The Victim Cult: How the culture of blame hurts everyone and wrecks civilizations




The Victim Cult

No one disputes the truth that some people are victims—of others, accidents, and life.

However, we also all know someone who thinks like a victim. They seem stuck and make life worse because of an intense focus on the past, or they avoid responsibility for their own actions. On a personal level, the chronic victim thinker can be toxic. But what happens when grievances dominate entire societies?

The Victim Cult tackles the worldwide grievance culture. It exists on university campuses where some obsess about micro-aggressions. It is obvious at the highest level: While running for president, Donald Trump claimed to be the victim of journalists, judges, and anyone who just disagreed with him. It also exists in Canada where successive prime ministers routinely apologize for Canada’s past, and when some indigenous leaders and federal commissions routinely offer blame every poor outcome on history. 

The destructive nature of chronic victim thinking

Because this victim culture exists in the sorority house and the White House, we might think it can be dismissed with a roll of our eyes. But some victim cults have deeper roots and, if not exposed early, end in tragedy:

  • Many nineteenth-century Germans thought they were victims of the French, English, liberalism, and Jews. Adolf Hitler later exploited that victim narrative to turn the land of Bach into the nation known for Dachau.

  • In Rwanda, for three decades, Hutu leaders relentlessly blamed the tiny Tutsi minority for any past and present inequalities. That victim cult ended with the state-initiated murder of one million Rwandans, mostly Tutsi.   

  • Yasser Arafat spent a lifetime viewing Palestinians and himself only as victims. Thus, when offered a peace deal with Israel, Arafat instead cratered it. Arafat ended his life as the Peter Pan of international politics—never growing into a responsible statesman.

Trumping prejudice

In this wide-ranging look at why societies fail or succeed, The Victim Cult takes us through fair and fake claims. Beyond true victims, victim cults result from missing the right lessons from history, even worse moral reasoning, and misguided identity politics.

The Victim Cult also details the more positive lessons from those who were harmed but yet succeeded: the example of early East Asian immigrants who courageously dealt with injustices and trumped prejudice, but also aimed at integration, education, and entrepreneurship, choices that built a better civilization with opportunities for all.

Mark Milke - The Victim Cult.jpg

Where to buy

Available in bookstores everywhere November 1, or pre-order now direct or from Chapters. E-books available from Chapters and Amazon.

From the foreword and reader reviews

“In reading this book, I saw what I had learned put in print for the first time: The false narratives or ideologies that convince people that they are doomed to fail and that someone else or something else is to blame.” Ellis Ross, former elected chief councillor, Haisla First Nation

“Your introduction made me want to keep reading. It also told me that you are sane, in that you know the real problem lies in our individual hearts, so, as a reader, I know I can trust you. And your love for humanity shines through throughout the book.” — Tricia Radison

“I'd like to tell you how refreshing it is to read something so full of common sense!” — Louise Fairly