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

Parinciters

Progressives tend to believe that society is populated by warring groups, and that the dominant group ruthlessly oppresses and exploits the weaker group.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this:
• 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 unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:
• The oppressed tend to be virtuous.
• The oppressors tend to be unvirtuous.
• Some of the oppressed become so damaged by the oppressors that they engage in antisocial behavior.
• The oppressed should reject the oppressors’ culture and values and create their own culture and values.
• The oppressors got their advantages by exploiting the oppressed.
• The oppressors’ social system is unvirtuous.
• The oppressors must be fought.
• Oppression is the most unvirtuous act because it damages the natural nobility and equality of humanity.
• The individual oppressor can choose not to oppress and instead support the oppressed in their virtuous struggle.

 

Newthinkers see a continuous dynamic of ruthless subjugation by groups of oppressors against groups of oppressed. Antagonism between these groups is fired up by parinciters who pit the supposed oppressors against the supposedly oppressed and use their position to gain political power and champion status among their pseudoppressed flock.

Parinciters:
Demagogues who incite antagonism between the pseudoppressed and pseudoppressors and then feed off the conflict.

Omnimarxism leads to a new tribalism, a return to the default position of tribal identity which western civilization had suppressed. That’s why urban youth gangs have been hard to eliminate: they’re primal expressions of human nature emerging where civilization is weak. The gangs’ self-identity is strengthened by their sense of being oppressed because of ethnicity or poverty. Meanwhile, they’re given an ideological boost by newthink and its inevitable parinciters, which push them to create their own culture and values. This resurgent tribalism extends to all newthinkers in varying degrees, who see their pseudoppressed group as their tribe, exploited and oppressed by a hostile and hated pseudoppressor tribe.

How Pseudoppressors Gain Progressive Virtue by Embracing the Progressive Worldview

Pseudoppression is a mostly unconscious belief, imbibed during childhood and reinforced by progressive culture. For the great majority of progressives, it’s an unconscious way of seeing the workings of the world; it is to them an unspoken truth that society comprises warring groups which either dominate or are dominated. But for the elites who are conscious of the dynamics and opportunities of newthink, the belief in pseudoppression is an opportunity to control the mindset of a group by creating imaginary enemies – a technique straight out of 1984.

Because of their belief that society is a battlefield composed of groups that either dominate or are dominated, devout progressives search for security. They unconsciously seek protection from a social world perceived to be inherently hostile. For this and other reasons, newthink moves people away from individualism – except in superficial and pseudo-independent matters – and toward group identification. Unlike Americanism, which led people to focus on individual success, newthink focuses on group success – where success is defined as victory against an oppressive group.

Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Cel...

Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re a newthinking member of a pseudoppressed group, — if you are poor, of non-European ethnicity, female, or homosexual, etc. — your group provides perceived protection. In reality, pseudoppressed group status in progressive society provides more than protection: it provides positive advantages. Group preferences tilt in your favor. Progressive society and its media sympathize with your plight. And because of your group status, you have inherent progressive virtue.

As a progressive, if you’re a member of a pseudoppressor group – if you’re American, of European ancestry, Christian, male, wealthy or heterosexual, or may the universe help you, all of them – your initial balance in your progressive virtue bank account is sorely lacking.  That’s not a small thing; progressive virtue and vice are equivalent to good and evil under the traditional American worldview.  Under newthink, the best way for a pseudoppressor to gain progressive virtue (and gain social power) is to renounce his pseudoppression and become one of the Enlightened.

The Enlightened, as defined earlier, are the progressive elite. They are pseudoppressors who have renounced their pseudoppression, or pseudoppressed who have embraced newthink morality. They are filled with progressive virtue; they are devout adherents of most or all of newthink’s unconscious beliefs; they consciously believe in the need to change the culture; they often become Progressive Missionaries or Progressive Crusaders. Because they often come from a perceived oppressor class but choose not to oppress, they have a strong sense of superiority; because they are so certain of the justice of their beliefs, they are intolerant of the beliefs of others; because they are trying to transform an unaware or recalcitrant culture, they are often duplicitous by necessity and without guilt.

…on the negative side, the Enlightened are characterized by arrogance, close-mindedness and easy duplicity. On the positive side, they are often very intelligent, well-meaning, hard-working and persistent… Think of some famous progressives — don’t these traits seem familiar?

So, on the negative side, the Enlightened are characterized by arrogance, close-mindedness and easy duplicity. On the positive side, they are often very intelligent, well-meaning, hard-working and persistent – traits that you would expect in a devout missionary or crusader. Think of some famous progressives — don’t these traits seem familiar?

Cultural Codependence

Under the progressive worldview, the ostensible oppressors – the pseudoppressors – are not really oppressors. They are innocent of that charge. But, to some groups that were historical victims of true oppression, newthinking pseudoppressors are actually enablers in a codependent relationship.

Codependence is a dysfunctional psychological pattern between two individuals: a victim (often an addict) and an enabler. It is a relatively new psychological paradigm, and while embraced by many doctors and psychologists, it is not yet fully accepted by the mainstream of psychology. Cultural codependence (an idea likely to be even less warmly embraced) involves a similar dysfunctional relationship, but on a macro scale, between groups.

cultural codependence n : a primary, chronic, increasing and dysfunctional group relationship between an enabler group and a victim group which is acquired through the process of injury, manifested in the victim group through low self-esteem, fear, anger, confusion and relationship difficulties, and perpetuated by the actions of the enabler group

This definition of cultural codependence is indebted to those cardinal characteristics of codependence delineated by Charles L. Whitfield in his book Co-Dependence, Healing the Human Condition* which I believe also apply to cultural codependence. I treat these as group dynamics which are roughly analogous to the intra-individual dynamics.

