Peace to the Sky
Sky to the Earth
Earth beneath the Sky
Strength in Everyone.
~ from Morrigu’s Prophecy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Free Physics Resource - Richard Feynman Lectures

From the Desk of Cyrellys: I just ran across a free resource courtesy of Microsoft Research's Project Tuva. It is a series of Richard Feynman Lectures. For those of you who don't know who this guy is, he is not only one of physics greatest minds but also renowned for being able to put physics ideas in terms which anyone can understand. His lectures are said to be very interesting and entertaining not just educational. You will need Microsoft Silverlight to see the videos. Here is the link to them: Feynman Lectures It is the featured video series at this time. Anyone interested in exploring the Contact Paradigm, exotic technologies, and associated conspiracy theory could use a familiarity with Feynman's work.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sociological Perspective in Exopolitical Mediation

Sociological Perspective in Exopolitical Mediation
By Cyrellys Geibhendach
Copy and Distribute Freely

The following article operates within an understanding that Contact, and an infrastructure to contain the knowledge of it, is a fact of our reality even while not supported yet by openly available empirical evidence.

The social perspective comprises the foundation of the sociological approach to understanding the human condition. It incorporates two ways of viewing people: “seeing the general in the particular” and “seeing the strange in the familiar.” It also seeks to discern social contexts, marginalities, crisis points, benefits, and applications. The field of sociology is the systematic study of human society from these distinctive points of view.

The conditions involving open humanity and the residents of the contact paradigm are subject to the same foundational principles of social ecology as other branches of human society. This condition is comprised of contexts, marginalities, crisis points, detriments and benefits, and lives that struggle with the reality that the world they live in is uninformed.

The general categories to which we belong in life shape our particular life experiences. It is through the power of society that these experiences influence our actions, thoughts, and feelings. These general categories or patterns offer advantages or opportunities to us based on factors such as social class, age, and gender. In exopolitical mediation, we add to this by observing that knowledge itself can define and shape lives and thereby actions, thoughts, and feelings. Knowledge patterns or degrees of understanding also offers advantages and opportunities, but the secrecy more often limits access to the commonly valued aspects of human needs; things which we associate as agents of socialization, such as stable family, traditional schooling, credentials, and clear access to peer groups across social spectrums.

The sociological perspective in most social circumstances “sees the strange in the familiar” because human behavior is largely “a matter of what people decide to do in favor of the idea that society shapes our thoughts.” What others think of us, matter to us. Deciding or choosing. which in American society is a hallmark of individuality, can then be influenced by the various opinions of others around us. Our notion of individuality is therefore commiserate to our relationships rather than other functions such as logic or physical well being. One peculiar example of this is the intense secrecy about Contact and the activities associated among the inhabitants of the paradigm. The control structure has many decades of experience in defying conventional human behavior to the detriment of those in-the-know. Their definition of individuality is based on their relationship to experience and needs based on unconventional knowledge unavailable to broader society. This removes much of broader society’s ability to influence. Individuality in this context is an activity of or self-contained state (autonomy) of a societal group operating outside of social norms and expectations.

Emile Durkheim explored the context of individuality through examination of profound “personal choice” exhibited in the social forces at work in the “isolated act of self-destruction.” Durkheim discovered that categories of people experienced differences associated to social integration that influenced suicide rates. He found that people with strong social ties had low suicide rates and more individualistic people had high suicide rates. His conclusion was that regardless of the “advantages of autonomy, it contributed to social isolation and a higher suicide rate.” The degree of secrecy involved in the context of the contact paradigm seemingly prevents in some cases the buffering effect that strong social ties can provide. The autonomy of the compartmentalized groups paired with the requirements of national security and secrecy causes these individuals to experience traumatic differences and an absence of perceived social integration within broader social systems. Unsavory control behavior within the paradigm is observed as not the only cause of death. Suicides, which we know by reports occur, may be linkable to the limited or absent social integration and may be as prevalent as any security measures to contain the knowledge.

Sociological perspectives run from individual and provincial experiences up through national and then beyond to global perspectives. There is potentially no real limit to what points of view could be taken. The global perspective is an important means of understanding the larger world and our society’s place in it whether that society is on the individual scale, provincial scale, national scale or higher. This logical extension of perspectives is based on the basic premise that our place in society profoundly affects our life experiences. The individual perspective provides us with the most personal examination of the paradigm while the compartmentalized groups could be more closely likened to a provincial perspective due to its limited contact with open society except where efforts have been specifically made to take a broader one. The interlinking and interaction with experiential groups and those of high social status residing in the contact paradigm allows us to come engage in a unique exploration of the idea of socialization which inevitably involves inconsistencies from different sources. Experts describe socialization “as not a simple learning process but a complex balancing act in which we weigh all the ideas we encounter, form our own distinctive personalities, and create new world views.”

Societies of the world are increasingly interconnected by electronic technology and the conscious awareness that the technology allows. The transmitting of pictures, sounds, and written documents brings each of the sociological perspectives to life within seconds and in ways that were largely unavailable in the past. The consequence of this is that a secrecy paradigm becomes less sustainable as many people all around the world now share “many tastes in things like music, clothing, food…,” and a thirst for knowledge and understanding in our relationships. Even as we share and project our way of life into the world, the larger world has an impact on us, and we are just as quick to adopt or experiment with many of the things we find in it. The money-siphon we know as the deep black infrastructure created to manage Contact and all the peripheral aspects of its consequences and human responses has become a sprawling structure that grew up like a break-away civilization virtually no one noticed. It tickles the curiosity and imagination of individuals and groups when they encounter portions of it. It causes us to think in terms beyond nationality and provincial perspectives. Stories wriggle their way into surface society and take on our understanding of life; challenging both accepted truths and entrenched mythologies. This sharing, experiencing, utilizing and experimenting “greatly enhances the cultural diversity of this country.” Exploring this new way of thinking about humankind and our world is a good way to learn about ourselves.

This increasingly interconnected world with its secrets emerging from the wood-work, through the interchange of fear-based secrecy, principle based searches for truth, and the interplay of individuals and groups opens an opportunity to “understand ourselves only to the extent that we comprehend others.” The sociological perspective gives us tools with which to explore our world in this new context and gain this comprehension.


Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg2

Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg3

Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg 3

Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg 4

Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg 4

Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg 5

Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg 137

Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg 8

Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg 8

Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg 8

Quote from: Sociology, Seventh Edition by John J. Macionis; Prentice Hall 1999; pg 9

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Larry Bryant seeking records prohibiting all GSC personnel from publically discussing UFO-ET encounters

Larry Bryant, well known journalist, researcher, and member of Compass Morainn in the affairs of exopolitical facilitation is hard at work seeking records prohibiting all GSC personnel from publicly discussing UFO-E.T. encounters.  These records are very important to the public understanding of the restrictions under which our military first responders to extraterrestrial contact are forced to function. 
It also allows researchers, mediators, communication facilitators, and disclosure activists to understand how the secrecy works and what means of control are currently in operation. 
This is work that builds the fundamental image of our first responders not only as bounded-beings, but as individuals beyond skin and space.  It evolves our understanding of the current infrastructure; what drives its actions, what motivates it.  Aristotle once said, "the same causes and the same means that produce any excellence or virtue can also destroy it, and this is true of every art....the same holds true of the virtues:  in our transactions with other men it is by action that some become just and others unjust, and it is by acting in the face of danger and by developing the habit of feeling fear or confidence that some become brave men and others cowards...In a word, characteristics develop from corresponding activities.  For that reason, we must see to it that our activities are of a certain kind, since any variations in them will be reflected in our characteristics."  As a philosopher he said that our habits are no small matter; that it makes not only a considerable difference but all the difference. 
In order to grapple with these boundaries, we must first understand them.  The majority of the public trusts to the extent that we take them for granted.  Even many of the insiders live with them rather than challenge them.  This has produced a system which rules humanity rather than humanity ruling the system.  Research, illumination, and understanding returns control of our systems to those who would benefit or be managed by them.  It allows us to look at the true liabilities by which we suffer.  What are the results for our lives together?  What is invited and what is denied?  Kenneth Gergen, author of Relational Being - Beyond Self and Community, noted that there are enormous costs involved in our complacency over bounded-being and that this bounding emerges as a threat to the world.
to ufohastings
bcc cyrellys
dateMon, Jun 13, 2011 at 10:34 PM
subjectThe USAF's Broken FOIA Record
hide details 10:34 PM (11 hours ago)

== The USAF's Broken FOIA Record ("No records, no records, no records, no ...") ==

