Degradation Rituals: Our Sadomasochistic Society by L. Romanienko

By L. Romanienko

A candid exploration of sadomasochistic practices using modern tradition, protecting the demoralizing socioeconomic and political stipulations that supply upward push to agonizing rituals of cruelty established at systemic, transnational, spiritual, familial, or even sexual spheres of human family.

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As was the case a half-century ago when these political psychologists attempted to demystify the authoritarian underpinnings of Nazism, these pioneers studying and designing political subjugation to the authoritarian regime discovered and perpetuated the quintessential American blueprint for today’s emerging modern totalitarianism. Comprising a system of transactions involving numerous complex and cumulative internal degradation rituals, the contemporary American regime (as well as the classic Nazi regime) was found capable of perpetuating antidemocratic, anticognition social control methods among “authoritarian aggressives” and other obedient conformists who, through the use of degradation rituals, demanded and reinforced community commitment and compliance to existing power structures, due largely to their own lack of development of a conscience or other independent critical-thinking moral framework.

It is perceived that while inmates are expected to threaten institutional legitimacy because there is no consensual authority, women are symbolic in their delegitimizing presence. The mere presence of women within prison settings is 34 O Degradation Rituals thought to conjure images of nurturing, caretaking, and sensitivity that are in direct opposition to, and antithetical to the construction of, the hypermasculine authoritarian privilege and oppression needed to drive the degradation taking place in jails and prisons.

It is only with such a differentiation that the individual is freed from the constraints of mythical worldviews and required to exercise an intersubjective autonomy of his or her own. Therefore the project at hand, with or without government-controlled and -censored social media, involves the dismantling of discourses of domination. Now that the undeniable potential of the mass scale of street performance and protest around the world has indicated that the thirst for egalitarian relations beyond the state in a variety of cultural contexts has been made momentarily possible, the lofty goal to permanently dismantle discourses of domination will be predicated or contingent on the ability of audiences to continue to use unfiltered communication to return to the nonsystemic, local, organic ways of planetary (and thus community) harmony.

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