Every society has methods of ostracizing those it wishes would go away- if not voluntarily, then by force. For example, the ancient Greeks would periodically write the names they wanted to be expelled on pottery fragments, ostraca. At the end of the vote, the “winner” got given the boot from the city. Secret societies voted with white and black balls – one black ball being enough to exclude you. And, of course, we’ve all heard of pirates using the black dot.
I imagine that those doing the ostracizing felt that it was therapeutic, ” Thank God, those horrible people are gone!” Now they only had to live with each other until someone else had an unpopular opinion, belief, of behavioral twitch.
We, of course, have few powers to shepherd someone physically from our community. Tarring and feathering are thankfully frowned upon these days.
No were not primitives. Instead, we cut them dead on social media, “swat” them, so the police come in and shoot them up, or change the voter registration process so they can’t vote. That should let them know how we feel about them!
After we’ve done this, all is good in the peaceful kingdom. Those who violate community values are isolated.
Choose from among the following. Those who:
- are too conservative
- are too liberal
- are neither liberal nor conservative
- serve Mammon, Trump, or Biden
- serve the wrong religion or denomination
- are of the wrong ethnicity – although we are not prejudiced!
- are of the wrong race – although we are not prejudiced!
- Fill in the blank here__________ ________ – although we are not prejudiced!
After a while, you’d need a committee to create a proper lexicon of all that was forbidden. I maintain that we do this while leaving amongst us those who actually deserve exclusion – the intolerant who can’t abide other opinions or beliefs.
Hey, what’s that I hear? The clink, clink of ostraca being dropped into the bowl? What do you mean I’m getting the boot? I just voted you out, too, you know.
3 Replies to “You’re Out!”
ostracize (institutionalize) those with aberrant cognitive styles?
That’s certainly one of the ways it’s been used in the old Soviet Union. Although lots of the aberrations seemed to actually be political or social.
Ostracized – sounds like being turned into an ostrich doesn’t it -ha! It’s a shocker of society how people can be ostracized basically for living because of who they are or where they come from, isn’t it. Great post!
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