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Re: Jacboties

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.

You say:
<"Such people need a kick up
<the backside rather than pseudo-psychological twaddle of this kind which 
merely invites
<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 
my fault,"
and some do shift the blame for such behaviours through this type 
of  "rationalization."
  But that view gives only a partial picture of the phenomenon we both 
speak of.

The question may not be merely whether these folk are not strong enough to 
help themselves
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 
intergenerationally transmitted
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 
historical alienation
and the social processes through which suffering is promoted 
Certainly it would be interesting to see several politicians, who sit in 
Scotlands Parliament,
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.

Yours, aye,

Dale Hinchey
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 
>'settlers' would
>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 
>things now
>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 
>merely invites
>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 
>suggests failure.

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 
unto ourselves.
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.

>Niven Sinclair

Thanks for the insightful post Niven

Dale Hinchey

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