Hierarchy and Blame Attract Shame Driven People

Shame driven people are attracted to hierarchical organizations that espouse “us against them” mentalities. The reason is simple. The only way for the shame driven person to feel good about himself is to shame others and thereby place himself higher on the hierarchy existing in his mind.

Two good examples of shame driven organizations are the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. Both organizations arose out of environments of defeat giving rise to low self-esteem (i.e., shame). The Nazis rose to power after Germany’s defeat in World War I. The Ku Klux Klan arose after the Confederate States’ defeat in the American Civil War. It is easy to see how the environment in both situations gave rise to resentment and shame and thus the need for the inhabitants of these environments to feel good about themselves again. Both organizations became attractive to shame driven people because they offered an opportunity to rewrite the directionless narrative of defeat into something more organized and aspirational.

These organizations accomplished this in part by creating scapegoats to blame for their problems. The Nazi’s blamed the Jews for Germany’s defeat and societal problems in the time between World War I and II. The Ku Klux Klan blamed and continues to blame the non white races for what they perceive to be the decay of American civil and moral society.

Consistent with this theme is shame’s love of uniforms and rank. The uniforms identify the shame driven individual as part of a larger group and cloaks them with power and prestige than they would not otherwise possess on their own. The rank insignia clearly designates their place on the hierarchy within the group. But more than this, the uniform masks their identity allowing their true self to hide from the pain of shame.

Shame itself is completely ego driven. It is highly judgmental. It constantly compares itself to other things. It constantly compares other things to each other. For example it is common for the shame driven person to say, “things were better in the past than they are now.” A shame driven person will point to other groups and say, “I am right, they are wrong.” Once this judgment is made, it then becomes easy to hate the other group and attempt to impose their will upon them through shame and bullying. On the international scale you might see one country invade another because they believe themselves to occupy a higher rung on the hierarchy of nations.

Of course shame driven people will never admit their real motivation is to deaden the pain of shame. This would only bring about more shame and pain (in the short run). It is far easier (although ultimately less effective) to hide in groups and uniforms blaming others for their problems while claiming to act in the name of morality. From this perspective they can feel better (relatively) about themselves. Ultimately, however, shame never leads to victory. In most cases it subconsciously self-sabotages and leads to self-annihilation.


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16 responses to “Hierarchy and Blame Attract Shame Driven People

  1. thordaddy


    You severely limit the human experience if you imply only “shame” coming from defeat. And in fact, whether it be a signal or learned provocation, your two concrete examples of the Nazis and KKK ASSUMES defeat to a benevolent adversary thus giving rise to a shame-based organization. Yet, if your frame was adjusted in such a way as to “see” that those who sought to defeat the South and the Nazis were in reality seeking to enslave white man in general then a shame-based motivation is nonsensical. These groups merely represented a survival instinct found IN CERTAIN white men. Of course, you will be unable to readjust your frame convincingly enough to entertain such an inversion and so a real separation is necessary or violent altercation is inevitable.

  2. thordaddy


    You said this…

    “Both organizations arose out of environments of defeat giving rise to low self-esteem (i.e., shame).”

    And I suggested this…

    “You severely limit the human experience IF you imply only “shame” coming from defeat.

    • The statement you quoted does not rule out the possibility things other than shame arising from defeat.

      • thordaddy


        I didn’t say that it did… I suggested it might IN YOUR VIEW backed up by the examples you used. The problem is that the examples you used do not make your point. Those examples only make your point because you have a false idea of their manifestation. The KKK and the Nazi arose from DESIRE to survive “intact.” That you believe their survival not warranted does not then transform the rationale for the birth of these organization to a sense of “low self-esteem,” ie., shame. Organizations manifest TO SURVIVE AND perhaps THRIVE indicating a high self-esteem. Organizations don’t manifest from low self-esteem and shame AND ESPECIALLY not the ones you’ve erroneously slandered. Reads like pure propaganda.

      • The need to persecute a weaker population is not required for survival. This is purely motivated by shame and the need to lessen the pain of shame by having someone below you on the hierarchy so that you look better in comparison.

      • thordaddy


        Then why not pick an organization like Planned Parenthood where this is much more obvious to the casual observer?

      • It’s not obvious to you that the Nazis persecuted the Jews and the KKK persecuted non whites?

      • thordaddy


        It’s not obvious that this “persecution” was rooted in shame.

      • I would not expect someone who supports this type of persecution to recognize his true motivation.

      • thordaddy


        Perhaps you aren’t up for some real indepth analysis?

        There is little evidence that either Jews or blacks are in a position of weakness (in order to be persecuted). And your examples, YOU MUST ADMIT, are things you “learned” and have no real experience of. The actual historical truth is up for debate given the current rhetoric and “our” ability to “see” a singular continuum with 20/20 hindsight.

        Can you not recognize that your examples are Pavlonian?

      • What specific historical fact or facts are you calling into question?

      • thordaddy


        I don’t need to call any history into question. All I need to do is establish that YOUR “history”
        is LEARNED and DOES NOT comport with your living experience. You are still playing the game of “I just indiscriminately chose these two entities to make my point while just indiscriminately NOT CHOOSING these other entities to which I have LIVING EXPERIENCE.” In other words, the “persecution” of the KKK and Nazis IS A LEARNED “fact.” The persecuting done by PP is an EXPERIENCED fact. Can you not “see” why the latter makes a stronger case than the former? Do you lie to yourself more than others may lie to you? Isn’t your whole line of thought on “shame” rooted in the notion of an outside word lying, lying and lying? Doesn’t your experience with extant entities strengthen your case more than learned hearsay?

  3. Are you denying that the Nazis persecuted Jews and the KKK persecuted blacks?

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