Blame and Responsibility and Accountability remember not to use "diffusion" to deny your part in what your group does


Blame is condemning a person for doing something bad or perceived as bad. It is personal so there is no such thing as blaming the act not the person. That is absurd and so illogical that anybody who claims to do it is lying.

Blame is not the same thing as responsibility. Therapists do not blame the clients for doing bad things but help them to see their role in accomplishing them. Or so they say!

Responsibility is getting a person to see that they are the cause of some event.

There are three types.

There is responsibility as in can.

There is responsibility as in should. You should put the bin out for the refuse lorry if you want rid of the rubbish.

There is responsibility as in a moral should. You should put the bin out and show some respect for your neighbours for they hate the smell.

There can be no responsibility as in should if there is no responsibility as in can. But there can be responsibility as in can and no responsibility as in should. You punish a dog for doing what it can do and does not do. It is not about what it should do for a dog is not a moral agent and has no need of should and cannot should.

This study shows since everybody tends to mean responsibility as in should when they talk about responsibility that they are in fact blaming and denying it.


Diffusion of responsibility is a problem in the world - indeed the ultimate one. Too many don't feel responsible for the harm done by the organisation or culture or religion that they are part of. The reason is that you being the individual feels small in the face of the bigger force. You feel your own responsibility does not amount to much for everybody is responsible.

Yet if it were not for people like you there would be no organisation or culture or religion to cause any problems! Your bit is small yes but not small when you are part of the machine that gives the evil fungi a growing chance.

If you love everybody you love nobody and if everybody is responsible you feel your responsibility does not count. So you end up rather cold to the victims. But if the organisation is very good you won't think like that then! The organisation reflects on you and you reflect on it.
Don't hide your responsibility by diffusing it. You choose to diffuse. It is not about you. You cannot treat responsibility like that. If you take hardly any responsibility for what your group does to hurt others then don't take a heap of it just because it is a good group. You just care about feeling smug and that is a terrible throwaway attitude to have to victims and potential victims. You are certainly responsible for being that dreadful! You cannot hide behind the group for that! Your attitude is a denial that an injustice to one is an injustice to all.

Responsibility is what you talk about when a person or system has the power to stop evils and do good. Responsibility is about how the empowered use their power. Accountability covers those people. It also covers those who DO NOT have the power. Silence has consequences. Silence says yes when you say nothing as a person does wrong. Speaking has consequences. Silence can sometimes speak the loudest. So if you don't have the power to change a bad organisation or person you can still use silence or speaking to send it and the person a message.

Diffusion of responsibility is one thing. A related thing is diffusion of accountability. That is a bad thing as well when the organisation or culture or society you align with and identify with are harmful.

You are connected to what the bigger entity is involved in even if indirectly. Your role is not made any lesser by being indirect. Indirect action has more to do with evil than direct action.
You are accountable - people have the right to make you answer for it. They must not just pick on you but others as well. Do not soften the pain by thinking in a collective fashion. Think of you being an individual and the next person being an individual. Take the accountability.
Failure to take responsibility and accountability makes you worse than the members of the organisation that do evil. They are just a symptom of what YOU are like!

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