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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lucien Levy-Bruhl by Jean Cazeneuve - SYNOPSIS

Lucien Levy-Bruhl
by Jean Cazeneuve
1963



CHAPTER ONE - 
The Philosophy of L. L. B.

Utilitarianism had a strong tendency to result in the same moral rules as the gospel.  Hence, metamorals can only build theories on existing customs without being able to influence them. Finally, moral theory rests on to false assumptions.  On the one hand it supposes in effect that human nature is always and everywhere the same, whereas it varies according to civilization.
On the other hand, it reasons as if moral conscience were a harmonious whole.  When in fact it harbors contradictions, amalgamating precepts deriving from different sources.

Having discredited moral theories, L. L. B. Lee is the foundation for the positive signs of morals which bought to replace them.
This science, like physics, bought to stick to purely object of facts, and to look for their laws instead of trying to interpret them.  To look at what is, not what ought to be.

L. L. B. was a rationalist and perhaps he always wanted-the better to isolate rational thought in all its purity-to see how everything in mankind's intellectual behavior which seemed to deviate from this ideal could be explained sociologically.

He read translations of ancient Chinese philosophers and was amazed to find the text incomprehensible.  That's why he began to wonder if they were not modes of thought which were impenetrable to each other.

II. The theory of primative mentality

L. L. B. opposes the so-called animist school for whom the functions of the mind by the same everywhere, but are simply used in the wrong way by primitive people.
On the contrary, according to L. L. B., the differences fundamental, not fortuitous: primative people's cannot reason badly, but they think differently from us.


He hoped to create "collective representations".  By that is meant discerning the ways of grasping reality, to the members of the given social group.  Although such collective representations do not exist apart from individuals, they are imposed on the latter and cannot be explained by purely individual psychology.

Characteristic of primative people's is that they are mystical.
This does not mean that they obey logic other than our own, because the two mentalities are not totally unintelligible to each other.  It is not para-logical or anti-logical it is pre-logical.
In calling it pre-logical key witness to say that it does not tie itself down, as are thought does, to the avoidance of contradictions before all else.

Their principal is called the "law of participation."  By virtue of this law, things can be the same time themselves and something else.

Usually the logical and prelogical coexist.

Primative man is far less able than we are too abstract and generalize.  Things can not easily be isolated from the means to which they are attached.  For example, numbers are rather forms of qualitative distinction, and this brings about some peculiarities in their language.  Their vocabulary is very rich and copious ink is it is so I'm abstract, and this makes the role of memory more important.

It is not that primative man is only after occult powers.  This would be poor reasoning not different reasoning.

There are mystical causality is not grasped by reasoning that is intuitive through the pre-connections which exist.

Primative man has a sense of his personal existence, but he does not possess a clear idea of self.  Furthermore he does not separate the individual from the species to which it belongs.  In mind and the self is not confined within the boundaries of the body but extends to what L. L. B. calls the appurtenance (for example, hair, footprints and clothing).
We must think about this when we translated words like soul, double, shadow, reflection.

If primitive people stagnate in this manner of thinking, it is because the mystical nature of their mentality makes it impervious to experience, that is to say in sensitive to the contradictions which objectively observe facts would seem to present to their beliefs.

The advance of civilization will never be able to make the mystical mentality disappear completely.
L. L. B. does not think the treaty logical is a non rational stage; he does not subscribe to a doctorate of two mutually exclusive mentalities.

III. Primative mentality and affectivity

certainly the "savage" has concepts, but they are less systemized than ours.  The knowledge of primative people is not classified rationally-it is unpackaged.  Items of knowledge are juxtaposed, the field stays open to mystical Cree connections, and contradictions have little hope of being rejected.

Some primative man can distinguish broadly between the natural and the supernatural worlds.  But often his experience abruptly jumps from one to the other.  The supernatural is not isolated from the natural world.  It is for this reason that nothing is absurd to him since nothing is incompatible with the data of experience.

If the prelogical is explained by the mystical, it must now be added that the mystical results from the predominance of affectivity in experience.

Emotion and sentiment give primative man in knowledge of reality other than that given to him by purely object of experience.  He has "affective categories".

