On Honor and Shame

 

In 1946, American anthropologist Ruth Benedict wrote a study of Japanese culture. Her landmark work, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, introduced to the public the concept of “guilt cultures” and “shame cultures.” Her audience was familiar with (American) guilt society, in which personal conscience keeps people voluntarily on the straight and narrow. In contrast, she characterized (Japanese) shame society by the threat of ostracism for the appearance of wrongdoing. It’s a useful analytical distinction. Today, it’s common to see it applied to Muslim vs. Western societal norms.

Where do shame and guilt come from? Both types of societies invoke the idea of honor — but the term means different things in each case. For example, “honor killing” is an oxymoron in the West, but a perfectly coherent idea in tribal cultures. That’s because in shame societies, “honor” means honor of the family, tribe, or group. It is judged by other people. Guilt societies, on the other hand, understand “honor” to mean individual honor before God. It is the root of conscience: What you do in private, too, is witnessed and under scrutiny. In shame cultures, one works to preserve appearances; in guilt culture, one works to preserve the truth.

Which is why the Left’s systematic attacks on religion, and Christianity specifically, are radically transforming our culture.

The Left has been assiduously dismantling the idea of Divine providence in every area of life — public and private, personal and communal. But when God disappears, ultimately so does conscience. There is always a justification for pragmatism. So all that’s left is honor before other people, honor of the in-group that protects against incursions by the out-group. And all that’s left to prevent wrongdoing is whether or not a person expects to get caught — or get away with it. Removal of the idea of an actively engaged higher power ultimately (over time) transforms society from a guilt culture to a shame culture.

Thus we see Harry Reid take pride in the effectiveness of his lies about Mitt Romney. We see Jonathan Gruber defend lying for the greater good. We see the Democratic Party Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, offer baldfaced lies as necessary to support her party’s spin. We see Obama’s “you can keep your plan” repeated even as he knew it was false. We see lies about the extent of domestic NSA surveillance and safeguards. We see lies that Benghazi was about a YouTube video. We see lies that Bergdahl served “with honor and distinction” used as a pretext for contravening Congress on Gitmo prisoners. We see Hillary’s illegal homebrew email server and wholesale document destruction. We see Lois Lerner get off scot-free. The Obama administration’s motto could easily be “catch me if you can.” As long as there are no consequences, there is no shame.

And then there is the flip side: the ostracization. Duck Dynasty, Brendan Eich, Indiana, Memories Pizza. Public smokers — and vapers, too. Saying the right thing becomes more important than doing the right thing. Celebrities take their private jets to climate change awareness-raisers; meanwhile, shame on you for transporting your kids in an SUV. Share the image of Michelle with the hashtag — or don’t you care about our girls in Nigeria?

Contrary to the Left’s theorizing, suppressing Christian cultural influence will not lead to a more enlightened, modern age. Rather, it is leading back to a more ancient, uncivilized one. The Left is committing a grave error: Dismantling religious freedom and respect for individual conscience will erode all individual liberties. Because truth is only the first casualty. When group honor takes precedence, all individuals become expendable.

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  1. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Perhaps they want the end of the individual. We are in the era of no consequences and no shame. What a crying shame that is.

    • #1
  2. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    When group honor takes precedence, all individuals become expendable.

    Hammer, meet head of nail. We’ve already seen this when individuals are sacrificed for the honor of a very specific group. The individuals so far include bakers, florists, and now pizza makers. The group to be honored are those who perform homosexual acts.

    • #2
  3. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Superb and insightful.

    • #3
  4. user_278007 Inactive
    user_278007
    @RichardFulmer

    SoS,
    The sort of abuses that you cite make me question Jonah Goldberg’s contention that leftists are wrong when they argue that they are not motivated by ideology and are only doing what works.  There’s no ideology involved – just a naked grab for power.  And the results speak for themselves – the naked grab is working.  Christianity has to be destroyed not because of any principle, but because it’s getting in the way of centralizing all power in a state controlled by the Left.

    • #4
  5. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    DocJay:”Perhaps they want the end of the individual.We are in the era of no consequences and no shame. What a cring shame that is.”

    I believe that they want individuals to buy into their zeitgeist.  What Son pointed out above is that the old idea of the Moral Law or of some semblance of adherence to the 10 Commandments has been jettisoned in favor of shibboleths such as global warming;

    that abortion is preferable to life;

    that the Hippocratic Oath is not longer meaningful when doctors administer death;

    that anti-tobacco campaigns are preferable to campaigns to make people aware of STDs;

    that we must be forced to do what is good for us (eg, eat broccoli and not refined sugar);

    that we can no longer be trusted to do what is good or in our own best interests, including being trusted with our children.  (The Nazi efforts to reshape children were quite successful.  They turned children against their parents.)

    Our consciences can be reshaped.  The old sins can be voided and the new sins inculcated.   In the process, as successive generations come along, they will also in their turn void the old “new” sins and progressively identify what now must be adhered to.

    Progressives need individuals who can be brought into line and made to serve a good which never before existed, which will at its conclusion lead to suppression of the individual and of society in general.

    Hail Caesar.  Heil Hitler. There will be a face for this and the face will be progressive and attractive, even if the results aren’t.  I would offer Barry’s face as a suggestion.  Nice face.  Bad results.

    As an aside: Do I think that Christianity or Judaism will perish?  No.  But it might become a catacomb-like situation for both, and may be potentially hard on their practitioners.

    I can imagine the courts participating in the effort to eradicate adherence to Someone Who is greater than the state and Whose law – written on our hearts – can demand a legitimate response contrary to the new law which cannot make such a demand.

    I think the issue of smoke detectors in Wisconsin, and the cost of refusing compliance is only one of the means available through the courts.

    Give to Caesar what is Caesars.  What happens which Caesar claims things not his own?  Maybe we’ll be graced with new Maccabees.

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Son of Spengler: The Left is committing a grave error: Dismantling religious freedom and respect for individual conscience will erode all individual liberties. Because truth is only the first casualty. When group honor takes precedence, all individuals become expendable.

    I have been asking myself this question for twenty years. Why is this not clear to them?

    • #6
  7. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    I’ve heard this shame vs. guilt thing too often. It is annoying. What you really mean to say is that the Americans have brought into the world a kind of philosophical democracy, where complaining incessantly about rulers has an accompanying principle–equality–which is spreading worldwide. Whereas before the American revolution, people lived in associations which were inegalitarian.

    Shame is you being angry about not being as good as you know you should be. It is you holding yourself accountable, even if no one else will. This is the moral basis of aristocracy as such, not just Japan. All aristocratic regimes live this way, as do all families. How would America’s arms even be able to do their work without shame?

    Guilt is a different thing, it has to do with a sense of being fated, & with the limits of human powers, & what lies beyond them–but you do not need to talk about Christianity to talk about it–there are Greek tragedies that showcase guilt.

    Now, as to the Left–does it not occur to you that our paranoid fantasies about them are exactly shared by them? They have the same paranoid fantasies about us: Everyone in the world who kind of likes Mr. W. Bush is complicit in stealing the election & warmongering! They see us the way we see them. You might say, but you’re right & they’re wrong–that may be true. But it should teach you, regardless, that when it comes to politics, the fear & the suspicion that people who say they stand for something are in fact pretending, that they are dishonest or wicked is inescapable. We all know that the other guys are wrong to disagree with us; it’s tolerable in good times; in bad times, well, that’s different–then we have to see through their lies to the ugly truth & act accordingly, do we not!

    • #7
  8. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    MarciN:

    Son of Spengler: The Left is committing a grave error: Dismantling religious freedom and respect for individual conscience will erode all individual liberties. Because truth is only the first casualty. When group honor takes precedence, all individuals become expendable.

    I have been asking myself this question for twenty years. Why is this not clear to them?

    Why didn’t Robespierre see it coming? Why didn’t Trotsky see it coming? The type of anarchic revolutionaries that drive the Left never believe they personally will fall victim to the chaos they unleash.

    They never see it coming, it is never clear to them until it is too late.

