Victimism: The New Fighting Creed of Leftist Elites

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By Jason Jones & John Zmirak, The Stream, March 24, 2018

Jason Jones & John ZmirakOn Friday The Stream highlighted a campaign of vilification against Bethany Kozma. She’s a Trump appointee to a UN conference on women. And the LGBT machine is revved up to paint her as some hateful extremist who’s embarrassing America before the world.

Why? Because she takes a position that every liberal would have accepted without thinking ten years ago: That bathrooms should be private, and restricted to just one sex. Back in 2008, nobody in mainstream politics was arguing that “gender” was a “social construct.” Heck, Barack Obama was still claiming to oppose same-sex marriage.

We’ve had no new scientific discoveries about gender dysphoria. No one has found “evidence” that proves biological sex irrelevant. This is all cultural politics, or to put it more bluntly, bullying. People like Mrs. Kozma, and everyone who agrees with her, have been targeted by the powerful as scapegoats.

Two years ago it was Kim Davis, who couldn’t in conscience sign same-sex marriage licenses. And bakers, florists, and wedding planners. Last year it was David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, threatened with prison for committing journalism against Planned Parenthood.

The Hunt for Scapegoats

The hunt for scapegoats is growing more intense. And the impulse behind it is primitive and primal. The great Christian anthropologist Rene Girard diagnosed this urge to sacrifice the innocent as one that is basic to fallen man. In fact, it’s the glue of societies over the centuries. When the struggle for scarce goods or status begins to divide a tribe or kingdom, it brings on a kind of crisis. To hold things together, elites identify harmless, helpless people or groups and blame them for the chaos.

If the scapegoaters make the sale, soon huge numbers of people who’d never even noticed that group (the Jews, the Christians, the Yezidis, it doesn’t matter) now call for its destruction. They really do convince themselves that they’re acting in self-defense.

Girard said one of the deepest effects of the Gospel was to discredit the scapegoat mechanism. Jesus was the one sacrifice for sin, and willingly took our guilt. So societies built in His name would have a harder time scapegoating innocents. They would remind them too much of Jesus. Of course, Christendom fell back into this ancient practice at times. The persecution of Jews in Medieval Europe was bleak evidence that the gospel’s effects were quite uneven.

Still, the sacredness that Jesus’ incarnation attached to each human being made a difference. The concept of individual rights, as opposed to those of the family, tribe or nation, emerged from Christian ethics. The idea of collective guilt seemed more and more implausible.

The Enemy’s New Stratagem

But the Enemy is always active. And man is still deeply fallen. Yes we’ve abandoned the primitive practice of picking scapegoats arbitrarily. But a cunning new evil has emerged. Girard called it “Victimism.” It’s a method of political activism and control that perverts Christian ethics at their root. The Victimist who wants to wield power over others sees that blatant scapegoating won’t work. Not anymore.

The Victimist identifies himself with the forces of justice. He will right the old wrongs. He’ll avenge those whose ancestors suffered in the past. What’s more, he will punish those who represent the old, onetime oppressors. That is, their innocent descendants, or those who simply share their race or sex.

So what does he do? He identifies himself with the forces of justice. He will right the old wrongs. He’ll avenge those whose ancestors suffered in the past. What’s more, he will punish those who represent the old, onetime oppressors. That is, their innocent descendants, or those who simply share their race or sex.

This is how U.S. elites can justify targeting all whites and especially white males. It’s how they feel good about themselves when they cackle at displaced blue collar workers — and seek to replace them with foreigners. It’s how post-Christians inside Christian churches rationalize their attacks on the orthodox. They reach back centuries and equate true believers with witch-burners and inquisitors. And they fancy themselves liberators.

Collective Guilt and Punishment

Andrew Sullivan wrote of the movement that is taking over campuses, Intersectionalism, arguing that it is in some ways like a new religion. But even more than that it’s a semi-coherent ideology — the fancy word for a half-baked idea with a fully loaded gun. It’s a tissue of rationalizations for accumulating power, imposing collective punishment and scapegoating the innocent. White males must pay for the sins of their ancestors. Christians must be punished and marginalized because of events in the Middle Ages. Traditional families must pay for the self-loathing which sexual deviants suffer with. Europeans living in their own countries must be subject to violence and intimidation at the hands of Muslim interlopers who live on public welfare.

