Thursday, October 22, 2009

"...those agents whose behavior it wishes to affect—governments,

armies, businesses, and militias—are exposed in some significant

way to the force of public opinion, and that they are [...] vulnerable

to feelings of dishonor, embarrassment, disgrace, or ignominy.

Shame is thought of as a primordial force that articulates or links

knowledge with action, a feeling or a sensation brought on not

by physical contact but by knowledge or consciousness alone."

"If shame is about the revelation of what is or ought

to be covered, then the absence or failure of shaming is not only traceable

to the success of perpetrators at remaining clothed or hidden in the dark.

Today, all too often, there is more than enough light, and yet its subjects

exhibit themselves shamelessly, brazenly, and openly."

Is this exhibition of what some view as wrong behavior a failure of shame or an absence of the ability to shame? Shaming is an attempt to embarrass or disgrace someone or some group. A wave to the camera acknowledging its position in recording abhorrent acts may seem like a failure of shame. However, does not shame have to come from within? Does not shame work by illustrating some sort of hypocrisy? It can be argued that revelation is not enough to mobilize shame. That one is performing an act they do not want others to see does not presuppose that the act in is thought of as wrong. The audience for which shame is mobilized is and can only be the ones performing the act in question. Shame cannot be mobilized where there is no hypocrisy revealed.

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