Resentment and a World Both More and Less Christian

Thomas Bertonneau’s last posting mentioned that René Girard states that the West is becoming simultaneously more Christian and less Christian. The liberal West has become hyper-aware of the possibility of scapegoating; of picking en masse on an innocent victim. But at the same time the anti-scapegoating message of Christ’s death – making us aware of the ways victims are killed to stop intra-group violence – is missed by the liberal if the victim seems to fall within the class of “persecutor.”

Girard notes in Violence and the Sacred that there are two traditional classes of victim. What one might call the upper and the lower. The lower include all the dispossessed; the POW, the slave, the handicapped, the foreigner; preferably, someone with no family to retaliate when the person is killed. In this manner, the West is more Christian. But the other class of victim found in probably all cultures is the upper; the king or his equivalent social position. When things go wrong, it seems logical to blame the person in charge even if in fact he is innocent. The king is already socially isolated because of his position. The king is exposed and can easily become the minus one against the unity of the mob.

The Christianized West has become aware and solicitous of the lower victims. We pass laws protecting the handicapped and “the weaker sex.” But the West is blind to its tendency to scapegoat anyone belonging to the class of supposed persecutors. It scapegoats with a clear conscience as unaware as any primitive scapegoaters of what they are doing. At times the liberal West makes the same mistake as Nietzsche. It imagines that single victims, the 1%, is the strong, the persecutor, and side with the mob against the few.

As Dr. Bertonneau points out, the Occupy movement, with its social justice warriors, is the 99% against the 1%. This is classic scapegoating, unanimity minus one, but the scapegoaters remain convinced of their righteousness because they see the 1% as being the persecutors and remain oblivious of their own role as persecutors. One even gets the notion at times that, for instance, black people cannot be racist. Thus the class of persecuting scapegoaters grows larger as the SJWs look for more victims who they think are scapegoaters. The world becomes less Christian.

Driving the hatred of the 1% is mimetic rivalry and resentment. The SJW would like to be the 1%. The 99% want the money and power of the 1% to be taken away and given to them, which raises the question – do you love the 1% so much that you would like to be them or do you hate them? In the dynamic that Girard found uncovered in the nineteenth century novelists, our desire to possess the being of the resented person is frustrated; our love for their seeming superiority and their imagined god-like remove from the normal vicissitudes of life makes us hate them in our resentment at not being them. The Other appears to simultaneously open the door to paradise and shuts it in our face because their being appears desirable, but since they are already what we desire we cannot be them.

At this point in time, the West is ‘the strong’ economically and militarily. China is becoming its rival, but the West remains preeminent. In searching for its next victim the SJW, the liberal, finds itself to reside among the upper, the top, the class of supposed persecutors who are its favorite victim. Unaware that kings are among the traditional class of victims they look towards their own culture to persecute it as evil. Though the age of colonizing and empire is behind it, the self-hating liberal can find plenty of evidence of Western wrongdoing to justify its scapegoating attack and retain his clear conscience.

The designated victim class is the pharmakos.

“Even in fifth century Greece ─ the Athens of the great tragedians ─ human sacrifice had not, it seems, completely disappeared. The practice was perpetuated in the form of the pharmakos, maintained by the city at its own expense and slaughtered at the appointed festivals as well as at a moment of civic disaster.” (Girard, Violence and the Sacred, p. 9)

One is deemed a persecutor by the liberal through simple class membership, thus becoming part of the pharmakos.

The scapegoating SJW does not seem to realize that he is attempting to rid the world of people like himself. In a related fashion, feminism in the 1990s brought hatred of men, since men belong to the class of “the strong,” the non-victim and hence the persecutor, to such a fever pitch that men were slandered as pedophiles and rapists – if not actual pedophiles and rapists, potential pedophiles and rapists. Daycare centers were besieged by witch hunts and it took years to prove the charges groundless. Millions of children’s lives were damaged by pedophile paranoia because the children were no longer permitted to play unsupervised or even in many cases to walk to school. Many psychotherapists encouraged their patients suffering from depression and anxiety to attribute the cause to repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse by their fathers.

Feminism attacked men as the persecutors involved in patriarchal society, the very society of which the feminists were a product and participant. The attack necessarily is directed against their own husbands, fathers and male children. All things male are seen as evil. Women were to bond together in their shared hatred of men – the 51% versus the 49%.

