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How we’ve turned into a shameless society

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As government became utterly shameless, people stopped trusting it. Yet at an individual level shame is seen as a relic of an outdated moralistic age when people were told how to behave. In fact, our era is intensely moralistic. It’s just that what is disapproved of has changed. Anyone rejecting an ideological shibboleth is vilified as racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, climate-change denier and so on.

Such people aren’t being shamed over what they do but what they are. The aim is not to change their behaviour but to disbar them from the community of right-thinking people. In the interests of making a kinder, gentler, nicer world we have become tyrannical.

To read my entire Times column, please click here (subscription required).

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