Heavenly Peace of the Oppressor and Hellish Peace of the Oppressed


Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service

This publication contains graphic images, which may be disturbing to some readers. Parental guidance is recommended for minors.

“The Oppressor Gains Power to Achieve Peace, while the Oppressed Gains Agony.” [1]

The First Black, President Nelson Mandela, of the “Rainbow Nation” and his fight against the Oppression of Systemic Racism in his epic autobiography “The Long Walk to Freedom”

This paper, discusses the ideology of oppression and the interplay of the dynamics between the Oppressor and the Oppressed, using global examples affecting humanity in the 21st century. The discussions further trace this ideology to prehistory, with reference to scriptural aspects, the psychology of oppression and the author presents a new theory of “Peace Disruption”, which has its basis on the aspect of the psychology of functional manifestations of the primitive, reptilian components of the human brain[2] in Homo sapiens, sapiens[3], the epitome of the evolution of humanoids.

Oppression[4] refers to the exercise of authority, power, or control in a cruel, unjust, or burdensome manner, often with the intent of subjugating, marginalising, or suppressing a particular group or individual. This can manifest in various forms throughout history, affecting nations, different societies and social orders, cultures, families, institutions and demographics. Essentially, oppression, as a tool to exert power or supreme authority in various situations, can be categorised into three basic entities: Mild, Moderate and Severe or Brutal oppressions, throughout human history, emanating from the inherent personalities manifesting itself from individuals, or collective organisations, globally over the eons of human existence.  This oppression can vary in intensity from the oppressive interactions between spouses which may commence as seemingly innocuous but invariably reaches a climax in the form of murderous annihilation of a spouse by the partner.

It is relevant to examine these three categories of oppressions, in some detail.

Minor Oppressions:

Microaggressions[5]: Subtle, often unintentional acts that convey derogatory or negative messages based on an individual’s identity.

Stereotyping: Assigning oversimplified and generalized traits to individuals or groups based on their identity.

Casual Discrimination: Everyday acts of bias, prejudice, or exclusion that contribute to systemic inequalities.

Social Exclusion: Isolating or marginalising individuals or groups based on their characteristics.

Verbal Harassment: Using offensive language or slurs to demean or insult others.

Implicit Bias: Unconscious attitudes or beliefs that influence behaviour and decision-making, often without awareness.

Tokenism: Including a small number of individuals from marginalised groups to create an appearance of diversity without addressing underlying inequalities.

Moderate Oppressions:

Employment Discrimination: Biased hiring, promotion, or firing practices based on identity, such as race, gender, or religion.

Educational Disparities: Unequal access to quality education and resources based on socioeconomic status or other factors.

Housing Segregation: Systemic practices that lead to unequal housing opportunities for marginalized communities.

Cultural Appropriation: Adopting elements of a marginalized culture without understanding or respecting its significance.

Police Profiling: Targeting individuals based on racial or ethnic characteristics, leading to unequal treatment by law enforcement.

Environmental Injustice: Disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards in marginalized communities.

Income Inequality: Unequal distribution of wealth and resources that perpetuates systemic disadvantages.

Major Oppressions:

Institutional Racism: Systemic structures that disadvantage certain racial or ethnic groups across various aspects of society.

Gender Inequity: Systemic discrimination and unequal treatment based on gender, often limiting opportunities for women and non-binary individuals.

Genocide: Deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, ethnic, religious, or cultural group.

Forced Labour: Coercing individuals into work through violence, threats, or deception.

Ethnic Cleansing: Systematic expulsion or extermination of an ethnic or cultural group from a certain region.

Slavery: Ownership and exploitation of individuals as property, denying them basic human rights.

Apartheid: Legalised racial segregation and discrimination, as seen in South Africa’s historical system, pre-1994 liberation.

Bearing in mind that the above list is not exhaustive and that the categorisation can vary based on perspectives and contexts. Also, oppressions can intersect, meaning that individuals or groups can experience multiple forms of oppression, simultaneously.  It can also involve the genocide of an entire group of people as it happened in the holocaust as the “Final Solution” [6]against humans of Jewish extraction, the Romanis[7], and Russian prisoners of war by the Nazi Regime, under the most brutal oppressor, Adolph Hitler in recent history of the 20th century.  The term “Roma,” which refers to the Romani people, also known as the Roma or Romani Gypsies. The Romani people are an ethnic group with a diverse cultural heritage that spans multiple countries and regions. During the Holocaust[8], they were one of the targeted groups by the Nazi regime, alongside Jews and other minority communities.  The Romani people have historically faced discrimination, persecution, and marginalization across Europe and other parts of the world. During World War II[9], the Nazis carried out a campaign of genocide against them, which is often referred to as the “Porajmos”[10] (meaning “the Devouring” in the Romani language). Like the Jewish Holocaust, this campaign led to the systematic extermination of a significant number of Romani individuals. The Romani people’s experiences during the Holocaust included forced labour, mass killings, medical experiments, and other forms of dominance, brutality and inhumanity by systemic oppression. They were subjected to racial laws and policies that aimed to isolate and dehumanize them.  It is important to remember and recognise the oppressive suffering and loss that the Romani people endured during this tragic period in history. The Holocaust targeted multiple communities, and acknowledging the experiences of all affected groups is essential for a comprehensive understanding of the historical events of severe oppression and brutality by the oppressor, the Nazi Regime[11], under the direct command of Hitler and his Generals[12].

Main Photo: The Nazi, unbridled Oppression and Brutality. US troops view bodies of victims of Kaufering IV, a Dachau subcamp in the Landsberg-Kaufering area. Germany, April 30, 1945, after liberation of the death camp.
 Inset Top Right Photo: Not every political prisoner was pushed into forced labour in the Soviet Gulag Prisons, by Stalin. Here, the bodies of thousands of Polish people lie dead in  mass graves. Katyn, Russia. April 30, 1943
 Inset Bottom Left Photo:  A German in a military uniform shoots at a Jewish woman after a mass execution in Mizocz, Ukraine. In October of 1942, the 1,700 people in the Mizocz ghetto fought with Ukrainian auxiliaries and German policemen who had intended to liquidate the population. About half the residents were able to flee or hide during the confusion before the uprising was finally put down. The captured survivors were taken to a ravine and shot. Note the nude bodies, with no dignity in death.
Photo credit: Paris’ Holocaust Memorial

In addition to the Romani people and Jews, the Nazi regime targeted several other minority groups for persecution and extermination based on their racial, ethnic, and ideological criteria. These groups were deemed “racially impure” or “undesirable” according to Nazi ideology, of “Aryan Superiority”, casing major “Peace Disruption” throughout Europe commencing as a prelude to World war 11.  Some of the notable targeted groups included:

Disabled Individuals: The Nazis implemented a program known as the T4 program,[13] which aimed to exterminate people with physical and mental disabilities. This program involved forced sterilisation, euthanasia, and the killing of disabled individuals through gas chambers and other methods.

Homosexuals: Homosexual men were persecuted and imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps. They were subjected to severe oppression through brutal treatment, forced labour, and medical experiments.

Political Dissidents: Individuals who opposed or resisted the Nazi regime, including communists, socialists, and other political dissidents, were arrested, imprisoned, and often executed.

Jehovah’s Witnesses[14]: Members of the Jehovah’s Witness faith were targeted because of their refusal to salute the Nazi flag, perform military service, or participate in Nazi rituals. They faced imprisonment and persecution.

Poles and Slavic Peoples[15]: The Nazis considered Slavic peoples, including Poles and other Eastern Europeans, as racially inferior. Many were subjected to forced labour, deportation, and extermination.

Soviet POWs[16]: Soviet prisoners of war faced extreme brutality and neglect in Nazi concentration camps. Millions of them died from starvation, disease, and execution.  Some prisoners were forced to eat their own faeces in the face of prolonged, ongoing starvation, as experimental endeavours by the likes of the Angel of Death[17], a medical doctor Adolph Mengele.[18]

Resisters and Partisans: Members of resistance movements and partisan groups were hunted down and executed by the Nazis using the most brutal oppressive techniques and termination, using the guillotine inside prisons.

Others: The Nazis also targeted individuals considered “asocial” based on their lifestyles, including criminals, miscreants, beggars, and homeless people. They were often subjected to forced sterilisation, imprisonment, and extermination, as the “Final Solution”[19].

