News & Politics

Borrowed Victimhood Is Not Heroism

I’m getting sick and tired of the vultures who borrow the suffering of others to plume themselves with, and in the name of that suffering demand an easier path through life, a smoother ascension through the ranks of various professions, and respect and reverence due to someone who has achieved something.

In fact, the idea that being a victim is somehow the same as being a hero and deserves respect and adulation is one of the craziest paradigms (it applies this time) to infect our civilization.

Being a victim is easy.  All it requires is that you lie down and let someone abuse you.  And no matter what your skin color, your sex, or the sex of whomever you choose to have fun with, there is always someone ready to victimize you.

Being a hero requires standing on two, standing up and doing something about it.

Yes, sometimes victims need to be freed, usually by heroes who risk their lives in the process.  That makes us wish to help the victim and make them whole.  It shouldn’t make them heroes or people deserving of reverence.  They can choose to become heroes afterward and go on to save others in similar predicaments, and then they are worthy of some reverence and respect in measure with their deeds.  But simply suffering, simply being a victim, doesn’t make you special.  Doing something about it does.

Notwithstanding which we keep hearing about people having absolute moral authority because they “suffered.”  And most of those cases, it’s not even their suffering, but the suffering of people who looked somewhat like them, long ago.

I loved the amazing amazingness of the person who won the Hugo for best novel this year and for the last three years (yes, I know the award is discredited precisely because of shenenigans like this, but hey Vox thinks it’s the best acceptance speech ever) going on ad nauseam about how people distrust her and don’t think she’s competent because of her skin color, and that’s totally why she deserved the Hugo. And how her idiot followers think that people they assume are “white supremacists” (which would be as funny in Larry as in me) are upset at her win.

No, kid.  Every writer gets treated as distrusted and incompetent unless he’s a mega-bestseller and holds the future of the publishing house in his hands.  That’s just the way traditional publishing is structured.  And the Hugo is supposed to be for “best novel” not “most incredibly woke” one.

I am not upset she won the award. I don’t have an opinion on her writing.  I found it too turgid to read and life is too short to force myself.  De gustibus. I have a problem with her speech and her belief that she deserves the Hugo because she’s the most victimy victim ever and deserves compensation. Not because of the award which means nothing for society at large, but because of this bizarre belief and how much if infects society.

It reminded me of the bickering during the 2008 elections among the Democrats in which a black guy said that Obama deserved the presidency because his ancestors had been brought here in chains.  And the woman countered that Hillary deserved it because her ancestresses had been brought here in chains and on her period.

I no longer remember where I read this, and yes, I might have mangled some of the circumstances, but dear Lord, can you see how bad the crazy is?

No one deserves a post of responsibility and power because they have suffered, much less because their ancestors have suffered.

And if my ancestresses suffered more than my ancestors (maybe.  Sure childbirth was hard and pregnancy consumed most of a woman’s short life.  But then men’s work was usually outdoors, brutal and dangerous) both of them were my ancestors, both male and female.  Human sexes don’t divide by fission, each after his kind.

What’s even more ridiculous is that even if you claim that women were more oppressed than men historically by some standard, then we have to ask you “which women?” Because noble women had easier lives than peasant men.

Furthermore, I guarantee you have both in your ancestry.  Unless, of course, you are, like Hillary, one of the lizard people wearing an ill-fitting human skin.  (Yes, I’m joking.  I haven’t lost my mind.)

Then there’s “my ancestors were in chains.”  Sure. And it was a horrible thing.  For them.  But neither they nor the ones who put them in chains, both the equally black people who put them in chains or the slavers they sold them to or even the owners in the US (or other places) are alive.  There was great suffering and we should know about it and understand why it was wrong.  And heaven help us, we should be doing everything possible to end slavery where it still exists (many parts of Africa and the Middle East.)  But we should neither be beating our chests over it nor demanding to be treated in a special way because one’s ancestors were slaves.

That’s nice.  Slavery is neither a recent nor a racially based sin. In the long and admittedly spotty history of mankind, every race, every culture and every branch of that culture was at one time enslaved and at one time slavers (unless they vanished.)  In the Iberian peninsula, during the Moorish occupation, Muslims and Christians happily enslaved each other, often going slave hunting by ambushing traveling parties in the borderlands.  (At least if you believe the various medieval ballads I learned in school.)

Slavery is a horror that was stopped only by the industrial revolution.

But just as we’re all descended from cannibals, the only argument is how recent, we’re all descended from slavers and enslaved, the only question is how recently?

However the vacuous heads, particularly those filled by an “excellent” and expensive education have been taught only their ancestors were enslaved, or that it was particularly bad, or something, and therefore that everyone is ready to enslave them again, and they’re oppressed little flowers.  Also, the world owes them.

The world owes none of us anything based on our resemblance to oppressed groups.  It doesn’t even owe us anything due to our having been oppressed.  This is not kindergarten and there is not a teacher making sure “everything is fair.”

Just because you cry it doesn’t mean you should get an extra cookie.

Only a society that’s very rich and very insulated from the bad decisions that come from this type of thinking can afford to pretend it is the right of victims to have difficult and powerful jobs, or to get adulation, or to be consoled monetarily for suffering real and imaginary.

And a society that takes that far enough to consider entire groups victim because people they don’t know, never met, don’t remember and which have no effect on their lives, were victimized by other long dead people is one that is treading the line of complete annihilation.

Because, you know, a complex society needs people who can do complex jobs.  And sure, writing Hugo-winning novels might be a complex job, but nothing dies if it’s badly done.  Or any novels are badly done.

However, our insanity extends to making people govern things and manage things in the name of …. I don’t know.  Consoling the victims or something.

That stuck us with the barely coherent red-diaper baby Obama as a president and if we continue this way might inflict Occasionally Cortex Occasio-Cortez on our polity.

Worse, this kind of decision is being made at every level of government and industry.  “It’s his turn.”  “She’ll be the first.” “Well, he was oppressed.” “We have to give it to her, she was discriminated against.”

I don’t have a name for this madness, but I can tell you it’s lethal.

Jobs and representative positions should be given to those who can do the job, not given out like candy to incessantly crying children because “they’re suffering.”

To be human is to suffer.  None of us has what he or she wants, or can reach where he or she wants to go.  The poison in this is giving people the idea that if they tan interestingly or happen to be in possession of a vagina they are entitled to get everything they wanted and a pony, and if they don’t it’s because they are “oppressed.”

It is bad for them, and it is ruinous for society.  Let’s stop the madness now.

We’ve been lucky so far, but the one thing that’s sure is that in the end reality wins.

Important posts and positions are not something you stuff into the crying mouth like a pacifier.  (Arguably you could stuff a Hugo award, but you’d have to have a massive mouth.  Also, that particular mishandling means nothing except that the award is fast becoming meaningless.)

And our children should be taught and made to understand that life isn’t fair.  That in life you deserve what you worked for, and even then you don’t always get it (because life isn’t fair, society is chaotic, and luck comes in.)  And that the answer is to try again, not cry about oppression.

Because a society of bawling babies will not stand.  And what comes after will be horrible for the few survivors who will have to learn the hard lessons of civilization once more.