As Mirren Stallen et al (2018) pointed out in their study called “Neurobiological mechanisms of responding to injustice” when the human brain faces injustice or unfairness, the anterior insula, the amygdala, and oxytocin play a significant role in how we feel towards a particular situation.
Unfortunately, injustice happens every day, but what are the damages to the “victims”? And why are violators blessed with impunity?
When we look at social hierarchy, it is evident that unfairness and injustice begin when those who govern our countries create laws enabling corruption. But harshly persecute those that, through the fruits of their work, possess assets and want to live with fairness. Portugal is and has become one of those countries. I’m sorry to disappoint my readers, but long gone are the days when this country was fair to its citizens, enabling them to prosper socially and financially.
It is with great sadness that I am writing these lines today. A pain felt holding on to my chest, deep anger, the reminiscing feeling of not being understood.
After knowing that a present from my husband, a private correspondence, was stopped by Portuguese border authorities, targeted by garnishment, and sold due to “tax debt”, it was not only unconstitutional but also a clear violation of privacy rights. But, the main point is, again, despite having hired lawyer services, nothing was done. Which evoked everything I went through 3 years ago when trying to save my family’s assets.
Note: I wrote tax debt between quotation marks because I’ve been trying to close my family’s company for over two years, and Portuguese tax authorities keep denying it even knowing the company doesn’t have anything or any financial movements, a tactic widely used by the Portuguese government to throw entrepreneurs into insolvency proceedings. Therefore, the money they charge is fictional and, again, unconstitutional. Do lawyers help you? The answer is no! They offer you promises of resolution in exchange for large sums of money. They are part of this vicious system.
This week the Portuguese prime minister announced measures to combat the lack of housing using the coercive leasing of private homes that are second homes, adding that if tenants go three months without paying their rent, the state will immediately step in and pay the amount owed to the landlord. In other words, private property is under harassment, and taxpayers will support (once again) third parties’ vanity. Please, also take a look at this link: https://www.portugalresident.com/president-marcelo-decorates-businessman-who-owes-e2-million-in-tax/
I would like to conclude this article by saying that what saved me from depression or any attempt to commit suicide was my personality, emotional literacy and family support. When living under cognitive dissonance constantly, you’ve to hold on to yourself in what matters, learn as a survival mechanism to trust your gut, and be highly selective when it comes to people.
As Isaac Prilleltensky (2022) wrote,
The psychological trauma generated by making you feel devalued and depriving you of adding value has far-reaching costs in terms of physical and mental health problems, not to mention relational, occupational, and social. It can take years of suffering and treatment to overcome the psychological harm occasioned by repeated acts of psychological injustice. To be sure, in response to lack of mattering some people become anxious and depressed, but others become aggressive, with tremendous costs in terms of lives lost and family suffering that can last decades.
Inequity aversion is the preference for fairness, and those who live by this core rule will always face unethical/transgressive behaviors from others.
Prilleltensky, I. (2022). What is Psychological Injustice? It’s a concept whose time has come. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/well-being/202211/what-is-psychological-injustice
Stallen, M., Rossi, F., Heijne, A., Smidts, A., De Dreu, W. K. C., Sanfey, G. A. (2018). Mechanisms of response to injustice. The Journal of Neuroscience, 38(12), 2944-2954.