377A – The Psychology of Culture War.

November 5, 2007

What if we said to you, the whole debate concerning S377A,

has absolutely nothing to do with rights and everything to do with, how we see ourselves as a community? 

Incredulous, you say, but do bear with us. As preposterous as it seems, ‘narrative’ is crucial to our argument here.

Our basic point being, ‘the story of how we wish to see ourselves in relation to our community,’ forms very much of the underlying motivations coloring much of the S377A debate.  

There’s certainly a underlying psychological thread that runs deeper than just the whole issue of protecting society and staving off the advent of the age of moral turpitude brought forth by the gay movement attempting to assert it’s rights to be recognized – this paper hopes to trace out these psychological ground lines to see where they really lead too.  

Central to the whole argument is the whole idea of an all ‘encompassing narrative’ as first mentioned by Sigmund Freud. An idea that was glossed over by Carl Jung that every community and it doesn’t matter really matter whether it is bunch of pygmies or even a tribe of monkeys squatting on an anthill, 

“Always needs to assert their own identity against the broader canvas of  (community) history.” 

You could just as well describe this impulse in crude terms as a form of ‘cultural imperialism’ that’s all too often played out over territory and ‘rights’, who owns the land? How long have they been there? Who has first rights to water and right of passage? Is that what’s really happening beneath the whole 377 debate? Rather than the contentious issue of whether homosexuality should or shouldn’t be de-criminalized – against this underlying contestation of ‘rights.’ The real issue revolves around; whose ‘narrative’ should actually be allowed to assert itself to gain primacy. That’s to say, which narrative should ideally form our collective consciousness? In order to fully understand how this clash of cultures works, let us just flesh out the set pieces of this discussion. Firstly, as much as we like to believe all of us are necessarily civilized and most human beings tend towards cooperative behavior for the common good. Cooperativeness remains only possible where the agents (man) aren’t living in an environment of acute resource scarcity. Where scarcity features, be it land, water or hunting rights and even the whole issue of whose history should be considered history?, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out, there’s no incentive in entering into cooperative pacts; where only one version of the truth is allowed to emerge.  Under those conditions which can best be described as an opportunity to either write or narrate history – it throws out the question: what happens when only one version of history is allowed to gain supremacy? Does it lead to the demise of another historical narrative? 

There lies the whole psychology of what we described as ‘culture war.’

“Naturally, most of us would like to believe all the narratives can be condensed into one long reflective story that manages to satisfy every single quarter, but all too often the ‘right to narrate,’ requires another story to be blocked, re-interpreted and even censored for that one story concerning emancipation and enlightenment to form the main montage.”

Edward W. Said

That’s what happens whenever society is confronted with such a derisive topic as S377A.

As we mentioned, it isn’t so much a debate about homosexuality per se. As it is about whose right is thrown out and eventually retained?

Some may contend otherwise by holding on to the assumption that, we are all enlightened and civilized in so far as we can tolerate the whole of idea of differences and still manage to seek out ways to accommodate differences. However, what if the act of ‘accommodating’ other narratives allows competing groups to usurp the established historical account, by supplanting their version of the ‘truth?’ Would that new narrative confer upon them a right of claim to change the historical status quo ante? That they too fought to preserve the truth, there by establishing their version of equality, fraternity and liberty and what would happen to the established ‘culture?’ 

There lies much of the war making elements which make up the equation accounting for much of the psychological conflict relating to 377A.

As much as many of us like to subscribe to the belief culture is unimportant, it’s central to understanding how it relates directly to the narrative of ‘who we actually are’ i.e where did we come from? Where are we going? This forms our broader history.

Culture not only palliates, it also feeds into the whole idea of identity i.e how do you see yourself, your people, society, and your traditions.  In time, culture comes to be associated, often aggressively with the community in which we all belong too, be it members of a congregation of a church, a cog in the party apparatus, a citizen of a nation and even something as basic as  gender identity e.g heterosexual straights, gays or celibates.

This enables us to make sense of who were are in relation to our respective community. What’s important in this analysis is in practically every mathematical model which we developed to try to understand this clash of cultures – the simple act of ‘belonging’ always carries with it, a degree of xenophobia, which in our model, we defined as ‘the truth making syndrome’ – whenever two or more cultures are juxtaposed against each another to try to determine which one should actually be considered as ‘the culture that rules the day,’ conflict is likely to feature when compromise fails to yield the desired results!

The paradox of course is while the advent of the internet age may have brought people closer together by shrinking the world. It hasn’t done a whole lot in accomodating the differing narratives of people – with time, it’s fair to assume, these murmurs will grow louder to even challenge the established and traditional versions of what we consider, our history, community and sense of identity. 

Against this ever changing backdrop, be it the interest of ‘the moral majority’ or ‘traditionalist.’ One thing will hold true as the culture war continues to unfold: the truth will be continually challenged, encroached and even breached.

This highlights the cogent need for policy makers to profile new ways to mitigate conflict and manage the risk associated with the clash of cultures.

Whether these challenges emerge from the gay or the save the whales movement doesn’t really matter – the challenge for the future would be to find an effective way of accomodating all these differing voices which demand their narratives to be heard and in certain cases even recognized as ‘our history.’

Written By Blue Bell, Bear Bear, Power Girl & Harphoon – Psychology / Socio-Political EP 99827272710 – The Brotherhood Press 2007)

Did you know? This is the Latest & Related Article (Ckick here!) The Terrible Cost of Saying ‘No’ To The Gay Community 

Latest Bagua (Gossip) News From The Brotherhood Press,

We will be developing new technology to cover the Olympics in Beijing in the net, this is the first time, anyone will be using this technology in this manner and much of it comes from our experience in the international underground gaming network. We have never ever done this before, but I am sure the international collaboration will be a great learning experience for all of us.”

The Chronicler – Spokesperson of the Brotherhood Press 2007 – 4th Nov 2007

2 Responses to “377A – The Psychology of Culture War.”

  1. […] Section 377a – Just Stuff: 377A – The Psychology of Culture War. […]

  2. labrat said

    This is really quiet brilliant. Just one comment, I find it very difficult to scroll using the Bro bulletin board alert – I do wish, they could just set up everything here.

    I just want to know who really are these new writers? I recognize and even know some of them like Bear2, as for the rest, they are really a complete blank to me. It would really be helpful, since the readers are writing now, for someone to do a brief introduction on each writer – for example, I know Dot is an inhouse counsel for a German firm, so that gives me a terms of reference a sort of mental home point. I also know Bear2 happens to be a psychologist who designs aeroplane interiors and that does the same, but who is Montburan and LHL?

    Thanks, great site and I really love the zen lay out, uncluttered, clean and very pleasing on the eye. Reminds me of this place, I once visited in Sweden, just a hut with one window, but what a view!

    Thanks Dotty for starting this for all us. We are all very thankful and I hope this will the beginnings of beginnings. Have to go back to my slave work now. Enough of just stuff…ahhh.

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