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At 11:34 PM 10/3/00 +0100, Euan and Niven wrote:
< I think it is fair to say that most people here have put the pain of the
Clearances behind them.>
Really ? Why is drug use, alcoholism, and associated behaviour so high
among Scottish youth ?
Do they live in a country which has only a directed , socially engineered,
moulded future ? Why do they avoid joining in with the Scottish cultural
traditions? Indeed, they laugh at them and mock them. Take a close look at
the back streets of Glasgow. In the main there, it is said you can buy a
Scottish Lassie for about 70 pnds. the hour at many escort services. Many
of these people are not the slothful, but hold university and college
degrees. One can make the case quite clearly that much of this is a result
of cultural alienation which devalues Scottish traditions and institutions.
That started long before the Clearances but then the Clearances were a
signal event in the acceleration of the process which was bent on making
Scotland a dependant 3rd world nation. It continues to this day despite the
fact that modern Scots have become quite hardened to it, as you say, " most
of the people here have put the pain of the Clearances behind them," when
in fact the social symptoms from it are still very much present for those
who did not immigrate. Seeing these is one of the most painful things one
can experience when visiting Scotland from abroad.
<"Such people need a kick up
<the backside rather than pseudo-psychological twaddle of this kind which
<them to do nothing to help themselves. True, it provides employment for
<but the end-results are purely negative. I hope Sinclairs are wise enough
to avoid this
<escape route - this 'shifting the blame' syndrome."
The English have been kicking Scots up the backside for generations, and
actually have convinced Scots that this is the remedy for everything. The
Scots learned then to kick themselves in the backside.Indeed it is this
failure to remember Highland gentility which perpetrates the dysfunctional
approach you advocate. If kicking people in the backsides really worked,
then Scotland would have the highest GNP in the world.
Shifting the blame has little to do with it. When there are alcoholics in
every generation of a family, it is a pattern of kicking the kids in the
backsides which " causeth " them to become at risk to deviant behaviours.
The awareness of the pattern has nothing to do with shifting the blame. It
has everything to do with understanding, in the biblical sense , what it
means to be cursed unto the 99th generation. With that awareness the cycle
can be interrupted quite effectively.
You can easily conclude that those who suffer that way are merely trash to
be kicked about, but in fact , there but for a few too many belt stroppings
across our naked arses, go you or I. A close scrutiny of the life of Rob
Roy MacGregor while allow one to see quite effectively the fallacy of the
ass kicking approach, and if anything can be said, it is that he met such
suffering with the courage of unwavering kindness, a remarkable thing for
someone who was supposed to have been an ignorant, uncivilized, cattle
rustler, according to the British version of him. I recommend that any one
who hasn't read it , and who may be interested in the historical way that
Highlanders viewed their duties to fellow men and women, read this
scholarly and informative work :
Rob Roy MacGregor : His Life & Times
by W. H. Murray
Paperback - 314 pages (March 1998)
Interlink Pub Group; ISBN: 0862415381
It is available through Amazon.com for about 6 pnds.
I do agree with you that there is the tendency for some to say , " its not
and some do shift the blame for such behaviours through this type
But that view gives only a partial picture of the phenomenon we both
The question may not be merely whether these folk are not strong enough to
but whether they even want to bother helping themselves since life doesn't
seem to be
quite worth the effort. Hedonism seems a better alternative," eat drink and
be merry for
tomorrow we may die." Indeed many of us did die, through little or no fault
of our own historically.
That erroneous view is stereotypically , factually justified and
with the aid of abuse within the Scottish family, disguised as "discipline".
There are no easy answers to the problem but one can say that a shift away
cultural materialism might give some possibility of awareness of
and the social processes through which suffering is promoted
Certainly it would be interesting to see several politicians, who sit in
take this view of their nation. In it there is slightly more than just a
mere grain of truth.
