Victimocracy Because Reasons

In There’s No “Ick” in Victim, in which she lauds victims for speaking up, Brooklyn lawyer ((And cousin of my officemate Jay Cohen!)) C.A. Goldberg turns her truly dizzying intellect my way:

Then you have the George Wills and Mark Bennetts of the world who argue that society is victimized by victimhood. The former famously claimed that victims revel in their victimness and that “victimhood” is a “coveted status that confers privilege,” and results in the “proliferation” of victims.

In a post called “Victimocracy is for Sociopaths,” Mark Bennett, a criminal defense attorney and blogger in Texas, growls at the “ascendancy of victimocracy, in which victimhood is esteemed above merit, and victims are given special authority to determine the course of the state.  He accuses many victims of “feigning” it.  He flaccidly stabs at some blurry claim that self-identifying victims comprise much of the purported four percent of sociopaths, revealing himself to be the one person in America gullible enough to drink Martha Stout’s pop psychology Kool-Aid.  “The more power we give victims, the more power we give sociopaths,” he says.

Attitudes like those of the grandfather, the blogger, Wills, and Bennett, shame not just the crimes, but also try to corrode any dignity the victim may have in self-identifying as such, creating false categories that attempt to separate out the “true” victims from the “feigning” ones.  (Anybody else hearing the echoes of Todd Akin here and his marble mouthing about “legitimate” rape?)  These people take offense to persons stepping up and saying, “Hey, I was harmed,” acting as though the V-word itself is a diminishing resource, conservation of which they must personally defend. And so what do they do?  They engage in ad hominem attacks to discredit the victim:  she was complicit in it, is lying, doing it for the attention, is a sociopath.  It’s as if some defense attorneys, perhaps as a group the most vocal about they would call “victomania,” can’t zealously represent their clients while respecting the “victim” concept.

Here’s the post she’s referring to, Victimocracy is For Sociopaths. ((For which I’ve already taken an undeserved ration of shit, which put me off my blogging feed. Other posts about victimocracy in action: Honoring the Dead with Destruction?; Happy Victims’ Week; Revenge Porn and “Rape Culture” Culture.)) I won’t rehash the argument, but you’ll see that it’s not what Goldberg wishes it to be.

Because some victims bravely speak up, ((I doubt neither the bravery often required for an actual victim to come out as a victim, nor the societal value in doing so.)) Goldberg wants us not to question whether victims are victims.

The problem is that, whether sociopaths are four percent of the population or one percent or less, they will feign victimhood, using our solicitousness toward victims—the solicitousness modeled by Goldberg in her post—to get away with creating more actual victims. By feigning victimhood, the sociopaths (who, because their “victimhood” is planned and scripted, are more willing than real victims to present themselves as victims) also harm the actual victims

The solution is nothing more than a sensible skepticism. Opposing skepticism is natural—nothing is more laudable than protecting the weak, and we want to believe that those who present themselves as needing our help in fact do—but nobody’s life is improved by credulity.

6 responses to “Victimocracy Because Reasons”

  1. I think you’re making a mistake here. Skepticism is about doubting extraordinary claims; it’s not about claiming that everything be proven. While it is true that some “victims” are faking it, those people are the exception. The default position should be cautious belief, not disbelief.

    Think of a defendant who claims the arresting officer hit them. As we’ve seen since cellphone video has become common, this is not an exceptional claim, and, I believe, you have rued the institutionalized automatic disbelief of such claims. How do you square that with your belief that people claiming victimhood should be disbelieved by default?

  2. The impowerment given by society to personality disorder abusers encourages the abuse of the rightful compassion to the true victim. A true victim generally does not want to call attention to their plight. They are recovering from the behavior and they certainly do not continue to create other situations where they can call them selves victims reliving the terror over and over to elicit favorable compassion based on false information.
    The tactic of screaming I’m a victim empowers the sociopath and makes them appear human when in fact they are less human than the average pet dog.
    There are advocates that are selfless soldiers in a fight to try and change the behavior but that’s as productive as taking a contraceptive after having sex.
    The behavior is. The penalty doesn’t apply unless they are caught and no one would do the behavior if they chanced getting caught.
    When these souless devils are impowered in the justice system they win false claims because the system refuses to question the credibility of the bastards. And when that happens innocent people get convicted of crimes they did not commit and the suedo victim makes victims out of them. A low thinking sociopath will say things behind your back or steal your car keys. A functional sociopath will hurt your reputation or make you at fault in small acts and midomeanors. A high level sociopath will conduct a vilification and distortion campaign at such a high level the target will want to kill themselves from the never ending rain of accusations, misapplied conceptions and out right false evidence appearing real and the real crime is when the idiots in the political justice system react not based in fact but on the perception that no one could make that up. Yes they can and do and when it happens the real criminals are in the justice system for being lazy asses and taking the path of least resistance in prosecuting innocent people and obtaining conviction based on fear of harsher punishment instead of standing on innocence because the crap for brains powers that be didn’t do the job the swore to do.
    The souless devils in the political justice system then perpetuate the lie in contesting challenges by falsely defending their screwed up actions against factual substantial evidence and the damn justice system denies relief based on procedure on appeal rather than facts in the case.
    The cure? Hold the maroons responsible for their actions. There is no such thing as immunity from stupidity. A judge or prosecutor needs to be held accountable. How would you act if you had nothing to loose and could literally get away with murder? That’s what they get away with when they convict one innocent person. Just one should be enough to remove them from the bench or office. Make em realize what the paper means when it states NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. And that includes police who kill people’s dogs executing wrongful action because they can’t get a street address right.
    Accountability is a cornerstone of any justice system and the failure to hold stupid people accountable for stupid actions that literally destroys another’s life liberty or persuit of happness should at least be removal from the position of power and at best a criminal act punishable by time with bubba in a cell in Huntsville Texas.

  3. You are absolutely correct. Thank you. Some people create a house of mirrors where everything they do is reflected back on you via ad hominem. The targets of their behavior cease to exist in the world because there is nothing that won’t be filed under ad hominem. They are never seeking emotionalism when they contact those who are supposed to be trained in logic.

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