Those of us who were around to witness the big bang of the Victimization Trap are still amazed by how thoroughly entrenched it has become. In the early going, it was pretty much just a handful of hippies to whom no well-bathed person paid much attention. I always thought the Haight-Ashbury kids were kind of humorous, though I did find it difficult to stomach their physical appearance.
Today, however, the Victimization Trap has mentally paralyzed most Western countries. Millions of people have come to believe they are victims of an unjust world and, as a result, they have little incentive to try to improve their lives.
It is the overall disintegration of Western culture that has encouraged people to harbor the many false premises that make them vulnerable to the Victimization Trap. The results are devastating, both to individuals and countries, because those who embrace the self-destructive notion of victimization are doomed, at best, to mediocrity; at worst, total failure.
The Victimization Trap has been set by vote-hungry politicians, self-anointed crusade leaders, and shameless legal hucksters operating under such respectable-sounding labels as “personal-injury attorney” and “civil-rights attorney.” These master truth twisters spread lies that appeal to our human frailties, negatively condition our minds, and lead us to accept false premises.
There are two fundamental problems with victimization. First, it allows a person to harbor the poisonous belief that material gain without work is possible. Second, those who benefit from the Victimization Trap do so at the expense of others.
This is because in order to fulfill the perceived rights of one person, another person’s right to his liberty must be violated; i.e., any product or service that an individual desires must be produced by someone else. And if the product or service (or the money to purchase it) is taken from a productive individual against his will, that individual’s rights have been sacrificed to the desires of the person who receives the largesse.
The Victimization Trap has reached such grotesque proportions in Western society that it now accords the victim label to virtually everyone. Which is sad, because nothing deadens the soul and kills motivation quite like victimization. After all, if the deck has been stacked against you, it’s futile to even try, right?
In order to escape the Victimization Trap, it is helpful to back up a step and examine its roots. A human being is a creature of infinite desires, and it is quite normal to want to fulfill as many of those desires as possible. However, he is aware that merely telling people that he wants something is not likely to produce results.
To overcome this problem, it has become popular to claim that whatever one desires is a “need.” The transformation of a desire into a need is an integral component of the Victimization Trap. But need, of course, is a subjective word; i.e., it is but an opinion.
Therefore, there is no such thing as an absolute need. I may think that I need a Rolls-Royce; you may think I need a bicycle. Neither of us is right or wrong; we merely have a difference of opinion.
However, my desire for a Rolls-Royce is an entirely different matter. There is no opinion involved. If I desire a Rolls-Royce, that’s my business. It only becomes your business if I arbitrarily decide that you have an obligation to buy it for me on the grounds that it’s a “need” and that I am therefore “entitled” to it.
The fact that I may call my desire for a Rolls-Royce a need is, of course, semantic nonsense. I may just as well call it a wart, because regardless of what word I assign to it, I still have no moral right to force you to help me acquire it just because I happen to want it.
However, this camouflage is only the first step in the semantics game that is part and parcel to the Victimization Trap. The second step involves the clever elevation of “needs” to “rights.”
All Western cultures now accept the belief that every individual has a “right” to an education, a “right” to a “good” job, a “right” to a “living” wage, a “right” to a “decent” housing, a “right“ to “good” healthcare, a right to virtually anything that a person can establish as society’s obligation to him. This is in direct contrast to earlier times in America when most people believed that no one had a right to anything except life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Unfortunately, Western civilization has devolved to the point where the use of force and fraud can be easily justified on the grounds that such measures are necessary to make certain that people’s “rights” are not violated, i.e., to make certain their individual desires are fulfilled.
This is precisely what politics, particularly left-wing politics, is all about. H.L. Mencken summed it up perfectly when he described an election as “an advanced auction of stolen goods.” It will be fascinating to watch the angry cretins vying for the top spot on the 2020 Democratic ticket frantically trying to outbid each other. Whether it’s Bernie, Kamala, Cory, or Beto, you can be certain that the Dirty Dems will be falling all over themselves as the 2020 Democratic primary heats up.
What is not a given is how Donald Trump will respond to the Dirty Dems’ auction. If he tries to outbid them, he will lose. But if he responds by defending individualism, capitalism, and property rights, he is likely to be elevated to the status of hero.
Trump should explain to voters that government’s creation of artificial rights is immoral and that the centuries old idea of wealth without work is a fantasy. He should explain that people have a far better chance of getting what they want in life — easier, faster, and in greater abundance — through their own efforts.
Above all, Trump should explain that if everyone were rewarded just for being alive, life itself would have no purpose. Truth will be his best friend in the 2020 debates, but only if he has the courage to convey that truth to voters.