Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Return of Shame

Law, at its best, prevents people from doing bad things.  And that's at its best.

A lot of times people just don't obey laws (criminals) and even when they do obey laws, they may not be moral.  In other words laws prohibit bad behavior, but can not compel good or moral behavior.  So while I may not murder somebody, law doesn't prevent me from racking up more credit card debt than I can afford or standing somebody up for a date.

However, society did have a tool that picked up where laws left off - shame.

Though not codified or written down, society had their own set of unspoken rules or laws called "standards" and if you violated these social standards you would be shamed and scorned.  This shame would compel you to behave appropriately and was a vital and necessary component of society in order for it to survive and succeed.

However, shame is very interesting in that it's very much like "paying taxes" or "having to work for a living."  It's a fact of life nobody likes.  You step out of line you may not go to jail, but you will be shamed by society.  Therefore, you don't get to do whatever you want to do all willy nilly.  However, also like paying taxes and having to work for a living, shame can be used as a political tool.  Specifically, when it comes to a democracy, an amoral political party can ignore the importance shame plays in society, capitalize on childish-mentalities of the lesser members of the electorate, and promise a world with no shame.

You don't want to work?  Fine!  We'll tax other undeserving people to finance your life.

You don't want to pay taxes?  Fine!  We'll make a villainized group pay them for you!

You don't want shame?  Fine!  We'll launch an all out assault on traditional historical standards, the country's historical culture, and institute moral relativism.

In short, promising the electorate the elimination of shame is nothing more than bribing them.  However unlike welfare, medicare or EBT cards, it's a psychological benefit, not a financial one.  And thus, just as sure as leftist parties across the world promise their voters other people's money, they also do their best to eliminate shame.

We see this everyday.  The idiot who couldn't do basic math and bought a house he couldn't afford is a "victim."  The unemployed Music Therapy major, living at home is "just down on his luck."  And there is no better example of the elimination of shame as we replace military veterans with "single moms" as our nation's greatest hero. So successful is the left that the political and social environment is now so hostile that it's now "shameful to shame."  If you dare criticize somebody for failing to meet a standard you are the one that is shamed.  You are accused of being rude.  Your target of shaming is even arrogant and entitled, yelling "HOW DARE YOU JUDGE ME!!!"  And if your target of shame happens to be in a "victim class" you are immediately called an "ist" (even though you are criticizing their actions and not their race, ethnicity, sex, etc. etc.).

Additionally, since shaming by its nature is a public or publicized action (i.e. - you can't secretly shame someone) you are immediately alienated and ostracized from society.  Dare you demand EBT cards be the size of a poster for all to see on a blog or a forum, employers will no longer hire you.  Dare you criticize illegal immigration and are consequently accused of racism, you cannot run for public office.  And dare you criticize single parenthood, you can forget finding a date.  In short we have fully eliminated shaming from society and all the benefits (personal responsibility being the key one) that came with it.

Naturally, a shameless society will fail.  You can make all the laws you want, but without the social norms and mores that force people to be self-reliant, responsible, and respectful units of society, those individual units will revert to their basic human instinct and decay into shameless and parasitical ones.  However, there is a consequence to society failing.  Specifically, those people who are vested in society and are moral, are going to lose the only thing that matters to them - society.  And while a high percentage of them may still be too intimidated or brainwashed to speak out, bluntly and truthfully, a certain percentage of people will realize the cost is too great and start shaming again.  Specifically, those people who have nothing left to lose.

Understand that the reason most people don't speak out against and shame the social atrocities occurring in the US is because they have too much at risk.  They have a house, they have a family, they have a career. Their entire lives have been built within this system and are thus dependent on it.  And dare they get out of line, and dare they publicly shame the wrong group, the political and social cost for them daring to point out the emperor has no clothes is that they will lose it all.  An HR nazi will be auditing your facebook posts.  Your hiring manager will get a complaint.  An Adria Richards will narc on you.  Careers in America are so fragile and employers so spineless, you dare don't rock the societal boat with shaming.  You watch that recent immigrant use her EBT card at your expense and you shut up and like it.

