Displacement activity

Greg Richards
One of the contributions of anthropology in the last generation has been the concept of "displacement activity."  This is activity that is a substitute for attacking an intruder to the group.  It is usually quite spectacular or alternatively involves apparent deep concentration and attention, so that the group member is apparently completely occupied by this very important activity.

This is what we are seeing in the British Unions. Britain is being actively attacked by radical Islam both in word - savage words - and deed - savage deeds.  The response of the new prime minister has been to prohibit the use of the term "war on terror" in cabinet meetings. 

The response of some of Britain's unions - of scholars and now transport workers - has been to take out their anxieties on a blameless bystander whose real actions in the real world are a standard for decency, not to mention academic achievement and excellence.

Those of us brought up on the inspiring behaviour of the Brits and leadership of Winston Churchill during WWII would never have expected to see this day - that the British of all people should be overtaken by the Stockholm Syndrome.

There is a story in the Old Testament that Noah one night got drunk and passed out naked.  While one of his sons laughed at him, others of his sons got a blanket and backed into his tent putting the blanket over him so as not to seem him in his disgrace.  Would that we could do the same for poor old England.

Churchill's words after the Munich Agreement are apposite:
"...the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies: 'Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.' And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."

One of the contributions of anthropology in the last generation has been the concept of "displacement activity."  This is activity that is a substitute for attacking an intruder to the group.  It is usually quite spectacular or alternatively involves apparent deep concentration and attention, so that the group member is apparently completely occupied by this very important activity.

This is what we are seeing in the British Unions. Britain is being actively attacked by radical Islam both in word - savage words - and deed - savage deeds.  The response of the new prime minister has been to prohibit the use of the term "war on terror" in cabinet meetings. 

The response of some of Britain's unions - of scholars and now transport workers - has been to take out their anxieties on a blameless bystander whose real actions in the real world are a standard for decency, not to mention academic achievement and excellence.

Those of us brought up on the inspiring behaviour of the Brits and leadership of Winston Churchill during WWII would never have expected to see this day - that the British of all people should be overtaken by the Stockholm Syndrome.

There is a story in the Old Testament that Noah one night got drunk and passed out naked.  While one of his sons laughed at him, others of his sons got a blanket and backed into his tent putting the blanket over him so as not to seem him in his disgrace.  Would that we could do the same for poor old England.

Churchill's words after the Munich Agreement are apposite:
"...the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies: 'Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.' And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."