"We live now in an era where normal values have been displaced. The good is called bad, the bad – good." Anna Politkovskaya, Russian journalist, author, and human rights activist (1958-2006)
As explained elsewhere, the cause of our global crises is here considered to be patriarchal domination. Patriarchy (the political and economic elites) is clinging to a reductionist, dualized worldview, which persuades people to prioritize the masculine yang energy, while marginalizing the feminine yin energy. The result from excess yang energy manifests in perceptions, actions, structures, and institutions that dominate society and exploit nature, leading to global crises for both, while the elite reap the profit. The solution to the imbalance is to add more feminine yin energy. This will automatically promote perceptions and actions that can restrict the dominant masculine yang energy, resulting in a yin yang balance that will end the global crises. Hence, this website is meant to add yin energy to our unbalanced yang world. Yin must therefore be manifested in everything that is written in this website. Balanced people from all walks of life are already adding yin energy into our world. The Intsangano educational website wants to follow their lead. When we combine our yin forces, making the feminine energy strong, we can create a dynamic tension with the overrated yang energy, leading to harmony and the end of Patriarchy.
One controversial subject under patriarchal rule is ethics. In modern Patriarchy, ethics is a purely theoretical and rational scientific subject. Therefore, philosophers, who are considered experts on ethical issues, are engaging in ethical thinking, argumentation, and the creation of theories that are universally applicable. Excluded from this extra-worldly discussion, is a practical and emotional view on ethics. Moreover, the average person, who is daily acting ethically in everything he or she does, is disqualified from creating ethical theories. Consequently, in Patriarchy, ethics is also treated as a reductionist and dualized subject, including only masculine yang energy.
This has serious consequences: since the masculine rational yang energy is superior, ethical theorizing excludes the feminine yin emotions like sympathy, care, and compassion - human feelings that are a natural part of our daily ethical consideration and moral behavior. An even worse outcome of its dualized worldview is that Patriarchy will exclude ethical concern for those that do not belong to the masculine group; they will be labeled "the other." As a result, all that relates to the feminine yin force cannot be awarded ethical consideration! It helps us understand why Patriarchy is unable to include concern for women, children, poor people, traditional people, people of color, and animals, while earning profit from exploiting them.
Thus, also in the case of ethics is Patriarchy marginalizing society and nature. Both are put in a box marked "having no ethical value." We certainly do not have to accept that. Consequently, when we add the feminine yin force, we can create a yin yang balanced attitude to ethics and embrace caring holistic ethical standards for the totality of life worldwide. This will end numerous unethical practices, including the elite's domination of society and exploitation of nature worldwide.
Adding yin energy in this website means practically that contributors are motivated to include in their writing ethical caring standards for all of life. It is rarely done in the modern patriarchal world. Below, some examples are lined up. They are meant to show the difference between respectful and disrespectful behavior.
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1929-1968)
First: In a patriarchal context of competition, debaters are commonly focusing on winning the discussion, with whatever means available, rather than exchanging views. Hence, when a person runs out of good arguments in a discussion, he/she may start attacking the opponent personally. This may include various tricks like calling the opponent degrading names, undermining the opponent personally, or presenting unrelated, personal information in order to show that the opponent has a doubtful character. Often, dishonest means are used to gain the demeaning information, or the data is not based on the full truth. We all know this from political discussions where candidates end up throwing "mud" at each other, rather than exchanging subjective opinions in a respectful and decent manner.
In this website, we will not use such unethical approaches. The purpose of the various educational papers is to explain, clarify, understand, and be critical of patriarchal domination and its structures. However, the intention is not to criticize any individual person. In reality, nobody has the right to judge another human being; we must leave that to divine entities. We are all unique; the smallest as well as the tallest deserve respect simply for being alive. But we are allowed to criticize what people are thinking, saying, and doing; specifically when these thoughts, words, and actions are harming other living beings and nature. Our thoughts and actions are individual choices, based on our subjective values. We must examine, analyze, criticize, and discuss these values thoroughly. This analysis will increase our awareness and help us change our perception so that it becomes closer to reality. Consequently, our intention here is to change the habitual, reductionist pattern of thinking and acting that is harmful to others, and to introduce a holistic way of thinking and acting, which will not harm any living being.
The reason people in a Patriarchy are attacking other individuals, relates to their reductionist mindset, which makes them believe that parts in a system are unrelated. When they attack and harm another person, they believe it has no harmful effect for themselves. However, when we change this flawed way of thinking into a holistic perception of reality where all parts are related, then we can no longer attack another person, because when we attack and harm others, we are in fact attacking and harming ourselves. Mohandas K. Gandhi found that in order to search for truth, it is proper to resist and attack a system. Yet, since we are all interconnected in some divine ways, resisting and attacking a person would be the same as attacking oneself. Thus, by attacking and harming one being, we are harming the whole world. Consequently, when we integrate yin and yang, we are adopting a holistic worldview, and then we can no longer see our opponent as being unrelated and of no value to us – even though he or she may be unbalanced. Conclusively, we must learn not to attack human beings personally, but instead attack what they say and do. We need to "hate the sin and not the sinner," then we can avoid spreading the poison of hatred in the world.
