Signaling virtuous victimhood as indicators of Dark Triad personalities

We investigate the consequences and predictors of emitting signals of victimhood and virtue. In our first three studies, we show that the virtuous victim signal can facilitate nonreciprocal resource transfer from others to the signaler. Next, we develop and validate a victim signaling scale that we combine with an established measure of virtue signaling to operationalize the virtuous victim construct. We show that individuals with Dark Triad traits—Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopathy—more frequently signal virtuous victimhood, controlling for demographic and socioeconomic variables that are commonly associated with victimization in Western societies. In Study 5, we show that a specific dimension of Machiavellianism—amoral manipulation—and a form of narcissism that reflects a person’s belief in their superior prosociality predict more frequent virtuous victim signaling. Studies 3, 4, and 6 test our hypothesis that the frequency of emitting virtuous victim signal predicts a person’s willingness to engage in and endorse ethically questionable behaviors, such as lying to earn a bonus, intention to purchase counterfeit products and moral judgments of counterfeiters, and making exaggerated claims about being harmed in an organizational context.

That is a new paper by E. Ok,, via a loyal MR reader.  Here are various versions of the paper.


Whose exclamations of virtuous victimhood are a daily part of his White House routine.

Hey now, tell that to Jeffrey Tucker and his racist frat boy brigade at #AIER.

another day another karen refuses to wear a mask
behaves like a toddler squatting on ground
claims constitutional right to shop at costco

karens have triad and victimhood

If you think the president is bad, you should try his opponents on for size. Lol....

Come, come, only the most mealy-mouthed could describe Hillary as amoral.

She plays about as much a role in American politics as George Bush these days - not the dead one, the other one who no longer is in serious contention for worst president in American history.

It is funny and sad. Hillary is a comic book villain that must be inflated to a greater evil with every Trump misdeed.

They can't quit her for that reason.

Now the interesting thing is, if the Republicans really wanted to get their heads on straight, they would find themselves another George Herbert Walker Bush.

Why not a really smart guy with a lot of experience and not terrible moral impulses?

Or maybe we are so far down the dark road of ruin that you have to be "a progressive" to like George Herbert Walker Bush, or anyone like him.

Huh? Iraq War 1.0, Iran-Contra?

Don't those emphasize my point?

The first Iraq invasion demonstrated American superiority and left behind regional stability.

It was brilliant.

It is also important to note that it was a forced move.

I don't believe that Saddam was suckered, I think he misread the situation and made a bad gamble.

And then the first Bush had to make a decision about letting the invasion of Kuwait stand.

Well, he and a genuine coalition.

Is this the Boomer revisionist history? How fascinatingly bizarre. Anyways, back in the real world.....

American troops on "holy soil" in Saudi Arabia in 1991 was the casus belli for Al Qaeda against the United States. It took ten years, but they finally succeeded in their revenge plot with 9/11, and of course that entire chain of stupidity and malice that resulted in tens or hundreds of thousands of dead depending on whose estimates you prefer.

And then the first Bush had to make a decision about letting the invasion of Kuwait stand.

Team America World Police! Wilsonians are gross

You are so weird. I can recognize the complexity of historical figures, and their strengths and weaknesses. I'm not a partisan, as I've demonstrated above.

You are just .. against whatever I said last.

Bush the Elder was the last US President who wasn't an adolescent.

No, I just detest Wilsonians.

The article isn't about amoral people. It's about emitting signals of victimhood and virtue. I didn't see much of that in Hillary. YMMV.

No, Hillary is more about entitlement. She's owed the Presidency because her husband was one and she has a vagina.

Hillary is a total has been, and who cares about what such a loser thinks she deserved?

She's the loser int he last election, and was a has been at the time. Got to admit though, in the times of a pandemic, rioting and looting, we can always reflect back on ole Hills, and feel comfort that it could have been much worse. Her only positive contribution to the US.

But so it goes these days.

Applauding Don's water-drinking technique didn't work out so well, they're feeling butt-hurt.

Hating on the Evil Hillary is neo-confederate comfort food. Hey, at least people just roll their eyes, rather than bursting into laughter.

> Hillary is a comic book villain that must be inflated to a greater evil with every Trump misdeed.

Hillary dragged women through the mud for claiming her husband raped them. By modern standards, that makes her satan.

Or it means she trusted her husband when he said that he didn't... which actually means she was able to tap into her protective instincts and Bill was able to "Signal virtuous victimhood". Or she was also involved and they are just straight psychos, all of them. And politicians in particular, our leadership. And we wonder why the world sucks.

Been almost 4 years. Let him go.

Can’t let him go until we get out of the war in Iraq he got us into.

Trump doesn't emit enough signals of virtue to qualify. His claims to victimhood are strategic and Machiavellian, though. His behavior is instantly recognizable as a type of cowardly bullying. He provokes a confrontation and then complains about the reaction of the person he provokes in hopes of lowering that person's status among his or her peers. Even most of Trump's defenders will acknowledge his lack of virtue but their defense will be that Trump's enemies are no better and, besides, they want to raise taxes and take in more immigrants.

+1 I don't believe I've ever seen someone describe the Trump dilemma so succinctly.