[LWB Note (as posted in the comments section of my blog's Item 2.96):  The "authorities" here once again illustrate the public's need for emergence of whistleblowers bold enough to provide us with solid evidence that hard-core UFOtruth remains hostage of forces inimical to the public interest.] -

TO:  Larry W. Bryant

414 Curtiss Rd. Bldg 4714, Ste 208
Barksdale AFB, LA  71110

DATE:  April 12, 2011

Dear Mr. Bryant,

This is in response to your 11 February 2010 [sic] Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request #2011-02498-F, for a photocopy of all GSC generated and GSC received records prohibiting all GSC personnel from publicly discussing their own UFO-E.T. encounters and the UFO-E.T.-related reports of others, pertaining to Minot Air Force Base, Malmstrom Air Force Base, and F. E. Warren Air Force Base.

Upon your request, AFGSC FOIA office conducted a search to include Minot Air Force Base, Malmstrom Air Force Base, F. E. Warren Air Force Base, and Air Force Global Strike Command.  An appropriately detailed search of the relevant system of records was unable to locate any responsive records for your FOIA request.

Should you decide that an appeal of this decision is necessary, you must write to the Secretary of the Air Force at the address below in sufficient time so that the appeal reaches us no later than 60 calendar days after the date of this letter.  Include in the appeal your reasons for requesting reconsideration, and attach a copy of this letter.  Mail to:  Secretary of the Air Force; Thru:  HQ AFGSC/A60K (FOIA); 414 Curtiss Rd., Bldg. 4717, Ste 208; Barksdale AFB, 71110; Or e-mail to: .

Department of Defense Regulations 5400.7 indicates fees be assessed for processing FOIA requests; however, there were no chargeable fees assessed for this request.


Director of Communications [Headquarters, Air Force Global Strike Command]

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Three followers of wisdom:  imagination, purpose, and endeavor. -- Irish Triad

FiOs ~ "Vision, Memory, Dream" Berla Feini (old Irish), "Knowledge" Modern Irish.

In singing, in exploring our connection to our Spirit and the Creative Source, then turning to examine our Reality, what we thought was only Imagination or only a Dream is revealed to be the most powerful Truth of all...

Alan Sharland on bullying and conflict-coaching

Alan Sharland offered some advice to a fellow colleague workplace ADR Consultant/Coach. He recommened conflict-coaching as a method of dealing with the aggressive behavior we describe as bullying. Alan said, "Tamara, my view is that often the focus is on the person considered to be doing the bullying rather than support the person who feels bullied in finding different ways of supporting themselves in the situation. When the focus is on 'proving' there is bullying taking place this proves very difficult as it is not always clear what 'bullying' means. What is a bully? Meanwhile the person who feels bullied is left having to continue in their situation without support for them (an ongoing investigation into a boss/colleague for bullying is not the most comforting or effective form of support someone can have). This is one of the many reasons that conflict coaching has emerged. At CAOS we provide workplace conflict coaching as a confidential 1-to-1 support for both those considered to be 'bullies' and those who feel they are being bullied. I don't use the terms directly of 'bully' and 'victim' as often this is subjective, which is why it is very difficult to 'prove' it has taken place and thus the existence of the concept perpetuates, meaning the actual experiences of the person who feels bullied go unchanged and they go unsupported." Alan Sharland works out of the UK on Mediation, Conflict Coaching, Conflict Management Training + Consultancy, mainly in universities.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Behavioral Modeling Text

The following is a book that was created for "the Human Effectiveness Division of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, with additional funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research" and so compiled by Greg L. Zacharias, Jean MacMillan, and Susan B. Van Hemel, Editors, Committee on Organizational Modeling: From Individuals to Societies, National Research Council.

Book: Behavioral Modeling and Simulation: From Individuals to Societies
Free PDF:

It is useful for mediators and facilitators to have an understanding of perceptional methodologies in common use by participants, particularly in highly structured social stratum such as the military. The editors point out that,

"the Air Force and the other military services are increasingly interested in using models of the behavior of humans, as individuals and in groups of various kinds and sizes to support the development of doctrine, strategies, and tactics for dealing with state and nonstate adversaries, in support of military planning and operations, acquisition programs, and as training and simulation tools. In this report, we are calling them individual, organizational, and societal (IOS) models."

These ideas about behavioral modeling represent the latest in institutional expertise and may be of use within the exopolitical mediation field. This book is submitted here for professional review.

