Victimism: The New Fighting Creed of Leftist Elites

By Jason Jones & John Zmirak Published on March 24, 2018

On Friday The Stream highlighted a campaign of vilification against Bethany Kozma. She’s a Trump appointee to a UN conference on women. And the LGBT machine is revved up to paint her as some hateful extremist who’s embarrassing America before the world.

Why? Because she takes a position that every liberal would have accepted without thinking ten years ago: That bathrooms should be private, and restricted to just one sex. Back in 2008, nobody in mainstream politics was arguing that “gender” was a “social construct.” Heck, Barack Obama was still claiming to oppose same-sex marriage.

We’ve had no new scientific discoveries about gender dysphoria. No one has found “evidence” that proves biological sex irrelevant. This is all cultural politics, or to put it more bluntly, bullying. People like Mrs. Kozma, and everyone who agrees with her, have been targeted by the powerful as scapegoats.

Two years ago it was Kim Davis, who couldn’t in conscience sign same-sex marriage licenses. And bakers, florists, and wedding planners. Last year it was David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, threatened with prison for committing journalism against Planned Parenthood.

The Hunt for Scapegoats

The hunt for scapegoats is growing more intense. And the impulse behind it is primitive and primal. The great Christian anthropologist Rene Girard diagnosed this urge to sacrifice the innocent as one that is basic to fallen man. In fact, it’s the glue of societies over the centuries. When the struggle for scarce goods or status begins to divide a tribe or kingdom, it brings on a kind of crisis. To hold things together, elites identify harmless, helpless people or groups and blame them for the chaos.

If the scapegoaters make the sale, soon huge numbers of people who’d never even noticed that group (the Jews, the Christians, the Yezidis, it doesn’t matter) now call for its destruction. They really do convince themselves that they’re acting in self-defense.

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Girard said one of the deepest effects of the Gospel was to discredit the scapegoat mechanism. Jesus was the one sacrifice for sin, and willingly took our guilt. So societies built in His name would have a harder time scapegoating innocents. They would remind them too much of Jesus. Of course, Christendom fell back into this ancient practice at times. The persecution of Jews in Medieval Europe was bleak evidence that the gospel’s effects were quite uneven.

Still, the sacredness that Jesus’ incarnation attached to each human being made a difference. The concept of individual rights, as opposed to those of the family, tribe or nation, emerged from Christian ethics. The idea of collective guilt seemed more and more implausible.

The Enemy’s New Stratagem

But the Enemy is always active. And man is still deeply fallen. Yes we’ve abandoned the primitive practice of picking scapegoats arbitrarily. But a cunning new evil has emerged. Girard called it “Victimism.” It’s a method of political activism and control that perverts Christian ethics at their root. The Victimist who wants to wield power over others sees that blatant scapegoating won’t work. Not anymore.

The Victimist identifies himself with the forces of justice. He will right the old wrongs. He’ll avenge those whose ancestors suffered in the past. What’s more, he will punish those who represent the old, onetime oppressors. That is, their innocent descendants, or those who simply share their race or sex.

So what does he do? He identifies himself with the forces of justice. He will right the old wrongs. He’ll avenge those whose ancestors suffered in the past. What’s more, he will punish those who represent the old, onetime oppressors. That is, their innocent descendants, or those who simply share their race or sex.

This is how U.S. elites can justify targeting all whites and especially white males. It’s how they feel good about themselves when they cackle at displaced blue collar workers — and seek to replace them with foreigners. It’s how post-Christians inside Christian churches rationalize their attacks on the orthodox. They reach back centuries and equate true believers with witch-burners and inquisitors. And they fancy themselves liberators.

Collective Guilt and Punishment

Andrew Sullivan wrote of the movement that is taking over campuses, Intersectionalism, arguing that it is in some ways like a new religion. But even more than that it’s a semi-coherent ideology — the fancy word for a half-baked idea with a fully loaded gun. It’s a tissue of rationalizations for accumulating power, imposing collective punishment and scapegoating the innocent. White males must pay for the sins of their ancestors. Christians must be punished and marginalized because of events in the Middle Ages. Traditional families must pay for the self-loathing which sexual deviants suffer with. Europeans living in their own countries must be subject to violence and intimidation at the hands of Muslim interlopers who live on public welfare.

