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“The self-accusations are familiar,” writes R. R. Reno in The Pleasures of Self-Hatred , today’s “On the Square” offering.

We are imperialists, racists, and purveyors of unsustainable consumption that threatens to engulf the world in an environmental disaster. The colonization of the New World amounted to genocide. Our greed supports brutal tyrants. Capitalism depends upon the exploitation of the world’s poor. On and on goes the litany of shame.

The “self-laceration,” he continues, “reflects one of the virtues of Western culture,” but the main reason for it is a darker one.



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