The Holocaust was a brutal demonstration of a complex and systematic campaign of genocide that affected a wide range of individuals and communities. The Nazi regime’s brutal actions were driven by a combination of racist ideology, political objectives, and the desire to establish what they saw as an Aryan-dominated society[20], using the techniques of dominance, brutality and inhumanity. Recognising and remembering the experiences of all those who suffered and perished during this period is essential to understanding the full scope of the Holocaust’s impact on the global humanity.  This is an expression of the legacy of imperial colonialism, practised even presently by Israel, against the Palestinian people, who they want to exterminate.  The irony is that while the entire world was against this philosophy of the Nazi Regime, there is a deafening silence of the international community of the Palestinian peoples[21] oppression and brutality committed by the illegal actions of Israel.  Even the International Criminal Court [22]is powerless and voiceless, allowing Israel to continue killing Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, with the greatest impunity and absolutely no accountability.  It is also important to realise the United states and Britain are complicit in this oppressive brutality practised by Israel, not only by financial aid, sniper rifles and other military hardware, but also open, vociferous, moral support of the operations of apartheid state of Israel.[23]

The Dynamics of Oppressor and the Ideology behind Oppression used by Imperial Colonialists and propagated in the 21st century at every level of contemporary life. Graphic designed by the author: August 2023

At this juncture, it is necessary to define, for the purposes of this publication, the entities of: 1. Tyranny 2. Discrimination 3. Humiliation 4. Dehumanization, and 5. Demeanment in relation to oppression and how these terms are different in the context of oppression and explain their differences:


Tyranny refers to an oppressive and cruel exercise of power by a ruler or government. It involves the unjust use of authority to control and suppress individuals or groups, often denying them basic rights and freedoms. Tyranny can manifest through dictatorial rule, authoritarianism, and the imposition of oppressive laws or policies.


Discrimination is the unjust treatment or exclusion of individuals or groups based on certain characteristics, such as race, gender, religion, or other attributes. It involves treating some people less favorably than others due to their perceived differences. Discrimination can manifest in various forms, such as unequal access to opportunities, biased attitudes, and systemic inequalities.


Humiliation involves deliberately demeaning or degrading an individual or group through words, actions, or behavior. It is intended to cause feelings of shame, embarrassment, and loss of self-worth. Humiliation can be a tactic of oppression to assert dominance and control over others.


Dehumanization is the process of depicting or treating individuals or groups as less than human, often by denying their inherent rights, dignity, and empathy. It reduces people to objects or stereotypes, making it easier to justify oppression and mistreatment.


Demeanment refers to lowering or belittling the status or worth of an individual or group through words or actions. It involves treating someone disrespectfully or condescendingly. Demeanment contributes to maintaining power dynamics and enforcing oppressive behavior.


Tyranny refers to the oppressive exercise of power by a ruling authority.

Discrimination involves unequal treatment based on certain characteristics.

Humiliation is the deliberate act of demeaning someone to assert control.

Dehumanization involves treating individuals as less than human to justify oppression.

Demeanment refers to treating someone disrespectfully or condescendingly.

These terms are interconnected as they often play roles in various forms of oppression. They highlight different aspects of how oppressive behavior can manifest, from the use of power and authority to the denial of rights, dignity, and humanity, causing gross Peace Disruption.

Some authors also include international sanctions as a form of oppression, on different sectors of the communities, within a nation.  International sanctions are a diplomatic and economic tool used by governments or international organisations to influence the behavior of a country or its government. This was the case in point against South Africa, when international sanctions and boycotts of South Africa good were introduced against the nationalist, White minority, apartheid, South African government, in the 1970s and 1980s.  While sanctions can have significant effects on a country’s economy and population, whether they are considered a form of oppression, depends on various factors and perspectives.

Prospective Aspects of International Sanctions:

Political Pressure: Sanctions are often imposed to pressure a government to change its policies, behavior, or actions that are deemed unacceptable by the international community. This pressure can be seen as a way to discourage oppressive or harmful actions.

Avoiding Military Action: Sanctions are sometimes used as an alternative to military intervention, which can lead to loss of life and greater destruction. In this sense, sanctions can be viewed as a less violent means of achieving change.

Promoting Human Rights: Sanctions can be applied in response to human rights violations, aiming to hold perpetrators accountable and protect vulnerable populations.

Potential Considerations as Forms of Oppression:

Impact on Civilian Populations: Sanctions can have unintended consequences on the general population, including reduced access to basic necessities such as food, medicine, and essential goods. This can lead to suffering and hardship among ordinary citizens, which could be viewed as a form of collective punishment.

Limited Effectiveness: In some cases, sanctions might not effectively target oppressive governments or leaders, while disproportionately affecting ordinary citizens. This can lead to the perception that sanctions are hurting the population more than the intended targets.

Long-Term Consequences: Prolonged sanctions can lead to economic decline, social instability, and reduced access to education and healthcare, contributing to long-term negative impacts on societies.

The assessment of whether international sanctions are a form of oppression can depend on the intent behind their imposition, the targeting of specific entities or individuals, the extent of harm caused to civilian populations, and the broader geopolitical context. Sanctions often involve complex ethical and political considerations, and their impact can vary significantly depending on how they are implemented and their specific goals.

Ultimately, the classification of international sanctions as a form of oppression can be a matter of debate and depends on the specific situation and perspective of the individuals and communities affected.

It is necessary to highlight some of the common physical manifestations of oppression, generated by oppressors, in time.  Oppression can lead to a range of physical manifestations, both immediate and long-term, as a result of actions taken by oppressors. These physical manifestations can vary widely depending on the context and severity of the oppression. Some common examples:

Physical Violence: Direct physical violence, including beatings, torture, and other forms of abuse, can lead to injuries such as bruises, fractures, burns, and internal organ damage.

Malnutrition and Starvation: Oppressive policies that restrict access to food and resources can lead to malnutrition, stunted growth, and even starvation in oppressed populations.

Forced Labour: Oppressed individuals forced into labor may experience physical exhaustion, injuries from hazardous working conditions, and long-term health issues.

Sexual Violence: Sexual violence, including rape and assault, is a traumatic consequence of oppression that can result in physical injuries, sexually transmitted infections, and long-term psychological distress.

Public Humiliation: Public humiliation, such as public floggings or other degrading punishments, can cause physical pain and emotional trauma.

Incarceration: Unjust imprisonment, often used as a tool of oppression, can lead to physical health issues due to overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and lack of medical care.

Forced Displacement: Oppressive regimes or actions can force people to flee their homes, leading to physical hardships, exposure to the elements, and risks to health and safety.

Genocide and Mass Killings: Extreme forms of oppression, such as genocide, result in mass killings that cause physical harm and death on a large scale.

Use of Chemical Weapons: Some oppressive regimes have used chemical weapons against their populations, causing immediate injuries and long-term health effects.

Physical Restrictions: Policies that limit movement, access to resources, or freedom of expression can lead to physical confinement and limitations.

Medical Experimentation: In some cases, oppressive regimes have subjected individuals to unethical medical experiments, resulting in physical harm and health complications.

Modern Slavery and Forced Labour:  This is a particularly new type of oppression, whereby large groups of populace, often internally displaced by turmoil or oppression within a country, are somewhat “willing participants” in this human trafficking, which crime syndicates are quick to capitalise on, to generate large, inordinate amounts of funding for themselves in a short space of time.  Such individuals are forced to work in prostitution, sweat shops, and drug mules for crime bosses, globally.  They are also easy prey for terrorist recruitments and potential suicide bombers, who are subsequently radicalized by fanatical ideologies of religious oppression by certain groups.  It is interesting to note that the war in Stria, in the early stages, resulted in various young individuals decided to eave their countries of origin and go of to fight on the side of ISIS and other groups based on their radicalised ideologies on Islam.  Significant numbers, even left from South Africa, to participate in what was perceived as Islamic Jihad.  These individuals were misguided and rapidly realised their misperception of the bona fides of  paying allegiance to such organisation, based on the lure of an apparently common religious ideology, which was not the case, as the reality of the situation unfolded.

Environmental Degradation: Certain forms of oppression, such as resource extraction without regard for the environment or community well-being, can lead to pollution and physical harm to local populations.

The above examples underscore the profound impact that oppression can have on individuals’ physical well-being. It is important to acknowledge that the physical manifestations of oppression are just one aspect of the broader consequences that oppressive actions can cause, including psychological, social, and economic impact on any individual of community, globally.

It is relevant to have an overview of oppression from prehistory to the 21st century:

Prehistory: Even in early human societies, oppression could be observed in the form of tribal hierarchies where leaders held disproportionate power and controlled resources, limiting the freedoms of others within the group.

Ancient Civilizations: In societies like ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, oppression was often seen in the form of slavery, where a significant portion of the population was forced to work under harsh conditions, denied rights, and treated as property.

Feudalism: During the medieval period, feudal systems led to oppression through strict class hierarchies. Peasants worked on the lands of nobles in exchange for protection but had limited rights and opportunities for advancement.

Colonialism and Imperialism: From the 15th to the 20th century, European powers colonized large parts of the world, subjecting indigenous populations to oppression by exploiting resources, erasing cultures, and imposing foreign rule.

