Envy – A Theory of Social Behaviour

The Seven Vices - Envy, by Giotto (1306, Fresc...

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Because envy is ever-present, unappeasable, powerful when aroused, and highly destructive, a society’s “civilizing power of achievement” depends on how well it controls envy. Unfortunately, several forces in modern life are turning envy loose. Politicians find pandering to envy a tempting path to power. Egalitarian and socialist theories appeal to envy and give it intellectual legitimacy. And since World War II, social sanctions against envy have crumbled. “This public self-justification of envy is something entirely new. In this sense it is possible to speak of an age of envy.”

via Envy – A Theory of Social Behaviour.

This sounds like a good book. It’s good to know that some people are worried about the same thing I worry about.


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