A Progressive Belief: The Oppressed Tend to Be Virtuous

Progressives believe that the oppressed tend to be virtuous.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief is as follows:

• Society is a Battlefield
• Social interaction is war between groups.
• Warring groups either dominate or are dominated.
• The dominant group ruthlessly oppresses and exploits the weaker group.
• The oppressed tend to be virtuous.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:

• The intentions of the oppressed are generally virtuous.
• The actions of the oppressed are generally virtuous.
• The oppressed tend to be wise.
• The oppressed tend to be compassionate.
• The oppressed tend to be courageous.
• The oppressed tend to be fair.
• The oppressed are fashionable.
• We should try to fit in with the oppressed.

 

Progressive virtue accrues to those who live by the rules of progressive morality, otherwise known as political correctness. Politically correct behavior increases one’s progressive virtue. But all individuals do not start out with an equal balance in their progressive virtue bank account. Recall the Accounting metaphor which cognitive psychologists say structures our moral thinking in financial terms. Under newthink, the opening balance in one’s virtue account depends on whether one’s social group is oppressor or oppressed. Members of pseudoppressor groups begin with a big debit which they must always work to overcome if they wish to be progressively virtuous. Members of pseudoppressed groups begin with a big credit, which means they are able to do nothing at all if they choose and still maintain moral superiority over almost all pseudoppressors. This is one reason newthink pseudoppressors are often so devout in their political correctness. Progressive virtue is vital to the self-esteem and social power of progressives. Pseudoppressors have a big moral debit to overcome and must constantly work harder to be progressively virtuous.

Progressive virtue is vital to the self-esteem and social power of progressives. Pseudoppressors have a big moral debit to overcome and must constantly work harder to be progressively virtuous.

Acts of political correctness do help raise one’s PV bank account. But people in progressive societies are increasingly judged by their wealth, sex, citizenship, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religion rather than their behavior. Newthink’s logic in this matter is simple to the point of monotony: the wealthy tend to be unvirtuous, the poor tend to be virtuous; males tend to be unvirtuous, females tend to be virtuous; Americans tend to be unvirtuous, non-Americans tend to be virtuous; European-Americans tend to be unvirtuous, non-European-Americans tend to be virtuous; heterosexuals tend to be unvirtuous, homosexuals tend to be virtuous; Christians tend to be unvirtuous, non-Christians tend to be virtuous. The less intelligent the assimilated newthinker, the more these guidelines will be used without nuances.

Traditional Americans, raised in a world where they were judged by their actions, are often bewildered by progressive society, which judges one largely on one’s pseudoppressor or pseudoppressed group affiliations. To further confuse them, when they are judged by their behavior it is increasingly by the foreign standards of political correctness rather than the familiar standards of traditional morality. (Unfortunately, the supposedly nonjudgmental inclination of progressives only applies to the progressively virtuous.)

If you’re oppressed, you don’t have to gain progressive virtue through actions: you are already virtuous because of your oppressed status. This surfeit of progressive virtue causes a decline in traditional good behavior. It is, for instance, one reason why the percentage of income given to charity by individuals declined from 2.26 percent in 1964 to 1.61 percent in 1998.* That’s 29% less charity in 34 years – years that saw great increases in real income and in the scope of progressive culture. In the early 20th century, through the booming 1920s and the depression years, Americans grew steadily more generous. But, as Robert D. Putnam documents in Bowling Alone, since 1960, American’s generosity has steadily shrunk.** The 1960s, that landmark decade of progressivism, coincidentally marked the point when American generosity abruptly began its decline. It’s perfectly logical: as progressives increase in number, more people gain virtue by identifying with an oppressed group rather than through traditional good works. Progressives don’t feel the need to engage in traditional good deeds because they already possess a great amount of virtue due to their oppressed-group status – and almost everyone can identify with at least one victim group.

Progressives don’t feel the need to engage in traditional good deeds because they already possess a great amount of virtue due to their oppressed-group status – and almost everyone can identify with at least one victim group.

The surfeit of progressive virtue among the pseudoppressed also leads to a decline in self-responsibility and positive determination. Self-responsibility, the belief that one is primarily responsible for one’s own situation, and positive determination, a can-do attitude dead set on success – the primary engine of production among any group of people – are attitudes which flourish under Americanism and wither for the pseudoppressed under newthink.

* Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000), p. 123.

** Ibid, p. 123

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2 thoughts on “A Progressive Belief: The Oppressed Tend to Be Virtuous

  1. Arguing that those who are oppressed don’t feel the need to work hard or have feelings of self-responsibility– I’d like to see that supported by any facts or statistics.

    You also made an illusory correlation between a decrease in charity and an increase in progressive culture. You have no proof that those two things are linked.

    This is a very surface analysis of a complex issue. To argue that progressives demonize men, or heterosexuals, or Christians, is putting those groups in the position of victim, instead of the actual oppressed groups. Putting these historically dominant groups in the position of victim simply undermines and attempts to de-legitimize progressive attempts for equal treatment of minority groups. Progressives argue for equal treatment of minority groups. Not superior treatment. To argue for superior treatment would be illogical, and contradictory to progressive values.

  2. First, thanks for engaging with me on ideas – I appreciate and respect it.

    I don’t argue that “those who are oppressed don’t feel the need to work hard or have feelings of self-responsibility.” I argue that these tend to be traits of the pseudoppressed — a group falsely perceived by progressives to be oppressed. While I didn’t base this particular comment on a study, the idea that groups that are socially alienated (such as the pseudoppressed) have feelings of powerlessness and less motivation shouldn’t be controversial, and I believe is supported by some studies. (See http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Alienation#Powerlessness)

    You also said that “You also made an illusory correlation between a decrease in charity and an increase in progressive culture. You have no proof that those two things are linked.” Actually, studies show that conservatives tend to give more to charity, in both time and money, than progressives. For instance, in 2000, conservative households gave on average 30 percent more money to charity than liberal households, despite the fact that the liberal families earned on average 6 percent more. (See Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism by Arthur Brooks.)

    While I do argue that progressives tend to negatively portray (demonize might be too strong a word) pseudoppressor groups such as men, heterosexuals and Christians – and there is plenty of evidence to be had of that – these groups don’t perceive themselves as victims. Nor should they do so, because that’s a fruitless and debilitating attitude.

    Progressives may “argue for equal treatment of minority groups,” but in practice they seek superior treatment of minority groups. That is the definition of affirmative action, which is not at all contradictory to progressive values.

    You’re right when you say that mine was “a very surface analysis of a complex issue.” Newthink covers a big subject: the usurpation of the traditional American worldview by the progressive worldview. As with any book covering a lot of territory, one can only touch on each subject, even though each subject could provide material enough for books all by itself.

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