Sunday, October 20, 2013

Culture of honor vs. culture of law

Most people who complain about the backward, violent, vengeful side of the Culture of Honor, as contrasted with the progressive, peaceful, neutral-third-party side of the Culture of Law, overlook honor's twin -- hospitality. Honor means, you f*ck me, I f*ck you ten times harder back. But hospitality means, you host me, I'll host you ten times as lavishly next time around. The Culture of Honor is therefore really a Culture of Reciprocity, only one-half of which is "an eye for an eye." Guided by a framework of hospitality, pastoralist peoples can expel an immigrant group for having worn out its welcome.
From Dusk in Autumn.


  1. Interesting observation. My wife and I had been discussing this a few weeks back as, reading some children's adaptations of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid to our children we had observed the role hospitality and honor played in those stories.

    I should go read the whole post from which this is excerpted. Thank you.

  2. I was raised in that sort of culture so it really resonates. Yes, what is written is true.


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