But what if you're part of a group with nothing left to lose?  What if you're young, endebted by previous generations to the tune of $225,000, facing a lousy job market, and no future?  What if you're part of a group that is just assumed to have benefits and privileges when that is not the case, and you're constantly accused of bigotry and being part of a "patriarchy?"  Oh, and by the way, what if a mental illness has infected the half of society you SHOULD have gotten the greatest joy out of in life and instead corrupted and spoiled them leaving you little-to-no shot in life at marriage of family?  What if your future was just plain taken away?

Why you'd be the typical young man in America today.

And it is here where shame is not only going to have a triumphant return, but it is already back in full force. 

I hate to inform all the various political groups, victim groups, protected classes, sacrosanct faux heroes and other shameless classes the left has formed, but your strategy to "shame the shamers" won't work on this group of people.  And the reason why is that your strategy hinges on one thing - that there would be an economic cost inflicted on anybody who dares to shame.  But if they have no money, no job, no career, no hope, and no future, there's nothing you can take from them.  Worst still, as they slowly start to wake up and realize just how much your anti-shaming campaign has screwed up society, they will blame you  (rightly so) for stealing and destroying their futures.  And with nothing left to do and at no cost to them, shaming you and your ideological adherents is going to become their favorite hobby.


Anonymous said...

I'm fair certain most folks don't speak out because they don't care


Anonymous said...

Shorter Captain:

Beware of creating a class people of with nothing much to lose.

They may not have your goals in mind.

Anonymous said...

You're missing the obvious link between religion and shame, and as one declines, do does the other. It's no coincidence that the loss of both go hand in hand.

Anonymous said...

The really depressing part of your post is that your spot on that nothing will change until people have nothing left to lose. It just illustrates that those of us who can see the problems already can do nothing to stop it until it's too late.

Anonymous said...

One of the more alarming trends that have picked up speed (there are so many) is the switch from obeying the law to not being prosecuted for breaking the law. With the avalanche of obscure and inane laws hitting us, it's no longer possible to avoid breaking laws. Instead, you have to either not be important enough to prosecute, or TOO important to prosecute. Or have the right friends. Or espouse the right beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Shame is best. Way better than the law. Some whiny pencil-neck can say "oh, but the bible (naughty book) says that you can't covet your neighbor's wife!!!!" It does, but there is no law. You can get arrested for "coveting" anything and furthermore, if you keep your trap shut no one will know. If that makes you feel guilty and prevents you from wrecking your community then so be it.

Amy said...

Careful, Cap, it seems like you might be headed to WN 2.0.

The displacement of Whites in the employment queue is a harbinger of decline.

Yeah, I know, cultural enrichamentation and all that. But honestly, once the White men go unemployed, the nation follows the water that circles the drain.

Anonymous said...

They might formulate more violent goals, eventually. There is nothing more dangerous than a large group of young, unemployed men with no women.

It is not a stable situation, to put it mildly.

Anonymous said...

Epic, epic post sir...I will send this to the all the Justices of the country, so they can rethink their decisions.

Anonymous said...

Many don't care because the real hurt hasn't fallen upon them. Yet. The problem isn't just the apathy, it is that the same mechanisms that eliminate/discourage shame do the same thing in terms of redirecting the cause of those groups sudden hardship.

E.g. most young women don't care because they have yet to hit the wall - in any number of ways, and all women are provided with a system of proxies to approximate the life they may or may not desire but have been told otherwise. By the time the wall is too tall to deny, the culprit (Men) have been securely placed at the center of their discontent.

They are already victims; it is just a matter of drawing them deeply into the machine and then pointing at something other than the machine (and their acceptance of its preferential treatment and their own decisions) as the root of their problems.

And as long as women continue to accept the protection of permanent victim status lockstep with the benefits of "equality" they have no incentive to shame their own kind for abusing their position and/or failing to take responsibility for their choices. And you can exchange "women" for pretty much any other protected group - which is everyone but the white male. Who, by the way, represents the antithesis of diversity and equality. Diversity has nothing to do with distribution of subsets relative to the population as a whole, but rather the absence of whiteness.

