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  •  Public shaming works (4+ / 0-)

    So does shunning, and social ostracism. It is not a shortcut or a magic bullet. It requires persistence and discipline, and total commitment by a critical mass of people.

    It's not a practice that many people would choose, or feel comfortable about implementing, especially over the long run. Taken to its perverted extreme, it results in "revenge cultures" such as Catholics vs. Protestants in Ulster, or Serbs vs. Croats.

    Not everybody wants to bear a grudge. To effectively put people on notice that their behavior has been unacceptable in civilized society, and that they continue to be held accountable for it, you have to be kind of a prick.

    That would be me. Scabs who have crossed picket lines know to go the other way fast when they see me coming, because I'll point my finger at them in public and say "Hey, there's so-and-so. Do you know he's a fucking SCAB who crossed Local 123's picket line?"

    So it goes for local elected officials. One Democratic County Councilman voted with Republicans to deny my state Senator an appointment to fill a vacant County Council seat, and I haven't let him forget it. When I am forced to be near him in some gathering, I make it a point to look him up and down in contempt (he's at least half a foot taller than I am), and he always reddens and looks away, because it reminds him of his perfidy. My former state Senator, since elected to that County Council seat, hasn't forgotten either (of course he's Irish, haha).

    Well, not everybody is going to act like I do, and I am not saying anyone should, but it has happened. Ostracism was institutionalized in ancient Athens, and although it would be unconstitutional here, it has its uses in social settings, and applied creatively, could be an effective political tool.
     

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:09:38 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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