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Victimhood Culture in America: Beyond Honor and Dignity

Americans increasingly want and expect adult supervision

VictimhoodYodamemegenerator.netIn "Microaggression and Moral Cultures," the UCLA* California State University, Los Angeles sociologist Bradley Campbell and the West Virginia University sociologist Jason Manning identify a "culture of victimhood" that they distinguish from the "honor cultures" and "dignity cultures" of the past. In a victimhood culture, they write, "individuals and groups display high sensitivity to slight, have a tendency to handle conflicts through complaints to third parties, and seek to cultivate an image of being victims who deserve assistance."

Insightfully complementing their analysis is a new study by the St. Lawrence University economist Steven Horwitz, titled "Cooperation Over Coercion: The Importance of Unsupervised Childhood Play for Democracy and Liberalism." Horwitz makes the case that overprotective childrearing is undermining the "ability to engage in group problem solving and settle disputes without the intervention of outsiders," a capacity he calls "a key part of the liberal order." In other words, both studies find that Americans increasingly want and expect adult supervision.

Campbell and Manning begin by probing the rise of the "microaggression" phenomenon on university campuses. As defined by the Columbia diversity training specialist Derald Wing Sue, microaggressions are "brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, and sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group." Microaggressions include asking an Asian American where he or she was born, complimenting a Latino on speaking English well, or asserting that "America is the land of opportunity." In general, microaggressions are seen as instances of a larger narrative of structural inequalities. "Conduct is offensive because it perpetuates or increases the domination of some persons and groups by others," Campbell and Manning observe.

The authors argue that people seek the moral status of victim in situations where social stratification is low, cultural diversity is high, and authorities are referees. These three conditions pervade the modern American university, so it not surprising that the microaggression victimhood phenomenon is most intense in academia. Google Trends finds that headlines featuring microaggression started a steep rise in 2012.

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.

In honor cultures, men maintain their honor by responding to insults, slights, and violations of rights by self-help violence. "Cultures of honor tend to arise in places where legal authority is weak or non-existent, and where a reputation for toughness is perhaps the only effective deterrent against predation or attack," write Campbell and Manning. They note that honor cultures still exist in the Arab world and among street gangs in Western societies.

During the 19th century, most Western societies began the moral transition toward dignity cultures in which all citizens are legally endowed with equal rights. Dignity does not depend upon reputation but exists as unalienable rights that do not depend on what other people think of one's bravery. Having a thick skin and shrugging off slights become virtues because they help maintain social peace. The aphorism that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is practically the motto of dignity cultures.

Of course, serious conflicts cannot always be resolved privately. In dignity cultures persons, property, and rights are then defended as a last resort by recourse to third parties, such as courts and police, that if necessary wield violence on their behalf. Still, dignity cultures practice tolerance and are much more peaceful than honor cultures.

Horwitz is all about defending the culture of dignity. He points out that daily social interaction is full annoying or obnoxious small-scale behavior such as failing to refill the copier, taking some else's parking space, or hearing a tasteless joke. "When one seriously considers all the moments in a typical day that have potential for conflict that get resolved through conversation and negotiation, or just plain tolerance, it is actually somewhat astounding how smooth social life is," Horwitz observes. In fact, the vast majority of conflicts in modern Western societies are resolved without recourse to external authorities or direct coercion.

Horwitz makes a strong case that unsupervised and unstructured play among children teaches them private, noncoercive ways to resolve conflicts and generate cooperation, lessons that are very important to how they conduct themselves when they become adults. Supervised play, by contrast, trains children to expect adults to step in to adjudicate disputes and apply coercion. Horwitz fears this is flipping the social default setting from "figure out how to solve this conflict on your own" to "invoke force and/or third parties whenever conflict arises." He suggests that the recent upsurge in conflicts around sexual consent on campus may arise in part because so many young adults never acquired the social skills developed through unstructured play, such as "ensuring that all involved continue to consent to the rules and to the game being played."

