415. The power of the great (XII)
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
To carry forward from yesterday’s observations about Hallam, the man who founded Extinction Rebellion: the left is not only a cult that celebrates and venerates the victim, it also supports and facilitates the victimiser. This is rarely commented upon, since it is not explicitly stated by the left. Everyone is familiar with the dynamic whereby the left talks about victims in positive terms—even celebrates their own victimhood—and then the right interjects and says the best way to help these people is to make them stronger and more self-reliant; to make them resilient, or, better, anti-fragile. If anything, the left claims to be against bullies and victimisers; it takes the victim’s side—and it claims that those conservatives who say “time to toughen up” are the bullies; of course, this is usually not true.
Yet it is entirely logical to support the victimiser if you think that being a victim is high status and desirable; the person who creates victims must, therefore, be good—he creates more high-status people. This connection was suggested to me by a post on Alrenous’s blog, but it only struck home yesterday. I think the logic behind this thought is completed subconsciously; it is not that leftists ever articulate the idea that victimisers are good in their own head; rather, they just happen to facilitate policies that encourage victimisation—silent logic.
Britain’s Lord Longford provides a useful example: a hereditary peer, Longford was known for his support for prisoners—particularly very brutal prisoners, such as the child-murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley; and he was instrumental in designing Britain’s post-death penalty parole system. Longford was basically a failure at everything: he started and then failed as a stockbroker, worked for the Conservatives, washed out of the military, and changed his religion—he was the neurotic and narcissistic type liable to convert to new religions and adopt fanatical causes; irresponsible and with an external locus of control. He ended up in the Labour Party; and although he held cabinet-level positions he was constantly shuffled around because he was hopeless—the Labour PM Wilson claimed Longford was like a twelve-year-old boy.
Longford was the decadent elite type; his positions were idiosyncratic and illogical—supposedly motivated by a vague Christian concern for the weak. Immediately after the war, he unilaterally announced to the Germans that the British forgave them for what happened in the war (a noble sentiment, but too soon—and it was not his place).
He was instrumental in the movement to decriminalise homosexuality, and yet condemned homosexuality as an activity; his logic was topsy-turvy, he thought homosexuality could be taught and therefore should not be encouraged—and yet the corollary to this view is that homosexuality is corruption and so should be banned by law. From Longford’s perspective this was consistent; he thought young boys were corrupted—became victims of homosexuals—so he facilitated a relaxed legal regime that would allow them to become victims; he had sympathy for the victims he himself created.
Hence he liked serial killers such as Myra Hindley and Ian Brady, the most reviled criminals in Britain for many years—and as people who killed multiple children the greatest victimisers imaginable. Naturally, Longford’s parole system was designed to let criminals out: they would create more victims, an excellent situation. What about the parents? Pro-death penalty campaigners often say that the parents are the forgotten victims, the real victims. True; yet they are not victims who create more victims; the serial killer appeals to men like Longford because he is a victimiser who presents as a victim: of the prison system, of their family, of poverty, of society, and so on. This makes them highly desirable to people like Longford: these men need to be out and about—not hanged by the neck—because they have a high capacity to create victims. Those who appeal for self-reliance, strength, and for victimisers to be appropriately punished are condemned: not to be a victim is terribly low status.