Primative man does not need an intellectual act in order to recognize this special tonality when the Affective category of the supernatural comes into play.

In Greek and Latin mythologies deities are clearly individualized.  But, among primative people is, representations of the supernatural or very vague.

The number one affective category is the fear of the unusual.
This fear results in the search for a deference with large numbers of remedies and Amulets.
Primative man are capable of distinguishing between training and waking life, but they do not place the former outside reality as we normally do.

In their mythology is not organized like ours.  They are incoherent and scattered, but they have a homogeneity of tone and uniformity of emotion.

Myth is situated in a special time; it is' meta historical'.  Ancestors brought in and out.  Some ancestors are in a time they cannot affect us some are.

Some myths and help explained what is, but that is not their primary function.  They reflect the supernatural and have a value which is transcendental and life-giving.
Supernatural reality comes to them not as knowledge that through experience of an aspect of character that blends into a complex of representative elements.

Symbolism, properly speaking, does not yet exist.  There is a unity and duality side-by-side.  Thus the totem is not a symbol for the tribe as Durheim believes.

We go from pre-religion to folklore when cultural heroes become beyond the pale of interaction.

CHAPTER 2 - EXTRACTS

AGAINST THE POSTULATE OF THE IDENTITY OF HUMAN NATURE (1903)
from now on, we can no longer represent the whole of humanity, from the psychological and moral point of view as similar.
And we need to analyze the variety which is open to observation.  Since this change is and is in tangible is harder than research on the physical world.  Therefore we must scrupulously never stray from the objective method.

D'Alembert created possible physics.  For example, rain is caused by thermometers dropping.  There is a danger of introducing our own states of mind under those we are trying to research.  To protect ourselves we must use the sociological method.

FOR A SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF MORAL REALITY

one-man distinguish between ethics in more and in peace.  And between theory and practice and ethics.  He assumed practice always came from theory.  This is an assumption.  And perhaps a projection of our own mentality and a confusion of cause with the fact.

Science has changed the physical world to our own advantage, and there's no reason to believe they can do the same to the social world.  Experience shows us the practical ethics evolved.
So how can we decide if conservation is rational.

THE TYPES OF MENTALITY

a given type of society, which has its own institutions and customs, will necessarily have its own mentality as well.  The deduction is a hard one.  We must guard against our own mental habits in reading into other societies.  Realize people do not reason or reflect like us.
This way we can abandon the notion that primative people are rudimentary forms of us.  On the contrary, it is normal where practiced.

THE COLLECTIVE REPRESENTATIONS OF PRIMITIVE PEOPLES

our terminology is not necessarily applicable to denote a primative states of mind.  For example, "collective representations" assumes an understanding of the meaning of the word" representations". 

We see you representations as intellectual.  Primative mentality is to undifferentiated for it to be possible to consider the ideas or images of objects by themselves independent of emotions and passions.

Primitive peoples use initiation rites.  Thus such representations are acquired by the individual and circumstances likely to make the deepest impression on their feelings.  These rites often involve tortures that put the nervous to the severest tests.  Therefore it would be difficult to exaggerate the intensity of the emotional force of these representations.  The object is not simply an idea or image.

Ideas and concepts also imply a logical nature to us.  But these representations are real to the primative and real objects are not presented in logical order.

THE LAW OF PARTICIPATION AND THE PRELOGICAL

the minds of primative people are not simply passive and ready to receive impressions.  They have many collective representations.  They are attentive to mystical connections.  They always imply a "participation" between the beans or the objects linked in a collective representation.  This is the "law of participation".

Objects received and in net mystical forces, properties, qualities and actions which are felled outside of themselves, without dens ceasing to be where they are.

The us the opposition between one and many, the same and another etc., does not impose the necessity to affirm one of the terms and one denies the other.  The thing in and of itself as separate is only of secondary interest.

Thus some tribes say that they are aquatic animals, others parrots.  State actually understand that they are parrots.  It is not been named a give themselves, nor is it some kinship which they claim.  What they wish to convey an essential identity.  That they are at the same time they human beings and parrots.

