Barbara Kay: Exploring why some societies thrive after trauma while others suffer


Mowich
+7
#1  Top Rated Post
We all know when we have been victimized as individuals, and so do witnesses. The pain may or may not heal; the injustice may or may not be redressed. It gets murkier when groups claim permanent victimhood arising from pain and injustice inflicted in the past on dead victims by dead victimizers.

An obsession with past victimhood can prevent a focus on the present at the expense of the future. A collective sense of victimhood combined with the tripwires of race, religion and ethnicity can be translated into a justification for action, with devastating effects. That is the driving thesis behind The Victim Cult: How the Culture of Blame Hurts Everyone and Wrecks Civilizations, a new book by seasoned public policy analyst, columnist and author Mark Milke, whose work has been published in think-tanks in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

This excellent book was eight years in the writing and it shows. But not because it is pedantic; on the contrary, Milke wears his scholarship lightly. His crisp, polished prose belies the exhaustive research that permits him to speak out so boldly and broadly on what is a sensitive, often culturally weaponized subject.

The book begins on the now-familiar terrain of university campuses, where the theory of “intersectionality” has created a kind of Oppression Olympics, with various minority groups vying for their slice of the social-capital pie that victim status confers.

As university students are all relatively privileged, bias-based aggression is rare and “microaggressions” must suffice. In one case Milke recounts, an elderly professor’s insistence on graduate students using proper grammar ended in a petition to have him removed, not to mention a charge of “criminal battery” for briefly resting a hand on his accuser’s arm.

The book treats a spectrum of victimhood, from “mild” through “moderate” to “murderous.” Microaggression victimhood on campus earns a “mild” ranking, At the other end of the spectrum are tribal or national victim cults in which grievance narratives fuel extreme ideologies, justifying acts of terrorism or even sustained campaigns of exterminations that “wreck civilizations,” and Milke devotes whole chapters to a number of them.

In between are “moderate” group victimhoods that are the trickiest to deal with. Into this category Milke assigns slavery in the U.S. and residential schools in Canada. In these cases the actual suffering and actual injustices, though monstrous, have passed. They have been systemically acknowledged. Deep remorse for their respective nations’ historical wrongs has been expressed at the highest cultural and political levels. Compensation in money and equity opportunities have been lavishly dispersed. But the sense of collective victimhood lingers, and all present disparities in outcomes continue to be ascribed by descendants to the original sins.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Germans blamed France, Western liberalism and the Jews for all of their problems. Hitler brought his own sense of victimhood to fertile cultural terrain, resulting in history’s most brutal genocide. Even though the Hutus were numerically dominant after Rwandan independence in 1961, they felt threatened by the more successful Tutsis. A “perfect storm of blame, fear, civil war and opportunity” erupted, ending with a million victims. Yasser Arafat, “the Peter Pan of international politics,” could never say yes to peace, because he was so deeply invested in the Palestinian victim cult he couldn’t bear to abandon his “refusenik” persona.

Many groups have been victimized, but not all groups succumb to the temptation to define themselves by their suffering. Milke doesn’t accept that colonialism is to blame, or any other explanation that puts the entire onus on an external cause. He points to the example of Japanese-Americans and Canadians who suffered internment, as well as the Chinese, who suffered great discrimination here, but did not pass resentment on to their children; to Palestinians who recoiled from Arafat’s pathological revanchism and created lives for themselves elsewhere; and to Jews, whose continual resilience and refusal to be defined by their suffering has proven crucial to their success. What groups that have eschewed victimhood have in common, Milke observes, is a culture that embraces education, family stability and a spirit of entrepreneurism.

Milke goes all the way back to Plato and then to Rousseau to explain the drivers of grievance culture. Plato inspired a belief in man’s “perfectability.” Rousseau romanticized pre-modern cultures as more natural and authentic than our own. A belief in perfectability — utopianism — led to the evils of Marxism. Enchantment with the “noble savage” encouraged a pernicious fascination with race purity and hatred of the Other. Add in a new third influence, “the suicidal self-loathing of a mainly Western class of intellectuals and academics (and their followers), who breathe in assumptions of Western guilt,” and the cult of victimhood follows, as night the day.

