Calculation of Blame: one of the pressure points of modern living described in To Do Your Work, a book on personal power.
To maintain all dominant positions, Power-Over intentionally blames the weak and the outsider, the unknown and the unacceptable.
In a general sense, blame determines responsibility or fault. This is not an act of kindness as the cast of blame is often harsh accusation.
Within power dynamics, blame is deflection, a re-direction of attention from the root cause of any action or event towards a false focus of responsibility and fault.
Blame shifts responsibility away from source to someone or something which will easily be held at fault, and thus accountable for that which they bear little to no responsibility.
Within the dynamics of Power-Over, domination maintains its ascendancy by denying responsibility for its actions or the effects of its actions, especially when results are negative. Then calculating the most effective scapegoat for the situation, responsibility is pushed away from its own culpability.
Most often the target of this calculation will be those who are perceived as too weak to mount an effective offense. The target may be an outsider, a stranger to the group in power. The target is always THEM – an individual or group billed as wanting to eliminate or endanger US – those following the Power-Over agenda.
When things go wrong, outcomes are not as predicted, or the dominant power structure fails to produce its promises, blame is the reactionary delusional path of redemption for those who truly bear responsibility.
Blame is also employed preemptively. When a future situation might go against the stated desire of the power structure, the object of blame has been pre-determined as the culprit and is now positioned to receive the ire created within any future upset. While Power-Over is eager to claim responsibility when success occurs, blame is the reactive path to deflect responsibility for failure.
On a macro, societal level, blame maintains division and stirs resentment and hatred toward those perceived to be outside, weak, or different – THEM. The desired outcome is achieved or the predicted culprit is revealed – either way Power-Over declares success.
In the calculation of what the power game demands to maintain the strongest position, the message of blame perverts the fundamentals of responsibility by refusing to admit any responsibility for failure. The message of blame says, “US are never wrong. THEM are at fault always.”
While it’s true everyone bears personal responsibility, life doesn’t flow in a vacuum where personal behavior and its effects are isolated and disconnected from one another. Human life can be sticky and messy because we all are connected. None is an island of solitary effect.
Power-Over, because its primary interest is to win the power game at all costs no matter the secondary effects, will always deflect responsibility of whatever is not to its advantage through blame. This is calculated, intentional, willful, and designed to create the most hurt and harm. Attention caught in the destructive motion misses what is behind the deflection.
Blame undermines the perception of value and positive connection to whomever the blame is directed. The object of blame is faced with defending against that which is not true but is maintained by Power-Over as truth. Power-Over chooses this calculated focus because defense is difficult, if not impossible – especially because the object of blame is now positioned in opposition to the power group. Blame convinces the group members of the validity of its position and thus expands the danger posed to those blamed. Group members support the blame to demonstrate their worth for the group.
Blame is not limited to public experience. On a personal level, when focused on self, blame becomes an insidious habit which divides and creates within self an internal battle.
When life goes wrong, when challenges bring the perception of defeat, the habit is to blame self for the failure. As response to failure, blame is a learned reaction particularly in the face of little to no self-worth.
Even as you do your work, the reactive habit of blame is buried deep within belief and the automatic responses of living. Blame finds expression through your critical voice.
To step out of this influence, the first step is to begin to analyze how you give up your power to others specifically and to society in general.
This is one of the points of the difference between Outside-In and Inside-Out. Living Outside-In your initial focus will habitually be outside of your center and your inherent awareness. Decisions are made by taking cues from out there before yourself.
In contrast, when you begin within, you are taking assessment of your awareness and what feels truthful from within you first. This is you connecting to Power-Within as a focus for response and action. This is also you clear about your responsibility for yourself first.
Thus, by beginning within, you are not giving self up to an external structure. Instead, you are maintain self-responsibility, empowering yourself, and receiving the opportunity to understand the blame of Power-Over is actually a reflection of their own complicity. You see they are actively denying and deflecting.
This also provides the opportunity to see how self-judgment can fuel self-blame. You can’t stop someone else from blaming you, but you can choose not to accept blame as your truth or responsibility. You can also learn to release the habit of self-blame through choice made within, inside-out.
To move beyond the Calculation of Blame:
Begin within, and thus empowered, be responsible for self first and always.
My Story of Blame
My experience with blame begins with me. I’m quite adept at blaming myself. I don’t even need to stop and think. I blame me. For everything. For anything. Blame has always been my go-to tactic. To get ahead of any situation, I take the blame. Even when life turns out fine, I claim blame just in case.
I know I’m not the only person with this habit. I know many who have the same habit, who take on blame without a moment’s thought.
Why? Why accept responsibility when I’m not at fault?
I could pull out stuff about my childhood and blah, blah, blah. Not to demean me, but in this present moment, the tendency to blame me is simply habit. A habit learned long ago. A habit which at one point felt protective. A habit which kept me from having to acknowledge truth. A habit which kept life from bouncing out of control.
