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View Diary: Did the South's Culture of Violence and Honor Encourage Michael Dunn to Kill Jordan Davis? (19 comments)

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  •  Sometimes the term "honor" is turned inside-out. (1+ / 0-)
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    TomP

    Nazis would say they served with "honor."  Then there are "honor" burnings/killings of women in some middle eastern cultures.  Etc.

    "Honor" really is meaningless without a context that, firstly hols respect for human life.  Otherwise someone or group is just lying to themselves, where other terms would be more reflective of reality.

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:23:12 AM PST

    •  that's the original meaning of honor (5+ / 0-)
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      dov12348, TomP, Billlll, sow hat, DavidMS

      For most of human history, honor had nothing to do with respect for human life (including one's own).  Quite the opposite in fact: to be a man of honor was to be always and everywhere willing to call out bad behavior, to settle differences with force, and to dominate those who were held to be your inferiors, no matter the cost to yourself or others.  Honor is a warrior virtue: meant to make men willing - even eager - to fight (and die) by elevating principles (and property) above life and limb.

      The modern idea of "the dignity of self-restraint", of shrugging off insult or defiance as beneath you and reflecting badly on the insulter, is the exception not the rule.  It had its origins in 18th Century England - ironically in response to an out-of-control dueling culture - that filtered down from the aristocracy to the English middle class, from which the Puritans were disproportionately derived.  In an American context, it's a solidly Yankee mentality, rooted in the communitarian values of insular Puritan communities that would tolerate no conflict among their members and the belief that God was the author of a man's fate (and whatever happened to you was to be accepted), that never caught hold in the South.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:50:57 AM PST

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      •  Nice piece of history and well said. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm trying to squeeze that cult-worshipping and insular group-worshipping chaff out from what should be a more rational, objective use of the term that respects one's own life as well as the lives of others.

        Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

        by dov12348 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:26:42 AM PST

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        •  except it's not chaff (1+ / 0-)
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          dov12348

          You're trying to argue that we should all start calling oranges apples, because we like oranges and think everyone else should like oranges, but they actually like apples instead ... so if we keep calling an orange an apple, eventually the idea of 'apple' will change.

          Honor is the measure of an individual man as a successful perpetrator of violence, which earns him the respect of his equals and superiors, the obedience of his inferiors, and the fear of his enemies, thereby securing his place in the world.  That's all it's ever been.  Culture-bound specifics - whether a man of honor kills a black kid after getting sassed over loud music or kills his own daughter because she had premarital sex - are secondary.  From the point of view of an honor-bound society, the alternative is getting walked all over and having your stuff taken from you, which "proves" a man weak and denies him the respect of his own society while encouraging the alien and the predator alike.

          I don't know where you're getting "cult-worshipping and insular group-worshipping" from because that's got nothing to do with anything I've described ... unless you're confused by how it was Puritan (and Quaker and Anabaptist) Northerners who for mainly religious reasons rejected the old individualistic and violent idea of honor that's guided the white South since the beginning, in favor of selflessness and conflict-aversion.

          Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

          by Visceral on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:26:42 PM PST

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