Politics of Jealousy

Jealousy is bad but effective politics. Every democracy requires the majority to have sufficient self control to refrain from oppression the minority, yet much of politics involves an appeal to the majority to disadvantage the minority by taking something from the minority and distributing it to the majority.

Although democracy is the least bad system of choosing governments that we have devised, we have not devised ways of preventing democracy being used to oppress minorities. Fascism and communism both managed to oppress minorities very effectively; fascism chose those to oppress on the basis of their religion, and later on the basis of their ethnicity while communism chose to oppress those who did not agree with their politics.

Less extreme political movements appeal not by the philosophies they pretend to espouse, but to the prospect of their supporters gaining or retaining a life improvement by supporting them with their votes. Socialism appeals to those that do not have because they may get some of that which belongs to those of who do have. Conservatism appeals to those who want to retain what they do have, however unjustly they acquired it.

All of these motives are enhanced by jealousy and the result is that jealousy makes bad politics just as it makes bad relationships.


One Response

  1. I think socialism also appeals to those who believe success depends on merit and hard work not just nepotism. In my experience the ‘haves’ often believe they are justified in their ‘having’ because of who they are, not what, on an objective basis, they have achieved.

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