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Playing victim

The modern cult of the victim was foreshadowed by American playwrights in the 1940s. Blanche DuBois is the classic victim heroine and is almost beyond Jessica Lange

By Herb Greer   February 1997

The moral mess of Dunblane is the latest manifestation of a victim cult which has been growing in politics for almost a generation. Merely surviving an ordeal is supposed to confer moral authority on the victim, who may then strike a pose of chin-up nobility, while fronting a bandwagon for puritanical activists who mean to improve the nation-almost invariably by suppressing some innocent or pleasurable activity. All very bad news for the legal sale of guns and knives, but a wonderful boost for the market in illegal weapons, parliamentary snake-oil and legal nooses.

This modern style of victimism was foreshadowed…

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