The hate speech legislation before the Dáil is precisely the wrong method in seeking to promote the dignity of our fellow human beings. It is proof that the prevailing zeitgeist is moving us from a dignity culture to a victim culture, which becomes distorted and manipulated by perverse incentives.
This is a dangerous, corrupting, and unstable shift in our cultural values according to Israeli psychologist and narcissism expert, Sam Vaknin. In an interview with climate realist Michael Shellenberger he said “Every single political and social movement nowadays has converted itself into a victimhood movement. Many ideologies, which were not victimhood-oriented, have become victimhood-oriented.”
In the past, movements like those who fought for civil rights in the United States, were not narcissistic, Vaknin told Shellenberger. “They were actually goal-oriented, purpose-oriented. Today most victimhood movements are about grandiosity.”
It has been pointed out that this shift in focus from dignity to the veneration of “the victim” provides a systemic mechanism for narcissistic bullies to abuse at will. Its notable that our proposed “hate speech” bill is being lauded by the virtue-signalling elites as an unquestionable moral good – which only serves to illustrate how this is primarily not about justice, but about declaring loyalty to wokeism while bullying dissenting voices.
Here for instance is Finne Gael’s Alan Farrell with a tribalistic declaration of who are the right-thinkers and who are the unclean. Farrell’s view seems to be that opposition to a bill that might curtail free-speech could only come from the unclean people who opposed the holy science of lockdown.
Alan Farrell hints at hate crime legislation's purpose of suppressing dissenting voices to their neo-liberal order, going on to comment on his dismissal of the opinions of his constituents based on their scepticism around covid measures. pic.twitter.com/i4nvzxlEVv
— JRD (@JRD0000) November 10, 2022
Farrell and his ilk frquently engage in the very behaviour that the anti-speech legislation would bring into law – ‘othering’ people; undermining minority views, etc. Calling anti-estbalishment. or even just questioning, views ‘denialism’ is a handy way to silence opponents of government policy – especially when those policies might have disasterous long term consequences.
The law is supposed to criminalise “hate speech” but its definition of “hate” is so overly broad that it could be anything under the sun. The bill’s definition of hate is self-referential (it contains the word hate in its definition of the word hate)
“hatred against a person or a group of persons in the State or elsewhere on account of their protected characteristics or any one of those characteristics”
The act has taken a prima facie assumption of the word as a component in the definition of the word.
How can anyone determine what “hate” means in this sense? In the absurd world we live in, words are defined as violence, so what is hate? Is it hate to not confirm a fake woman’s delusions of biology?
Most importantly, hate here is subjective and declared – while still not being explicitly defined – by the one who supposedly suffers on account of the speech. Do the bill’s drafers not forsee that there will be narcissistic attention seekers who will tempted to manufacture victimhood.
Vaknin explains “If you’re not a victim, you manufacture victimhood. You force people to victimize you. It’s called projective identification.” For the narcissist it’s about attention, so you have “an in-built incentive not to decrease suffering, but to perpetuate it.”
With “suffering” and “hate” being such broadly defined and subjective things does this “hate speech” bill not just leave narcissists with an unending supply of victim attention? Vaknin’s analysis, which he goes over in detail here, certainly implies it does.
By the way, as Farrell et al label criticism of Covid lockdowns as being anti-science or far-right or something, shouldn’t that be made unlawful also? It does after all cause harm to vulnerable groups, they could argue. I am sure our government could find a rash of peer review papers indicating its disproportional impact on some of the protected groups listed in the “hate speech” bill.
Vaknin argues that for members of minority groups, victimhood movements are disempowering, toxic, and dangerous. The type of person who takes over these movements, and becomes self appointed spokesperson for these identity groups, are often driven by narcissism. They are the type of activist that routinely attack women on twitter and organize cancel mobs against women who believe in biology. The unlimited power they receive as the sacred victim often leads to extreme corruption.
In Ireland we know of how an unquestionable elevated moral status can lead to utter depravity and corruption, but even in the past year as Shellenberger noted, the leaders of the modern virtue signaling victim movements were all caught in corruption scandals. This is nothing new of course, when you give a person or organization unquestioned power it inevitably leads to extreme corruption.
Putting such power to control speech in the hands of narcissistic victim movements is an exceeding dangerous move. Vaknin argued “because narcissism is about a lack of empathy. It’s about entitlement. And it’s exploitative. ‘I’m a victim, so I’m a saint. I’m morally superior to you. I have a right because I have a grievance. I’m entitled. You have an obligation towards me.’”
We in Ireland should take Vaknin’s warnings seriously because our proposed Hate Speech law is a license for narcissists to bully with impunity.