Suppression, Repression and Oppression (2023)

P.R. Sarkar
(November 1989, Kolkata) – Some people, ideas and events have created havoc in human society during the last two hundred years. This has led to suppression, repression and oppression in social life. Let us discuss some of the different psychic aspects of suppression, repression and oppression, the three psychic calamities that the human beings of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have had to undergo.

During the last two centuries, capitalism and communism have caused much suffering in human society. Communism has already died a premature death while still in the stage of youthful vigour, but when capitalism dies it will die a mature death. What caused the death of communism? It died due to the reaction of the accumulated pain, suffering and tortures inflicted on innocent people by the communist system which forced people to live unnatural lives. Communism had to face a black death while dancing in the ecstasy of terror and massacre.

Capitalism and communism have polluted the air, water and environment in this peace-loving world. By nature human beings are peace-loving, not war-loving. It is capitalism and communism that have caused two world wars and so many other sanguinary battles in the world in the recent past.

Both these systems have created suppression, repression and oppression in the minds of the people. But while capitalism makes people slaves, communism makes them worse than slaves. The word “slave” means “vandá” in Persian and “gulám” in Arabic. In India you will find many names like Ram Gulam – the title “Gulam” is derived from the word for slave. You will also find the title “pada” which means both “foot” and “rank” and refers to spiritual ranking. Due to the suppression, repression and oppression caused by communism, people are not turned into slaves, rather the human mind is transformed into matter. This is because in communism human values do not exist, so the human mind becomes inert like matter. In this state people have no connection with the Self or soul.

Communism is a collection of contradictions. In countries where the communists are not in government they support democracy, but in the communist system there is no democracy, only dictatorship. Communists may say they support democracy, but after winning power they go to any lengths, including the adoption of undemocratic practices, to stay in power. They advocate the commune system but the commune system has not been successful anywhere in the world. They talk of classlessness, but practice party rule by an elite. Communism is irrational and inhuman – it is against the human psyche.

(Video) Suppression vs. Repression

Communism represents a double standard. How? Let us take an example. As per the commune system, the ownership of the land rests with the state, but in the Tevahagá Movement of Bengal the communist leaders demanded that two thirds of the produce from the crops should go to the tillers or landless labourers, and one third to the actual owners of the land. This movement took a dangerous form before independence in two districts of Bengal – Faridpur and South 24 Paraganas – when the labourers killed many innocent land owners. After independence, the communist leaders changed their strategy and propagandized that the ownership of the land should go to the Bargadars or sharecroppers. In Bengal the sharecroppers had the right to farm the land and could not be evicted, and were better off than the landless labourers. The communists turned their backs on the landless labourers and supported land rights for the sharecroppers, knowing full well that in communism the ownership of the land rests with the state. See how the communists went against their basic principles and practiced duplicity.

In communism the slogan is, “From each according to his capacity, to each according to his necessity,” but in the cooperative system the slogan is, “Each will get according to his or her capacity.” Due to this slogan, a person will try to do more labour. People will put all their talent and energy into a task and production will increase. In communism the leaders themselves try to avoid labour. They prefer to sit in an office rather than work hard, thus there is sluggish production. In the cooperative system, people are issued shares in farming cooperatives based on the amount of land that they farm under cooperative management. In the communist system, this type of participation is absent, so people do not feel oneness with their work. They are led to believe that their needs will be supplied by the state, so they have no incentive or interest in the system. …

… Throughout the globe people have started thinking that they no longer need to be oppressed by the rotten philosophy of communism. They have realized that they are not like donkeys which carry sugar but have no right to eat it. As long as the communist leaders had power they suppressed the people, but today the people are rebelling against their leaders due to their education and rational thinking. If both education and rational thinking are present, people will definitely rebel against oppression. Even if one of these factors is there, people will also fight against an oppressive regime.

People have already thrown out the rotten philosophy of communism and now they are eager to fill up the gap that has been left behind. We should not waste any more time. This vacuum should be immediately filled by PROUT. …

… In communism, the leaders want to control the people through brute force, but in PROUT we will inspire people through selfless service. Communists do not support selfless service, and believe that if people are given service, then they will become satisfied and not revolt against the system. But this belief is false. In the great Bengal famine more than five million people died due to starvation, but nobody revolted. If you do service, if you teach people and encourage them to develop their rationality, then they will revolt against an inhuman system. Disorganised and irrational people are incapable of launching a revolution.

(Video) Suppression & Repression: What’s the Difference?

Where there is torture of good people, the system which supports it will surely be destroyed. There are many good people in this world who want to do good work. You should convince them, work with them and organize them to do maximum service for the suffering humanity.

