Maintaining Victim Fluidity

Government has a fundamental interest in maintaining what I call “victim fluidity”. What the hell is that? I guess in a nutshell, victim fluidity is a form of dynamic ambiguity on what constitutes victimhood. Clear enough?

Let’s back up. I want to start by defining victimhood as clear, or as black and white, as possible.

Victimhood is “the state of being a victim.”

A victim is a “a person (or their property) harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other involuntary event or action.”

  • Harm is “physical injury, especially that which is deliberately inflicted.”
  • Injured is “harmed, damaged, or impaired.”
  • Killed is “cause the death of (a person, animal, or other living thing).”

If you use Google to define these terms, you’ll find a mix of these and other definitions, applicable in different contexts. For my purposes, I think this is clear enough on what constitutes victimhood.

Have you ever been a victim? I have. It’s no fun. Fortunately, I survived. Not everyone does. That’s not to say that I don’t have scars. I do. I was a victim, but I am not currently a victim. I am daily threatened with victimhood, of course, as are we all who live around government.

What constitutes “harm” and “injury” and thus “victimhood” seems to have expanded in recent years. I might be wrong about that, but from my perspective, that seems to be the case. All sorts of actions, from the words we say, to the non-invasive behaviors we engage in are said to be “offensive” and to cause “harm” leading to a sense of victimhood.

Believe in and talk about homosexuality being unnatural? You are victimizing homosexuals!

Believe in and talk about science and evolution? You are victimizing religious people!

Consume certain plants? You are victimizing children!

As I said at the beginning, I think that government has a fundamental interest in maintaining fluidity on what constitutes victimhood. As an institution, government (the state) has taken upon itself the monopolization of so-called criminal justice. At first, government prohibited crime, or the creation of victimhood as defined above. In due course, as greedy politicians and bureaucrats sought opportunities to expand their personal fortunes and to keep their jobs, they began prohibiting liberties, or non-crimes.

The rhetoric they use would have you duped into believing that prohibiting certain liberties is for the good and safety of “society”, but in reality, they just couldn’t “let a good crisis go to waste.” Rather, they used the public’s ignorance and fear of the unknown to move ahead politically, all the while expanding their written opinions backed by violence legal codes to where they’re at today.

The difference between crimes and non-crimes, however, is that with the former, you have a real, identifiable victim, but with the latter, you don’t. Therefore, the government stands in place and assigns itself victimhood in order to bring charges. The more charges it brings as a victim (eg. The State vs…), the more revenue it generates. The more dynamically ambiguous it identifies itself as a victim, the richer and more entrenched in the fabric of society it gets.

Do you see what I mean now? Victim fluidity isn’t going away. I fear it will only get worse as governments find ways to exploit the ever-expanding definition of victimhood. Even now, Canada has outlawed speech against the concept of non-binary genders. How soon before a government near you does likewise?

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.