News Flash - New Patriot Act has Senators Alarmed

News Flash for Exopolitical Mediators and Researchers:

This just in from our friends at Brasscheck,

The way the improved Patriot Act is being applied is new and disturbing.


There's no longer any pretence that it's
for investigation of terrorists. Now anyone
is fair game.

It's gotten so extreme that even Sentators
on the Intelligence Committee are alarmed.


- Brasscheck

P.S. Please share Brasscheck TV e-mails and
videos with friends and colleagues.

That's how we grow. Thanks.

Brasscheck TV
2380 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94115

Recommended Reading June 9 2011

Here's a list of readings worth checking out:

Martin Dominik andJohn C. Zarnecki
The detection of extra-terrestrial life and the consequences for science and society
Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A February 13, 2011 369 (1936) 499-507; doi:10.1098/rsta.2010.0236
View Text

Baruch S. Blumberg
Astrobiology, space and the future age of discovery
Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A February 13, 2011 369 (1936) 508-515; doi:10.1098/rsta.2010.0239
View Text

Malcolm Fridlund
Extra-terrestrial life in the European Space Agency’s Cosmic Vision plan and beyond
Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A February 13, 2011 369 (1936) 582-593; doi:10.1098/rsta.2010.0233
View Text

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Deviance study notes as relative to exopolitical discourse on the subject of social-conflict paradigm

Deviance study notes as relative to exopolitical discourse on the subject of social-conflict paradigm.

By Cyrellys Geibhendach
June 8, 2001
Permission granted to copy & distribute intact without change.

Collective notes and direct excerpts from the text Sociology, seventh edition by John J. Mcionis, combined with personal commentary on the subject of Deviance as relative to Exopolitical discourse.

The existing division between the public and the national security state infrastructure on Contact which I have referred to numerous times as a contact control structure has evolved from a simple matter of those who know nothing and those who know something into a social-conflict paradigm which muddies the water as to what is known and who knows what, as well as contributes to a hostile public environment in which communicators are placed at heightened risk for social injury and destructive outcomes in communcative efforts. These notes are an opportunity for both the public and insiders to consider how culture, natural behavioral tendencies, and previous behavioral choices has complicated an already difficult communication environment.

Deviance is the recognized violation of cultural norms. Norms guide virtually all human activities, so the concept of deviance covers a correspondingly broad spectrum. Not all deviance involves action or even choice. The simple existence of some categories of individuals can be troublesome to others.

The long-standing policies withholding a publicly perceived non-terrestrial interaction effort has given rise to a deviance behavior that resulted in creation of a sprawling community comprised of people from around the world who's cultural norms now include the concept of Contact or the possibility of Contact. The social-conflict paradigm involved is defined as a struggle over the power to define conformity and nonconformity, freedom of human choice, moral boundaries, how society defines social deviance, and who's definition of deviance will be the long-standing one. This conflict is specified as occuring between the public and the vaguely defined Contact Control Structure (CCS).

Most examples of nonconformity that come readily to mind are negative instances of rule breaking, but we also define especially righteous people, students who speak up too much in class, or people who are overly enthusiastic about new technologies as deviant, even if we accord them a measure of respect. What deviant actions or attitudes have in common is some element of difference that causes us to regard another person as an “outsider”.

There is dispute between factions of the aware community within the public, defined as ufology & exopolitics, and the insiders of the CCS as to who is defined as an "outsider", and as to who is an example of nonconformity.

Members of society try to influence each other’s behavior through various kinds of social control. Much of the time this process is informal. Deviance is much more than a matter of individual choice or personal failing. How a society defines deviance, whom individuals brand as deviant, and what people decide to do about nonconformity are all issues of social organization.

Surface society's attempts at influencing the behavior of those within the CCS through nominative social control methods has historically had severely destructive consequences prior to either side really gleaning understanding of each other or even of what each side is knowledgeable about or what each is capable of knowing.

Although we tend to view deviance in terms of the free choice or personal failings of individuals, all behavior – deviance or conformity – is shaped by society. Three social foundations of deviance are identified:

1. Deviance varies according to cultural norms. No thought or action is inherently deviant; it becomes deviant only in relation to particular norms.
2. People become deviant as others define them that way. Everyone violates social norms regularly, occasionally to the extent of breaking the law. Whether such activities are sufficient to define us as mentally ill or criminal depends on how others perceive, define, and respond to our behavior.
3. Both rule making and rule breaking involve social power. The law, claimed Karl Marx, amounts to little more than the means by which powerful people protect their interests. In short norms and how we apply them are linked to social inequality.

