How the New Religion of Progressivism Leverages Victimization
According to the tenets of the toxic new religion of progressivism—victimization accrues power. Per Scott Allen, here’s how it works:
First, the religion sees reality entirely within the Marxist framework of oppressor and oppressed. Further, the principal oppressors are white, Christian, or Jewish heterosexual males. They are uniquely oppressive, “white supremacists” who have abused cultural power and privilege at the expense of every other group.
These are givens. They function as “core doctrines” of the new religion. Try arguing these points with adherents; they will be incredulous, as if you were asserting a flat earth. These are simply “self-evident” realities. If you are not white, male, Christian/Jewish, heterosexual, you are, by definition, a victim, and victimization accrues power. Ben Shapiro explains how this works:
The toxic new religion ranks the value of a view not based on the logic or merit of the view but on the level of victimization in American society experienced by the person espousing the view. An LGBT black woman is automatically considered more correct than a straight white male, before any speech exits either of their mouths. Progressivism madness!
Shapiro continues, “If a straight white male, or anyone else who ranks lower on the victimhood scale, says something contrary to the viewpoint of the higher ranking intersectionality identity, that person has engaged in a microaggression. They have engaged in hate speech or violence, and violent action is justified to silence them.”
The fact that victimization accrues power helps explain the wild exaggeration and hyperbole employed by so-called victim groups. The more victimized and oppressed you paint yourself, the more your voice counts. If you say (of your experience as a black, female student at Yale University) “we are dying here!” you are setting yourself up to be taken more seriously.
But this is a dangerous delusion. Yazidis in Iraq, or Christians in North Korea, or Karin in Myanmar can truthfully claim that “we are dying here” without exaggerating. But to make the same claim as a privileged student at one of America’s most prestigious universities is to mock actual violent oppression.
Victimization Warrants Mob Tactics, Riots, and Violence
Examples of this abound in the news. In the past years we’ve read about mobs of students shouting down those who disagree, almost always combined with vitriol, cursing, property damage, threats of violence and actual violence: Berkeley, Evergreen, Missouri State, Yale, Middlebury, and the list goes on.
According to Deion Kathawa, the students who engage in these mobs,… fervently believe that they are the front-line troops of an infallible moral vanguard, locked in an epic struggle for the very soul of their generation—and of their nation, rotten to the core … (Given this) it is not quite so shocking that they understand themselves to have entirely legitimate grievances and are accordingly motivated to act in extreme ways.
Another (white female) Evergreen professor wrote about her own experiences of the riots.
Student activists gain license to harass and intimidate members of the Evergreen community in an effort to achieve their ends. Last Wednesday on two separate occasions I was followed by white students who yelled and cursed at me, accused me of not caring about black and brown bodies and claimed that if I did care I would follow their orders and join the protest in the library. They stood in front of me, blocking my way as I attempted to walk across campus.
Here’s what jumps out at me: First, the students and faculty behind the riots “ignore (inhumane, totalitarian) tactics for the sake of the goal.” Second, this mob behavior is part and parcel of the movement on many US college campuses (not only Evergreen).
This is the same totalitarianism of the Maoist Cultural Revolution or the Russian Revolution!
Victimization Endorses Raw Power
This set of tactics to fight so-called victimization is increasingly used beyond college campuses as well, in places like Ferguson Missouri; Baltimore; Portland, Oregon; Chicago and elsewhere. It is powered by a vast array of revolutionary networks, enabled by social media, and underwritten by incredible amounts of money provided by far-left donors and foundations like George Soros.’
The goal is to disrupt and silence foes. It has been described as “the heckler’s veto.” Noah Rothman writes:
For an unacceptably large number of progressive activists, a violent response to speech has not only become excusable but obligatory. Such undemocratic behavior is the natural outgrowth of an increasingly mainstream progressive worldview in which the distinctions between speech and violence have been blurred beyond recognition.
To advance their belief system, adherents of this toxic new religion are using Nietzschean tactics, behaviors void of any aspect of Judeo-Christian charity or Western European morality. Civility, open discourse, dialogue, and debate are thrown out, replaced by coercion, lies, deception, distortion, emotional outbursts, threats, and violence. Whatever works to further the cause and prevail—whatever it takes. Political madness!