I chose the name of this blog from a Facebook post I wrote not long ago. Here is the post, and the foundation upon which I base my commentary/rants about the Fellowship of the Perpetually Aggrieved:
When our ancestors left their homes and made new lives here, they had to learn how to get along with a plethora of other immigrants from other countries: a common language was needed, and so our unique brand of English–American English–evolved, imbued with words and references and intonations carried over from a multitude of other languages. American culture came to reflect this amalgamation–some elements of the Old Country’s culture were stripped away by time and necessity, yet other elements remained and became a part of our national identity. Multitudes came together and eventually forged a newer, stronger whole–the “melting pot” effect, in other words. We were unified by the idea that our rights and opportunities are given to us all by God (or some Power beyond mankind), not by man himself nor by man’s government.
I remarked to a friend some time ago that America is–and has been for the last several decades–undergoing a “reverse melting-pot” effect. Our culture and our politics have become a game of pandering to the Fellowship of the Perpetually Aggrieved: composed of a multitude of groups, divided by superficial means, and formed of those who have taken a once-legitimate cause (removing the man-made obstacles to their God-given rights) and twisted it beyond all initial recognition. The idea that once unified us all is now reviled–to the Fellowship, it is man’s government that grants us our rights. To the Fellowship, it is not our willingness to sacrifice and work that determines how well we will do in life, but whether or not we were born into the “correct” group.
If you are a member of this Fellowship, it is no longer enough to simply identify as “American,” you need to add modifiers to make sure everyone knows of your membership. Newly-arrived immigrants are encouraged to join their cultural groups within the Fellowship and resist the natural tendency to assimilate into the melting pot–preventing them making the compromises that others have made for generations, compromises that allowed their descendants to thrive. After all, in the Fellowship of the Perpetually Aggrieved, “compromise” and “responsibility” are dirty words uttered by the patriarchy, the oppressors, the elitists and their mindless sycophants. To call oneself a “victim” is a moniker of pride.
The Fellowship is ever-changing and never, ever satisfied. The natural tendency of some is to try to tie oneself to a group within the Fellowship–after all, as long as one can claim the mantle of “victim,” one can avoid taking responsibility and continue to place blame for personal failures on the oppressors. Alternatively, a “victim” can use that status for personal enrichment, even though they personally do not need it. That’s why we have Ward Churchill and Elizabeth Warren and Sandra Fluke and the trust fund babies of the Occupy movement. They want no part of the melting pot, with its demands for adaptability and personal sacrifice and delayed gratification–tribalism in comparison is so much easier.