On a ceiling of a civic building in Cincinnati, one of the virtues listed is “Manliness.” One can see how far the culture has moved when such a word is anachronistic and politically incorrect, at least as a virtue instead of a vice.

Feminists attacked men and maleness as patriarchal and the source of all evil; forgetting the male role of savior and expendable cannon fodder. But the goal of feminism was to requisition supposed male privilege for themselves. It was resentment of the imagined social and metaphysical privilege of the male; love/hate. I hate you. I want to be you. I want to go to work and stride around looking impressive; to be a leader and a high-powered executive. I want to be all the things I say I hate about you. I want your imagined power. I want to exchange my social, economic and metaphysical status; my being, for yours.

Why? The desire to want to be someone else, to possess their being, is rooted in self-hatred. Militant feminists tend to hate femininity – the passive, receptive, empathetic, nurturing, compassionate, soft, unresisting, emotional and intuitive. These tend to belong to the traditional role of the mother; the one many feminists want to replace with the working woman. Some feminists saw stay-at-home moms as class traitors, doing nothing to “further the cause.”

Especially in the 1980s one encountered the butch lesbian feminist, aping the most extreme mannerisms of the super-macho male, while writing plays having to do with castrating males and the like.

One ends up with the vilified class of supposed patriarchal persecutors, though women belong to the same social and economic classes as men, sharing the ill-gotten gains of the husbands and fathers, and the women trying to usurp the male role and economic position. Feminists invented the myth of pervasive misogyny when in fact they are misogynists who are vilifying all the traditionally feminine characteristics. THEY reject the feminine, despite the name “feminist,” and imagine that men share this rejection and their own self-hatred, when most men do not.

If one has ever lived in an all-male environment, such as boarding school, the presence of the feminine, the soft, the nurturing is likely to be sorely missed. A world of only male characteristics is a particularly harsh one. Perhaps ancient Sparta would be an example with even the women being encouraged to adopt the tough attitudes of the men, with the famous command of a mother to her son to come back victorious or on the back of his shield.

One gets modern fictional portrayals of men in the past behaving rudely and demeaningly towards women, for instance, at times on Mad Men. They tend to amount, again, to a kind of slander against all men. The notion that my own father or grandfather ever acted in this way towards women is ridiculous. If you had ever met them, you would know it to be entirely out of character.

What is hated in men is their masculinity and no one “does” masculinity quite as well as men do. But it is precisely these masculine qualities which are coveted by many types of feminist while they hate their own nature. They seek to destroy the patriarchy but reject any feminine alternative. Hence, one ends up with a total nihilism. Feminists seek to become what they resent and hate, which they can never do and certainly never as well as men do it, while rejecting their own feminine nature. This dual hatred of the feminine and the masculine seems incomprehensible unless one understands the dynamic of resentment.

Feminism shares the urge for self-hatred and self-destruction with the liberal SJW. Neither are left with any place to stand. They reject their own past and their own (patriarchal) culture as belonging to the persecutors and go ahead and persecute it, bonding together in shared hatred, trying to bond in unanimity minus one against their own cultural parent – except there is an umbilical cord still connecting them to this parent; and they have no other.

27 thoughts on “Resentment and a World Both More and Less Christian

  1. Pingback: Resentment and a World Both More and Less Christian | Neoreactive

  2. While I acknowledge the interesting quality of Girard’s work, I’m afraid that I’ve yet to understand just why precisely–from a relatively disinterested political theoretical standpoint–we should want to prevent communal violence. In certain respects, my own position is that it would be highly desirable to initiate or to intensify such violence. After all, violence by no means threatens the human race as such, only discrete subgroups thereof. If in all the history of humankind this communal violence hasn’t destroyed the human race thus far–and, in fact, we find ourselves today at a peak level of human population–then it seems certain that “intra-human” violence cannot harm, let alone destroy, the human race in toto. On the other hand–and it’s a long story, longer than I have time to argue for right now, though I suspect everyone here can conduct the argument for themselves–I can’t help but think that the end to violence and “scapegoating” might harm or even destroy the human race in an _essential_ sense. And if I’m right about that, then whatever “scapegoating” yet persists in the decaying USA–even if it targets all the wrong people, according to my gospel–may be one of the very few signs of life and vitality that remain.

