A sense of humiliation may be felt by an individual or a nation if short-comings and failures are widely known. This can lead to resentment or, on the national level, to war. Humiliation — the feeling of being disgraced, shamed, debased, or dishonoured — is the frequent concomitant of a loss of self-esteem in clinically depressed patients; and the desire for infliction of actions by others that warrant feelings of humiliation is seen in masochism. Humiliation is the most consistent problem resulting from torture where, irrespective of the level of permanent physical damage caused, the objective is the deliberate breaking of a prisoner's spirit with its lasting effects once the detainee has been released.
In comparatively formal societies, such as Japan and China in the East, or feudal Europe in the West, public defeat, ridicule or reversal of fortune was not easily tolerated.
Modern superpower pride and propagandist strategies suffer when confronted with widely recognized failures. Often also, extremism by people's liberation movements may be due to a perceived need to regain honour or recognition after some setback. This may be true of terrorist groups as well.