And no measure of punishment will ever be enough. It never was for the Jacobins during the French Reign of Terror. Nothing was ever enough, either, for the Bolsheviks when they seized control of Russia. Because there is no real injustice being corrected (it’s not real slave-owners, Klansmen or Indian-killers being punished), the need for vengeance can never be slaked. The sacrifices will continue until something stops them. Until the Victimists are exposed, deposed and scorned.

The New Leftist Lynch Mobs

The Democratic party, the lockstep elites in media and academia, are draining this cup to the dregs. They’re drunk with power and righteousness. And impervious to arguments. They’ve found a way to feel like they’re Mother Teresa or Joan of Arc, while they act like some Southern lynch mob.

It’s our job to stand fiercely for justice and for our rights. We can’t leave wounded soldiers out in the field. Good people like Bethany Kozma are genuine, innocent victims of a new profound evil, Victimism. It’s as dangerous a weapon in the hands of the power-hungry as Communism once was. And don’t be fooled: We’ll be fighting it for the rest of our lives.


Jason Jones and John Zmirak are co-authors of the 2014 book The Race to Save Our Century.

Jason Jones is a Senior Contributor to The Stream. He is a film producer, author, activist and human rights worker. For the past 20+ years, he has worked to defend the most vulnerable — from the homeless on the streets of Los Angeles to persecuted Christians in Africa, from women in crisis pregnancies to victims of “honor killing” in Iran.

He attended the University of Hawaii, after a tour serving in the U.S. infantry. At UHI, he founded the Pro-Life Student Union and served as state chairman of Young Americans for Freedom. Jason would go on to serve as director of Hawaii Right to Life, national youth director of the American Life League, grassroots director of Brownback for President, and public relations director for the world’s largest international pro-life organization, Human Life International.  He has appeared in defense of the most vulnerable members of the human family on ABC, Fox, CNN and hundreds of radio programs nationwide.

Jones is the Founder of HERO [Human-Rights Education and Relief Organization], a non-profit that promotes human dignity regardless of ability, age, status, race or geography.  He spearheaded a HERO initiative to bring clean water to suffering refugees in South Sudan. In 2009, despite the government’s warning of unsafe travel, Jason visited Darfur and inspected 26 new water wells and distributed $2 million in food, medicine and other aid. He is currently leading an effort to provide emergency aid to the victims of ISIS in Iraq.

Jones was a producer on the 2006 prolife film, Bella, which won several film industry awards, most notably the People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival.

He was the associate producer of the 2008 film on honor killings, The Stoning of Soraya M., which won the NAACP Image Award in 2010 as well as the Los Angeles Film Festival Audience Award in 2009.

His short films include Eyes to See (2010) and Crescendo (2011); Crescendo, whose executive producer was Patti Mallette (mother of Justin Bieber), raised millions of dollars for women and children in crisis pregnancy centers. He was producer in 2012 of the TV movie Mother Marianne: Portrait of a Saint.

Jones lives in Hawaii, with his wife and seven children.


John Zmirak is a Senior Editor of The Stream. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1986, then his M.F.A. in screenwriting and fiction and his Ph.D. in English in 1996 from Louisiana State University. His focus was the English Renaissance, and the novels of Walker Percy. He taught composition at LSU and screenwriting at Tulane University, and has written screenplays for and with director Ronald Maxwell (Gods & Generals and Gettysburg). He was elected alternate delegate to the 1996 Republican Convention, representing Pat Buchanan.

He has been Press Secretary to pro-life Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, and a reporter and editor at Success magazine and Investor’s Business Daily, among other publications. His essays, poems and other works have appeared in First Things, The Weekly Standard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, FrontPage Magazine, The American Conservative, The South Carolina Review, Modern Age, The Intercollegiate Review, Commonweal and The National Catholic Register, among other venues. He has contributed to American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought. From 2000-2004, he served as Senior Editor of Faith & Family magazine and a reporter at The National Catholic Register. During 2012, he was editor of Crisis.

He is author or co-author of six books, including Wilhelm Ropke: Swiss Localist, Global Economist, The Grand Inquisitor (graphic novel) and most recently, The Race to Save Our Century. He was editor of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s guide to higher education, Choosing the Right College and, for ten years, and is also editor of Disorientation: How to Go to College Without Losing Your Mind.

He is a native of New York City, but now resides in Dallas, Texas.