Ignominy is a word that comes from latin ignominy and refers to the public affront. The etymology of the term is related to in-nomen (“Nameless”) since that is the effect of dishonorable actions known as ignominy.
Shame, in short, is a offense that is carried out publicly and that is visible by the members of a community. The victim of ignominy may feel embarrassed by the action and suffer social discredit.
Ignominious behavior, in general, seeks to expose the weaknesses of others so that they experience shame, a situation that is expressed through the blush of the face and the look at the floor, for example. Shame supposes a procedure that does not take into account the evil it causes or even wants to provoke.
One of the historical figures who has spoken the most about the term that concerns us now is the Prussian philosopher and intellectual Karl Marx. Specifically, this figure, father of Marxism and modern communism, what came to make clear is that the ignominy for it to be considered as such had to be conscious, it had to be made public.
However, in addition to all the above, we cannot ignore that this term was used at the time of the absolute power of the Roman Empire. At that time it was used to refer to a military punishment that was established by the censors and that could consist of several things: descending several degrees, exposing the person publicly without wearing the military girdle or ordering him to attack the sides from the first positions enemies.
In the same way, we cannot ignore the fact that ignominy is also used to refer to an action that is carried out and that is an authentic attack against the beauty of something or someone. A clear example of this is the following sentence: “It is a shame to have devastated and razed by logging the natural park that was the green lung of the area.”
Another use of the concept of ignominy is linked to the situations of injustice. In this sense, ignominy is understood as a kind of stain that threatens dignity or civilization: “Poverty is an ignominy that should put all the peoples of the first world to shame”, “An ignominy like child malnutrition cannot be tolerated by the Argentine government”.
An ignominy can be caused by the individual who has a certain can or authority in front of a community: “The president committed the ignominy of raising his salary when our retirees are starving”, “The ignominy of the governor is unacceptable: his actions must be condemned with the full weight of the law”.
At present we can say that ignominy has become very present in our society as a result of the coming to light of countless cases in which political leaders have carried out all kinds of fraud, deception and have managed to enrich themselves through appropriation undue of money from public funds or from illegal origin.