Conceptual repression of problems

Problem avoidance
Failure to acknowledge problems
Failure to acknowledge differences
Failure to acknowledge contradictions
Deliberate ignorance of unpleasant facts

The tendency to eschew deliberately any acknowledgement of the existence of social or other problems, or any other form of social disharmony, in favour of an emphasis on positive visions of the future. Even the most striking problems, such as hunger and disease, are then repressed in an effort to stress what is going well in society. This impedes any effort to articulate the nature of the issues to be dealt with and hinders the appropriate development of any collective response to them. Such an approach conveniently removes the need for an individual to explore the extent to which he himself contributes to the problem.


The art of not answering the question, of cloaking unpleasant realities in abstraction or positive thinking is so perfectly endemic in the political arena that people now expect nothing else. The predominance of correct and inoffensive feelings and attitudes is encouraged at the expense of knowledge and honesty.


1. Any focus on problems is a drain on energy which can be more appropriately focused on enhancing the harmonious aspects of social life. Such a focus brings about a resolution to problems, to the extent that they can be considered to exist.

2. A preoccupation with social problems can usefully be considered a consequence of the personal problems of the people so engaged and of their avoidance of any appropriate effort to deal with them.

(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems