Quote of the day—Ian I. Mitroff

Understanding such forces is crucial in attacking issues such as gun control, which are completely out of control. Even though the vast majority of both NRA and non-NRA gun owners are for tighter gun control laws, fear and shame are still the primary factors driving gun ownership to record highs. But fear and shame cannot be approached directly, for one is generally too ashamed to admit one is ashamed!

If shame is indeed one of the most powerful unconscious forces behind so many of our failed attempts to curb our most pressing social problems, and if it is difficult to approach directly, then how can we confront and combat shame itself?

There are at least four different ways, none of which are sufficient by themself. The first is obviously books such as Gilligan’s, which point out the complex factors and overall patterns responsible for shame. Sadly, because they confront shame too directly and are largely cognitive in nature, they reach only a very small percentage of the population, mainly highly educated liberals, who are already less prone to shame. Nonetheless, they are necessary even if they are not sufficient. Without understanding the factors responsible for shame, it is extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible, to fashion truly effective ways of combating it.

The second way is of course individual therapy. Again, this only reaches a very small percentage of the population, mainly highly educated liberals. And, it does not treat a whole society therapeutically that is suffering from shame.

The third of course is ongoing, sustained programs and efforts in education. The earlier and the younger we intervene with children the better. But imagine the howls of protests from conservatives who are already paranoid about “government stealing the minds of children.”

The fourth is the most effective. It consists of carefully orchestrated public service campaigns that feature prominent, charismatic figures from all walks of life (business, entertainment, sports, politics, etc.) that have successfully faced and overcome shame. Powerful personal stories are the main ingredient. And, of course, celebrities are the story.

Ian I. Mitroff
Adjunct Professor, UC Berkeley
April 25, 2012
Confronting Shame-Based Politics: The Biggest Challenge of All
[I would take issue with his unsubstantiated assertion that gun owners are for tighter gun control laws and that shame is an issue in gun ownership. But I won’t out of fear he would put me on a list such that I would end up in a death camp instead of a reeducation camp or psych hospital should he and his kind ever achieve the power they desire.—Joe]

7 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Ian I. Mitroff

  1. Yeah; I don’t get the supposed connection between shame and gun ownership. I’d say he pretty much has everything exactly backwards, as is usual with the left.

    I will point out that at least he admits that the coercively funded school syatem is a tool of indoctrination. Beyond that little slip of accidental honesty, he’s talking gibbersih.

  2. Despite being on industrial-strength crack, he does hit on a few kernels of truth. He says that highly educated liberals are both (a) not easy to shame, and (b) more likely to be in (and by implication, need) therapy.

    Yup, sounds about right.

  3. His “Psychological Approach” to Gun Ownership is as Valid as Marxism is to Economics; i.e., none whatsoever. More Junk Science from a Tax-Payer Funded Idiot.

  4. “Liberals are less prone to shame.” And this is a good thing how, exactly? Last time I checked, shame and its brother guilt can be perfectly legitimate tools in causing someone to choose one option over another. Granted it’s not as good an option as actually changing a person’s mind so that they select the right option based on their own preferences, but in some cases, especially politics, it’s far preferable to the alternative.

  5. It’s a shame that Mr. Mitroff is so concerned about “increased levels of shame” (as if I support gun rights because I was shamed into it!) but is not concerned one whit about the lack of shame in the gansta cultures, where killing a rival gang member, or even any witness who “snitches” to the cops, is considered an honorable act.

    There would be a lot less violence if murder was simply recognised for the shameful acts they are! Instead, anyone who suggests that the gansta lifestyle is evil, is systematically destroyed (take Bill Crosby, for example).

  6. “If shame is indeed one of the most powerful unconscious forces behind so many of our failed attempts to curb our most pressing social problems, and if it is difficult to approach directly, then how can we confront and combat shame itself?”

    Through sheer, unemotional FACTS.

    Shame is an emotion…one that the left/gun-banners/anti-rights cultists successfully employed for *years* to get as far as they did with all their gun control schemes. It is indeed the FACT of their ultimate failure to “…curb our most pressing social problems…” (read: violent crime) through “…tighter gun control laws…” that has revealed their shame propaganda for what it truly is, and led to the current increase in unapologetic, if not down right PROUD, gun ownership.

    (The Freudian slips really are strong in that QOTD.)

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