about redress, when it comes to the Family System, a reply to a friend:

8/25/11 Becoming Other to Forum, about redress:

What does redress mean?

Augustine's Confessions

Take some time and read some of this.  Don't worry about the commentary, as Augustine himself is quite readable.  Just start with his actual text.  Its a spiritual autobiography, the first such ever written.  Its the basis of Western interiority.

Even better, get to a library and get a newer translation.  As Augustine was writing in Latin, the English translations are going to be accurate.  A newer one will still be easier to read.  Look at his scripture excerpts too, as his way of using scripture is still one of the major modes of interpretation.

Augustine is the primary proponent of the doctrine known as Original Sin.  Everything which alienates one from the world is seen as the result of one’s own short comings, one’s own failure to recognize God.

To this very day, religion promotes this idea, and the Recovery Movement and Psycho Therapy also operate by propagating their own version of it.

Original Sin is the basis of much pedagogy.  But there are also other types of counter pedagogies, or anti-pedagogies.  Most notable is Rousseau’s.

Here in her second book, For Your Own Good, Alice Miller talks about pedagogy, including the so called permissive or liberal pedagogies.



My antipedagogic position is not directed against a specific type of pedagogical ideology but against all pedagogical ideology per se, even if it is of an anti-authoritarian nature. This attitude is based on insights that I shall describe shortly. For now, I should simply like to point out that my position has nothing in common with a Rousseauistic optimism about human "nature."
First of all, I do not see a child as growing up in some abstract "state of nature" but in the concrete surroundings of care givers whose unconscious exerts a substantial influence on the child's development.
Second, Rousseau's pedagogy is profoundly manipulative. This does not always seem to be recognized by educators, but it has been convincingly demonstrated and documented by Braunmühl. One of his numerous examples is the following passage from Emile (Book II):

“Take an opposite route with your pupil; always let him think he is the master, but always be it yourself. There is no more perfect form of subjection than the one that preserves the appearance of freedom; thus does the will itself become captive. The poor child, who knows nothing, can do nothing, and has no experience--is he not at your mercy? Are you not in control of everything in his environment that relates to him? Can you not control his impressions as you please? His tasks, his games, his pleasure, his troubles--is all this not in your hands without his knowing it? Doubtlessly, he may do as he wishes, but he may wish only what you want him to; he may not take a single step that you have not anticipated, he may not open his mouth without your knowing what he is going to say.”

I am convinced of the harmful effects of training for the following reason: all advice that pertains to raising children betrays more or less clearly the numerous, variously clothed needs of the adult . Fulfillment of these needs not only discourages the child's development but actually prevents it. This also hold true when the adult is honestly convinced of acting in the child's best interests.

Among the adult's true motives we find:
The unconscious need to pass on to others the humiliation one has undergone oneself
The need to find an outlet for repressed affect
The need to possess and have at one's disposal a vital object to manipulate
Self-defense: i.e., the need to idealize one's childhood and one's parents by dogmatically applying the parents' pedagogical principles to one's own children

Fear of freedom
Fear of the reappearance of what one has repressed, which one re-encounters in one's child and must try to stamp out, having killed it in oneself earlier
Revenge for the pain one has suffered

Since at least one of the points enumerated here is present in everyone's upbringing, the child-rearing process is at best suitable for making "good" pedagogues out of its objects. However, it will never be able to help its charges to remain vital. When children are trained, they learn how to train others in turn. Children who are lectured to, learn how to lecture; if they are admonished, they learn how to admonish; if scolded, they learn how to scold; if ridiculed, they learn how to ridicule; if humiliated, they learn how to humiliate; if their psyche is killed, they will learn how to kill--the only question is who will be killed: oneself, others, or both.

All this does not mean that children should be raised without any restraints. Crucial for healthy development is the respect of their care givers, tolerance for their feelings, awareness of their needs and grievances, and authenticity on the part of their parents, whose own freedom--and not pedagogical considerations--sets natural limits for children.
It is this last point that causes great difficulty for parents and pedagogues, for the following reasons:
If parents have had to learn very early in life to ignore their feelings, not to take them seriously, to scorn or ridicule them, then they will lack the sensitivity required to deal successfully with their children. As a result, they will try to substitute pedagogical principles as prostheses. Thus, under certain circumstances they may be reluctant to show tenderness for fear of spoiling the child, or, in other cases, they will hide their hurt feelings behind the Fourth Commandment.
Parents who never learned as children to be aware of their own needs or to defend their own interests because this right was never granted them will be uncertain in this regard for the rest of their life and consequently will become dependent on firm pedagogical rules. This uncertainty, regardless of whether it appears in sadistic or masochistic guise, leads to great insecurity in the child in spite of these rules. An example of this: a father who was trained to be obedient at a very early age may on occasion take cruel and violent measures to force his child to be obedient in order to satisfy his own need to be respected for the first time in his life. But this behavior does not exclude intervening periods of masochistic behavior when the same father will put up with anything the child does, because he never learned to define the limits of his tolerance. Thus, his guilt feelings over the preceding unjust punishment will suddenly lead him to be unusually permissive, thereby awakening anxiety in the child, who cannot tolerate uncertainty about the father's true face. The child's increasingly aggressive behavior will finally provoke the father into losing his temper. In the end, the child then takes on the role of the sadistic opponent in place of the grandparents, but with the difference that the father can now gain the upper hand. Such situations, in which the child "goes too far," prove to the pedagogue that disciplining and punishment are necessary.
Since a child is often used as a substitute for one's own parents, he or she can become the object of an endless number of contradictory wishes and expectations that cannot possibly be fulfilled. In extreme cases, psychosis, drug addiction, or suicide may be the only solution. But often the child's feeling of helplessness leads to increasingly aggressive behavior, which in turn convinces parents and educators of the need for strict countermeasures.
A similar situation arises when it is drilled into children, as it was in the anti-authoritarian upbringing of the sixties,* to adopt certain ways of behavior that their parents wished had once been allowed them and that they therefore consider to be universally desirable. In the process, the child's real needs can be totally overlooked. In one case I know, for example, a child who was feeling sad was encouraged to shatter a glass when what she most wanted to do was to climb up onto her mother's lap. If children go on feeling misunderstood and manipulated like this, they will become genuinely confused and justifiably aggressive.
*This was a recent direction taken in German child-rearing methods, loosely based on permissive child-rearing in the United States.


