Monday, August 18, 2014

What Untamed Envy Looks Like

No time for a post today, and possibly tomorrow. But here's a timely aphorism by Dávila: "The worst demagogues are not recruited from the envious poor, but from among the embarrassed wealthy."

This fully explains the high-low composition of the Democratic party, with super-wealthy elites at one end and lofo and lower IQ hordes at the other. You could say that the difference between the two is that the elites are bankrupt in every way except financially.

This little formula explains why the wealthiest counties in the nation trend Democrat, just as do places like Ferguson. The two are locked in a deathly parasitic embrace, for liberals destroy and have destroyed the very people they most rely upon to support them at the polls, and the underclass can be relied upon to support the very people and polices that ensure its own continued ruin. The resultant civilizational collapse is what they call "progress."

Is greed a sufficient reason to account for wealth? If so, then every human being would be wealthy. But envy is a sufficient reason to account for poverty, and the left's core idea -- well, to be perfectly accurate, it is not an idea. Rather, envy is a human instinct that cannot be eliminated, only indulged or overcome. A necessary condition of national wealth is breaking through the envy barrier, so that people can become successful and wealthy without incurring the primitive "evil eye" of the envious.

But at the same time, the successful must tolerate the inevitable envy of others without surrendering to the impulse to make the envy go away by feeding it. This only fuels the envy, which is precisely why race riots only began after the greatest successes of the civil rights movement. (And to be clear, the cosmic imperative to exercise charity toward one's fellow man has nothing to do with appeasing envy; they arise from radically different places.)

After 1965 the movement transitioned from advocating universal principles to nurturing universal envy and resentment. If an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson -- or Jeremiah Wright -- are actually your "leaders," then that is a hint that you have spiritually hit bottom.


EbonyRaptor said...

I'm not sure how to express this eloquently, and probably not adequately either, but I believe there is a national conscientious and it has changed over the course of time from Christian values based to something less - much less. When the nation was founded, there was a shared understanding of right and wrong that does not exist today among the majority of citizens. The majority no longer believe in the providence of God and consequently greed and envy breed a victim culture.

While I don't want to go all "Bible thumper" here, I fear the only chance our nation has to stop the fall into further depravity and chaos is a Christian revival on a large enough scale to change the national conscience and while I would never discount what God can do, it seems highly improbable.

My version of this country does not exist any longer. Or rather, it exists in the hearts and minds of fewer and fewer people.

I wish I could be more optimistic.

Gagdad Bob said...

Everything the founders feared about democracy, and from which they tried to shield us, is coming to pass. Seems that its end is in its beginning.

julie said...

Yes, sadly. One would wish the end would have been farther away. It seems like the only civilizations that really have staying power - thus far, anyway - are those which are stratified and structurally rigid.

julie said...

Interesting article on how to maintain the seeds of tradition in the midst of a culture that no longer recognizes traditions.

"The Hebrew Bible and Jewish history suggest a different strategy, according to which exiles plant roots within and work for the improvement of the society in which they live, even if they never fully join it.

This strategy lacks the historical drama attached to the Benedict Option. It promises no triumphant restoration of virtue, in which values preserved like treasures can be restored to their original public role. But the Jews know a lot about balancing alienation from the mainstream with participation in the broader society. Perhaps they can offer inspiration not only to Christians in the ruins of Christendom but also to a secular society that draws strength from the participation of religiously committed people and communities. Call it the Jeremiah Option.


The piety that God encourages, therefore, can be practiced by ordinary people living ordinary lives under difficult circumstances. God enjoins the captives not only to live in Babylon, but also to live in partnership with Babylon. Without assimilating, they are to lay down roots, multiply, and contribute to the good of the greater society."

Food for thought; it's not as though we have much choice, anyway.

EbonyRaptor said...

I agree Julie. While I lament what I perceive to be the loss of the ideal, I am heartened to know that truth will prevail regardless of the external circumstances. Besides, I believe that while the influence of the Christian faith is eroding in the US, it is growing in other places. Our nation may be slowly dying but the Kingdom of God is alive and well.

Magister said...

I had a negative reaction to that article. It sounds like Goldman wants Christians to be like Reform Jews, when the Orthodox Jews are the ones whose population is growing and having effect. And he writes:

"I offer these arguments against communal withdrawal from a somewhat idiosyncratic motive. An heir to the Jewish diaspora, I am a relatively comfortable inhabitant of secular modernity. By what right do I counsel people whose first loyalty is to God? The answer is: self-interest. "

With that, I shrugged and lost interest.

Does anyone else look at our situation in terms of early Christian history? What led people back in Corinth to Christ? I'd say it was probably example (MacIntyre), not engagement (Goldman). The Christians weren't just local religious color to amuse the secularists and keep the peasants down. They represented an attractive invitation to reality.

What worries me is how to separate this libertine, polyglot, city-state paganism we're living in from the huge Secular Imperium whose elites would love to throw us to the lions. I'm finding it harder to believe that you can have the former without the latter.

julie said...

I think I get where you're coming from. In fact, my first thought on reading it was pretty much, "Oh, yeah? What about all the self-hating Atheist Jews??"

To some degree, he addressed that, by observing that it happens, and there isn't much you can do for the ones who fall away. Isn't that pretty much the entirety of the Old Testament? Anyway, in essence it seemed to me that his broader point was about being in the world - active participants in the communities in which we find ourselves - but not of it; that is, also acting in accordance with our faith.

In other words, being that example that led the Corinthians to Christ, right where we are; not sequestered away.

Or in other other words, being the leaven - even if the dough looks flat. Because the dough looks flat. See also light under a basket, etc.

Going back to points made this morning, civilizations come and go. The Jews, relatively few though they are, have managed to stick around for an awfully long time, and they are still here. I don't have any doubts they'll survive the latest round of extermination attempts. We could do worse than figure out how they manage it. And we could do worse than finding ourselves to be as hated as they are.

As to your final observation, you may well be right. In which case, it'll fall apart eventually, and one way or another the wheat will be separated from the tares.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"But envy is a sufficient reason to account for poverty, and the left's core idea -- well, to be perfectly accurate, it is not an idea. Rather, envy is a human instinct that cannot be eliminated, only indulged or overcome."

Seeing those on the left embracing envy motivates me to continue to overcome it.
Because I don't wanna go through each day with all that bitterness, hate, joylessness, ingratitude, and vileness eating at my soul.
What a hellish existence to embrace.

Plus, there is no upside. Even if the envious got everything they wanted they would still be the same bitter ingrates they are now.

Jack said...

Well, looks like the Left has proven--with science-- that conservatives are delusional. With Science, people!

It's kind of a relief, really. Though it makes me wonder how it is that I devolved from a young, leftish know-it-all to the conservative ignoramus I am today.

But then again, I am conservative, so how could I possibly know?!