What on Earth Is Wrong with Harry and Meghan?
The battle of life calls forth three noble and healthful psychological attributes: loyalty to kin and country; honor of work that protects and promotes survival; and, most fundamental to mental health, gratitude for the gift of life itself.
Spirituality is always practical, and practicality is inherently spiritual, because they share the vital functions of protecting life and promoting full humanness. Loyalty to kin and country is essential to survival. Honoring those who labor in the many aspects of service is natural justice. The foundation of mental health is the experience of gratitude for the gift of life. Gratitude is the beautiful background music of life. Gratitude is remembrance that God alone has the power to give life and to endow universal human worth. Human beings have the opportunity to respond to this gift with gratitude, thereby connecting temporal life with eternal life.
Over the past two hundred years, advances in science and technology have so greatly improved material conditions that for many people, life no longer seems to be a battle for survival. What happens to loyalty, honor, and gratitude when conditions of affluence obviate the need to struggle to secure safety, sustenance, and even luxury in everyday life? The noble attributes recede.
Every great life has to be earned. It is not possible to live a great life on the backs of others. Moaning, wailing, begging, and borrowing amount to a mediocre life at best. Because loyalty, honor, and gratitude are the handmaidens of greatness in famous and common people alike, a brilliant person can live a cramped life, and a unsophisticated person can live a life of greatness. The creeds of victimhood, sniffing like hounds for slights and slurs, are replacing the effort, sacrifice, and compassion that make a great life possible. Victimhood culture is why we are watching greatness disappear from the American landscape.
The mighty paradox is that as material ease increases, the world becomes a colder, cruder, and crueler place. When the noble attributes become obsolete, infantile creeds of entitlement emerge. Instrumental victimologies are psychological belief systems that project a sense of victimhood in people who have never been persecuted, abused, or significantly victimized. The psychological purposes of instrumental victimhood are to exert control over others and demand and manipulate material advantages.
Instrumental victimology takes two overlapping forms. Impersonal relates to mass sociological conditions of consciousness such as racism, and personal relates to delusional victimization in family and social contexts. The dishonesty and moral destruction of instrumental victimologies dominate public discourse and much of private life in materially advantaged societies.
The left wing uses instrumental victimologies, especially nonexistent racial persecution, to control political conversation. When Biden shuffles to the podium and offers spectral handshakes to the ghosts he feels around him, he is not merely dividing our house against itself; he expresses the perversion that those who remain loyal to American greatness, those who honor America and are thankful to be Americans, are victimizers, and the disloyal, dishonorable, and ungrateful are victims.
Bureaucrats running the great American institutions such as the military and the FBI are deserting loyalty and honor and committing institutional suicide by exploiting delusional instrumental victimologies for their own power. Psychotherapists are increasingly working with parents who never abused or neglected their children, but who are being scapegoated by their adult children who won't face life's challenges.
Since terminating their service to the British people as working royals to find privacy in Cannabis County, Calif., the only "content" Harry and Meghan have produced is high-profile complaints, criticism, litigation, and allegations against their families and others, especially the British media. The public nature of their grievances and progressively outlandish allegations makes them ready case studies in instrumental victimologies, including its lowest expression: stolen victimhood.
When histories of the 20th century are written, Queen Elizabeth II will be recognized as having played a majestic role in the eradication of racism globally. She was a great soul given a great epoch in which to reign. Elizabeth "never put a foot wrong," as she danced lightly into the world beyond colonialism. She ascended to the throne just four years after the British relinquished structural colonization of the Indian subcontinent. The central challenge of her reign was to nurture the infant of worldwide post-colonialism until the child could walk by itself. She did that with humility and dignity over seven decades.
Racism is a weakness in human consciousness that has contributed to conquest, colonization, and exploitation across the world. Progressives are fixated on historical racism by Anglo-European descendants against African-descended people, colloquially dehumanized as "blacks" and "whites." It is not only in the European-African axis, but globally that Elizabeth II fulfilled her duty to guide humanity at large from colonial exploitation to a commonwealth of sovereign nations. It is sad that at the end of her magnificent reign, Her Majesty was hectored by a scheming practitioner of stolen victimhood, with her grandson Harry chiming in.
In his meticulously researched Revenge: Meghan, Harry, and the War between the Windsors, Tom Bower documents Harry's complaint that his father failed him psychologically. Growing up, Harry faced the challenges of his parents' unsuccessful marriage and the tragedy of his mother's untimely death. It was neither possible nor providential for Harry to be fully shielded from those losses. When now-king Charles told his son it's going to be difficult for you as it was for me, he was bestowing a gift of truth upon his child. The psychotherapy movement of the last one hundred years is partly to blame for the myth that we should be spared grief and shouldn't have to rise above turmoil. Trials and tragedies of life, not trust funds, enable our full humanness.
The victimology that his father abandoned him has crippled Harry's capacity to grow into his own manhood. Even Oprah Winfrey, who was only too glad to hurt the British royal family, balked when Harry wailed that he was down to his last £10,000,000 when daddy cut him off. Harry has often complained about the trauma of walking with the men of his family behind his mother's coffin. This was a great honor to his mother's memory, and a great service to the British people, but in the psychology of instrumental victimhood, feelings matter more than honor. Harry's personal victimhood made him vulnerable to marrying an American wrecking ball who would use him as a stepping stone for fame, power, and wealth.
Meghan Markle is widely despised because, in this time of declining loyalty and honor, many people have suffered "ghosting" by family, treachery of friends, mistreatment in the workplace, hypocrisy of the rich, or the destruction of our rights by tyrannical virtue-babblers.
Stolen valor is the falsification of heroic service to gain power and prestige. Because victimhood is prized above valor by so many today, we have an epidemic of stolen victimhood, which is to falsely assert victimization to gain power and prestige.
Meghan claims in the Oprah interview that during her first pregnancy, there were "several conversations" between Harry and an unnamed royal about the child's future skin color. "I say, Harry old stick, let's have a bit of a natter about baby's skin color...what what?" Absurd. Meghan then offended the family of Nelson Mandela and countless South Africans by equating her marriage to the release of Mandela from prison. People are questioning her sanity in the Cut interview where she alleges that the media in Britain called her son the N-word. Thanks, Megs for spotting that, when 67 million people in the U.K. let it slide.
Psychologists need to develop therapeutic models to treat the damage of instrumental victimhood through confronting its falsehood and focused restoration of loyalty, honor and gratitude.