Todd Hayen, PhD
“Because I’m your mother (or father)!” All of us have heard that exclamation at some point in our childhood, and more likely more than once.
Or, “Do as I say, not as I do”—that one is a bit more toxic and typically should be avoided by enlightened parents.
We should all learn by example, not necessarily by firm, rigid, and seemingly irrational demands. We all were children at one time after all—in many ways truly incapable of knowing what is best for us and not fully aware of the “why” our behavior could be dangerous or not beneficial. But that was then, this is now, we are not a child anymore, so why are we treated like one by societal authority?—politicians, police, world leaders, etc.? Good question.
One answer could be because often we do, as a whole, and as adults, act as if we cannot think for ourselves. We’ve heard this recently when we are admonished for not “thinking critically” or only listening to the mainstream media or narrative without investigating deeper into a situation. We behave like sheep, just following the furry backside in front of us. Right off the cliff.
Why is that? The answer to that question is beyond the scope of this article, yet it is relevant. I would say it is partially due to deficiencies in education, parenting, and also through the conscious, and unconscious, agenda of the culture. If we are treated like children, typically, from a psychological perspective, we will tend to act like children. Children are lower in the power spectrum, and in a class of their own, and the parents are higher, in a class of their own.
This reflects the infantilization of society. In the context of this article, the parents are represented by government authority, the children are the rest of us. We wait for the word from the parent before we make decisions, we wait for the reassurance from the parent before we take action, and anything that opposes the parent is interpreted as the enemy, the danger, and we lash out against it. Not all of us are like this, of course—and you know who I am talking about.
But just like real children, we do not expect our parents to do themselves the very thing that we are told not to do (there are exceptions with real children, but remember, we aren’t supposed to be like children anymore). The people in our communities that seem to be acting more like children and idolizing their parents (the government) will have a difficult time at first realizing that their parents are not doing as they tell us to do, but once they do realize it, things won’t go well.
Psychologically speaking this is all a power play — absolute power, corrupts absolutely.
It is human nature to exploit power, that is why in recent years (the past 200 or so?) people have made an effort to declare a “no no” to establishing totalitarian regimes. The world has sort of learned (the hard way) that totalitarianism is a bad thing. But some people keep on trying—as we are seeing now, and many people keep letting it happen.
Those in power have a tendency to do what they can to claim their position of power, and often as a result, they behave in odd ways—like publicly claiming “look at me, I’m in a special class, the rules I just made don’t apply to me, only to you.”
We see this clearly from the results of the famous Stanford Prison Experiment where hungry (for cash) University students played either prisoners or prison guards at a simulated prison ward tucked away in a Stanford University basement.
The “guards” transcended above the prisoners and, needless to say, became quite corrupt and followed a different set of “rules” or standards.
We also see, through the study of the Stockholm Syndrome, that the perceived sheep, or children, or prisoners, create a rather odd protective bond with their captors. We see a similar behavior in cults between the members and the leader of the cult where he or she can do no wrong and is always perceived as the one who will save the rest—will take care of them and never hurt them.
In these situations, there is very little critical thinking and the fear the subject feels can be temporarily assuaged by the power of the leader, i.e., the parent. If history is any example, humans seem to be exceptionally prone to falling into these traps. That’s why there has been such success in these totalitarian cultures established in Nazi Germany, Lenin and Stalin’s Russia, and Mao’s China.
As I said previously, one of the tell-tale signs of this dynamic forming in our community is when these leaders begin to separate themselves from their followers.
First noticed, of course, is wielding power through demands, unconstitutional laws and draconian, pointless, rules — these are demands they personally do not have to yield to. Obviously, we are clearly seeing this with our own local, and global, politicians. Just do a Google Search: “politicians who don’t follow the rules” and you’ll get quite a few hits — leaders who have run off to remote islands with their girlfriends during lockdowns — some who have gathered with families over the recent holidays — one in particular (in Canada) who publicly, and unashamedly, announced that government officials were exempt from the rules that the general population had to succumb to.
There are dozens of hits, not only in Canada but in the US and elsewhere in the world. There have also been numerous videos and still photos of politicians and “people of import” smiling for the camera as they allegedly received their Covid-19 vaccine — where it is clearly seen the vaccination was faked — syringes with caps still on, already “fired” with plungers down, or no plunger even pressed, some with no needles attached — what a blatant expression of “we don’t have to play with the rest of you, we are special.”
It certainly seems like an unconscious (conscious?) expression of superiority seeing it was so obvious the injection of the actual vaccine was faked. Why not just inject saline if you are trying to keep a secret? It seems a clear thumbing of the nose.
When Marie Antoinette arrogantly exclaimed “let them eat cake” when confronted with the suffering of her oppressed subjects she lost her head for it.
We, on this side of the fence, can hope that eventually this ruse will be exposed and the previously loyal children under the oppression of the tyrannical parents of government will turn on them in defiance and demand their heads—hopefully only metaphorically and through due process of the law.
Todd Hayen is a registered psychotherapist practicing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He holds a PhD in depth psychotherapy and an MA in Consciousness Studies. He specializes in Jungian, archetypal, psychology.
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