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Ce qu’on appelle un «esprit faux» (l’autre haussait les epaules devant cette locution toute faite et declarait qu’elle n’avait aucun sens)–eh bien! je m’en vais vous le dire: c’est celui qui éprouve le besoin de se persuader qu’il a raison de commettre tous les actes qu’il a envie de commettre; celui qui met sa raison au service de ses instincts, de ses intérêts, ce qui est pire, ou de son tempérament.
What they call a “hypocrite” (the other shrugged his shoulders upon hearing this locution and declared that it was meaningless)—oh well! I’m going to tell you: it’s someone who needs to persuade himself that he is right to do what he wants to do, someone who puts his reason in the service of his instincts, of his self-interest, which is worse, or of his temperament.
–André Gide, Journal des Faux-Monnayeurs, p. 51 (1927)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Chances that an American knows the position of his or her senators on health-care reform:
Climate experts proposed creating a fleet of cloud-seeding yachts that will pump water vapor into the atmosphere to thicken global cloud cover, thereby reflecting more sunlight, in order to counteract the effects of global warming.
In San Antonio, a 150-pound pet tortoise knocked over a lamp, igniting a mattress fire that spread to a neighbor’s home.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."