I'm not so sure. I think if anyone was coldly calculating, and in search of lower taxes and regulation for-ev, they would have taken the Pence for Trump swap at impeachment. It would have given them better leadership immediately, and a stronger strategic position going forward. It would certainly have made the Senate more secure in November.

Don't underestimate the allure of having hordes of slavering devotees ready to vote for your man no matter how stupid he is.

+1 You can even get away with railroading a general with these hordes.

“Almost” get away with

the judge Sullivan has still not responded to the appeals court
he could be waiting on some signaling from the ex-pres&ex vice president'

they need to get "the right people" on it

isn't half this country like this ?

And the propaganda engines (of both sides, though in my opinion noticeably more on one side than the other) constantly reinforcing this trend.

Fun times ahead.

But a group of Christians have always exalted persecution.

Yeah, getting butthurt over Mexicans, Chinese, Indians taking all the jobs and expecting the government to do something about is the real victimhood. They aren't half the country but boy are they the loudest.

I would like to take credit for being one of the first people here to point out the victimhood complex of the right wing. They're always whining about how the media treats them unfairly, while claiming all sorts of vast conspiracies to do things like "replace the white population" with brown immigrants. The SJWs on campus come across as staid and rational by comparison.

This has been their go-to strategy for decades. They use it to work the refs so that Republicans are not held to the same standard as Democrats. So the result is the Daily Caller is a "trusted source" for Facebook.

Another result is the way Impeachment played out. In Clinton's there were dozens of Democrats who condemned the behavior but didn't think it rose to the level of removal because it was not in connection with his official duties.

With Trump's impeachment not a single Republican except Romney said what Trump did was wrong. They went even farther and had Dershowitz argue that the president can *never* be wrong.

I would like to take credit for being one of the first people here to point out the victimhood complex of the right wing. They're always whining about how the media treats them unfairly, while claiming all sorts of vast conspiracies to do things like "replace the white population" with brown immigrants. The SJWs on campus come across as staid and rational by comparison.

1. Actually, research on the composition of the press corps and content analyses of media go back 50 years, and do in fact demonstrate that the media is not, as it has claimed to be, politically neutral. That you're ignorant of that does not make you perspicacious.

2. As for population replacement, they're pretty explicit that's the policy.


1. Yes, the media leans liberal. So what? Deal with it and stop whining. It's not other people's job to bend over backwards to make your ideas sound good. Your political opponents are going to try to paint you as evil. Your job is to stop giving them opportunities to do so. Don't say stupid shit and then bitch and moan that your enemies misrepresented what you meant.

2. Citation needed.

I expect this holds more for individual variants than others.

"I personally was deplatformed / micro-aggressed and need to be compensated" is going to be linked to Dark Triad (the micro-aggression more so, as the threshold of evidence doesn't check it as much).

It's the individual benefit that makes it appealing to DT.

"My group are virtuous but victims" is probably going to correlate more with prosocial traits, for good or ill.

"My group have been mistreated by elites / populist politicians / etc" doesn't have much individual benefit, so is much more going to leverage prosocial ingroup altruism and prosocial spite towards the outgroup.

Pro-social traits like looting

Thanks to the rejection of oversight and firing of inspectors general, Trump cronies have looted billions from the Treasury.

Spite towards an outgroup is not pro-social.

It depends on the definition of "pro-social". There are some well developed theories which describe spite as a useful tool to enforce ultimately prosocial ends.

rioting =mating behavior

A good rule of thumb for understanding the political will of the youths is to see which opinions get young men laid the most.

Signalling an openness to violence on the basis of one's political beliefs, whether dispensing or receiving harm, is an absolutely crucial prerequisite to getting laid as a young man in the face of today's social distancing and civil unrest.

+1 tiramisu of satire

some young males don't get it though. white supremacists fail to attract women so those incels get even angrier and more sexually frustrated. BLM gets you laid no question.

At some point some guys go down this alternate path of trying to be "edgy" by adopting politically unpopular beliefs. Possibly thinking that the "pendulum effect" will bring those beliefs back to popularity again, and then they will get extra laid by having been ahead of the curve. This is invariably a mistake.

Nothing has condemned more men to virginity than the mistaken concept that there is a politicial pendulum, so that being extra right win will eventually become desirable again. It won't. There is not a pendulum. The river runs downhill only. The definition of "right" and "left" shift, giving the illusion of pendulum behavior, when it's actually a meandering evolution in one direction.

we think you peeps might be over strategizing

There's a slight trend in political views in number of romantic partners, at least in the general social survey, but quite limited.

Using ( to race(1 - white), sex(1 - male), and restricting numwomen from 0-500 (to remove some of the high end codes used for garbled etc response), then variable numwomen (number of female sex partners since 18), is roughly equal for all polviews categories. EXTREMELY LIBERAL - 15.96, LIBERAL - 13.84, SLIGHTLY LIBERAL - 15.68, MODERATE - 13.63, SLGHTLY CONSERVATIVE - 12.37, CONSERVATIVE - 11.14, EXTRMLY CONSERVATIVE - 11.28. Weighted N = 10,164.

Looking at the variable directly shows a slightly greater proportion of extreme liberal men in 0 women, and slight overrepresentation of extreme conservatives in 1-2... but that probably just represents more gays in the liberal categories and more lifelong married men in conservatives.

