We live in a collection of very suspicious societies and even though most people don’t realise it, we’re very suspicious of everything and everyone, especially strangers, this is why foreigners do not get along when they go from country to country. We seem to be living with some type of “fallout” from the times when organised religion was more or less completely in control of nation states. Even though many of us no longer practice faith we still think along the lines of good and evil. Parents still teach their children about the bad people and the good people and since children are hyper impressionable they then carry these principles into adulthood.
In Northern Ireland we had, and still have, the suspicious principles turned up full. There is a book called “Lost Lives” and it gives an account of every death during the troubles as well as statistics on which organisation (legal and illegal) murdered who. It’s a book which takes a long time to get through because it’s obviously pretty harrowing and I never got close to reading it all but from it and other books which I read about the Shankill Butchers and a few about the inner workings of the Republican movement I began to see something which was prevalent during that conflict, mistaken identities. So many individuals during the troubles were murdered because other people within organisations were suspicious of them and sometimes because whole communities were suspicious. The words suspicious and paranoid are interchangeable.
The “good and evil conundrum” is linked very closely to the “us and them syndrome” and in Belfast Spides and Foreigners are seen in the very same light. I often wonder about how racists can blame everything on the Foreigners while they also heap so much venom upon the Spides, this makes no sense to me whatsoever, because the Spides are from our own stock. The class system which we live within is causing all of this suspicion and uncertainty but the class system is not clear cut. The nature of the working classes has changed greatly in the last thirty years what has happened is due to the rise and rise of capitalistic ideals people remain in the working class bracket while making much more money than others within that category. Money creates so many problems because people have this inherent need to protect what is theirs so they often perceive threats.
A few months back I was in a shop on Royal Avenue and I noticed a security guard acting strangely toward a young lad who I would have estimated to have been 13 or 14, wearing sportswear. The lad was just browsing when the security guard grabbed him forcefully by the arm and started accusing him of “going to steal” the lad was shocked and was trying to explain himself as the guard dragged him out. I went and paid for what I had and when I got outside the young lad was standing with a well dressed lady who I presume was his mother and the security guard, the woman was saying she had sent her son in to get batteries while she was in another shop, turns out he wasn’t going to steal after all!
The problems with living in social orders which are so deeply divided and suspicious are not easily discerned because we consider division and suspicion to be normal. We self justify and reinforce within ourselves and our social groupings that the way we think is the right way. When people challenge how we see things rather than thinking about it and questioning ourselves we just become more and more steadfast in our reasoning and perceive anything from the outside which is even remotely negative as an attack. Here in Northern Ireland and indeed in Ireland as a whole we have that age old “siege mentality” even though there is nothing immediately attacking us we are sprung and ready to defend ourselves. It seems the structure of the world has changed since the days of constant war (different from modern war) but we seem not to have changed and we still think in a very warlike and negative way. Peoples from many small isolated Islands have historically been taken over by outsiders. Britain is a good example it’s like they said to themselves “lets not wait for an attack lets go take over half the world!” of course no one sat down and said that but the mindset to do just that probably emerged from that very principle.
Once more I must reiterate that while you read this you don’t think it has anything to do with you. It confounds reason how we think that we can live in a society which is inherently flawed and not be flawed ourselves. Our inability to confront and own up to our own flaws and misgivings is a major reason why our social order is crumbling the way it is. Somehow everyone thinks they exist outside of society, that they are OK but the problems are being caused by someone or something else. The reason why many people do not like the type of material I write is not because I am an Arsehole or a Liar or an Alcoholic, it’s simply because they are afraid to go too deeply and look at the truth because the truth would mean they would have to drastically overhaul their outdated thought processes and thus completely change the little bubble in which they happily reside. The whole structure of the need to be entertained culture also vies heavily in matters pertaining seriousness. If someone is having a hard time others tend to avoid them because they “can’t be bothered with the doom and gloom” or because “they’ve got problems of their own” this is of course understandable but it is actually clearly a complete lack of empathy, although no one will admit to that because apparently everyone’s right aren’t they? Ask yourself this “If everyone is right, why is there so much wrong?”
I have come to be known as a bit of smart arse, a know it all but I am not really that smart I am just observant this is why many people don’t like me, because I am a threat, I know things through my observations that people would not like you to know about them. We’re all the same as each other. Search google images for “emotions” somewhere there you will find a little box that all the emotions fit “squarely” into, that’s it, everything you hear and see and feel and read is right there. When you’re going through an emotion it appears so complicated and overwhelming yet when others are going through the same thing you see at as being simple and easily explained, because you cannot feel their emotion it’s detached from you and you don’t relate it to what you felt, because you think you’re different.
We are all constantly testing each other. In relationships you will often hear people speaking about the fact that their partners “have not put a foot wrong” or the time “they heard the alarm bells” about an Ex. It’s almost as if everyone is waiting for something to go wrong and that’s why things do go wrong, we make them go wrong because we expect it. I wasn’t just privy to such statements within relationships, I would notice they were being fairly widely used just by listening to how people talk. When people are in relationships they often have a friend or family member who they confide in, someone who they consider to be trustworthy, who they can talk to about their fears and worries pertaining to relationships. It is an important note that many people see themselves as being different, indeed we all do, but this is not some big secret, the nature of humanity can be explained there are instincts and emotional patterns which you can generalise. You can be pretty certain that whatever you go through on any given day has already happened (what’s a Billion Billion?) times, don’t kid yourself you are not unique you are basic, a clone, a repeat! Obviously depending on how regularly a person is talking to such a confidant and the amount of information they disclose varies but the result is that many of us are taking advice from others which has an effect on how we live our daily lives and probably more often than not if someone you trust takes a dislike to a person who you are courting you will end up making decisions based upon their dislike rather than your own feelings and wishes. Something slightly worrying on this note is also that sometimes the advisers need advice so you get people who are uncertain about their own fears advising others on how to deal with theirs, the cliché “the blind leading the blind” springs to mind here. None of this is coming directly from one source in my case, everything I put to paper has been methodically thought out over months and most of what I write actually only gets committed to the page after I have noticed it repeating countless times and repeat it does constantly and undeniably.
Everyone is testing everyone is seems. There is a principle overall of “innocent until proven guilty” but we seem to actually operate on the premise of “potentially guilty until proven innocent”. It’s important to always be aware that your thought patterns are the result of hundreds if not thousands of years of bad programming. Most of us never consider this, we never consider how fallible we are, we believe statically and undeniably that our way is the right way, well if that was the case my good friends and enemies we would be living in Nirvana but we’re not. We all have a responsibility to review our thinking processes, to consider how we treat others but one thing above all else we have a responsibility to stop casting blame and to give each other the right to be wrong. If someone else has done wrong they will be paid back by Karma, it is not up to each of us to decide who will be socially castrated because of what they have done, we have a serious God complex even though many of us do not believe in God it seems we actually think we are God!
If the society you live in is suspicious what does that make you?