Like Campbell and Manning, Horwitz notes that Americans are turning increasingly to third-party coercion to resolve what would in earlier days have been considered minor conflicts. He worries that without "the skills necessary to solve conflicts cooperatively, it is not hard to imagine that people will quickly turn either to external authorities like the state to resolve them, or would demand an exhaustive list of explicit rules" as to what constitutes permissible conduct. His concern mirrors that of Alexis de Tocqueville who in Democracy in America (1835) prophesied that democracy would generate an "immense and tutelary power" whose authority is "absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood." Ultimately, Horwitz fears that the result of ceding ever more power to state authorities to resolve conflicts "will be the destruction of liberalism and democracy."

A victimhood culture combines an honor culture's quickness to take offense with an overdependence on the coercive institutions that serve as a dignity culture's last resort. If Campbell, Manning, and Horwitz are right about the direction American society is taking, that's really terrible news. A victimhood culture will spawn social conflict, which in turn will produce an ever larger and more coercive government tasked with trying to suppress it.

*Entirely my error.

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  • Restoras||

    A victimhood culture will spawn social conflict, which in turn will produce an ever larger and more coercive government tasked with trying to suppress it

    Progressives everywhere approve.

  • RJWags||

    I think Tom Robbins put it best --
    "There’s a tendency today to absolve individuals of moral responsibility and treat them as victims of social circumstance. You buy that, you pay with your soul. It’s not men who limit women, it’s not straights who limit gays, it’s not whites who limit blacks. What limits people is lack of character."
    Written back in 1980!!

  • Quixote||

    Quite to the contrary of the outrageous views voiced in this article, those who wish to twist words, stir up unwanted controversy, and assault the dignity of certain university department chairmen with micro-aggressive forms of "expression" should be prepared for arrest, prosecution, and incarceration in one of our nation's many penal colonies. Fortunately, the police in New York have made it clear that they are prepared to use all means necessary to defend well-connected academics who are inappropriately mocked and criticized by trigger-speech thugs using deceitful "Gmail confessions" and other unacceptable "verbal" means. See the documentation of America's leading criminal satire case at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

    and, in particular, see the "examples" of trigger-speech fraud listed at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpr.....rsonation/

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    America is the land of opportunity.

    *glaces around room*

  • Lee G||

    *glaces around room*

    Had to look that up.

    glaze with a thin sugar-based coating

    Is that a euphemism for something else?

  • ||

    This is why Playa is like a snail... He leaves a sticky trail everywhere he goes.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    It's not snail goo.

  • ||

    It is sugar and protein based, though.

  • Distilled Animal Spirits||

    Ultimately, so much of this violates the maxim: to be taken seriously, be serious.

  • ||

    new opportunities for graft and litigation are found every day.

  • Trump-o-Trump 5trumpthousand||

    America is a melting pot.

    I think the best qualified person should get the job.

  • Jay Dubya||

    all the scum floats to the top

  • Sylvie1||

    "We are dregs and scum sir. The dregs very filthy, the scum very superior."

    George Bernard Shaw, "Man and Superman"

  • Dave Boz||

    Cream rises to the top. But shit floats too.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This comment others me.

  • B.P.||

    "People portray themselves as oppressed by the powerful—as damaged, disadvantaged, and needy,"

    Oh, they're damaged alright.

  • DenverJ||

    Nice!
    Also, you know who else oppressed the damaged, disadvantaged, and needy?

  • Mindyourbusiness||

    Time to start asking people to check their premises - especially if they ask you to check your privilege.

  • Illocust||

    I never thought about the unsupervised vs supervised play social building skills. It meshes with my observations, though. I ended up social circle mom my freshman year of college, because no one seemed to understand how to handle problems without getting explicit instructions (thankfully for my sleep schedule they grew out of this).

  • Illocust||

    Goer?

  • ||

    A nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat!

  • Swiss Servator||

    Likes photography....candid photography?

  • ||

    knowhaddamean!

  • Sylvie1||

    Say n'more!

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Explicit instructions? Go on...

  • Robert||

    I agree, even though I'm involved in one of the few types of children's play that benefits from adult supervision: tackle football. Swimming does too.

  • DenverJ||

    Bullshit, children don't need adults to teach them to swim. They either figure it out themselves in the first few minutes, or they just weren't top shelve material. What, you want losers for children?

  • Long Woodchippers||

    I can remember as a young child in the 60's, the most common complaint among children was, "You aren't following the rules!" But, as stated in the piece, it was the children themselves who developed the rules, modified them as necessary, and created a structure to get all their peers to comply as best as possible. It was not a parent saying, "Children, here's how I want you to play, and I will be sitting here watching to make sure everyone is good."

  • Pan Zagloba||

    I was gonna save it for PM Links, but it's too on topic not to show.

    Accomplished Feminist of US and Western Europe Laurie Penny insults guy, gets wrecked, starts whining. Victimhood culture in six minutes.

  • __Warren__||

    What a screaming cunt.

  • ||

    Accomplished? People often use that word, but I'm suspect as to their understanding of it.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    She's a Highly Accomplished Feminist. Writes for Guardian and New Statesman, has published four books, gives talks (for money of course, lots of money), and has a coterie reaffirming everything she says. What more is there to feminism?
    Here's her Wiki page, including

    In October 2012, The Daily Telegraph ranked Penny as the 55th most influential left-winger in Britain


    a quote I find delightful for some reason.

    Here, have Sargon of Akkad analyzing her talk in Australia.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    If a bomb exploded in that place and killed everyone present, it literally wouldn't matter.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    You're wrong. World would become ever so marginally better place, even when deducting repair costs to the building.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Broken windows, doncha know.

  • Trouser-Pod (The blowhard)||

    In that Sargon video, where here books are being mentioned in her stage introduction, I so wished it had been edited to Clayton Bigsby's book list.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    I must not have risen to 'accomplished' yet. I've never been paid to speak (in fact, still have to pay admission even when I am speaking) and have never been paid more than $100 for each of my contributions to books. I am followed by 1400 people on Twitter, so I'm getting somewhere.

  • DenverJ||

    I'd you can get each of them to give you a penny, you'd have a buck 40.

  • DenverJ||

    Math, how's it work? Your actually have 14 dollars American!

  • Zeb||

    Well, it doesn't necessarily mean that her accomplishments are worthwhile or useful.

  • Cap'n Krunch||

    Hitler, Pol Pot and Lenin were quite accomplished as well.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I'm glad they had booze on stage.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    It is hard to determine the superior victim status of the principals in this conflict:

    1) elderly white homosexual male who made good despite humble family background, but who also questions the awesome wonderfulness of multiculturalism and all of its consequences
    and
    2) young feminist female from a privileged (public school girl in British means she attended an elite private school) background who insults him as a bigot and a xenophobe.

    One thing for sure: as the victimization ethic evolves the conflicts will become more petty and absurd.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Easy: Starkey is not a real homosexual because he's not a leftist. As an Uncle Tom, he loses his status and thus Penny is in the right. Done.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Homosexual? I thought he was just British!

  • Swiss Servator||

    Are they not one and the same, Monsieur?

    /Edith Cresson

  • Pan Zagloba||

    English, please. There are NO GAY SCOTSMEN!

  • DenverJ||

    Well, there are, but they're not True Scotsmen.

  • Cap'n Krunch||

    Damn you for beating me to it. Damn you to hell you privileged oppressor of the people, the people being me!

  • DEG||

    What a cunt.

    I prefer Accomplished Eastern European Athlete Women.

  • Sylvie1||

    Oh, God, can I somehow manage to be a woman and NOT be the same sex as that person?

  • Jack Strawb||

    That was brutal. She had a nervous breakdown on stage to the point where she was literally babbling, and still managed to call him a racist at the finish.

  • Eman||

    i don't understand why people want this at all. personally i want to be in control of my own circumstances, and want to be the kind of person that is. and blaming other people for your problems, even if justified, is always unattractive

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Individualist!! Heretic!

