Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Policeman in the head

This is a fascinating unfolding story - the traveller slaves. Quite what the alleged slaves were enslaved in, and how they were held and used still isn't clear, although it seems to have been an international ring. What I am interested in, though, is a quote in the Irish Independent.
Graham Clark, who is homeless, told Channel 4 news last night that he was kidnapped and held for ten months.

“You were separated from them. You weren’t allowed to enter their trailer...I wasn’t allowed to use their toilet services, strictly for them. I had to go into a bush and wipe myself with leaves. Degrading.

“I was treated like a slave, but at least I had a roof over my head. I was scared. I tried escaping once but they found me, not too far away.”
Note the phrase in bold: "at least I had a roof over my head." - he was imprisoned, made to shite in the bushes and work as a slave.

The psychology is fascinating, a mix of It could be worse" (really!?!), and holding on to the little that he has - a roof and a little food. This despite his previous attempt at escape.

What I'm driving at is that this illustrates the human capacity to withstand the conditions of slavery and gross impoverishment, and the mental architecture that allows such structures to survive. Imprisoned and maltreated animals will try and bite back, and human mentally adepts.

I have no way of knowing why he was found "nearby" but I surmise it was because he had no-where else to go, no company or structures to replace the slave conditions, so didn't go far and went back when found.

It seems the peculiar institution rests on our very human capacities.

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