The Healing Process

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[...] life cannot tolerate a standstill [...]

[C.G. Jung]
Psychological Types (CW 6, 1991), p. 479

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There is pattern when it comes to things like Fracking protests. It goes like this:

When this new thing is announced - in this instance Fracking - there are those who are against it. They protest its arrival, in a bid to prevent it from happening. It is key that they get it at its inception, before it becomes assimilated and generally accepted as part of the landscape. This is a tipping point, or so it seems. Things could go either way. Once it is established it will be much harder, if not impossible, to uproot.

And so there is initial protest. This protest is reported in the press and provokes a peak of interest from the general mass of people. Some make up their minds, some remain undecided; some don't care either way.

The masses tolerate this disruption because it is a novelty. But soon the novelty wears off and the issue overstays its welcome. 'Soon' being the operative word, because the contemporary attention span is at an all time low.

After time the issue becomes at best an annoyance, and at worst forgotten about. At this point the issue falls off the radar and the protest becomes a battle that can't be won.

Why is this?

The body can only tolerate tension for so long. Protest is tension, a stalling voice that says 'maybe we shouldn't go in this direction.' But a direction must be taken, and sooner rather than later.

Tension will be tolerated at first. There is a grace period, albeit limited. But then a verdict must be reached. An ongoing protest is like an open wound. The body wants to heal and to go about its everyday business.

In this sense, all that a corporation like Cuadrilla need do is play a waiting game. They simply wait for the issue to go out of fashion. Weather the initial storm of public interest, whilst playing on the defensive. Sit back and block the opposition.

In time, the inevitable process of normalisation - the disappation of tension - will win the battle for them.

From being initially receptive to those voices of protest, the culture begins to grow weary of them. Counter arguments surface, if only to help get the issue off the table and close up the wound. By this point the mass of people are looking for this voice, for the first opportunity - the first convincing excuse - to dismiss the issue and get back to business as normal. In the end, the voice of protest is discredited. A lot of fuss about nothing. 

The wound closes. Life goes on.


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Related posts:-
Tension
Still Waters
Status Quo 
Do Not Disturb
Negative Capability
Escaping Uncertainty 

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