It probably reflects more that conservatives don't, historically, have the same preferences as liberals. (Not much interest in being part of some slightly skeevy hookup scene, etc.).

The variable "marital" tends to yield a pretty monotonic shift between extreme liberals and extreme conservatives. Extreme cons marry the most, at 74.6%, while extreme libs marry the least, at 35.9% never married. Divorce is slightly higher in liberals, but only in the ratio of ever married:divorce is there a major difference 1:5 in extreme liberals, 1:9 in extreme conservatives.

Restrict the age ranges and/or year of response and you still see basically the same patterns.

I don’t think being violent helps young men get laid—lots of women are scared of that. Having more racial and cultural diversity around does help young men get laid though because different cultures have different beauty standards and many young men who may not be considered the most attractive by your conventional American culture could be considered more attractive by other cultures (one reason so many nerdy guys have Asian girlfriends for example).

you could be correct
"Demonstrate Values: Behavioral Displays of Moral Outrage as a Cue to Long-Term Mate Potential"

the study says its a cue notta queue

Yes, I certainly do. I have a lady friend who is a dancer. Her girlfriends have all been messaging each other memes that say "if the people you're [redacted] aren't protesting, you're [redacted] the wrong people."

She sent a picture of me blocking a cruiser in the road from reaching the front of a BLM march and received status and applause.

I urge you to consider the data on disagreeableness, its relationship with extraversion, as well as more specific data, e.g., women are attracted, in general, to facial scarring in men.

People's tastes are diverse. There are plenty of different kinds of sorting going on. Aggression is a turn off for plenty of people. But aggression definitely gets men laid, and usually more than the alternatives.

Also please note that openness to being the victim of police violence was included in my definition. That is a form of signalling that is fundamentally similar - as a man, one risks life and limb in order to protect others, and is rewarded with status (and sex).

I'm not saying this is how the world works, how all men and women behave, etc. I am saying that a large enough minority of people play this game that it becomes a persistent macro phenomenon across time and space.

It's silly to suggest that aggression won't get men laid. It flies in the face of what we know about human sexuality. And I seent it with my own two eyes.

this was supposed to be in response to Z. oops.

live and learn

in cornpops neighborhood conflation will not lead to paradise by the dashboard light. you are conflating "aggression" with "moral outrage"
the study title is "Behavioral Displays of Moral Outrage as a Cue to Long-Term Mate Potential"
not "aggression..blah blah blah"
we think comrade house plant biden is wearing is mask on his chin
because he thinks it make him look like Lincoln. we think it makes him
look like a fomite.

this is a thread about rioting. I am suggesting that in the political milieu that rioters inhabit, rioting gets them laid. I would include cops, left wingers, and right wingers with this assertion.

In general, signaling a willingness to receive harm in expressing one's moral outrage will get one laid more than expressing outrage and an unwillingness to receive harm.

all lives matter
wheres harvards finest gender theorist and her knife?
what da ya gotta do to get stabbed around here?

Do you really believe this nonsense.

What is nonsense about it? Are you denying that cultures have different beauty and attractiveness standards such that a person may be considered very attractive and desirable in one culture but not in another? If so it follows logically that multiculturalism increases partnering opportunities. Indeed, I’ve known many people who have dating trouble in one community but suddenly have more success when they move to a different area or even group of friends.

There will be no sign of this, empirically. The degree to which beauty standards do not align (most populations like the same things, particularly for male preferences for women), and this is not already structured and covered within a population (geek girls for geek guys, etc), is going to be very marginal, and the marginal degree to which it is the case is going to be offset and dwarfed by other factors. You will also probably also get more immediate deadloss of passion and interest simply from non-alignment between different beauty standards and social barriers in mixed societies, than you do gain from cross matching.

It is fairly obvious that multi-cultural societies do not have more sex, and in the case of the OECD, we see that as societies have become more multi-cultural, frequency of sex and partnership has actually reduced. (Not that this is evidence for a strong *negative* role in relationship formation, but it suggests against a strong positive role).

I say nonsense in the sense that you are obviously smart enough to know that what you suggest is not actually going to be true in practice.

In addition to the above, the other obvious negative effect of multi-cultural / ethnic pooling would be that expectations change in a way that can't be adapted to. E.g. introduce a few tall Swedes to Japan, and maybe the female expectation of height changes in a way local men can't adapt to, and so there is a negative overall effect on romantic pairing. Not implausible.

Of course I don't want to dwell on this too much as I have not much time or patience for these "Wah, non-local men / women being about makes my romantic life difficult!" things, but it is obvious to me that it's very naive to think that the simple equation of introducing more choice and scope for matching will have positive effects, in a naive market analogy.

Agree. Nerdy guys can be very romantic. All that shyness and awkwardness lends itself to it.

Would it be less romantic or more romantic if those same nerdy guys were willing to risk there lives, under some circumstances, to protect others from harm?

Sure, yes. The more nerdy the guy, the more romantic it is. It's less romantic when coming from a bodybuilder or a fireman than from a library technician.

As with any interesting correlation, I reflexively check whether reversing the causality from the obvious one, or postulating a common variable, makes sense:

Is it possible that genuinely being a virtuous victim could lead to developing dark triad characteristics, perhaps as a defense mechanism?

