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"On the edge" of protest: confronting origins of psychology contact
Material posted: Publication date: 02-06-2012

One of the leaders of the St. Petersburg police Department began the twentieth century, A. V. Gerasimov, called his memoirs "On the blade with the terrorists". Understanding these catchy title confrontation not only with the need to physically destroy the top leadership of the country by militants, but with the "revolution" at all. Incarnation it served as the "revolutionary party" (including cadets) ideas which, in his opinion, was actively supported by the population of Russia.

The main outcome of the activities in "preserving" the"government King" and "the very foundations of the existing regime" in his version was disappointing. While fighting the conspirators who prepared the "revolution from above", "revolution from below" were ahead of them. Former chief representative of the so-called "secret police" claimed that "in substance I entirely sympathized with the people who had organized the conspiracy, and knew that if it is possible to prevent the impending disaster, only one way — as quickly as possible, the conduct of coup from the top. The situation was really so tragic that only a quick change of the head of state could avert a revolution and save the state and the dynasty. May only apply rather to the revolution not interrupted, I thought...".

This recognition is worth a lot. Hardly appropriate to see in him only the "phrase", "pose" or "mine" of self-justification of a man who, in fact, could not resolve their main professional task. The key to salvation, in his opinion, lay not so much in the field of police, many in the political. Revolution "from below" ahead-all the same (!) and it left the impression of the great tragedy.

This excursion into the distant and mentally, and technologically the era only illustrates one of the key findings in relation to "protest" phenomena: "people" is always the "Joker", which underestimate the role as "conspirators" and guardians.

It would seem that now, in the modern world, many things looks different. And Russia is not a country with a dark peasant population, alien technology. A lot has changed. Communications, mobility, level of education, the global dimension of the space. New, so-called "networking" opportunities for the organization, facilitating the establishment of diverse communities and coordinating their activities. Opportunities to increase its influence (spreading their ideas) with the help of the aforesaid advantages, to form public opinion, to mobilize it, it seems much more simple and easy. Such autonomy "from the flat" of concern to the governments of all States. Countries of the "West" is no exception. The analysis of electronic communications is at a serious state. Intercept "thoughts" and "intentions" has long been committed to a total character and a fundamentally technical.

But is it all clear? Just how radically different the modern "individualist" from its predecessors, exchanging news for if it was peanut shelling, waiting for the queue to the mill or the tavern (on the authoritative supervision of J. Le Goff)? Did the possession of a mobile phone, TV, Internet will radically change his psychology, physiology, basic social values? Justified roll in the technical side of the issue, attributing her magical abilities to people submissive?

Extreme sharpness of these issues are in the so-called "protest" area. The beginning of the XXI century has given the world the opportunity to observe numerous examples of mobile and tech events. Whose distinctive features are a high efficiency in achieving goals, the ability to coordinate the activities of a large number of actors, the ability to use the "open" means of communication and it does not go beyond existing legislation. First of all, about the so-called "orange revolutions". The essence of this phenomenon says a lot. As the same implies to cope with such technologies "power"?

Most of the efforts of power structures in these conditions are aimed at disrupting the organisational and communicative mechanisms, difficulty of activity of a specific "organizers". As well as keeping the information controlpane. And of course, a direct confrontation in the street by the police and riot police.

The purpose of these steps is clear: to forestall, to prevent the development of events in the protest scenario. Which, by definition, assumes that the writers, producers, actors and extras. As well as numerous spectators and "the jury", including foreign. The usefulness of such events is not in doubt.

However, there is a social subject which is often seen only as a slave element. We are talking about "people", whoever and whatever you understand under this triviality.

The emphasis on passive, subservient side of his contribution to the event brings us back to the beginning of the last century, marked A. Gerasimov mentioned: the movement "from below" was not just unexpected. It took place as a fact, what no one could have imagined. And slaves ended up just numerous parties and groups, whose political survival began to depend on how quickly they can adapt to the moods "of the people".

