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We Can Reach Them

Question: Will you say more about the practicalities of dealing with such people as the right-wing military figures or the neo-Nazis?

Harvey Jackins: Yes. Certainly. Inside every patterned role-player is a human being. Inside every patterned person is a complete human being whose basic motivations are just as good and dear as ours, whose nature is fundamentally exactly the same as ours. . . . So the neo-Nazi or the case-hardened reactionary general is a pile of patterns with a good, dear human being hiding on the inside who is waiting to be rescued, if somebody will give him the right message.

In our men’s work, we’ve been talking about this . . . for a couple of years at least. The women have been leading the peace movement. Without them there wouldn’t be these peace demonstrations of a half million people. But in the dangerous decision positions, in the board rooms of the multinational corporations and in the headquarters of the general staffs, sit our brothers, who were stolen from us and abused terribly in order to condition them to play these awful roles. And because we, as men, have access to them, we must reach for them. It’s a good theme in men’s liberation. These men are not beyond our reach. Where women don’t tend to think of them as being that easily reachable, we men know how they got there. Every man knows the early kicking around and the abuse (because he’s gone through it, too) that made the presidents of multinational corporations and the four-star generals into the operational villains that they are. We can reach them if we do what I’m suggesting. All of us can.

Harvey Jackins

From pages 97 to 99 of “Women Working in Wide-World Organizations,” in A Better World

(Present Time 187, April 2017)

Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00