Marx was a good man. He had strong feelings for suffering humanity, and out of compulsion to do something he wrote his theory. However, his theory was not practical. He did not understand the practical implications of his theory when he propounded it. The books of Marx reflected his concern for the downtrodden humanity and convinced many people. Leaders like Lenin and Mao took up the task of materializing his ideas in the society. They were not bad people, but as they tried to materialize the theory of Marx they encountered many practical difficulties. Realizing that the theory was defective, they became frustrated and started committing many atrocities. Stalin was a demon who killed millions of people. This all occurred because of the inherent defects of Marxism.

Now Marxism is being eradicated from the whole world. Only in one state in India, West Bengal, is communism still accepted. Now communism has gone totally berserk – a special type of madness where the beginning, middle and end is defective. People infected with this psychic disease can do anything – they can kill others for any reason, and they can even kill themselves.

Even if there is something in communism – I do not say there is, but even if there is – people aspire for democracy because they can not stand communism. See the example of Czechoslovakia today. No doubt there are defects in democracy and people realize these defects, but still they want democracy because it is better than communism. PROUT supports democracy in a limited sense – we support restricted democracy – because a better form of government will come in the future. Certain democratic principles are best for the time being.

In communist states, you will find the triangle of suppression, repression and oppression in full force. Communism is based on these three defects. But amongst these three oppression has occurred the most, repression next and suppression the least. The people must be freed from physical suffering and psychic ailments caused by the suppression, repression and oppression. These three psychic catastrophes have split, shattered and destroyed the human mind.

(Video) 🔵 Oppress or Suppress or Repress - Different Meanings C2 Vocabulary - ESL British English

Suppression occurs when the mind is prevented from expanding and all its outlets are closed, sealed and blocked. The nature of the human mind is that it wants to expand. Even if some force does not want the mind to expand, still the mind must try to expand. In Sanskrit, suppression is called pradamana.

Repression occurs whenever you are faced with trouble, whenever you want to express your feelings, or whenever you want to be in an open atmosphere. In Islamic countries, for example, women want to participate in sports and games, but they are prevented. In communist countries there are many people who want to criticize communism, but if they do they will be in trouble and sent to concentration camps. There are also places where people want to sing and dance freely, but if they do they will face difficulty and be punished. In Sanskrit, repression is called avadamana.

Repression directly affects the subconscious mind. Gradually the psychic structure is severely damaged, and finally the mind is totally changed. The result is that people are inflicted with a defeatist psychology and an inferiority complex. Let me give you an example. The headmaster of a Harijan school once asked a student to fetch him some drinking water, but the boy did not move. Instead he asked a non-Harijan friend in a low voice to do as the headmaster requested. But the headmaster intervened and asked the boy why he would not comply with the request. The student replied, “Sir, I am an untouchable by caste. How can you drink water touched by me?” This is an example of how repression can bring about a change in the psychic structure.

This psychology has prevailed in India for a long time. A so-called low caste man will refuse to give you a tumbler of water out of fear because the feeling of inferiority built up over hundreds of years has been injected into his mind. For centuries so-called low caste people have lived a life of humiliation and insult, and consequently their minds have become inert. Tragically, they accept this condition as the result of their fate.

Oppression occurs when you are opposed and punished for what you have done or for what you want to do, and as a result your desire to do something worthwhile dies forever. In Sanskrit, this is called damana.

(Video) T.Rajendar's Hate Anthem: Suppress and Oppress and Depress. The REAL Kolaveri!

In the past there was much suppression, repression and oppression in India. In ancient times the Aryans used to perform religious rituals which necessitated enormous quantities of foodstuffs like milk, ghee, rice, etc. These were taken from the non-Aryans who consequently suffered from shortages of food. So the non-Aryans used to attack the Aryans while they were performing their religious rituals to recover the stolen food. Were the non-Aryans doing anything wrong? No. But the Aryans propagated the notion that the non-Aryans were demons and tried to infuse inferiority complexes into their minds.

In the mythological epic the Ramayana, Ram is the apostle of capitalism and Aryan supremacy while Ravana represents the non-Aryans. Ram is called “Maryada Pursusottama”. What is Maryada Purusottama? When The Supreme Being (Parama Purusa) comes into the world His actions and behaviour will be just like that of the Supreme although He is in human form. This is the meaning of Maryada Purusottama. However, Ram did not behave like the Supreme Being – he was not up to this standard. He killed Sudroka, a non-Aryan, when he was performing worship, and he killed him out of a sense of Aryan supremacy. At that time people believed that only Aryans and not non-Aryans should perform worship, but this dogmatic view cannot be supported. Ravana, a non-Aryan, is regarded as a demon in the Ramayana, but his behaviour indicates that he was not demonic. When he kidnaped Sita he did not take her to his palace but instead arranged a separate place for her with women attendants. If he had been an evil man he would not have done this. Nevertheless, Ram killed him. This act also indicates that Ram was not Parama Puruśa.