  • Lee G||

    FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS!

    FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS!

    FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS!

    FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS!

  • macsnafu||

    Exactly. Personal responsibility, while sometimes difficult, is self-enabling and liberating. People of the "victimhood" will never be free because they're dependent upon others to "oppress" them. They will never be anything other than angry.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    They are also dependent on others to free them, always begging to be rescued.

  • retiredfire||

    Yes, but nothing provides incentive like a positive outcome.
    Since the numeric ratio of "superior" to "inferior" is always tilted towards the "inferior" group, appealing to outside influence to "even things out" benefits the "inferior", thus providing them an incentive to repeat the process.
    A kind of democratically imposed survival of the least-fit.
    As we "evolve" further from our animal roots, we show a lesser ability to survive.
    This will not end well.
    Unfortunately, Eman, you obviously feel yourself to be capable of navigating these situations, without outside assistance, which places you in a minority - and not one that will be given victim status.
    Keep up the good fight, though.

  • Eman||

    i don't want "survival of the fittest", cuz that implies the death of the less fit and i would like to think weve got at least slightly past that. that has nothing at all to do with not liking to ask other people for help.

  • Eman||

    "want to be the kind of person that is perceived as..." is what i meant. and i know im not always in control of what happens around & to me but being like "yeah this shitty thing happened to me that i can't do anything about" seems like admitting defeat.

  • Nodnarb the Nasty||

    I think the sociologists are putting the cart before the horse. There is no "culture" of victimhood. At least not yet.

    If you glance closely at those crying "microaggression," you'll find a strong connection to Left-wing political groups. Not Clinton Democrats, mind you, but hard Left groups. This is a battle we can still win.

    A sociologist from Stanford has a short article on what the real problems are (link), from a sociological perspective, and how to handle them. The tl;dr is that victimhood is simply rent-seeking.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The way we've beaten back the free shit brigade?

  • Trouser-Pod (The blowhard)||

    Too true.

    Shit, it's depressing.

  • ||

    "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."

    That sounds bad-- shifting the goalposts!-- but there might be less there than it sounds.

    Like: when it was okay in the US to own black people as slaves, there was this whole movement to abolish slavery, but THEN, once that happened, those SAME PEOPLE started agitating to give freed black people all the same RIGHTS as white people. THEY MOVED THE GOALPOSTS! Isn't that awful?

    No. No, it is *appropriate*. It was never okay to treat black people as lesser than white people, but before Abolition, slavery was the most pressing problem and the appropriate main focus for outrage. Once that was done, legal equality was the *next* most pressing problem… and yes, the outrage level remains the same because people have a maximum level of outrage, and it takes a lot of outrage to change society's customs.

    Just keeping constant outrage levels despite progress is not, itself, a sign of pathology.

  • ||

    Purposely calling transgender people by the wrong pronoun is worse than gassing jewish children.

  • DenverJ||

    You know who else gassed Jewish children?

  • ||

    Sure, that's totally what I said. Go with that.

  • Frankjasper1||

    There is nothing comparable to slavery at this point in time. The victimhood crowd is really reaching

  • Long Woodchippers||

    There's a transgendered person on another message board I frequent, who goes by a handle. During a debate on the issue at hand, the other person referred to 'he' and got the response of "you misgendered me" - even though that person was a long time male member of the board, only recently having changed identity. Sometimes people just fucking forget, or don't have enough evidence in front of them to know.

  • Frankjasper1||

    What exactly is going on in society today that is akin to slavery and jim crow?

  • Zeb||

    I don't think he said there was. Just that continuous, progressive (not necessarily in the political sense) outrage is not by itself evidence that the outrage is not warranted.

  • Frankjasper1||

    That isnt really shifting the goal post though. Shifting is goal posts is like like the agw crowd claiming every act of weather as evidence of climate change

  • Frankjasper1||

    My take is slavery than onto stuff like jim crow is a bad example of how goal post shifting isnt necessarily a bad thing. Because it isn't goal post shifting in the first place. It is moving on to a new issue. Goal post shifting takes the same issue and consistently changes the terms of it so one is always correct....trying to match reality to a pre-determined conclusion thru mental gymnastics.

