Speak unto all that I command thee; be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them (Jeremiah 1, 17).
In a study of fascist regimes (Hitler – Germany; Mussolini – Italy; Franco – Spain; Suharto – Indonesia; and Pinochet – Chile) Britt found they had the following traits in common: disdain for human rights, identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause, rampant sexism, protection of corporate power, obsession with crime and punishment, and rampant cronyism and corruption. These traits are a mirror image of what we find in modern day bureaucracy.
Poor behavior multiples when people keep their mouths shut. At work we see the Abilene Paradox play out daily – everyone concurs that the bully is a cancer, but through the mismanagement of agreement he/she continues to hijack company airspace. Inaction facilitates the rise of a dictator, or shadow government at work.
Bullies thrive on bootlickers and toadying servants – those who bow down in the face of their tantrums. This phenomenon occurs when (1) people choose not to be a countervailing force in the face of visciousness; (2) they let the bully steamroll their behavioral boundaries; and (3) they declare him/her the ruler of their self-expression.
Speaking is more than cathartic – it’s a way to inform policy and to create awareness. I asked myself – why do others go on public television to air their problems? It’s so that people can find solutions and begin their own initiatives. There is strength in numbers, but to start a grass roots movement you may need to stand alone.
Today, attempt the following:
- Lay all your cards on the table. The silent scream is only effective in administering self-punishment.
- Make your life a full court press to eliminate the unseemly.
- Tell your story. If you remain silent as it’s as if the abuse never occurred, and that’s an affront to everything you stand for as a person.
- Share your stories of abuse when you think they can help other people.
- Today, be your own person and stand apart from the crowd. Be a maverick, instead of an automaton who parrots the company line.
- Rise up and speak in the face of unfairness, against those whose dominion destroys other people.
- Don’t jump on the bully’s bandwagon – have the integrity to express a different opinion.
- Don’t allow your mental real estate to be overrun.
- Confront crimes against humanity that occur on a daily basis.
- Provide a countervailing message of empowerment.
- Draw your own conclusions, instead of having someone else do that for you.
- Don’t be infected by the bully’s point of view; choose not to follow the false prophet into perdition.
- Go rogue – be bold, independent, unwavering, operating from an internal moral compass. Not from a legalistic perspective or one that’s contingent on other people, but from one that’s best in terms of humanitarian interests.
- Let others know they have awakened a sleeping giant.
If enough people did the above mobbing (and the bully in charge) would cease to exist. Bullies don’t operate in isolation – they are aided and abetted by the silent, and by minions who want the protection of the most dangerous person. It always sickens me when workers kowtow to the morally inept.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” — Harvey Fierstein
Britt, L. (2003). Fascim anyone? Free Inquiry Magazine, 23, p. 20.