The testimony below is eloquent and shows how the intersection between economic and social systems is a golden rule, maintained between oppressors and the oppressed:

“Eight weeks”, the bearded soldier resumes, “eight weeks, and all that’s human in human beings disappears. The Kaibiles have found a way to nullify consciousness. In two months, everything that differentiates humans from animals can be extracted from a body. Everything that makes it distinguish wickedness, kindness, moderation. In eight weeks, you can take Saint Francis and turn him into a killer capable of killing animals by biting, surviving by drinking only piss, and eliminating dozens of humans without even worrying about the age of the victims. It takes eight weeks to learn how to fight on any terrain and under any atmospheric condition, and to learn to move quickly when attacked by enemy fire”.

(…)

“Kaibiles are the elite anti-subversion squad of the Guatemalan Army. They were born in 1974, when the Military School was created, which would become the Kaibil Training and Special Operations Bureau. It comprises the years of the Guatemalan civil war, years in which US-backed government and paramilitary forces are confronting, first, disorganized guerrillas, and then the rebel group Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca. It is a war without truce. Students, workers, liberal professionals, opposition politicians end up in the hands of the Kaibiles. Anyone. Mayan villages are devastated, peasants are slaughtered, and their bodies abandoned to rot under the inclement sun.”

(“Zerozerozero” by Roberto Saviano, Publishing Company Companhia das Letras, pg. 90-91)

Surviving in socioeconomic regions where inequality, tyranny, and fear predominate is survival limited and determined by oppressive systems. One way to escape from massive oppression is to work for the system, to help the oppressing machines (becoming a cheater, torturer etc.).

Sexual-slavery-and-human-trafficking

Sexual slavery and human trafficking  | Photo from Wall Street International

Another way is to set up conditions for pseudo-restorative violence: stealing, killing, tormenting those who have money (no matter how much), forming squads and gangs of violence.

To maintain themselves, oppressive societies use clandestine connections, create ferocious creatures; for example, during the years of the Brazilian, Argentine, Uruguayan, and Chilean dictatorships, with the formation of torturers, the same residual support that is seen now in drug, arms and sex trafficking. Any close look at favelas, low-income communities, reveals this mosaic.

Similarly, in Eastern Europe (former Soviet Union and its satellites), after Perestroika, we see former managers and political leaders, “promising party cadres”, organizing billion-dollar operations: traffic networks of guns, drugs, and women.

To carry out these operations, it is necessary to empty the human and to bring forth beasts capable of maintaining the business.

The media contributes and is fundamental in the generation and maintenance of desires: good food, good clothing, and all the fetishes of consumption and style divulged and propagandized.

One-becomes-fierce-quickly-and-it-is-also-easy-to-reduce-a-human-being-to-its-biological

One becomes fierce quickly and it is also easy to reduce a human being to its biological | Photo from Wall Street International

Whenever one does not accept limits and restrictions of what is happening in the present, of the socioeconomic condition, one is reduced to survival, to the satisfaction of needs, and thus people full of complexes are raised, people who feel inferior because they are not rich, or because they do not have the toys advertised on TV, nor live in apartments like the richer.

It is a beginning of the structure of ferocity, later improved, effected by variables of oppression established by the systems, by the families.

This process of non-acceptance establishes goals, desires for fulfillment, which are also responsible for taking the feet off the ground (getting out of the present) and clinging to desires (goals), to illusions of improvement, and to anything considered as a savior, from torturing to maintain the existing social order, to selling drugs and weapons in order to amass the first million dollars.

It is the human emptying generated by the seduction of pleasure, promised paradises and nirvanas begetting beasts as well as martyrs (the ones that explode with bombs); an emptying maintained and amplified by oppressive systems and situations.

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Vera Felicidade de Almeida Campos
Vera Felicidade de Almeida Campos is a Brazilian psychologist, graduated from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ.
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She has been working in psychotherapy since the late sixties and is considered an authority on Gestalt in Brazil.
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