The structural-functional paradigm focuses on how deviance contributes to the operation society.

In his pioneering study of deviance, Emile Durkheim made the astonishing statement that there is nothing abnormal about deviance; in fact, it contributes to the operation of society in four ways:

1. Deviance affirms cultural values and norms. Living demands that we make moral choices. To prevent our culture from dissolving into chaos people must show preference for some attitudes and behaviors over others. But any conception of virtue rests upon an opposing notion of vice. And just as there can be no good without evil, there can be no justice without crime. Deviance in short, is indispensible to creating and sustaining morality.
2. Responding to deviance clarifies moral boundaries. By defining some individuals as deviant, people draw a social boundary between right and wrong.
3. Responding to deviance promotes social unity. People typically react to serous deviance with collective outrage. This Durkheim explained, reaffirms the moral ties that bind them.
4. Deviance encourages social change. Deviant people Durkheim claimed, push a society’s moral boundaries, pointing out alternatives to the status quo and encouraging change. Moreover he declared, today’s deviance can become tomorrow’s morality.

Durkheim wrote:

Imagine a society of saints, a perfect cloister of exemplary individuals. Crimes, properly so called, will there be unknown; but faults which appear [insignificant] to the layman will create there the same scandal that the ordinary offense does in ordinary consciousness…For the same reason, the perfect and upright man judges his smallest failings with a severity that the majority reserve for acts more truly in the nature of an offense. (1964)

Deviance then is not a matter of having a few “bad apples” around; it is a necessary condition of “good” social living. If deviance is universal, the kind of deviance people generate depends on the moral issues they seek to clarify. It answers questions about how much dissent to allow and what goals should be by celebrating some of their members while condemning others as deviant. Social scientist, Erikson discovered that even though the offenses change (over time), the proportion of deviant (people) remained steady over time. This stability, concludes Erikson, confirms Durkheim’s contention that deviants serve as ethical markers, outlining a society’s changing moral boundaries.

A failure on both sides of the proverbial fence (public & CCS) to understand how and why they have habitually made certain choices, results in further division and solidification of sentiments involving resentment and open hostility. This lack of mutual understanding withdraws freedom of choice in how to proceed for both groups. Inserting understanding allows introspection and the opportunity for reconcideration of potentially destructive future choices and behaviors.

Some deviance may be necessary for a society to function, but Robert Merton argues that excessive violations arise from particular social arrangements. Specifically the scope and character of deviance depends on how well a society provides the institutionalized means to achieve cultural goals.

Conformity, Merton begins, lies in pursuing conventional goals through approved means. Some people use unconventional means – deviance innovation – to achieve a culturally approved goal. According to Merton, the “strain” between our culture’s emphasis on [wealth and] limited opportunity, gives rise to unconventional behavior, illegal or destructive behavior, and street hustling. Minorities who find the doors to “legitimate” success [goals] all but closed, blaze their own trail to the top.

The inability to become successful by normative means may also lead to another type of deviance that Merton calls ritualism. Ritualists resolve the strain of limited success by abandoning cultural goals in favor of almost compulsive efforts to live “respectably”. In essence, they espouse the rules to the point that they lose sight of their larger goals. Low-level bureaucrats, for example, often succumb to ritualism as a way of gaining respectability.

A third response to the inability to succeed is retreatism – the rejection of both cultural goals and means, so that one, in effect, “drops out.” Retreatists include some alcoholics, and drug addicts, and some of the street people found in U.S. cities. The deviance of retreatists lies in unconventional living and, perhaps more seriously, in choosing to live that way.

The fourth response to failure is rebellion. Like retreatists, rebels reject both the cultural definition of success and the normative means of achieving it. Rebels however, go one step further by advocating radical alternatives to the existing social order.

The very existence of the street hustling, ufology & exopolitics community denotes a human choice toward placing greater value on Truth and movement toward integration of Earth within a greater community than the prior preferences of human safety and security still promoted by the leadership infrastructure. It should be noted that the amount of pressure from this human social faction routinely elicits the response defined above as retreatism, due to malicious misunderstanding and ignorance with regards to the umbrella power structure and its ability to control information and individuals. Actions have very real social consequences and a conflict exists when one or both groups routinely exceed percieved moral behavioral boundaries which may differ between groups.

