Victimhood: the inversion of evolution by social stealth

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Beverley McArthur

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Beverley McArthur

11 March 2023

4:00 AM

There’s an old saying: It’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s what you do about what happens that matters.

It makes you sit up and ponder, doesn’t it? It makes you question.

But more than simple, or thought-provoking, it’s powerful.

It hands control to you, the individual.

Do you laugh in the face of silliness, or cry? Do you find the steel in your spine, or do you surrender? Do you accept or defy? Do you choose, or allow others to choose for you?

It’s a saying that goes to the heart of a contemporary conundrum, a state of mind: victimhood.

On the ethereal streets of Snowflake Central, everyone is a victim. Nothing is anyone’s fault. Fingers can point in all directions except towards oneself. Even a Prince and a Duchess can be victims.

School sports days hand out blue, red, and green ribbons. Students run themselves ragged in the hope that one day – maybe that day – the blue will be theirs. They dream their dreams.

In those dreams, they learn that resilience is not gifted, it is earned. Losing is not about victimhood, it is being gracious in defeat, and stirring the emotions for more.

The Oxford Dictionary provides three meanings for the word ‘victim’.

The first is ‘a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action’. Think the Twin Towers attack in New York. Think of the nearly 50,000 killed in the earthquakes still impacting Turkey and Syria. Real victims.

The second definition is ‘a person who is tricked or duped’. Consider an innocent, elderly person answering the phone to a greasy conman on the other end. A victim for sure.

The third definition is ‘a person who has come to feel helpless and passive in the face of misfortune or ill-treatment’. With this definition, we start to move into modern territory and away from the old saying that invites action to bring about change.

Victimhood is not new.

It’s not big, bold, and brassy. It’s the opposite.

It fails almost every test for adult responsibility, the very thing children are supposed to look forward to.

Take for example those able individuals who think the government should build them a home: as if it is someone else’s responsibility to put a roof over their head, portraying no agency of their own. What happened to get a job, work hard, save hard, and one day you can afford a home – your very own?

Extend that mentality to Superannuation, the current plaything of the Albanese government: work hard, save hard, and achieve in retirement the lifestyle and freedom you want to have, not the lifestyle the government thinks you should have.

Isn’t that a quintessentially Australian perspective? Freedom, choice, desire, and the might and power of your own actions? It’s the story we sell to immigrants.

Yet the victim mentality buys into the state-sponsored solution.

You can’t tinker with the edges of victimhood – it is all-encompassing: an immeasurable state of mind. A zeitgeist of apathy. Once it sinks in, it sinks in deep. Like looking at life through the lens of race, all stations lead to victimhood.

In a self-titling world, we can all be victims – victims of bad governments, poor policing, failing ambulance systems, declining education standards where only preferred versions of history are taught.

As George Orwell wrote in 1984: ‘Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’ It’s a cruel concept for classrooms where the minds of the future lay in wait, blind to the fullness of the past.

It brings me to Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory on natural selection – the survival of the fittest – the survival of those best able to adapt and pass on those genetic traits.

It relies on the DNA within us to be alert, resilient, resourceful, and problem-solving. And by being these things, becoming survivors.

Victimhood challenges this – it is a state-sponsored celebration of the opposite.

Instead of running back to your cave for protection from a raging lion, and possibly not making it, you now simply go to your state-sanctioned safe space.

By definition, victimhood provides for the survival of the weakest. It champions a hierarchy of self-obsessed fragility, of failed responsibility.

So, I ask, if victimhood has become a successful survival technique, what does it mean for the Darwinian shaping of human society?

Is the victimhood adaptation for survival really the DNA of a stronger future?

This is not to argue for governments to neglect their duty of care. But by inserting a social artifice in nature – via government sponsorship of our lives – we shape a different direction for our species.

Of course, we are grateful for those things that make us stronger – the medical, technical, and engineering advances. It has taken an ongoing genius to achieve these – a nod itself – to Darwin’s theory of evolution.

But I refer to the social veneer that blankets it all.

Strength is not needed in a victimhood culture. Apathy is the strength.

Why would a species strive for excellence when survival can be attained by pointing to others and acquiescing to a lifetime status of limp, pervasive, self-wasting victimhood?

What would Mr Darwin make of it all?

I think he would say to all governments: hands off our resilience – our survivor DNA.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

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Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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