Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Viciousness of Envy

I am Envy...I cannot read and therefore wish all books burned. –Christopher Marlowe

Capitalism is brutally honest. By this I mean that, in the arena of achievement, you cannot hide your shortcomings and failures. You contribute or not. You produce or not. You cannot sell or trade hopes, fantasies or dreams: you have something of value to add in the market place, or not.
Consumers are interested in meeting their needs and obtaining their desires. The entrepreneur who does this with a quality product and at a cheaper price than his competitors is rewarded. I may be a great guy who people really like, but if I have nothing of value to offer in the marketplace, I am invisible to the consumer.
Today, however, people are acting like the aristocracy of old, demanding to be rewarded without having produced much, or demanding equal rewards for unequal production. These are the envious people who want what the successful person has earned and, if not, they don’t want anyone to have such rewards.
Envy is vicious. It is one thing to be jealous of the success of another. For example, I am jealous that you have a new BMW and I drive a ’92 Buick and sorely would love to have a Beemer myself. Envy, however, goes farther, believing that, “If I can’t have a BMW, you shouldn’t have one … if I can’t have one, no one should have one … Let us destroy all Beemers!”
The envious are hell-bent on obstructing and sabotaging the success of others. Hear the Cry of Envy:

Sir Envious: “I deserve to be wealthy but I am not. However, Big Business and its executives are wealthy. This wealth obviously came their way through greed and cheating, so it should be severely punished and the wealth of the executives confiscated, or at least extremely scaled down. “ (For the envious, success can never be attributed to exceptional performance: it is always a sign of cheating or some such nefarious practice.)

It doesn’t seem to occur to Sir Envious that a large percentage of consumers have chosen to support Big Business by purchasing its product. In other words, Sir, if you have a problem, it’s not with Big Business: it is with your neighbors. (Yes, yes, I do know that some Big Businesses are in bed with the government and have been given an unfair advantage in this regard—this is called Crony Capitalism. I’ll get to these Judas’ another day.)
To the envious person the damnable thing is that the market has placed a different value on his contribution than he believes is “fair.” “Someone must do something about this miscarriage of justice!” and by “someone” he is referring to sate and federal governments that must join him in declaring all out war on the producers of wealth. Furthermore, it is not “justice” he is after: it is retribution and destruction.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 20013

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