A fundamental depersonalization of people, the idea of him as the crowd, and now allows many to assume any independent contribution of this entity in the development of the situation in isolation from existing public leaders or programmes of action. Such unilateralism – a luxury.

I would like to highlight one of the possible contributions "of the people", its conditions and consequences.

First of all, we agree that this confrontation "Preganziol" level or "primary orange", so to speak? This, of course. stress. Not short, but principally long. It manifests itself not only in the sphere of direct contacts ("on the street" during rallies and other actions), but also in the information sphere, where the real war by all stakeholders. It is this continuity of forms does not disappear impact stress.

The concept of stress was first given a systematic exposition in the works of canadian Hans Selye and pathophysiology is well known. There is no need to dwell on its intricacies, suffice it to say that this is based on the idea of limited adaptation capabilities of the organism (person). The stress has three defined phases in its development (so-called "triad of stress"):

  • Mobilization of adaptive reserves
  • Stage saving resources due to the ongoing stress
  • Stage of exhaustion of adaptation reserves

In the works of Russian scientist L. A. Kitaev-Smyk, the concept of stress was developed and expanded. He particularly stressed the behavioural aspects in stressful situations (so-called "subsyndrome stress"). Try to look at protesting the situation using this perspective.

First, people try to cope with the impact of the stressor (in our case - constant protests). They either avoid it (passive behavior) or seek to remove the source of stress (active behavior). At this stage noticeable is the contribution of the informational component. With the continuous coverage of the protest themes that people can neither hide nor remove the stressor. What causes strong emotional reactions. It is joy and fear, and anger, and hot displeasure, and anger, and more. Here the contribution of the authorities is almost more than the so-called "opposition". As this is a entirely fit in the concept of the state "counter-propaganda". But the "authorities" anymore. It is noteworthy that the impact of the stressor increases, both forms of emotional-behavioral reactions (active and passive). Worst of all, with continued (prolonged stress), and, God forbid, increasing levels of stress both (!) forms can lead to social upheaval.

The inability to get rid of the stressor makes people "internally" to adapt to such Intrusive effects. They are trying to"escape" from the "aggressive environment" due to the physiological and psychological mechanisms. Such a change may be perceived by many as a kind of dominant social apathy, resignation, indifference. Especially third-party observers. It will be acknowledged and sociological measurements. As an active and vibrant emotional and behavioural manifestation remained in the first stage. Of course, not all of the country's population and not even most of it will reach the obvious manifestations of this stage. However, certain categories of the population no doubt will reach the level that Kitaev-Smyk called "individual selection." It increases painful and self-destructive manifestations that are familiar for the last twenty years the history of our country.

However, there is another aspect that should be made together protest stressful confrontation. This so-called psychological of the personality burnout ("burnout" (eng.), i.e. "personality deformation, destruction of personality". Originated in the 70-ies of XX century in the USA the concept has been very fruitful and kind of complemented the theory of stress, including applied terms.

According to one of the authors of the concept, Christina Maslach (op. CIT. according to the book "burnout Syndrome" starchenkovo the E. and N. Vodopianova), burnout manifests itself in:

  • emotional exhaustion – the experience of emptiness and powerlessness;
  • depersonalization – the dehumanization of relations with other humans (a manifestation of callousness, callousness, cynicism, or rudeness);
  • reduction of personal achievements is an understatement of their own achievements, the loss of meaning and the desire to invest personal effort in the workplace.

The burnout feature of personality is that it can occur without the influence of a stress factor. This is a "disease of communication", normal, but excessive, including forced intercourse. Due to this factor, immediately stood out of the risk groups, among whom the most pronounced burnout: teachers, doctors, social workers, managers, trade workers.

However, the researchers of many countries, including primarily the U.S. and Russia, once said that the most dangerous burnout for law enforcement officers. L. A. Kitaev – Smyk gave a detailed description of this syndrome, including against police officers. Not literally reproducing the texts of the author, we shall make an attempt to consider the revealed regularities for the situation of the protest of opposition.

