This week there had been more than 40 years since the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment had been contrived; infamous because it had been cancelled due to the unexpected levels of cruelty reached, but still consequential for psychology as it proved the frailty of human nature which can get so rapidly depersonalized, reaching to its most hidden, subtle, subconscious instincts of bestiality; the power of attribution, not erroneous, but evasive and conformity, obedience to authority. One of the participants in the experiment rightfully pointed out that the University basement improvised prison had become a true prison with the only difference that it was run by a psychologist and not by the state.
The visit of the American President Barrack Obama to the Oklahoma prison on Thursday was an unprecedented act. That audacity to not simply tag the system through a multilayered hierarchy but personally challenge it, let us not forget that he is a lawyer by profession; engage in this intricate process of overcrowding the penitentiary with crowds of failed by the society individuals who happen to be and the most oddly – remain – persons. Indubitably, the President was pursuing the economic implication of this equation, but we had been utterly surprised by the humanistic side that this visit revealed as well.
On that occasion the BBC had aired an audio interview of a person who had been graced by the President Barack Obama after 17 years in prison he got free, having been convicted for a life term for drug trading. That was an impressive case for me. X started the drug thing to earn for his living at an early age of 15, imitating his elder brother, in a quarter of disadvantaged, literally marginalized poor, uneducated people. He had been caught and convicted at the age of 21, his elder brother got killed in prison by three inmates, and he had the idea to write to the president and ask for mercy, which he unexpectedly received. I was astounded by the power of survival of that person. He had known nothing in life, got very young stuck in the drug quagmire – half of his life having been spent in the abject poverty, the other half in prison; he grappled the strength to reintegrate into the society, he found two decent jobs, which we imagine in his situation was almost impossible to get, he obtained that credit of trust from some people. It’s true that he had been given the second chance, but the most essential – he was not vicious, he did not lose his human aspect, he did not despair, he did not resign, obey, bend under the burden of the hostile right society, he did not return to that abyss medium where he probably would have been readily accepted.
That for me turns out to be a case of remaining sane in an insane environment, he had not lost his lucidity, he not only survived but even climbed to an unpredictable superior level which we are not sure he would have ever reached if he had not been caught at the age of 20; he would, in the most optimistic case, have striven and become a drug lord, in the most pessimistic case he would have died of overdose or got blighted by the sharks from that criminal medium. That is the deal – he is a winner.
A radically opposed instance: I am proper, fascinated!!! by the snooker game played in my country by the representatives of some fallen of public grace and favour media, who are detained by some phantomatic owners, receive funding from objectionable sources and represent/defend/promote the interests of devil in the configuration. In the heated atmosphere of the stolen billion by the person who is now re-immuned by having been re-elected into the parliament, after having been dismissed from the position of prime-minister for charges of abuse of power and corruption, the grey-fox TV is giving him the much sought support to wash his face and dirty hands, by appearing on air and bringing his cynical arguments and justification to the large public. Not that the highly controversial talk-show would not have the right to invite him or anyone else from the political elite to debate the stringent points that arise, the fact is that the grey-fox has only him in the studio, even in unplanned-extraordinary programmes – on air Friday evening – the top viewing moment of the week to enforce the bête traquée to the public, whose over-the-night slums millionaire nephew had been arrested this week together with the villain’s god-father!!! On the other hand the grey-fox had never invited our current Prime Minister in office who had been assigned for the position since two months ago, this great woman is a professional and has already managed to do many important things, but also her contribution previously in the position of Foreign Minister is remarkable to the European Integration action plan. The grey hound, pardon fox, had never either invited our President to debate the critical situation and events. This huckster grey-fox had become the obvious advocate of the villain, of the devil. We can easily comprehend how this collaboration goes on, through heavy disbursements to the personal grey-fox’s banking account. The red snooker balls the grey-fox scores for her profit – an equivalent of a new luxury car for a live hour to the villain are golden balls for the joker as he pulls his cue response move, for justification or counter-arguments the chance to display his sheer contempt and defy of absolute impunity. I am not sure any other talk-show invites the villain, his stakes are high, the grey-fox earns heavy money from this interplay – no ethics, nor morale has the grey-fox ever heard of. This is a garbage bug of the society my opposite example, the negative case to the X-prisoner convicted for drug trade. Unlike the X-prisoner the situation of the grey-hound is a desperate one.