Human beings, universal humans, have had to undergo tremendous struggle due to suppression, repression and oppression and the catastrophes created by capitalism and communism. Wherever there is suppression, repression and oppression human beings are forced to follow the path of dogma. Communism preaches dogma, capitalism preaches dogma, and so-called religions based on the scriptures also preach dogma. Now is the time for the emergence for the third psychic force where there will be no more suppression, repression and oppression. Let the mind develop according to its longings; let the mind be free. Let there be a human society of coordination and cooperation.

This is the last stage. We are waiting for the rising sun with crimson rays. Even now the crimson rays are a bit visible. These crimson rays are the rays of PROUT.

From: PROUT in a Nutshell Volume 4 Part 17

(Video) Oppress vs Suppress vs Repress (B1-C1)

Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011


Suppression, Repression and Oppression? ›

To oppress means to keep (someone) down by unjust force or authority. To repress is (1) to hold back, or (2) to put down by force. Suppress, which is broader and more common than the other two, means (1) to put an end to, (2) to inhibit, and (3) to keep from being revealed.

What is the difference between repressed suppressed and oppressed? ›

To repress is to keep under control, to keep down or to suppress. To suppress is to put an end to the activities of a person, body of persons, etc. To oppress is to burden with cruel or unjust restraints, subject to a burdensome or harsh exercise of authority.

What's the difference between repression and oppression? ›

The main difference between oppression and repression is that oppression refers to persistent cruel or unjust treatment or control whereas repression refers to the act of restraining or subduing.

What is the meaning of suppression and repression? ›

Abstract. Both “repression” and “suppression” are said to involve removing mental content from awareness. However, repression is generally said to be unconscious, whereas suppression is said to be conscious.

What's the difference between suppressed and repressed emotions? ›

Repressed emotions refer to emotions that you unconsciously avoid. These differ from suppressed emotions, which are feelings you purposely avoid because you don't know exactly how to deal with them.

What are the 3 levels of oppression? ›

Three Levels of Oppression

Systemic oppression manifests on the individual, the institutional, and the structural level, and we offer an example of each.

What does oppressed mean? ›

Definition of oppression

an act or instance of oppressing or subjecting to cruel or unjust impositions or restraints. the state of being oppressed. the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.

What's the difference between repress and oppress? ›

To oppress means to keep (someone) down by unjust force or authority. To repress is (1) to hold back, or (2) to put down by force. Suppress, which is broader and more common than the other two, means (1) to put an end to, (2) to inhibit, and (3) to keep from being revealed.

What's the opposite of oppressed? ›

Opposite of to put down or control by cruelty or force. deliver. emancipate. free. liberate.

What's the difference in oppressive and suppressive? ›

First let us define oppression and suppression. Oppression refers to the harsh and unfair treatment of an individual or a group of people. When we look at the society, we can notice that some groups are oppressed by others. On the other hand, suppression refers to putting an end to something by force.

What is an example of suppression? ›

Suppression is the act of keeping something from happening. An example of suppression is a government stopping citizens from participating in a certain activity.

What is the difference between repression and suppression provide an example for each? ›

A person who is angry will suppress his feelings of anger by counting to 10 or meditating, which means, he is consciously undertaking this action of controlling his anger. Whereas, a person who represses his anger will deny its existence altogether by putting up a cheerful front.

What are the 12 defense mechanisms? ›

12 Apr 2021 by Alicia Nortje, Ph.

These are known as defensive mechanisms.
Defense mechanisms can include:
  • Projection.
  • Displacement.
  • Sublimation.
  • Repression.
  • Denial.
  • Identification.
  • Introjection.
  • Undoing.
Apr 12, 2021

Which is worse suppression or repression? ›

Freud mentioned; suppression is generally considered to have more positive results than repression. First, it deals with unpleasant but not extremely contemptible actions or thoughts.

How do I know if Im repressing? ›

Some signs of repressed emotions are:
  1. Nervousness.
  2. Feeling numb.
  3. Becoming annoyed or stressed when others ask about your feelings.
  4. Forgetfulness.
  5. Having a sense of calm because you don't let yourself dwell on any thoughts for any length of time.
  6. Stress without cause.
Apr 8, 2022

What are the 5 types of oppression? ›

Tools for Social Change: The Five Faces of Oppression
  • Exploitation. Refers to the act of using people's labors to produce profit, while not compensating them fairly. ...
  • Marginalization. ...
  • Powerlessness. ...
  • Cultural Imperialism. ...
  • Violence.

What are the 4 levels of oppression? ›

Four Levels of Oppression/”isms” and Change:
  • Personal: Values, Beliefs, Feelings.
  • Interpersonal: Actions, Behaviors, Language.
  • Institutional: Rules, Policies, Procedures.
  • Cultural: Beauty, Truth, Right.

