Defence Mechanisms against Dictators
Since people under the Islamic and totalitarian regimes are kept unaware of their right, complicated set of mechanisms emerge against their own collaboration or passive attitudes because the ruling system cannot be directly challenged. Defence mechanisms, mostly unknown, characterise their unconscious refute of the ruling system.
Defence mechanisms are psychologically distinguished from passivity or inaction despite likely similar results. In passivity, an absolute submissive attitude permits the aggressor to curb the victims forever, whereas defence mechanisms are however hidden reactions to aggression. The failure of these mechanisms may contribute to personality disorders because every normal individual reacts against the aggressor.
Analyses are needed to describe the mechanisms with no risk of generalisation and confusion. Muslim societies are full of confusion between both Islamic and secular values, especially the youth, in terms of personal identity and compatibility. Therefore such mechanisms emerge as solutions instead of total submission to Islam.
The source of the confusion among the Muslims is in fact Islam which opposes the very desires of ego. Islam has historically inflicted its credo upon people in order to force them as docile subjects. This is the contradiction between Islamic values from one side and the individual desires of ego plus the secular values of superego as aware choices.
Total submission to Islam proves a psychological source of anxiety of most people born in an Islamic society, a deep problem which has never been objectively discussed in the course of history because it is a taboo. With the evolution of today’s rationality among the new generations of Islamised societies, this problem finds more attention in Muslim societies. Especially due to the development of social network like Facebook and flux of ideas thanks to cyber-communication, the contradiction becomes uncontrollable for the local authorities of the Islamic world. A choice between secular and religious practices now confuses Muslims in term of creating their own social norms and cultural expectations.
In a society like Iran, thanks to the criminal ruling Islam, rejects the cult of ruling Islam, the imposed norms of religiosity are partly consciously rejected — some unconsciously remain. The mixture of religiosity and secularism under the Shah, before the 1979 revolution, rapidly turns into the conscious reject of Islam. This detrimental process encourages the youth to understand their original non-Islamic identity and urge for individual freedom. In this light, defence mechanisms play a dominant role on a daily basis and can find new forms, a way to avoid total submission to Islam, as in many other Islamised societies.
From one side, the ruling Islamic regime forces people to obey Islam as docile populace, from the other side, people indirectly resist (I am not here talking about those who practically resist like taking in the streets), what results into conflicting requirements of highly complex and interpersonal relations. A large number of defence mechanisms appear to some extent protect relatively “passive” struggles against the Islamic regime, but at the price of a certain degree of denial or distortion of reality and concrete results – a case which is tactically used by the Islamic regime itself as a deviation-manoeuvre to buy time for its survival under any colour. Needless to mention, it is up to the opposition to help this category of people to know more about their defence mechanisms and how improve them. No defence mechanism means any fear and anxiety but a complete passivity or total submission to Islam. Repressed fear and anxiety find a way into unconsciousness from where may appear in the consciousness under other contents or less passive forms, forms which favour survival of tyrannical regimes, but do not submit. Here are the two known forms of defence mechanisms:
1 – Repression
The mechanism of repression was first proposed by Sigmund Freud and, for some time, occupied a special place in psychoanalytic theorising, perhaps because it involves the most direct approach to avoiding the experience of anxiety. As a result of repression, the person is not aware of his own anxiety-producing impulses or does not remember deeply emotional and traumatic past events. Unaware of such impulses, a person who has suffered a mortifying personal failure in a rational way of thinking, through repression, becomes unable to recall the source of failure.
Repression is not deliberate; it is psychologically more complicated, somehow occurs automatically as a reaction in certain situations of conflict, serving as a defence of the ego hiding the source of anxiety. Most Muslims escape from painful reality of their cult because it creates an anxiety and they do not want or cannot rationally confront it. Therefore the painful reality and irrationality of Islam automatically represses into their unconsciousness. The worse is when elements of such repressed experiences emerge dangerously targeting real selves or other members of society, what causes neurotic and brutal adepts of the regime like those average and mostly non-practising Muslims voluntarily working for the security organisations.
Repression is assumed to be more than forgetting. In support of this view, repression seems to be so deeply intensive that psychotherapy, like hypnoses or treatment by drugs may be required to recover the forgotten sources. Furthermore, the repression may also extend to neutral events that are associated with the traumatic event. In cases of amnesia, for example, a person suffering an emotional crisis may forget not only the conflict but also everything that reminds him of it, including his own name and identity. And when the amnesia attack begins to wear off, the memories that return first are those most remote from the precipitating emotional crisis. It is for all these reasons that repression has been termed motivated forgetting. Collective repression of Iranians due to the extreme atrocities of the early Muslim invaders seems to repress painful traumatism in their collective unconsciousness, so deep that Iranians even forget their original names by choosing the imposed and humiliated Islamic / Arabic name like “Gholam…” or slave of… (Shiite Imam). In terms of great psychoanalyst Gustav Jung, repression describes the painful archetypes that today under the Islamic regime have found an access in our collective consciousness and this is our task to diagnose it.
