Sunday, April 19, 2015

Moral Zombies and Weaponized Shame

I found this exchange at Instapundit:
"MEGAN MCARDLE: How the Internet Became a Shame-Storm.
Shame is one way we enforced good behavior in small groups before there were laws or trading networks. It is a very powerful motivator, and it helps us to come together in large cooperative groups with high degrees of trust and sharing. A hatred of being shamed ourselves and a love of shaming others who have transgressed both literally helped to make us human. . . .

So we need shame. The problem is, maybe we don’t always need so much of it.

In the small groups we evolved to live in, shame is tempered by love and forgiveness. People are shamed for some transgression, then they are restored to the group. Ultimately, the shamed person is not an enemy; he or she is someone you need and want to get along with. This is how you make up with your spouse after one or both of you has done or said something terrible.

In a large group, shame is punishment, but it still has a restorative aspect. One of the most surprising passages of Ronson’s book reveals that the drunken driver who had to stand by the side of the road with a sign detailing his crimes got more compassion and support than bitter catcalls from the people who drove by him.

On the Internet, when all the social context is stripped away and you don’t even have to look at the face of the person you’re being mean to, shame loses its social, restorative function. Shame-storming isn’t punishment. It’s a weapon. And weapons aren’t supposed to be used against people in your community; they’re for strangers, people in some other group that you don’t like very much.
Hence the term “Social Justice Warrior.” War is what you wage on the enemy, the other. And that’s what they do. They’re not well-meaning people who want to make our shared society better, and sometimes just get carried away. They’re angry, vicious people who want to eliminate disagreement."
I don't think that's quite it. Shame is warfare, that's true enough. But it is a carrot/stick rolled into one tactic under identity and class warfare. The Messiah Class uses shame to keep its own members in line and focused, and the same shame is used to attract new members who are susceptible to the influence of their moral shaming. It is used to define the boundaries of the designated classes, and it is used to dehumanize both the Victim Classes and the Oppressor Classes.

Using just one tactic, a self-interested faux morality, the SJW Messiah Class can accomplish all it needs without ever showing any compassion or empathy for any actual victims of any type or stripe.

I do agree that these are not well-meaning people; they indeed are mean, nasty, vicious dictator wannabes, who destroy without a twinge of self-reflection or guilt. They are self-empowered to destroy as they see fit from their position of moral eliteness.

We can never win against beasts without guilt, which are just conscious enough to use guilt as their weapon without ever being affected by guilt themselves. So counter-destruction is made essential by their very nature. They cannot respond to anything less.

The term "moral-zombies" comes to mind: they appear to be moral, yet they are morally empty.

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