Industrial Revolution[24]: The rise of factories and capitalism brought about labor exploitation. Workers, including children, often faced long hours, dangerous conditions, and low wages.

Racial and Ethnic Oppression: Throughout history, racial and ethnic groups have been systematically oppressed, leading to slavery, segregation, forced displacement, and cultural suppression. This oppression persisted in various forms in different parts of the world.

Gender Oppression: Women’s rights were historically restricted, with limited access to education, employment, and political participation. This gender-based oppression continues to some extent even today.

Civil Rights Movements:[25] The 20th century saw the rise of civil rights movements, such as the African American civil rights movement and the feminist movement, which aimed to challenge and dismantle oppressive systems.

Apartheid and Segregation[26]: Systems like apartheid in South Africa and racial segregation in the United States institutionalised discrimination, limiting the rights and opportunities of marginalized groups.

Totalitarian Regimes: Various oppressive regimes, like Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia[27], utilized authoritarian control to suppress dissent, target specific groups, and eliminate opposition.

Contemporary Forms: In the 21st century, oppression takes new forms, including economic inequality, discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, censorship of information, and surveillance states.

Efforts to combat oppression have led to social justice movements, human rights advocacy, and legal reforms. These efforts seek to create more equitable societies, where all individuals are treated fairly, have access to opportunities, and can live without fear of unjust treatment based on their identity or background.

It is necessary to identify the basic features of oppression of humanity, typically include the following:

Power Imbalance: Oppression involves a significant power imbalance where one group or individual holds a disproportionate amount of power, authority, or control over another group or individual. This power asymmetry is used to enforce the oppressive dynamics.

Systematic Injustice: Oppression is not just isolated incidents of unfair treatment; it’s a systemic and structural issue. It’s embedded in laws, policies, institutions, and cultural norms that consistently disadvantage and discriminate against the oppressed group.

Denial of Rights: Oppression often entails the denial of basic human rights and civil liberties to the oppressed group. These rights may include freedom of speech, education, healthcare, political participation, and economic opportunity.

Marginalisation: Oppressed groups are often marginalized, pushed to the fringes of society, and excluded from mainstream opportunities and decision-making processes. This marginalization reinforces their subordinate status.

Discrimination: Discrimination is a key element of oppression. Oppressed groups are unfairly treated based on their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or other characteristics. This can lead to unequal treatment in various aspects of life.

Stereotyping and Prejudice: Oppression is fueled by stereotypes and prejudiced attitudes that perpetuate negative perceptions of the oppressed group. These stereotypes contribute to justifying discriminatory behavior.

Limited Access: Oppression restricts access to resources, opportunities, and benefits that are available to the privileged group. This lack of access reinforces cycles of poverty and disadvantage.

Violence and Coercion: In extreme cases, oppression may involve physical violence, coercion, and intimidation as tools to maintain control over the oppressed group. This can lead to fear, trauma, and further subjugation.

Cultural Suppression: Oppression often targets the culture, language, and traditions of the oppressed group. This can involve attempts to erase or assimilate cultural identities.

Resistance and Rebellion: Oppressed groups often resist their subjugation through protests, social movements, and other forms of activism. These efforts highlight the desire for change and justice.

Intersections of Identity: Many individuals and groups experience intersecting forms of oppression due to the intersections of their identities. For example, a person could face oppression based on both their race and gender.

Generational Impact: Oppression can have lasting effects that extend across generations. Disadvantages experienced by one generation can be passed down to the next, creating a cycle of ongoing oppression.

It is important to recognise that oppression is complex and multifaceted, and its manifestations can vary widely based on historical, cultural, and social contexts. Efforts to address oppression often involve raising awareness, promoting education, advocating for policy changes, and fostering inclusive and equitable societies.

A list of the famous archetypes of oppression, across time is relevant.  Some famous archetypes of oppression that have emerged across different times and contexts:

Slavery: Enslavement of individuals based on race, ethnicity, or conquest, where they are treated as property and denied basic rights and freedoms.

Colonialism: Domination and exploitation of indigenous populations by foreign powers, often involving cultural assimilation, resource extraction, and suppression of local customs.

Feudalism: A hierarchical social structure where nobility holds power and controls land, while peasants work the land under restrictive conditions, limited rights, and economic dependency.

Apartheid: A system of racial segregation and discrimination, most notably seen in South Africa, that institutionalized separate facilities and unequal treatment for different racial groups.

Gender Oppression: Historically, women have been systematically oppressed, facing limited opportunities, unequal pay, and lack of political and social rights.

Caste System: Social stratification based on hereditary divisions, particularly prevalent in India, where individuals are born into fixed social groups that determine their occupation and social status.

Totalitarian Regimes: Authoritarian governments that suppress dissent, control information, and use state power to oppress citizens and maintain strict control over society.

Jim Crow Laws: Legalized racial segregation in the United States that enforced separate public facilities, accommodations, and services for Black and white individuals.

Genocide: Deliberate extermination of a specific ethnic, racial, or religious group, as seen in events like the Holocaust during World War II.

Homophobia and Transphobia: Discrimination and marginalization of LGBTQ+ individuals, often resulting in denial of rights, violence, and social exclusion.

Class Struggle: The historical conflict between the bourgeoisie (capitalist class) and the proletariat (working class), involving exploitation, economic inequality, and labor rights issues.

Indigenous Displacement: The forced removal and displacement of indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands, often resulting in loss of cultural identity and connection to the land.

Islamophobia and Xenophobia: Discrimination against Muslims and immigrants, fueled by fear, prejudice, and negative stereotypes.

Racism: Systemic discrimination based on race, where one racial group is privileged and the others are marginalized, leading to unequal treatment and opportunities.

Ageism[28]: Discrimination and stereotyping based on age, particularly against older individuals, leading to limited opportunities and unequal treatment.

These archetypes of oppression have had significant impacts on societies, cultures, and individuals throughout history. Recognising and addressing these oppressive patterns is essential for creating more just and equitable societies.

It is also relevant to list as to who were the infamous men and women, oppression propagators from prehistory to the present era. Throughout history, there have been individuals who have played significant roles in propagating oppression, often using their power and influence to further unjust agendas. It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and the impact of these figures can vary based on historical context and interpretation. Here are some infamous individuals who have been associated with oppression from prehistory to the present era:


Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt: Various Pharaohs exercised power and control over slaves and oppressed groups in ancient Egypt, using their authority to build monuments and structures through forced labor.

Ancient and Classical Periods:

Aristotle[29]: While a brilliant philosopher, Aristotle’s views on women perpetuated gender-based oppression. He argued that women were inferior to men and should be subordinate.

Medieval and Renaissance Periods:[30]

Genghis Khan[31]: While a skilled military strategist, Genghis Khan’s conquests led to the oppression and suffering of many populations across Asia and Europe.

Main Photo: The quartering of a prisoner for High Treason during the Tudor regimes in England.  In this specific, brutal sentence for execution, the prisoner is actually torn apart by four strong horses.
 Inset Top Right Photo:  In Mongol religion, spilling of blood of a royal or noble offended their sky god, Tengri, and insulted the Earth spirit, Eje. Spilling the blood of the victim on the ground would prevent the victim from existing in an afterlife. The Mongols believed the victim would become nothing. If the royal blood was spilled, then the gods would punish the Mongols with terrible natural disasters. Therefore, it was a major offence to spill the blood of a prince or a king on the ground.  The Mongols executed Rus’ prince and the rest of the captured nobles by laying them on the ground and covering them with a wooden platform. The Mongol commanders had a victory feast on that platform while the poor nobles suffocated and were crushed to death, underneath. Brutality at its height as practiced by the Mongol hordes. Imagine the screams and crushing of the bones of dying people while asking a fellow commander to pass you a cup of wine?
 Inset Top Left Photo: A mediaeval execution where the prisoner is eviscerated while alive and intestines are burnt. Note the bleeding perineal area, where the prisoner has been emasculated, while still alive.

 Colonial Era:

Christopher Columbus[32]: His voyages to the Americas resulted in the colonization and oppression of indigenous peoples, leading to cultural destruction and loss of life.

King Leopold II of Belgium[33]: His brutal colonisation of the Congo Free State in the late 19th and early 20th centuries resulted in widespread exploitation and suffering, with millions of Congolese dying due to forced labor and violence.  He also had the hands of men, women and children if the quota for rubber production was not met by the locals.  George Washington in 890 coined the tern Crimes Against Humanity as being committed by Kind Leopold during his orgy of brutality and dehumanization of a supposedly civilized European Monarch.[34]

Modern Era:

Adolf Hitler:[35] As the leader of Nazi Germany, Hitler orchestrated the Holocaust and pursued policies that led to the genocide of six million Jews and millions of others.

