nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Shame, politics, intuition

cakmpls has an article about shame and boundaries--when I was a kid, I had a pretty good sense that my behavior was my behavior, and other people's behavior was theirs--probably too much, since I didn't have a sense that people influence each other. (Link picked up from lisajulie.

After years of work (mostly bodywork and introspection), I'm more connected to people. This is mostly a good thing, I think, but I'm also hideously ashamed of how the US has been treating prisoners in Abu Graib and such. The article has reminded me that it isn't my fault. It's unquestionably worth getting angry about, but shame is probably a waste of perfectly good neurochemicals.

The thing is, I don't think voting (or not voting) makes you responsible for what "your" government does. Not only is it a huge number of other people, but they've got you outgunned and outnumbered. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try to influence it if you think it's practical, but if they fuck up, it really is them and not you. This may imply that you also shouldn't be proud if they do well.

This doesn't explain why I'm so emotionally involved in the prisoner abuse thing. but maybe I'll be able to figure it out.

This may relate to the matter of intution--I've been mulling for years over the question of why some pieces of social conditioning take hold of a person, and others don't. There are issues of toughness/stubbornness, but I don't think that's the whole story, since the same person can be more suseptible to some ideas than others. And I wish I had some better way of phrasing this which didn't make it seem as though it's best for people to be invulnerable and unshamable--it isn't.

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