Early on, assuming responsibility for any situation was expected and how I attempted to prove my worth. Because I felt responsible to always intuit any and all possibility, blame was the proper path when I failed to anticipate all outcomes.
As female, as eldest child, as intelligent, my first responsibility was not me. I was held responsible for others, their actions and their experiences. Putting others first and before me was standard practice and became habit. When life went wrong, as the person responsible, I was at fault. Blame was mine.
Blaming self is a very hard habit to kick. Ingrained deeply, early, and constantly, at first there is no awareness life can be different. There is no awareness of the benefit others derive because of my willingness to accept responsibility and fault without question. The relief they initially feel, I take as proof of my worth because they are now in a better position justifying my acceptance of blame. In the habit of blame, there is little awareness within me I am not responsible for them and their experience of their life.
Blame is an insidious habit born from the tangles of control. as a type of control. Within power dynamics, blame is a story of false responsibility. Made all the better when I tell the story on my own and take the blame on myself. In blame I am held down, held back, disconnected, and blind to reality and truth. I am separated from my personal power.
The reactive nature of blame may be the most hurtful. Mindless, separated from personal awareness and intention, reaction becomes the sole focus. Lost in reaction, I am rendering myself powerless, disconnected, alone. A habit of dissociation from truth, I do this to me. You do this to you.
For myself, I was well into my 30s before I really got clear about my responsibility for myself. When I began questioning the extent and nature of my personal responsibility for both myself and others, I began to see the blame on myself in a new light. I also began to understand how others benefited from my mindless habit. Bringing my heart and mind to my situation, I began the long road of dumping this insidious habit.
Seeing myself in this new light, I also saw the threads of blame around me. I saw how blame is used to trap, demean, and smear. I saw how blame is used by the top dogs to deflect responsibility and deny truth. Said long enough, hard enough, blame can move large numbers of people down false roads and damage without care the innocent and the defenseless, the stranger and the accused.
Early on, one of my most instructive lessons about blame was how blame glues attention to the past. Blame is about a failed past and my responsibility for the failure. Stuck in blame, I am stuck in the past where I have no ability to choose within personal power.
Power-Within is accessible within this moment. Here, now is where choice and self-determination exist. With attention pulled into the past, my ability to act consciously on my behalf is stymied, maybe even nonexistent.
This is part of the deflection of blame – a deflection to the past where my ability to truthfully take care of myself is diminished and denigrated. Where I am separated from inner awareness. This is where Power-Over wants me: disconnected from my power, from this moment, and from my inner sense of self-responsibility. External power wants me in a place of weakness, defenseless, and afraid I am alone always. Paradoxically, doubt aided my release.
I found the path back to me began by willingly moving my attention to this present moment and questioning the veracity of the blame for me. I found if I tried to tackle the blame back in that stuck past, I would usually just mire myself in more harshness. Taking a deep breath and feeling me present and aware of me was the first step towards release.
Blame is one of those emotions which lose juice when they are not constantly fed. Looking at blame here and now begins to slow its pull on truth, begins my ability to investigate and explore the details of the situation. More than anything I can now give myself space to be honest about responsibility. I can begin to work on what is mine and what is not. I reconnect to the authentic me. Doubt of the external push opens the door.
The odds may be stacked against me. The social habit pushes me to blindly accept all failure as my responsibility. But when I find strength within to be present to me, to bring my attention to the reality of now, I begin to find within the tendrils of my power and my ability to look blame in the face and say: NO!
Illusion of Calculation of Blame
Within personal power, the calculation of blame is unnecessary because personal power is always conscious of self-responsibility and how far this responsibility extends within any moment.
The effort to control uses blame as a path to control. This path defines responsibility and fault – both who must bear the burden and who will always remain free. Within the power game, blame pushes to become both personal habit and public habit. Blame can bring people together in pursuit of a common enemy. Blame can also separate one from another and self from self.
Blame would have us live constantly in a failed past. Stuck in a past where responsibility is clearly defined and agreed to. Stuck in a past where awareness of now and future possibility is deflected or hidden from direct view. Blame wants to catch the truth speaker in a cage, in a predicament where defense against blame becomes the sole struggle. Caught in the motions of self-defense, truth is deflected, buried, and questioned as false if brought forward.
Blame becomes a path of dehumanization. A person blamed is no longer given the respect any human is worthy of receiving. Dehumanized, like an effigy to burn without regard, the blamed are tossed out, shunned, loaded with the responsibility which is not theirs except through the calculating eyes of the perpetrators.
Consciously and intentionally, blame is cast as aspersions of fear and hate. Mostly, this is a game of power where the winner is the one whose blame had the ability to divert the attention of the largest number of people.
Done this way, blame is not the mere denial of responsibility. Blame becomes one of the worst forms of psychological and emotional manipulation. Done often enough, the habit of you blaming you becomes a delight to the powerful and the intentionally manipulative.