Practically, it means that we cannot write that Mr. X is stupid, immature, and out of balance. However, we can say that Mr. X is thinking or acting in a stupid, immature, and unbalanced way. And then, of course, we need to add convincing premises on which we have drawn that conclusion.
One should conversely not become artificial in the criticism: Patriarchy has created a mechanical way of presenting reality. In order to avoid personal responsibility for implementing harmful actions, politicians often formulate themselves in ways suggesting that it is not their personal decision. They tell us that the decision was made by an impersonal entity. For example they may say, "the government has decided," or "the administration believes," or "the White House thinks." These statements are unreal. No building can think, no organization or structure can believe or decide. It is always individual people who think, decide, and choose actions based on their subjective values. And for that they must be held responsible. This way of avoiding responsibility in Patriarchy only further confirms the importance of focusing on a person's way of thinking, speaking, deciding, and acting, giving appropriate criticism of what is considered unbalanced and harmful.
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas K. Gandhi
Second: A holistic, ethical approach will require a respectful behavior, even when we are criticizing harmful patriarchal structures, and also when we are being attacked by their supporters. Again one can learn from Gandhi's scheme, which he called "Satyagraha." It is a direct social action, based upon principles of nonviolence, courage, love, and truth. It relates to civil disobedience, done without violence, since no lasting good things can come from violence. In this method, non-cooperation with Patriarchy is not an aim in itself; it is a means to secure the cooperation of the opponent. Resistance is not a way of punishing the opponent; it is an attempt to transform the relationship by reaching the opponent's heart, making him or her realize that in the balanced person he or she has a friend. In this method, the way we behave is more important than what we achieve, because how we behave determines the results. Thus, by our own calm and balanced behavior, we can change the energies of the unbalanced person. That cannot be done by violence, which is an unbalanced yang action that will increase violence. We can only make profound improvements in our world by decent behavior and by being an example to others. This means that all criticism – although being sharp, clear, truthful, sustained, blunt, and honest – still needs to be presented in a respectful manner, without using patriarchal aggressive concepts.
In sum: the aim is to present realistic and balanced critique of unbalanced and harmful patterns of thinking, perceiving, talking, acting, and to criticize dominative structures without becoming personal. By a kind and respectful behavior towards our opponent, we become what they need: an example of balanced behavior from which to learn. In this way, we have a much better chance to be persuasive and supportive to unbalanced people, helping them balance their energies.
"The wise harm no one." Buddha
Third:Another patriarchal trick in winning a debate and undermining the opponent is to make sweeping generalizations based on biology. The aim is to "prove" the superiority of the "master." In order to win an argument, a man may say to his female opponent that women are too emotional to discuss rational political and economic issues. In this way, he excludes all women from political activity due to their common biology. This trick is called "essentialism." It is based on dualist values, suggesting that biological men are inherently rational and thus superior to biological women, who are inherently emotional. Apart from being based on value dualism and patriarchal domination, it is also a false argument. It suggests a universal truth about biological men and women, for which there is no evidence. All of us, both men and women, have access to the faculties of reason and emotion. In fact, we cannot separate the two. Our judgments will always be based on both. Both are integrated parts of being a whole and balanced human being. Most balanced people will know how to combine rationality and feelings in order to make appropriate judgments. However, some people may not be adequately in touch with their feelings, and they may as such not sufficiently care about the effects of their actions. Others may be quite unreasonable, making judgments that are emotional and unrealistic. Both extremes would be considered unbalanced in the system presented here. Hence, our biology cannot determine any truth about our rational and emotional faculties. Therefore, essentialism is an invalid argument. Similar invalid arguments may be used in order to undermine other biological groups, like people of color, traditional people, homosexual people, poor people, animals, etc.
In order to avoid invalid arguments and other false arguments, it is useful to focus on an opponent's way of thinking, perceiving, and acting. If these are motivated by unbalanced energy, then this should be the focus of the critique. Consequently, in Intsangano the focus is not on biological entities, but on energies.
"Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth." Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister, parliamentarian, and literary figure (1804-1881)
Fourth: A disturbing patriarchal trick in argumentation, which psychologists refer to as "blaming the victim," has done a lot of damage. Many of us have either been victims of it or manipulated by it. Apart from essentialism, it is probably the most successful trick in falsely influencing our minds and thus instilling negative values in us about ourselves and various groups in society. It is important that we look through such invalid arguments and dismiss them.
