Don’t blame the Low Man on the scapegoat

August 19, 2017 § 16 Comments

Human beings like to have explanations for why things don’t go the way they think things ought to go, and this sometimes manifests itself as scapegoating.  A scapegoat is an innocent victim who absorbs the blame for things being the way they are, even though the scapegoat is not in fact the reason for the way things are.

The Low Man, in contrast, is a person or group of people who in fact do interfere with a particular faction of liberalism’s understanding of how things ought to be, and thus must be absorbed or destroyed.  Unborn children in fact do interfere with the emancipated enfranchised feminist life plan, etc.

The concept of scapegoating is a popular explanatory trope in tradition-leaning blogs and publications, but it seems to me that it most often obscures the underlying reality rather than illuminating it.  The perception that SJW tranny freaks have of traditionalists standing in the way of their vision of the world is accurate.  They are absolutely correct that metaphysical realists and the reality in which we believe obstruct their vision of a free and equal new man, self created through reason and will, occupying a neutral and tolerant public square emancipated politically from the conflicts of tradition, nature, religion, class, etc.

SJW’s are not scapegoating metaphysical realists and the reality in which we believe. Those things in fact do stand in the way of their incoherent modernist hopes and dreams.

Dismissing leftists and SJWs and the like as scapegoaters is therefore a mistake, a mistake which obscures our ability to gain a dispassionate grasp of what they sincerely believe and how they sincerely perceive themselves.  And scapegoating theories ironically produce enough obscurity to enable right liberals to cling to their own incoherent defenses of political freedom, thus ensuring the perpetuation of liberalism.

§ 16 Responses to Don’t blame the Low Man on the scapegoat

  • Wood says:

    This was very helpful, Zippy. I had almost replied over there that right-liberals also play the scapegoat game. Usually treating immorality as the reason why political liberty has failed. This helped straighten out my thinking a bit.

  • CJ says:

    I think you’re onto something, but there is a sense in which I think “scapegoating” makes sense. Even if traditionalists were banished to the outer darkneess such that they could never influence society, Nature and her God would still frustrate the designs of SJW nuts.

    So while trads are in their way, we aren’t the *real* problem, which is that they can’t bend reality to their will.

  • Ian says:

    Yeah, I second Wood: this is a helpful post, so thanks. I had sensed that the scapegoating theme that some on the right support was off-base somehow, but I’m not sure I would have been able to articulate why.

  • Zippy says:

    Explaining away as scapegoating has ironically become, in many cases, a pat explanation which enables us to ignore the uncomfortable reality.

  • Scott W. says:

    So while trads are in their way, we aren’t the *real* problem, which is that they can’t bend reality to their will.

    Which is why SJWs don’t like it when I point out that in the most “enlightened” European countries, the suicide rates among homosexuals is still through the roof. The idea that the behavior is gravely and inherently shameful is a forbidden and activates their Crimestop ICE programs.

  • Josh says:

    Would you agree that it is scapegoating to, say, blame traditionalists for the high suicide rate among homosexualists and trannies or to blame men for the fact that women on average earn less money or to blame whites for black criminality since they actually do get the causation wrong?

  • T. Morris says:

    Josh, *I* wouldn’t say that. Although I have been told I certainly ought to say it.

    If I notice that Jews are disproportionately represented in academia and so forth, I am told that to notice this and to come out against it is “scapegoating.” I am furthermore told that the reason it is “scapegoating” is because the bulk of society goes along with it. So everyone is culpable.

    The problem here is that I cannot say anything bad about Jews because Jews are just people, and people are just, well, mucked up. True enough, but I still wonder why Jews are over-represented in all the “American” revolutionary movements, and why they were so under the old Weimar Republic, et al. Might there be a connection? I am not allowed to notice it if there is.

  • Zippy says:

    Josh:

    This post was in part a response to Richard Cocks’s contention on the Orthosphere that “In fact, [SJW’s] entire philosophy consists of scapegoating” and similar statements made from time to time by folks who take the mantle “traditionalist”.

    This kind of reductive statement obscures rather than revealing what motivates SJW’s — which is certainly in large part a sincere commitment to (their own conception of) the requirements entailed by political freedom and concomitant equal rights. A reductive “they are just scapegoating” statement hides crucial aspects of reality from the right liberal committed to the scapegoating theory, enabling him to rationalize his own continued commitment to the doctrine of political freedom.

    It is important not to be too reductive-to-scapegoat even in the cases you mention, and it is crucial to distinguish between causal contribution and moral blameworthiness .

    Sexual degenerates are, I am quite sure, despondent over the persistent witness implied by the ongoing existence of non-perverts. We can’t really test their suicide rate in a reality in which all non-perverts have been exterminated, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to conclude that the existence of non-perverts makes some contribution to their depression and suicidality in the actual world.

    Feminists are impeded in their ambitions by the greater ambitions and authority of men, among other things. Whites do, by their visible populousness among the materially successful, create the conditions for envy among many blacks; and envy certainly is one driver of crime. Etc.

    It is of course important not to take any of those statements reductively either. But scapegoating as a be-all end-all explanation for enmity toward Christianity is just obvious balderdash.

    Christianity stands for the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, against the gates of Hell. Of course it has real enemies. Of course blood, sword, and cross stand in the way of the demonic. They are not wrong to see their own utter defeat at the hands of our King.

    The basic issue isn’t who causally impedes who. The basic issue is who is in the right and who is in the wrong. Their accusations against us morally are wrong; but their perception that we stand in their path could not be more accurate.

  • “In fact, [SJW’s] entire philosophy consists of scapegoating”

    I think this has some validity to it in the sense of what I would call blame casting. People sin and they feel bad and the reason why they feel bad cannot possibly be sin, so it must be caused by society’s response to sin. Rather than seeking forgiveness and grace, they must now redefine the very definition of sin,and transfer all the wrong doing over to the evil ones who made them feel bad.

