November 2, 2012
Some people apparently think there are no fake victims, only real ones.
They believe that if all the oppression in the world were magically lifted tomorrow, people would suddenly become independent.
I don’t believe that. I raise these issues because I think it’s time for some honest input.
When I went to junior high school (it wasn’t “middle school” then, and “junior” wasn’t considered a dangerous pejorative that could ruin young minds), the concept of a victim, as we use it now, didn’t exist.
Can you imagine it? There was no special ed. There were no federal funds paid out for each “specially abled” child. No one used the word “victim.” There was no such thing as ADHD. There was no such thing as a clinically depressed child. There were no shrinks hovering around ready to make diagnoses and dispense drugs.
This junior high had a cross-section of kids from different economic and ethnic backgrounds. There were rich kids, middle-class kids, and poor kids. There were white kids and black kids. There were Italian kids and Jewish kids and WASP kids.
Did cruel things occasionally happen? Were there a few bullies? Yes. Was it paradise every day? No. Were there injustices? Yes. But all in all, it was a good school. Kids learned. Kids had fun. Most of the teachers were fair and just.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, more learning took place in that school than in a comparable school today. It wasn’t even close, by any reasonable standard of measurement, like literacy.
And in terms of the kids feeling safe and free (as free as anyone can be in a school), again it was no contest. Things were better then than they are now.
The word victim was never used. Kids didn’t wear victimhood like a badge. It didn’t take a village. We didn’t have the incomparable advantage of knowing we were all on Spaceship Earth, and yet we did well.
We somehow managed to struggle through without being taught about sex in the classroom. No one told us about the need to respect every point of view. In fact, there was no social training at all. We never sat around in class and had group discussions with the teacher.
We all knew the principal was an idiot. We knew who the bad teachers were and who the good teachers were. The good teachers just taught their subjects.
By today’s standards, we were living in the Stone Age. Yet, we got through it. We weren’t ever treated as victims, and we didn’t know what victims were. Kids understood they either succeeded or failed. If they failed, they didn’t make it to the next grade. It was stark and simple. No one objected.
Yes, in some respects, school was a real pain in the neck, but we bit the bullet and kept on going.
If someone from the future had showed up and told us about ADHD and what it was, and what the drugs were, we would have called him crazy. We would have laughed him into oblivion.
Flash forward 60 years…
“Oh, but now there are so many more distractions. TV, computers, the Internet, cell phones. And drugs, porn, divorced parents, guns, junk food, advertising. Kids today need more help. They need more caring adults.”
No, actually, kids need schools where the rules are simple and stark. You learn or you don’t learn. You behave or you don’t behave. You aren’t a victim.
Over the last 60 years, a culture of victimhood has become a major industry. This culture, as it turns out, doesn’t really solve very much at all. It engenders more problems. It invents endless excuses. It piles up bullshit to the level of every kid’s eyes. It gives a kid an out.
The people who promote victimhood make their living by promoting victimhood. That’s the clue. They’re hustlers.
There are a few fuzzy boundaries when you differentiate between a real victim and a phony one. It isn’t perfect. Nothing is. There is no system that can protect everybody. But, all in all, you’re far better off unloading the victim culture than you are expanding it.
And expanding it is what happens when the pros and hustlers take over. They’re liars right down to their shoes.
Parents are complicit. They’re looking for an out, too. They want to have outside people make sure their kids are all right.
It all comes down to this: if you perceive that society has become a bad place for your family, for you, do you insist that everything has to be changed before you can thrive, or do you take the bull by the horns? Do you choose victimhood, or do you choose independence?
In recent months, we’ve learned that the federal government and its allies consider people who are against central authority a potential threat.
Translation: if you don’t go along with the culture of victimhood, you’re a monkey wrench in the machinery of progress. You’re standing up for yourself. You’re not absolutely relying on outside sources to solve your problems.
Once upon a time, self-reliance was a given. In order for it to be a given, there had to be a concomitant principle: if you don’t rely on yourself, you’re going to be in trouble. The two ideas go together.
People accepted this.
You pass your courses or you fail and repeat the grade.
That wasn’t considered an onerous burden. It was a fact of life.
Then, there was a change. “I” was replaced by “we.” That was the “new idea.” It sounded good. It sounded interesting. It sounded hopeful.
But it was a con. The “we” was fake. It wasn’t about cooperation in a family or in a real community. It was high-flying and political. It was vague.
It was an out. It was a way to choose victimhood. In fact, it became, over time, a way for voluntary victims to bond with one another. “We’re all in this together, we’re in bad shape, and we need help.”
And help arrived. It arrived, along many fronts, in the form of the removal of the need to be a strong individual.
That was the key in the lock that opened the door, so the old culture of self-reliance could flow into the sea and disappear.
“But there are real victims!” people say. Of course there are. Since there are oppressors, there are victims. But I’m not talking about that. I’m not talking about that at all. I’m talking about choice, about choosing to enter the dim realm of the put-upon.
And if you don’t think many, many people have made that choice, you’re not watching. In fact, there is a good chance you’re just glazing over inside the vast culture of victimhood and letting it wash over you.
There’s a chance you’re letting your own power drip away, and you don’t really care.
When I was in ninth grade, my teacher told us what deus ex machina meant. God from the machine. It was a dramatic device through which, in a play, the characters were rescued from their terrible troubles, at the last minute, from Above. It was a cheap trick.
Well, there are millions of people who, after choosing victimhood, have come to believe in deus ex machina. One way or another, the cavalry will come over the hill. They count on this. The cosmic lottery ticket will turn up.
Just wait long enough, and the payoff will appear.
This has NOTHING to do with cooperation in small groups or families. It has everything to do with a gathering malaise. It has everything to do with the expanding culture of victimhood.
My father grew up in the Bronx. When he was 11, his father died. My father had to quit school. He was then the head of the family, which included his mother and sister and his younger brother.
Helped to learn how to look out for himself by a private charity, he found a job sweeping floors in a textile factory. He eventually moved up the ladder and became the chief salesman and designer and a partner in the firm.
For a number of years, he was a staunch socialist. But eventually, he said, he realized that forcing everyone to be equal didn’t work. Some people would always game the system. Some people would always find a way to make the system stronger and the individual weaker. Some people would use the system to give a leg up to their cronies.
Worse than any of this, a whole culture would emerge, a culture designed to provide people with a way to fall back on their weakest instincts, a culture that would eventually become violent and vicious, because it would encourage massive self-esteem based on nothing.
Combine that culture with rampant obsessive consumerism and you have a volatile mix that destroys minds.
And there is a ready excuse for every shortfall, an excuse for every shortcoming and every crime—with parasitic intellectuals inventing newer and newer reasons to exonerate all behaviors everywhere, under the flag of tolerance and understanding and even freedom.
Do we need liberation from oppressive criminals and their systems? Of course. Do we need liberation from our own individual self-diminishing surrender to passivity?
More than ever.
Jon Rappoport is the author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED. Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.
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