Scots are also a nation unto themselves, just as one can speak of a "
Jewish" nation, so we too exist that way internationally. I do not say this
to seem "holier than thou," but I want to point out that this is a fact
which is often understandably minimized by resident Scots, who have the
very powerful , immediate concerns to deal with, in the way their country
is unfolding in front of them. Those of us who care about Scotland very
much, look to her with a much broader perspective, augmented by both the
time and distance of the historically disenfranchised. In this way there
may be some useful insights which might provoke some constructive thinking.
Caledonia County, Vermont,
>>IMO, to think that the process can be reversed and the Highlands
>>'resettled' by descendants of emigrés is slightly fanciful. I'm not at
>>all sure that there would much interest anyway.
There is enough disposable income among the ancestors of emmigre' Scots to
buy the Highlands twice over. Give us some time. We are working on it.
>>No, if the Highlands are to be repopulated and the Scottish Parliament is
>>to demonstrate any sort on contrition, the Parliament should open its
>>chequebook and start spending on the infrastructre (esp. digital) so that
>>'settlers' can live rurally and work remotely.
Here , here. Fibre optical land lines would be a good start.
>>PS - Jacboties ???
>An excellent summation of the situation.
>Always remember, Governments open cheque-books with our money. Subsidies
>are rarely (if ever) a long term answer. In any event, any returning
>be like fish out of water.
Hardly fish out of water. In the emmigre' process our fathers and mothers
learned to live anywhere
and those skills were passed down to us. The government won't need to open
any check book of its own. We have more than enough silver to buy the land
if it were made available through a devolutionary process
away from the larger estates, over time AND more than enough silver to
invest in Scotland.
>Information Technology will bring people back to the Highlands without any
>need for other inducements. As you rightly point out, people can live
>'rurally' and work 'remotely'
>- thanks to the IT at our finger-tips.
I hope that you are right about this.
>My brother's book "A Feeling for the Land" suggests (among many other
>being adopted by the majority of EU countries) that we could reduce our
>Health Bill by half if we got people back to the countryside - if only so
>that they could
>walk on Mother Earth rather than on concrete. IT will make this a reality.
>Finally, Man's ability to deceive himself is undoubtedly his most
>developed faculty. I
>have seldom read such flawed reasoning being advanced as an excuse for the
>failure of the
>some Scots to 'make good' because of "multi-generational traumas" they
>suffer as a result
>of what happened to their ancestors during "The Clearances". Such people
>need a kick up
>the backside rather than pseudo-psychological twaddle of this kind which
>them to do nothing to help themselves. True, it provides employment for
>but the end-results are purely negative. I hope Sinclairs are wise enough
>to avoid this
>escape route - this 'shifting the blame' syndrome.
I disagree with this part above, but I still love your craggy ass.
>There is only one person responsible for one's own failures - one-self!!
This is true in one sense but not in another. Socialization is a subtle
>It isn't one's mother or father, or brothers or sisters, or teachers or
>bosses, or this
>syndrome or that syndrome, or this abuse or that abuse, or past traumas
>by one's ancestors which result in failure. It is the thought which
This idea you relate here above about self fullfilling prophecy is true.
However there is also an
intergenerational pattern to bahaviours which set people up for failure.
These are culturally transmitted
within the family and can be overcome by simply being aware of them.
Perhaps HRH Prince Phillip is
a living example of the dynamic I speak of.
>Our best friends and our worst enemies are our thoughts. Think failure
>and you will
>assuredly get failure.
True enough in the individual sense but unfortunately we do not enter the
world alone, and we are influenced heavily by those who raise us. Would
that it were so simple.
>Think success and you will reap success. The recipe is as
>simple as that. The ingredients are within us.
Yes and I agree with you in this , that we are each our strongest resource
But remember that you are helping each of us by
saying that, and just maybe there are some whose fathers told them
repeatedly that they
were worthless, and this was environmentally confirmed by historical
feelings of self worthlessness.
Few people have been valued below sheep. We were, and even though we put
that behind us, the effects of it may be a long time wearing out.
Thanks for the insightful post Niven
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