  • ||

    For the love of god, he wasn't saying that "microaggressions" are the same as slavery. He was using slavery as an example of how goal-post shifting isn't necessarily a bad thing in every circumstance.

    To use a less charged example, say somebody has an unwanted pregnancy with a shiftless loser. The initial goal may be just to get the loser to acknowledge that he is indeed the father and bears some responsibility for the child. Once that is accomplished, then the objective moves to trying to get him to actively help out with raising the child. That is shifting the goal posts, but in an entirely appropriate manner. So just throwing out "goal post shifting!" as an argument, without explaining why that is a bad thing in the particular instance being discussed, is lazy argumentation.

  • ||

    Jesus Christ, JJ, are you trying to say the lack of government-funded abortion is as bad as slavery?

  • SugarFree||

    It's worse. Worse than slavery. Because white babies.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    You joke, but one of the driving forces behind making abortion illegal in the early and mid 1800s was to raise the Protestant white birth rate to keep pace with the Catholic white birth rate from Italian and Irish immigrants.

  • DenverJ||

    White babies are worthless workers. My monocle factory only employs babies of color.

  • Frankjasper1||

    I dont consider that goal post shifting...that is a different topic.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    That's not shifting the goalposts, that's a process, where one must start somewhere and then work down the list.

  • Jack Strawb||

    I'll go with "War on Drugs" for one trillion dollars, Alex.

  • Jack Strawb||

    I'll go with "War on Drugs" for one trillion dollars, Alex.

  • Robert||

    the outrage level remains the same because people have a maximum level of outrage, and it takes a lot of outrage to change society's customs.


    I never thought about this before, but it's probably right & leads to problems. For instance, one could easily imagine people thinking, "Well, we're already outrageous, so what do we have to lose by skipping right over slavery & going straight to cannibalism?"

    At the other end, I'm very vexed by the seeming inability of so many libertarian activists to have the slightest interest in small improvements.

  • The Gun Vandals Revolt||

    Actually, if it was international law that all soldiers had to eat what they killed, and that no meat was to be wasted, we would see a whole lot less death. I vote for cannibalism. Where is the adult?

  • DenverJ||

    In Vegas

  • B.P.||

    Tell me about all of the wonderful progress that is taking place with this victimhood/microaggression bullshit.

  • ||

    This is all very interesting, but it's also very ... theoretical.
    Wouldn't it be more productive to do some surveys of today's young people to see if they are actually more likely to resort to adult authorities, or if they are actually deficient in skills learned through unsupervised play? Then we could see to what extent this is a real phenomenon and not just an appearance created by a few loudmouthed activists on college campuses.

  • Citizen X||

    Yes! Poll the millennials!

  • R C Dean||

    Release the polls!

    [Cackles, strokes persian cat]

  • DenverJ||

    While you're at it, do me a favor and ask them what they think about Trump.

  • ||

    Naw, it's more fun to just speculate. This way we get to maintain our outrage levels about the degeneracy of modern culture. ;)

  • ||

    You have to remember, to many Reason commenters, there are only two levels of how serious a problem is. It is either, 1) not a problem at all, or 2) the end of western civilization.

    Since the whole SJW bullshit clearly a worrisome trend that we should pay attention to, it can't fall into category 1). So the only thing that's left...

  • Kandralla||

    Anecdotal evidence yes... but have you any average millennials working at your place of business? Ask them to do a task, leaving out instructions on how to do the parts that don't matter, observe the stress sweat.

  • R C Dean||

    I wouldn't say "Beyond Honor and Dignity".

    I would say "Without Honor and Dignity".

  • Zeb||

    I'll go with both of them.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Lowest common denominator, FTW1

  • SusanM||

    Interesting situation - everyone wants adult supervision, but no one wants to be the adults. Kinda self-defeating, isn't it?

  • Zeb||

    I'll be the adult.