All societies of totemic form admit of collective representations of the same type.

The regularity of seasons are associated with carrying out of certain ceremonies by special people.  What we call the natural relations of causality between events passed unnoticed, or have only minimal importance.  Mystical participations are the most important.

In representations and they are mystical.  In connections, pre logical.
But these are two aspects of one fundamental mentality, not two distinct characteristics.

It is not antilogical; no more is it alogical.  In calling it prelogical, I only want to say that unlike our thought, it does not have to abstain from contradiction.  It obeys Firstly the law of participation.

The simple statement of the general abstract term, such as man, animal, or organism, contains a large number of judgments which imply definite relationships between many concepts.  But the collective representations of primative people are not, like our concepts.

LANGUAGE AND NUMERATION

Indians of North America take great care in describing relations.
Ponka indians, trying to convey a man killed a rabbit as we would have him say that must say, "he, one, animate, standing, in the nominative case, purposely killed, by shooting an arrow, the rabbit, he , the one, animate sitting in the objective case."

Cherokee don't just have the vague "we"they have: "I and thou", "I and ye", "I and ye two, " "I and he, "I and they" , etc....  There are not less than 70 distinct forms.

We oppose the plural to the singular; a subject or object is either singular or plural..  This involves logical thought and its working stock.

MEMORY

The memory plays a more important part in the prelogical mentality than in our mental life.

Our store of social thought is transmitted condensed in a hierarchy of concepts which are coordinated with and subordinated to each other.  We thus only remember things that we have logically deduced are important.
In primitive societies all has endless significance. 

In simpler societies, it soaks in complex and voluminous collective representations.  It is thus transmitted almost solely by memory. 

A sign arouses in us the exercise of logic, and in the primitive man a complex and mystical recollection which governs his action. And this very memory has a special tonality which distinguishes it from ours.

And these prelogical sensations areen't compartmentalized. And there are memory is our very reliable and am very emotional.  It reconstructs the complex collective representations with great richness of detail.
Our thoughts come as sequels to the prior ones.  The thus our thoughts almost have a quality of conclusion at the end.

The preconnections, the preperceptions and the prerationalizations which take up so much room in the mentality of simpler societies involve no logical activity at all, and are simply entrusted to the memory.  Thus we must expect to see this memory highly developed among primitive peoples.

As in the "user illusion" there is a lot of exformation that goes with all information.

CAUSALITY (1910)

in the presence of something which interest, troubles, or frightens it, the mind of primitive man does not follow the same course as ours.

We have the permanent sense of intellectual security so well founded that we do not see how it could be shaken; for it even supposing the sudden appearance of a completely mysterious phenomenon we will be persuaded our ignorance is only temporary.  Sooner or later the cause will be discovered.

Nature for us is, therefore, intellectualized in advance.  Our daily activity, in this in its humblest details, involves a quiet and perfect confidence in the variability of natural laws.

Primitive man when interested by a phenomenon immediately (by mental reflex) thinks covenant called an invisible power which the phenomenon is a manifestation of.

No one does actions unless favorable omens appear.  The invisible world and an invisible world form one.  For my so oriented, there is no purely physical fact.

When we find the cause, the conditions, that is enough for us.  Our problems are not theirs, their problems are foreign to us.

MISONEISM

with very rare exceptions, simpler societies have no history.  Their menace, so instructive in other ways, cannot take its place.
They hate everything that comes from the outside.  Like close systems they hate change.  Everything causes a risk of decomposition.
They seek to be the same as their great grandfather.

CONFUSION BETWEEN THE MATERIAL AND THE SPIRITUAL (1927)

the opposition between matter and spirit seems almost natural to us.  For the primitive there is neither matter nor body which does not give for it some mystical forces which we would call spiritual.

APPURTENANCES

all of us believe that we know exactly how our individual personality is formed, and where its boundaries come.  I and my feelings, my thoughts, my memories.  My head, my arms, my legs, my internal organs, etc.., are also me.  Everything else which I perceived is not me.  My individuality is thus grasp by my consciousness and circumscribed by the surface of my body, and I believe that that of my neighbor is exactly like mine.

