A Gratitude Free Zone

  • Philip Towle


Gratitude is much rarer in politics than complaints, anger and resentment. Personal contacts sometimes help to reduce hatreds as after the Second World War when the occupying forces often came to sympathise with their defeated and starving enemies. But personal ties can be broken by tides of fanaticism as happened in the Cultural Revolution in China and close relations between one government and another are not carried over to the next. Colonial forces abandon those who have helped them and countries rarely admit that they are grateful to other nations because people find such admissions demeaning. Thus, although gratitude is constructive and builds confidence, resentment is more pervasive.


Colonialism Depersonalisation Empathy Forgetfulness Meetings 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Towle
    • 1
  1. 1.POLISUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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