If repression were a simple matter of blotting out the conflict and all its attendant anxieties, it would of course be the ideal defensive reaction. However this blotting out does not seem to happen effectively when an oppressive regime is the main profiteer. The relief from anxiety bought by repression is paid for in other ways, for example, in reaction formation.
2 – Reaction formation
Repression formation can be described as an unconsciously care for someone, something or idea : for example, a young woman cares for her old husband whereas unconsciously wishes his death so that she can remarry a young man – probable for this reason, the Prophet Muhammad banned his young wives to remarry after his death.
In a society where a totalitarian regime or belief system rules, it might partly characterise the active collaboration of the oppressed people.
This psychoanalytic mechanism of anxiety-provoking impulses is often accompanied by a counteracting tendency that is exactly opposed to the repressive, relatively passive, mechanism. For example, a victim of Islam and its regime may have become a fanatical Muslim and adept of the regime in this twisted mechanism. The victim may repress his own impulses and ended by denouncing the very vice of the regime while unknowingly siding with the regime. In similar manner, the manifestation of concern for such a formation mechanism may mask (repressed) hostility toward the regime – a similar behaviour of Stockholm Syndrome which bizarrely characterised by love of hostage (the conquered) for his captor (the Muslim invader). This must psychologically be a reason of expansion of Islam through firstly extreme brutalities of Muslims towards the conquered nations, then new Muslims of these conquered nations towards their own non-Muslims fellow people.
Once we unveil this process of fifth colon-formation, Islam will get bogged down deeper in its illegitimate origin. So the extreme regard that many Muslims have towards Islam may really find its originally concealed disdain; since bravado may mean hidden fear. The point is that most people do not know the reason of these regard. In revolutionary circumstances, with help of secular opposition, the reaction formation can become a freedom-mechanism or the calm before the storm. In other words, the regard changes into the disdain.
Reaction formation can prevent the individual from behaving a way that would most basically create anxiety as frequently can prevent him from behaving in an antisocial manner, as i.e., secular people in an Islamised society. On the other hand, reaction formation is also likely to have counterproductive consequences because of the irrationality of analytic character. For example, it can explain why our oppressed ancestors converted to Islam and then became themselves oppressors against their non-Muslim fellow people. We can also see the actual effects of that today through some victims of rape and torture in the prisons of the Islamic regime. Once repentant, they become collaborators and even rapists and torturers for the same regime!
Knowing only a little about the phenomenon of reaction formation makes all too easy to develop a thoroughly sceptical attitude toward people’s motives. If things can sometimes mean just the opposite of what they seem on the surface, how can one distinguish the real motivation in any given case? The answer is that reaction formation, like every defence mechanism, occurs only under fairly special circumstances, in the degree of obvious exaggeration of the behaviour.
Muslims need only some verses of the Koran or a few Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) to split into hostile groups and kill each other, if not the “infidels.” Since beneath the self righteous exterior in every human being there lies a murderous savage from the very past, Islam used this primitive instinct of aggression to expand with extreme brutality against conquered communities. For the murderers of Islam, paradise with 72 Virgins is the eternal rewards if they are themselves killed or martyrs for the sake of Islam. Most conquered communities of the early Muslim invaders are embedded from painful memories, what historically has feed anxiety and various forms of defence mechanisms. Assimilating such painful events with the crimes committed by the Islamic regime in Iran, it reminds us that such a religion has created enormously psychopathological symptoms of anxiety within the brutally conquered communities or Islamised communities “Umma”.
The principal evidence that such a process, as repression exists, rests upon a large body of clinical observation made in the course of psychotherapy. However, no genuine psychological research is permitted under an ideological or Islamic regime because such a research would recall the totalitarian system as the source of collective anxiety. An Islamic or totalitarian system would enforce its ideology in an attempt to define any individual attitude through it. Laboratory experiments are rare or twisted and abused by and under such systems. Political abuse of psychiatry is reported under all totalitarian systems. During the USSR, psychoanalysis and psychiatry were illegal or abused by the regime to re-educate its opponents for “Sluggish Schizophrenia, Anti-Soviet Political Behaviour…. “!
Many of items in this repertoire of defence mechanisms are by now familiar to us, the diffusion of psycho-analytic concepts in our everyday practice however is mostly unknown, but we cannot wishfully generalise about all. Mechanisms must be discussed by experts to shed light on the reasons of passive or little resistance of our people to one of the most barbaric and brutal regimes of history, the Islamic regime.