Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Small Note, Big Topic
While reading this article titled Persecution Complexes, I wondered if the simplest answer is the true one: Authoritarian people feel persecuted because they were "persecuted," as well as abused and/or neglected, by their parents. Such a tremendously strong identification with the archetype of the martyr, who is innocently persecuted and tortured but forgives his enemies, forms an integral part of their religion, politics and even personal life. We see this sense of being unfairly punished in the plethora of bloggers who name themselves after martyrs, constantly complain of persecution and unfairness, and feel permanently aggrieved. The combination of the Christian stricture to honor your mother and father (as well as the history of persecution of the Church in its earliest days as a fringe cult), and perhaps even the American tradition of people settling a land already occupied by people seen as an enemy and a constant threat, seem to breed a form of American self-pity and paranoia that encourages feelings of victimization.