Politics as Envy

envyby Glenn Fairman   1/25/14
It could well be that the most ugly and malignant trait we humans manifest is envy, and who can fully know the wicked ends brought about by the cancer of the covetous heart? One is jealous of one’s own but envy settles its lustful eyes on the possessions or the attributes of others. Similarly, political life can also have the deleterious effect of elevating covetousness to a public virtue, as Marxian theory and its attendant Fascist, Socialist, and Liberal offspring have so richly accomplished. Under the color of egalitarian virtue, the nearly one half of Americans who pay literally no federal income tax can wax resolute in white hot indignation at the upper echelons of wealth who bear the lion’s share of the tax burden—all the while demanding an increased largesse from the coffers of Men whose only recompense is the substance of venal hatred—the worm of envy.

How illuminating that within the Mosaic Decalogue, covetousness was ranked amongst the moral commands of God to flee from. That being said, how more revelatory that a party whose delegates would haggle with the term “God” in their doctrinal platform should be fully motivated by the material stratification of Americans solely on economic terms–igniting the seething embers within men to embrace their darker natures. The Classical World had a curious goal of political life: It believed that the end of the good state should be good men, with the circular addendum that good men would comprise the best regime. How perilously far afield have we wandered, when those dark impulses, who would cultivate and brandish envy as a club, foment the great schism that divides the American fabric–lionizing a false equality, spurned by the spirit of covetousness, against the tonic good of ordered liberty?

In the America of Post Modernity-where the philosophical horizon of God’s commands are withering like parched summer grass, the noxious choking weed of envy is thriving as never before. If political life is an institution to make men better, why have we taken into our chests the venom of political envy? Why have we made our moral souls more the wretched?
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Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be reached at arete5000@dslextreme.com. • (1121 views)

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3 Responses to Politics as Envy

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I’ve said many times that the commandments against false witness and covetnousness are the reasons liberals hate the Decalogue, since without those tactics they have no political campaign tactics. To be fair, hatred of others does seem to have joined them as the quintessence of modern liberalism.

  2. A pastor I once studied under (Col. R. B. Thieme) used to say that jealousy was the desire for another’s possessions, but envy was the desire that the other person be bereft of those possessions. It’s one thing to picture yourself living in someone else’s mansion, and another entirely to burn down that mansion. These motivations are ugly and just as ruinous as you describe, no matter how you slice it.

  3. dagny says:

    Envy is a base human instinct, a product of concupiscence. That is why it is such an effective motivator. It’s really the first sin; the whispering serpent asking, “don’t you want to have what he has”. When you’re jealous, you can almost hear the evil goading you into wanting.

    The surest cure though is patience. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that, bizarrely, in almost every instance where I’ve felt a pang of jealously, much later that person will suffer some misfortune that far outweighs any superiority I thought they might have. I’ve learned to never wish myself in the shoes of another, they all appear to be worse.

    The left is born of class envy. That’s what it is and the farther this country moves left, the more hate we’ll see.

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