Victimhood Inc

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Thanks to Israeli scientists we now have a psychological profile of a large section of our population and the body politic:

A new personality construct has been defined that describes people who persistently see themselves as victims within interpersonal conflicts. The research was published in Personality and Individual Differences.

Study authors Rahav Gabay and team describe how the social world is satiated with interpersonal transgressions that are often unpleasant and seemingly unwarranted, such as being interrupted when speaking. While some people can easily brush off these moments of hurt, others tend to ruminate over them and persistently paint themselves as a victim. The authors present this feeling of being the victim as a novel personality construct that influences how people make sense of the world around them.

The researchers call it the Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood (TIV), which they define as “an ongoing feeling that the self is a victim, which is generalized across many kinds of relationships.”

Various experiments run by the team have revealed specific characteristic of a TIV personality trait:

  • it “involves four dimensions: moral elitism, a lack of empathy, the need for recognition, and rumination”
  • it is linked to “anxious attachment  — an attachment style characterized by feeling insecure in one’s relationships — suggesting that the personality trait may be rooted in early relationships with caregivers”
  • it is associated with a desire for revenge against the perpetrator of transgression
  • it produces “more intense negative emotions and a higher entitlement to immoral behavior”

You can’t spell an activist without TIV. It seems like a lot of people in politics at the moment, mostly on the left, would test very strongly on this personality trait. It is certainly one for the fans of the Hegelian/Marxist/Foucalutian Manicheism, in which the world is a constant struggle between the good and the evil, or the oppressed and the oppressors. Your elevated sense of victimhood and the deep desire to punish the wrongdoers strongly qualify you for a leadership role in any social or political movement that seeks a radical remaking of society.

Psychology or not, one of the biggest problems with the new millennium is that the most privileged and the freest generation in human history is feeling guilty about their good fortunate and envious of the real struggles of the past. And so, to assuage their moral vanity they need to pretend the circumstances are just as dire and they are facing similar obstacles and fighting as important a fight as any a hero and freedom-fighter in the past. Thus, millions believe they’re on the verge of a “Handmaid’s Tale” dystopia, without being able to actually point out to any rights women don’t currently have or are about to lose. Millions more have spent the past four years fantasising that Donald Trump is Hitler, bringing in an authoritarian dictatorship, which allowed everyone from Antifa through the “pussyhat” wearers to seemingly intelligent people like Anne Applebaum, Timothy Snyder, Robert Reich and countless others to playact at being the brave “Resistance” against fascism that never actually materialised. This idiocy, by the way, continues:

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Here we have Never-Trumpers trying to cozy up to socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to form a common front against “nationalists” in defence of democracy. For these people it’s like it’s 1941 all over again, and the Allies need to unite with Uncle Joe to fight Nazis. It’s beyond parody. And then we also have activists pretending it’s the 1950s, or the 1850s, as if civil rights and feminism never happened. You have to pretend that women and minorities are as oppressed as they have been in the past if you want to style yourself a Malcolm X or a suffragette. The supply of injustices has been shrinking thanks to progress, but the demand remains strong. The result is inflation. All so people can have more meaning and excitement in their lives.

Photo by roya ann miller on Unsplash

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