The Honest Courtesan

What I did is not such a great harm, with all these surplus women nowadays.  –  Rudolf Pleil (“The Death Maker”)

Though idealists prefer to deny it, Man is a predatory animal in whom the killer instinct is as natural as the sexual impulse.  An infant, given the power to do so, would destroy anyone who displeased him; it is only through maturation and socialization that we learn to curb our murderous impulses, or at least to restrict them to non-humans.  And thereby hangs the tale; some humans never internalize the wrongfulness of violence and only avoid it out of self-preservation (i.e., to avoid being caught and punished), while others find socially-sanctioned outlets for their violent impulses or sublimate them into non-physical forms.  But in all these cases there is still usually a thick enough layer of civilization that the individual is reluctant to attack others he…

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