Saturday, 3 February 2018

The Age of Envy

Envy was born as the runt of the litter, but he's been slowly killing off his siblings.
"Tax The Rich!" 
"Hang the 1%!"
"Pay your fair share!" 
"Check your privilege!"
"Free uni!" 
"Free housing!" 
Envy-- the hatred of the good for being the good -- is everywhere, and everywhere is its destruction. Today we live in the Age of Envy. But there is a solution...


  1. Envy? It's a useful way to defend all sorts of inequality.

    ...without actually addressing the inequality.

  2. I don't think the text, at least, accurately portrays envy. I can deal with an honest looter--they want stuff, so their drive is at least comprehensible. What I can't deal with is people who don't want stuff, but want ME to NOT have it. They don't want loot, they just want to destroy. The "Occupy Wallstreet" movement and their ilk. They are truly insane, and you can't deal with insanity.

    1. In it's purest and most extreme form, you're correct that envy is about destruction more than gaining stuff. But there are varying degrees. It's not the prime motive for the majority who are are prone to envy. For every Ellsworth Toohey there's at least 10 Peter Keatings. Generally they want stuff, and to some degree they may even work to get it, but the creed of victimhood allows them to readily blame others for whatever failings there have. Look at most of the comments accompanying online press for evidence of that.

    2. "But there are varying degrees."

      True enough, but more and more those who lead any social movement seem to be the extreme. BLM, the Occupy movement, and the rest are dominated by their desire to cut down the tall poppies.

      That said, you also have the Women's March, Scientists' March, and the rest, where people are petulantly demanding free stuff from the government. Those would be your Keatings. Unfortunately, they are all too easily dominated by the Tooheys.

  3. Spawn of Cain do not have a good reputation. Jealousy led Able to smash his brother's skull with a rock. I live with Beowulf's version in my head:

    "So times were pleasant for the people there
    Until finally one, a fiend out of hell,
    Began to work his evil in the world.
    Grendel was the name of this grim demon
    Haunting the marches, marauding round the heath
    And the desolate fens; he had dwelt for a time
    In misery among the banished monsters,
    Cain’s clan, whom the Creator had outlawed
    And condemned as outcasts. For the killing of Abel
    The Eternal Lord had exacted a price:
    Cain got no good from committing that murder
    Because the Almighty mad him anathema
    And out of the curse of this exile there sprang
    Ogres and elves and evil phantoms
    And the giants too who stove with God
    Time and gain until He gave them their reward." [Seamus Heaney]

  4. Got that backwards. Abel copped it. Must parse slower.


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