The Psychology of Envy and Social Justice

“Our envy of others devours us most of all.” (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago)

Stretching back to the time of the Ancient Greeks, countless philosophers have contemplated the nature of envy, or what Immanuel Kant described as the “tendency to perceive with displeasure the good of others.” (Immanuel Kant)

Those who have written about envy, be it Aristotle, Aquinas, Adam Smith, Schopenhauer or Nietzsche, have all come to a similar conclusion – envy is a destructive and diseased state of mind that harms not only the envier, but those whom the envy is directed towards, and society as a whole.

But today the personal vice of envy has been made into a virtue by politicians. By manipulating the human tendency to envy, politicians have stumbled upon a very effective means of gaining power and control over largely unsuspecting populations. In this video, we will examine this phenomenon while also looking at the nature of envy in general, how attempts to enforce uniformity ironically only exacerbate envy and how those afflicted with envy should, for their own well-being, strive to rid themselves of it.

~The Psychology of Envy and Social Justice

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