Among primitive peoples also, each individual as grads to himself his states of consciousness, his limbs, and his organs.  Certain language is even express this fact by personal pronouns suffixed to the said Substantives which designate these parts of the individual.
But this suffixed and extends further, and it is applied also to the names of objects which are in intimate relationship with the individual.

Secretions and excretions, had anybody here, nails, tears, urine, instrument, Seaman, sweat are all I.
this explains the extreme care primitive societies often take for their left behinds.

He calls these left behinds, "appurtenances"

This extends to footprints, clothes, things he makes or owns and corpses.
All must be guarded.

UNITY-DUALITY

we see ourselves as one.  If we were not one we would no longer be an individual, we would be composed of many.
The primitive is in many including His appurtenances, (incuding his double, image, and reflection}.
Is reflection includes his name,and namessake ancestor.

Sometimes the individual is to distinct beings: man and alligator (awake and asleep).  People get busted for things done far always from them and don't complain. In his eyes and the duality does not impede the fundamentally unity of the individual.

People are never sure the dead will not return.  Some people have been killed by a sorcerer but still live in the tribe (ie they are officially dead, but not really (in our minds))

THE MYSITICAL EXPERIENCE

the primitives experience is poorer and yet richer than ours.  And they spend so much time in the spirit world it is as real to them as our OneWorld is to us.  Thus the word" experience" is a strange one.  Our meaning is confined to things that "really happened."

Our notion of experience is also more cognitive and then demoted.  Sounds colors smells don't make it into our cognitive experiences.

In many primitives survive an unfavorable climates.  They have managed to make marvelous use of the lessons of experience.  Nevertheless, it is not only as a source of useful knowledge that their experience matters to them.

THE AFFECTIVE CATEGORY OF THE SUPERNATURAL

our traditional languages, grammars, philosophy, psychology and logic have accustomed to us to consider generality as pertaining only two ideas.  We are Aristotelian.

But other mentality is essentially emotional.  Things to them and to the home and from the them and are not known as facts but felt as facts.

Categories should not be taken either in the Kantian sense.  f
The fear category, the hmn strange feeling category. 

Primitive men tell us, “we do not know about invisible powers, we believe.”  Fear is often the basis.  We do not believe, we fear.

Emotional basis of dogma.

THE UNUSUAL

Primitive man’s attention is always on the alert. He is on the look-out for the unusual.

Anything t that happens regularly doesn’t require any cause.  Or at least there needn’t be any trouble about it.  What happens only occasionally, must have a cause!

Amongst the Dinka, no event, no matter how small, doesn’t have a religious cause and require sacrifice.  An unusually large pumpkin caused a goat sacrifice.

When airplanes first appeared 50 bulls were slaughtered.

MYTHS and LEGENDS

Primitive myths that we have available are fragmentary and incomplete.  Only a small number of folks in the tribe possess a wide knowledge of them.  This knowledge is the priveledge of old men who are married and have children. 

Some know the middle, some the end, few the whole thing.
Further the myths rarely for wholes.  They are independent of and indifferent to each other.  The mythology may be very rich but not have an underlying unifying thread.  Look how threadbare the old testament is.  A bunch of stories loosely put together.  Previously they weren’t.

18th and 19th century peoples looked for origins and order in myths to match their own.  But in the case of Australia or New Guinea or others they gave up. 

One informant on different occasions may give two different versions of the origin of fire or the beginning of the human race (genesis).  The Andamanese see each story as independent and do not consciously compare one with another.

Gods sometimes appear in human form and sometimes in other forms.  They change with ease. A cat who is also a man becomes a great lord without ceasing to be a cat, a pumpkin is turned into a coach and a rat into a coachman.

Why did we cease to believe in such stories a long time ago.  He says “without doubt, the reason for it lies, at least partly, in the rational character of the civilization which classical antiquity established and bequeathed to us.
However, history shows that this mental foundation is far from common.  It has been established in only a few societies, and has cost them centuries of effort.