Lots and lots of people denounce the so called Poisonous Pedagogy.  What such persons are usually doing is offering Liberal Pedagogy in its place.  Doing so is seen as a hallmark of education and social class.  What Schwere Barbara is doing on her forum is no different from what was done in the times of her grandparents, the times of Bertha and Barbara, when women’s roles for the elevated classes were still dictated by Victorian ideas.  She is trying to legitimate a maternal authority based on social class and education, and doing so at the expense of the child.


Kinder, Kuche, Kirsh was how women established social legitimacy.  Schwere Barbara continues to do this by crushing the child in the same way that the Family System tried to.


Alice Miller stands alone in also denouncing the Liberal Pedagogies.  She denounces all pedagogy, as they always promote the parental role and amount to using the child as an object by the parent.

Liberal Pedagogies have a short shelf life, as people see thru them.  They see that they are just reworkings of the older pedagogies.  So Liberal Pedagogies are constantly being re-written.  In my day it was Dr. Benjamin Spock.  For this reason I have read him.  But today they revolve around concepts like attachment, nurturing, empathy, and holistic parenting.



What these always amount to is a claim of superiority, rooted in using the child.

So what then, in light of this dire state of pronatalist exploitation, is redress?

Redress means standing up for yourself.  You can only love your inner child if you in fact are an adult and can stand up for yourself.  If you can stand up for yourself you can refuse Therapy, the Recovery Movement, Religion, Addictive Substances, and those behaviors associated with Clinical Mental Illness.  If you are not yet able to refuse these things and any other denial systems, then you are still allowing yourself to be violated, so then you are not able to stand up for yourself and not yet able to love your inner child or anyone else.

Redress means that you honor your life affirming instincts of aggression and desire.  When you do this your tolerance for Therapy, the Recovery Movement, and Religion will be zero.

Instead you will become a comrade in the war against these things and the pedagogy which underlies them.  There is no more Recovery or Enlightenment Seeking, instead its a struggle with comrades for Victory over the Fascism of the Family System.

Here is a list put forth by a prominent law firm as the long term adult symptoms of childhood sexual abuse:   

Long-Term Effects of Abuse

Among the life changing, long-term effects of abuse reported by adult
survivors of sexual abuse, are both the logical as well as the
unexpectedly dramatic negative additions to a victim's personality and
physical makeup. These effects include:

Drug and alcohol abuse
Failed personal and romantic relationships
Loss of religious faith, in cases of clergy abuse
Disinterest in family relationships
Disintegration of a family
Poor self-esteem
Feelings of deep depression
Difficulties with casual social relationships
Feelings of isolation and despair
Loss of trust in authority figures and institutions who don't report
child molestation
Despair in reaction to persecuting attitudes of police
Inappropriate sexual behavior
Poor work habits
Unemployment or underemployment


These are going to be the long term symptoms of almost any type of abuse by the Family System.  They are the symptoms of one who has been used.  They are also the very items used by abusive parents to further denigrate their adult children.  Our entire society uses these things to denigrate.

There is a reason for this.  No matter how it is sugar coated, the Family System in its present form exists to propagate capitalism.  Failure in the face of the Self-Reliance Ethic is our version of Original Sin.  So pedagogies exist to crush aggression and desire, and to instill conformity with this ethic.  Not surprisingly though, the very skills needed to function well in this ever changing world are the ones the Family System crushes.  The Family System means death instead of life.

So redress means learning to fight back.  It means learning to defend oneself, and others, against all manner of such accusations from any source.

Here Daniel Mackler does a very good job of explaining how difficult it is to confront elderly senile - suicidal parents.  He explains the difficulties and the risks.  People who have used a child do not age well:



While Mackler does a great job of explaining how difficult the situation is, he is totally wrong in the remedy he is advocating.  He advocates Live and Let Live, Bourgeoisie Ethics.  In effect he is advocating Enlightenment Seeking, another form of dissociation.

Wars are not won by Seeking Enlightenment, they are won thru Strategic Engagements with the enemy.  So redress also means rejecting Mackler’s remedies.

It is crucial to an abused child's recovery that she be told what
happened was neither her fault nor a figment of her imagination,
Vachss explained to them. The clearest and strongest way the message
can be communicated, he said, is by telling her that society has
punished the person responsible—when it has. "If you're prepared to
change your position and see this for what it is, let's work together
to see that [Tynan] is indicted," Vachss challenged.
Vachss, Fresh Air Fund


Redress means sending a loud and clear message which can be heard and felt around the world,


It makes no difference if your brain cells have become pickled, if you are in a nursing home and hooked up to a respirator, or if you bones have to be exhumed from the cemetery, YOU WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

If there is animosity between you and a child, then that is proof enough, YOU WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

There is no statute of limitations on Murder or Crimes Against Humanity, and there is no statute of limitations here either.

You think the State is able to protect you?  You are wrong.  YOU WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

When it is in the present and you are using a child, there will be intervention.  This is what redress means.

Becoming Other

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