Brett Stevens points out that, in an Age of Leftism, everyone wants to be a victim.
It is amazing how many people will approve of a concept that â€œsounds goodâ€ without understanding what it means. Take, for example, the term â€œequality.â€
On the surface, equality sounds like this: treat everyone the same regardless of their background, or in other words, be fair. People think that is all that it means, but forget that life does not happen in a single step, but in cycles.
Here is the equality cycle: when we declare equality, we are setting ourselves up for failure if results are unequal despite fair treatment. For that reason, we give the people who are not succeeding a little nudge, hoping it will make them rise at least to the middle.
If we do not do that, then unequal results make us question the term â€œequalityâ€ at all. When people talk about inequality in wages despite different rates of individual productivity, they are caught in this stage. Results did not match expectations, and so people seek to inject subsidies in the mix.
These subsidies can be as simple as giving the poor kid more leeway in grading his papers at school, as moderate as social services which are free but mostly used by lower-income people, or as extreme as taxing the upper half of society to subsidize the lower half. Yet they always seem to drift toward that level.
In that, we see the feedback loop: each time results do not match the theory, we tip the scales a bit, but that does not work either. We tip the scales more in consequence, and then begin the cycle again. It never ends until something like full Communism comes around the bend, and then everyone is finally equal in theory.
For those caught in the middle of these loops, only one solution presents itself: be a victim.
We know that â€œequalityâ€ invariably and inevitably becomes a pathology of taking from the strong to give to the weak, so the only safety is in finding some way to be weak. You can be a minority, gay, disabled, abused, addicted, ill or mentally ill, or even just depressed, but you need something or the mob of the weak will come for you.
Thus we create a culture of entitlement and victimhood where the victims are entitled and therefore being a victim is valuable if for nothing else in fending off the demands of others who want subsidies with what you have.