SECTION #03 – Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8

On This Page:

  • Section Summary and Chapter Title List
  • Section Chapter Summaries
  • Links to Section #03 Visual Bibliographies
  • Section Workbook Summary and Links ~ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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Section 3

Basics of Systemic Abuse

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Section Summary and Chapter Title List

SECTION #3 SUMMARY. Systemic abuse is about how people (1) manipulate the system parts in order to take over the whole and then (2) manipulate the connections to keep the whole under control. Carrying out systemic abuse requires intentionality–whether this authoritarian control is perceived as malignant or not–and implementing specific kinds of strategies, structures, and tactics designed to draw people into the system and keep them there.

Chapters:

  1. Why Don’t All Abusive Systems Look the Same?
  2. How Do Abusive Systems Get Going and Maintain Momentum?
  3. Why Could We Consider Systemic Abuse as Being “Parasitic”?
  4. Who Plays What Roles in a Fully Developed System That Benefits the Few and Takes Advantage of the Many?
  • WORKBOOK: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – contrasting abuse versus advocacy.

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Chapter Summaries

Chapter #5. Why Don’t All Abusive Systems Look the Same? Ironically, not all “conformity” ends up looking the same. There are at least four distinct patterns at work in systems of social control, each with particular integration point that the rest of the system revolves around: compliance, with overt rules and regulations; chaos, with unpredictable changes and insecurity; charisma, where consuming celebrity style becomes the substance of identity; and competition, where setting up adversaries creates antagonisms and distractions. Any of the four seems to be able to pop up in any given culture, if circumstances are right. But all of them repress or remove people’s freedoms.

Chapter #6. How Do Abusive Systems Get Going and Maintain Momentum? An individual simply can’t establish a system of social control alone–regardless of whether such a Pyramid of Abuse is integrated around compliance, chaos, charisma, or competition. In perpetrating and perpetuating harmful systems, there are three common top-level roles people play: (1) giving a falsified presentation of the system, (2) providing undeserved protection for it (mostly by insiders), and (3) distributing hyped-up promotion about it (mostly by outsiders). But the thing is, systems based on falsehoods eventually get found out. And then, those who’ve been duped have to decide what to do. Will they choose to do what’s right, and how can we help them in that redemptive process?

Chapter #7. Why Could We Consider Systemic Abuse as Being “Parasitic”? The top half of the Pyramid of Abuse consists of two layers: Perpetrators and Perpetuators. There are two layers in the bottom half also. Procurators constitute the next layer down among the power-players. They fall into two categories–Extinguishers who use negative conditioning, and Reinforcers who use positive conditioning–to monitor what people in the system can say, do, and be. The bottom layer consists of various kinds of Pawns. Instead of being players, they are the ones who mostly get played. The roles fulfilled by participation of these two layers are central to maintain a system of social control. But, keeping people in check always comes at great cost, both personally and socially. Instead of the system being for the mutual good of all, it is for the primary benefit of those in the top layers, while everyone else pays the price. That dynamic makes systemic abuse parasitic–sucking the life out of those who’ve been lulled into staying, or made fearful of leaving.

Chapter #8. Who Plays What Roles in a Fully Developed System That Benefits the Few and Takes Advantage of the Many? The very top of the hierarchical “Pyramid of Abuse” consists of an autocrat (dictator), oligarchy (group of elites) or plutarchy (group of rich people). These Perpetrators run the system, openly and/or secretly.

The next layer down involves people who enforce the will of the one(s) at the top. These Perpetuators also typically benefit directly from the system by reaping power, prestige, and prosperity.

The next layer down involves functionaries who keep things running, pressure others into conformity, and “just follow orders.” These Procurators are often trying to work their way up in the Pyramid.

Those at the bottom are the masses who are milked as the sources of numbers, funds, and applause to keep the organization going. These Pawns stay in the system for different reasons: They may know but ignore signs of toxicity, adore the leaders and what they say they stand for, or may be ignorant of warning signs.

Loyal Opposition seek to change the system from the inside; they can be in any layer of the Pyramid, but tend to be in the lower levels.

As a system, the Pyramid of Abuse also includes outsiders who perform parallel functions. Commenders are supporters who lend their personal reputation and organization’s resources to prop up someone else’s system. In return, they become part of an interlocking directory that keeps multiple such Pyramids afloat in an ocean of victims. Resisters against a Pyramid often are survivors of victimization in it or by it. Or, they may just otherwise grasp the devastating human impact of an inhumane system and be committed to bringing justice to the situation. They become relational advocates to support other survivors and/or social activists to hold the insiders accountable for the damage they do.

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Links to Section #03 Visual Bibliographies

Section #3 – Basics of Systemic Abuse

  1. Why Don’t All Abusive Systems Look the Same?
  2. How Do Abusive Systems Get Going and Maintain Momentum?
  3. Why Could We Consider Systemic Abuse as Being “Parasitic”?
  4. Who Plays What Roles in a Fully Developed System That Benefits the Few and Takes Advantage of the Many?

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Section Workbook Summary and Links

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

KEY RESOURCES — BOOK, DVD, BLU-RAY:

 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling (2003). Scholastic editions (U.S.). Bloomsbury editions (U.K.).

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix DVD Two-Disc Special Edition and Blu-ray basic edition. Warner Bros. website movie page for Harry Potter 5.

ARTICLES:

Harry Potter Wikia articles on Dolores Umbridge and Harry Potter in Translation.

James Clear article on Best-Selling Books and Book Series of All Time. See the rankings for individual Harry Potter books and for the series.

Women of Harry Potter: Evil in Authority, by Sarah Gailey (November 28, 2016; Tor.com). Article on Dolores Umbridge.

SOUNDTRACK.NET:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007; Warner Bros. Records).

WEBSITE:

Additional resources for the Harry Potter series available on my Harry Potter Notes fansite.

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