The overarching problem with the redirection is that the truly disenfranchised are also being demonized and marginalized to the point where if they do wake up in time and/or take up arms- raise their collective voices, all of those protected beneficiaries will see them as the cause and the strife will be reduced to class warfare among those desperate to continue suckling the government teat - no matter how sullied or bitter the milk and those who have nothing to lose.

We can se this already with the sound of crickets coming from every white guy in the room that isn't belly-up to the liberal-feminist-entitlement trough. HE's THE ENEMY. The cause. The disruption has to come from within the very classes who are the beneficiaries. In the example of women. How often does a women dare shame another woman for being a slut, welfare queen, single-mother by poor choice, etc. They don't. Even though those very women are pissing in the pool. The would rather complain about how men are not choosing to go swimming with them.

Captain Capitalism said...

Heh, forget white men. Black men have been suffering this sh!t longer than we have. They're down the mine further than we are. Just wondering when they're going to look back and see there might be some white boys coming to back them up.

Anonymous said...

Our Founders addressed this a long time agl.

"Laws without morals are in vain."

Benjamin Franklin (Motto of the University of Pennsylvania)

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

John Adams

Brandon said...

Yes but black men have voted for this shit at the rate of 95%. Hell even Gore got around 95% of the black vote.

The VAST majority of blacks are not our allies.

Anonymous said...

"Heh, forget white men. Black men have been suffering this sh!t longer than we have...Just wondering when they're going to look back and see there might be some white boys coming to back them up."


There have always been white guys trying to back up the black guys - those white guys are what we now call "conservatives", you know, the ones who believe in individualism instead of a nanny state. You'll notice I said "conservatives" and not "Republicans".

You know what those white guys trying to help the black community get for their trouble? They get called "racist" and "sexist" and "homophobes. They get told that they don't know anything because they've had "white privilege" all their lives. Imagine that - build one of the most advanced civilizations ever, raise the standard of living of damn near everyone in the world, champion lofty ideals about freedom and such, and the end result is that you get old you don't know anything because of your "privilege".

When are black guys going to back up the white guys? Eh? Or maybe they like the gubmint cheese (aka gilded cage) too much?

Anonymous said...

Yeah down in the mine. Or the canary in the mine. Their victim status and unwillingness to address the lack of responsibility and abuses within their relatively isolated (by choice) communities has made them the leading indicators of the decline. Look at the out of wedlock birthrate, decline of marriage rates, unemployment, single motherhood, and generational poverty. The black American family has led the way in nearly all segments of the measurable decline. There are families that walked across the Rio in the middle of the night with nothing but a bag of clothes that have made more progress in the last 20 years.

I seriously doubt they will ever see the white man as coming to their aid or in any way sharing in any kind of suffering or common cause. Why would they, we are the reason for their decline. They are the victim, we are the oppressor. That's the point. Our voice does not count unless it tows the party line.

It isn't about poor me, the white male, it is that you are suggesting that the producers (of which a significant percentage are white males) who are bankrolling the entitlement culture, the levy keeping the floodwaters of decline from rushing in, are withdrawing from the system and/or are increasingly marginalized to the point of 'nothing to lose'.

I don't disagree, but to think that 'having nothing to lose' and withdrawing our resources from the system will align us with any other group is doubtful, just as doubtful as any disruption of that disenfranchised class of productive men would cause an awakening or solidarity or retrenchment to a system of values, shame, personal responsibility that would restore equity and stability. We can't be both the cause and the solution. It has to come from the protected classes.

And IMO, we are seeing it happen, just not how we would like. The individual responsibility, libertarian, old republican ways are dead. The polls are closed. The growing voting class - which is to say, consumer class, can continue to watch the water circle the drain and still find the resulting low tide to be a decent standard of living. And globalization is greasing it along nicely. The producer class is merely financing the dome over their own heads to maintain the illusion of prosperity - a la, Truman Show. When that finally breaks down, that producer class will still be viewed as the oppressors, the 1%, whatever, but will find themselves in a very unfamiliar world of hurt. Just look at the housing bubble and who really got screwed.

