Shaming Culture

The Captain has a new post up, The Shaming of John Galt.

The left uses shame and “shaming language” for one reason and one reason only – they are factually wrong, so they must “shame” what is “right” or what is real.  Since the left lives in a world that is not based in reality or the reality principle, they have to “change reality” and the best way to do that is to convince or outright brainwash people into thinking the opposite of what is true and the opposite of what is in their best interests.

There are so many lenses with which you can look at these phenomena.  The Captain’s got a pair of spectacles labelled Living in Denial of Reality while those lying closest for me are the Shame, Narcissism, and Humbleness set designed by Pravda.

In other words, I completely agree with him, but I’m also seeing a second pattern.

We live in a culture dedicated to Narcissism.  The Last Psychiatrist will back me up on this, as will The Rawness; heck, just take one look at Reality TV: while there are plenty of reasons for this abominable programming (writers’ strike, low-cost “actors”) it ultimately relies upon a population which laps it up.  And what are these shows constructed around?

1. Narcissism on the part of the “actors”: A group of talentless hacks or has-beens (C’mon Ozzy, I named my site after you!) desperately craving the limelight.  The males of Jersey Shore: rather than working hard and developing themselves to accept a mid-level rank in society, a justly earned rank, they become prancing, powdered, poofters braying subliterately at he glittering strumpets of the Italian ghetto.  A quick and easy status-making scheme.  The Narcissistic Beast must be fed!

2. The willingness of the audience to Shame: I can’t watch these shows, even brief clips or parodies sicken me.  But I understand why people do: they enjoy the vicariously shaming.  Watching broken people dance around like masochistic marionettes allows the audience to reaffirm their own status – “Look at how much better I am than these people!” A sense of self-worth, based not upon accomplishment, but upon climbing to the top of the crab bucket.

Reality TV is just one of the obvious symptoms; everything from advertising to music sells the message that your worth is purely a matter of quantity, not quality: try and bang a lot of women, instead of finding one who honestly loves you.  Buy new, disposable garbage every day, instead of investing in good-quality material goods.  Find a bunch of shallow friendships, and hang out with them at the club, instead of bonding deeply with a few close compatriots.

So is it any surprise that the primary method used to argue Liberalism is shame?

Conservatism doesn’t stand a chance in such a society; for conservatism is about humbleness.

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
~Ayn Rand

The humble man loves his life, but doesn’t believe it is better than anyone else’s purely on the merit of it being his own; the humble man approaches his work with apprehension, always seeing how much greater it could have been, while still feeling pride over his accomplishment.  The humble man knows he’s not perfect, though he’s proud of what he’s become.

To be conservative is to work hard, and to admit to oneself that you fall short of your goals.  The Narcissist – eternally avoiding any spectre of shame, launching into psychotic rages when their failings are even hinted at – is incapable of such introspection.

We might not be able to seduce the big, dumb, voter block… but their shaming tactics wash over us.

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3 Responses

  1. dg says:

    I dunno about narcissist or not, but one of the very few “reality”-ish shows I can stand at all (and I’d never watched if i hadn’t known of the guy second-hand via his books and a co-author of his) is the sortof-corny “Rocket City Rednecks.”

    Take on actual rocket scientist in Huntsville Alabama(1). His dad (apollo program machinist), a DOD consultant who shows up for kicks, and jackleg utilities mechanic who get together and build crazy shit in the garage over the weekends. A a fair bit of it blows up, most of it deliberately. The only real drama is “can we finish in time”.

    Building things like human-lift capable rockets (one blew up, one failed a chute deployment), a hovercraft, a tornado shelter, etc…

    (1) Travis Taylor. Science fiction author. A couple PHD’s at this point, I forget how many masters degrees/etc. When a co-author used him as the basis for a character in a different book series, complaints about the character being unrealistically competent were answered with “the guy I based him on already knew how to shoot.”

  2. dg says:

    On another note – aside from reality TV, most of the dreck on these days is just unwatchable. I’d much rather go watch the unabashedly cheesy Warehouse 13, or Firefly, or classic movies like Zulu, than deal with “Glee”, “The New normal”, “Homeland”, etc. Sure, it’s well scripted and produced crap, but it’s still crap where they keep hiding who the good guys are form you, if there are any (and they may lie to you about that as well.)

  3. Cogitans says:

    Great article Aurini. I have long seen the popularity of sites such as the people of wal-mart as indicative of the very things today. It’s really nothing more than cultural vampirism, driving pleasure from the degredation of others the way a vampire gets life by consuming its victim.

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