Herein lies the reason for the charm which draws us towards folk tales.  As soon as we listen, this constraint is suspended.  We abandon rationality.  We suspend the rational function, but know we must go back .

RITUAL CEREMONIES

We barely conceive of worship without more or less clearly defined and personalized deities.  For them the deities are semi-physical realities that need directing.  They aren’t personalized into individual beings. 

In ceremonies imitating buffalo, they make the buffalo generally willing to be killed.  They are not a game!!

Frequently these rituals have no particular end in mind.  By repeating what ancestors have done, one shares their essence.
Ancestors are also brought back in such rituals.

Represent means “make present again, or make what has disappeared, reappear.  They don’t just imitate these folks, they become them.

To wear a mask then is no game.  It is one of the weightiest things a person can do.  It is to bring the invisible world into the visible.

THE TERM “ PRELOGICAL” ABANDONED IN THE POSTHUMOUS CARNETS
It is not a logic other than our own.  That is, we still have mystical and prelogical elements in our thought.
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For Shame by James B. Twitchell - SYNOPSIS

For Shame by James B. Twitchell



Whatever happened to shame?

            In the 1950s public drunkenness, filing for bankruptcy, having an abortion or a child out of wedlock, drug addiction, hitting a woman, looting stores, using vulgar language in public, being on welfare (what there was of it), or getting a divorce were causes of shame.

Now if you grow fat or your nose is the wrong shape you have shame.  Beggars are now proud.  I don’t give to beggars that aren’t sitting down, not looking at me.

There were parallel surveys of teachers asking what the top problems in Americas schools are.

1940: talking out of turn; chewing gum; making noise; running in the hall; cutting in line; dress code infractions and littering.

1990: teachers identified drug use; alcohol abuse; pregnancy; suicide ; rape; robbery; and assault.

When Dan quayle tried to Murphy Brown...

            Single parent children are two to three times as likely to have emotional and behavioral problems as children from two-parent families.

Materially we’re doing well, but...

1960-95


there has been a 560 percent increase in violent crime; more than a 400% increase in illegitimate births; a quadrupling in divorces; a tripling of the percentage of children living in single-parent homes; more than a 200 percent increase in the teenage suicide rate; and a drop of 75 points in the average SAT scores of high school students.

Today 30 percent of all births and 68 percent of black births are illegitimate.  By the end of the decade, according to the most reliable projections, 40 percent of all American Births and 80 percent of minority births will occur out of wedlock

In Harlem four of five babies are born to unwed teenage mothers who are barely able to care for themselves.

This kind of outrageous behavior can be endured by the middle class, but kills poor communities.


Shame as a socializer


Every country has/had shame.  It is a biological thing.  Your head goes down, you bluch.  You are afraid to look someone in the eye.  The feeling is of pain.  Shame is not like honor or guilt, because it can be seen by others.

Every culture has shame. It is centered around different things. 

Typically, they have to do with the body.  going to the bathroom is something people do in private. The words that are bad have to do with the body.

Incest and masterbation are shameful.

Usually these words show that you are out of control. But all cultures have manners.  All cultures have things that they should’t say.

The sense of who a culture is is determined by culture.  The notion of shame is located in the hub of selfhood.

 Why did biology give us this?  It tells you you’ve done something really wrong.  It used to be the staple of western art.  It is the center story of the christian story is adam and eve.  The fall of them in shame.  Then they saw they were naked.

 I am sorry

Shame is a powerful socializing device.  We see it as a hindrance to individual fulfillment.  Appropriate shame separates and degrades the offender, true, not to exile but to instruct, not to scorn but to educate.  The final object of such shame is not banishment, but reintegration.  You say “I’m sorry” not the way out, but on the way back in.  Then you hear “welcome back”

Social contracts depend on how much individuals care about the good of the group, and how much the group cares about the good of the individual.

Nowadays, watch it, people have no shame.  Watch the deans office. The students don’t come in ashamed.  I really invite you to go look.  They are not ashamed for their bad behavior.  None of them are guilty of anything.  And when we negotiate a punishment, its like a retribution thing and they hopefully arent happy with the results of their action.  But the fear is, scarily , missing.


