We left off with the idea that happiness must have something to do with getting and having what we want; or certainly it can't involve getting what we don't want.
This seems simple enough, but simple isn't necessarily easy. For as Pieper says, beneath this are two implicit questions, first, "What does man want?," and second, "What is meant by 'have?'"
Vis-a-vis the latter, I'm reminded of that fact that I live in an area where I am literally surrounded by open space for miles around. Few people take advantage of this space, certainly considering its expanse. Therefore, for all practical purposes it might as well be mine. I can "have" it to myself any time I want. It is as if I can have and enjoy the privileges of ownership without the burden of property taxes. So again: what is meant by "have"?
At the other extreme, what does it mean to "have" your own property in a country with weak to non-existent property rights? What does it mean to have a house in Iran or North Korea -- or even Hong Kong? I suppose the protests in Hong Kong have much to do with the meaning of "have," because if mainland China prevails, its residents will be had. Tyrants will always have what they have, and will have what you have as well.
Haves and have-nots. What makes leftists doubly nauseating is that they conceal their envious wantery under a fig-leaf of disingenuous have-nottery. Which is why:
When the exploiters disappear, the exploited split into exploiters and exploited. Yes, but only every time. What did Asians and Jews ever do to the left, aside from supporting it? And yet, they are among the primary victims of the left's institutional racism.
The revolutionary is ultimately an individual who does not dare to rob by himself. He doesn't even dare call it robbery, or even taxes -- rather, contributions. Moreover, Elizabeth Warren is only going to ask for them. But oddly enough, we won't be able to explain to the IRS that we politely decline the request.
The left claims that the guilty party in a conflict is not the one who covets another’s goods but the one who defends his own. The left is the institutionalization of envy. Moreover, envy for the left has gone from one of God's own Top Ten Obligations or Celestial No-No's to an actual virtue! Indeed, if you aren't saturated with envy, you can scarcely be called Woke.
The only man who should speak of wealth or power is one who did not extend his hand when they were within his reach. Warren? Ha! Imagine a person who would sink so low as to claim Indian Privilege for personal enrichment? Sanders? Ho! By selling envy to the envious, he has gone from living in a treehouse to living in three houses. Biden? Don't call him envious and grasping -- if you do, you're liable to be impeached.
Yes indeed, Revolutions do not solve any problem other than the economic problem of their leaders. Say what you want about AOC or Mayor Pete, but leftism has solved their own economic problems. Likewise Al Sharpton or the Obamas -- people with no skill but the ability to sell you a lot of the last thing you need.
No social class has exploited the others more brazenly than the one that today calls itself “the State.” The Trump presidency has been an ongoing revelation of just how brazenly we have been and are being exploited by the deep state.
The state was bad enough, but come to find out it is only the surface structure of a much deeper and more pernicious cancer which has metastasized into everything. It is why journalism and academia, for example, are so thoroughly corrupted. Note that a college education used to be about curing ignorance. Now it's about contracting a virus of the soul and intellect and spreading it to others.
What's up, Bob? This post is supposed to be about happiness, but it's veering way into envy! Fair point, except it turns out that happiness and envy are literally at psychic -- and spiritual -- antipodes. To revisit my psychoanalytic training -- I'll try not to bore you with details -- one of my seminal influences published a book called Envy and Gratitude, which you might say form the Hinge of Happiness.
Let's see how briefly I can conceptualize the essence of the crux of the gist. In psychoanalysis, envy is distinguished from jealousy, in that the latter is the painful desire for what one lacks, while envy essentially eliminates the pain of jealousy by attacking and spoiling the good object. This mechanism is vividly seen in many policies of the left, too many to chronicle here.
For example, as Heather MacDonald has so exhaustively documented, the entire infrastructure of the diversity scam revolves around the denial of black underachievement; or, more specifically, a transformation of this reality into something it is not. Therefore, as in so many areas, leftism is the disease it pretends to cure, the problem it pretends to solve, and the ignorance it pretends to relieve.
Meanwhile, the underachievement worsens, while white SJWs feel better about themselves, so it's a whine-win situation.
Back to the psychoanalytic definition of envy: at bottom -- i.e., unconsciously -- it is "a destructive attack on the sources of life, on the good object, not on the bad object." If this sounds crazy, it's because it is. Why, for example, does the left ceaselessly attack the most decent nation in history, while defending one of the worst, Iran? Why does it attack Western Civilization? Christianity? White men? Israel? At least in part to make the pain go away.
Take the so-called Palestinians. I have a two word solution to all their problems: Imitate. Israel. Indeed, I can also reduce the source of all their problems to two words: Destroy. Israel. If they could only cease the latter and engage in the former, affluence and happiness would follow. But then, this would also destroy a lucrative regime that enriches a whole class of leaders that mirrors our own class of Sharptons, Obamas, and other grievance mongers.
Again, gratitude isn't only at the other psychic extreme, but isn't possible so long as one is filled with envy. It is "akin to object-love" and is "counterposed to envy, a response which diminishes or kills gratitude to the object."
To open this discussion to the widest possible angle, if God is love, then envy is very nearly the "anti-God," since it isn't just the absence of the good, but an attack on it. Which is frankly diabolical, no? Gosh. Might this be why the most hellish -- and unhappy -- places on earth were built with bricks of envy? Communism. National socialism. Democrat run cities. Etc.
Funny/sad story: my wife was recently accused of being a white supremacist because of something the accuser saw in my office. Am I a white supremacist? No, worse: I am grateful!