[December 2, 2023] I wrote an article about fake workplace victimization ten years ago. It was based on my observation of the Department of Army Civilizations (DACs). At the time, I recommended to the military that the best solution for them was to reduce civilian hires by more than 50%, keeping the best qualified and firing the rest. I was a General Officer, and my opinion mattered; apparently not. Not only did the Army not reduce their civilian hires, they dramatically increased the number.
The result has been a concomitant reduction in military readiness and increased hiring of unqualified civilians (those with criminal backgrounds, drug use, severe mental health problems, and a few who are spies from China and Russia). This is not hyperbole. The Army has doubled down to hire those who believe themselves “victims” of the world. The Army now prioritizes these hires.
Below is my original article, and it is as relevant then as it is today. And as long as the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III remains in his post, this will continue and will have a lasting negative effect on the military mission.
An undeniable trend, since its origins in the 1960s, has been both the emergence of the international politics of cultural victimization (e.g., the Palestinian issue) and American fake victimization. Senior executive leaders are already aware of these fake victimization trends in the workplace and are struggling to address them professionally.
There is no denying that many employees have experienced unjust barriers and harassment in the workplace. Eliminating barriers that have nothing to do with success in the workplace and preventing harassment are admirable goals and there should be an aggressive and active program that addresses the problem.
Yet, fake workplace victimization that creates bogus victims is also a huge problem. Nothing more destroys the credibility of true victims than the false prophets of victimization: those who falsely claim barriers or harassment for personal gain. Furthermore, it causes worker animosity and is a socially divisive and destructive force.
Artificial workplace victimization is easy and convenient for the perpetrator. It frees the self-declared “victim” of responsibility, creates a position for them of moral superiority, and places accusatory blame on innocents in the organization.
Victimization is based on the presumption of “equal outcomes” for all. This contrasts with the concept of “equal opportunities” and “equal treatment” for everyone. The former means everyone receives the same promotion, pay raise, and status based on membership as opposed to merit.
The long-held business model that technical and leadership skills are valued, is now turned on its head. Those employees who fail to perform, and falsely claim victimization, will now be rewarded through additional training and mentoring.
There is an ideology that claims that the failure of a business to advance certain classes of employees is due to sexism, racism, homophobia, or some other “ism” or phobia. Politically approved victimization categories are used to justify a “victim’s” plight. This is increasingly commonplace and puts the onus on the organizational leadership.
The best employees are most at risk because their gains are seen as illegitimate and at the cost of the self-proclaimed victim’s benefits. Good employees are also on notice that once valued employee traits and merit are no longer the key to success, but being a victim will bring you rewards.
Senior leaders who allow a fake workplace victimization mentality to take hold and grow, by neglect or consciously, lack the moral courage to speak up and act. Failure to act will drive the best employees out and will result in the inability to accomplish the organization’s mission.
Rewards in the business world is based on merit. Victimization mentality is based on physical attributes and political classifications – certainly not the American way.
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