This goes to people who have children out of wedlock.  People used to stay together for the kids.  If they failed it was a thing of shame.  They tried their best, but they were for some reason unable.  Now they just say its my right and leave the child and wife.

Taking free lunches.  Used to be, and here’s social contract again, that taking free things from other people was a last resort. You were ashamed to beg to the community to let your child have a free lunch.  If you wanted a free lunch from the community, you went in hat in hand to the church or your neighbor and begged, “please please, this is shameful, but I am unable to feed my kids”.  Now...



Divorce - free families, intense nurturing of children, longtime job affiliations, regularized consumption, communal worship, were all maintained by shaming.



The church used to be in charge of this for us. They would shame and exile the bad.  You didn’t get AFDC for having an out-of-wedlock-baby, you got kicked out of the community.


Shame and honor


Shame is one direction on the moral compass.  Honor is the other.  Only the crazy are shame free.

Ultimate honorables: Tellling the truth.  Working your hardest.  (not playing your hardest), taking care of your family (parents or children).

Ultimate dishonorables: Having a baby out of wedlock.  The boy/man, not pay child support.  Doing it twice with two women. 



Until recently, shame was a painful thing.  We didn’t enjoy it. Now there is shame TV.  People with diminutive little names: Ricki, Jerry, Jenny.  And we enjoy shameful behavior.  It is very sad and very wrong.

People used to be judged on the basis of character, on the basis of their moral qualities, their principles, their rectitude and ,especially, their work habits.

Victorian shame was most often directed towards the excesses of romantic narcissism. 



This was self monitored and controlled: self-discipline, self-respect, self-control, self-reliance.

You pulled yourself usp by your own boot straps. 



The word “ought” is out.  Not what “ought” you to be doing.  But what do you want to do.  Weakening of of  “What do you have to do?”  Not what is there to do , but what must you do.

Words


Relief into “welfare”, “Welfare” into “entitlements”  


“wrong” into “inappropriate”


“bad habits” into “lifestyle choices” 


“illegitimacy into “ “non-marital childbearing”


“promiscuous” into “sexually active” and


“heinous killer” into “victim of an abusive family”




TV
Culture used to come from the top down: from the church and the court and your parents.
Now it comes from the bottom up.  From adolescents.

TV is a strange story teller.  It has no idea what to tell and so continually asks the audience what it wants to hear.

Advertising in print media was always subservient to the text.  It was there to make the message free, but the message was the important thing.

The media provided the space for the ads.  The sponsors wanted to get a word in for their product.  Magazines are older than advertising. They sold copy.

And it was considered a sacred trust.  There was a “letter from the editor”  “notes from the publishers desk” . It was the fourth branch of government.

Now the ads provide space for the media.  The media is a way of delivering people to the advertisers.

Shame and ads

Shame used to  be the basis for ads.  Do you want your home to be an embarassment?  Get new paint.
 
Aren’t you ashamed of your smell?  Get deoderant.  Arent’ you ashamed of your breath?

But in the age of the channel surfing, unfun ads get turned off quickly.  Shame is out.  Fun is in.

People us a “nesting channel” and surf around it.

Better to use sex or some dancing image or sports or a car roaring really fast.  That keeps people from surfing.

You make the ad like a show that peple want to see the next insallment of. The energizer bunny.  The carl Junior ads.

The prime forbidden act of TV now is : 

NEVER MAKE THE VIEWER FEEL BAD.

In our culture most people watch tv for most of their “free” time.  97% of americans have tvs and they are on for an average of 6 hours a day.

“Did you know?” has been replaced with “Did you see?”

“Did you read?” has been replaced with “Have you heard?”

TV strategems

What is the product of tv?  You are.
Just as tax collection is at the heart of government, audience measure is at the heart of tv.

(1) up to 11  (2) 12- 17 (3) 18-34 (4) 35 - 55 (5) over 55

those in four have the most disposable income. But those in 3 are the most likely to part with it.  those in 5 are set in their shopping patterns.
Therefore, group 3 is the target audience.  That’s who you’re trying to get to watch.