The central contribution of symbolic-interaction analysis is labeling theory, the assertion that deviance and conformity result, not only from what people do, but from how others respond to those actions. Labeling theory stresses the relativity of deviance, arguing that all reality is socially constructed so that the same behavior may be defined in any number of ways. Howard S. Becker claims that deviance is therefore nothing more than “behavior that people so label”. Given that “reality” is relative to time and place, it is no surprise that one society’s conventions may be another’s deviance.

The response to initial deviance can set in motion secondary deviance, by which an individual repeatedly violates a norm and begins to take on a deviant identity. The development of secondary deviance is another example of the Thomas theorem which states that “Situations we define as real become real in their consequences.”

Secondary deviance also marks the emergence of what Erving Goffman calls a deviant career: As individuals develop a stronger commitment to deviant behavior, they typically acquire a stigma, a powerful negative social label that radically changes a person’s self-concept and social identity.

Stigma operates as a master status overpowering other aspects of social identity so that an individual is diminished in the minds of others and consequently, becomes socially isolated. Sometimes an entire community formally stigmatizes an individual through what Harold Garfinkel calls a degradation ceremony. A criminal prosecution is one example of this, operating much like a college award ceremony except that people statd before the community to be labeled in a negative rather than a positive way.

Once people stigmatize an individual they may engage in retrospective labeling. This is the interpretation of someone’s past consistent with present deviance. Retrospective labeling distorts a person’s biography by being selective and prejudicial, guided more by the present stigma than by any attempt to be fair. It also helps to deepen the person’s deviant identity.

Similarly, people may engage in projective labeling of a stigmatized person. That is, others keep an individuals deviant identity in mind when assessing any future action. The result, of course is that people find evidence of deviance in almost anything a stigmatized individual does.

All the various symbolic-interaction theories see deviance as a process. Labeling theory links deviance not to action but to the reaction of others. Thus some people come to be defined as deviant while others who think or behave in the same way are not.

The public and the CCS can be defined as independent social groups with extremely limited contact. Each have their own rules and boundaries which cannot or will not be crossed. It would be useful for the purposes of successful bridging if there were incorporated intervention between the two groups by those well versed in cultural anthropology as part of the mediation process. But as yet the classical intellectual community does not yet extend its boundaries toward or into the frontiers of observation, awareness, and social infrastructure without the confining biases and intellectual habits which instigated both the secrecy and the secondary deviance. The hostile atmosphere stemming from inequalities by and between both groups remains problematic.

The social-conflict paradigm demonstrates how deviance reflects social inequality. This approach holds that who or what is labeled “deviant” depends on which categories of people hold power in society.

Social-conflict theory links deviance to power in three ways.

1. First the norms – especially laws – of any society generally reflect the interests of the rich and powerful.
2. even if their behavior is called into question the powerful have the resources to resist deviant labels.
3. Third, the widespread belief that norms and laws are natural and good masks their political character. For this reason we may condemn the unequal application of the law but give little thought to whether the laws themselves are inherently fair.

What is considered deviant in society has much to do with the relative power and privilege of different categories of people. Historical limitations of portions of our society applies stringent normative controls. Groups within society have been socialized to define success and power in specific terms. And because society [class structure] puts certain individuals [classes] in positions of power over others these powered classes often escape direct responsibility for actions that victimize the non-powered classes.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Social Citizenship, Think Tanks, and Politics of Difference

Social Citizenship, Think Tanks, & Politics of Difference
By Cyrellys Geibhendach
June 1, 2011
Permission granted to copy & distribute intact, without changes.

One of the primary concerns in dialog between groups in the theme of Contact and its relevance to human systems and orientations is the politics of difference. The politics of difference and the compartmentalizing behavior established from efforts toward influence of power and information control hampers communication and discourse on the subject. This politics involves status, power, and privilege. Our world is currently a multi-faceted collection of fragmented social themes and interconnected but diversely oriented organizations based on or in those themes which operate in tandem with governmental and other non-governmental organizations, institutions, and social systems. Power and influence is being continually adjusted and situated in various forms as influence through individualism declines and groups establish themselves seeking to attain a voice in an increasingly complex globalized world.