    • #8
  9. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Titus Techera:…What you really mean to say is that the Americans have brought into the world a kind of philosophical democracy, where complaining incessantly about rulers has an accompanying principle–equality–which is spreading worldwide. Whereas before the American revolution, people lived in associations which were inegalitarian.

    Please don’t tell me what I mean to say. I don’t limit the phenomenon to America. The philosophical groundwork can be seen in a comparison of ancient Greek and Jewish sources, for example. Protestant Europe has also fostered guilt cultures, as opposed to the shame cultures of the Catholic Mediterranean.

    Shame is…

    Guilt is a different thing…

    Benedict was describing a phenomenon, and coined terms to use as shorthand. The phenomenon relates to how individuals see themselves in relation to family, tribe, clan, or some other ingroup. In some cultures, people are willing to assign shame individually. Individuals may be willing to accept public shame if they believe they are unfairly accused. In others, individual shame reflects on the group, and the individual is either purged by the group (cf. honor killings) or himself (cf. seppuku) to maintain the group’s honor. “Guilt culture” and “shame culture” are the terms Benedict picked. If you don’t like them, that doesn’t invalidate the phenomenon. You may suggest other terms, but those are the ones used by anthropologists today.

    • #9
  10. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Titus Techera:Now, as to the Left–does it not occur to you that our paranoid fantasies about them are exactly shared by them? They have the same paranoid fantasies about us: Everyone in the world who kind of likes Mr. W. Bush is complicit in stealing the election & warmongering! They see us the way we see them. You might say, but you’re right & they’re wrong–that may be true. But it should teach you, regardless, that when it comes to politics, the fear & the suspicion that people who say they stand for something are in fact pretending, that they are dishonest or wicked is inescapable. We all know that the other guys are wrong to disagree with us; it’s tolerable in good times; in bad times, well, that’s different–then we have to see through their lies to the ugly truth & act accordingly, do we not!

    Part of what inspired this post was a conversation with a leftist over the weekend. She believes that there should be no limits on government ability to enforce what is “right”. She acknowledged (and joked about) Hillary’s duplicity and corruption. But she’s absolutely prepared to work on her behalf anyway, because of Hillary’s policy preferences. I can tolerate disagreement; it’s corruption of trust that I can’t tolerate. Above, I gave a number of significant examples of how leftists enforce conformity through shame, and tolerate corruption as long as it does not bring shame by getting caught. Can you offer similarly significant examples from the right? I would submit that there is much more room for intellectual diversity in conservative circles — whether among judicial nominees or Ricochet members.

    • #10
  11. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Richard Fulmer:SoS, The sort of abuses that you cite make me question Jonah Goldberg’s contention that leftists are wrong when they argue that they are not motivated by ideology and are only doing what works. There’s no ideology involved – just a naked grab for power. And the results speak for themselves – the naked grab is working. Christianity has to be destroyed not because of any principle, but because it’s getting in the way of centralizing all power in a state controlled by the Left.

    Must they be mutually exclusive? As Hayek described in The Road To Serfdom, the road is a two-part process. First true believers sweep away the constraints that prevent them from doing what they believe to be right (e.g. amnesty for illegal aliens, a national school curriculum, national healthcare). They believe that this new power will be used only for good. But then the power-hungry come afterward and have no scruples about using those new powers for their own aggrandizement.

    • #11
  12. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Son of Spengler:Benedict was describing a phenomenon, and coined terms to use as shorthand.

    Really? Just two words picked out at random? If not, if they’re picked on purpose, there’s no way to talk politics without taking seriously the psychology involved.

    The phenomenon relates to how individuals see themselves in relation to family, tribe, clan, or some other ingroup. In some cultures, people are willing to assign shame individually. Individuals may be willing to accept public shame if they believe they are unfairly accused. In others, individual shame reflects on the group, and the individual is either purged by the group (cf. honor killings) or himself (cf. seppuku) to maintain the group’s honor. “Guilt culture” and “shame culture” are the terms Benedict picked. If you don’t like them, that doesn’t invalidate the phenomenon. You may suggest other terms, but those are the ones used by anthropologists today.