    Now everyone stop whining and grow the fuck up!

  • Swiss Servator||

    Can I have my allowance, Zeb! I want ice cream, now! I DON'T WANT TO CLEAN MY ROOM!!!!

  • SusanM||

    Would that it were that simple! I'm going to take a potentially unpopular stand here and say that, while the people who get upset about hearing a word they don't like should work to achieve the self-possession to endure the occasional sling and arrow, people on the other side of that debate should work to acquire the self-possession to not blurt out every damnfool thing that pops up in their heads.

  • Swiss Servator||

    "people on the other side of that debate should work to acquire the self-possession to not blurt out every damnfool thing that pops up in their heads."

    And yet, you comment here...

    *flees cackling*

  • SusanM||

    Teh Interwezbtubezone is different, obviously, Especially H&R.

  • kbolino||

    Interesting situation - everyone wants adult supervision, but no one wants to be the adults. Kinda self-defeating, isn't it?

    Every left-wing political movement ever, in a nutshell.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Left wingers are like movie bullies who only victimize weaklings, and even then do so with a crowd at their back. They first try to provoke the victims with insults, looking back at the crowd for approval, and only actually move on to physical bullying after enough encouragement. Cowards, the lot of them.

  • Robert||

    Horwitz suggests that the recent upsurge in conflicts around sexual consent on campus may arise in part because so many young adults never acquired the social skills developed through unstructured play, such as "ensuring that all involved continue to consent to the rules and to the game being played."


    Nah, that's not what's going on. It's a deliberate throwing of weight around. No confusion, no lack of skills, just feminazism.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Campbell and Manning begin by probing the rise of the "microaggression" phenomenon

    This constitutes a microagression in of itself. Your "research" is invalid!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    people on the other side of that debate should work to acquire the self-possession to not blurt out every damnfool thing that pops up in their heads.


    Othering people who think different?
    How mature.

  • SusanM||

    I forgot this is "all or nothing" around here. I'm not advocating a state where everyone lives in perpetual fear and self-loathing over possibly saying the wrong thing - just a bit more introspection about how we speak.

    Are we not capable of volitional consciousness? Are we not capable of anticipating the consequences of what we say? ARE WE NOT MEN??

  • Jack Strawb||

    "As defined by the Columbia diversity training specialist Derald Wing Sue, microaggressions are "brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, and sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group." "

    Does anyone doubt that on college campuses, it is whites, and more specifically white men who are the 'victims' of microaggressions. They are the only group who can be openly insulted.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    Last night I went to a bar in Northern Virginia to watch the Steelers game. The most common question asked of a stranger was "Where are yunz from?" I don't think anyone was micro-aggressed. Sometimes we're just curious.

  • Alan@.4||

    The headline and sub head read:

    Victimhood Culture in America: Beyond Honor and Dignity
    Americans increasingly want and expect adult supervision

    Which Americans are referenced, I wonder.

  • Spoondash||

    So, to sum up these researchers' 'findings', if you raise your children to be pussies, that's what they'll turn out to be. Thanks, sociology, for adding your flashlight to our brightly lit day!

  • CN_Foundation||

    "It is indeed difficult to conceive how men who have entirely given up the habit of self-government should succeed in making a proper choice of those by whom they are to be governed; and no one will ever believe that a liberal, wise, and energetic government can spring from the suffrages of a subservient people."

    This genius writer from the seventeenth century told of how the U.S. would develop and become the nation of "victims" we are today.

    The trouble is the writer did not use language understood by the average reader of his day. This book is still beyond the mind of most 21st century readers. Go on - - try to read any one chapter of "Democracy in America".
    Alexis de Tocqueville did not, however, see the development of the corporate class of the seventeenth century becoming the perpetual ruling class of today by using the statutory deception of the Reapportionment Act of 1927. This deceptive foundation, built in the Seventeenth Century, caused the Citizens United judicial mistake of the Twenty-first Century.

    Ronald is perhaps doing the same thing here?

