Our last three posts – on Victorian, Northern, and Southern honor respectively, detailed the final manifestations of traditional honor cultures in the West, while also hinting at the cultural forces that were emerging even then that would eventually erode them almost entirely.
Today we will cover how those forces were amplified, manifested themselves, and led to the disappearance of traditional honor in the West over the course of the 20th century. At the same time, a discussion of these elements provides an excellent opportunity to review the concepts we’ve discussed so far. We’ve come a long way since the first post, and this is such a complicated topic that I think this re-orientation will be quite beneficial.
On that note, this post does admittedly have more of a scatter-shot quality than the rest. The complex nature of the history of honor cannot be reiterated too many times. Without excusing the limitations of our writing abilities, which are myriad, there is no clear coherent narrative to the evolution and death of honor, and it is impossible to construct one. What we offer below are sketches of cultural forces which could each be their own book; each is interconnected with the others, and multi-layered. In the absence of a tome-length treatise on each cultural force/change, what we have given is a snapshot that is simply designed to give you an overview of the element and provide you fodder for further pondering and connection-making to history and your modern life.