Unbecoming American: Don’t get me started

Where must we start? Every day, we start today

A disagreement or a criticism, before it turns into a fight, or a fight which might be reduced to a mere disagreement or criticism: Where we start or end is the frontier between phrases and fists. It really is that simple. The only way to prove any idea to be false is to kill everyone who holds it. At least that is certainly one of the more popular ways to resolve incoherence between verbal and non-verbal behaviour. My temperament at the end of the 18th calendar week was shaped considerably by the recognition that the disputes which dominate the public debate, gaols and battlefields, not to mention the queues of suffering, have been quite successfully reduced to exchanges between those armed with fighter-bombers, assault rifles, judges and police and those whose principal responses are restricted to hide and/ or die.

Perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments of government-sponsored universal literacy in the West has been to render large portions of the nominally educated incapable of reading and unwilling as well. By reading I do not mean merely the consumption of print or screen text on whatever mass media is chosen. I mean reading as an “auseinandersetzen“, a deliberate almost surgical attention to the body of language in use. Instead I find even media claiming to be critical obsequiously advising potential viewers, listeners, or readers of “potentially upsetting” content. I have heard that these are known as “trigger warnings”. Apparently in the world with which I am only tangentially involved has a series, perhaps malleable and innumerable, of words, images, and viewpoints that may not be publicly uttered. At the top end of the spectrum are the utterances deemed harmful because they could be “incitement”. Below that are those which suggest that the beliefs held by people real or imaginary, present or absent, are entitled to absolute protection regardless of content. An ambiguous class of “victims” has been created to satisfy the legal doctrines imposed by those in power– power they intend to preserve.

If I recall my school days with any veracity, then I cannot remember anyone who could object to criticism because it made the person “feel unsafe”. In fact the whole basis of any critique, whether it was of personal conduct or academic performance, presumed that critique would make the person criticised feel “unsafe” with her or his conduct or performance. The very notion of being “wrong” implies discomfort or at least a desire to improve or correct the behaviour criticised, which logically could not be more comfortable once one has been criticised. The insincerity is obvious. Since unpleasantness cannot be tolerated, except when suppressed by pharmaments, the only ones allowed to raise objections to anything are those who are themselves anaesthetised.

Conspicuously in the accumulating display of dissent among young people, mainly residing at universities, the students’ criticism is held to be a risk or violence against those who celebrate mass murder. This is a well established attitude with attendant repression. Almost all histories of the French Revolution of which I am aware treat the Bourbon monarch, his spouse and the estates that ruled France as victims of the Revolution. This is not an accident. Any ruling class prior to 1989 which had been deprived of its absolute power was held to be a victim, not a redundant, let alone, criminal perpetrator whose overthrow was an act of justice. After 1989 any government which could not be deposed by subterfuge and therefore was destroyed by force– either from air, land, or sea– was treated as justly punished once forces had accumulated sufficient to overthrow it. The citizens of the annexed GDR cannot claim to be victims of economic and political warfare, including bribery, election fraud, extortion, and other acts by the annexing agents which would ordinarily be subject to criminal prosecution. The citizens of Libya, since the savage murder and sodomising of their nation’s leader, are not victims of the forces who soiled the shores of Tripoli with bombs and blood.

This is not only a question of worthy vs. unworthy victims. It is a question far more serious: what is a victim in fact?

There was a time in the philosophical consideration of women’s rights when certain writers insisted that women were not victims. To call them victims was to deny their agency and far more importantly to deny the presence of institutional violence to which women (and other oppressed groups) were subjected. In essence a victim– this was the argument– was someone without power upon whom violence was exercised. Victimhood implied that the person was a mere object and suffered as if by act of god or nature. Instead by refusing to be treated or identified as a victim, real conflict was identified and the material exercise of excessive and unequal violence was made the focus of dispute.

Sadism and masochism rely on roles which are necessarily unequal with regard to the exercise of violence but not of force. The masochist plays the role of victim. The sadist plays the role of perpetrator. These two roles are dramatic complements. (It really is necessary to read de Sade’s Philosophy in the Bedroom- La philosophie dans le boudoir -1795 – to understand how important sado-masochism is for contemporary politic-economy.) The performance of either sadist or masochist fails without the illusion of the victim. Christianity itself is a cult of victimhood. Its historical complement is a cult of perpetration. Thus the Sado-Masochism at the core of Western culture is prefigured in the term “Judeo-Christian”.

The legal regime created and enforced since 1945 and continuously reiterated is one which privileges victimhood but not human equality. However the victim is not the tortured, the expropriated, the displaced, or murdered. The victim is the performer of the role of “victim” who controls the stage upon which millions are abused, robbed and slaughtered while being labelled “terrorists”. These “terrorists” are the men, women, and children who refuse to perform in the theatre run for the titillation of the death cult that claims mastery over the world. Naturally they are not terrorists nor are they victims. However it is their refusal to play their appointed role in this malicious theatre that leaves the perpetrators no other choice but to feign the function of the helpless in the face of the merciless and evil.

Tearing away the mask of victimhood and confronting the face of evil power are necessary steps to restoring a playing field upon which Old Etonians and their like can be put in their proper place.



In Solar Terms

Fruit of the Vine: Volume 1: An Intelligent Family,

Author’s book interview:

Dr. T.P. Wilkinson, aka Wei Santang discusses his two new books, “In Solar Terms” and “Fruit of the Vine”. China Rising Radio Sinoland 231215

Poems and articles on Dissident Voice:


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