my rant about victimhood mentality


People should and must take responsibility for their choices and the consequences of those choices. This is not to say there are no class, gender and race barriers. There are. This is not to say that there are no disadvantaged people, people who have been dealt a bad hand or that there are not people who have many advantages from birth. There are. This is not to say that many people are in situations that are just plain unjust. Because they are.

But no matter how disadvantaged, how oppressed and how limited, an individual’s choices and that individual’s responsibility for those choices cannot and should not be diminished. Focusing on the reasons for an individuals situation is helpful only to the extent that that examination creates more choices and more options for that individual, only to the extent that practical solutions are presented.

Going on and on about the causes, no matter how immoral or unjust, or about the difficulties and complexities of the obstacles, to the exclusion of solutions, is nothing more than an exercise in moral self-righteousness.

Nothing gets me more irritated than having to listen to endless recitations of the sins of capitalism, white male sexism, American neo-imperialism, Australian racism, etc etc. Nothing frustrates me more than the constant referral to a mysterious “they” who enforces injustices to all and sundry. I’d rather listen to creationists expound on neo-fascist fundamentalist utopias. At least they’re trying to come up with a better way.

Edit: I also find solutions that focus on changing others almost as annoying. Educating “them” to see the light (which bears a surprising resemblance to one’s own point of view) makes me want to jump up and down in frustration. Education as a long-term solution, while a worthy goal, is often left at that with all complexities and difficulties left unexplored. Ah, the solution is education. Everyone nods sagely, left-liberal instincts soothed.

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