Until the world’s powerful people are eager and willing to lay out the actual systemic causes of societal problems, humanity will continue through the horrendous cycles of pointing at real or imagined problems; refusing to honestly face the root causes of problems; blaming scapegoats; and attempting to eliminate scapegoats until the next societal problem manifests or is invented.

The usual beginnings of scapegoating occur when institutional leaders–say monarchs, religious advocates, political aspirants, etcetera wish to advance a particular pet cause or to advance their rank. One or more minorities or outsiders who have difficulty speaking up in their own defense are singled out as the “fall guy”. Then, through repeated disinformation and misinformation campaigns, the public is inflamed by the institutional libels and slanders. Much of the public either cannot or will not see through the untruths due to confirmation bias. Soon, the typical torches and pitchforks reaction of the masses arises.

The instigator positions himself/herself as the only person who can solve the scourge of the “others'” supposed evil. It is then easy for institutional oppression and suppression aided by grassroots activity to silence and harm the “other”. This has taken place many times throughout history and has manifested through genocides, pogroms, and warfare.

Scapegoating can range from the ludicrous such as blaming gays for natural disasters, to singling out Jewish people for supposed economic crises. Once the public accepts and believes the disinformation/misinformation, oppression of the “other” is perceived as socially acceptable. Elimination of the “other” from public discourse is easier. Physical violence becomes somehow acceptable. The most recent examples include the 20th and 21st century genocides and the Holocaust.

Whenever certain minorities are blamed for social ills, we are wise to become more discerning. This is especially the case if the institutional leadership is one with whom we agree. If the citizen is apathetic or passively agrees with efforts to scapegoat, the citizen becomes guilty by association and indifference. One cannot reasonably escape blame simply by claiming they were just obeying orders or by willful ignorance.

Whenever there is a power struggle, one should be on the lookout for scapegoating. Some candidates are only too happy to reinforce the idea that the “other” is the cause of the public’s problems. The candidate is eager to heap ever more blame upon the targeted minority to further inflame the public. The more outrage the public feels, the easier it is for the candidate to manipulate them. This is a strategy that is centuries old.

With increasingly virulent attacks and mendacity, the power thirsty leader focuses blame upon immigrants, Jews, Muslims, the media, LGBTQ people, political opponents, the FBI and any other group that will be a convenient scapegoat. By doing this, the oppressor moves forward with the Orwellian illusion of rewriting history and redefining a nation according to his/her own wishes. In the end, society is engulfed in culture wars with democracy in peril.

There is a boundary in which campaign rhetoric and populism cross over to demagoguery. This boundary demarks where pandering to people’s fears becomes a terrible thing. People invent problems and assign blame that is unfair and unjustified. The scapegoating runs out of control and thousands of people suffer injustice as a result.

It’s tempting to just go along with the disinformation and misinformation campaigns out of inertia and indifference. When people feel afraid and helpless, it’s easier to postpone addressing the real problems and resort to scapegoating others. Instead of working to constructively solve the situations, people are herded into the easy way out by blaming scapegoats. This never works out well for anyone–not even the people doing the scapegoating.

When we blame scapegoats, we take away our own responsibility. Ultimately, we forfeit our personal power and inner strength. Accepting responsibility and refusing the temptation to scapegoat make us stronger, and better through reinforcing our integrity.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes attorney, author, and human rights advocate, Kerry Kennedy. “We need autocracies and failing democracies alike to understand that they cannot scapegoat LGBT citizens to distract from their own shortcomings.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Controversy, cultural highlights, Politics, religion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Scapegoating

  1. Reaseaorg says:

    So important to try to get to the root cause of any problem before pointing the finger !

  2. Yernasia Quorelios says:

    πŸ’œ The “root cause” is Denial of The Multiple Mental Health Issues (MMHI) from Conditioned UpBringing that We ALL Have EveryOne, when We ALL Admit, Address and Acknowledge Our MMHI is when effective dialogue starts; so many folk scratch their heads when a partner leaves a relationship with no explanation whatsoever


  3. Ana Daksina says:

    There’s a new kind of predator which goes around setting fires, littering and committing petty crimes near homeless people so that they will be suspected of them. They’re actually serving the collective agenda of criminalizing poverty and putting all homeless in institutions ~ oh, excuse me, “bringing them in for services,” so no one pays too much attention when they’re pointed out.

  4. bronlima says:

    Always existed …… but now with social media…….One step forward, five steps backwards.

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