One of the characteristics of the Weeping Juggernaut that bothers me most is its ruthlessly pragmatic refusal to treat the human hurt that fuels it.
This Juggernaut would not exist if there were not a great many people who were hurt – through being marginalised, or “kept down”, or worse. Not all hurt groups are involved, the Juggernaut is selective. Those involved are women, LGBTIQ folk and people of colour (especially Māori and Pasifika, in New Zealand).
There may be some debate about just how much hurt there is, and about how recent it is, but we all know there is some. However much there is, this article is about what happens to that real hurt.
Usually, if you know someone who is hurt, you do what you can to help them – by helping them directly or finding help for them, including help in the form of therapy. And you might take the trouble to remind them that there is more to them, and their life, than the hurt that has happened to them. Remind them of the water in the half-filled glass.
A therapist would do the same. From my own experience of receiving therapy for stress or depression, it is common for the therapist to say, “I cannot change the circumstances that have caused this stress or depression (though we can talk about what it is best for you to do), but I can help you to better manage the hurt itself so you are less affected by it or not affected for quite so long”. Nowadays, this is called focusing on “resilience”.
By contrast, some of those advocates and champions who claim to act in the interests of women, LGBTIQ folk and Māori and Pasifika do nothing to ameliorate the hurt these people have suffered – and nothing to build their resilience. On the contrary, they keep it alive and fresh, reminding these people that they are victims – not merely that they have been victimised, but that they are victims, that “victim” is who they are. “Who” goes deep and implies “forever”.
This nurturing message looks and sounds like real concern and empathy. But that’s just packaging: the content of this nurture is the very opposite of therapy. In fact, it is so perverse and so damaging, that it reminds me of the condition known as Munchausen by Proxy:
a mental illness and a form of child abuse. The caretaker of a child, most often a mother, either makes up fake symptoms or causes real symptoms to make it look like the child is sick.
This is a key characteristic of the operation of the Weeping Juggernaut in New Zealand and much of the modern West, except that it is happening on a grand scale. The other difference is, the people who provide this perverse nurture for their victim groups are not insane: their actions are premeditated, cool and deliberate. Strategic, in the sense that they know this is one of the means to achieving their ends.
Unfortunately, exploiting people for power is not unusual. Exploiting “your own” for gain is less common – and it is worse, in the sense that the exploitation relies on betrayal.
This strategy is, par excellence, pragmatism – in my opinion, the worst possible character flaw. This is the character of those who operate Weeping Juggernaut.
When people who preach a good end are prepared to use toxic and harmful means to achieve it, it makes good sense to question whether the end is as good as they claim.