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Ronald O. Gray

Occupy and the Politics of Envy

Ronald O. Gray 25%

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We’re given new evidence that artists really are the antennae of their societies when, after a half-century, their perceptions are validated by events. The Occupy movement has been providing such validation for the perceptions in L.P. Hartley’s 1960 satire, Facial Justice.

In that yarn, Hartley foresaw a dictator who rules the world after the Third World War. Believing that envy is the root of all social distress, he resolves to eradicate its causes, one by one. The ordinary social and economic inequalities are expunged by socialist “income redistribution.” However, envy persists: linguistic inequalities such as accent and grammar divide people, so they are soon placed under the control of the Language Police. But envy still persists, because—surprise!—some people are prettier than others. So the omnipotent State mandates plastic surgery for all, to eliminate those differences.

Does that call to mind the masks worn by the occupiers—that vacuous, smiling face that made them all look alike? Hmmmm.

The Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, assessing the politics of equalitarianism (as opposed to egalitarianism*) noted: “I. it really surprising that whenever you get striving for equality and fraternity, the guillotine appears on the scene?”

 

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by Ron Gray

 

Source: chp.ca


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