    • @ Wade. Thanks for reading. Scapegoating is unjust and thus evil. It involves the killing of an innocent individual at the hands of a bloodthirsty mob. The recognition of the truth of fairness exists even in some furry little animals. Over-population is potentially a problem, if that is what you have in mind, but once you give up on the notion of fairness, then death-camps would be as good a solution as any – they are only evil because of the murder of innocents. Even Girard acknowledges that with the end of the effectiveness of many forms of scapegoating humanity may be unable to manage its tendency towards violence since the age-old mechanism by which resolution was possible is no longer available. The cultural suicide of the SJW has no redeeming features other than a misplaced compassion in my eyes and is certainly not a sign of vitality – more the death throes of a culture.

  3. Wonderful post. I have to make a bigger effort with Girard. You say that the liberal attempts to rid the world of people like himself and, of course, he exempts himself. Why doesn’t the common man pick up on this and all the rest of the overt hypocrisies? Witness Hillary with her spectacular hypocrisies in plain sight. Is this sort of popular indulgence a feature of the ‘Girard crisis’ after it has reached a certain stage of intensity?

    A little anecdote: Earlier this year, an elderly rancher, who was one of the protesters out in Wyoming over cattle grazing on federal land, got off topic and said that he’d rather be a honest and a slave than free but immoral. He was given the full media treatment with the President taking time in the Rose Garden to label him ‘ignorant’ even the the old man’s statement was pure Gospel and pure Plato. Cue Yeats.

    I suspect that the liberal elite will be able to put out a strong effort at creating something like a ‘ruling gender’ and a ‘commoner gender’ — or perhaps ‘commoner genders’ — with the former possessing that indispensable maleness which is to say that the rulers will all be ‘men’. It seems to me that something like that is where the logic is going and I do think the elite have the power to at least push things in that direction.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Stephen. The elderly rancher sounds thoroughly admirable. You ask “Why doesn’t the common man pick up on this and all the rest of the overt hypocrisies?”

      I have to admit that some of the crazier aspects of liberalism are only becoming clear to me now, such as the one I have mentioned in a previous post, that the liberal thinks that literally any other culture on Earth should in principle be defended, but not our own under any circumstances. No amount of bombing or collaboration by resident immigrants in terrorist attacks, nor any amount of cultural conflict arising from incompatible immigrant groups will make the liberal cry uncle. I can see how the pieces fit together now, but until my discussion with one particular interlocutor, I hadn’t realized that anyone would go that far.

      Maybe I’m below average intelligence, but if I’m not, it would mean that if I’m only figuring out some of the more far reaching and contradictory aspects of liberalism, then many liberals never will – especially since they have no motive to question their own group allegiance, especially as political correctness stifles and in some cases punishes dissent. Professional feminists continue to hate men AND aspire to be all the things men are. For me it took reading Girard to understand that this is how resentment works. We hate and resent the thing we are not but want to be. We wouldn’t hate them if we didn’t also love them. I tell my students it’s related to sour grapes. You ask someone out. They say no. You say – “Oh, well, I never liked them anyway.” This is patently false since you asked them out! I’m presuming most women studies professors reach retirement while never getting one iota closer to understanding their own contradiction. To the outsider, the craziness of hating and deriding the feminine AND the masculine, with there being no third choice is obvious. However, I’ve only just realized WHY feminists find themselves in this position.

  4. “At times the liberal West makes the same mistake as Nietzsche. It imagines that single victims, the 1%, is the strong, the persecutor, and side with the mob against the few.”

    This statement seems to actually vindicate Nietszche’s ideas, especially that of ressentiment. The Left and their motley crew of degenerates and deviants seem to base their entire political worldview around that one sentiment.

    What we’re seeing is the transvaluation of values ala Nietszche. All sorts of weaknesses are seen as moral strengths when the harsh reality is that weakness is weakness, which is a vice and not a moral virtue unlike strength, which is a virtue. This is done to overcompensate for the aforementioned ressentiment .

    • @ Svar: re: maybe 1% of us are the strong, but presumably the strong are not also the persecutors. Or are you following Callicles in the Gorgias in saying that the strong deserve to steal from the weak following the law of nature? And that laws against stealing are an unjust suppression of the law of nature? Socrates points out that when it comes to stealing, the many are stronger than the few and can easily take all their property. Thus laws are in fact made by the strong. If might makes right, the many win. That puts Callicles in the incoherent position of arguing that the strong need to be protected from the weak. Strong in this context just means the ability to oppress in which case who Callicles is calling the weak are in fact the strong.