IDK, maybe I'm confused, but I just don't see my withdrawal from the machine raising any kind of concern that is actionable. Hell, I'm an unmarried man with a decent net worth and solid core values and my hesitation and discernment when it comes to marrying a modern woman is viewed as the problem, not a reasonable reaction to the actual problem.

Captain Capitalism said...

Not to sound too optimistic, but I believe some of our black brothers of the male persuasion are on the brink of having enough of this leftist shit shoved down their throats.

They may want to enjoy a better life.

And if they don't and want to continue the leftist "woe is me ism" then they can continue to enjoy the Detroitlife they chose for themselves.

Idiots, regardless of race, can enjoy the consequences of their stupid decisions. I have no passion either way.

Anonymous said...

You know CC, I first got exposed to ideas of sovereignty through the "black manosphere" you could say. And my first exposure to the Manosphere was the Black Manosphere which was at its peak on Youtube 3-4 years ago with the best videos being by Thugtician of the UK who has since disappeared from the web.

It seems Black men prefer video blogging on youtube and delivering verbal presentations on blog talk radio and other oratory venues rather than "blogging". Of course there is and others.

They've been at it for a looooong time.

"When are black guys going to back up the white guys? Eh? Or maybe they like the gubmint cheese (aka gilded cage) too much?"

Black men don't get gubmint cheese.

But I will say one thing - the piece at RoK that Athlone McGinnis wrote about "feminism" kicking black men out of their homes to give black women "gubmint cheese" is not correct.

Black women with good, working, responsible black men as their husbands and fathers of their children DID NOT kick these men out of their homes to receive a pittance from the gubmint and end up alone and cold in bed at night.

What happened is that there already was beginning to be a surplus of black men abandoning their children.

The "gubmint" then stepped in.

Its not feminists forced their way into 2-parent, stable, nuclear black families and convinced wives to divorce their husbands.

Gimme a break!

C.J. Caswell said...

Great post. As I see it, shame is a product of honor - the inverse of it - and honor in some form is necessary for society to survive. I think about this, and I get pissed off every time I see some academic comparison between cultures which subscribe to honor and cultures which subscribe to the rule of law. The rule of law DEPENDS on a foundation of honor. Some idiots really don't know how to think.

Pete Brewster said...

Shame? Captain---women have no shame. They never did. Even the Bible is full of it. "Shame" is what they use to manipulate men so they'll put down the beer and go to work so the women can sit around and do whatever---or whomever---they feel like doing. That's why we had prohibition, and now a drug war---women wanted a way of keeping men from staying at the bar all night that didn't involve putting out, knowing how to cook something that didn't taste like puke, or figuring out how to have their brats in bed and quiet when he got home. You know, doing their jobs.

The idea of women's "rights," of course (in the real world, men have to earn what they want) was used to shame men into handing over the keys to the treasury so the women could spend men's tax money on themselves.

Shame won't work on them. Consequences will. Nothing will change until women run out of Daddy's money---when men start going their own way en masse (if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor), tax revenues collapse, the make-work jobs disappear along with the welfare for single tramps---or rather mothers---and government "pensions" for professional feminists are paid, if at all, in worthless Fed-confetti that won't even buy catfood.

Then, maybe, the younger women will figure out that it no longer pays to be an irresponsible lazy stupid slut and pull themselves together in time to find a husband they're genuinely able and willing to love, honour and obey instead of humiliate and cheat out of every penny he ever made. While they're at it, they might learn how to cook and to balance a checkbook instead of whining that math is hard.

Their mothers---well. A man's investments should primarily be in gold, non-perishable food and ammo. Thst said, it couldn't hurt to invest the remainder in slightly more bottles of hard liquor, tranquilizers and razor blades than he needs for his personal use. A repentant feminist or two mugged by reality might just be willing to trade the last of her valuables (including a few things she never offered her husband, if the man is in the right mood) to invest in the only realistic retirement scheme most old feminists will have, namely the Valium, gin and Gillette plan.

Unknown said...

Sometimes I feel like sticking my head out the window and acting out the Howard Beale scene from Network and yell, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore!"

