Every totalitarian system of government has a scapegoat. Under Hitler it was the Jews; under Stalin, it was the kulaks, the middle-class farmers who owned private property. 

Every individual, I would add, also has a scapegoat. Whether the scapegoat is a friend, your parents, an enemy, God, the government, etc., when something goes wrong, it’s always their fault.


It’s a fact of human nature that people like to blame all bad problems on forces beyond their control and take credit for everything good that happens. 

It’s also a fact of human nature that it’s easier to get people to agree on a negative action than it is to agree on a positive action. In other words, people are more easily convinced to hate a common enemy or envy a common ‘oppressor’ than they are to do something positive like building relationships or working together to achieve a positive goal.

You can probably see how these two facts fit together in a frightening way. These facts explain why there is always a scapegoat in totalitarian systems, and also in individual lives as well. The problem with having a scapegoat in a totalitarian government is fairly obvious (just look at what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany). The problem with an individual’s scapegoat – not so much. 

The problem is this: When individuals have a scapegoat and ignore the fact that they are to blame, they can’t fix the problems. They create the scapegoat to escape blame on themselves, but they aren’t anywhere close to actually fixing the real problem. Unless they get out of this mentality, they will never fix it the real problem, which means they will be stuck with the scapegoat – and the problem – forever.

So instead of blaming other people for actions you are frustrated with, take responsibility for your actions. By doing this, you can make a greater change than you could otherwise.