1N-1 Coming Shortage of Unnatural Resources: Scapegoats

June 2, 2007

As soon as human beings developed the ability to speak, here are some of the things they began to say:

  • It’s not our fault.
  • It’s their fault.
  • We are better than they are.
  • Separate them from us.
  • Punish them.
  • Enslave them.

This tendency to blame someone else for our troubles is known as scapegoating.

In twentieth century literature, two of the greatest scapegoating tales in fiction are:

A variety of people have been used as scapegoats in various cultures. The entire list would take up lots of computer screens, but here’s a few for starters:

  • Caste:

    Race:

    • Blacks in America
    • Indians in America
  • Class:
    • Downstairs servants in England
    • Serfs in Russia
  • Religion:
    • Atheists
    • the people who call themselves Christians but aren’t really Christians (1)
  • Sex:
    • Men
    • Women
    • heterosexuals
    • homosexuals
    • metrosexuals
    • monosexuals
    • polysexuals
    • people you want to have sex with but don’t want to have sex with you
    • people who want to have sex with you but you don’t want to have sex with them
  • Everyone:
    • Other people
    • The person you see when you look in the mirror

Jews tend to claim that they are more scapegoated than any other group. Therefore they scapegoat everybody else for scapegoating them.

In any competition, it’s considered more sporting if the teams are roughly equal. At times throughout history, large groups have scapegoated each other. Thus arose the splendid sport of “team scapegoating,” colloquially known as war.

For example, with the rise of Islam, Christians and Muslems fought jolly wars. After a while, Christians decided to play with each other at home, pitting Catholic teams against Protestant teams.

In modern times, we developed political-religious ideologies of “democratic” capitalism vs. “democratic” socialism. The anarchist Benjamin Tucker described the difference between the warring ideologies: “In capitalism, man exploits man. In socialism, it’s exactly the opposite.” Although we considered destroying the world via nuclear weapons, humans decided to play it cool, thereby playing the “Cold War” game.

Just as consumers wearied of “New Coke,” and went back to “old but not stale” Coke , team scapegoaters went back to the classic team scapegoating competition of western civilization aka (Christianity, the religion that dares call everyone else names all the time) vs. islamo-fascism (the new and badder than Nazis bad guys).

At first glance, it might seem silly to think that we might run out of scapegoats. The same people didn’t think we’d run out of whales when we needed more oil.

Note: (1) At the evangelical web site worldmagblog.com, the “outliers” (atheists, agnostics, liberals, and homosexuals) say: “What about all the people Christians tortured, murdered and enslaved?” The evangelicals reply: “Communists killed more and anyway, those weren’t the real Christians.” Both sides never get tired of making these accusations and ripostes.

(By the way, Christians believe that Christ voluntarily chose to be the greatest scapegoat of all time.)

Next: The blue meanies

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5 Responses to “1N-1 Coming Shortage of Unnatural Resources: Scapegoats”


  1. You remind me of Tom Lehrer’s deathless lyrics:

    “Oh the Protestants hate the Catholics
    And the Catholics hate the Protestants
    And the Hindus hate the Muslims
    And everrrrrrybody hates the Jews.”

  2. modestypress Says:

    Your comment put me into a flashback. When I was a teenager, the one thing I remember my not very compatible and happy family all loved together was our collection of Tom Lehrer albums.

    Well, that and the “Goon Shows.” (The Goon Show was a British comedy show put out by the BBC. It was where Peter Sellers got his start. It was the comedic foreshadowing of Monty Python.)

    And Jean Shepherd.

    I guess that’s how I got so weird.


  3. Yeah, I know all about “The Goon Show.” Did you ever see any of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s stuff, also somewhat Goon-Show inspired?

    I’m a die-hard Tom Lehrer fan, and will quote his songs at the slightest provocation. My mother and I listened to “That Was the Year That Was” on our way up to Canada, and had to pull over so we could fully enjoy “The Vatican Rag” without endangering other drivers. Oh, what wouldn’t I have given to have been in the audience!

  4. jennymac Says:

    You’re not weird, you’re…. thoughtful! I hate hate (being simple-minded is not that easy, you know). Feel the love, there’s still some around if you look for it. jen

  5. cheles Says:

    *Standing Ovation* I so loved this!!!


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