What - Again - Is Wrong With This Picture?

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Police have launched a five-year plan to reduce violence against women and children in Victoria

You can put in place as many programs as you want. But real change only ever comes from within the heart, between people, not externally, handed down from an expert or an institutional authority, no matter how good or well-intentioned it is.

Domestic violence happens because men are at their wits end, because they do not know how to communicate, because the way we live totally fucks us up, because they are big babies, because there is not the right kind of support that comes from people you know instead of some psychologist across the other side of the desk, because 40 million other reasons.

Nothing will ever change unless something changes in us, unless people can see within themselves reasons to change. Programs run by the police are not the answer. Great social ties are the answer. The more programs there are run by the police, the more people believe that the answer must lie "out there" with the "experts" and not "in here" with me and the people I know coming to grips with ourselves.

I've been thinking lately about where I stand politically. I left lean and I vote left, but I am really right wing in my ideas about a limited form of government. But then it struck me the other day - my political ideas are not based in the political system. My political ideas are based in humanity. I don't know what that means entirely but it feels once more like everything that is meant to be in here gets placed out there, where we all have to then take sides. If we vote left or vote right, we are not then allowed to constructively criticise the side we are on because then we are being unfaithful to that side.

And how bloody childish is that?


  1. Let's see....where do I start?

    I'm with you that less government is better. I think that government tries to control too much of our lives and in the end, really fucks it up. Look at the economy worldwide as an example; that's not something we did.

    Having said that, I don't disagree with the police and other various agencies offering the opportunity for education, it sometimes does help. Help has to be desired though for if it's not, there's no purpose in it.

    Which brings me to my final point, in every case I have ever seen involving domestic violence, sexual assaults and for that matter custodial interference issues, the root cause simply comes down to selfishness. People only think of themselves. That's where you are absolutely correct. The change has to be internal, not external.

  2. Mike, I was hoping to hear from you :) I realised before that I forgot to respond to your last comment. Sorry about that.

    That is an interesting summation, that every case comes down to selfishness. I wonder what percentage of people in that situation would think they *were* selfish? You know how horribly stupidly blind some people can be about their flaws (although I guess too, you guys see them in ultra heightened circumstances where it would be far too easy to see you guys as the enemy, especially if you're the kind of person who so lacks self awareness and self control that you resort to domestic violence to solve your problems.

    I guess my problems with police and different agencies offering these programs is that mostly they are required by law, under coercion, and I wonder how helpful or useful that they are because of that. But still, you're right, I'm sure sometimes it does help.

    Thanks for commenting, I value your perspective :)

  3. I think it's a little like the whole thing around politically correct language. We say it's unacceptable to use certain words. Some people don't change at all. Some change the way they speak but not the way they think. But some people do think twice about something they perhaps hadn't cottoned onto before. That's where I think government and police programs can also be helpful - to protect and to highlight issues.

  4. And coincidentally, this just launched in the UK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8378341.stm

  5. The PC thing is what worries me the most really. And why is this suddenly some global campaign? Now the UN is getting in on it too. There is something about it (maybe it's just my years as a fundy) which makes me distinctly uneasy (but maybe that's just common sense and history).

  6. I know a few dreadful jokes re this topic but they are so wrong-headed they are never shared. (and ought to be forgotten)

    If nothing else enrollment in these programs opens some eyes as to the extent of harm done. They will help some by providing tools not to re-offend. If presented properly and effectively the attendees will have to process what is presented to them at some level.

    Bottom-line tho - personal responsibility for ones actions is essential. Change needs to have it's genesis within.

  7. I lean to the right politically but had little or no problem not only criticizing Bush but also not voting for him in 2004.

    I couldn't reconcile how a president that comes from a party founded on principles of limited government could propose a constitutional amendment defining marriage. I'm not gay, nor do I have strong feelings one way or the other about the gay community. However, I saw his desire for this constitutional amendment to be in direct contradiction to the principles of limited government the Republican party had been founded on, not to mention a violation of the separation of church and state.

    The trouble I see with the GOP these days are that religion and spirituality are a personal thing. They're based on an individual's relationship with God. Politics should be based on common sense (that Thomas Paine fellow knew what he was talking about back in the day) and guided by logic and reason-- not by emotion. Unfortunately by allowing organized religion to have so much power within the party, the GOP is guided increasingly more and more by emotion than by their rather sensible founding principles of limited government.

  8. Norm - yes, I agree. And sometimes people who find themselves needing these programs are because the people rolemodelling around them are pretty crap at what they're doing. But still, to steal from the post I was just commenting on, it is always creepy to me when this stuff is taken outside of relationship and put into a program. It's like calling the Bible the Word of God, you know, when it's Jesus who is the Word of God. That's where teh differences are.

    But yeah, messy world. I just get annoyed at how much the government interferes in things. Seems the more programs we have out there the more people feel like they can't work out this stuff for themselves.

    Perplexio - hey, nice summation. I don't know that Thomas Paine but maybe I should have a read of what he said. Yes, what the hell has marriage to do with the government?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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