Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Panda Bear on Name Calling, Bullying and Communism

The Panda Bear in thinking about her experiences of childhood bullying started to ask herself what similarities there are between childhood and adult social behavior.    She thinks office relationships and classroom social relationships are similar in that there is a hierarchy to them.

However, where she thinks adult and childhood bullying and intimidating behavior are the most similar is that they call each other names.

The Panda Bear remembers both she and her best friend were taunted for being lesbians by the "popular:"  girls when  they were eleven.   FYI, the Panda Bear remembers the school doing nothing to stop this name calling(lesbian was meant as an insult).   The Panda Bear and her best friend actually turned out to be straight-not that this matters.   Recently when programs have started to come to help bullied gays the Panda Bear remembered  these girls thought  they were so politically incorrect.

When the Panda Bear tells this story now people express sympathy for the Panda Bear and think it was very odd of these girls to be calling people lesbians when they were eleven.   More to the point, many people have asked did anyone know at eleven what being a lesbian was.   The Panda Bear and the "popular" girls knew that it had something to do with females preferring females to males(which the Panda Bear did at eleven-she did not get interested in boys until she was about seventeen).   However, the Panda Bear does not think they understood the full meaning of the word.

However, the Panda Bear believes that in the political arena the name calling is very similar to what the "popular" girls did to the Panda Bear and her friend in elementary school.   It can be insulting even ruin people  but people don't realize what the word fully means.   The Panda Bear will be starting a series of posts about political terms and/or insults  and what they really mean.

For today's post, the Panda Bear will examine the word "communist".   Both she and Mr. Panda have used the term in a technically incorrect way.   According to Rodney Carlisle in his book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Spying and Espionage, a communist was someone who was took orders from the communist party in Russia and/or the former Soviet Union.  The Panda Bear might expand this definition to include the communist parties of Cuba, China and North Korea.    These people would technically be traitors to the US or other Western European countries because they pledged there loyalty to another country.

According to Dr. Carlise, under this definition of communism, there were some US communists in the 1930s and 1940s who were attracted to the USSR for ideological reasons and members of the US communist party were recruited to spy for the Soviets.   However, most of the protesters of the nineteen sixties who where investigated by the FBI for being communists including Martin Luther King were not communists but just political protesters.

Both the Panda Bear and her husband having been guilty of confusing the term communism(allegiance to the communist party of a foreign government) with socialism.   Once the Panda Bear was written up at work for calling her managers communists in an e-mail which ended up getting  passed around b other workers   What the Panda Bear meant was that the managers did not know how to motivate their work force and did not use merit based systems to reward the individual efforts of employees.   However, the Panda Bear now admits that she was wrong to call the managers communists-they were not taking orders from hostile foreign governments.

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