torsdag 25 augusti 2011

Zoroastrian ethics and Self-victimization Part 2

I believe the trick is not to fight against nihilism but TO BUILD FROM nihilism.
I always describe myself as a post-nihilist. I don't deny anything in my past or in the history of the people of the culture where I come from. Neither do I embrace the past out of love or some emotional attachment to it, but rather I embrace the past in the spirit of the Nietzschean "amor fati", as an OBLIGATION, a duty, out of an ethical logic.
I have therefore really in its deepest sense CHOSEN Zoroastrianism.
So the question is not if you are a nihilist and how you arrived there but rather WHERE DO YOU GO NOW FROM THIS UNDENIABLE STARTING POSITION.
The hardest thing with a history of bullying is usually not the history itself and certainly not the scars (yes, they are overrated and usually more a source of enjoyment more than anything else) but the fact that THE ORIGIN OF THE BULLYING REMAINS. The very reason why a person becomes a social outcast are still there (such as the odd personality type or the incapacity to read and understand social codes etc). This fosters hatred which according to Zarathushhtra causes a deep self-hatred too.
In this sense, the feeling of being an outsider is not a thing of the past but very real in the here and now and quite likely in the future too. Dealing with this in small step by steps is then the only way forward. But why should everybody be a social expert? We people need each other and being a social expert is just one of many talents where we humans can COMPLEMENT each other rather than compete with each other as we are fostered to think these days.

2011/8/24 Special Kain

Perhaps this has nothing to do here, but the reason why I'd love to discuss this issue is indeed rather personal.
I was exposed to bullying and peer victimization at school and this is why I'm having a hard time developing a constructive and AFFIRMATIVE attitude. I refuse to use the terms "emotionally screwed" or "emotionally scarred", because I don't want to go emo. But there's a persistent nihilistic twist to my attitude.
They say that when you're going through hell, keep going. And we can get a really compelling thrill from being a victim.


Von: Alexander Bard
Gesendet: 9:20 Mittwoch, 24.August 2011
Betreff: [Ushta] Zoroastrian ethics and self-victimization

Well, two things:

1. Self-victimization is never good in itself for the person concerned. Even the victims of horrific crimes like the Holocaust did much much better after being freed when REFUSING TO ACCEPT VICTIMHOOD which I believe should be seen as an ethical conscious act rather than as some kind of emotional issue. Films and books like "Sophie's Choice" have elaborated on this issue extensively. So did the philosopher Hannah Arendt.

2. Still, there is victimization that is relevant and has to be dealt with. There is then an enormous difference between the SOUGHT self-victimization which begins with an INNER URGE to find an EXCUSE for being destructive on the one hand and LEGITIMATE victimization (such as a bullied child in Sweden or a starving child in Somalia). We need to make a clear distinction between the two. The first should not be encouraged at all and even ridiculed. The second kind should result in POLITICAL ACTIVISM as its proper ethical response. The best response for example to famine in Somalia is not to give money to aid organisations but to engage in the democratization and political reforms movement of the area in question. Think long term REMOVAL of victimhood.

3. Rule of thumb: NEVER vicitmize somebody unless they have asked for it and their claims are legitimate. It is degrading to declare somebody a victim against their wishes, and it is CONSERVING always to declare somebody a victim even if legitimate. We can take people to court and judge them as perpetrators without making the victims concerned victims for ever. The longer you stay a victim (wth no alternative identity) the worse it is.


2011/8/23 Special Kain

Dear brothers and sisters

I would like to discuss the issue of self-victimization. Some play victims in order to attract other people's attention and gain power over them (also known as "psychic vampires"), others have been victimized and are stuck in a vicious cycle (the long-term consequences of school bullying and peer victimization).
I would especially love to hear Alexander's words on this issue, since he has properly addressed it in interviews and postings before.


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