The cult of victimhood writ large

This is a succinct, sensible and considered article, which I am posting below, by Ted Scott.

However, it is also worth bearing in mind that the sense of victimhood felt by some Muslims is not particular to Muslims and has in fact come out of a time of self-flagellation and unnecessary condemnation of the West, the modern and most developed world, driven by all sorts of well-intended agendas, but ultimately creating victims on many counts.

No doubt there was a point, as the pendulum swings, when the Western (modern) world began to feel a sense of guilt, unnecessary in my book although self-reflection is always good and often begins this way, and we invented what has come to be called political correctness.

Multi-culturalism emerged from this ‘soup’ of guilt, which often became ‘self’ hatred, and quickly spread around the developed world, encouraging people to remain apart, separate, distinct, unassimilated in ways which have become increasingly problematic in immigrant nations like Australia. Although, having said that, most Western nations are to various degrees, now immigrant nations.

In times past we encouraged, if not pressured people to assimilate, reasoning it was best for them, best for the society as a whole and best for the nation. As indeed it was and is.

But multi-culturalism had us ‘saying’ keep your ways, as long as they don’t transgress our laws and even then we might tweak and bend to suit your needs, and hold on to as much of the culture you left behind as you can, while making use of whatever aspects of our culture suit your needs, etc. etc. etc. If anything was and is a recipe for disaster, that is.

Having lived as an expat in many countries for many decades, I know full well that people do not need to be encouraged to hold on to what they have left behind, they need to be encouraged to let go of it and move forward and embrace that which they have come to join. Sure, keep your cuisines and your private home-life, in your traditional ways, but recognise that the world outside is now your world and the only future your children can have, if indeed they are to have a future.

And well-meant but deluded concepts of multi-culturalism have also encouraged minority groups, of any kind, and indigenous, to see themselves as separate and as eternal victims of past wrongs, whether experienced by them or very distant ancestors. Sometimes not even ancestors for you can take on the mantle of victimhood through mere association with a group which once suffered, whether that suffering was centuries or thousands of years in the past.

Much of this well-intentioned approach has been driven by various academics, particularly historians, who have taken on the modern notion that there is no such thing as real history, as in facts, but only views, opinions, conjectures and considerations which we can call history because they say it is.

The sluicing out of facts in various areas of academia and replacing hard data with a froth of well-meant but often delusional ‘information’ has bred victims aplenty.

We are awash in victims whether it is someone who has a distant indigenous ancestor, a great-great-great grandparent will do, even if they have come from many generations of successful middle-class people;

religious victims, encouraged to feel hard done by, if not persecuted because they are a minority;

domestic violence victims, encouraged to place all responsibility for their experiences on others;

poverty victims, encouraged to blame society for their dysfunction;

disability of any kind has also created some victims, as has disease, where the language of groups set up to support those afflicted, often encourages victimhood more than it does resilience and growth;

colonial victims, and Africa is wall-to-wall with them, although pick any Third World country which was once a colony of someone from the West, the rest get ignored, encouraged to blame Anglo/European oppressors for their plight, ignoring the fact that it is more than half a century since they gained independence and the corruption, incompetence and chaos is all their own work;

the list is long and continually added to, with victims of Government, victims of parents, victims of spouses, we even have victims of adult children these days….. anyone and everyone can be a victim and many make that choice.

There is something comfortable about being a victim because nothing is ever your fault. And as a victim you are instantly elevated to a superior place above the rest, because, well, you are a victim.

The realms of victimhood are heady, satisfying and rewarding for many in terms of profit and prestige and particularly when the victimhood is embraced by the politically correct, i.e. indigenous, religious, Islamic, but also Jewish, and any kind of victimhood where men can be singled out as the aggressor or the ‘evil’ West can be held accountable.

The cult of victimhood is fast becoming a religion and the ‘victim’ tied to the funeral pyres it builds is sanity.

A friend just recently commented that he thought my thoughts about militant Islamism had changed over recent times. That is no doubt true. But it also provided a spur to me to summarise what I currently think on this issue. This short essay seeks to do just that.

About rosross

Editor, writer, poet.
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