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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Group Value?

Occasionally something wanders across my awareness that makes me blink, go back and take another look. One such was an article I stumbled across while researching something else. It struck a cord somewhere in my head, because it touched on something I've often pondered, but never really given a great deal of thought to. The article, The Minority Victim Value Index, by Daniel Greenfield, provides a lot of food for thought on this subject.

How do the movers and shakers in the media, politics and 'policy' lobbyists decide whose 'rights' trump everyone elses? The answer is they use something which has become known as a "Victim Value Index." It has its origins in the pragmatic putdown by Frederick Douglass of a woman's sufferage campaigner after the passing of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which grants the right to "Negro men" to vote. As he was a campaigner for equality for all people including woman his questioner probably expected a different answer to the one she got.

In effect he told her that Black men had a higher "Victim" rating because women weren't subject to being "dragged from their homes and hung." Ever since, the liberal tendency who claim to promote equality have used this 'rating' to measure whose 'rights' trump another 'victim' groups. According to Mr, Greenfield each group has a 'rating' based on their deemed 'victimhood.' As he puts it, "He who suffers most, wins." So, according to this rating system, black Americans score higher than native Americans, largely because of the "guilt" factor associated by the fact the Africans were slaves, but the Amerindians were not. Gays are on this rating as well, but their position in the rankings is volatile and surprisingly women come in last.

In the minds of those who seek to reform our society at every level, the value of a 'victim' group lies in how their 'sufferings,' however far in the past, can be used to promote the grievances, supposed or real, to the head of the list. What most of us forget is that the abolition of slavery in the US is only just over a hundred years ago. We also forget that they fought a very bloody civil war over it. That hasn't stopped the 'liberal' campaigners in the UK from using guilt over the UK's involvement in the slave trade - they ignore completely the fact that it was the UK that first outlawed the 'trade' and then actively used their military to suppress it - and campaign relentlessly to promote one minorities 'rights' after another over everyone elses.

Mr. Greenfield quoted George Orwell's classic, Animal farm, in his opening statement and I quote his quote here -

Toward the end of Animal Farm when the formerly revolutionary seven commandments have been rewritten to "All Animals are Equal... But Some Animals are More Equal than Others", what began with the promise of equality has reverted to an authoritarian caste system. America's civil rights revolution similarly began with, "All Americans are Equal" and ended up with, "All Americans are Equal... But Some Americans are More Equal than Others."

It is now many years since I read that classic, but it was, it seems to me, never more pertinent than it is now. The only thing I would alter in his statement is the final element. All people are equal, but some, whom we can label oppressed or victims, are more equal than everyone else.

It all depends on how much noise your group can make and how much attention they can get to the possibility of disrupting or destroying the comfortable lifestyles of everyone else. Mr. Greenfields article is well worth the read.

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