By Silvia Isabel Contreras Carreyó @sundarikotatzu
Translation by Dinorah Carreyó
Recently in Ukraine, policemen beat and stripped an anti-government demonstrator, while temperature marked some degrees below zero. Nazis used to show Jews naked during WWII. Today, pro-government groups beat and strip students in the Venezuela Central University campus in Caracas, the main public university in the country. What moves the public forces to expose citizens to nakedness?
Once again, Stanford’s jail experiment becomes important. In 1971, it was proven the fact that legitimate power over the rest, can unleash the potential aggressiveness we all have inside. In the experiment, a group of volunteers played as guardians in a fictitious jail, while other group played as prisoners. Guardians wore military clothes and inmates were almost naked, wearing only a light robe.
At the very second day of the experiment, guardians adopted an aggressive attitude against inmates. The bullying included pushing them to take off their clothes. Aggressiveness became so intense, that the organizers decided to stop the experiment on the sixth day -it was supposed to last eight more days.
From the moral viewpoint, wearing a uniform leads the individual to enforce the law, but from the most instinctive response, it can place the individual in the “privileged” role of the aggressor. Mistreatments are as infinite as human creativity, and it seems that imposed and exposed nakedness occupies the first place of the options of the one who wants to humiliate. Ironically, humiliation multiplies when denounced: every time a photograph or video of the victim is shown, the victimizer adds points to his clever choice as ill-treater.
Today Venezuelans have witnessed, via the few surviving information media, the humiliation to those who should be devoting time to study and promote a universal thought from the most important study center of the country, leaving instead bare naked the dictatorial intentions and the repressive willpower of the Venezuelan government.