  • p3orion||

    Yes, Donald Trump is a loudmouth buffoon (I say this as a staunch conservative) but do not let his current front-runner status fool you. His 20-some percent support is coupled with the largest negative numbers of any candidate. In other words, there is a committed 75-80% portion of Republicans who will NEVER vote for the Donald, whose votes are currently divided among 15 other candidates. As the other candidates begin to be winnowed away (Rick Perry just dropped out) their supporters will shift, but most likely NOT to Trump, who has already rounded up all the suckers.

    The danger posed by Trump (other than a third-party candidacy) is that he will so starve some viable candidate that a mealy-mouthed moderate like Jeb Bush sneaks away with the nomination. This is what happened when Mike Huckabee, though no longer having any mathematical pathway to the nomination, remained in the contest and split votes away from MItt Romney, thereby granting the nomination to John McCain, the weakest candidate in a generation.

  • retiredfire||

    Please explain how The Donald going third party would work out any different than all of his "suckers", as you call them, decide to stay home because they became so tired of being insulted by the "staunch conservatives".
    There is so much vitriol directed at those, who see Trump as the epitome of anti-GOP-establishment, that I wouldn't blame them if they refused to support whomever the "staunch conservatives" end up nominating.
    Insulting people, you want to support you, later, is not a winning strategy.
    There are a couple of "staunch conservatives" ( at least that's how they would describe themselves) leading the House and Senate - how's that worked out for you?

  • p3orion||

    Quite right. If there is a voter "temper tantrum" come election day, all bets are off. Personally, I'm supporting Ted Cruz (probably the most intelligent and accomplished person among the Republican throng) who doesn't just call himself conservative, but has led the new conservative movement in the Senate ever since he was elected (over the middling establishment candidate David Derwhurst.) Lord knows Ted's stiff, but maybe more time on the campaign trail will loosen him up a bit.

    As for "staunch conservatives" Boehner and McConnell: we'll be stuck with McConnell for a while, unless he's overturned as Majority Leader, but I'd almost be willing to see the White House go Democrat again (almost) if we could guarantee an actual conservative would replace Boehner in the House of Representatives.

  • pamela3240||

    Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do...... ✹✹✹✹✹✹ www.Money-Hours.com

  • p3orion||

    I assume the lucrative work-from-home opportunity you're talking about is your popular "Handjobs for Hobos" webcast, right? I'm glad to hear you're earning so much money from that, especially since you used to do it just for the meth. It's nice to see you are making a living doing something you obviously enjoy!

    I'm looking forward to your next show, but please get those genital warts looked at soon; they seem to be getting worse.

    P.S. - I think I'll pass on your brother's show, but I bet it plays well in the San Francisco area.

  • ||

    Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do...... ✹✹✹✹✹✹ www.online-jobs9.com

  • Hank Phillips||

    Thanks for a clear, informative and well-written article.

  • morganovich||

    the point about flat hierarchies is a really useful one.

    moral relativism is the ultimate flat hierarchy. every viewpoint is equal. in such a state, one cannot gain status through strong, valid ideas, so one must seek it elsewhere. victimhood provides the only real avenue for elevation above others, and thus, the aggreivement derby is on! the issue with such a thing (beyond the obvious perpetuation of idiotic dogmas) is that it is inherently divisive and adversarial.

    everyone must accuse someone else of attacking them to get ahead. how can any society withstand such a thing?

  • Hank Phillips||

    It occurred to me part of this whiny baby trend may be a reaction to the libertarian party making it difficult to pretend the initiation of force is irrelevant. So instead of advocating reaching out to cops with guns as the Prime Directive, the parasitical simply define everything as aggression so their appeal to the violence of law for all ills, real or imagined, becomes simple retaliation. Even libertarians can live with retaliation, so guilt problem solved.

  • Technomad||

    This sort of thing looks to me like an absolutely perfect way to exacerbate existing social frictions. If I, as a member of the majority culture, have to walk on eggs every second I'm around a member of a "minority" culture lest I set off a tearstorm, I won't want them around me.

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