Deadlier Than Cancer

Deadlier Than Cancer BY   for Daily Reckoning

“The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence,” argued economics journalist Henry Hazlitt long ago:

“Hate the man who is better off than you are.”

Continued Hazlitt:

Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects, to his laziness, incompetence, improvidence or simple stupidity.

“Hate the man who is better off than you are…”

History is a detailed diary of this very hatred…

The French Revolution, Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution, China’s Cultural Revolution — perhaps America’s unfolding cultural revolution of its own.

We cite but some examples.

They all set out to correct wrongs. But they mostly end up stripping rights.

The right to life itself is often among them.

Today we study the acid emotions of jealousy… and envy.

Man’s False Vanity

Men fancy themselves thinking creatures ruled by hard, icy logic.

Yet we maintain it is a false vanity, a mere conceit.

Men lasso reason and logic primarily to serve their hormones, their vanities… and their delusions.

That is, men enlist logic to affirm their emotions.

Men are capable of thought, it is true. But they are infinitely more capable of emotion.

Has logic ever plunged a man into love… or into war?

Has logic ever written a poem… or elected a president of the United States?

Has logic ever torn down a statue?

Is it logic on nightly display in Portland, Oregon — or is it emotion?

It is the emotions of jealousy and envy that fetch our attention today…

Jealousy Is Not Envy

Jealousy and envy are not identical. They are siblings — yet they are not twins.

No less a luminary than Aristotle clarified the distinctions between them. Jealousy even has its high and legitimate purposes, said he.

It pricks a man’s pride…  and spurs him on to higher attainments.

Envy — in contrast — only spurs him to evil. For envy is “base”:

Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbour to have them through envy

“More men die of jealousy than die of cancer,” argued a lesser luminary than Aristotle — Joseph Kennedy.

Perhaps he meant more men die of envy than die of cancer.

And is not envy one of the seven sins that are deadly?

But let us turn now to jealousy…

“The Sparrow Knows Its Place Is Not Among the Eagles”

It is said a man is jealous of his betters. But it is only partly true.

The average man harbors no jealousy towards the great man.

He has no jealousy for the Alexanders… the Caesars… the Napoleons of this world.

These are men stamped from a finer metal, a nobler metal. And the average man recognizes that it is not his metal.

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