Joseph Stalin[36]: As the leader of the Soviet Union, Stalin’s policies and purges led to the deaths and suffering of millions of his own citizens.

Mao Zedong[37]: Mao’s policies, including the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, resulted in widespread suffering, famine, and deaths in China.

Idi Amin[38]: The Ugandan dictator’s regime in the 1970s was marked by mass killings, human rights abuses, and economic mismanagement.

Pol Pot[39]: As the leader of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Pol Pot’s regime led to the deaths of nearly two million people through forced labor, execution, and starvation.

Margaret Thatcher[40]: While a polarizing figure, Thatcher’s policies as the UK’s Prime Minister during the 1980s have been criticized for exacerbating economic inequality and contributing to social divisions.

Slobodan Milošević[41]: The former Serbian leader’s involvement in the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s led to ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and genocide.

Kim Jong-un[42]: The current leader of North Korea continues to perpetrate human rights abuses and suppress dissent within the country.

These individuals have left lasting impacts on history, often associated with oppression, suffering and human rights abuses. It’s important to study their actions and the contexts in which they operated to understand the complexities of oppression and work towards preventing such atrocities in the future.

Another aspect consider in relation to oppression, is that is oppression a psychological trait in individuals listed above.  The essential question is do they have a psychiatric problem to account for their oppressive mode, of daily conduct?   the behavior of individuals who have propagated oppression can be influenced by a combination of psychological, social, political, and historical factors. Here’s a general perspective:

Psychological Factors: Some individuals who perpetrate oppression may exhibit traits commonly associated with personality disorders or psychopathy, such as a lack of empathy, disregard for the well-being of others, and manipulative behavior. However, it’s important to avoid oversimplifying complex historical figures by attributing their actions solely to psychiatric conditions.

Sociopolitical Context: Often, oppressive actions are driven by broader sociopolitical factors, including ideologies, power struggles, and historical circumstances. Leaders may exploit existing prejudices and fears within a society to further their own agendas.

Cognitive Biases: Cognitive biases, such as dehumanization and in-group/out-group biases, can contribute to the justification of oppressive actions. These biases distort perception and enable individuals to view the oppressed group as less deserving of empathy and rights.

Socialisation and Culture: Cultural norms and upbringing can shape an individual’s worldview. In societies that normalize oppression, leaders may not perceive their actions as morally wrong, as they are operating within the bounds of the prevailing norms.

Narcissism[43] and Authoritarianism: Traits like narcissism and authoritarianism can predispose individuals to seek and maintain power at the expense of others. These traits might drive oppressive behavior in positions of authority.

Historical Context: The historical context in which these individuals lived and operated played a significant role. Economic challenges, geopolitical tensions, and previous experiences of violence could influence their decisions.

Propaganda and Manipulation: Many oppressive leaders have utilized propaganda and manipulation to control public perceptions and maintain support for their actions. This can involve spreading misinformation, creating scapegoats, and fostering fear.

Complex Motivations: Often, oppressive individuals have complex motivations that are not easily reducible to a single psychological trait. Personal ambition, desire for control, and ideological convictions can all play a role.

It is essential to approach discussions about historical figures’ mental health with sensitivity and an understanding of the broader historical and societal contexts in which they operated. While psychological factors can contribute to oppressive behaviour, they are just one piece of a much larger puzzle that includes political, social economic and cultural factors.

In modern society, oppression is often upheld through a combination of systemic and structural factors that contribute to the marginalisation and disadvantage of certain groups. These pillars of oppression are interconnected and can vary depending on the specific context. Some key pillars that contribute to oppression in modern society:

Structural Discrimination: Systemic biases within institutions, laws, policies, and practices can perpetuate inequality. Discriminatory laws and regulations can limit opportunities and rights for marginalized groups.

Economic Inequality: Economic disparities contribute to oppression, as marginalized groups often have limited access to resources, education, healthcare, and job opportunities. Wealth and income inequality can reinforce cycles of disadvantage.

Racism and Xenophobia[44]: Racial and ethnic prejudice can lead to unequal treatment, stereotypes, and social exclusion. Xenophobia and discrimination against immigrants can further exacerbate oppression.

Sexism and Gender Discrimination: Gender-based oppression affects women, transgender individuals, and non-binary people. Unequal pay, limited representation in leadership roles, and violence against women are examples of this.

Homophobia, Transphobia[45], and LGBTQ+ Discrimination: Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity can lead to social exclusion, denial of rights, and violence against LGBTQ+ individuals.

Ableism: Ableism discriminates against individuals with disabilities, limiting their access to education, employment, and social participation.

Ageism: Prejudice against people of different ages can lead to exclusion of both the very young and the elderly from opportunities and decision-making processes.

Criminal Justice System Bias: Discrimination within the criminal justice system can lead to over-policing, racial profiling, and disproportionate incarceration rates for certain groups.

Media Representation and Stereotyping: Media portrayals can reinforce stereotypes and contribute to the dehumanization of oppressed groups, perpetuating bias and discrimination.

Cultural Appropriation and Erasure: Dominant cultures may appropriate or erase the cultural practices, languages, and identities of oppressed groups, contributing to their marginalization.

Environmental Injustice: Marginalised communities often face disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards and lack access to clean air, water, and green spaces.

Religious Discrimination: Discrimination based on religion can lead to exclusion, stigmatisation, and violence against individuals who belong to minority religious groups.

Language Barriers and Access to Information: Limited access to education and information can perpetuate oppression by preventing marginalised individuals from fully participating in society.

Immigration Policies: Restrictive immigration policies can contribute to the oppression of immigrants and refugees, denying them safe haven and opportunities.

Healthcare Disparities: Marginalised groups may face unequal access to quality healthcare, leading to health disparities and worsening conditions.

Addressing these pillars of oppression requires collective efforts, including policy changes, education, awareness campaigns, and advocacy for social justice. Recognising and dismantling these structures is essential for creating a more equitable and inclusive society.

Another question, which is often raised is that is a basic neural mechanism or neurotransmitters [46]involved,  which give the oppressor supreme pleasure in oppressing his or her victims?  There is no specific neural mechanism or neurotransmitter that is universally associated with providing oppressors with “supreme, sadistic pleasure” in oppressing others. The psychological motivations for oppressive behavior are complex and can be influenced by a combination of cognitive, social, cultural, and environmental factors. Pleasure derived from oppressive actions might not be a simple biological response but rather a psychological state influenced by various factors.  However, research in psychology and neuroscience has explored the underlying mechanisms of behaviors related to dominance, aggression, and power dynamics. A few general concepts that might be relevant:

Reward Pathways[47]: Some research suggests that behaviours related to exerting dominance or power can activate brain areas associated with reward and pleasure. The brain’s reward pathway, involving neurotransmitters like dopamine, can be involved in reinforcing certain behaviors, including those that involve exerting control over others.

Social Identity Theory[48]: Oppressive behavior might be linked to the psychological satisfaction derived from affirming one’s social identity and ingroup status. The brain’s response to in-group favoritism and out-group derogation could play a role.

Empathy Deficits[49]: Some studies suggest that individuals who engage in oppressive behavior might have deficits in empathy-related brain circuits. Reduced empathy could make it easier for some individuals to mistreat others without feeling the same emotional impact.

Psychological Defense Mechanisms: Some oppressive behavior could stem from psychological defense mechanisms, such as displacement (redirecting negative emotions onto others) or projection (attributing one’s own negative traits to others).

Cognitive Biases: Cognitive biases, such as dehumanization and attributing negative characteristics to certain groups, can distort perceptions and justify oppressive behavior.

Social Learning: Observational learning and exposure to role models who engage in oppressive behavior can influence an individual’s attitudes and actions. The age old dictum applies:   “Monsters Breed Monsters”

It is important to note that oppressive behaviour is highly variable, and the underlying psychological and neural mechanisms can differ from person to person. Additionally, oppressive behaviour is not universally experienced as providing “supreme sadistic pleasure”, motivations and emotions related to such behaviour can be diverse and complex.

There have been instances, throughout history, where women have held positions of power and authority and have engaged in oppressive actions. While historical records might not highlight female oppressors as prominently as male ones, there are examples of women who have played significant roles in perpetrating or facilitating oppression. A few examples, are:

Queen Ranavalona I of Madagascar [50](1788–1861): Ranavalona I was known for her brutal reign as the Queen of Madagascar. She implemented strict isolationist policies, persecuted Christians, and used violence to maintain her rule, including forced labor and execution of dissenters.

Wu Zetian[51] (624–705): Wu Zetian was a Chinese empress who rose to power and became the only female ruler in China’s history. While her reign had positive aspects, she also employed oppressive measures to suppress rivals and secure her rule.