    It’s not enough to say that these phenomena are observable: The claim is about things you cannot observe–about the whole of a human association. If you do not know the causes of what you can observe, you do not really know what you are observing, after all.

    Now, as I said–the American army works the same. All inegalitarian associations require this way of doing things. Whatever variety there is among the inegalitarian associations, it is not hard to notice at least the difference between one & an egalitarian society.

    • #12
  13. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Son of Spengler:Part of what inspired this post was a conversation with a leftist over the weekend. She believes that there should be no limits on government ability to enforce what is “right”. She acknowledged (and joked about) Hillary’s duplicity and corruption. But she’s absolutely prepared to work on her behalf anyway, because of Hillary’s policy preferences.

    Sure, there are such people. I cannot believe there are none such on the right.

    I incline to agree with the examples you gave, as well with the opinion that the right is rather less unreasonable & certainly less committed to transforming America.

    All this does not change the fact that lefties fantasize about how Mr. Cheney may have been running the country, if not the world. Or that Mr. W. Bush was somehow the hand behind 9/11. The implication there is that all the moral talk & the family values & the patriotism are merely a sham, something to conceal will to power. The war hysteria that started about a dozen years back was all about saying, talk of patriotism is what you call ‘a shame culture’, but it’s all lies, dissent is the highest form of patriotism–that’s what you’d call ‘a guilt culture’–& people should not be taken in by this corruption of the public trust for private advantage.

    This is just how democracies & indeed all free gov’t’s do politics when things get ugly. Soon, any credible claim to speak for the public or the political whole is wiped out by partisan suspicions. Nobody wants to be the fool, everyone wants to be clever–so suspicion & wicked talk comes to be seen as both self-defense & wisdom!

    • #13
  14. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Roberto:Why didn’t Robespierre see it coming? Why didn’t Trotsky see it coming? The type of anarchic revolutionaries that drive the Left never believe they personally will fall victim to the chaos they unleash.

    They never see it coming, it is never clear to them until it is too late.

    Heh. You don’t get it yet. Trotsky and Robespierre both saw it coming – it was what they wanted. People of the left seek a totalitarian state because they imagine it will favor them.

    • #14
  15. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Titus Techera:

    Son of Spengler:Benedict was describing a phenomenon, and coined terms to use as shorthand.

    Really? Just two words picked out at random? If not, if they’re picked on purpose, there’s no way to talk politics without taking seriously the psychology involved.

    I never said they were random. They were selected to evoke concepts already known. But there is a difference between the terms in general usage and their specific technical meaning in this case. Just as it’s not productive to argue that a member of the conservative movement should believe X because “conservative” has dictionary definition X, you shouldn’t bypass Benedict’s concepts because of her naming conventions. “Liberals” can be illiberal, “statistically significant” is not always the same as popular significance, and “guilt culture” is not defined by the dictionary definition of the word “guilt”.

    Now, as I said–the American army works the same. All inegalitarian associations require this way of doing things. Whatever variety there is among the inegalitarian associations, it is not hard to notice at least the difference between one & an egalitarian society.

    If I understand correctly, you are suggesting that the real distinction is not between guilt and shame cultures, but between hierarchical and egalitarian societies. If that’s the case, then we need to consider whether guilt cultures and egalitarian cultures are coincident, and if so whether one causes the other.

    I would note that hierarchical social organization has been a feature of virtually all human societies since humans went from hunter-gatherers to settlements. The exceptions would appear to be in guilt cultures. So it is reasonable to believe that guilt cultures are a prerequisite for egalitarian societies. I am open to considering any counterexamples you may have.

    And BTW, the US military may inculcate group identity and subordinate individual autonomy, but that alone does not make it a shame culture. There is a high degree of individual responsibility assumed, and people who cover up wrongdoing for the sake of the group (e.g. Mai Lai, Abu Ghraib) are ultimately sanctioned, quite severely.

    • #15
  16. Super Nurse Inactive
    Super Nurse
    @SuperNurse

    Really interesting post. Within the past few months, I read some article about children’s morality and whether they experience guilt or shame. The overall gist of the article was that a child who experiences “guilt” is empowered, because she knows that she can repair a bad action, apologize, and make amends. A child who experiences “shame” is more likely to hide misdeeds, believing instead that these indicate innate value or worth. The implication was that we’re naturally inclined to experience one or the other. Not directly related, but parallel thought stream.

