People blame politicians for their misfortunes, or the past, or the stupid, or the rich, or their enemies, or politicians of the past, or witches, or immigrants, or technocrats, revolutionaries, bankers, religious zealots, be they alive, dead, or written about in holy books, which are also blamed, for the misfortunes of the world and of our lives. People also blame themselves.

People have an innate desire to blame someone or something else for misfortune. It's part of being self-aware to believe that the actions of selves matter. If actions of selves matter then praise and blame are logical, but if we are not self-aware then our actions are not ours, and we can't be responsible for them. To blame or praise things that are not self-aware makes no sense. We can't blame the Earth for quaking, even when it causes great destruction. We can blame a warmonger for an act with similar results.

Can an unconscious being, a dog (if dogs have no self-awareness) be blamed for an action that starts a war or kills someone? Dogs do kill and are blamed, but this is largely anthropomorphism by the justice system. We find it easy to blame a savage dog, treating the animal like a brutal person, yet don't treat chickens in a battery farm as more than automatons.

Can the stupid be blamed for acting stupidly? No, for their actions were always destined, given their knowledge and experience up that point. Similarly, the actions of the intelligent were always destined in the same way. Can they be blamed for the outcome of their actions either?

Once the illusion of self-control is released, feelings of blame are irrational. What has been has been, and was always to be, and to attach blame, or praise to the actions of others is a futile waste of mental energy, as futile as blaming the sun for rising and burning us, or the Earth for quaking.

Mark Sheeky, 27 June 2016