Each of the organizations we’ve discussed above is trying to exploit the concept and culture of victimhood. They claim to identify (and identify with) various classes of victims, and seek to mobilize them (and their sympathizers) to agitate against the system that has allegedly made them victims. If there were no culture of victimhood – if, instead, the focus was on individual responsibility – these organizations would collapse. Only by denying individual responsibility, focusing instead on groups and the social contract that has until now governed their interaction, can they establish their own reason for being.
This is startlingly reminiscent of the criminal mindset. I wrote about this in my memoir of prison chaplaincy. In it, I pointed out a number of characteristics of the criminal’s outlook on life, including the following:
3. Refusal to accept responsibility. The criminal avoids or evades any acceptance or admission of guilt or responsibility. Even when he displays contrition about his actions, it’s usually an outward show. In reality his only genuine regret is that he was discovered. He’ll blame anything and everything, anyone and everyone except himself for the negative consequences of his crimes. Of course, this means that he’ll eagerly agree with those blaming factors in his background for his crimes — it allows him to slide out of accepting any personal responsibility for his actions. It’s always someone else’s fault.
. . .
6. A need for excitement. The criminal ‘gets a kick’ out of what he does. Even getting caught has its own thrill. Dealing with the arresting officers (perhaps including an exciting car chase that gets him on TV), establishing his place in the hierarchy in the jail, dealing with the courts, trying to ‘beat the rap’: all have their own emotional intensity. The same applies to life in prison. A really hardened convict may spend more time in the Hole than in general population, aggravate and infuriate staff, annoy other inmates… but he doesn’t care. He’s getting a kick out of his ‘power’ to make others react to him.
. . .
10. A refusal to accept reality. Reality is defined by the criminal on his terms, not by the victim of his crime or by society. A criminal convicted of check fraud will adamantly deny that he’s a thief — he ‘never took anything’. One who stole from a bank didn’t steal from an individual, only an institution, and that’s not theft by his lights. A rapist didn’t do any harm to his victim — ‘she enjoyed it’. A child abuser wasn’t abusing the child at all: he was ‘showing his love’ for his victim. An armed robber who killed his victim when he resisted wasn’t guilty of murder. If his victim had complied with his demands he wouldn’t have died. He ‘asked for it’ by resisting, therefore his death wasn’t the robber’s fault. Most criminals will argue that they weren’t convicted because of what they did, but rather because ‘the system’ or ‘the judge’ or ‘the prosecutor’ was against them. It was personal bias that put them behind bars, not the weight of evidence. I could go on forever in this vein, but I’m sure you get the picture.
Do you see any common ground between these characteristics, and the attitude and conduct of so many progressive pressure groups such as Black Lives Matter, Moveon.org, Common Dreams, Color of Change, and so many others? I certainly do. Almost uniformly these groups deny (or don’t even mention) the need for individuals to accept personal responsibility for their lives and actions. They’ll blame anything and anyone else. It’s “the system”. It’s “the police”. It’s “racism”. It’s never the individual’s fault, never the fault of the group complaining about oppression. It’s always someone else.
They also appear to demonstrate a real need for excitement, to make “the Man” respond to what they’re doing. They’re social gadflies. They never achieve anything themselves – at least, I’ve never seen anything they’ve managed to build. They merely cause trouble for those they oppose. They tear down what others have built, but offer nothing concrete with which to replace it.
Finally, they certainly appear to refuse to accept reality.
These organizations are evil, but they continue to grow in power and influence because no one in the West these days is willing to actually fight evil. Fist-shaking and the occasional denouncement is about as far as it goes. But as the Bible says, there is a time for peace and a time for war. We have already entered the latter, although at this point, any Man of the West who dares to take action will receive considerably more criticism from his own side than praise and support.
The West is not yet desperate enough. Neither the Men nor the Women of the West are truly cognizant yet of the existential threat to them. They don’t fully believe the situation is what it is, and are still hoping that the system will, somehow, magically start working again.
But it won’t. As Dr. Pournelle has repeatedly written, there will be war.