Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Funder, “Stasiland”

Funder, Anna. Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall. London: Granta Books, 2004. Print.

I later found instructions to operatives on ways of crippling ‘oppositional’ people… It comes from the Directive 'Perceptions' ('Richtlinien, Stichpunkt Wahrnehmung'). It aims:

To develop apathy (in the subject) achieve a situation in which his conflicts, whether of a social, personal, career, health or political kind are irresolvable…to give rise to fears in develop/create restrict his talents or reduce his capacity to act harness dissentions and contradictions around him for that purpose....

 On 18 January 1989—long before anyone could foresee the October demonstrations of that year—the state issued a further refined Directive called 'Zersetzungsmassnahmen'. The German word Zersetzung is harsh, and has no direct English equivalent… Zersetzung, as a concept, involves the annihilation of the inner self. The Directive recommended these methods:

[the] targetted spreading of rumours about particular persons with the aid of anonymous and pseudo-anonymous letters…making compromising situations for them by creating confusion over the facts ... [and] the engendering of hysterical and depressive behaviours in the target person.

             Youtube: Anna Funder on fear and conservatism in government

1 comment:

n said...

Compare the Stasi's instruction,"Perception" to Seligman's psychological theory,"Learned Helplessness." You will find significant similarities between these two concepts. This is an evidence that psychological studies are abused in power crimes.


"Learned Helplessness"「学習性無力感」
Learned Helplessness has also been related to certain forms of depression (Seligman, 1975). People who suffer a series of uncontrollable aversive events – loss of a job, pysically illness, divorce, and so on – may become extremely passive and despondent. Like animals exposed to inescapable shock, they show little interest in improving their lot in life (366).
Russell A. Powell, et al. Introduction to Learning and Behavior, 3rd Edition. 2009