(Carl R. Trueman – First Things) When is a crime victimless? When its perpetrators enjoy the status of victims, at least according to the nihilistic tastes of the West in our day. That is the lesson of reactions to various events in recent years, from the looting that accompanied many of the “mostly peaceful” BLM protests of 2020 to the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 this year. The response to the violence in Gaza was especially chilling. While there is always room for debating whether a response is proportionate to the act of aggression, the jubilation and exhilaration expressed by American academics, students, and some politicians over the Hamas attacks started before the Israeli counter-attack.
The contradictions at the heart of the modern morality of victimhood have now been exposed to all with eyes to see, even to many who have been pressing it in the political sphere. When members of the LGBTQ lobby express support for Hamas, it is another reminder that many progressives have lost any sense of a moral compass. But this was predictable. When oppressor and oppressed, victimizer and victim are the decisive categories by which to understand the world with no broader moral framework for defining those terms, political morality defaults to that of ressentiment, a reactive stance that simply opposes on principle whatever is. It is the spirit of negation.