Queen Mary I of England[52] (1516–1558): Known as “Bloody Mary,” Mary I earned her nickname due to her persecution of Protestants during her reign as Queen of England. She attempted to restore Catholicism in England and executed numerous Protestants.

Leopoldine Konstantinovna Romanova[53] (1899–1962): Leopoldine, better known as Princess Leonida Bagration of Mukhrani, aligned herself with the Soviet regime in Georgia and played a role in the persecution and execution of members of the Georgian royal family during the Soviet era.

Dowager Empress Cixi of China [54](1835–1908): Cixi exercised significant power as a regent in the late Qing Dynasty in China. Her policies contributed to the decline of the Qing Dynasty, and she upheld conservative practices that oppressed modernisation efforts.

Yulia Tymoshenko [55](1960–present): While not a historical figure, Tymoshenko, a former Prime Minister of Ukraine, has faced criticism for her role in alleged corrupt practices and controversial policies during her time in office.

It is important to appreciate that individuals’ actions and legacies can be complex and multifaceted. While these women engaged in oppressive actions, they were also influenced by political, cultural, and historical contexts. The actions of these women, like their male counterparts, are a reminder that oppression and misuse of power can occur, across genders.

Religious oppression refers to the systematic mistreatment, discrimination, and denial of rights to individuals or groups based on their religious beliefs, practices, or affiliations. It can manifest in various ways and is often rooted in historical, cultural, and political factors. Here’s an expanded overview of religious oppression and its roots:

Roots of Religious Oppression:

Historical Conflicts: Many instances of religious oppression have roots in historical conflicts between different religious groups. These conflicts can create deep-seated animosities and contribute to ongoing tensions.

Dominant Religions: In societies where a particular religion holds significant influence or power, adherents of minority religions may face discrimination or marginalization.

Theocracy and Religious Governance: When religious institutions hold political power, they might use it to suppress dissent and promote their own doctrines, leading to religious oppression.

Colonialism and Imperialism: European colonial powers often imposed their religions on colonized regions, leading to cultural and religious suppression of indigenous beliefs.

Intersecting Identities: Religious oppression can intersect with other forms of oppression, such as gender, race, and ethnicity, amplifying the discrimination faced by certain groups.

Forms of Religious Oppression:

Persecution: Harassment, violence, and imprisonment of individuals based on their religious beliefs are forms of religious persecution.

Discrimination: Denying jobs, education, or services based on one’s religious beliefs is a form of religious discrimination.

Forced Conversion: Individuals may be coerced into adopting a certain religion against their will, often through threats, violence, or manipulation.

Censorship and Suppression: Governments might censor religious texts, teachings, or practices that they deem a threat to their authority.

Blasphemy Laws: Laws that criminalize criticizing or questioning certain religious beliefs can lead to oppression and curtail freedom of expression.

Violence and Extremism: Some extremist groups use religion as a pretext to justify violent actions against those who hold different beliefs.

Examples of Religious Oppression:

The Spanish Inquisition[56]: In the 15th century, the Catholic Church targeted non-Catholic groups in Spain, leading to forced conversions and executions.

Rohingya Crisis[57]: The Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar has faced severe persecution, including violence and displacement.

Persecution of Uighurs[58]: In China, Uighur Muslims have been subject to mass detentions, cultural suppression, and religious restrictions.

Religious Minorities in Middle East: Conflicts in the Middle East have led to the oppression and displacement of religious minority groups like Christians and Yazidis.

Religious Discrimination Laws: In some countries, laws restrict religious freedom and discriminate against minority religious groups.

Anti-Semitism: Throughout history, Jews have faced persecution and discrimination, culminating in events like the Holocaust.

Addressing religious oppression requires efforts to promote religious tolerance, protect freedom of belief, and foster understanding among different religious communities. It’s crucial to acknowledge that religious diversity enriches societies and that everyone has the right to practice their beliefs without fear of oppression.

A special mention needs to be made about Islamic invaders and Crusaders[59], on society. Both Islamic invaders and Crusaders have historical records of actions that could be interpreted as contributing to religious oppression, though it is important to recognise that the historical context, motivations, and consequences can be complex and multifaceted. An overview of religious oppression associated with both groups, is discussed:

Islamic Invaders[60]:

 Islamic conquests and expansions across regions in the medieval period involved interactions with various cultures, religions, and societies. While these interactions were diverse and cannot be generalised, some instances have been criticised for religious oppression:

Conversion Pressure: In certain instances, Islamic conquerors-imposed pressure on conquered populations to convert to Islam. This could involve incentivizing conversion through tax benefits or other privileges.

Dhimmi Status[61]: Non-Muslims living under Islamic rule were often categorized as dhimmis, with certain rights and protections but also restrictions and higher taxes. While not always oppressive, the dhimmi status could lead to unequal treatment.

Destruction of Religious Sites: In some cases, Islamic conquerors may have destroyed religious sites of conquered peoples, including temples, churches, and synagogues.


 The Crusades were a series of military campaigns initiated by Christian European powers in response to the expansion of Islam and the capture of Jerusalem. While the Crusades were motivated by complex factors including religion, politics, and economics, they also have instances associated with religious oppression:

Sacking of Jerusalem[62]: During the First Crusade, the capture of Jerusalem led to a violent sacking of the city, resulting in the killing of both Muslims and Jews.

Treatment of Non-Christians: Some Crusaders mistreated and killed not only Muslims but also Eastern Orthodox Christians and Jews in the regions they conquered.

Forced Conversions: In certain cases, Crusaders forced conversions to Christianity, often through violence or coercion.

Effects on Relations: The Crusades had long-lasting effects on Christian-Muslim relations and contributed to a legacy of mistrust and conflict.

Not all Islamic conquerors engaged in religious oppression, and not all Crusaders committed acts of oppression. Additionally, historical interpretation can be influenced by biases and perspectives.  Understanding historical events requires a nuanced approach that considers the motivations, consequences, and broader historical context. While both Islamic invaders and Crusaders have instances associated with religious oppression, it’s crucial to avoid oversimplification and stereotyping when discussing historical events and their impact on societies.

A diagnosis of a child from the behaviour in its formative years of life, to predict that the child will become as OPPRESSOR, later in life is not possible. However, there are many early warning signs that a parent needs to be cognisant of, in a child, which would serve as red flags.

It is not ethical or accurate to diagnose a child as a future oppressor based solely on their behavior during their formative years. Childhood behaviour is complex and influenced by a multitude of factors, including genetics, environment, upbringing, social interactions, and more. While there might be behavioral red flags that could warrant attention, predicting a child’s future behavior as an oppressor is both challenging and fraught with ethical concerns. The reasons are:

Developmental Changes: Children undergo significant cognitive, emotional, and social development as they grow. Behaviors that might appear concerning in childhood can change as a child matures.

Influence of Environment: A child’s behavior is shaped by their surroundings, including family dynamics, school experiences, peer interactions, and community values. Early behaviors may not necessarily indicate future actions.

Risk of Stigmatisation: Labeling a child as a potential oppressor based on early behavior can stigmatise them and hinder their potential for growth and change.

Ethical Considerations: Making predictions about a child’s future oppressive behavior based on their current behavior can lead to unjust treatment, prejudice, and violation of their rights.

Individual Variation: People are unique, and their paths in life are influenced by a combination of factors. Some individuals might show concerning behaviors but grow to be empathetic and socially responsible adults.

Instead of trying to predict a child’s future behavior, it’s more productive to focus on fostering a supportive and nurturing environment that promotes positive development. Here are some general principles for parents to consider:

Open Communication: Encourage open dialogue with your child. Create an environment where they feel comfortable discussing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

Model Empathy and Respect: Demonstrate empathy and respect in your interactions with others, as children often learn behaviors by observing adults.

Teach Conflict Resolution: Help children learn healthy ways to resolve conflicts and communicate their needs without resorting to oppressive or harmful behavior.

Educate About Diversity: Teach your child about different cultures, perspectives, and experiences to promote understanding and tolerance.

Promote Critical Thinking: Encourage your child to think critically, question assumptions, and consider the impact of their actions on others.

Seek Professional Help: If you have concerns about your child’s behavior, seeking guidance from pediatricians, child psychologists, or other professionals can provide insights into their development and ways to address any potential issues.

Remember that while early behavior can indicate potential challenges, it does not define a child’s entire future. Building a supportive and caring environment can greatly influence a child’s growth and choices as they navigate their path through life.

Another question is do “monsters breed monsters”[63] ie: an oppressor parent will nurture his progeny towards cultivating oppressive traits and attitudes in a young child. The saying “monsters breed monsters” suggests that individuals who engage in oppressive or harmful behavior are more likely to raise children who exhibit similar traits. While there can be some influence of parental behavior on children’s attitudes and behaviors, it’s important to recognise that human development is complex and influenced by a wide range of factors.

