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Bullied to Death

Rick Mercer was interviewed today on The Current about his rant on Tuesday after the suicidal death of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, earlier this month.

Why would kids bully those they think are gay?  How does it threaten them?

And why do we have so many reports of school aged children committing suicide because of bullying, or if not because of bullying, bullying was a factor in their lives?

What has happened to our places of learning that children are violated in this way, and the school,  teachers, principals, boards, seem to be unable or unwilling to intervene effectively?

What happened to that social factor of teaching fairness?

Society and all its cultural knowledge was sacked in the early eighties, by the people and institutions who are paid to govern, who set upon a course of dismantling civil society in order to appease the power of transnational corporations.  So all we need do is look at the systems running our world.  There is no bigger bully than big business, who have consistently lobbied to undermine human rights, protection against violence, social safety nets, medicare, education for all, ethical journalism and participatory democracy.

Civil service takes years of money, training and discipline but once the student leaves the school for the workplace he learns that the game is about power and strategy for his own survival, and those who do the work they were trained to do, will be tripped up and chucked out. The winners are those who have no conscience and who put all their resources into winning the game.

Civil society has been bullied to death. 

It is a top down ritual of bullying whoever is beneath you, whoever is vulnerable: your spouse, your children, your employees, your cleaning lady and the sales representatives at your local market. Intelligence has been subverted to a single thrust - that of exercising power, control or force over whoever you can.

This is the reason we are unable to deal with bullying - we are in denial. Whenever someone points out injustice, we hate them, we hate the messenger.  Participating in the game is a device to avoid seeing the violence that is all around us.  It is mob rule through unexamined fear, because the ruling principles and ideology is misogynist, misanthropic and nihilistic.  Disaster capitalism is designed to keep us, the members of our fractured and broken civil society, in fear and feeling powerless, through their funded media replays of all that makes humanity appear brutal, unreflective, violent and primitive.

Power is a central element in education and the running of all institutions.  Kids learn about power from the time they are born.  By the time they reach high school and have witnessed how their parents cope, and the thousands of hours watching commercial programming, they feel and sense the tight rope they are placed upon.  They may not be able to articulate that, but they know.  And so they target others in their group - who might be gay, or whose ears may stick out, or who dress differently - for that fleeting sense of power, of superiority. Their fearful hearts sense it won't last but for now they will find a thing more vulnerable than them.

Who will stand up and risk their job to work for social justice by teaching others how power currently works against them if they contribute to its brutality; and how power is in our hands if we work together to return to life affirming principles, such as the nurture we receive from true friends, good parents, and honourable communities?

If you think this conflict between power-over and power-from-within can be dismissed in our society, then consider what happened in the death camps of Nazi Germany.  Consider the women of Afghanistan under siege from their warrior men who courageously set up civic education, and who were crushed again by Western nations, because, instead of giving them protection and support they gave their men more guns. Consider the billions spent on arms in foreign wars as citizens go hungry, without health care, without homes. Consider the degradation of our earthly home so that the most powerful bullies are given unchallenged rights to exploit and rape every imaginable element for greater profit and power.

Consider all this and witness our children committing suicide before they have had time to know who they are. Then look at bullying in a new context.

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