Indigenous victimhood occupies a generous, myth-busting portion of the book. Here Milke boldly goes, with evidence, where few others dare to venture. Indigenous poverty on reserves is not caused by colonialism, he argues, but by geographic distance from job sources. Natives living near metropolitan areas, such as the majority of the Métis, for example, are close to income parity with non-natives. He is skeptical of the utility of formal apologies (“it is not clear that government regrets add much to the overall stock of human compassion”) and strongly critical of, amongst others, the 2019 MMIWG report: “The authors missed the mark because they were possessed by the notion that the strongest cultures are those uncontaminated by outsiders — a false and dangerous assumption.”

Finally, Milke suggests prescriptive measures for countering victim culture: Don’t speak of cultures as though they were flesh-and-blood creatures; the word “genocide” applies only to people. Limit state reparations to suffering that is “tight, straightforward and provable.”

And listen to what Ellis Ross, former elected chief councillor of Haisla First Nation, has to say in the book’s foreword. Ross’s parents went to residential schools, but “my own personal problems were … a result of my own decision-making.” Ross concludes, “There is plenty of blame to go around, but I prefer finding solutions.”

nationalpost.com/opinion/barbara-kay-exploring-why-some-societies-thrive-after-trauma-while-others-suffer
 
VIBC
+1
#2
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/bar...-others-suffer

I haven't read this book so far. I can understand what sounds lie the the basic premise but here are a couple of things I hope it does NOT say:

- That people still living in poor conditions as a consequence of past and continuing injustice should "Just get over it."

- That groups who have in the past been targeted, perhaps repeatedly, should stop reminding us that it did happen and could again; should stop being vigilant for warning signs.
 
Mowich
+4
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by VIBC View Post

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/bar...-others-suffer

I haven't read this book so far. I can understand what sounds lie the the basic premise but here are a couple of things I hope it does NOT say:

- That people still living in poor conditions as a consequence of past and continuing injustice should "Just get over it."

- That groups who have in the past been targeted, perhaps repeatedly, should stop reminding us that it did happen and could again; should stop being vigilant for warning signs.


Will be ordering my copy in town on Friday. I'll let you know if I come across the 'just get over it' phrase. That said, though there is no 'getting over' some things that happen in life. There is, however, the choice to get past them.

To your second point, I definitely believe that vigilance is a good thing. I do not support this idea that Canadians need continually listen to the repetitive litany of wrongs done. I've had many conversations with native friends on the reserve and a good number of them agree. It serves no good purpose and possibly pushes fence-sitters on native issues to the negative side. I do find it unfortunate that the vocal few grab all the headlines while many thousands of other natives are just busy getting on with their lives.
 
AnnaEmber
+2
#4
My dad went through the residential school crap but he holds no grudges because the people that caused all that grief are likely dead. So that got me thinking about how much influence people's beliefs in Christianity had in their thought processes. Just like "God" punishing humanity for the sins of Adam and Eve, the government punished the sons and daughters of those that caused the grief by giving out money they collected in taxes. Effing stupid, IMO.
 
VIBC
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Mowich View Post

Will be ordering my copy in town on Friday. I'll let you know if I come across the 'just get over it' phrase.

Thanks. I lately get my books from the library or buy them used. This book's too new in either case.

You'll realize my dislike of the phrase 'get over it' is not about the literal wording but the attitude it expresses. Also I"m not sure what difference there is between 'get over it' and 'get past it.'

Children born into real poverty - bad housing, sanitation, nutrition, healthcare, education, parenting; perhaps with FAS and other at-birth handicaps, often become adults who can't 'get past' their disadvantages without help. There are places in Canada where this would describe the majority of the population.
 
VIBC
+1
#6
God, Adam & Eve aside; I'm generally in favor of the government using some of its collected tax money to assist the disadvantaged. If I were to voice objections to the way taxes are used, that's not where I would start - not a priority among expenditures to be reduced.
 
Mowich
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by VIBC View Post

Thanks. I lately get my books from the library or buy them used. This book's too new in either case.

You'll realize my dislike of the phrase 'get over it' is not about the literal wording but the attitude it expresses. Also I"m not sure what difference there is between 'get over it' and 'get past it.'