In fact, I'm ready to do anything it takes so I'll be in a college dorm this summer. As I said in the email, I've been accepted into the same electrical engineering RETP program as last time and all I need to do is get some fees and papers taken care of and get some supplies and I'll be all good to go! The orientation is May 18th and it's on a Saturday. Even if this means having to cut off all contact with my mother, it's something that I need to do and take very seriously this time. It's crucial that I won't have to be a prisoner of own home with a dysfunctional, micromanaging mother who doesn't want to let me do anything, even use her car to go to a Domino's Pizza interview or let me have a student bank account! My dad has been 100x more supportive and understanding of what I'm going through, so I'm lucky to have him.

She was even nutty enough to say that the age of 24 or 25 would be a good age for me to leave the house and live on my own just because my sister might be returning to live at home. She is still waiting on Yeshiva University up in New York City to accept or reject her for law school. Autism is also a lousy excuse for me not to live on my own when I know a bunch of other people with more obvious versions of the disorder doing just fine in college and doing well in their dorms and that's what she's been trying to justify all this nonsense with. Some crap a doctor told her a long time ago which isn't true.

Anonymous said...

A question which should be put to blacks: to which party did KKK members overwhelmingly belong?

ARoss said...

This one needs to be Shamed big time:

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't forget retirees. Many of them see the same thing, are PO'ed, have unlimited hours and are free of the shackles of their employer.

My employer sent an all-hands memo today about keeping silent about what's happening inside the company - can't even share with your family, lest you risk being tagged by the SEC for insider trading. So I can't share with my broker why I want to sell my corporate stock. Good fricking grief.

More likely, they don't want the truth coming out and embarrassing the corporate execs.

Anonymous said...

Seven out of Ten feel oppressed

Anonymous said...

Laws are a "mediating institution" that enables those in a culture to live together in a culture, according to its mores instead of resort to brute force as the norm. Shame is the mediating institution that holds the culture together short of law. If they fail, things revert to violence. The coming scarcity from the economic collapse, and violence from the social collapse will make a lot of wards of the state "hit the wall" literally. And those who respond to the new pressures by whining and attacking will be among the first to be disabused by reality and those with no patience.

Dystopia Max said...

Shame is generally defined as [i]a social enforcement of unwritten or unofficial laws.[/i]

When the manosphere started actually writing those laws in Indelible Internet Ink for all to see and critique, shame started being a much less useful tactic.

The real trouble of the age was better defined as chronic kinglessness, which the PUAs and such have taken full advantage of.

In a kingless age, we are drawn strangely to those who act like kings, but they cannot serve the function of kings, for real kings must have both final sovereign authority over their provinces and a rooted place in that province.

So real democracy that can conceivably claim "every man a king" must give males commensurate authority in their marriages if they want them to stay rooted to one place. They haven't succeeded in rooting men to one house(and female-dominated Realtor(TM) teams seem rather averse to such goals if recent real estate bubbles are any indication) though they've made great strides in tying men to their bank accounts!

"We removed any kingly authority and respect from the marriage contract and ensured no one really owns his own home or can stay there long...why isn't anyone getting married?"

The answer: Because the Prime Minister Cartel and Oligarchy has not been publicly disbanded.

Anonymous said...

Very nice post captain...

The problem is that it's just your opinion. What facts (anecdotal or otherwise) do you have to convince us that shaming will make a comeback.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this blog?

He wrote a book about shame in America. His blog is excellent. I haven't read the book. Another book I'd like to read is The Chrysanthemum and the Sword which is about Japanese culture and how it differs to American culture.
Anyhoo, good post.

Anonymous said...


A side note. You said, "young, endebted [sic] by previous generations to the tune of $225,000." I think that dollar figure is much higher.

Lets look at 3 people that leave high school in 2013. The three together owe $675,000.

One of the three will end up in a government job. Government workers do nothing to pay off the debt, they receive money from the government then remit some of it back. This circular flow can not pay off debt so the other 2 have to pay off the debt.

