Victimism: The New Fighting Creed of Leftist Elites
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.
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.