We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Advancing victimhood as a meritorious state while simultaneously expanding the criteria by which it is established means that those seeking social status are in constant competition. This “oppression olympics” (as some have termed it) means that marginalized status will become defined in an increasingly divisive manner. In this way, victimhood culture sows the seeds of its own destruction.

In an ironic twist, a culture of victimhood resembles a culture of honor in a surprising number of ways: for example, both demand that grievances be addressed, often publicly. It could even be argued that victimhood has obtained a privileged position that is impossible to challenge without incurring significant social costs. A new set of norms have emerged on college campuses, where there is a perverse honor in claiming to be oppressed.

Sean Rife

13 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • It won’t be too long till the first SJW honour killings, but what interests me here is the way that these people are finally accepting the norms of a competitive marketplace, albeit one in victimhood and positional goods.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    I coined the useful (I believe) term “Victimism” for this a while back; Hitler, of course, was the 20th Century’s preeminent practitioner of Victimism.

  • … but what interests me here is the way that these people are finally accepting the norms of a competitive marketplace, albeit one in victimhood and positional goods.

    I don’t think these people are self-aware enough to realize that they’re so doing.

  • Stuck-record

    Douglas Murray nailed it by describing SJW culture as (I paraphrase) ‘When you set oppression as the ultimate status symbol you are going to quickly run out of the oppressed’.

  • Charlie Suet

    It’s easy to make generalisations about political opponents, while ignoring the beam in one’s own eye. That said, I’d still maintain that lefties don’t understand incentives. They don’t understand them when they’re economic and they don’t understand them when they’re social.

  • Richard Thomas

    Well alluded to in the Monty Python Four Yorkshiremen sketch.

  • I think the author is overoptimistic. It’s not that capitalism demands results, and therefore college students will graduate, encounter the real world, and have to give up their demands for privilege. Rather, college students will come out into the real world, discover that it demands results, and insist that capitalism be abolished because it demands results, and that the whole world be turned into a huge college campus, where people live in dormitories and get health care from the college health service. And the big divide will be between the socialistic elite and the non-college-educated proles.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Personally, I think William’s on the right track. The only hope is that some will come to their senses (it does happen, even to hard-leftists like David Horowitz and others), and that some are too cussed to put up with such nonsense in the first place.

    But as many cold-hearted, cynical, defeatist [/sarc] observers have pointed out over the millenia, people will put up with a tremendous amount of garbage and abuse before enough become riled-up enough and have good enough practical-strategy brains to put a stop to the brand of nonsense current in their times.

    Although I am hearing that Sweden is having Second Thoughts as to whether it really wants to go on paying the costs of its version of socialism, now that it sees how great they really are. Perhaps that’s a sign that there’s hope….

  • Julie near Chicago

    Sweden — I thought it was here that I’d seen that! Yes, indeed it was. There was a link to a video of Johan Norberg, explaining “Swedish Myths and Realities” for a little over 5 minutes. Thanks to whomever provided it — I’m afraid I’ve forgotten already who it was. :>((

    And in the sidebar, there’s a link to an hour-long discussion of the same topic by Mr. Norberg.

    ~5 minutes:

    1 hour:

  • Pat

    In any belief system there are the very few true believers and those who affect belief for selfish reasons.
    The latter group is divided between those who profit from affecting the belief either by acquiring wealth or by acquiring power, and those who seek to limit their losses by getting along with the power hungry. The last group is always the largest and will loose the “faith” once protected from the power hungry. The power hungry will abandon the “faith” once it no longer gives them power. The true believers are few, and usually harmless (except to themselves).
    Most college students will abandon the victimhood Olympics once they stop being bullied into it. Most of the bullied will give up when they lose out on promotion.
    It would of course be infinitely better if the faith were crushed before anyone adopted it, rather than have people spend four years adopting it and then some time abandoning it.
    We need to apply this to Islam as well, most of whose followers are simply trying to avoid bullies. Trouble is that western politicians talk to “community leaders” who are usually the bullies.

  • Paul Marks

    This whole Frankfurt School of Marxism “victimhood” stuff is just a crushing BORE – that is what is destroying it.

  • NickM

    Personally if they really want to join the victim class then give them it. Seize their homes and any stuff of value and auction it to spend on things they wouldn’t approve of. Issue them with bag-lady and hobo clothing an an old Asda bag of bits and bobs Treat them as lepers and laugh at them and install Jeremy Corbyn as their Beggar King (he’d bring his own clothes).

    We could even sell licenses hunt them although quite who’d want a stuffed Dianne Abbot in the trophy room is beyond me. Jonathon Porritt ought just be handed over to me with and my Breville.

  • staghounds

    If the United States and England were anything like the SJWs say they are, those same SJWS would be enslaved in dark Satanic mills or filling shallow unmarked graves.