Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shame! I'm Gonna Live Forever, Baby Remember My Name . . .

And you thought I was the only one awaiting a Shame-Culture Renaissance:
It is a measure of how limited and poor our understanding of politics is nowadays that the only thing Linker envisions as an alternative to laissez-faire morality is legalistic intrusion into personal behavior by the government. This fails to take into account the possibility of social regulation through customs and concepts of honor mediated through natural and religious institutions. Social stigma, reputation, protecting the family name–these are decidedly not part of the “culture of choice,” according to which none of these things has any real importance, but they are effective means of conditioning behavior without recourse to coercion or an appeal to the law.

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