[sixties-l] on selling out

From: Michael Garrison (mgarrison@localaccess.com)
Date: Wed Aug 30 2000 - 18:08:54 CUT

  • Next message: William M Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] on selling out"

    One psychological technique that I have found useful in considering the
    "sell out" and/or "compromise" problem for 60's people is the "Bounce-Back"
    theory. This attitudinal approach was developed by the military after the
    Korean War as an attempt to counteract the debilitating and fatal effects of
    psychological "breaking" of prisoners. The "Bounce-Back" theory says that
    after you break, sell out, or as Don Monderud called it in a previous post,
    "Bend", you do not treat it as a final event but rather when you are
    stronger and recovered from the mental or physical strain that caused the
    "fall from grace" you bounce-back, renounce/recant/reform and get back into
    the fight. Others involved (in the military case, other prisoners) must
    support the bounce-back in order for it to work. The key involved is that
    the "sell-out" is not viewed as a permanent fatal human flaw but as a
    natural response to on overwhelming situation.
    Lets look at Don's post (May 31, 2000) with this theory in mind. He says:
    "I think we did what we could at the time and many of us took jobs and
    raised families...lets face it, Reagan and his ilk mounted a huge reaction
    and the revolution that we envisioned was stopped in its tracks...not
    without a lot of bloodshed and jail time, let's not forget. We were up
    against the most powerful nation in the world and it was either bend or
    begin to blow things up...which didn't make sense to many of us...I've
    railed and ranted, written...never feeling like I was doing enough, but
    there you have it."
    The bounce-back theory says that your ass is never kicked for good! You
    recover, get up, forget the acts of breaking, are forgiven by your friends
    and start over. The alternative was that prisoners gave up, curled up and
    died. I am not saying that this scenario is valid for those who have
    absolutely gone over to the other side but I think it does have application
    to all of us who struggle to maintain our ideals and hopes. I berate myself
    for not doing enough, for mistakes and misjudgments, for quitting some
    battles too soon etc. etc. Then I think of what I can do today for Mumia,
    for Peltier, for my Union, to support historical truths as I know them and
    all the other ongoing projects. The important thing to remember is that you
    are not bound by what happened yesterday or 30 years ago... today you can

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