    • #16
  17. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Titus Techera:

    Sure, there are such people. I cannot believe there are none such on the right.

    I believe there are too — but I have yet to see evidence of systematic corruption of the sort I’ve presented for the left.

    All this does not change the fact that lefties fantasize about how Mr. Cheney may have been running the country, if not the world. Or that Mr. W. Bush was somehow the hand behind 9/11. The implication there is that all the moral talk & the family values & the patriotism are merely a sham, something to conceal will to power. The war hysteria that started about a dozen years back was all about saying, talk of patriotism is what you call ‘a shame culture’, but it’s all lies, dissent is the highest form of patriotism–that’s what you’d call ‘a guilt culture’–& people should not be taken in by this corruption of the public trust for private advantage.

    The operative word is “fantasize”. The examples you cite are not only without evidence, they are contrary to the evidence. Giving equal credence to 9/11 truthers and well-sourced independent news accounts (not to mention the evidence we see with our own eyes on YouTube) is not a matter of balance. It does a disservice to truth that’s its own form of corruption too.

    I will not hesitate to present evidence of a social trend just because someone else might make up unsupportable theories about the opposite social trend.

    • #17
  18. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Super Nurse:Really interesting post. Within the past few months, I read some article about children’s morality and whether they experience guilt or shame. The overall gist of the article was that a child who experiences “guilt” is empowered, because she knows that she can repair a bad action, apologize, and make amends. A child who experiences “shame” is more likely to hide misdeeds, believing instead that these indicate innate value or worth. The implication was that we’re naturally inclined to experience one or the other. Not directly related, but parallel thought stream.

    This dovetails nicely with Carol Dweck’s book Mindset. You may find it interesting.

    • #18
  19. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Ask not for whom the wood chipper hums, it hums for thee.

    • #19
  20. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    SOS- “And all that’s left to prevent wrongdoing is whether or not a person expects to get caught — or get away with it. Removal of the idea of an actively engaged higher power ultimately (over time) transforms society from a guilt culture to a shame culture.”

    Yes, very good post.

    Notre Dame University theologian Professor Michael Novak has noted that in the absence of religion, a minority of cultivated people might embrace a philosophy like Stoicism or Existentialism, but for most, the criteria for behavior would devolve from ‘Is it a sin,’ to ‘Can I get away with it?’

    • #20
  21. Canadian Cincinnatus Inactive
    Canadian Cincinnatus
    @CanadianCincinnatus

    The pre-war Japanese and today’s Muslim ideas of honour are normal. It is us, with our refined ideas of personal honour, that are the outliers.  We are the wierdos.

    It takes work and effort to achieve and maintain a refined idea of honour. This is rarely achieved and even more rarely kept. It takes nothing at all to backslide into primitivism.

    • #21
  22. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Barfly:

    Roberto:Why didn’t Robespierre see it coming? Why didn’t Trotsky see it coming? The type of anarchic revolutionaries that drive the Left never believe they personally will fall victim to the chaos they unleash.

    They never see it coming, it is never clear to them until it is too late.

    Heh. You don’t get it yet. Trotsky and Robespierre both saw it coming – it was what they wanted. People of the left seek a totalitarian state because they imagine it will favor them.

    Morals policing come home to roost : – (

    Perhaps inevitably.

    Wrt guilt/shame motivation – I find that there’s a mix of these in all the cultures I’ve lived in, and in fact in most individuals.

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Good. Conservatives need more anthropology.  They don’t need the political views of academic anthropologists, but they need more anthropology.

    I would note that hierarchical social organization has been a feature of virtually all human societies since humans went from hunter-gatherers to settlements. The exceptions would appear to be in guilt cultures. So it is reasonable to believe that guilt cultures are a prerequisite for egalitarian societies. I am open to considering any counterexamples you may have.