Materialism

A decade ago , grocery stores carried about 9,000 items. Now they cary 24,000.  Revlon caries 158 shades of lipstick.  We are asked to choose products all the time. They express  who we are.  We are proud of the logos we wear on our clothes.

Humans like things.  We call them “goods”.  We are attracted to the world of things and we don’t want to feel bad about it.

Shopping game shows are a fetish of items that we worship.  We don’t want the items, but their meaning. 
 

The fame of shame


There was once a difference between infamous and famous.

People used to be famous for what they did.  Then, thanks to movies, they became famous for the lives they led, while doing what they did.  Now on tv  people are just famous.



The hero was distinguished by his achievements, the celebrity by their image.

The telebrity (television celebrity) is our friend.



Once there was a scam where the 64,000 dollar question was rigged.  It was busted.  The person who did it retired in shame.  He had defaced knowledge.

Now you would get on the talk show circuit and write a book. 

A scum bag like Robert Downey jr.  would hide in shame, now his shame is his fame.



Jerry is full of shameful acts that should not make you famous.



Madonna is the queen of shamelessness: Masturbation, sex of all kinds, nakedness, illegitimacy, prostitution, religious sacrilidge. She has no shame.


Shame in the culture of recovery

It is an instructive paradox that the culture that so prized rugged individualism should now be the culture that so willingly countenances victimology.  Everything is someone elses fault.

I did wrong, but you should have seen what they did to me.

The man who murders his parents throws himself on the mercy of the court because he’s an orphan.

TV talk show trailer trash says “I’m shameful, but I still have my pride”



All films are feelgood summer films. None make you feel bad.  Cine noir people living in the shame of their sin. 



12 step books ahoy that say get rid of shame and feel good about yourself without earning it.


churches

Churches are becoming feel good institutions.

Rock shows and no shaming.

No harsh discipline.  No shunning and no failure. Jesus loves you for who you are.

It used to be adapt or die (darwin) now its entertain or be turned off.



What is unique to christianity is the deep sense of individual sin.  We are conceived in it, born in it.,  live through it and die in it.   Sin mostly has to do with sex.  Out of wedlock sex was wrong. 

People broke this.  But the point is how they admitted it.  We were wrong, we were sorry.

Even in marriage sex was shameful.

Celibacy allowed the clergy to keep the moral high ground.

Recently we’ve told the church to mind its own businnes.

“Judge not lest you be judged”  has replaced “Go and sin no more.”


schools

With the rise of science, much of the secular mission of religions went to schools. 

It had new icons: books and a shrine called the library.

People had robes and caps like monks.

Knowing right from wrong went from the pulpit to the podium.

There is a canon.

Now there is an irreverence. Learning is a boring tool to get the paper with no meaning. 

It has no reverential aspect.

Education “means leading out of”. 

Into non-materialistic after life and forms. 

“The best that has been thought and known”  was the experience.

This has been replaced with “the cash”

The dunce cap was in the corner because the stakes were so high.  Learn this stuff. 

The barbarians are at the gates.  The philistines are coming. The professor is the priest.   The text is sacred.  Ignorance is a sin.

Understanding high culture and art replaced religious mysteries.

High culture replaced religious secret knowledge.

Art became the new chapel.  Art appreciation.

Not the fun now of tv.

Since there is nothing we NEED to know, there is no need to blush with ignorance.



Now everyone has a degree from somewhere. Being educated is a piece of paper.

Canon?  There is no canon.

A simple fact:  Most art and literature was created by middle class white men living in Europe DWEMs.

Math comes from them. 

Science too.

Now is audience driven literature selection.

Film, womens pup culture, african american, queer, postcolonial studies and you pick from a potpouri and bingo , you’re educated.



Noone signs up for chaucer, so its replaced by guerilla theater. Students, not educators pick the curriculum.

Grades used to be a shaming device for those who did pooorly.  Report cards were brought home to be signed by parents and returned.  No longer. Report cards are not signed and returned.  They are feedback for the student.

Everyone gets different grades.  None better , non-worse.  Your not a bad person just cause you get “f”s.

Grade inflation is rampant.

The SAT scored have been “recentered”.