Parental Influence:

Parents do play a significant role in shaping their children’s values, attitudes, and behaviors through modeling, teaching, and the environment they create at home. If a parent demonstrates oppressive attitudes or behaviors, it can potentially influence how their child perceives and interacts with the world.

Nature vs. Nurture:

However, human behavior is not solely determined by parenting. Genetic factors, personal experiences outside the home, peer interactions, education, media exposure, and societal influences also play a substantial role in shaping a child’s development. Some children may actively reject the attitudes and behaviors they observe in their parents, while others might internalies them.

Cycles of Oppression:

There is evidence that cycles of oppression can perpetuate across generations, particularly in environments where discriminatory attitudes and behaviors are normalized. Children growing up in such environments might be more likely to mimic what they see and learn, but this isn’t a deterministic outcome.

Resilience and Choice:

Children have the capacity for independent thought, personal growth, and making their own choices. Some children raised in oppressive environments may reject those patterns, recognizing their negative impact, and strive for more inclusive and empathetic values.

Positive Parenting[64]:

Conversely, parents who actively model values of empathy, respect, and inclusivity can encourage their children to develop similar traits. Nurturing a positive environment that values diversity, critical thinking, and open communication can greatly influence a child’s worldview.

Intervention and Change:

Recognising the potential for harmful cycles, individuals and communities can work towards breaking them. Education, awareness, and opportunities for personal growth can help individuals challenge oppressive behaviors and attitudes, even if they were exposed to them in their upbringing.

In summary, while parental behavior can influence a child’s development, it’s not a deterministic factor. Children have the capacity to make their own choices and develop their own values based on a variety of factors. Breaking cycles of oppression requires a holistic approach that considers broader societal influences and the potential for personal growth and change.

The development of oppressive behavior is influenced by a combination of individual, environmental, and societal factors. While no single set of risk factors can definitively predict if a child or teen will become an oppressor, certain conditions and experiences can increase the likelihood. It’s important to note that these risk factors are not deterministic and that many individuals with these factors do not become oppressors. Here are some risk factors that can contribute to the development of oppressive behavior, along with historical examples:

Risk Factors:

Authoritarian Parenting: Being raised in an environment where authority is imposed without explanation or room for discussion can contribute to the normalization of oppressive dynamics.

Lack of Empathy: An inability to understand and share the feelings of others can lead to disregard for their rights and well-being.

Exposure to Prejudice: Growing up in an environment that perpetuates prejudiced attitudes and stereotypes can lead to the internalisation of oppressive beliefs.

Social Isolation: Lack of exposure to diverse perspectives and cultures can hinder the development of empathy and tolerance.

History of Abuse: Experiencing abuse can lead to internalizing oppressive behaviors as a way to exert control and power over others.

Cult of Personality: Being exposed to charismatic leaders who promote oppressive ideologies can influence behavior.

Institutional Support: Being part of an institution or society that encourages oppressive behaviors can normalize those actions.

Historical Examples:

Adolf Hitler: Raised in a strict authoritarian household, Hitler was exposed to anti-Semitic and nationalistic views that influenced his later oppressive actions as the leader of Nazi Germany.

Joseph Stalin: Stalin’s abusive upbringing and involvement in criminal activities contributed to his ruthless behavior as the leader of the Soviet Union.

Idi Amin: Amin’s history of violence and militarism in the Ugandan military played a role in his oppressive rule as dictator.

Kim Jong-il: Raised in a cult of personality surrounding his father, Kim Jong-il perpetuated oppressive rule in North Korea.

Slobodan Milošević: Growing up in a nationalist environment influenced Milošević’s role in the ethnic conflicts and oppression during the Yugoslav Wars.

Pol Pot: Pol Pot’s exposure to radical leftist ideologies and anger towards colonialism contributed to his oppressive rule in Cambodia.

It is important to remember that these examples are complex and influenced by a variety of factors. While these risk factors might be present in some cases, the development of oppressive behavior is not solely determined by them. Many people with similar backgrounds and risk factors do not become oppressors. Moreover, oppressive behavior is a result of choices and actions, and individuals always have the capacity for personal growth, change, and resistance to negative influences

It is often stated that brutal oppressor, across time, are the end result of striving for vengeance against humanity, for mostly perceived, personal inadequacies and setbacks in life.  hypothesis suggests that oppressors may develop their behavior as a result of seeking vengeance against humanity due to perceived personal inadequacies and setbacks. While it’s important to note that human behavior is complex and influenced by a variety of factors, including psychological, social, cultural, and environmental ones, your hypothesis touches on some psychological and emotional dynamics that can play a role in shaping oppressive behavior:

Perceived Inadequacies: Feelings of inadequacy or failure can lead individuals to search for ways to gain power and control as a way to compensate for their perceived shortcomings.

Desire for Power: Seeking power and dominance over others can be driven by a desire to overcome personal feelings of powerlessness or to gain a sense of superiority.

Vengeance: Individuals who have experienced personal setbacks might develop resentment towards society and seek to exert control as a form of revenge or retribution.

Projection: Oppressors might project their own insecurities onto others and target them as a way to deflect from their own perceived shortcomings.

Externalising Blame: Blaming others or certain groups for one’s own problems or failures can be a way to avoid taking personal responsibility.

It is important to note that while these dynamics might be present in some cases, oppressive behavior is also influenced by broader societal factors, cultural norms, historical context, and individual psychological traits. Some oppressors might not exhibit these characteristics, while others might exhibit a combination of factors that drive their behaviour.

Additionally, many individuals who face personal challenges or feelings of inadequacy do not become oppressors. They may channel their experiences into positive outlets, personal growth, or even advocacy for positive change. While understanding potential motivations for oppressive behaviour is important, it is equally important to recognize that the origins of such behavior can be extremely complex.  Another example is that of Hitler.  Adolf Hitler did apply to the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1907 and 1908[65], seeking admission to the school’s painting program. However, he was twice rejected, not because of his ethnicity or the religion of the directors, but rather due to his portfolio and the assessment of his artistic skills. His application was declined because his drawings lacked the required technical proficiency and artistic merit that the academy was seeking. It is stated that he wanted to seek revenge on the Jewish Board of Directors of the art school, to explain his philosophy of Final Solution.  While Hitler’s anti-Semitic views later became well-know it is important to avoid perpetuating unfounded rumors or conspiracy theories.  However, the decision to accept and not reject Hitler’s admission to the Art School in Vienna, on that fateful day, could have prevented the extermination of six million people of Jewish origin, as well as others, as history informs us, glaringly. Historical accuracy is crucial when discussing events and figures from the past. Hitler’s rise to power and the atrocities committed during his regime were complex and deeply rooted in a range of historical, social, and political factors.  Other accounts label Hitler and similar, brutal oppressors, at any level, as psychopaths. It is important to approach discussions about historical figures and their psychological traits with caution. While some historical oppressors might have exhibited traits commonly associated with psychopathy, it’s not accurate or responsible to diagnose individuals based solely on historical records or public information. Psychopathy is a complex personality trait that involves a combination of factors, including cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal characteristics, and diagnosing it requires a comprehensive and formal psychological assessment.

Psychopathy[66] is a term used in psychology to describe a specific set of personality traits and behaviors, such as a lack of empathy, superficial charm, manipulation, and a disregard for the rights and well-being of others. It is important to note that not everyone who engages in oppressive behavior is a psychopath, and not all psychopaths engage in oppression.

The motivations behind oppressive behavior are often multifaceted and can be influenced by historical, political, social, and cultural factors. While some oppressive leaders throughout history might have exhibited traits consistent with psychopathy, it is also possible that other psychological, ideological, and situational factors played significant roles in their actions. When discussing historical figures and their behavior, it’s valuable to consider a range of factors that might have contributed to their actions rather than attempting to categorise them based solely on a specific psychological label. Another attribute which may be associated with oppressor is that of paranoia. Paranoia is a psychological condition characterized by intense and irrational mistrust or suspicion of others, often leading to a heightened sense of threat and vigilance. While paranoia can be a factor in some individuals who engage in oppressive behavior, it’s important to understand that not all individuals who are paranoid become oppressors, and not all oppressors are driven by paranoia.

Paranoia [67]can influence behavior in various ways:

Perceived Threats: Paranoia can lead individuals to perceive threats where none exist, causing them to react with defensive or aggressive behavior.

Us vs. Them Mentality: Paranoia can contribute to an “us vs. them” mentality, where individuals view certain groups as hostile or conspiring against them.

Mistrust and Isolation: Paranoia might lead to a lack of trust in others, isolating individuals and limiting their ability to engage positively with society.

Justification for Oppression: Some individuals might use paranoid beliefs to justify their oppressive actions against perceived threats.