Of the remaining two students, one will never pay enough in taxes to compensate for the dollars he or she receives in direct government payments. That leaves one of three to pay off the total amount owed, $675,000.

That is $17,000 per year the one "net taxpayer" must repay over a 40 year career without considering interest. So screwed; so, so screwed.

The only hope for the one actual taxpayer is hyper inflation. System collapse would only make things worse as the producers will be blamed as the cause of the problems and the solution will be more social programs and regulations with more government employees (that pay no net taxes) to dole out the benefits and enforce the regulations.

Best option for parents today, find a good government job for your kids, bribe someone to get the jobs for your kids if you have to and teach your kids to mouth the right platitudes to keep those jobs. Sounds a bit like Mexico or Zimbabwe but that is our situation.

Anonymous said...

The left isn't against "shame" they use it all the time against anyone who doesn't get with their program. Take for example the right to self defence. They regularly try to shame anyone who wants to use a gun to protect themselves as mindless child killers. Look at the shame campaign against the NRA.

jabrwok said...

The problem with shame as a social mediating mechanism is that it depends on *other people*. If no one knows you did wrong, then there's nothing to be ashamed of.

That's why the West has traditionally relied on *guilt*. YOU know you did wrong, even no one else does, and your sense of guilt shames you from within.

Matt said...

My grandmother divorced. Women who knew her for three decades never knew she had previously married.

There was such a stigma associated with being a divorcee that she never told anyone. Let that sink in.

She need to bring shame back. If you get divorced, you are a failure.

Anonymous said...

Think of the movie you don't want to see 42. That's another example of shame we're all supposed to feel even though we had nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget "reverse shame" - how liberal news outlets seek to cause people to be misinformed out them to shame people who shouldn't have shave.

Example - If you support welfare reform, the press shames you for being selfish and evil. If you are against gay marriage, you are shamed for standing for traditional values.

Everything that is honorable is dishonored... everything that is dishonorable is elevated as proper and desirable.

Dan said...

Another home run.....

Kim du Toit....a blogger who hung it up a few years back touched on this subject. It's an important one that rarely gets the attention it deserves.

Joan of Argghh! said...

You can't be called a hypocrite if you don't have any standards. Ever. And the Left uses "hypocrite!" as their number one shame-inducer to the Right.

If you try to do the same to say, Al Gore or Obama, it has no traction b/c they are not even in the same game as the rest of us. They are completely faithful and true to their own inner godling. Standards are for people who don't believe the game is rigged.

The young men of today were raised without standards, and the idea of shaming has no traction with them either. It'll be a reaction to boredom and poverty that our elites will feel. Much like Egypt. It's not even ideological when one's stomach is growling, and one's future is wretched. Shaming is for school marms. There will be blood.

Anonymous said...

I always counter the shaming crap by stating that it's a "shame" the law prohibits me from kicking their worthless asses! They fuck-off in a hurry then!!

Bob's Blog said...

Excellent post! Linked here:

Anonymous said...

Is shame really that useful? It seems to me that it is overkill, insignificant or totally out of place.

I don't care about single mother having their bastard spawn as long as the aren't taking my taxes away. Leave them to their own (lack of) means, shaming them is irrelevant (or we could codify single momhood as child abuse by the law, as some senator suggested).

The guy that majored in International Business has no job? Leave him to his unemployment or his work as a janitor. The punishment is enough.

Now, do you really think that any regular bankster like John Corzine or gang thugs care at all at what society think about them?

Let's not forget the amount of issues where the shame get totally misdirected by the idiocy of the average person. **Euthanasia** - cough - **Abortion** - cough - **stem cell research**

Anonymous said...

An excellent article! I'm a Junior in high school, and I was writing a persuasive essay about war and shame for my English class when I came across your article. (I was originally inspired about the topic from my Western Philosophy and Ethics class.) It was an excellent resource.

Here are some relevant ideas I used in my essay:

-Aristotle believed that one of the 12 virtues all people should try and live by was shame.

-Newsweek published and article called "The Return of Shame".

-Neutralization of Deviance, or how people justify immoral actions to get rid of shame.

-The idea that acceptance, while good in some cases, is not always the best thing.