First of all, it can be assumed that most of the professional riot police and others involved in the confrontation (with sufficient experience) police officers have already passed the stage of - shape deformation of the personality.

  • "Flattening of emotions". They were nasosostroenie citizens, napakagaling them, notariales and now do not show such emotions. Left psychic powers. Original sverkajuschii, sverkajuschii in the Affairs of citizens (if any), gave way to indifference, lack of affect. We all see it on the contacts with experienced doctors, trade workers, etc., and not just by the police.
  • Sustained confrontation with citizens. Forced excessive ongoing communication creates a dismissive attitude to people. Which later evolves to the expression of persistent aversion and, finally, can manifest as extreme behavioral anger. There is already no other approaches. Citizen (burnable) - always an irritant, he is both the cause and the object of confrontation. Any citizen in this case, simply because it should contact.
  • Obsessive criticality. Formed focusing only on the negative aspects in the behavior and statements of others. No confidence in the citizens. And opposition citizens are able to make only harmful, etc.
  • The loss of value orientations. How aptly named it L. Kitaev-Smyk – "frozen heart". Deep down, this person has a "don't care". This is manifested in communication and in behavior.

The researchers emphasize that there is no necessarily consistent through all these stages. Often everything happens at the same time, but still marked by a certain continuity is present.

The meaning of the descriptions is not in any way to discredit those people doing a hard, but necessary job for society. But only to emphasize that this activity is subject to certain regularities, which can become an additional factor in situations of civil conflict.

It is important to note that unlike, for example, teachers from burning out or trade workers, employees of OMON and functionally similar units, are fundamentally conflictual modes of interaction. Such as "implementation of measures for the prevention, suppression and localization group violations of public order, mass disorders related to other illegal acts, the identification and apprehension of individuals involved, cities, other settlements and individual areas, on objects of transport". And if peaceful occupations burnout is observed, it is even more pronounced this phenomenon in people whose work requires combinations not only help citizens but also overcome the resistance of those same citizens "in the name of good". First, it is a constant congestion value, and secondly, it formats the value relations on the principle: if we – the representatives of law and good, they are....

Armed with special tools and granted access rights to such employee "every day" to "opposed". This is his main occupation. The essence of his activities. Without adequate skilled assistance (psychological, especially) slipping in a prolonged stress and burnout is inevitable. With all behavioral, emotional, and moral manifestations of these changes.

It is fair to ask the question. But only if police officers are subject to such effects as stress and burnout? Naturally, the fair and the answer is: of course not. Over the years, especially in the last couple of years, there was quite a significant group of loyal Protestants, so to speak. They are repeatedly involved in the protests, and emotionally involved in this, that is undergo a stage of sverhusiliya, sorokousty shock as motivator. They are constantly in contact with the police and with other persons ("associates"), are the object of the action, including the use of force. Such ongoing promotions, which require the active emotional involvement, empathy, exhausting physically and naturally bring this category of citizens to a situation of situational burnout. Just look at the numerous videos of the protests and read the comments of the participants in the blogosphere to understand, protesters are already showing signs of quite and "sustainable confrontation" and "obsessive criticality". Demoniziruet shouts against the police like "Fascists!" and the whole range of foul language is unlikely to be considered only technological methods and tricks. It's worse than that. This is a "come from the heart".

And worst of all, the researchers note a number of unpleasant properties of the described phenomena: burnout can be massive, and it is contagious. These features only enhance and accelerate the process and also make it universal.

What do we see? "Power", the expert community, "the organizers of the protests" occurring predominantly regarded in terms of technical. Making plans, moving pieces on the "chessboard", etc.

