"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." -- JP Curran, 1790

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Barack Obama renews the prominence of the "Victim Society"

As I listen more and more to Barack Obama I have come to realize that his elections is the manifestation of the growing prominence of the "victim society".

The "victim society" is in direct contrast with personal accountability. The "victim society" is an acceptance of intentional and unintentional failure and the embrace of forgiveness for any action based on pity. It is a society in which individuals race to the bottom in hopes of receiving the greatest hand-out. It is a society in which some seek to exploit the charity or sympathy of others to avoid the application of their own efforts towards the same reward. It is a society in which the productive non-victims are forced by guilt to assuage others because of their presumed circumstances.

The "victim society" saw a grand resurgence in the 1990s and has continued to this day. We all seem to be subjected by the open embrace of victimhood by the worlds' leaders, news media, organizations, etc. There are examples of this all around you.
  • One is not in error for committing a crime, they are a victim of their circumstances so leniency should be granted.
  • One is not is error for noncompetitive business practices, they are a victim of efficient rivals who preyed upon their market weakness so they should be bailed out.
  • One is not is error for poor investment diversification, they are the victim of Wall Street greed and their debt should be forgiven.
  • One is not in error for failing to heed content warnings, they are the victim of overheated coffee and should be rewarded with a successful egregious lawsuit.
Some call this forgiveness, but this the distortion of forgiveness for personal gain. Justice conflicts charity as accountability conflicts victimhood. What many do not understand is that accountability is a double-edged sword. Why people become successful is because they understand this double-edged sword and embrace it. For they know that if they won't take responsibility when things go wrong, they lose the right to take credit when things go right. Victims, in fear of bearing the responsibility with things go wrong, become blind to all opportunities and outlooks that do not conform to their supine posture and hence wallow in the passivity and supposed powerlessness of the victim. Their choice is voluntary, hence the term self-victimization.

What inspired me to pen this article was my recognition that Barack speaks the language of a victim. Listen to his reasons when discussing any imperfection, and he blames the result not on his actions or judgements but on the circumstances of the situation forcing his error. Let's look at a few quips from his interview with George Stephanopoulos this past weekend on ThisWeek:

George: "...can you fix this [economy]?"
Barack: "I think we can fix this. But it's going to take some time. It's not going to happen overnight. And what we tried to do this week was, first of all, explain where we are in the economy. That the jobs numbers this week were terrible. That means we've lost 2.5 million last year. That's the most since World War II. You've got another 3.4 million people who have gone from full-time work to part-time work, or want full-time work. So the underemployment rate is extremely high. And, you know, whether it's retail sales, manufacturing, all of the indicators show that we are in the worst recession since the Great Depression.
And it's going to take some time to fix it. But what we tried to do was put forward a plan that says let's act boldly, let's act swiftly. Let's not only provide a jump start to the economy and immediately or save 3 million jobs, but let's also put a down payment on some of the structural problems that we have in our economy."

JCB: Excuses based on circumstances, I'm the victim of inheriting this economy, and generalize means of "fixing it", always the "we" can do this, does it ever so "I will do this".

George: "When you look at the array of things you want to do, as president, something is going to have to give. Which of your ambitions, which of your campaign promises will you have to scale back on because of all of this?"
Barack: "Well, we are going to be presenting a budget in February. And as we learned this week, we are inheriting over a trillion dollar deficit. Unheard of in recent history and...So one of the things that I've said is -- and I've said this to my economic team, we are going to have to make some tough choices under my watch to ensure that on the medium term and the long term we're starting to bend the curve where we are getting the deficit under control. They are going to report back to me in the next month to give me a plan. Now as difficult as it is to spend money wisely, it's going to be even tougher to make some of the adjustments that are needed to get the deficit under control."
JCB: Again, victim of circumstances, transference of responsibility to "my economic team", I'm starting to feel sorry for him and all the troubles he has to deal with, not!

George: "are you really talking about over the course of your presidency some kind of a grand bargain? That you have tax reform, health care reform, entitlement reform, including Social Security and Medicare where everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good? ...And when will that get done?"
Barack: "...what you describe is exactly what we're going to have to do. ...Everybody is going to have to give. Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game."
JCB: Applying guilt to force the sacrifice of many for the few victims, somebody get me a tissue

Obama often talks about the inspirational leaders and Presidents of the past and how he aspires to emulate them. Well Barack, victims do not inspire confidence, they inspire pity. You run this path of victimhood for your own gain, voter dependence. The age old game of the Democratic party is to play up victimhood to generate dependence upon their hand-outs, bail-outs, and shout-outs. Dependence breeds fear of cutbacks and voter loyalty. Classic Marxist Theory.

Don't be a victim, don't reward victims. Hold politicians and everyone accountable. Take responsibility without fear of bearing the burden when things go wrong. When they go right, don't let the victims claim your due credit. Without risk their is no reward!

Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content

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