Is it possible that adverse childhood experiences could make someone develop dark triad characteristics as well as continue to see themselves as, and/or continue to become, a virtuous victim?

I'd really like to remove the "Dark Triad" personality thing and look at it just from actions.

Belief in victimhood ---> Antisocial behavior: "I'm a victim so this action, which would be bad otherwise, can be seen as a form of justice."

Antisocial behavior ---> Belief in victimhood: "I did this bad thing, but I'm not a bad person, so it must be because I'm a victim."

Both seem quite plausible.

Exactly. Calling yourself a victim now supplies carte blanche for whatever crimes you wish to visit upon others. The amazing part is that there's anyone left who declines to take advantage.

So a sign of virtue would be a person who holds such a carte blanche, and yet refrains to use it, refraining from otherwise bad actions.

"Personality" is meaningless if it's not stable over time. As I understand it the goal of the big five traits is to identify characteristics that are more stable over time than the four humours or twelve signs of the zodiac or whatever. I believe there are studies showing that some of these traits can be measured in the very young. If you believe in this approach to personality, some amount of causation is implied, right?
On the other side, extra credit to Tyler for recently quoting and linking a piece skeptical of the big five system very recently.

Yes, I'm not saying that immutable or inherited or whatever personality traits are irrelevant. Far from it!

But my point is that even for a fixed personality type, it's extremely easy to construct plausible ways for the belief in one's own victimhood to cause antisocial behavior, and vice versa. Certainly I have vivid anecdotal evidence for both directions.

I think this has more relevance to questions of policy and right behavior. E.g. what will the actual effect be of the current effort to push millions of people into believing themselves victims of intolerable oppression?

Is the truly virtuous ever really a victim?

Well yes, obviously.

Unless you are trying to claim that there were no virtuous Jews killed in the holocaust?

You are misunderstanding the words "victim" and "victimhood."

Do you think Simon Wiesenthal wore any kind of victimhood? Or did he go out and get things done?

Sigh, you can never, ever admit you are wrong. Even when it's obvious that you have made an unsupportable statement.

Simon Wiesenthal was not your average holocaust victim. I'm confident he'd be the first to admit that there were plenty of virtuous people (young children for example) that were victims of the holocaust.

You're an idiot. You insist on your reading over what I actually mean.

Once again rather than admitting you made a mistake and correcting it, you resort to hurling insults.

You: Sigh, you can never, ever admit you are wrong.

Me: You're an idiot. You insist on your reading over what I actually mean.

Completely justified.

It wouldn't harm you to just admit your original statement was wrong. It's as simple as saying,"Yes, my original statement was wrong. But what I meant was: X". That's how you handle the issue in a mature fashion.

I'll be patient with you for one moment. My original statement was supposed to be thought provoking:

"Is the truly virtuous ever really a victim?"

You took the shallowest reading of it:

"Unless you are trying to claim that there were no virtuous Jews killed in the holocaust?"

When I tried to lead you in the right direction:

"You are misunderstanding the words "'victim' and 'victimhood.'"


"Do you think Simon Wiesenthal wore any kind of victimhood? "

You just rejected it and pretended I was saying something new.

DBG8492 below gets it.

Nowhere in that litany do you admit an error on your part. You should try admitting a mistake for once. The first step in correcting any misunderstanding is admitting your own part in it.

"When I tried to lead you in the right direction:"

No, you hurled insults when confronted with your behavior.

To quote: "You're an idiot. You insist on your reading over what I actually mean."

There's no part of that statement which is patient, thoughtful or leading in the right direction. I responded to the comment you actually made, not the "reading" that you didn't say. I have given you an easy out at least twice, but your ego won't let you admit your own error.

Well, maybe you are an idiot.

Here you are hanging everything on the fact that you, the reader know more about what my sentence means than I the writer.

You're an egotistical troll.

What I really mean as the writer is that you are really thoughtful and an all around smart guy. If you misread that as the reader, that's because of your own poor reading comprehension.

Have a nice day. ;)

This whole subthread is performative victimhood.

Thank you, You've been a delightful audience and remember the tip jar on your way out.

If it helps, think of the old movie trope of the hero who refuses a blindfold when facing the firing squad.

Basically I'm arguing stoicism as the opposite of dark triad victimhood.

Maybe this is a difficult reach for some people, but think back to the civil rights movement, and the people who sat down at the Woolworth's counter, etc. Did they take their seats as victims, or as stoics?

I say they were virtuous stoics as they confronted injustice was .. what made it work, really. They acted with quiet dignity and made their point that way.

Don't often agree with you - but I do here.

When properly deployed, the stoic "non-violent" approach works very effectively as it's quite alarming to most people to see other human beings attacked when all they are doing is passively sitting there. The images of peaceful blacks being attacked with dogs or fire hoses or policemen with sticks as they simply sat there and took it during the MLK marches are still moving to look at today. The video of the man with a briefcase standing in front of a tank in Tienanmen Square is also a classic example of stoicism in the face of power.

On the other hand, if you stand and shout your victim status as you a) march through the streets, or b) scream epithets and vulgarities into the faces of police officers (who - for the most part - stand there stoically in the face of your verbal assault), or c) attack those who disagree with you physically in any way d) deface/tear down statues and might just turn a large portion of the "most people" crowd against you - regardless of the "virtue" of your argument.

