The Cult of Dignity

C. S. Herrman


The cult of dignity is one of four stages in the development of society (with credit where due to Spencer). It is a devolution from its sister, the cult of honor. Whereas the latter introduces important institutions, the cult of dignity is a transition phase on the way to a normative dignity-based society during which individualism is excessive and its regulation defective where existing. This cult is knowable by the 1) structure of its offices; 2) the expected objective personality of its officers; 3) an ‘us v. them’ mindset, and 4) conduct that presupposes arrogance, narcissism or contempt (for victim, law and/or right).

The paper also makes two assertions; first that stewardship rather than ethics is the proper label to describe the normative regulation of offices, and second, that the evolution to a dignity-based culture is the only apparent way to achieve a stewardship outlook that would stem the excesses inherent to the cult of dignity wherever found.

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English Linguistics Research
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