Home Opinion Dear Editor Letter: ‘Culture of Narcissism’ on display in mask debate

Letter: ‘Culture of Narcissism’ on display in mask debate


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

I’m a recently retired lawyer, and while there are vast chunks of law about which I know nothing, criminal law and the Constitution aren’t among them. I am both baffled and appalled by a claim which has surfaced across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, that a mandate to wear masks violates people’s constitutional rights.

Really? Do these include, nowadays, the right to kill other people because you are too egotistical and self-righteous to wear a mask?

In criminal law, there is a doctrine known as “depraved heart” (or “depraved indifference”) murder, defined by Wikipedia as “a type of murder where an individual acts with a ‘depraved indifference’ to human life and where such act results in a death, despite that individual not explicitly intending to kill.”

Last time I looked, there was nothing in the Constitution saying that people have the right to go around committing murder.

The late University of Rochester history professor, Christopher Lasch, had a name for this kind of arrant nonsense — he called it “The Culture of Narcissism.” Alas, “freedom” isn’t free, and it doesn’t include the right to ride roughshod over the rights of others, especially those among us who are the most vulnerable to the ravages of this pitiless disease.

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Henry Dickson

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