Saturday, December 19, 2020

A Consumer, Not A Creator

     C’est moi, when it comes to what are currently called memes. However, I enjoy the clever ones, and am always happy to come upon one that expresses an important truth in a memorable fashion. The following is a case in point:

     Bravo! Visually arresting and evocative. But let’s “unpack” it a bit. There are more layers to it than a mere chortle would do it justice.

     Socialism and Communism – the former is actually just the latter before the show trials, gulags, and executions get revved up – are animated by the same emotion: envy. I use the term here in its maximally intensified sense: the hatred of those who have something the envious one does not.

     I have a lot of quotes about envy in my database. Here are some of the pithier ones:

     The envious man thinks that if his neighbor breaks a leg, he will be able to walk better. (Folk saying)
     There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as moral indignation, which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue. (Erich Fromm)
     Communism possesses a language which every people can understand - its elements are hunger, envy, and death. (Heinrich Heine)
     Envy is ineluctable, implacable and irreconcilable, is irritated by the slightest differences, is independent of the degree inequality, appears in its worst form in social proximity among near relatives, provides the dynamic for every revolution yet cannot of itself produce any kind of coherent revolutionary program. (Helmut Schoeck)
     No one admits publicly, and hence public opinion does not admit, that ingratitude is the norm. It is astounding that countless benefactors allow themselves to be persuaded over and over that ingratitude with the resultant hatred is a rare and special case. (Helmut Schoeck)
     There is one state that no society can live in for any length time, accepting it as official doctrine, and that is mutual envy. (Helmut Schoeck)

     (Allow me, once more with feeling, to urge upon you, Gentle Reader, Helmut Schoeck’s blockbuster book Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour. I can think of no volume more relevant to our current age. You will come away from it with new and better eyes. Best of all, it’s now available for the Kindle.)

     But concerning great beauty and the possession of an eye-catching rack, let it be noted that even in the Soviet Union of old, a few women had them. Who were they? Why, they were women who could acquire the necessities: the sweethearts of the politically powerful, of course! If your husband or lover was high enough in the nomenklatura, you could eat well, dress well, get high-quality cosmetics, have access to fitness-maintenance facilities, and maintain a beautiful appearance. Indeed, those things were essential to maintaining your status as the main squeeze of a high muckety-muck. Stint the use of them, and you’d soon be out of favor...or worse.

     And what delusion is prevalent among those who favor collectivist political systems? Why, they all expect to be commissars in the New Order! Remember that coal-heaver from 1848 France:

     The envious are not satisfied with equality; they secretly yearn for superiority and revenge. In the French Revolution of 1848, a woman coal-heaver is said to have remarked to a richly dressed lady: “Yes, madam, everything’s going to be equal now; I shall go in silks and you’ll carry coal.”

     As an illustration of the sort of “equality” left-leaning types truly cherish, this one is unparalleled. Nor will they allow themselves to think that the outcome might be otherwise – that it might result in them doing thankless, mind-numbing work to stay alive, living in a one-room apartment, and waiting for hours on long lines to purchase potatoes and beets...when they’re available.

     With the prospect of a socialist executive administration looming ever nearer, this is the sort of subject that should be aggressively promoted in the national discourse. Is anyone troubling himself to mention it where others can hear?

     Just a quick thought before I go out to spread more E-Z-Melt on the driveway.


mobius said...

Huh... wow...
I guess I never understood envy as anything more than covetous- ness. Closest I got was, "I wonder if I can do that?"

They must know that they can't, already.

Possum living is avoiding envy, appear to have nothing they want. I guess I got it on some level. LMAO

Thank you, Francis.

mobius said...

So, they don't want the skills or the knowledge just the status (attention). I had that figured of course, but it all ties back to envy.

Paul in Boston said...

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

Winston Churchill

George True said...

As Mobius has already said, envy = covetousness. And covetousness is such a monumental sin that it made the all-time list of the Ten Thou-Shalt-Nots. Behind all of the crimes and sins of the Left is covetousness. And covetousness is such a big deal because left unchecked, it absolutely will lead to some of the other top ten sins such as theft and murder.

George True said...

I left out Bearing False Witness, which is often driven by envy, and/or done to enable theft or murder.

It also occurs to me that the very first sin ever recorded, that of Lucifer rebelling against God, was driven by envy.


Envy, being one of the Seven Deadly Sins, is a human weakness. And weaknesses are exploitable by those who want power.

pc-not said...

Back in the late sixties and early seventies, I couldn't help notice the phenomenon that most people receiving government benefits were not at all grateful, but seemed to be upset with the providers that it wasn't enough. Remember, this was in the early stages of the transformation of "The Great Society".

The mindset and behavior of many in today's modern welfare segment are a hopped up version of what their mothers and grandmothers were. (I don't include fathers in this because most are unknown thanks to government regulations). Ingratitude, a close cousin of envy, has morphed into victimhood, social justice activities and street violence. Prior to our current system of government entitlements, most received help from local charities. The recipients were mostly thankful for the generosity bestowed upon them and worked to get back on their feet. Those whom could not get out of the cycle of poverty often found themselves on the county farm or poorhouse, where a daily routine and work was required of them.

Francis W. Porretto said...

-- Back in the late sixties and early seventies, I couldn't help notice the phenomenon that most people receiving government benefits were not at all grateful, but seemed to be upset with the providers that it wasn't enough. –

You might not be familiar with an atrocity that called itself The National Welfare Rights Organization. Here’s the meat of its “activism:”

-- The NWRO’s first major activity was lobbying against the work incentive provisions of the Social Security Amendments of 1967. The organization held demonstrations that included a sit-in at the United States Senate Committee on Finance hearing room. --