Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Important Books: A Nation of Victims

The latest book I'll recommend is Charles Sykes's A Nation of Victims. Sykes, a think tank analyst and a radio show host, made an important contribution to public discourse when he published this important book in 1992. The essential point of the book is this: as a nation, America no longer concerns itself with character. Instead, we narcissistically focus on our inflated victimization, being led to this point by self-serving, self-focused psychology. The thesis is strong, well-executed, and the book is a must-read. You will come away from it realizing that you have imbibed far more from secular psychology and the victimization culture than you thought you had.

I can see this trend in my own life. In the past, I've focused so much on my own personal struggles that I've made myself out to be a victim. In reality, I'm not a victim, or not much of one, really. I was unfairly passed over in sports due to my size, but that does not a lifetime of sadness and anger make. We all have hardships. They are a natural part of life and have been ever since the teeth of Adam and Eve first sank into the forbidden fruit. Everyone has some difficulty, some struggle, some hardship in their past. That doesn't make us victims. It makes us humans.

My generation and the one that has raised it are overwhelmingly narcisstic, self-focused, and dramatic. It is as if we are just dying to be stars in tragic movies of our own making. We yearn to be angry and justifiably so. We are desperate for a rebellion to join. We want so badly--so very badly--to be victimized so that we can make a public cause of our victimization. Focused on ourselves, desirous of fame and attention, and oriented to false psychology, we are like the child who, seeking an opportunity to express rage, voluntarily collapses in a heap, weeping and moaning in a fit of its own making. The hilarious thing about all this is that we don't really have much to be upset about. Some do, but most of us are relatively well cared for, happy, and able. We are the strangest of creatures: those who enjoy such peace but fairly beg for pain, if only that we might manifest it to others, and win a hearing in the effort. We need, on a societal level, a mass maturing, and Charles Sykes is here to help us.


Post a Comment

<< Home