I realize it takes a whole lot of virtue sometimes to remain stoic, but we are talking about virtue here. And in the abstract, I don't believe virtue and victimhood really intersect.

+1. The majority of adults who act like a victim do so because they were legitimately victimized, and a neutral person who knew their life story would agree. The world is an unfair place where bad things frequently happen to good people and the only justice is that which good people create. Of course, acting like a victim is frequently counterproductive and hinders the victim’s recovery both materially and psychologically. But it’s perverse how we much we blame victims—if we really wanted to prevent virtuous victimhood signaling, we ought to change society so that fewer people are victimized in the first place.

"we ought to change society so that fewer people are victimized in the first place"

That's an ongoing process. People that are victimized today are being victimized behavior that would have been unremarkable in prior times. So, you can probably never have a society with fewer victimized people unless you agree on an absolute standard. As it is the bar for the standard keeps getting raised.


Hence the idea of micro-aggressions, victimizations caused by affronts so tiny they are invisible.

And then the recent claim that "I'm a victim because your speech is violence, your silence is violence", i.e. nothing less than vocal support will do.

Incentives matter. When you reward people for making ridiculous claims like this, you just get more ridiculous claims.

"Believe all claimed victims!" ... Oh wait...

While I think I agree there are lots of people claiming victimhood based on behavior that was previously not considered victimizing, I'm not sure I would agree that MOST people who are claiming victimhood today fall in that category. There are still lots of people are are legitimately victims of things like rape, domestic abuse, child abuse, police brutality, etc.
I'd also throw in people whose abuse consists of being consistently misjudged and shoehorned into particular social roles because of stereotypical presumptions (racism, sexism, etc.).
Sure there are lots of people who are whining about microaggressions on Ivy League campuses, but do those people really outnumber women who've been beaten up by their boyfriends, or young black men whove gotten an arrest record for marijuana possession and now can't get a job as a result?
There are still real victims out there. If anthing what we should be doing is shaming the fake victims whining about microaggressions for not focusing on those real victims more.

I think you misunderstood my comment. I wasn't speaking to the gravity of the oppression. I wasn't trying to parse out the "real" oppression. My point was that the "real" oppression is determined by the society at the time.

In 1776, real oppression was not giving white, landed, elite men the right to vote. In 1865, real oppression was not giving black slaves their freedom. In 1945, real oppression was being the victim of Imperialism. In 1971, real oppression was supporting the draft. In 1973, real oppression was denying abortions. In 2015, real oppression was denying same sex marriages.

I don't proclaim to know what the future will determine to be "real" opressions versus just a quirk of the time.

There is no universal standard. Ergo, We'll never reach a perfect utopian society. There will always be some type of victimizations. However, we shouldn't condemn history for it's oppression, unless we are comfortable with the prospect with our own actions being judge oppressive in the future.

And a warning to the holier than thou, before you nod your ahead and agree that the future will consider today oppressive, because of what those "other" people do. It applies to you. Things you say, do and deeply believe today will be judged as morally offensive in the future.

It's quite likely that abortion will be considered as murder in the future. In a society that technology gives great control of pregnancy, they won't likely morally understand our nuanced positions on abortion. Any more than we understand, the ancient Greeks committing infanticide or the Maoist Chinese from the 1950's for that matter.

"There are still lots of people are are legitimately victims of things like rape, domestic abuse, child abuse, police brutality, etc." Agreed there.

"I'd also throw in people whose abuse consists of being consistently misjudged and shoehorned into particular social roles because of stereotypical presumptions (racism, sexism, etc.)." That tide turned probably about late 80s or early 90s. Those 'victims' now have had the advantage for about 3 decades. That's the problem with causes, when you reached your goal you need to push further, or disband. No one wants to disband, so they push beyond the original goal. MLK wanted a colorblind nation, but them are fighting words now. If women or minorities aren't given a clear advantage, then you're a bigot.

The tide might have turned, but that doesn't mean that it never happens anymore. It's just less common. There are still places, like, say fundamentalist Mormon enclaves, where teenage girls are essentially forced into marriage. I met one of them when I was in my 20s, actually. This girl who hung out on this IRC channel with a group of friends I was a part of - trying to explain to me how she couldn't get out. She was homeschooled and basically had no place to go and her family was just going to force her to do it. She ended up running away from home.

"The tide might have turned, but that doesn't mean that it never happens anymore. It's just less common."

Yes, this is true and a valid point. But it's true of nearly everything. The US has cannibals. We've arrested some notorious ones in living history. It's virtually certain that there's at least one secret cannibal living in the US undetected today.

Yet it would be silly to classify the US as a nation of cannibals.

I think in any argument of this type, you have to judge it by the relative frequency. Forced marriage in the US is an rare, oddity.

"like rape, domestic abuse, child abuse, police brutality, etc." and I'll add racism. Are all far more common and genuine issues we should be addressing.

Agreed. Rape, child abuse, police brutality, and racism are much more common and pressing problems that are still worth addressing.

"If women or minorities aren't given a clear advantage, then you're a bigot."

I don't think that's true yet. At least universally. However the rejection of the phrase All Lives Matter by activists does indicate we are trending that way.

