The Dead-End Politics of Envy

Remember the word "covet", as in "shall not"?  Envy is a deadly sin.  It is a deliberate decision to ignore our shared humanity and favor, instead, things we can't take with us.  Inducing someone else to commit a deadly sin is an even worse act.

Class envy, albeit one of the two foundations of the modern Democratic Party's soul (identity politics being the other), is very divisive and fuels mob rule.  It is a tool that exploits happy people who were previously neither aware of their forced group membership nor of their antipathy toward other groups.  It is a tool used in previous tyrannies but one that should remain on the historical scrap heap.  The dead end philosophy behind the hubris of this administration and Congress recognizes no such truths, perceives no historical warnings, sees all means as justified by ends and is trapped in its own dictatorship of moral relativism.

Consider the following from Plato's Republic, Book 8, as Socrates describes the transition from democracy to tyranny:

And it is clear that when a tyrant arises, the position of popular leader is the sole root from which he springs....Once he takes over a docile mob, he does not restrain himself...he banishes and kills and drops hints about the cancellation of debts and the redistribution of land.... He is the one, then, who stirs up faction against the rich.

Consider the following from Orlando Figes' book The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia:

"...according to Leninist ideology, the ‘kulaks' were capitalist farmers who employed hired labour."  Figes continues, "The idea of a ‘kulak class' of capitalist peasants was a fantasy.  The vast majority of the so-called ‘kulaks' were hard working...the most sober, thrifty and progressive farmers in the village....  The destruction of the ‘kulaks' was an economic catastrophe for the Soviet Union."

By replacing "kulak" with "banker" or "person making over $250,000", we encounter a very familiar refrain.

Consider the following from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago, Volume 1:

...the very concept of guilt had been repealed by the proletarian revolution and, at the beginning of the thirties, was defined as rightist opportunism.  So we can't even discuss these out-of-date concepts, guilt and innocence.

Consider the AIG individuals, the threats to their safety, the retroactive predatory tax proposals, ACORN's harassing visits to their homes and the suggestions of suicide:  What law did these people break?  These people are more than just chance collections of atoms and deserve not to be manipulated and abused.

In an ambitious suggestion of extralegal powers, Andrew Cuomo gratuitously offered the following, "If the person returns the money, I don't think there's a public interest in releasing the names." What a guy!  Aren't these people more than just chance collections of atoms, deserving of both dignity and respect? 

A new, subjective sliding scale has been established, with the end points being acceptable self interest, on one end, and unforgivable greed for which there is no sufficient punishment, on the other.  Only Obama, Frank, Cuomo and a few other members of the new pantheon may establish the acceptable/non-acceptable line on this new continuum (based of course on the day's necessary "narrative"). 

It seems a manufactured and unnecessary war between labor and capital is underway.  It is a ridiculous conflict created to exploit American human beings for the gain of a small subset of power hungry nihilists who are unburdened by considerations of right and wrong and will use whatever tools they have at their disposal.  This is not leadership.  It is the theft of our society's lifeblood, principally at the hands of our teleprompted three ringmaster in chief. 

We will be lucky if the only "unintended consequence" is a Venezuela-style risk premium.  Of greater concern are the individual level impacts - the personal challenge of continued virtuous resistance to our leaders' appeals to our basest tendencies, the shock to our previous assumptions of freedom from political retribution and the introduction of fear into our business and personal relationships.
Remember the word "covet", as in "shall not"?  Envy is a deadly sin.  It is a deliberate decision to ignore our shared humanity and favor, instead, things we can't take with us.  Inducing someone else to commit a deadly sin is an even worse act.

Class envy, albeit one of the two foundations of the modern Democratic Party's soul (identity politics being the other), is very divisive and fuels mob rule.  It is a tool that exploits happy people who were previously neither aware of their forced group membership nor of their antipathy toward other groups.  It is a tool used in previous tyrannies but one that should remain on the historical scrap heap.  The dead end philosophy behind the hubris of this administration and Congress recognizes no such truths, perceives no historical warnings, sees all means as justified by ends and is trapped in its own dictatorship of moral relativism.

Consider the following from Plato's Republic, Book 8, as Socrates describes the transition from democracy to tyranny:

And it is clear that when a tyrant arises, the position of popular leader is the sole root from which he springs....Once he takes over a docile mob, he does not restrain himself...he banishes and kills and drops hints about the cancellation of debts and the redistribution of land.... He is the one, then, who stirs up faction against the rich.

Consider the following from Orlando Figes' book The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia:

"...according to Leninist ideology, the ‘kulaks' were capitalist farmers who employed hired labour."  Figes continues, "The idea of a ‘kulak class' of capitalist peasants was a fantasy.  The vast majority of the so-called ‘kulaks' were hard working...the most sober, thrifty and progressive farmers in the village....  The destruction of the ‘kulaks' was an economic catastrophe for the Soviet Union."

By replacing "kulak" with "banker" or "person making over $250,000", we encounter a very familiar refrain.

Consider the following from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago, Volume 1:

...the very concept of guilt had been repealed by the proletarian revolution and, at the beginning of the thirties, was defined as rightist opportunism.  So we can't even discuss these out-of-date concepts, guilt and innocence.

Consider the AIG individuals, the threats to their safety, the retroactive predatory tax proposals, ACORN's harassing visits to their homes and the suggestions of suicide:  What law did these people break?  These people are more than just chance collections of atoms and deserve not to be manipulated and abused.

In an ambitious suggestion of extralegal powers, Andrew Cuomo gratuitously offered the following, "If the person returns the money, I don't think there's a public interest in releasing the names." What a guy!  Aren't these people more than just chance collections of atoms, deserving of both dignity and respect? 

A new, subjective sliding scale has been established, with the end points being acceptable self interest, on one end, and unforgivable greed for which there is no sufficient punishment, on the other.  Only Obama, Frank, Cuomo and a few other members of the new pantheon may establish the acceptable/non-acceptable line on this new continuum (based of course on the day's necessary "narrative"). 

It seems a manufactured and unnecessary war between labor and capital is underway.  It is a ridiculous conflict created to exploit American human beings for the gain of a small subset of power hungry nihilists who are unburdened by considerations of right and wrong and will use whatever tools they have at their disposal.  This is not leadership.  It is the theft of our society's lifeblood, principally at the hands of our teleprompted three ringmaster in chief. 

We will be lucky if the only "unintended consequence" is a Venezuela-style risk premium.  Of greater concern are the individual level impacts - the personal challenge of continued virtuous resistance to our leaders' appeals to our basest tendencies, the shock to our previous assumptions of freedom from political retribution and the introduction of fear into our business and personal relationships.