Social censure is a key component of the communitarian system of control. What is that? Shunning. Social rejection.
While thinking about the attraction of communitarianism to some in our world, I asked myself why it is that the threat of social censure is such a powerful motivator? Even to the extent of allowing the corruption of liberty, people will avoid the potential pain of social rejection. Hence the willingness of your neighbors to persecute you when they fear rejection from the community if they defend you instead. I doubt many would admit to cowardice if they could blame the victim and gain the support of their community at the same time. I found this article and excerpted a portion here. It's very interesting to read that social outcasts actually suffer physical and emotional damage to their health. So a communitarian approach to social issues would likely result in serious health consequences for those who don't 'go along to get along', at the least.
Imagine, then, the threat to the communitarian from a citizen who is tough enough to stand up to social pressure.
The Anthropology of Belonging: The Need for Social Inclusion
July 3, 2006 by Gerda Wever-Rabehl
In this article, I will explore the evolutionary roots of our universal desire to belong to a group.
The Evolution of Belonging. The Threat of Social Isolation. The Need for Groups. Social exclusion is a complex and mysterious phenomenon that permeates all of our relationships and many, if not all, aspects of our lives. Social exclusion and rejection have inspired a rich legacy of contemplation from poets, writers, philosophers, sociologists and anthropologists. After all, human beings are deeply social creatures. We desire to live, love and work with others whom we know and who know us. And so did our ancestors, whose membership to small groups helped protect them from the weather and from predators. Belonging to a group gave them- and gives us- a chance to thrive.
The Evolution of Belonging. For our ancestral brothers and sisters, becoming a social outcast would have been disastrous. Rejection from the group and lacking the benefits that the group offered would have meant death. From an evolutionary standpoint, our survival has depended on the ability to prevent rejection, or to reclaim membership to the group once rejected. This is, in a way, still the case. Evolution has instilled in us a powerful desire to be part of a group of people we can know and whom can know us, and while our world has changed, and while our social ties to others have become less personal and more complex, social connection (and our fear of losing it) continues to be crucial to the quality (and in some cases, even quantity) of our lives.
The Pain of Being an Outcast. Social outcasts feel bad, are anxious and depressed, lack a sense of wellbeing, they harm their immune system and threaten to harm their cardio-vascular health. People who are socially isolated think about and do destructive things and die sooner than socially well-connected people. Extreme reactions to social rejection such as depression, suicidal behavior and violence, might be relatively uncommon, but throughout human history social exile has been tantamount to the death sentence. While some people react to their new status as social outcast more radically than others, rejection is pretty much universally experienced as negative and painful, and this experience affects the whole of us: behavior, emotion, perception and cognition. The reason for it, the desire to belong, is equally universal, although the way it is enacted differs depending on culture.
Read more at Suite101: The Anthropology of Belonging: The Need for Social Inclusion http://www.suite101.com/content/the-anthropology-of-belonging-a3931#ixzz0yiliKkDZ