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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

You made it all up! "Victimhood"

Why do Neo-Nazis deny the Holocaust? After all, you'd think it was their hour of glory. Why would you try to make people believe it never happened? This is a question which plagued me for a long time. Victimhood provides the answer.

A victim status is a great advantage for a belief system. It motivates people into becoming active (look, they're attacking us, we have to do something!). It stimulates the "us vs them" complex, which is a powerful way to preserve the integrity of the meme complex (of course, there are others, as I discussed in the previous entry). Finally, it gives one a feeling of moral superiority. Bullies are seen as inherently inferior and victims as superior. This attitude is no doubt the result of the process of victimization being established over centuries and centuries (notably after conquests).

Neo-Nazis deny the Holocaust because affirming the Holocaust would portray them as bullies, instead of the victims they want to be. No one wants to be portrayed as an oppressor. Thus we end up with a paradoxical position that belief system must desire to be portrayed as victims, but never win. For winning would mean disintegration- like a Ponzi scheme, which requires more and more victims lest it be crushed under its own weight.

The victim status is itself built on its own belief structure. The original Nazis believed that the Jews were taking over vital areas of society and interfering with the natural progress of the "superior race"- aryans. Of course, even if one believes in this race garbage, this begs the question of how an "inferior race" got to take control over vital areas of society, but never mind.

Nowhere is the victim complex more stunning than in religion. It has become a cliché that Christians in the US, even though they are about 85% of the population, always portray themselves as the suffering victims of horrible persecution. Of course, most of their outrage is completely made up, as for example when they complain that they can't pray in schools, or that "Christian values" are being lost- never mind that they can't name one "Christian value" and they can't recite their version of the Ten Commandments. We also observed this manufacturing of outrage with the Danish cartoons, an aasemblage which was made by some bumfuck cleric when in fact said cartoons had been published in different media at wildly different times.

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