"She was born of an illicit liaison between Justice and Need."
Students of the illustrious Ateneo de Manila University, the intellectual home of “men and women for others,” recently condemned the attendance of Irene Marcos-Araneta, an alumna, and daughter of the late and former President Ferdinand Marcos, at the opening of the Ateneo Areté’s Amphitheater.
In a statement, the Sanggunian ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila or Sanggu (Boy, that’s a mouthful!) said it spoke with the university administration and Areté’s director, who confirmed that Marcos-Araneta, again an alumna and art patron, was at the event.
The statement read: “The Loyola Schools student body condemns the invitation and participation of Irene Marcos in Areté’s Amphitheater launch. It is nothing but ironic that a Marcos participated in the event of the institution.”
Plays depicting abuses committed under Ferdinand Marcos were staged at Areté in 2018. “[Irene Marcos’ presence] is a grave insult and vehement mockery to martial law survivors and martyrs,” the Sanggu statement read.
A separate petition signed by various students of the university also demanded the university to issue a formal apology for the incident. The petition read, “Are we not aware by now how the Marcoses systematically use art as a tool to blind the people from their violence and corruption?”
In 2014, the Ateneo also drew flak when Imelda Marcos was invited as a guest of honor at a scholarship fund anniversary, which she originally helped fund from the proceeds of a concert in the 1970s, that has helped countless Ateneo scholars through the decades.
The Areté director has since resigned and the university president issued a public apology over the incident, acknowledging that it had cast doubt on the school’s solidarity with martial law victims.
A friend immediately called me to celebrate. She bragged that she was the reason for the director’s resignation, the university’s apology, and public humiliation of an alumna and guest. It’s important for you to know her and her immense power. Her name is Victimhood.
She was born of an illicit liaison between Justice and Need.
When it came to victims, her father—Justice—defended them. But, her mother—Need—fabricated and glorified them.
As a child, she found that the louder she cried, the more attention she received.
And she loved the attention.
But, what she really wanted was power. And she set out to find it.
At first, she hunted tragedy. Tragedy that struck victims without warning—poverty, death, disease, earthquakes, typhoons, floods, war, etc.
Some victims stayed with her, decayed with her, and made tragedy the great central drama of their lives.
Others left her.
She had competition—her former friends, the so-called virtues: Optimism, Self-esteem, Pride, and, worst of all, Gratitude.
Those who followed them survived and thrived.
Worse were the advances of free-market capitalism: scientific and medical breakthroughs; mass production of the basic necessities of life; and a rising standard of living for all.
She complained that tragedy became all too rare.
She needed a bigger market. A better plan.
That’s when she met the handsome Collectivism. They fell in love. And he told her about great thinkers like Karl Marx who grouped people into classes, pitting one against the other: rich and poor; exploiters and exploited; oppressors and oppressed; victors and victims.
He gave her an idea. Turn grief into grievance! Find someone or some group to resent, to blame, and to pay.
She then gave them each a card—a victim card.
She gave them their identity, their map, their “IOU,” which was really a “They owe you.”
They can cash it in for all kinds of benefits: welfare, quotas, subsidies, free healthcare, free college, money…
Paid for by whom?
The rich, of course! The happy, productive achievers. The men and women of, well, ability. The same men and women who enroll their financially dependent, and supposedly independently-minded, tolerant kids at the Ateneo.
The greater their ability, the greater their guilt and social justice obligation should be.
The irony is, they fell for it!
They gave Victimhood their permission and their money.
But, there were a few individuals who did not agree. They fought back. They wrote books about persons of ability who refused to sacrifice themselves at her altar. They pursued their own happiness and independence.
“So selfish of them, don’t you think?” She asked. “And too much hard work! All that writing. All that independent thinking.”
Instead, she offers a safe place—Entitlement—and the power to silence, ban, and publicly humiliate anyone they disagree with or don’t like.
“The great thing is, there’s more than one way to play the victim card,” she explained. “There are many grievances. I’ll collect them all. What’s yours?”
If you want to bring down anyone, a university, or a nation, never be a victor. But always be a victim.