Children born into real poverty - bad housing, sanitation, nutrition, healthcare, education, parenting; perhaps with FAS and other at-birth handicaps, often become adults who can't 'get past' their disadvantages without help. There are places in Canada where this would describe the majority of the population.

You are welcome, VIBC. I too get most of my reading material at the library but when a book comes along that I would like to keep and is worth the cost, I'll splurge.

Getting past it to me, is accepting what happened to you and realizing that with effort and a hand-up if needed, there is always the chance of bettering your circumstances. I grant you that those with FAS and other physical or intellectual disadvantages will most likely need help for their entire lives and they should be given it - willingly.

People can and do overcome the most horrendous of circumstances but they don't do by forever looking backward. Nor, do they do it by complaining about a past that can't be changed while ignoring the future right in front of them.
 
VIBC
+1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Mowich View Post

people can and do overcome the most horrendous of circumstances

Absolutely true and it's often spectacularly inspiring as well as humbling.
Just to split hairs a bit, though: It's quite possible to complain about an unchangeable past without ignoring the future. Resentment about the past can fuel present determination (even determination to seek/demand help.) But you know that; I don't think we basically disagree.
 
taxslave
+3
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by VIBC View Post

God, Adam & Eve aside; I'm generally in favor of the government using some of its collected tax money to assist the disadvantaged. If I were to voice objections to the way taxes are used, that's not where I would start - not a priority among expenditures to be reduced.

The difference between a hand out and a hand up.
 
spilledthebeer
+2
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by VIBC View Post

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/bar...-others-suffer

I haven't read this book so far. I can understand what sounds lie the the basic premise but here are a couple of things I hope it does NOT say:

- That people still living in poor conditions as a consequence of past and continuing injustice should "Just get over it."

- That groups who have in the past been targeted, perhaps repeatedly, should stop reminding us that it did happen and could again; should stop being vigilant for warning signs.




I suggest that you go study the post war activities of Germans, Japanese and Jews!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The modern economies of Germany, Japan and Israel all grew up out of WRECKAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It is one thing to acknowledge; "I was wronged" or - "I did not earn this retribution that has been dumped on me"................


BUT IT IS QUITE ANOTHER THING TO BE WISE ENOUGH TO RECOGNIZE:


"that it is my life and it is up to me to fix it"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


LIE-beral LOONS and their supporters from groups like Idle No More Natives and Black Lives Matter.........................


will CONTINUE to have difficulties in life - UNTIL THEY RECOGNIZE that at this time................................


THEY are their own WORST ENEMIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Refusal to play the game GUARANTEES you will not win at the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


THERE IS a known formula for earning a decent life...............................


and LIE-berals and BIGOTS scorn the tried and proven route!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And then blame others for THEIR FAILURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The LIE-beral position is madness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The LIE-beral position is SO ILL-LOGICAL that even BRIBERY ON A MASSIVE SCALE..........................


could NOT BUY Our idiot Boy a majority govt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Mowich
+2
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by VIBC View Post

Just to split hairs a bit, though: It's quite possible to complain about an unchangeable past without ignoring the future. Resentment about the past can fuel present determination (even determination to seek/demand help.) But you know that; I don't think we basically disagree.

My point being that the vocal few who continue to raise the past at every opportunity are failing to realize the harm they do to their own cause. Of course it is possible to both complain and look forward but what real good comes from the former? The vast majority of Canadians are well aware of what took place decades ago and those who aren't don't care and probably never will. Natives are better served by those who speak to the successes made by hundreds of FN communities across Canada then by those who continue to raise the specter of past harm done.

Of course the media has a huge role in covering these issues. Vocal minorities are given a disproportionate amount of air time when they are complaining about past injustices while all those who are steadily working for change and a better future do so for the most part with little or no media coverage. That is an injustice that needs addressing but I doubt the MSM cares as good news stories don't grab the same headlines.


I agree that basically we are on the same page, VIBC.
 
spilledthebeer
+1
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaEmber View Post

My dad went through the residential school crap but he holds no grudges because the people that caused all that grief are likely dead. So that got me thinking about how much influence people's beliefs in Christianity had in their thought processes. Just like "God" punishing humanity for the sins of Adam and Eve, the government punished the sons and daughters of those that caused the grief by giving out money they collected in taxes. Effing stupid, IMO.




