Bouzabal and Identification with the Aggressor
By Hicham Chentoufi
Morocco World News
Rabat, August 13, 2012
“The challenge of intellectual life is to be found in
dissent against the status quo at a time when the struggle
on behalf of underrepresented and disadvantaged groups
seems so unfairly weighted against them.” Edward Said,
“Representation of Intellectuals.”
Identification is one of the many defense mechanisms that some people resort to depending on the psychological needs that come to life when there is a stark discrepancy between drives and reality. These defense mechanisms were first described by Freud, and then elaborated on by his daughter, Anna Freud, and other psychoanalysts like Melanie Klein and Dominique Friard.
Affiliation, compensation, rationalization, denial, identification, intellectualization, regression, sublimation and displacement are just a few examples of these mechanisms that are implemented to defend the self against some annoying psychological drives like anxiety, anguish, loss of self-esteem, jealousy and bereavement among others.
Bouzabl, in this part, is approached from the angle of the exploiter who tries to be worthy at the expense of the trashy. The mechanism, identification with the aggressor, that is very rampant in developing countries where elitism and favoritism are real plagues, is being implemented by those who fear to be branded as trashy. Bouzabal shows an unwavering admiration and relentless attempt to get identified with the elite, which is usually a pack of powerful reality constructors and meaning producers. This attempt, be it real or hypothetical, can be sketchily laid bare in the following points:
Those who show a fervent admiration of the work done by Mohammed Nassib, the one who thinks that Bouzbal, despite being a cartoon and fictional character, reflects a significant amount of the actions of some people who are good for nothing,” as he claimed in an interview with hespress. Such a clam is self-contradictory for two major reasons. First, sweeping over generalizations and value judgments will lead to nothing but conjecturable standpoints. An objective assessment of the Bouzabal phenomenon is relative to what worthiness and unworthiness really means to the powerful in relation to the weak. Second using the code of values of the powerful, leads one to see things on false light.
In other words, Bouzabal can be equated to the notion of Negritude and the Orient which were both created as a result of the predominance of the white man as Frantz Fannon and Edward Said respectively affirmed.
It is common knowledge that the weak usually mimics the powerful. This mimicry begins with the adoption of visible traits and that becomes, when subconsciously bottled up, a real mainspring of the weak behaviors, without taking into consideration the state of being aware or unaware. An example of this psychological ‘introjection’ is revealed through Bouzabal’s individual use of French lets all the doors of unjustified shame and mockery be flung open. Because of his inability to successfully use it, and thus gets identified with the ruling calls, language turned out to be counterproductive. For example, the word ‘Problem’ becomes ‘Broblem’, ’Ipod’ becomes ‘Ibood’, ’doctor’ becomes ‘Dectator.’ In fact, Bouzabal’s lower social status is being maintained through the low variety of French and the discourses it breeds.
The use of language has always been a corner stone in discourse analysis. Both the clouded and recognizable social relationships of power, dominance and tastefulness are brought to the forefront via the use of language. Discursively speaking, the underlying conviction behind the use of French is to gain some acceptance and social recognition through unverifiable beliefs and inter/intra-psychological drives Moroccans developed towards this language throughout many years. French, in the eye of Bouzabal, is used by the socially acclaimed, the politically and economically powerful. This idea is confirmed by some outstanding contemporary philosophers like Habermas. According to the German philosopher, Jurgen Habermas (1977), language ‘is also a medium of domination and social force. It serves to legitimize relations of organize power.’
The dream of identification, in the case of Bouzabal, is being constantly thwarted by those who get rid of the symptoms that may help track them back to their ‘ex-Bouzabal’ and those who try to find a scapegoat and flinch away from their reality and play the role of ‘the slave of the slave.’ Thus, virtual admiration of Bouzabal is a key element if one is to some insight into the subconscious of the oppressed Moroccan. The latter usually seeks to hide his/her misery using many defense mechanisms, especially identification. Poking fun on those who are in less favorable conditions and consenting wholeheartedly to some unjust rubrics or symptoms are tangible examples of identification. However, getting identified with the oppressor is not always evinced through admiration as long as the oppressed can find a way out to his tormented self. It can also be projected through derision and humiliation. Be it the case, Bouzabal has become an antidepressant that helps the many to relieve tensions caused by the few, and thus achieve catharsis without painstakingly commit themselves to just causes such as : Bouzabal who is to blame? Is Bouzabal a cause or a consequence? Is it ‘nature’ or ‘nurture’?
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy