Tuesday, September 04, 2007

So, How Do You Like Victimhood So far?

We are afraid. Fear is what defines us as a society. The press emphasize it every day. So do politicians. Victims rights advocates are everywhere pointing their fingers and going tut tut. Emotionally soft soccer moms and dads peer fearfully from their comfy suburban homes and quiver in their fuzzy slippers.

Being a victim is like a badge of honour here in soft, sensitive, socialist Canada. Just purse your lips, lay the back of one hand against your forehead and point the finger of your other hand at your victimizer. Presto, the politicians are there empathizing with you and the press is there with their mics and cameras. You are a celebrity.

Children have been bullying each other since time immorial. Now, all of a sudden, it’s a national tragedy that we all, as a society, must come together to solve. Never mind that bullying is a right of passage for children – a way for them to learn about resilience, courage and self preservation. After all, everyone knows that the best way to defeat a bully is to stand up to him/her. It’s especially preferable to kick the snot out of them. And the victims who do, grow in character and become stronger and more self confident. Of course this is not what our society teaches children. Never are they told to stand up for themselves. Rather they are told to embrace their victimhood and run to others for help. And of course, as is always the case, others – the education, justice and welfare systems - coddle the perpetrator and disregard and disempower the victim. It often seems like they care more for the bully than they do the victim. But that’s to be expected from a system that considers all perpetrators as victims themselves, who have no responsibility for their own actions and can always blame society for whatever mean, spiteful inclinations they may have.

All poor people are victims too. Victims of our heartless capitalist system. Just try and find a media story that asks a homeless person what he has done to rise out of poverty. Never are any of these people expected to do what humans have done since time immemorial and pull themselves out of poverty by trying harder. Always they are cast as helpless victims of a society that has abandoned it’s responsibilities for them. In reality, with the exception of the mentally ill, it is they who have abandoned their responsibilities to society. They are the ones who victimize society by demanding that we take responsibility for their lives so that they may be saved from the effort.

Here in Canada, victims are everywhere and they get way too much attention and regard. Often they are either victims of their own laziness or they are soft, overly sensitive people who fall victim to their own neurotic sense of offense or entitlement.

A woman is launching a class action against a tattoo parlor in Oshawa whose sterilization tools were 2 degrees below the required temperature. When the story broke, public health officials, in an attempt to justify their existence, fell over themselves drawing it into the public eye. The victim doesn't even know if she contracted anything. Many patrons of the tattoo parlor have been tested negative for any inflictions like HIV or Hepatitis results so far. The victim, however, is suing for mental duress. These days you don't have to come to any harm to sue, you just have to be worried that you've come to harm and the lawyers and assorted victim’s lobby groups run to see who can reach the victim’s validation finish line first.

I once read about a thief who broke into a family’s garage while they were away. He got locked in and spent a week eating dog food before the family finally returned and let him loose. He sued and won a settlement for emotional duress. I’m not kidding. These days, even burglars whose schemes are inadvertently thwarted by their own incompetence are considered victims by the courts and entitled to financial compensation.

Another time a drunk party goer dove from the top floor of his party host’s home into the pool. Apparently the host had stopped him several times before he escaped unnoticed to the top floor and dove. He broke his neck and sued. And guess what? He won a huge settlement. After all, we couldn’t expect him to be responsible for his own actions, could we?

And we wonder why the radical islamists are secure in their belief that our society can be toppled. Seems to me that they may be right. We have become vulnerable and soft in our world of plenty. Never do we look to ourselves for answers to our problems or blame ourselves when we do something stupid and fail. Why should we when there is always a politician, reporter or judge at hand to blame someone else.

However, in the victim hunt game, no one is better at exploiting our irrational feelings of victimhood than politicians. They thrive on making us all believe that we are victims of something or other. It’s how they convince us that we need them. It’s how they remain relevant to us. At election time they prance around promising to devictimize us all. Parents who can’t take care of their own children are told that they are victims of a society that does not pay for their children’s daycare. Mothers whose children were conceived through voluntary sex with an irresponsible man with no prospects are told that they have been victimized by him. People who become addicted to booze, drugs, gambling or even sex are told that they have been victimized by a disease and that they, as individuals, are not responsible for their own actions. Laid off auto workers are victims of a government that has not done enough to preserve their jobs. People on waiting lists for subsidized housing are told that they are being victimized by a government that will not build more housing for them. Shooting victims in welfare housing are told that more government funded basketball courts and community programs would have prevented their plight. Kids who drop out of school are told that they are victims of a system that is not giving them the right opportunities.

Whatever problems we have are not our fault, they are always caused by the last government and can be solved if only we elect a new government. Therein lies the fraudulent staple of our democratic political system. And we have bought into it hook line and sinker.

Never are we told that we live in a free and democratic society. Never are we told that our problems can often be solved by making smarter decisions, holding our heads high and pressing on. Always we are told that it is someone else’s fault and if only we had more government help and intervention everything will be alright. After all, what politician in his right mind would ask people to try harder. Don’t we elect governments to do more for us and save us from the pesky responsibility of trying harder? After all, who the hell wants to try harder? We’re way too busy surfing the net, listening to our Ipods, watching our DVDs and tracking the lives of Paris Hilton and Angelina Jolie.

Well, sorry to tell you, but it’s all a crock. People will always fail. And sometimes it’s because they made bad personal decisions and didn’t try hard enough. Sometimes, bad things just happen to them through no fault of others. Of course, we will never hear this simple truth from politicians or the press. After all, they have a vested interest in making us all feel like the victims of others so that we look to them for our salvation. It’s how they make their living and perpetuate their own existence.


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