However, while paranoia can be a factor, oppressive behavior is often influenced by a complex interplay of psychological, sociopolitical, historical, and cultural factors. It’s important to avoid oversimplifying the development of oppressive behavior by attributing it solely to a single psychological condition. Oppressive behavior can arise from a combination of individual motivations, societal norms, historical context, and the pursuit of power, control, or other personal goals.

Oppression by an oppressor can have profound and multifaceted impacts on the lives of oppressed individuals. These impacts can affect various aspects of their well-being, including psychological, social, economic, and physical dimensions. Here are some common effects of oppression on oppressed individuals:

Psychological Impact:

Trauma: Oppressed individuals may experience psychological trauma due to direct violence, threats, or witnessing the mistreatment of others.

Anxiety and Depression: Chronic stress, fear, and feelings of powerlessness can contribute to anxiety and depression.

Low Self-Esteem: Constant denigration and devaluation can lead to low self-worth and self-esteem.

Internalized Oppression: Some individuals might internalize negative stereotypes and believe the messages of their oppressors, affecting their self-perception.

Social Impact:

Isolation: Oppression can lead to social isolation, as individuals might feel marginalized and excluded from mainstream society.

Stigmatization: Oppressed individuals can be stigmatized based on their identity, leading to discrimination and limited opportunities.

Estrangement: Oppression might strain relationships with family and friends who do not share the same experiences.

Economic Impact:

Limited Opportunities: Oppressed individuals may face barriers in education, employment, and career advancement.

Financial Hardship: Discrimination can lead to lower wages and limited access to economic resources.

Physical Impact:

Health Disparities: Oppressed individuals may experience health disparities due to reduced access to healthcare, increased stress, and exposure to harmful environments.

Physical Harm: Direct physical violence and abuse can result in injuries and long-term health issues.

Interpersonal Impact:

Disruption of Relationships: Oppression can strain relationships between individuals and their communities, as well as among oppressed groups.

Cultural and Identity Impact:

Cultural Erosion: Oppression can lead to the erosion of cultural practices, languages, and traditions.

Identity Struggle: Oppressed individuals may struggle with their sense of identity and belonging, as they navigate the tension between their identity and societal expectations.

Resistance and Resilience:

Resilience: Many oppressed individuals and communities display remarkable resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

Resistance: Some oppressed individuals actively resist and challenge oppressive systems through activism, advocacy, and collective action.

It is important to recognise that the impact of oppression is not uniform and can vary based on factors such as the specific form of oppression, the individual’s personal resources, their support network, and their cultural context. Addressing oppression requires a multi-dimensional approach that focuses on dismantling systemic inequalities, promoting social justice, and supporting the wellbeing of the oppressed individuals and the community.

Another point is that it is often noted that oppressed communities and individuals, prefer to remain oppressed and fear liberation. These individuals, often compare the pre- and post-liberation scenarios.  However, it is not accurate to make a blanket statement that oppressed communities and individuals prefer to remain oppressed and fear liberation. The dynamics surrounding oppression, liberation, and resistance are complex and influenced by a variety of factors, including historical context, cultural norms, psychological responses, and individual agency.

Factors to Consider:

Survival Strategies: Oppressed communities and individuals might develop survival strategies within oppressive systems, which can sometimes be misconstrued as a preference for oppression. These strategies can involve adapting to oppressive conditions to minimize harm and maximize well-being.

Fear of Change: Liberation often involves significant changes in social, economic, and cultural structures. While some individuals might embrace these changes, others might fear the uncertainties that come with liberation, especially if they are unfamiliar with the potential outcomes.

Internalized Oppression: Some individuals might internalize the messages of their oppressors and believe that they are somehow deserving of their oppressive treatment. This can lead to a lack of self-worth and contribute to feelings of powerlessness.

Complex Emotional Responses: People’s emotions and responses to oppression and liberation can be complex and multifaceted. While some might yearn for liberation, others might experience ambivalence, fear, or a range of emotions due to their unique circumstances.

Trauma and Mistrust: Oppressed communities might have a history of trauma and mistrust due to past experiences of violence, exploitation, and broken promises. This can influence their perceptions of liberation efforts.

Collective Action: Many oppressed communities have a rich history of collective action and resistance. Movements for liberation often arise from a desire for justice, equality, and the improvement of living conditions.

Diverse Perspectives: It’s important to avoid generalizations. Different individuals within the same community can have different perspectives on liberation based on their experiences, beliefs, and hopes.

Intersectionality: The intersection of multiple identities (race, gender, sexuality, etc.) can impact how individuals experience oppression and their attitudes toward liberation.

Ultimately, the desire for liberation varies widely among oppressed communities and individuals. While some might actively work towards liberation, others might face barriers or mixed feelings due to the complexity of their situations. It’s crucial to approach these topics with sensitivity, respect for diverse perspectives, and an understanding of the historical and contextual factors at play.

It is also relevant to define Psychoanalytic Theories and Resistance Theories, in relation to the psychology of oppression:

Psychoanalytic Theories[68]:

 Psychoanalytic theories, developed by Sigmund Freud[69] and expanded upon by other psychologists, focus on the unconscious mind, motivations, and the influence of early childhood experiences on adult behavior. In the context of oppression, psychoanalytic theories explore how individual and collective behavior might be influenced by underlying psychological processes.  In the psychology of oppression, psychoanalytic theories can help explain how individuals might internalize oppressive beliefs or engage in oppressive behavior. For example, oppressive regimes can create an environment where individuals feel the need to suppress their authentic thoughts and feelings in order to conform to the expectations of the oppressor. This can lead to psychological processes such as repression, where certain thoughts or desires are pushed into the unconscious mind.

Resistance Theories:[70]

 Resistance theories in the psychology of oppression focus on understanding how individuals and groups resist oppressive forces and maintain their dignity, identity, and sense of agency in the face of adversity. These theories highlight the psychological mechanisms that empower individuals to challenge and oppose oppressive structures. In the context of oppression, resistance theories explore how individuals might employ psychological strategies to resist or counteract oppressive influences. This can involve both overt acts of resistance, such as protests and activism, as well as more subtle forms of resistance, such as the preservation of cultural practices and the cultivation of a strong sense of community. Resistance theories emphasise the resilience, agency, and creativity of oppressed individuals in navigating and challenging oppressive systems.

Both psychoanalytic theories and resistance theories offer valuable insights into the psychological dynamics of oppression. While psychoanalytic theories delve into the individual psychological processes that can contribute to oppression and internalization of oppressive beliefs, resistance theories highlight the ways in which individuals and communities resist, adapt, and maintain their autonomy in the face of oppression.  Therefore, in summary compliers of Psychoanalytic Theorists would be the “SILENT MAJORITY in an oppressive scenario where people have accepted the oppression and continue with their lives as they did in South Africa and survived.  The Resistant Theorists objected to the oppressor’s measures of oppression and became activists, against the regime, as it happened in Apartheid South Africa.  These individuals bore the brunt of the brutality of the oppressive regime, including incarceration, like Mandela and even extra judicial execution like Steve Biko and Neil Hudson, amongst many countless others, some of whom were killed and fed to crocodiles.  Inevitably, in the end the oppressive regime collapses, like communism and the “RESISTORS” have died and suffered in vain, while the ANALYTICS have benefitted from the outcome, doing nothing to contribute to the fight against the oppressors.  This scenario applied to Moses in Biblical times, to Indians, during the nearly 200 years of oppressive British Raj, to England during the persecution of Catholics by King Henry VIII and in France during the reign of King Louis XVI, prior to the French revolution.  There are two categories of people! Firstly, the “PASSIVE OBSERVERS”, waiting patiently like hyenas, in Kruger National Park in South Africa, for the lions to kills, before they descend on the carrion. Secondly, the “ACTIVE RESISTORS”, who do all the hard work, to reap little or no benefits, in the end, as most were executed by the oppressors, as all oppressive regimes must come to an inevitable end, like Mongols, Mughals, Romans, Wallachian Emperor[71], Apartheid Empire, Persians, South American Aztecs[72], and the glorious British Empire. The author understands and interprets, accordingly, the actions of the two camps, representing the two theories, captures some aspects of historical struggles against oppression and the different roles individuals and groups can play in those contexts. However, it is important to note that the dynamics of oppression, resistance, and their outcomes are complex and multifaceted, and the roles people play can be influenced by a wide range of factors.

The following are important aspects to consider:

Passive Observers vs. Active Resisters: While there can be individuals who comply with oppressive systems (passive observers) and those who actively resist (active resisters), the reality is often more nuanced. People’s responses to oppression can fall along a spectrum, and many individuals might engage in a combination of passive acceptance and subtle resistance, depending on their circumstances.

Role of Silent Majority: The concept of the “silent majority” refers to the idea that a majority of people might not actively participate in resistance but also might not fully support the oppressor. Their response can be influenced by fear, lack of information, survival instincts, and other factors.

Active Resisters’ Impact: While active resisters often face significant risks and hardships, their actions can have a profound impact on raising awareness, galvanizing international support, and contributing to the eventual downfall of oppressive regimes.

End Outcomes: The outcomes of struggles against oppression can vary widely. While some oppressive regimes have collapsed, the long-term effects of resistance efforts might contribute to changes in societal attitudes, legal frameworks, and future generations’ perspectives.

Complexity of History: History is complex and shaped by numerous factors, including political, economic, social, and cultural influences. Outcomes are not solely determined by the actions of passive observers or active resisters.

Collective Efforts: Successful resistance movements often involve the efforts of not only active resisters but also a wider network of supporters, including those who offer resources, information, and diplomatic pressure.

Remembering Sacrifices: Recognizing the sacrifices of those who actively resisted oppressive regimes is important for acknowledging their contribution to justice and change.

It is important to approach historical narratives with sensitivity to the complexities of individual and collective actions within the context of their time. While the author’s understanding highlights key dynamics, it is essential to recognize that individuals and societies navigate oppression and resistance with a wide range of motivations, challenges, and outcomes.

Therefore, some oppressed groups or individuals prefer to be oppressed according to the Psychoanalytic Theory and they do not want a change or transformation, as the new liberated system has its own shortcomings, like it happened in India, where Hindu people were unhappy with the Muslim, Mughal, Islamic rule, which was replaced by a greately, oppressive British Raj, with greater degree of suffering.  Similarly, the overnight collapse of communism in Soviet Union caused greater hardships in Russian, and now there is greater suffering of the simple populace.  The same applies to South Africa, where the harsh apartheid regime, curbed inflation, due to international sanctions, prevented crime and anarchy as well as ensure security for minority groups.  Presently, Africa is going in the direction of all other African countries and their sad stories of coups, corruption, crime, anarchy and civil wars, as the citizenry of the country has accepted it as the “operative NORM”, based on the theory of psycho analysis.

It’s understandable that your perspective is shaped by your personal experiences and observations. Your insights highlight the complexities and trade-offs that can come with societal change, especially in response to oppressive systems. It’s important to recognize that historical and contemporary situations can differ significantly, and there is often a range of opinions and experiences within a society.

Factors to Consider:

Mixed Outcomes: Societal transformations can bring both positive and negative outcomes. While some may prefer certain aspects of an old system, others may celebrate the positive changes that liberation brings.

Subjective Perspectives: Different individuals within a society can have varying perspectives on the impact of oppression and liberation. Personal experiences, social positions, and cultural backgrounds shape how people perceive and navigate these changes.

Complex Sociopolitical Factors: Societal changes are influenced by numerous factors, including political decisions, economic realities, cultural shifts, and international dynamics.

Long-Term Consequences: The consequences of societal changes might not become fully evident immediately. Some negative outcomes might emerge over time, while positive aspects might also take time to materialize.

Interplay of Factors: The balance between stability, security, and freedom is delicate. Achieving a perfect equilibrium is challenging, as decisions made to address one aspect can have unintended consequences in others.

Perspective of Experience: Your perspective is shaped by your experiences, but it’s important to acknowledge that others might have different viewpoints based on their own journeys.

Continued Struggle: Societal progress is often an ongoing process. Even after liberation, societies can face new challenges that require collective effort to address.

Diverse African Contexts: Africa is a diverse continent with varied histories, cultures, and trajectories. The experiences of different African countries can differ significantly.

Reflection on these matters is a valid expression of your thoughts and emotions. It’s essential to recognize that history is multifaceted, and societies continue to evolve in complex ways. Engaging in thoughtful discussions and seeking out diverse perspectives, can provide a holistic understanding of complex issues.

The Bottom Line is a theory, the author presents, that the entire 8.2 billion population of the world could be classified into three categories: 1. Happy people 2. Oppressors 3. Oppressed people, as a practical, workable and applicable to any nationality.  However, it is a simplification of the complex and diverse nature of human experiences, motivations, and roles within society. While such a classification might capture certain aspects of societal dynamics, it’s important to consider the nuances and variations that exist among individuals and groups.

Some important points to consider:

Simplification: Human experiences are multifaceted, and classifying everyone into just three categories may overlook the diversity of motivations, circumstances, and behaviours that individuals exhibit.

Fluidity: Roles and circumstances can change over time. Individuals may move between categories based on life events, social changes, and personal choices.

Overlap: Individuals can belong to more than one category simultaneously. Someone might be both happy and an oppressor, or oppressed and happy to varying degrees.

Cultural Context: Social dynamics and definitions of happiness, oppression, and roles within society can vary significantly across different cultures and contexts.

Individual Agency: People’s actions and experiences are influenced by personal agency, historical context, socioeconomic factors, and more. Some individuals may actively resist oppression, while others may perpetuate it.

Intersectionality: People’s identities and experiences are shaped by various intersecting factors, such as race, gender, socioeconomic status, and more. This complexity goes beyond a simple three-category framework.

Positive Change: Many individuals and groups work actively to challenge oppression and promote positive change, blurring the boundaries between the categories you’ve defined.

Ethical Considerations: Categorising individuals as “oppressors” or “oppressed” can carry moral judgments. While some people might engage in oppressive actions, labeling all individuals in these categories can oversimplify their motivations and the complexities of their circumstances.

While this theory might capture certain aspects of societal dynamics, it is important to recognise that the reality is far more intricate. People’s experiences and roles cannot always be neatly classified into broad categories, and such an oversimplified framework might not adequately represent the richness of human experiences and interactions.

Main Photo: The Partition in Calcutta, India: At midnight between August 14 and 15, 1947, India was forever changed when the British partitioned the subcontinent into India and Pakistan. The Climax of Brutality in Oppression: During the summer of 1947, over a million people were slaughtered on both sides in the riots. These are the bodies of the victims being picked up from a city street. It was a terrifying display of murder and sexual abuse. Note the female bodies in the post sexual assault position.
Photo: Margaret Bourke-White
 Inset Photo: India: Sepoy Mutiny, 1857. Mutinous Sepoys about to be executed by being blown apart by cannon fire during the Sepoy Rebellion in India in 1857. Moulana Mohammed Baqir editor of ‘Urdu Akhbar Dehli’ was the first journalist to be martyred by the British army through Taliban-e-Pakistan style execution. He was tied with canon and blown up for his ‘seditious’ writing against British colonial rule in the First War of Independence 1857. It is noteworthy that British imperial colonialism was not only brutal, but barbaric in its oppression, globally, while claiming to be the originators, as well as guardians of Western culture and civilisation.


[1] Personal quote by author September 2023

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[5] https://www.betterup.com/blog/microaggressions-everyday-life

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[45] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transphobia

[46] https://www.exampleslab.com/12-examples-of-neurotransmitters-and-their-function/

[47] https://www.simplypsychology.org/brain-reward-system.html

[48] https://www.britannica.com/topic/social-identity-theory

[49] https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/blog/empathy-deficit-disorder/what-is-empathy-deficit-disorder

[50] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranavalona_I

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[53] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonida_Bagration_of_Mukhrani

[54] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Dowager_Cixi

[55] https://www.bing.com/search?q=yulia+tymoshenko&filters=dtbk:%22MCFvdmVydmlldyFvdmVydmlldyE4NjRhMDY0MS03NDA1LTg1MjktNjlhZC1kZmZjMWEwZTQ5Nzk%3d%22+sid:%22864a0641-7405-8529-69ad-dffc1a0e4979%22+tphint:%22f%22&FORM=DEPNAV

[56] https://www.britannica.com/summary/Spanish-Inquisition-Key-Facts

[57] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41566561

[58] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uyghur_genocide

[59] https://www.britannica.com/event/Crusades

[60] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Muslim_conquests

[61] https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Dhimmi#:~:text=Conversion%20by%20a%20dhimmi%20to%20Islam%20was%20generally,in%20the%20Almohad%20dynasty%20of%20North%20Africaand%20al-Andalus.

[62] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_(1099)

[63] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2022/09/monsters-breed-monsters-the-impact-of-systemic-peace-disruption-on-children-in-violent-conflict-situations/

[64] https://positivepsychology.com/positive-parenting/

[65] https://www.history.com/news/adolf-hitler-artist-paintings-vienna

[66] https://www.healthline.com/health/psychopath

[67] https://www.healthline.com/health/paranoia

[68] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoanalytic_theory

[69] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud

[70] https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/31303

[71] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallachia

[72] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztecs


Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.

Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All
Email: vawda@ukzn.ac.za

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 4 Sep 2023.

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