Leading on from my last post. Something that I find underpins the mentality of many on the left end of the political spectrum at present is perceived/actual victim hood. What do I mean? it has become propitious to be able to demonstrate that you are oppressed in the political arena. To signify effectively that you are a victim has the effect of shutting down your opposition, stigmatising them and giving you a wide berth to demand reparations for your cause.
Whether you have a case or not can be unimportant, what matters is not the truth, only that you can manipulate popular opinion to kowtow to you. The simple question I ask is who isn’t a victim? I could make the case to you that I grew up in a town that used to hold a thriving mill industry in its heyday. It has since fallen to disrepair over the changing tides of commerce. As a result my hometown is on the less wealthy end of the spectrum in comparison to the most affluent in Britain and this has resulted in a sub-standard education comparatively. Consequently, my prospects are diminished. Had I happened to have been born in say Islington in London I would likely have received a better, more challenging education.
Of course, this entire mentality serves to take away from the accountability of the individual. In that scenario, I have taken no responsibility for how I can act to better my circumstances, I’ve simply pointed to an inequality in the system, blamed my problems on that and then allowed it to feed into the idea that the system is against me and I cannot rise above my station. It’s a vicious, myopic cycle. How true is my scenario? I received a good education, that I squandered by playing video games, had I spent just a third of the time reading rather than playing games I would likely have gone to a top UK university and would now be in the position to offer a skill set to society that is in limited supply. What happens when someone else can point to greater victimhood? I’m sure there would be people in India who point to my scenario and take the view that my own town became enriched through the colonial exploitation of India by the British and they are in fact the victims, I am merely a beneficiary of their ancestor’s sorrow.
My question to those that are allegedly oppressed in the west is the following… The West in general is more affluent than most regions of the world, it is imperfect and yet more balanced than probably any place in the world and you want us to believe that Western society specifically keeps you down and that you honestly have not had the tools, the freedom to be able to excel if you so much as had the will or put in the effort to do so?
There are people born with severe disabilities who rise above their awful circumstances and make a life that stands out ahead of many people more fortunate. They presumably realised that wallowing in self-pity and telling yourself that life is stacked against you leads nowhere other than to misery and a lack of fulfilment. Tell me if you went away now from this moment and made sure that every day you spent just 3 hours engaging in an activity that you know could benefit you, help you to grow or develop your career. That if you did that every day for a year, you wouldn’t reap the rewards further down the line? How much of your circumstances are really unchangeable? How much of it is down to external factors? What can you do to help yourself rise above it?
So much about life is mentality and victimhood is the safe one. It allows you to choose to put in no effort to better yourself because you can point the finger of blame on society.
In politics, we see people that are the top 1 percent, who are studying in top American Universities, who are decrying their perceived oppression on University campuses in the form of a lack of safe spaces away from differing opinions. If you can demonstrate that you are a victim, you gain power by being able to exert manipulation over policy makers to make up for the injustice. This results in free speech being curtailed and an atmosphere upon which different ideas are restricted. The result is you are worse off intellectually, because your mind isn’t forced to stand its’ arguments up to scrutiny. In its political variant faux victimhood represents a unique challenge for the intellectual future of western universities and in my opinion signals a civilisation in decline.