The Cult of Sentimentality

It’s not the book but an essay in The Wall Street Journal that uses a recent article in Le Monde as another example of the modern desire to avoid hard truths:

…the main reason that the author does not ask the obvious questions is that to have done so would have been to reduce the sentimental reaction that he wanted to evoke in his readers. And a little reflection shows that this reaction depended on a rather cruel premise: that if people are to any considerable extent the authors of their own misfortunes, we should exclude them from our pity. Instead, we turn them into the passive victims of circumstance, so that we can bestow our sickly pity on them.

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