The Decline of Cultural Understanding
Two friends in Paris invited us to dinner recently and then thought better of it. The problem was not that it would have been an illegal gathering, but that the woman in the flat between theirs was the kind of person who would delight in denouncing her neighbors. What greater pleasure in life, at least for some people, than that of causing difficulties for others in the name of the public good?
Denunciation, especially when made a habit, is unpleasant, but I would not go so far as to say that it is never justified. In my career as a doctor, I denounced two patients, both of them in prison. One said that he intended to kill his girlfriend on his release (which was in a few days), and I had the distinct impression that he was not speaking metaphorically. I therefore informed the police, who informed his girlfriend. He was charg
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