Sometimes you read an article and realize, "Hey! I've been there!". I was following some tweets the other day and was directed to an article on The Blame Game, which explains how things work in a culture of blame.
I've definitely seen this at work at least two or three times in my 30 years of programming. It's a tough situation. Here is a diagram about how the system remains and escalates over time:
I did find that promoting transparency in a culture of blame is not so much a way of creating change as a way of attracting blame. It was a difficult lesson.