To: <>

From: "Andrew Phelps" <>

Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 00:10:20 -0700

Subject: Re: [s-acc] banging [1]



You wrote:

Do you think that banging out your frustration will get you closer or further from your goal(s)?

I'm not advocating banging. In conventional psychology it relates to how the rat engages the expectation put upon her/him. In critical psychology, other elements of the situation need to be incorporated, but in any case such behavior has to be framed in relation to social responsibility.

I love Ed K., to what end did challenging the vehicle code serve?

I know some of what his wife thinks; I've not had contact with him directly. He's subscribed to this list, but I do not know if he has web access currently.

A more important question, do you think the decision to "bang on the system" should be made when we're filled with frustration and anger?

I do not. "Banging" refers to a form of expression that is not directly aggressive. I do not recommend "compliance" as a pattern of behavior, but neither do I suggest "fighting back" is generally to the good. In other words, there are appropriate social forms for resistance, but returning the violence isn't one, IMHO

"First wave" behavior gives a different status to "banging." The Social Accountability Work Group was put together on an advocacy for respect and against "rage behavior." "Banging" is not full-fledged rage behavior, but neither is it "safe." My point in posting is that - as our work has advanced - our negative framing of "rage behavior" is still sound, but the engagement with critical psychology may help us to work out the (possibly) socially accountable aspect of yelps and bangs. [Which includes attitudes related to compassion and forgiveness.]

For context, I've been living off the grid outside the bounds of anything resembling "the system" for the past year. Looking at "the news" in the states from unplugged eyes, trying to think of ways to "change the system" not only seems futile but self-defeating.

Indeed. But that kind of existential experience exceeds the scope of our "Work Group." Today the "first wave" of our movement, which has forms for expressing that kind of frustration, is planning May 5,6 for "occupy psychiatry" events in Philadelphia. And to their credit, they have worked out collaboration with Div. 32 of the American Psychological Ass'n (humanist psychology). We'd like to understand better, I'd say, how the problematic of taking social responsibility for banging is taken up in that interesting collaboration.

You wrote:

if/when you decide to take action - perhaps you should ask yourself if it's fulfilling a purpose towards some attainable goal, or if it is serving to make you feel better about a situation over which you have no control.

I believe that nurturing the "second wave" of the client/survivor struggle is possible and that that fits within the historical character of "human rights" struggles. The general view advocated here of "grassroots advocacy" is intended to operate within that parametry. We do have a problem now of how to implement our advocacy. For that, "banging" is not the answer. I do plan to speak further on the matter. [note added later: There is an “urgency banging” dynamic HERE but the problematic of social responsibility still obtains.]

Perhaps, Uts, you can (or do) connect with a process or project that is working your concerns more directly.


ABO "Andrew Behavior Object"