LIE-berals are not trying to "punish" anybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


They are just trying to BUY VOTES...............................


and cling to power at any price!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


When LIE-berals announced their grand Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women.............................


I SCORNED IT AS A WASTE OF TIME............................................


and a useless propaganda exercise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And that is exactly what we got!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Inquiry made nobody feel better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Not even the LIE-beral poohbahs who chaired the damned thing ended up happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Look how many of the commitee members QUIT once they found out where the so called Inquiry was headed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


LIE-berals treat natives as a "voting block"................................


which translates into SUCKERS FOR LIE-beral promises!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Nobody denies that natives have been treated harshly in the past!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


But the past is over and done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The choices and options are now there for natives to pick up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


White people cannot order natives not to drink!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


White people cannot order natives to succeed in school so they can get a decent job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


ONLY natives can CHOSE to rebuild their lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Life on a native reserve has degenerated into some sort of SORDID decaying version.............................


of a "pioneer village" anachronism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!


It is up to natives now to chose whether they wish to follow the rest of the country into the 21st century!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


In some sensible and logical way................................



or remain in that drunken suicidal stupor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Mowich
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by spilledthebeer View Post

It is up to natives now to chose whether they wish to follow the rest of the country into the 21st century!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


In some sensible and logical way................................



or remain in that drunken suicidal stupor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Generalizations about anything including people only show the bias that some have, SPB. Next time qualify your comments please as there are many more productive native people then there are 'drunken and suicidal ones'. I grant you that if one pays attention only to the MSM then one might possibly be forgiven for thinking your statement is true but it in the main it is simply false and misleading and does injustice to those who are continually moving towards a better life and future for their people.
 
AnnaEmber
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by VIBC View Post

God, Adam & Eve aside; I'm generally in favor of the government using some of its collected tax money to assist the disadvantaged. If I were to voice objections to the way taxes are used, that's not where I would start - not a priority among expenditures to be reduced.

Likewise. Helping fellow humans is an honourable endeavour. I was just showing how well the dogma stuck.
 
spilledthebeer
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Mowich View Post

Generalizations about anything including people only show the bias that some have, SPB. Next time qualify your comments please as there are many more productive native people then there are 'drunken and suicidal ones'. I grant you that if one pays attention only to the MSM then one might possibly be forgiven for thinking your statement is true but it in the main it is simply false and misleading and does injustice to those who are continually moving towards a better life and future for their people.




At various times I have made reference to the fact that natives living in cites.............................


are usually not too much of a problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And I have pointed out that it is generally natives living ON RESERVES.............................


that get into trouble most often!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It was drunken reserve dwelling natives on idiot binges - visiting the cities - who were getting driven out of town by frustrated cops........................


and left at the road side................where they often froze in their drunken stupor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And there is ample evidence to indicate that it is reserve dwelling natives .............................


who are behind most of the thievery that is plaguing prairie farmers such as Gerald Stanley and Ed Maurice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Since most of those who were arrested LIST A RESERVE as their home address!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



I point out also that it is natives from southern Ontari-owe reserves who are MOST ACTIVE.........................


in selling SMUGGLED CIGARETTES - and cheating on tax revenue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Further - it is Crees on the Kashetchewan Reserve that WASTED a pile of govt money on a TRIBAL TRIP to California.....................


and then BLAMED GOVT when their drinking water plant and sewage treatment plant BROKE DOWN........................


and they had NO MONEY for repairs - thanks to their STUPID SPENDING......................................



so all they were getting out of their taps was the neighbours PISS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It is also Kashetchewan natives who got paid by govt to build their own housing..............................


THAT NOW FLOODS EVERY YEAR - thanks to native laziness in failing to build the houses..........................


on pads of gravel and sand to ELEVATE THEM above the YEARLY FLOODS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And I note that it was Atiwapiskat reserve Crees who PISSED THROUGH $150 million dollars worth of tax money......................


that was designated for housing...................................


and YET NOT A SINGLE HOUSE WAS BUILT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


My previously made statement that natives on reserves are drunken screw ups seems to be WELL VALIDATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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