It’s rather astonishing how effective that U.S. culture has been at insidiously (and invisibly) promoting and teaching the “just world” notion.
That harmless seeming idea works powerfully to derail clarity of thinking and accuracy of perception. It is marvelous at subverting accountability and absolving perpetrators of harm from responsibility.
It only takes a brief amount of sustained attention to it for the obvious deviation from reality to become apparent…yet…way too many go through their day using that warped “just world” framing to quietly structure their understandings without ever subjecting it to scrutiny.
The “just world” hypothesis is an unacknowledged and devious way to take the stance that all victims of horror “deserved” their fate. It’s the ultimate victim blaming distortion.
According to the “just world” idea, all the victims of the Hitler regime deserved to be murdered. Every child or adult gassed to in the death camps of Europe was responsible for what was done to them.
All the victims of all the natural disasters in the whole world brought their suffering and deaths onto themselves.
Those repugnant falsehoods are some of the ugly and untrue fantasies illogically dictated by “just world” thinking.
“Just world” thinking often arises in children as a way of their trying to make believe they have some control in situations where they have no power. For children to be immature thinkers is understandable and excusable…for adults to engage in such ill-formed and erroneous nonsensical cognitive failure is unacceptable.
When adults think and comprehend and act like children…often bad things happen.
The next time you encounter an adult engaging in victim blaming, realize that you’re in the presence of a grown up who’s thinking like a child…(or maybe they’re a monster disguised as a human).