    I wonder if you’re being a bit imprecise here.  I’m thinking of Native American settlements in the Great Lakes region.  The societies were very egalitarian, even post European contact, but the people practiced agriculture along with hunting.   To practice agriculture, you need to be settled to some degree.

    Also, I think these would be classified as shame cultures rather than guilt cultures.  Justice was a private (family) matter.  It was difficult for these societies to transition to a system of state justice.

    More has been written about the difficulties of southeastern U.S. Native peoples in transitioning to a system of state justice, but those societies maybe were a bit less egalitarian than those of the Great Lakes region.  Maybe. But there are historical examples of how it wasn’t easy for Great Lakes Indians to make that transition, even though the U.S. perhaps didn’t go about trying to impose that change in quite the same way.

    • #23
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Quoting myself:

    They don’t need the political views of academic anthropologists,

    One reason they don’t need these political views is that the culture of academic anthropologists is a shame culture, not a guilt culture.

    • #24
  25. Kaladin Member
    Kaladin
    @Kaladin

    Loved it SOS, just had to say.

    • #25
  26. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Titus Techera:

    I’ve heard this shame vs. guilt thing too often. It is annoying. What you really mean to say is that the Americans have brought into the world a kind of philosophical democracy, where complaining incessantly about rulers has an accompanying principle–equality–which is spreading worldwide. Whereas before the American revolution, people lived in associations which were inegalitarian.

    Shame is you being angry about not being as good as you know you should be. It is you holding yourself accountable, even if no one else will. This is the moral basis of aristocracy as such, not just Japan. All aristocratic regimes live this way, as do all families. How would America’s arms even be able to do their work without shame?

    I think you’ve misconstrued the American revolution for the French revolution. The phenomenon is not new, but it’s new to America. This concept of egalitarianism was imported from aristocratic societies that resided across “The Pond”, not “Across the Street”.

    • #26
  27. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    As for Japan, I see it maybe in the word responsibility. It is selfish to only think of yourself. You are part of a team/group. I have thought the closest thing might be the military in American culture. Rules are there. They can be broken if you know how to do it and don’t get caught. Image is as important as substance at times.

    Conversely America seems irresponsible. Let someone else pay for me. Poor actions are not my fault. Environment, parents, race, gender, sexuality, and etc is what is the cause. The other should feel guilt or shame not me. We want the sugar taste without the calories. We want whatever and hope technology or the doctor will save us from the consequences. I would very much for someone to prove me wrong on this.

    • #27
  28. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    No society stands still. Despite the attacks on Family,  Faith in God and Country,  fragments of our culture still thrive, but are increasingly isolated from the coastal elites and their fawning followers.

    We are not a monolith, and todays communication tech is increasingly promoting the acceleration of fragmentation.

    My hope is the younger elements can observe the destructive nature of the imposed cultural order and actively begin to reject it.  If that happens, we can avoid the worst of the dark ages to come.

    When most people are poor, sacrifice is a virtue. When most people are rich, sacrifice becomes a curiosity.

    • #28
  29. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Calvin Coolidg:I think you’ve misconstrued the American revolution for the French revolution. The phenomenon is not new, but it’s new to America. This concept of egalitarianism was imported from aristocratic societies that resided across “The Pond”, not “Across the Street”.

    Read your Federalist. World history–the history of aristocracy–is reduced to ‘accident & force’. Equality under the laws with equal citizenship & representative gov’t in America is ‘reflection & choice’. That’s the rational-egalitarian revolution, poor France none the wiser for it.

    In fact, the philosophical ambit of the modern equality principle is such that your Founders looked upon the origin of freedom in Greece with contempt.

    The end of inequality or aristocracy was the Declaration of Independence. If the just powers of gov’t are derived from the consent of the governed, then Lincoln is right to say, no man is good enough to rule another without that one’s consent (Peoria Speech). Without the possibility of wise tyranny, the possibility of aristocracy, too, disappears. The ground of inequality was swallowed up by the reasoning of your Founders…

    • #29
  30. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Nothing to add. Just, wow. Great post. Great comments. If only there were some shaming process that could mandate everyone to make posts and threads this good.

    • #30
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