ToDaZeD things that ain’t a’gonna work
Culture; being defined as, the way we do things around here.
American culture has changed “with the times” — “the times” not necessarily being the wisest of arbiters.
In honor cultures, men maintain their honor by responding to insults, slights, and violations of rights by self-help violence.
yanno, duels and canings on the floor of the Senate… Also the “hard-look” culture of the street gang.
“Cultures of honor tend to arise in places where legal authority is weak or non-existent, and where a reputation for toughness is perhaps the only effective deterrent against predation or attack,”
To the degree that one is perceived as strong, one decreases the likelihood of attack on one’s family, possessions and business because it is known harm with be met with harm. Elaborate structures of social ritual and manners developed to avoid violence where harm [or perceived harm] was not intentional.
During the 19th century, most Western societies began the moral transition toward dignity cultures in which all citizens are legally endowed with equal rights. Dignity does not depend upon reputation but exists as unalienable rights that do not depend on what other people think of one’s bravery. Having a thick skin and shrugging off slights become virtues because they help maintain social peace. The aphorism that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is practically the motto of dignity cultures.
Not sure about that phrase “moral transition”…
And quibble with the idea that Dignity does not depend upon reputation; it very much depends on reputation for honesty, fairness, and decency, just depending less on reputation for the ability to kick arse.
Slights are met with slights: “why would I bother noticing what you think of me?” is rather dismissive.
“As progress is made toward a more equal and humane society, it takes a smaller and smaller offense to trigger a high level of outrage. The goalposts shift, allowing participants to maintain a constant level of anger and constant level of perceived victimization.”
How is that “progress”? …well, progress toward anything positive? How is that even useful, beneficial, desirable, or …well, sane?
This is nothing less than demoralizing and polarizing.
Not to mention pointless and destructive. And – from time to time – just plain goofy.
It’s sort of like a particularly prickly and testy ‘honor culture’ with resolution sought from some ‘authoritarian’ third party instead of the skills of the individuals involved. And, of course, any ‘authoritarian’ third party must resort to written rules that his decision be thought ‘fair’ to all. Which means all human behavior must be codified. Which will work about as well as a Socialist/Communist Managed Economy; which is to say, not at all.
Alexis de Tocqueville [Democracy in America (1835) ] prophesied that democracy would generate an “immense and tutelary power” whose authority is “absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood.”
One of the remnants of an Honor [or Dignity] Culture is the abject horror of being thought a Victim; that is, one who has no agency. Might as well be thought a child with freshly-full pants. It was shameful to be unable to feed or defend oneself — more so to be unable to feed or defend one’s family, or other dependents.
Now the lure of the Freebie seems to have replaced parts of agency, but those being fed by others are those most likely to find value in Honor Culture [gangs, jails, etc]. Fights about ‘he disrespected me’, ‘he hurt one of mine’, recall the ancient tribal/feudal cultures. Compensation? Something to do?
hm… must be something innate in Human Nature that isn’t accounted for by those Ivory Tower types promoting the Victim Culture. Maybe there is an Invisible Hand ?
I wonder is it possible to shame someone out of being a Victim? Time will tell as the college Snowflakes™ emerge into the real world. …or as much of the real world as they can tolerate.