Damnatio Memoriae; Nonperson; Unperson

Damnatio Memoriae; Nonperson; Unperson

The ancient Romans "erased" who they regarded as traitors from memory and history - as if he never existed. They called the practice Damnatio Memoriae, literally "condemnation of memory". If the senate or the emperor did not like an individual, they would seize his property, withdraw his titles, and erase his record from history. It is no longer possible to perfectly erase individuals from history but the practice still continues; The name of Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in 2011 after ruling Egypt for 30 years, was removed from all monuments shortly thereafter. Convicted child rapist and the assistant coach of Penn State University Jerry Sandusky had a similar fate.

Today we seem to live in a culture that pushes people into a nonperson status, or, using George Orwell's Newspeak, an unperson. We have turned people into faceless commodities. What was once shamefully and openly executed under slavery and fascism is now being carried out more surreptitiously under the cover of capitalism with terms like "human capital" and "market value". We have become quasi-voluntary wage slaves. Businesses are not interested in us if we do not provide them with profits. But more disturbingly, we as individuals have begun to measure other human beings as "what they are worth" to us, to our bottom-line, and to our hedonist needs. We find freedom only in money. We find meaning only in our hedonism. Anyone who we believe can directly feed our needs is a "person". Everyone else is simply a "nonperson"; In our unconscious mind, they are forever condemned, to the point of nonexistence.

Song of the Day: Lives - Modest Mouse (2000)
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