Cultural codependence is learned and acquired through the process of injury on a social scale. Here’s how it works: a social group is psychologically wounded by another group through a process of true oppression and exploitation. Why does one group oppress and exploit another? Obviously – like Willie Sutton robbing banks because that was where the money was – a true oppressor group exploits another group because that’s where the money and power are. But beyond that, the true oppressor group may have a group psychology characterized by feelings of inadequacy and lack of fulfillment. They may need to project grandiosity as a counterbalance to those feelings. Thus, their primary message to the group they are oppressing is that they are inferior and unworthy of respect. Like a bully, their exploitative and hurtful relationship allows them to bury the inferiority they fear in themselves.

Like a neurotic who recreates his painful childhood in his adulthood in an unconscious attempt to resolve it, some groups who endured true oppression in the past psychologically recreate that state of oppression in their current culture as pseudoppression.

The pain of oppression to the wounded group is beyond conscious endurance, so they repress it and continue to survive. The most hurtful messages to the oppressed group are deposited unconsciously with the wound. Time passes. When the group is no longer truly oppressed, it tries to move on, but the repressed cultural pain and negative messages continually sabotage it. Pseudoppression can be seen as a social neurosis employing neurotic defense mechanisms such as emotional reasoning, blaming and control fallacies on a macro scale. Like a neurotic who recreates his painful childhood in his adulthood in an unconscious attempt to resolve it, some groups who endured true oppression in the past psychologically recreate that state of oppression in their current culture as pseudoppression. To top it off, the actions of the enabler group exacerbate and prolong the condition.

…the actions of the present-day enabler group, progressive European-Americans, exacerbate and prolong the situation by treating African-Americans disrespectfully, as if they were backward children who they must cater to, condescend to and nurture because they’re not capable of competing with everyone else on equal footing in real life.

Now see how this applies to a specific case of cultural codependence, that of the European-American/African-American relationship. African-Americans were psychologically wounded by the brutality, oppression and exploitation of slavery at the hands of European-American slaveholders. The European-American slaveholders had grandiose perceptions of themselves as superior to the African-Americans. The psychological pain from the lack of freedom, the brutality and the disrespect of slavery was beyond the African-Americans’ conscious endurance, so it was repressed. It didn’t go away, but became buried in their psyche. The most harmful messages that the European-American oppressors were sending – you are inferior, you don’t merit respect, you exist for our exploitation – were unconsciously deposited in their buried psychological wound. As time passed, slavery was abolished and civil rights for all people became a social reality. But even though African-Americans are no longer truly oppressed, their repressed pain sabotages their free life. The negative messages still at work in their unconscious continually sabotage them. The negative worldview – newthink – which most of them have adopted directs their lives in unhealthy ways. Moreover, the actions of the present-day enabler group, progressive European-Americans, exacerbate and prolong the situation by treating African-Americans disrespectfully, as if they were backward children who they must cater to, condescend to and nurture because they’re not capable of competing with everyone else on equal footing in real life.

It would be possible to make cases for other group relations that fit the pattern of cultural codependence, such as the relationship between European-Americans and Native Americans, but the point is made.

* Charles L. Whitfield, Co-Dependence: Healing the Human Condition, (HCI, The Life Issues Publisher, http://www.hcibooks.com, 1991).

Pseudoppression

Real oppression has existed throughout human history. In the ancient world, slavery was commonplace. In those times, ethnicity was no protection: millions of whites were enslaved by other whites.*  Later, in America and elsewhere, ethnicity became a dividing line. Africans were brutally oppressed during slavery times; after the Civil War, segregation became another form of oppression for African-Americans. True oppression of various kinds are at work in the world today.

But the ubiquitous oppression that omnimarxists perceive is pseudoppression.

pseudoppression n : a supposed social process which is depicted as an unjust exercise of power

pseudoppressor n : a member of a group falsely perceived by progressives to be oppressive

pseudoppressed n : a member of a group falsely perceived by progressives to be oppressed

What is the psychological impetus for believing in a fantasy oppression between exploiter groups and victim groups? It depends on your group membership. Pseudoppressors can do progressively-virtuous works and expiate their guilt over their social success. For instance, wealthy progressives perceive themselves as oppressors, so they attack capitalism and support wealth redistribution (usually of other people’s wealth) as a way to gain progressive virtue. A second impetus for pseudoppressors to accept the validity of omnimarxism: opposing pseudoppression can be an easy path to power. The progressive culture rewards those with public progressive virtue and the “courage” to attack pseudoppressor groups.

On the other side of the equation, the pseudoppressed also for several reasons buy into the omnimarxist viewpoint. First, they can give up responsibility for their own lives. For example, progressive non-Americans, perceiving themselves as oppressed, can claim that the deck is stacked against them and blame their failings on Americans. Second, simply put, the pseudoppressed can feed in the trough rather than toil in the field. Third, omnimarxism allows the pseudo-victim to guilt the pseudo-aggressor and therefore control the relationship in a passive-aggressive manner.

Again, true oppression has and does exist. But in modern America, most of what is purported to be oppression is a delusion or a scam.

* Milton Meltzer, Slavery: A World History, (Da Capo Press, 1993), p. iv.