Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Thought 215: On Controlling Others & On Being a Victim


Psychologist B.F. Skinner apparently stated (I'm taking as my source for this a John Cleese anti 'political correctness' video) that those who lack control over their emotions and are prone to being hurt will attempt to control and censor the utterings of others [– such as by posting an anti 'political correctness' video on YouTube?]

Whether this is true or not is highly debatable but I will say this: the only legitimate, i.e. moral, form of control is self-control and attempting to control, i.e. place under one's egoic will-to-power, the thoughts, emotions and actions of others is a sure sign of un-enlightenment [– including in the form of the statement by Skinner, the video by Cleese and the post you're reading right now?]

P.S. The whole philosophy of not being a 'victim', of 'owning one's feelings', of 'agency' neglects the possibility that, in some if not many cases of trauma, injustice, suffering and abuse, much empowerment comes precisely from accepting that one indeed was a victim and not to blame or responsible for the cruelties others inflicted upon us, such as those poor souls who underwent child abuse or marital, institutional, societal and workplace predation and bullying. 

Put differently, seeing oneself as a 'victim' is not always an admission of defeat and being a 'weak' party but on the contrary the acceptance and coming to terms with reality, including the wrongdoings of others, typically narcissistic types, who, in their own very real weakness, never admit to being at fault or having intentionally caused harm to others, but instead blame those who, out of weak and essentially self-loathing will-to-power, they took a bite out of or others besides (see Who are the "Pussies"? and Power as Drug).