What is the cycle of oppression? ›

Abstract. The oppressed group behavior model suggests that persons who are in groups that are subordinate to more powerful groups in their society learn certain behavior patterns that, although necessary for their survival, lead to a cycle of further oppression.

Who is an oppressed person? ›

adjective. People who are oppressed are treated cruelly or are prevented from having the same opportunities, freedom, and benefits as others.

What is oppressive Behaviour? ›

Oppressive behavior can take many forms, ranging from hurtful remarks made in ignorance to insults, threats, and physical violence. The appropriate adult response depends on the behavior and its intent.

How do you deal with oppression? ›

Connect with supportive, caring, and like-minded people. Sometimes it helps to talk with others about your difficult thoughts and feelings, and sometimes it helps to just have fun and take your mind off of things. Find a balance. Isolating yourself usually makes things worse.

What is the synonym of oppressed? ›

Some common synonyms of oppress are aggrieve, persecute, and wrong. While all these words mean "to injure unjustly or outrageously," oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform.

What does being suppressed mean? ›

1 : to put down by authority or force : subdue suppress a riot. 2 : to keep from public knowledge: such as. a : to keep secret. b : to stop or prohibit the publication or revelation of suppress the test results.

What is the synonym of repressed? ›

snuffed (out), squashed, squelched, subdued, suppressed.

What happens when you suppress your emotions? ›

“Suppressing your emotions, whether it's anger, sadness, grief or frustration, can lead to physical stress on your body. The effect is the same, even if the core emotion differs,” says provisional clinical psychologist Victoria Tarratt. “We know that it can affect blood pressure, memory and self-esteem.”

What is an example of suppression in psychology? ›

For example, I suppress thoughts of my attractive co-worker not to avoid thinking of her but to avoid acting on these thoughts. Furthermore, thinking of crème brûlée is not in and of itself dangerous; we suppress the crème brûlée to avoid coping with the difficult act of not eating it.

What happens when you suppress trauma? ›

At first, hidden memories that can't be consciously accessed may protect the individual from the emotional pain of recalling the event. But eventually those suppressed memories can cause debilitating psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or dissociative disorders.

What does the word oppression mean in the Bible? ›

1a : unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power the continuing oppression of the … underclasses— H. A. Daniels.

What is a synonym for marginalized? ›

Find another word for marginalised. In this page you can discover 9 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for marginalised, like: disempowered, vulnerable, marginalize, the-disadvantaged, disenfranchise, minority, disadvantaged, stigmatise and disaffected.

What is a sentence for oppression? ›

How to use Oppression in a sentence. The oppression of minority peoples in our country is appalling. The cause of oppression and tyrany is often a corrupt and power-hunger ruler. There was neither oppression on the one hand nor servility on the other to explain this abandonment of their traditions.

What is suppression in psychology? ›

Suppression is the voluntary form of repression proposed by Sigmund Freud in 1892. It is the conscious process of pushing unwanted, anxiety-provoking thoughts, memories, emotions, fantasies and desires out of awareness.

What does repression mean in psychology? ›

repression, in psychoanalytic theory, the exclusion of distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings from the conscious mind. Often involving sexual or aggressive urges or painful childhood memories, these unwanted mental contents are pushed into the unconscious mind.

Is suppression a healthy defense mechanism? ›

Suppression is considered a mature defense mechanism, because it promotes healthy functioning in adults. As such, it belongs to the top of the hierarchy of defense maturity and adaptedness (Blaya et al. 2007; Vaillant 1985).

What is suppression in sociology? ›

2 : the conscious intentional exclusion from consciousness of a thought or feeling.

What type of defense mechanism is suppression? ›

Suppression: Consciously choosing to block ideas or impulses that are undesirable, as opposed to repression, a subconscious process. This defense mechanism may be present in someone who has intrusive thoughts about a traumatic event but pushes these thoughts out of their mind.

What are the 4 types of coping mechanisms? ›

Weiten has identified four types of coping strategies: appraisal-focused (adaptive cognitive), problem-focused (adaptive behavioral), emotion-focused, and occupation-focused coping.

What are 4 mature defense mechanisms? ›

They often require intention, practice, and effort. Mature defense mechanisms include altruism, anticipation, humor, sublimation, and suppression.

What's the opposite of oppressed? ›

Opposite of to put down or control by cruelty or force. deliver. emancipate. free. liberate.

What is the synonym of oppressed? ›

Some common synonyms of oppress are aggrieve, persecute, and wrong. While all these words mean "to injure unjustly or outrageously," oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform.

What does it mean to be suppressed? ›

1 : to put down by authority or force : subdue suppress a riot. 2 : to keep from public knowledge: such as. a : to keep secret. b : to stop or prohibit the publication or revelation of suppress the test results.

What is an example of suppression? ›

Suppression is the act of keeping something from happening. An example of suppression is a government stopping citizens from participating in a certain activity.


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