MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

A Sorry State – Taki’s Magazine – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on April 15, 2019

Oscar Wilde said that a sentimentalist is someone who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it, and a modern apologist is someone who wants the aura of sanctity of making an apology without the need to feel any personal guilt.

https://www.takimag.com/article/a-sorry-state/print

by Theodore Dalrymple

During a visit of the Spanish prime minister to Mexico, the president of that country wanted Spain to apologize for the abuses committed half a millennium ago by the conquistadores. This made about as much sense as the British prime minister asking Italy to apologize for the Roman conquest, or for that matter Denmark or France, for the same reason.

It also makes about as much sense as that Spain should demand the thanks of every Mexican each time he travels in a wheeled vehicle, or even uses a wheelbarrow, since before the arrival of the Spanish the wheel was unknown in Mesoamerica. Those who want to call nations to account should remember that double-entry bookkeeping has been in existence for a long time.

When calls for apology come, can claims for compensation be far behind? Thereby is raised that greatest hope of humanity, namely the dream of living, or becoming rich, at someone else’s expense. I can’t say that this hope has never occurred to me, and I doubt that there are many people to whom it has never occurred; but it is rarely realized, this hope, and even more rarely does it do any good when it is realized.

If there is an economically sadistic desire of leaders to make other countries pay compensation to their own, there is also a pseudo-masochistic desire of leaders of other countries to apologize for the supposed past misdeeds of their countries, and thus open themselves, or rather the people they represent, to claims for compensation. If the hoped-for compensation is not forthcoming or if it is deemed insufficient, the result is more bitterness than if the apology had never been offered in the first place. This explains one of the many reasons for never going to law: the bitterness the whole procedure provokes. I doubt that one out of twenty actions for compensation ends in full satisfaction for anyone (except the lawyers, for whom it is more or less guaranteed)…

The mania for apology by people very distantly connected, if at all, to what they are supposed to be apologizing for is an aspect of the shallow emotional exhibitionism and dishonesty of our times. It permits the person who offers such an apology to imagine that he is doing something rather fine and generous while actually requiring nothing of him but the utterance of a few words. He does not even have to vow not to repeat the crime or do better himself because it goes without saying that someone as good as he, the apologist, would never even dream of doing anything remotely similar or as bad as that for which he is apologizing. Oscar Wilde said that a sentimentalist is someone who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it, and a modern apologist is someone who wants the aura of sanctity of making an apology without the need to feel any personal guilt. But he doesn’t mind in the slightest if his apology creates endless problems for others…

Be seeing you

offended

Citizen: “What are you protesting against” Johnny: “What have you got?” The Wild One

 

 

 

 

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