The public face of shame
Oliver north. bob packwood, Marion Barry.  Jessie Jackson, Clinton, Gingrich, Nixon.
Shaming only works if you point out to the middle class serial parent that he is doing a poor job of fathering his children and behaving just like his counter part in the ghetto.  Middle class people should be ashamed of not maintaining family values  not for themselves alone, but because they are role models for those who are striving to be like them.
A society that ignores or opposes a set of core standards that motivates people to work, stay married, exercise self-control and be honest exhibits a poverty of the spirit that no amount of money can enrich.  Those core values are maintained by carrots and sticks. Carrots don’t always work.

The author liked chain gangs and  shaming sex offenders.

Shame shame come back shame: 

American Culture since the 1960s.

Wrong becomes inappropriate.  Shocking becomes not a term of opprobrium, but of praise.

TV takes nothing but an eye to consume. Children love it.

They got rid of shame from gambling.

They got rid of shame from divorce.

Ozzie and Harriet are now met with a nudge wink and chuckle.

People don’t stay together for the kids.

Counselors tell us not to take divorce personally.  Ministers say its okay. Lawyers call it “no-fault”: Feminists say  that women need to be free of oppressive male dominance.

Sociologists say the old patriarchy is worn out.

The strongest predictor of violent juvenile crime (specifically murder and robbery) was that the child grew up in a female - headed household.

Fatherless children are far more vulnerable to the poverty,  vilence, law breaking, drugs, school failure and other social pathologies that any civilized culture hates.

Fathers used to shame their children and , in so doing, were themselves caught up in the ethos of obligation.  It wasn’t called shaming.  It was called disciplining.  Fathers thought that was their job.  The old cliche that the mothers loved unconditionally, but a father’s love had to be earned, was treated as a truism. 

You had to earn fathers love and he had obligations too.

With kids bouncing back and forth, the children can play on parent off against the other.l  I don’t want to go to dad’s.  He makes me feel bad. Or the subtle, we never have to do that at moms house.


Feminist literature says men should get more in touch with their feelings.  They should be more nurturing and sharing and non judgemental and androgynous.  This replaces the old father (strong, egotistic, harsh, breadwinning, shaming).



Fatherhood directed boyish aggression to prosocial ends.  Now gangs do.

We should turn the deadbeat dad into a national symbolic villain like the Child Molester or the Raciest.  Put his face on milk cartons. 

Conclusion

Since the relatively recent replacement of a hierarchical culture, controlled from above, with a carnival culture, controlled from below our temptation has been to think that feeling bad is just not “right”.
We don’t want to be a downer, lay trips or pass judgement.  I’m okay , you’re okay.  But there are things we should make people feel ashamed of and pain over:

Careless reproductive habits.
            Don’t call the children names, but do call the parents names.

Violence
            Its not okay.

Education
            You don’t go to schoo to feel good or to be warehoused. You go there to learn to read, write, do math, and think clearly.   Over pay and underwork teachers.

Race and gender
            These are not a basis of pride.  Shame can happen to any race.  Its not anyone elses fault.

Addiction
            bad habits are not genetic.  You should be ashamed of being an alcoholic or doing drugs. The medicalization of character is eroding our culpability.

Values
            Evil is not relative. 


How to do this?

Shun.  Don’t talk to people that are bad.People don’t like to be dissed.  Shame works.  It has evolved with us.  Now jail is not humiliating.  Dean’ office isn’t. 

  Welfare protects people from being judged for their selfish actions.  Tell people they are wrong and you totally disapprove.  Use the “s” word. Shame on you!  I’m ashamed of you!  For shame!

We need to quit being so frightened and ashamed of shame.  It holds a central position in all lasting cultures for a reason.   

Shame is not the disease; properly used, it is the cure.  
 It is how we communicate certain social values. It is how a sense of decency is developed.   Morality must be installed.  Conformity to a certain baseline standard is not a luxury, but a necessity.   
Shame is how every culture has protected itself from the danger of individual excess.  Feeling bad is often the basis of a general good. Civilization has discontents.  The alternative is much worse.
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