Scapegoating

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by oscillatewildly, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. oscillatewildly macrumors 68000

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    #1
    There is a lot of scapegoating in the UK at the moment, Government, business, individuals, media, Uncle Tom Cobbly ... are all giving bankers a kicking. That is not to say certain bankers aren't worthy of blame. This week, finally, someone high up in government told it how it is, shame it wasn't a member of the UK Government.

    Taken from Reuters - passage from Timothy Geithner's recent announcement -

    'I am going to outline the key elements of this program today. But before I do that, I want to explain how we got here. The causes of the crisis are many and complex. They accumulated over time, and will take time to resolve.

    Governments and central banks around the world pursued policies that, with the benefit of hindsight, caused a huge global boom in credit, pushing up housing prices and financial markets to levels that defied gravity.

    Investors and banks took risks they did not understand. Individuals, businesses, and governments borrowed beyond their means. The rewards that went to financial executives departed from any realistic appreciation of risk.

    There were systematic failures in the checks and balances in the system, by Boards of Directors, by credit rating agencies, and by government regulators. Our financial system operated with large gaps in meaningful oversight, and without sufficient constraints to limit risk. Even institutions that were overseen by our complicated, overlapping system of multiple regulators put themselves in a position of extreme vulnerability.

    These failures helped lay the foundation for the worst economic crisis in generations.

    When the crisis began, governments around the world were too slow to act. When action came, it was late and inadequate. Policy was always behind the curve, always chasing the escalating crisis. As the crisis intensified and more dramatic government action was required, the emergency actions meant to provide confidence and reassurance too often added to public anxiety and to investor uncertainty.'

    There will probably be a lot of ice in a certain place before the scapegoaters accept their share of the blame.

    Cheers,
    OW
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Allow me to offer an alternative viewpoint that maybe at least attempts to consider social psychology and not expect humans to act in a wholly non-human fashion. Scapegoating is species typical -- it has happened throughout and before history and across essentially every culture.

    Following this, two observations. First, scapegoating need not necessarily be embodied with the belief that the people who are scapegoated caused the problem. In fact, throughout the history of civilized cultures it has been widely recognized, just as it has right now in this situation, that such a causal attribution of blame is ridiculous. Why assume that it is being done for this reason in the absence of any compelling evidence that this is why people scapegoat?

    Second, blindly lashing out at people for committing the offense is scarcely likely to provide you any effective means of reducing this behavior, which, while species typical, is no less odious for the fact. Murder too is species typical. But simply excoriating murderers has, inasmuch as I know, had almost no contribution in the dramatic reduction in the frequency of killing in cold blood that has happened in the last several thousand years.

    Blaming individuals who engage in scapegoating for scapegoating is no better than the scapegoating itself. In fact it itself is an act of scapegoating.
     
  3. oscillatewildly thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Does taking responsibility for the consequences of your action/inaction have a place?
     
  4. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    I thought it was all Bill Clinton's fault??? :confused:
     

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