Of victimhood

Tomislav Sunic’s article The Curse of Victimhood and Negative Identity has some important things to say about this 21st century plague of victimolatry.

Among other things, he makes the point that with so many ethnocentric commemorations of victimhood, and the attempts to elicit some kind of confessions of guilt on the part of others, more conflict is generated.

”Any day of atonement or, for that matter, any day of repentance on behalf of a victimized group, is highly conflictual, if not warmongering by its nature.”.

Yes. Where there is a ‘victim’, there is a victimizer. If some innocent is wronged, then there is a guilty villain. This is what is so vexing about the annual MLK memorials and ‘Black History Month’. It’s not just about black culture or blacks honoring black heroes, but it’s about inciting guilt on the part of Whites, and implicitly or explicitly calling for atonement to be made, in this case, monetary reparations or other concessions: more social service dollars spent, more affirmative action, more special privileges and more groveling.

Ultimately this whole dynamic leads to Fergusons and Liberty City riots (anyone remember that?) more Reginald Denny outrages, and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows.

And why shouldn’t nationalists be able to foster a healthy ethnonationalism — if they insist on living in a mixed culture, or have no choice — without having to base it on resentment and hostility for ‘wrongs’ done centuries ago, many generations ago, by people long dead and gone to dust? I’m thinking here of the Irish as well as other ‘victim’ groups. Now, lest somebody get offended, this kind of negative nationalism based on hating some specific group is more common among Irish-Americans than the people actually born in Ireland, though this may have changed in recent times as Ireland has moved so far left, socially and politically. There is enough to focus on culturally and historically without having to constantly hang the English in effigy over and over again.

There are some on our side saying that we should begin capitalizing on our own victimhood — however I disagree with this approach. First, few people among Whites, let alone among nonwhites, will admit that Whites are victims. To many if not most, Whites are incapable of being victims; if we are under siege, it’s becaused we brought it on ourselves because of our past (and present) evildoing and oppressing. It’s just ‘negative karma’ that we earned; what goes around comes around, as my (black) sociology teacher in college said bitterly. And in most people’s picture of the world, Whites are and will always be the big bad guy; the one who holds all the power and money and influence. We can’t be seen as victims.

And yet is that all bad? It can work to our advantage. Much of the animus towards Whites is based on envy and an unacknowledged fear. We are actually seen as being stronger than we may be. Perhaps those who hate us think we are actually the tough pioneers our ancestors were; the conquerors and rulers we used to be. Whether we really are is yet to be seen. I have doubts myself; the strength may be hidden, waiting to reassert itself when our backs are truly to the wall, or we may fold, having lost whatever it was that made our forefathers great.

Regardless of which is true, it does not become us, as children of those forefathers, to take on the ‘victim’ role, complaining of how somebody has oppressed us. Nietszche was not wrong about everything, though I believe many of his ideas to be poisonous. He despised the ‘victim’ mentality. It does demean and degrade those who hold it, even if they are truly victims. There is such a thing as pride and courage and honor, and it will not be a good thing to adopt a kind of ethnocentrism based on our common victimhood, which is just a way of acknowledging that we are just another group of life’s losers.

It’s true that the good guys don’t always win. Right now the good guys seem to be on the ropes. But it is false to say that the winners are never good guys, and it is a lie that winning itself means one is an oppressor, a bully, or a tyrant. Power itself is not bad, per se; it depends on how it is wielded. It’s like fire, and must be used carefully. It can corrupt, as Acton said.

Still, weakness is not in itself a virtue to be boasted of. Sometimes weakness cannot be helped. Still, sometimes people become losers or ‘victims’ because of faults or deficits. Being a victim does not make one admirable, much less a saint. Some people bring victimhood on themselves by improvidence, foolishness, lack of integrity, or lack of courage. We seem to have forgotten this, accepting the left’s notion that victims wear haloes just becauseĀ  someone else got the better of them, even if the one who prevailed did so honorably and honestly. The late Comanche patriot David Yeagley, who was an ethnopatriot towards his Comanche tribe, also acknowledged that their White foes won honorably. The two sides fought, and Whites prevailed. He was an exception, probably one of a kind, to take this attitude. It’s so much more profitable to whine about how one’s ancestors were wronged and oppressed by evil Whitey than to acknowledge that they simply were outmatched. It saves ‘face’, I suppose, to claim that the other side ‘cheated’ or ‘stole’ or ‘oppressed’ than to say that one’s side lost in a fair fight. There is always a winner and a loser. But the left has subverted this; it has almost made winning a mark of disgrace and infamy.

This is where the ‘narrative’ becomes unhealthy: this exaltation of weakness and ‘victimhood.’ It encourages people to don the ‘victim’ mantle to manipulate and gain power by insidious and dishonest means. It promotes deception and dishonesty. It is not a healthy thing.