Black Lives Matter pushed to the deliberate exclusion of All Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, etc, is an astoundingly racist policy. At this point, I think I consider it more of a cultural quirk that a sign of a bifurcated racial society, but that's the road we are headed down. Essentially having one type of racism displace another type or racism instead of just marginalizing racism.

It's clear that racism against blacks is highly disapproved of in the US and is marginalized. Now we've moved onto tenuous claims of systemic racism.

What is the best case in favor of the argument for systemic racism in the US today? It's odd that in all the articles published, I have read very few which laid out a compelling argument for the hypothesis.

I'll believe that All Lives Matter crowd is serious when they offer a single policy to curb police violence.

Until then it's just performative victimhood about a slogan.

I'll be the first All Lives Matter proponent to go on the record for supporting:

a) no more military hardware given to police departments
b) reduce mandatory sentencing guidelines for non-violent offences
c) reduce mandatory sentencing guidelines for weapons present but not in use (ie a gun in the glove box should not be used to up the sentence on a drug dealer)
d) decriminalize minor drug possession and distribution (legalize marijuana)

The net of those policies will lower arrests, police interactions and thus act to reduce police violence. All of the policies are color blind.

Here's the problem with "All Lives Matter"....
If someone you knew just lost a child, was in pain and asking for support, would you come to them and say "All Grief Matters"?
That would come across as rather cold and dismissive, wouldn't it?
Can you understand how some people might see that responding to "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter", in the form of a counter-argument, might be perceived as a rejection of the idea that black lives actually matter?
It's a little like saying "I don't give a shit about your specific life - I care about all lives". You are saying you aren't interested in addressing problems specific to their lives, or you think there are other lives out there that deserve more attention or something.

blm intentionally conflates endorsement of an activist movement & agenda with an assertion about the moral value of black lives.
their new meme is "all lives cant matter until black lives matter"

Would like to see some data on which way the causation runs (if it is direct causation, which I think is a reasonable assumption).

(a) Obviously a "macchiavellian" personality might make a person claim victimhood for personal gains.

(b) But the converse story is also quite plausible: when I claim victimhood, I might then use that to self-justify taking selfish and antisocial actions under the rationale that I'm just redressing the wrong I suffered.

(a) would lend itself to a scenario where the person doesn't believe they've been victimized but claims it anyway; (b) would probably be much stronger when the person truly believes they've been victimized.

The really fun thing to test though might be:

(c) Does taking asocial actions increase the likelihood of believing you're a victim?

If I do bad things, I still don't want to think I'm a bad person; so I retroactively justify it by identifying as a victim of [INSERT INJUSTICE HERE].

"controlling for demographic and socioeconomic variables that are commonly associated with victimization in Western societies".

we are +1 curious
how the heck did they control" for demographic and socioeconomic variables that are commonly associated with victimization in Western societies".

Yes. And it's not even clear from that sentence whether they mean being victimised or being a victimiser. What a pity that so "scholars" can write decent English any more.

Bad writing usually reflects unclear thinking. One might conclude it is also used to hide weak data.

It’s perhaps excusable to be sloppy in a blog post, less so in an academic paper.

OK, I got the narcissism, I forget the causes, let's wiki it? No one knows.
Maybe it is bottle feeding? That was always my first guess because the kid is too young to display complex neurosis. A class of early breast traumas are unobserveable by psychologists and the sufferer can barely explain it, it happened before they were aware of anything.
Freud said, forget about it, they cannot talk about it. It is one of the incurables.

The narcissist always need to be first in line, but for what? They can never say. The necessity came long before they knew who else was in line. Trump has a case of it. So does Hillary. When the narcissist suffers more trauma in older childhood they cannot maintain both behaviors and drop out.

Religion has taught us that victimhood is the road to godhood.

I'm the real victim here.

There's a guest op/ed in today's NYT by a direct, white descendant of Thomas Jefferson who advocates taking down the Jefferson Memorial and in its place erecting a memorial to Harriet Tubman. Is the descendant signaling virtuous victimhood? What motivates people to do and say the things they do and say are complex. What the Jefferson descendant does here is combine one action, taking down the Jefferson Memorial which is signaling virtuous victimhood only if he is the victim of his own birthright, with another, erecting a memorial to Harriet Tubman which is signaling virtuous victimhood only if taking down the Jefferson Memorial makes him a victim. Complex, indeed.

We are seeing a lot of excesses on the far left and the far right right now.

I think it's because while there is a middle, and sane people who want to keep balance, they have no power.

Some of you are going to say "oh no, he's blaming Trump and the Republicans again" but really think about it. When Trump is the President, and the Republican senate is not willing to go against him, who is the voice of reason, and who can provide leadership in this moment?


It can't be Biden (as much as he would be virtuous and not a victim as President) because he's just a candidate at this point. There are a lot of things a candidate cannot do. It is definitely off limits to say "I'm in charge."

Other people are in charge, and they are collapsing in their moral and Constitutional duties.

Note also that the Republicans did have a chance to remedy this in 2019, and institute a Pence for Trump swap.

Maybe not perfect but hella better.

It’s not symmetrical at all. The Republicans picked Trump in 2016, with Cruz as runner up, and rejected all the candidates who were moderate and conciliatory such as Jeb Bush and John Kasich. The far-right now controls the Republican Party.