    I think I understand Zippy’s greater point, however. A scapegoat is an innocent, whereas a low man’s very existence contributes to someone’s discomfort? Contributing to someone’s discomfort, being a stumbling block to a secular agenda, is not necessarily sin, in fact, it can be sin not to be one.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a tendency to want to protect people from the consequences of their own actions instead of simply accepting the innate morality and justice of the situation.

  • William Luse says:

    The Low Man, in contrast, is a person or group of people who in fact do interfere with a particular faction of liberalism’s understanding of how things ought to be

    I hope I’m not willfully misreading you, but I think you might make it clearer that a victim does not forfeit his innocence just because he is in fact interfering with liberalism’s alternate reality.

    Whites do, by their visible populousness among the materially successful, create the conditions for envy among many blacks

    I suspect that envy is at the heart of the scapegoating phenomenon, and ought to be used in its stead. Scapegoating’s not listed among the deadly sins, so something else drives it.

  • Zippy says:

    Bill:

    … but I think you might make it clearer that a victim does not forfeit his innocence just because he is in fact interfering with liberalism’s alternate reality.

    I’ve always taken that as a given feature of the Low Man: causal obstruction of the goals of (the particular faction of) liberalism without implying any moral wrong on his part. That is certainly and directly implied by the unborn child’s Low Man status, and in my reply to Josh I emphasized:

    … it is crucial to distinguish between causal contribution and moral blameworthiness .

    In my mind at least a scapegoat is neither the actual cause of nor is he morally culpable for (which would require him to be the actual cause of) the perceived wrong or evil for which he is sacrificed to atone. A scapegoat is someone (or some goat) dragged off the street, blamed, and punished for something with which he literally had nothing to do (the volcano erupting or whatever).

    It is good to clarify the semantics, to be sure.

    But however we hash these semantics out I think the suggestion that scapegoat theory obfuscates as much as it reveals, and probably often obfuscates much more critical things than it reveals, is something that ought to be given due consideration.

    I suspect that envy is at the heart of the scapegoating phenomenon…

    I don’t think the natives sacrificing the goat envy the goat. I think they see the goat as the cause of bad things, not as possessor of goods which they envy.

  • William Luse says:

    “A scapegoat is someone (or some goat) dragged off the street, blamed, and punished for something with which he literally had nothing to do (the volcano erupting or whatever)”…”I don’t think the natives sacrificing the goat envy the goat.”

    Of course not, in the restricted sense you use it (and which in all probability is the original sense). It might indeed be better to restrict it in that way, for in the Girardian thesis it is a broader phenomenon. If you’ll remember this old post of mine, I try to make the case in that broader sense, probably the sense in which Josh was using it.

    It is true that if a term is used to cover too much territory it begins to be thrown about with abandon and loses its force and thus its power to persuade. In defense of the broader use, I would offer the case of Christ Himself, which is complicated enough to cover both uses of the term.

    In any case, scapegoating is just another term for persecution of the innocent. One thing the two uses (the broader and the narrower) have in common is that the victim is blamed on false grounds, so I have trouble seeing how this obstructs your basic desire to discover “who is in the right and who is in the wrong.” I did take note at first reading of your response to Josh that ” it is crucial to distinguish between causal contribution and moral blameworthiness,” but I guess what confuses me is that there is no moral blameworthiness in either case. The sexual anarchists of course try to cast moral blame upon the traditionally moral, white Christian male (there’s not a much lower thing you can be these days) who indeed stands in their way, but this is no more just than the blame cast upon the poor fellow who “literally had nothing to do with the volcano erupting.”

    Nevertheless, I agree with your objection to Mr. Cocks’s use of the term. It amounts to saying that the SJW philosophy is nothing but scapegoating, and things are never so simple. As I read your first comment to him, I thought, “Zippy, your logic is not usually so…disjointed,” until I realized what he was doing, and it really pissed me off. Probably more than it did you. You were being treated like a troll, and I don’t for a second think that “Skippy” was an accident.

  • Zippy says:

    Bill:

    Nevertheless, I agree with your objection to Mr. Cocks’s use of the term. It amounts to saying that the SJW philosophy is nothing but scapegoating, and things are never so simple.

    Scapegoating in the very broad sense is going to be an outcome of any political philosophy which is in conflict with reality. But folks may notice that I never say “mass murder is a core part of liberal political philosophy.” Liberalism frequently leads (sometimes quite directly) to mass murder when it crashes into reality, but it would be a mistake to say that liberalism is a philosophy of mass murder: that would be putting the cart before the horse.

    “Bad people blame the innocent” is a common enough phenomenon, but it is an outcome of disparate things not an explanatory locus for how things get to that point in the first place.

    The scapegoat qua practice is a way of avoiding self reflection, of avoiding truthful assignment of both cause and blame. And ironically, scapegoating-as-explanation often serves the same role.

  • LarryDickson says:

    There is one case where they are in fact scapegoating, and it is very common. When their anti-natural approach to life fails, they claim it fails because of opposition by realists. That is scapegoating and completely untrue – it falls of its own weight, independently of whether someone speaks up in opposition. But it supports their Stalinist campaign to silence all opposition.

  • Zippy says:

    LarryDickson:

    When their anti-natural approach to life fails, they claim it fails because of opposition by realists. That is scapegoating and completely untrue…

    If that were the case simply then the opposition of good men to their schemes would be pointless. If the opposition of good men to their schemes is not pointless then they are not scapegoating simply: their failure is due both to the flaws in their ambitions and to the opposition of good men.

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