For example, Patriarchy may at times present poor people as being lazy or stupid, and therefore, they are themselves to blame for their poverty. If they also are of color or indigenous tribes we may even hear that they are not fully humans, and as such deserve their fate. Another widespread rumor is to blame poor African people for destroying the environment or overpopulating our world. The reasoning goes that out of ignorance, women are producing too many children, and that overpopulation exerts great pressure on natural resources. This presentation has convinced many people that women, poor people, people of color, and indigenous peoples are to blame for their own fate and our global crises. However, it presents a limited understanding of a complex problem, but it is a clever method since it identifies an easy target, while keeping public attention away from the real culprits: the political and economic elites and their huge need to obtain natural resources for their eternal economic profit-making. It is the actions of the elites that is causing the crises of environmental degradation and poverty, while the indigenous and poor people are the victims. Since the patriarchal structures are complicated and therefore difficult to untangle, it is easier to blame the victims and move on. Regretfully, too many, otherwise decent and intelligent, people believe in the stories of the elite, and sadly join in blaming the victims.
Blaming the victim is also made easy in another way. Patriarchy's victims do not have a platform from which to speak; in most cases Patriarchy owns all media sources and determines the messages that are being broadcasted. The victims can therefore not defend themselves, explain their situation, and present the case, seen from their side. They cannot inform about the domination they are dealing with daily; how their land is grabbed by the elite; how timber businesses cut down their forests; how their governments are redirecting their water towards economic profit-making. The African woman cannot explain that she needs children for survival. Due to lack of adequate access to fertile land, firewood and water, her workload has become overwhelming and she needs children to help her with the work. She would also explain that due to patriarchal social rules, it is not her but her husband who determines how many children she is going to have. In fact, many women do not own their own bodies, their father, brothers, or husbands do. Hence, the general public is not receiving balanced information and, as a result, they cannot make a balanced decision about the issue. In this way, Patriarchy is successful in telling their unbalanced story.
Blaming the victim takes various forms, including blaming women for being raped (they can just wear proper clothing), blaming children for being beaten (they can just behave), etc. Blaming the victim is doubly harmful. The victim who is already victimized by the harm inflicted, must now also carry the burden of guilt, a responsibility which should be placed on the abuser. Moreover, blaming the victim makes it impossible for the unbalanced masculine mindset to face reality, to learn from mistakes, and to change towards a balanced state of mind. Consequently, blaming the victim is an unbalanced approach, done by a dualized mind, in order to avoid taking responsibility for unethical behavior. It is a dishonorable action and its users will eventually lose their soul.
"Fortune lost, nothing lost; courage lost, much lost; honor lost, more lost; soul lost, all lost." Dutch proverb
In a dualistic perspective, the superior "master" is always right. As a result, the master can blame the subordinate "slave" for anything. In a holistic worldview the division between the master and the slave dissolves, thus blaming the victim becomes impermissible. We can then set things straight: any abuse done to anybody is unethical behavior, and the victim is never to blame. The abuser must be held responsible for his or her actions.
We are all victims of Patriarchy and its unbalanced perception and values. Hence, we may all have been blaming the victim at one time or another and we may all have been the victim blamed. Moreover, we may have trusted stories that were blaming the victim. However, when we understand the system, we can correct it before we draw any conclusion. Consequently, before we blame anybody for any action, we need to examine the case carefully, analyze all sides of the matter, and only when we feel certain in our assessment, can we place responsibility for unethical behavior.
"Always be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle." Plato
Conclusively, when one wants to make changes, it is often wise to do the opposite of the mainstream. The Intsangano educational website therefore promotes the opposite value of Patriarchy. In order to shrink the excessive yang energy, we need to add yin energy into our mind and our physical world, including the missing ethics. The aim is to create yin yang balance. However, to create balance we need to be an example of balanced behavior. This includes our choice of words and actions. Balanced people will choose not to use violent concepts and unfair criticism. A balanced person will also not become personal or unjustly blaming the victim. The aim is to bring back ethical standards in criticism and debate. If we want a balanced world we need to think, talk, and act in ways that represents the world we want to live in. Mainly our actions tell a story about our values. It is a well-known fact that children do as their parents do, not as they preach. In society, citizens are highly influenced by the behavior of their leaders; that is why we have many unbalanced people. However, by the example of balanced people, we have an excellent opportunity to make changes in the world due to our choice of balanced thoughts, words, and actions. Conclusively, in this website good and ethical behavior is prioritized, as a way to end Patriarchy.
"Be the change you want to see in the world." Mohandas K. Gandhi