By contrast, all the far-left people were soundly defeated in the Democratic Party. Gillibrand was probably running the wokest campaign and she got nowhere—so many people were still angry at her for MeTooing Al Franken. Other woke candidates like Beto also flamed out—his frequent speaking of Spanish on stage made most people cringe. Instead the Democrats picked the second most moderate candidate in their field (behind Bloomberg, who could well have won if he hadn’t had such a spectacularly poor first debate). So the middle still has most of the power on the Democratic side for now (though some concessions will be made to the far-left, just like every other faction of the party).

Here’s a good thread from a long-time conservative discussing this:

That’s a really stupid take.

Trump ran as the moderate outsider vowing to protect Medicaid/Medicare, end foreign wars, “rebuild” infrastructure and institute protectionism for blue collar workers. He was holding up rainbow flags during the campaign for f’s sake.

An incredibly idiotic policy set (minus the ending wars thing), but that was what he ran on.

Only the credulous realize that this is the accurate take. "Trump ran as a pretend moderate outsider lying about protecting Medicaid/Medicare, end foreign wars, “rebuild” infrastructure and institute protectionism for blue collar workers. He was holding up rainbow flags during the campaign for f’s sake."

Don't forget, Lindsey Graham got it, before he forgot it.

might be more accurate to say graham didn't get
then he got it

Ran as, prior. Ran as.

Pretend adds nothing to the meaning of the sentence. Obviously.

Banning all Muslims, bringing back torture, going after families of terrorists and promising to pay off the national debt in eight years is is now the "moderate" Republican position.

Also, not knowing what the nuclear triad is.

That’s well and all, but doesn’t refute the point.

He stumbled into a populist “platform” with a position on economic policy well to the left of the median Republican politician. His foreign policy “platform” was also well to the dove side of the median Republican politician.

I don’t see how any of this is controversial, other than that he says so much contradictory garbage there’s an argument it was essentially incoherent.

I was always struck by how many on the Right could never credit President Obama with anything. There was absolutely no point where they would admit he did anything correct. Luckily they were a vocal but distinct minority.

The same is true with Trump. The blinding anger makes people resist the obvious point that Trump has had less foreign entanglements than any modern President. Sure he talks a lot of bluster. And yet, the US military hasn't invaded or overthrown any additional countries in the last 3 years.

Trump was more moderate on economic and some foreign policy issues, but when most people say “far-right,” they are referring to alt-right types who take extreme positions on issues of identity, such as race and nationhood. The term “far-right” is rarely used to describe economic libertarians or even foreign policy neoconservatives. And when people draw equivalences between the far-left and far-right, they are usually drawing equivalences between the “woke” identitarians on the left and the nationalist/racist identitarians on the right, not between wokes and economic libertarians or even socialists and libertarians.

Trump was also the least moderate candidate in terms of style and process, and when people say the extremists threaten our Republic, a lot of that is about style and respect for process, not policy substance.

Was upending globalism and free trade really "moderate?"

“Let renegotiate some deals, and ask hard questions about some trade agreements. Also, I believe I can do better re deals. Oh and most European nations can afford to pay a slightly bigger share of the defence budget.”

Now that equals tearing up globalism?

You could see if Trump were even particularly extreme on migration restrictions relative to the modal American (not the modal "Accela Corridor" individual).

I'm not sure he even was.

Amnesty for illegal migrants, for'ex, far more extreme than anything he proposed.

There are some polling data in "Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign" on this; Trump was basically in line with standard majority of pre-Trump Republican voters on those issues, while other candidates pretty far. Position supported by majority of voters in party that gets close to 50% vote = "far right"?

Yes, DACA was a pretty popular policy and remains so today. Rejecting it is not "moderate" by definition and it fit with the larger Pat Buchanan/Yankee National Front aura he successfully created around himself to appeal to conservative voters.

Amnesty for illegal immigrants varies widely in popularity depending on which illegal immigrants we are talking about. DACA is very popular in both parties. Amnesty for convicted felons is very unpopular in both parties.

The fact that a view is widely held in one party does not mean it is not extreme. By that standard, neither party could ever be labeled extreme because both parties ultimately represent views that are widely held by their voters.

How then do you alternatively define "extreme"? Going sort of "Well, the bien pensants who run the media know it when they see it!" isn't very good.

The other way would be to define it by an "extreme" break with the status quo, to which some things would tend more than others, particularly radical plans for change.

But in any case, something both widely held and mostly a continuation of existing policies, or actually giving funds up to implement things already implemented in principle, is not extreme on either set of grounds.

It explains why Reagan was just a RINO.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA or the Simpson–Mazzoli Act) was passed by the 99th United States Congress and signed into law by US President Ronald Reagan on November 6, 1986.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act altered US immigration law by making it illegal to hire illegal immigrants knowingly and establishing financial and other penalties for companies that employed illegal immigrants. The act also legalized most undocumented immigrants who had arrived in the country prior to January 1, 1982.

Hard to imagine that Reagan was directly responsible for this - "The Immigration Reform and Control Act did not address the status of children of undocumented migrants who were eligible for the amnesty program. In 1987, Reagan used his executive authority to legalize the status of minor children of parents granted amnesty under the immigration overhaul, announcing a blanket deferral of deportation for children under 18 who were living in a two-parent household with both parents legalizing or with a single parent who was legalizing. That action affected an estimated 100,000 families."

