Psychological displacement in management, politics, and the culture wars – New Class Traitor

A post on Sarah Hoyt’s blog.

There is a LOT of displacement thinking in leadership today. Unfortunately, as somebody brought up, the Gods of The Copybook Headings will always have their way.
The gods of the copybook headings by Rudyard Kipling:
As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race, I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place. Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn: But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind, So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind. We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace, Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market-Place.

But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome. With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings.

So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things. When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace. They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease. But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe, And the Gods of the Copybook Heading said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life (Which started by loving our neighbor and ended by loving his wife) Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew, And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four— And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man— There are only four things certain since Social Progress began — That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire— And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

– See more at: http://doctorspiller.com/Rudyard_Kipling.htm#sthash.nfkPXyw0.Uf5Mr8hr.dpuf

According To Hoyt

*Note from Sarah – Having located the cleaned up version which New Class Traitor sent me, I replaced the post*

Psychological displacement in management, politics, and the culture wars – New Class Traitor

All of us have a number of psychological mechanisms for coping with “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. Some are adaptive (anticipation, humor, building social support networks, …) while others are maladaptive.

Displacement (a term originally coined by Sigmund Freud) is one such maladaptive strategy: the mind substitutes a “safer” goal, object, or target for one deemed to be unattainable or overly dangerous. Some classic examples of ‘displacement’ are a bully picking on a weak kid in response to being picked upon by a bigger bully, or the abusive mid-level employee who works out pent-up rage at bosses or customers on his underlings. Or, for that matter, the frustrated-at-work husband or wife doing so on their…

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