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"Zealotry of either kind -- the puritan's need to regiment others or
the victim's passion for blaming everyone except himself -- tends to
produce a depressing civic stupidity. Each trait has about it the
immobility of addiction. Victims become addicted to being victims:
they derive identity, innocence and a kind of devious power from sheer,
defaulting helplessness. On the other side, the candlesnuffers of
behavioral and political correctness enact their paradox, accomplishing
intolerance in the name of tolerance, regimentation in the name of

Lance Morrow
(1939- ) Essayist, professor

© 1998-2005