Blame, then, also becomes a habit of humanity displayed in public whenever someone does something not to the liking of others. Blame is the road of public execution. Whether true or not, once blame is cast many have a hard time seeing the blamed as human, as worthy of kindness or consideration. Blame has now become confused with truth. Within this reactionary habit, blame masquerades as truth and cloaks the blamed in layers of hatred.
Alienated, hopeless, angry, feeling denied and demeaned, the habit of blame is taken up as public action. The mob blames. The mob lays responsibility anywhere but at its own feet. The mob may first, in sincerity, find fault to explain its own hopelessness. But as blame expands and spreads, so does separation and disconnection. Whoever is blamed is no longer respected, no longer considered worthy. Now the mob has every excuse to push manipulative control into fear and hate. No matter the cost, blame ignites the bonfire of group hate. Blame seeks to destroy within self-constructed, false justification.
Once blame becomes mob wildfire, stopping the motion is difficult. Blame is not rational. Those caught in the burn of blame have jumped the tracks of reality and reason. Relieved of personal responsibility, with blame ingrained as truth, many can be caught off-track, never to return.
The more this deflection of self-responsibility is trained and experienced, the more reactive blame becomes. Reaction occurs with little to no thought. The goal is to have blame be completely reactionary. To be a thoughtless motion taken at the smallest disappointment by a huge group. As the sense of self-responsibility dies, the deeper Power-Over digs into the soul of Power-Under. Any sense of independence, without the Power-Over mantra of submission, fades. Consequences are attended to by casting blame in a continuous circle of denial and deflection. Strapped into this unending circle of blame, escape is difficult. Stuck in the past, personal motion forward beyond blame is difficult.
Benefit of this derailment to Power-Over is huge. Now Power-Over has a mob which can be called forward at a moment’s notice to defend its cause and attack its enemy. Truth becomes the blame and blame defends the deflection of responsibility. The mob need not be faced with failure. All failure is the responsibility of the blamed.
Release from this cycle most often comes when the inner sense of separation or disconnection becomes too much. This is also a sense that the rat race isn’t working. There’s a twinge of disbelief, a twinge of uncertainty which causes either a step back or hesitation in a step forward. There is a tiny break or gap and instead of mindlessly reacting, a question comes forward, doubt bubbles up, hesitation shifts to break the reactive habit of blame. The break in habit opens the door to question. Is this right? Is this the best choice for me?
The motion which breaks the cycle of blame is to personalize the choice — to turn any focus to self. Does the blame truly help me? When the question shows up, doubt has shifted away from the external authority and is moving back toward self. Division without begins with division within.
Reactive blame wants nothing more than to divide you from you. Divided, it’s difficult to trust and believe in self and feel worthy. However, the division is not real. The division is illusion.
To remove the illusion, self uses doubt to question and consider other possibility. Doubt in the presence of blame can begin to mend the bridge back to self-awareness, back to self-trust. Power-Over uses doubt to control and divide. The self uses doubt to return to self. To begin a personal path, whole, empowered, ready to trust self to thrive.
Blame attacks the desire to thrive as useless because failure is another’s fault. The only way to survive is to see the responsibility of those against you as the culprits of your poor existence and follow the external authority into the promised land.
Belief in yourself is not destroyed, it is simply hidden by blame. Doubt of the external authority will assist you back to you. A paradox — yet doubt is the door between reliance on out there and reliance on you, for you.
Doubt leads to presence. Awareness leads to responsibility. Clarity about self-responsibility snuffs the trigger of blame. Power-Within is maintained within willingly acceptance of the consequences of personal actions. Present to self, reactive blame becomes transparent and less likely to divert attention from present moment connection and awareness. This is not delusion. This has become your truthful reality.
All of this is to say that the fallacy within the Calculation of Blame rests within the perpetuated illusion of truth. Yes, some may never be willing to accept the lies of Power-Over as lies. Power-Under cannot accept it has chosen deception because too much rides on the belief in Power-Over.
For Power-Within and Power-With, personal power revolves around clarity in mind and heart. The ends never justify the means. Personal power thrives in honesty no matter how challenging truth may be, no matter how difficult to face in the moment or across time and more experience.
Blame will always win the attention of those who cannot accept responsibility for self. Those who feel the compulsion to always assume that others are at fault for the condition of their life. This is the power of THEM for US – a ready target for all that fails and destroys opportunity to survive.
Blame fails with those whose call in life is to inner truth, to be responsible for self, to honor connection with self and with other. Blame has little effect on those who live life present, within this moment.
Blame holds no calculation over those who feel worthy and believe in self. This person uses discernment without judgment to sift through and understand experience and behavior. The habit of blame has been replaced with personal awareness and respectful consideration of others.
No longer diverted by conniving calculation, blame falls flat, useless, and empty.
Learn more about To Do Your Work.