Actually, I've sent George material about my main interest at the moment,
Action for Justice which is a non-profit, non-party paralegal approach to
government accountability and political reform (whrew!). A4J is at
present focussed on the UK but takes an approach (the need for an
enforceable code of conduct for elected representatives) relevant to any
democratic government which is in some way disfunctional.
On a more personal level, I'm a middle-aged American writer who has lived
in Cambridge, England for the past ten years. I've always been a citizen
activist, but my special attraction to WAVE is not just based on the
connection that I see between the victimisation of the public by
politicians and abuse by private individuals, but on my experiences.
I myself have been involved with an abusive person. He was not
physically abusive but would engage in provocative behaviour which would
"entitle" him to abuse me emotionally. And the worst occasions (when I
disputed his version of reality), he would display infantile rage.
Suffice it to say that I needed to understand two things: why he behaved
the way he did and what part I played in it.
I learned how to defuse the situation and by refusing to give him payoffs
(tears or my own anger) and this helped him as well. Although WAVE
addresses physical violence, I believe the difference between domestic
violence and emotional abuse is in certain regards insignificant. Both
stem from the same early life deprivation and both can damage the
victim's self-respect, health, confidence and ability to enjoy life.
I realised some time ago that confronting an unresponsive and abusive
government was a surrogate battle, but that this was a good thing to do
with my experience.
I wouldn't have chosen the experience I had (though of course I probably
did just that), but I value what I have learned about human behaviour. I
think it is important to go beyond stimulus-response and not merely
condemn people who behave violently. They are victims too. Two books
were especially helpful: Narcissism by Dr Alexander Lewan and Alice
Miller's The Drama of Being a Child, both of which are sympathetic to the
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