And no measure of punishment will ever be enough. It never was for the Jacobins during the French Reign of Terror. Nothing was ever enough, either, for the Bolsheviks when they seized control of Russia. Because there is no real injustice being corrected (it’s not real slave-owners, Klansmen or Indian-killers being punished), the need for vengeance can never be slaked. The sacrifices will continue until something stops them. Until the Victimists are exposed, deposed and scorned.

The New Leftist Lynch Mobs

The Democratic party, the lockstep elites in media and academia, are draining this cup to the dregs. They’re drunk with power and righteousness. And impervious to arguments. They’ve found a way to feel like they’re Mother Teresa or Joan of Arc, while they act like some Southern lynch mob.

It’s our job to stand fiercely for justice and for our rights. We can’t leave wounded soldiers out in the field. Good people like Bethany Kozma are genuine, innocent victims of a new profound evil, Victimism. It’s as dangerous a weapon in the hands of the power-hungry as Communism once was. And don’t be fooled: We’ll be fighting it for the rest of our lives.

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  • erin

    “Impervious to arguments.” So. True.

  • Patmos

    It’s part of the left’s larger playbook of framing the argument in a manner that colors them as righteous, without the actual backing of righteousness. It’s why so many on the left are quick to label you a bigot if you don’t agree with them: It gives them the appearance of righteousness, and consequently justification for their stance.

    Who knows maybe they even believe it themselves, though I doubt they give it much thought.

    It’s the same thing we’re seeing with the current exploitation of kids for gun control: Put the kids out front with the same empty rhetoric, and you HAVE to listen because come on these are kids here, kids who are the victims.

    Again, attempting to frame it in a way so that no one can respond, or rather so that they don’t have to deal with facing a response. It’s the difference between self righteousness and genuine righteousness, with genuine righteousness being a righteousness that has an actual foundation to it.

    • Patmos

      Same thing with “settled science” too, that you see thrown out there regarding climate change. They just throw these phrases out there that are contrary to reality, and in their mind not up for debate or discussion. It’s petty tyranny at best, and probably more accurately a mix of laziness, disinterest in truth, insecurity, cowardice, and lack of purpose or direction.

      • Patmos

        Another one: “On the right side of history”

        As if history were some great error forever progressing towards correction. Again, no real backing behind it, and you can’t argue against it! Because it’s already established as right.

  • Best man

    We are God’s trash.

    • Ken Abbott

      No, we are not. Creatures made in God’s image, even if fallen, are not trash.

  • Craig Roberts

    Scapegoat the Victimists!

  • missy

    I support B Kozma 100% — don’t be moved by what you see Bethany, good (common sense) will always triumph over evil. There is nothing new under the sun, mankind never seems to learn – victimism is as old as Adam and Eve who sinned in the
    Garden of Eden … Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. All the rest of us better heed the warning – left unchecked, our culture today is on a steady course for big trouble ahead. There is rampant self-deception with negative consequences and too much collective ‘hate’ embraced many Dems, lib left extremists and gullible SJW millennials who are lashing out and blaming others for their latest ‘cause’. The rest of us have to stand up for our rights too. I refuse to live under socialism dictates with no freedom.

  • Chip Crawford

    Got a verse for that last … ?

  • Relativism will always incline toward the will to power, and tolerance in it’s name toward totalitarianism. In realizing God was dead in the West, Nietzsche predicted that the 20th century would be the bloodiest in the history of the world. Liberals/leftists/progressives have learned nothing from the horrors because their assumptions will always lead inevitably in that direction. That is why we must fight them at every turn.

  • Tim Pan

    I am a victim of original sin.

  • Grn724

    Being a former victim I understand fully the ideology behind what is going on. What I learned is that I may have been a victim of circumstance but not of principle. I also had to face the reality of the mindset and in the beginning of developing a relationship with God I was able to see where it was part of His plan for me. I then learned to either amend the relationship with those who I felt resentment towards or I had to forgive them, from my heart, not my head. Victims seek revenge only. They are mad and they want justice. All built upon a big lie, that they are victims, when in reality they are mad at themselves by their own decisions.

  • Bojaws Dubois

    While writing a column criticizing those who want to be victims, he paints himself as a victim.

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