Many have noted the attacks on individualism and the sovereignty of individuals. Americans particularly have a great concern that dialogs about redistribution and global politics is tearing away a fundamental respect, commonality, and solidarity with universally accepted beliefs on individual rights and privilege which people once possessed. This is causing self-conscious social movements or groups who’s philosophical content meaning is compatible to follow the suit of earlier competitors to collaborate and consolidate into organizations which reflect specific philosophical idea systems in order to regain a measure of influential social citizenship.

In light of this, the Chinese – English news is remarking on the growth and establishment of world think tanks. They recently published remarks by James G. McGann, of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and director of Think Tanks and Foreign Policy Program at the University of Pennsylvania from an interview with Xinhua.

A quote from the article states, “Regional and global intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and NATO have recently come to recognize the significant role think tanks play in the policymaking process, he added.

While more think tanks are appearing around the globe, individual think tanks themselves are simultaneously globalizing. Individual think tanks are executing global expansion strategies, in which a think tank establishes multiple physical operational centers, either in different domestic locations or in countries outside of its headquarters, said McGann.”

The article, which did not specify the author, goes on to say, “He said think tanks have begun to prove their utility in the domestic and international policy sphere as information transfer mechanisms and agents of change by aggregating and creating new knowledge through collaboration with diverse public and private actors.”

"While policymakers may lack the tools to quickly respond to a critical policy problem, often they suffer not from a lack of information but from an 'avalanche of information' that gets in the way of effective decision-making," said McGann.
The article described McGann as particularly positive about the benefits of think tanks to contribute in an interconnected global dialog on policy issues of today. It noted McGann as describing “the encouragement of cooperation, collaboration, research analysis, and solution development,” among others like “networking between domestic political parties, bureaucracy, media, academe and internationally with other think tanks, NGOs and international organizations, and providing expertise on specialized policy issues.”

McGann in the interview pointed out the specific difficulties think tanks face (acutely present in developing countries) that of independence, funding, personnel requirements, and access to reliable data.

One thing to keep in mind might be the rise of think tanks in the global community as an indicator that we are not all equal in the community. Social citizenship in groups has greater prestige and influence than most individuals. They command a greater reach via name branding, for instance, which places them within social status levels remarkably similar to celebrity status particularly within their fields of expertise. These organizations are rewriting the book on real vs imagined community and systemic constructions. They are both a product of social system fallacies and failures as well as drivers of new social constructions. Some are even known to transcend the actual of scope of ideas the public at large ascribes to and create formal policies manipulating the public understanding and fundamental interpersonal belief systems.

This rise of special interests and think tanks is reminiscent of the Roman Republic’s treatment of influence where groups such as the Assembly of Centuries, Comitia Curiata and Comitia Tributa ruled policies and the latter that even took charge of various public works and financial matters. These groups effectively established a class system where participation (social citizenship) was based on status and privilege of association.

“Rome organized conquered communities by establishing several different degrees of privilege and responsibility among them. Residents of a few favored communities were granted the most highly prized status, full Roman citizenship. This meant that they were on the same legal footing as the Romans; they enjoyed the protection of Roman law and could hold office in Rome. Members of other communities became citizens sine suffragio (without the vote); such citizens had the right of intermarriage with Romans and had to supply troops to the Roman army on demand. At a lower level of privilege were the socii (“allies”). They received Rome’s protection from other peoples and were also liable for troops. None of these groups, once joined to Rome in whatever status, could follow independent foreign policies,” according to a description from The Western Experience, vol I, Antiquity to the Middle Ages by Chambers, Grew, Herlihy, Rabb, and Woloch.

This type of system constructed a false universalism that didn’t recognize differences and was not representative of the masses. In this way what masquerades as a representative system can in actuality operate as a feudal one with respective allegiances. A system like this ostensibly serves as a means of consolidating power into a severely pyramidal structure with limited or non-existent social citizenship for individuals at the bottom particularly if they don’t belong to a policy making group or have real influence in one.

Like any tool, organizations such as think tanks entail responsibility and functional morality incorporated into their purposing. They are capable of being a double-edged sword which can either benefit the human community or hamper its positive development. It is worthwhile to consider if in the course of the crucial roles these organizations are playing that we might be cementing the divisions between social movements and locking in power and relationships incompatible with representative governance which as an institution is designed to accommodate agency of the people through more direct and transparent contributions by individuals.