Sunday, September 13, 2015

Victimhood, microaggressions, and a bit of good news

Supposedly the good news is that the national debate in the US over microaggressions is only really a debate because social status is improving among what traditionally have been disadvantaged groups:

As social status becomes more equal, they argue, people become more sensitive to any slights perceived as aiming to increase the level of inequality in a relationship. In addition, as cultural diversity increases, any attempts seen as trying to reduce it or diminish its importance are deemed as a morally deviant form of domination. As the New York University moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt has astutely observed, "As progress is made toward a more equal and humane society, it takes a smaller and smaller offense to trigger a high level of outrage. The goalposts shift, allowing participants to maintain a constant level of anger and constant level of perceived victimization."

Those experiencing what they think are microaggressions seek third-party redress of their grievances by assuming the pose of victim. "People portray themselves as oppressed by the powerful—as damaged, disadvantaged, and needy," write Campbell and Manning. The process heralds the emergence of a culture of victimhood that is distinct from earlier honor and dignity cultures. This is nothing less than demoralizing and polarizing.
Victimhood devalues/ignores individual power and responsibility. The irony is that the solutions proposed by those who supposedly advocate for victims are for entitlement systems that more permanently reduce individual power and transfer it to the state.

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