But forget that "blade" protest contact at this time remain nameless are the same people who can be called and the people and the crowd and whatever. It doesn't matter. Since the name will not affect the intensity of the ongoing processes of mutual burnout and stress. For all participants, the camp leaders (based on their actions) it is important to reverse the situation in the zone of "blade". "Opposition leaders" are striving to make the action permanent, "power" emphasizes the willingness to resist in the same way, and are even willing to go further. When there is no physical confrontation, transferred information environment. This illusion must not lie.

What can be the result of this constant conflict? Does "power" that only throws wood on the fire? Rapidly destroying value and support the police and the "opposition"? The further, the less these people are capable of not what to compromise. Soon they will stop and listen to each other and perceive as human beings. The process of dehumanization, of depersonalization. Created the zone of elevated temperature (protest the blade), which at any moment might ignite. Without waiting for "leaders".

The formulation of outcomes of such a confrontation is beyond the scope of this article. It was important only to emphasize that with horror recorded Gerasimov referred in his memoirs: while they thought and planned, people decided all by himself, marking the beginning of a long period of instability and malice.

Would it be appropriate to remind that in February 1917, long confrontation "on the blade" of the people and the police, quickly came all the way from familiar relationships to extreme bitterness. The researchers, after eyewitnesses say that during the beginning of the events known to us as the "February revolution 1917" began a real hunt for police officers from all sectors of society. They attributed various violence like shooting people from machine guns.

That's how it was described by K. I. Lobachev, another former chief of the Petrograd police Department: "meanwhile, the uprising was grown; to 5 o'clock in the afternoon, the violence spread to the Petersburg side; the looting of shops and private apartments, the disarmament of officers on the streets, beating and killing policemen, arrests and killing of gendarmerie officers and non-commissioned officers. In short, as early as five o'clock became clear that the government does not exist, and the capital is available to mobile<...>. The atrocities that were committed by the rebellious mob in February days in relation to the ranks of the police, gendarmerie and even combat officers, defy description. They are not at all inferior to what was subsequently done with their victims, the Bolsheviks in their chrezvychajka. I speak only of Petrograd, not to mention that, as everyone now knows, was happening in Kronstadt. Policemen, who were hiding in basements and attics, was literally torn to pieces, some were crucified near the walls, some tore in two pieces, tied by the legs to two cars, some were chopped checkers. There were cases that the arrested police officers were not brought to prison and were shot on the banks of the Neva, and then dumped the corpses in the hole. Who from the ranks of the police did not have time to change into civilian dress and hide, so ruthlessly killed. One, for example, usher tied with ropes to the couch and with her burned alive. The bailiff Novoderevenskiy plot, just underwent a serious operation for the removal of appendicitis, pulled out of bed and thrown into the street, where he died. The crowd, which burst into the provincial gendarmerie Department, was severely beaten by the head of Department the General-Lieutenant Volkov, broke his leg, and then dragged to the Kerensky in the Duma."

M. M. Prishvin wrote in those days in his diary: "Two women come with rakes, the rakes of lead balls to finish off the bailiffs". And Baron N. E. Wrangell recalled: "In the courtyard of our house lived the police officer; his home crowd is not found, only my wife; she was murdered, Yes by the way and her two children. Smaller chest – a blow of heel in the crown".

Of course, such excesses do not have one explanation and it is hardly lawful to isolate the specific cause. But there is no doubt that kind of hatred to the police, and not for example to the soldiers by the long confrontation "on the street" in the preceding period with its "contact" with bitterness. To a certain extent, the revolution itself was the result of this opposition, which, first, delayed, and, second, has not been resolved in a satisfactory way.

All this makes us pay more attention to the situation of permanent confrontation "on the street", which, essentially, feeds and develops itself, giving rise to new claims and making it difficult to find an acceptable to all participants in the exit.

And also take into account the presence of hidden factors, that is obvious, but which have the ability to self-realization and is able not only to "seize the initiative", but also to direct all the development of the situation in a different, unpredictable, it is not desirable for all parties of course.

Author: Vyacheslav Shcherbin

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