberals will be quick to condemn democracy, referendums and popular rule with the fictitious notion that ordinary working people are too stupid to govern the societies they create.
Whether it is pundits on televisions, or academics publishing studies, the searing hatred for working class people is almost universal in any publishing body that is filtered by peer-review or broadcast licensing.
And this is why they have invented the middle class. The middle class is an aspirational societal role that workers can attain if they become obedient to their masters. Whether such masters are corporate or governmental. Middle class people are workers who get a little bit extra.
A nice car, housing mortgage, annual vacation, whatever else. A few more crumbs to bump up the standard of living and offer a façade of dignity through the clutches of debt and lifestyle consumerism.
And more often than not, the middle class are those who are willing to bully. Whether it is to pick on the intelligent kids in school, or joining the Ku Klux Klan to defend property values, it is to get ahead by punching sideways and downwards. To quote the real Napoleon:
The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man.
Truth is that bullies are a natural part of a school’s ecosystem. Because the school produces things like grading quotas and scarcity of qualifications, as well as various kinds of performance rankings. This means that children are always driven by intuition towards ruining others in order to gain optimal rewards. In the waters of schooling, it is generally the most rotten who float to the surface.
Because the point of schooling is, as liberals will be happy to tell people, to prepare youth for their lives in adulthood. And what is such a life? Well, it’s a life under capitalism. Schools exist to sort the rich from the poor, and the powerful from the subjects.
And the way they do this is by marketing obedience as intelligence. Because the only real consistency in any liberal schooling system is that tasks are generally arbitrary, unrewarding and unstimulating. They reward standardisation and normal thinking, they reward meeting the expectations of authority. They generally punish creativity or subversion.
Schools are founded on the epistemology that there is always only one single and correct answer to a question, that the school — in its unquestioned and sacrosanct authority of what is or isn’t reality — may arbitrate that which is correct, from that which is incorrect. That only the school may possess what is truth, and that any and all nuances to such a truth may be blotted out of existence.
That is why, when the teacher asks what year an event happens, you better answer with the Roman calendar year. The Jewish calendar year, for instance, is considered incorrect, because the school deems it so. There is always only one true faith, and any deviations from such a doctrine is met with reprimands.
The bully is therefore the child who is the most loyal and observant of the teacher, and who picks up on how it is vital to reinforce this manufactured idea of what is normal. This later on translates to the same doggish and sycophantic devotion to the boss, the politician and the policeman, or whomever else that establishes themselves as the functionary of such a liberal doctrine.
But can this be justified by any logical reasoning? Of course not, hence the need for bullying. Those who waste their time trying to demand justification or make sense of such a system will ultimately fall behind, and draw attention to themselves as losers.
Because that is the revealing language of schools.
So is this to say that schooling is a fundamentally bad idea? Of course not. But it is to say that schooling under the doctrine of liberalism is a boot camp for brownshirts, scalp hunters, pogromists, lynch mobs and home owner’s associations.
It is to say that the purpose of the liberal doctrine is to teach working class people to hate themselves and others, to develop a pathological fear and resistance to their own realisation as the builders of the world.