      I find Nietzsche a little annoying in that he writes as though his arguments in this regard hadn’t already been rehearsed by Plato’s Callicles and Thrasymachus and as though Socrates hadn’t thoroughly refuted those same arguments thousands of years ago.

      • I find Nietszche, to be as the cliche says, a most interesting madman. He was the original edgelord.

        You could say that my beliefs are more like that of Max Scheler than that of a pure Nietszchean. That being said, I firmly believe that if we stopped showing any mercy to the unsavory elements within our nation as a national collective, we would be better off. I suppose the only thing stopping us would be the extreme slave morality as espoused by Cultural Marxism, which takes the Christian flow of love from the strong towards the weak and directs it towards the deviant, degenerate, and even dangerous.

        It’s one thing to care about the poor, the farmers, the disabled, POWs, women, children, workers and people just down on their luck and it’s another thing entirely to care about child-molesting homosexuals or gang-raping Muslims.

        We need a collective national will to power to take the helm of this country and remove the treacherous and treasonous elements that are sucking us dry. We went from putting men on the moon to becoming the laughing stock of the world. That is obviously not a natural state of affairs (or maybe it is, says the Spenglerite within me).

  5. The feminist dilemma is one of being neither fish nor fowl. They will never achieve the masculine greatness they obviously covet nor the feminine greatness they scorn.

    • Svar: “The feminist dilemma is one of being neither fish nor fowl. They will never achieve the masculine greatness they obviously covet nor the feminine greatness they scorn.”

      That sums it up. Evidence of resentful self-hatred includes actresses who want to be called actors and waitresses who want to be servers, even heroines who want to be heroes. Who in their right mind thinks there is something inherently superior about being an actor as opposed to an actress? Theater and film would be pretty boring if either one were excluded. It is not as though we idolize waiters but despise waitresses. Every time I hear an actress call herself an actor I take it as evidence that she hates herself; the strangest misogyny. She invents a non-existent hierarchy and then promotes herself revealing what she really thinks about women.

  6. “At times the liberal West makes the same mistake as Nietzsche. It imagines that single victims, the 1%, is the strong, the persecutor, and side with the mob against the few.”

    What it really seems like is that Nietszche is completely right regarding this sort of thing. These SJW leftists (and other Cultural Bolsheviks) base their entire worldview in ressentiment and try to overcompensate for their hostility for feeling inferior by engaging in the transvaluation of values and taking obvious moral weaknesses and trying to twist them into moral virtue.

  7. It should be surprising that the West is more and less Christian since Cultural Marxism, while based in the insidious mixture of Freudianism and Marxism has latched on to taking certain Christian values and running amok with them while jettisoning the entire Christian worldview and framework.

    It’s basically a Christian heresy and a Gnostic one at that. The SJW/Cultural Marxist utopia has as much chance of existing as the Gnostic’s Plane of Light.

    • @ Svar: “Marxism has latched on to taking certain Christian values and running amok with them while jettisoning the entire Christian worldview and framework”

      That is also my diagnosis. Marx claims to categorically reject religion but when he tries to fill the vacuum with his own set of values, he can’t find anything better than Christian values of compassion. He then ruins this compassion by making it a state-run compulsion, taking free will out of the equation. If I don’t have any choice but to be ‘good,’ i.e., charitable, I never even get the opportunity to be good since giving at gunpoint is not morally praiseworthy at all.

  8. Your analysis of the culture of envy that is modern feminism is very much to the point. However, there have been bluestockings around for many a year (look at the shambles that was the Godwin-Wollstonecraft household) and I suspect that the drivers of their ideology have been little different.

    The peculiarity of modern feminism is that the class of femmes futile that derives what they see as advantages from the feminist ascendency, has managed to persuade the overwhelming majority of contemporary women to embrace their ideology. They have dangled the forbidden fruit of “choice” before their “sisters,” and those sisters have gorged on it. For “choice” promises a life without consequences or commitments, and among the choices is marriage, eventually, and a modest, planet-preserving, number of children.