I’m sure you think you have a point with this prior, but I don’t see it.

+1, yes, it's just another one of prior's cherry picking posts.

Reagan famously agreed to legalize existing illegal immigrants in exchange for tightening restrictions to prevent future illegal immigrants.

The tightened restrictions were undermined by both Republicans and Democrats. Which inevitably made any further compromises harder to reach.

How then do you alternatively define "extreme"?

The other way would be to define it by an "extreme" break with the status quo, to which some things would tend more than others, particularly radical plans for change.

But in any case, something widely held and mostly a continuation of existing policies, or actually giving funds up to implement things already implemented in principle, is not extreme on either set of grounds.

Zaua, you need to remember, the Republican nominated Romney before Trump.

And your team gutted him like a fish.

All Romney had to do to win was embrace Romneycare. Who prevented that?

(It would have helped also if he'd repudiated the second Iraq invasion.)

Presidential politics has always been a nasty business (is this virtuous victimhood I see?). Other fish gutted by their opponents include Hillary Clinton, John McCain, John Kerry, Al Gore, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, etc. There was nothing remarkable about the opposition to Romney. The economy in 2012 was such that any incumbent would have likely been reelected.

Your response is less of a rebuttal to the original claim than a justification.

Well, I was a Republican in 2012. I voted for Ron Paul in the primary and then Gary Johnson in the general. I only switched teams in 2016.

But you raise a good point. If I could go back in time and change the result of the 2012 election so that Romney won, I would. Because then you most likely would not have Trump and the more extreme faction win in 2016.

However, let’s apply that same lesson here. We were quite close to avowed socialist Bernie Sanders becoming the Democratic Party nominee. Instead, the Democrats picked a nice moderate old white guy—kind of like how Romney was a nice moderate in 2012. If Biden loses, what happens in 2024? Do we get a far-left Democratic version of Trump who really goes woke and/or socialist and somehow manages to win?

Not sure how much it matters if it is Biden or Sanders, or really any of the other Democratic candidates. With Biden in particular, his cognitive decline is such that he's going to be a figurehead at best, and even that probably not for long.

None of them are going to seriously push back against the proposals of the alt-left progressives, whether it is foreign policy or social policy. To take just one example, if we get 65% or 85% of the Green New Deal, it is still a disaster.

Yeah they gutted Romney so badly that he got a *higher* percentage of the vote than Trump.

Alt-left is not a thing. It's just something Hannity made up so he could bOtH SiDES the alt-right.

That's actually nearly the exact opposite of the facts. The phrase Alt-Left goes back decades and whereas Alt-Right is a modern usage.

Alt-Right was rarely used before 2016

Alt-Left was in common use in January 2004 when google trends was first available.

LOL, I didn't realize there was a bunch of News organizations claiming that the alt-Left was a mythical term created by the modern Right.

Talking about your FAKE NEWs. That's absurd. I remember the term was in active usage when I was in college in the 1990's. Nor was it particularly controversial.

And this article agrees:

"CNN, for example, quoted commentators who claimed that “alt-left” is a “made-up term” used by people on the right – that it’s “not a thing. It's just an insult”. The Washington Post, meanwhile, claimed that liberals – not the right – invented the label.

I was surprised to read these claims that the “alt-left” doesn’t exist. In the 1990s, I was part of a loose group of early “web activists” which used terms such as “alternative left” and “alt-left” (among others) to describe itself."

+1 triggered cachinations
years of main stream media reporting about antifa but as soon as they
start burning & wreckoning stuff the media is denying they ever existed
fredo/cuomo & the newwoketimes.con are wearing ze masks over zer eyes

There can be sanity only once America confronts its legacy of fascism and white supremacy.

America can start with tearing down all statues to the founding fathers and removing the celebration of Independence Day. Switching it to Juneteenth would be the moral decision. Kaepernick has a sane take.

You need to give up, as do many Germans when faced with the kind of intransigence that is all too evident on this blog.

Get yourself up to Denmark.

The Denmark that steals jewelry from starving war refugees.

Remove the holiday now and replace it with Juneteenth.

But if you aren't German, and just following a script, it is really easy to throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks.

Oder Spätzle - wie du willst.

That makes a lot of sense. I don't think the National Park Service is allowed to have any new units that don't have to do with Harriet Tubman, unless maybe it's the Buffalo Soldiers, the most important fighting force the world has ever known. Nature/wildlife lovers had best figure out some such angle going forward.

“Controlling for demographic and socioeconomic variables that are commonly associated with victimization in Western societies.”

What “demographic and socioeconomic variables” are these, and why would they control for demographic and socioeconomic variables as opposed to whether the individual in question has actually been victimized (perhaps as rated by a researcher from anonymized factual narratives)? It seems like whether an individual’s sense of victimhood is justified or merely manipulation would depend more on whether that individual personally has been victimized. A demographic or socioeconomic control is at best useless and may even be counterproductive if individuals compare themselves to other members of their demographic (i.e. if some kind of injustice that often happens to poor people but rarely to rich people, an individual rich person that it happens to might be more aggrieved by it, but that could just be because he’s comparing to other rich people rather than because he has the dark triad).

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