    An essential element of this is that a majority of eligible women do _not_ take up the option of a full-time career; that is, that a majority of women eventually revert to type. As a result, those women who are noisily demanding affirmative action and quotas are actually demanding grossly unjust favouritism for themselves and their coterie.

    It’s not as though they don’t understand this, for at the same time, they assert their role as protectors of the majority of “little women.” So while they hate femininity in _themselves_, they demand and cultivate it in women in general: they simply want feminine dependency transferred to them. Hence the ban on clinical depictions of the reality of abortion procedures. Hence the hatred of laws requiring mothers to view an ultrasound of their baby in the womb before having an abortion.

    Which brings me to the subject of the weak and the strong. Since Roe v Wade, around 50 million potential citizens of the US have been slaughtered in their mothers’ wombs, by their mothers. A similar situation applies across the Western world, and much of the developing world, though under a different rationale for the latter. While I realise that, as far as those mothers are concerned, these ex-babies were never human, and so do not factor readily into the model you have presented, this wild abandonment of morality and femininity has been maintained in place by the political power of women, whose mythologies have been considered, and have proven, untouchable. It represents the major political triumph, and the utter moral degradation, of Western womanhood.

    • listsp — If you don’t put a rooster in the henhouse, the hens will be nervous and won’t lay many eggs. Put a good rooster in there and calm returns. I put it to you that Obama is the rooster to all the single moms and I offer it as a bit of hope that Hillary won’t cut it as a rooster although she looks like one at times. Extending the metaphor, I also put it to you that there would be little more to add if you just said that a feminist is basically a hen without a rooster.

      Not to interrupt the point of your post, abortion is indeed serious business.

  9. Pingback: Resentment and a World Both More and Less Christian | Reaction Times

  10. But are we not in our resentment of liberals repeating the same cycle? They seem to have momentum and the upper hand in Western culture, and are we not envious and resentful of that? Is there any space where we can hover above this cycle and not be part of it it?

    • I don’t have resentment towards Cultural Marxists nor do I hate them. I have contempt for them and I have the same feelings towards them I would have towards a parasitic tapeworm: I want them out immediately.

      “They seem to have momentum and the upper hand in Western culture, and are we not envious and resentful of that?”

      We can’t envy what is rightfully ours, they are usurpers and there is nothing wrong with taking back what is yours.

      And their power is receding fast. Their hatred of a stable order has prevented them from wielding power as effectively as they’d like to.

      “Is there any space where we can hover above this cycle and not be part of it it?”

      No. You either win or you lose. There is no other option. “Hovering”, running away, et al are all forms of losing.

      We don’t know if this is a natural Spenglerian cycle or a purposeful subversion. If it’s the former, than no, we can never not be a part of the cycle the same way we can’t never not be a part of the natural world and if it’s the latter, yes, we don’t have to be a part of the cycle since there is no cycle to be apart of.

      The first step towards victory is the will to win.

    • @ jerry t lawler: “But are we not in our resentment of liberals repeating the same cycle?” To the extent that we bond together in our shared dislike of liberals we are indeed participating in scapegoating. I take your point seriously and am aware of it. Since liberals evince hatred of Western culture, as opposed to abstract principles like ‘tolerance’ that are not a culture, there is a need to point out their defects and the inevitable results of their actions.

  11. “Thomas Bertonneau’s last posting mentioned that René Girard states that the West is becoming simultaneously more Christian and less Christian”

    Only if you equate Christianity with the scapegoating mechanism. If you don’t have such impoverished concept of Christianity, it is obvious that the West is becoming less Christian

    • @ imnobody00 – “Only if you equate Christianity with the scapegoating mechanism.” Correct. The world is becoming more Christian only in this limited sense. I share your feeling that Christianity has more to it.

  12. Suppose for a second that the events of the 20th Century had not occurred. Would Jews experience the scorn of the new left? Their ‘privilege’ is so blatant you cannot help but notice it, yet the perpetual victim status they have managed to milk allows this to pass totally unnoticed. This seems to be an ingenious method to avoid being scapegoated in the future, just have something horrible done to you.

    • Because the Jew qua Jew is the archetype anti-Supremacist and thus enjoys “eternal” gratitude in the minds of all subsequent anti-Supremacists. This will never change until “The Chosen Ones” convert.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.