The Politics of Covetousness

Ace recently posted this after hearing MSNBC’s Martin Bashir ranting about Sarah Palin like a crazy homeless guy standing at the bus stop with his pants around his ankles:

Leftist politics, I maintain, are not a politics at all, but a psychological response to one’s shortcomings and feelings of failure. Leftist politics are, simply put, a way of getting even with a world that’s done one wrong — and most people carrying about such grievances against a world that’s done one wrong are psychologically broken.

These fairytale “politics” give them an avenue to vent their rages and turmoils about their failures and inadequacies in a way that is deemed, incorrectly, to be socially acceptable and even high-minded.

If a man were raving on the street in this fashion — about his hopes that someone would literally sh*t in a perceived “enemy’s” mouth (a perceived “enemy,” who, crucially, he’s never actually met) — most of us would shake our heads in secondary shame. Some of the more empathetic of us would call social services and attempt to have the madman brought in for psychological treatment.

But the left — Martin Bashir, Chris Matthews, Daily Kos, all of the hateful, raging, vibrating-with-resentment left — does this sort of thing in the guise of “political commentary” and no one makes the connection between this broken-souled primal screaming and mental unwellness.

That’s their cover. They just call their inner rages “politics” and their antisocial behaviors “activism,” and then they pretend to be normal, well-adjusted people.

I think that’s true — the psychological motivations behind leftism — but I want to add a little to Ace’s thoughts.

Leftist anger isn’t just about how they have failed; it’s about how others have succeeded. They wouldn’t be nearly as angry if there weren’t other happier, more successful, more content people to compare themselves to.

Their rage is at least partly a very acute, vicious kind of covetousness. They see themselves as lacking in comparison to others, so they want what those people have. You can see it in every liberal economic policy. And when they can’t get it, they respond with raw anger.

There are lots of liberals who have been very successful financially and politically and every other way the world can define success. Yet even the most successful among them hold deep feelings of indignation and anger toward their political opponents, including people who are presumably much less successful. Could it be that even in their success, they feel their opponents have something that they don’t? Something that they can’t even understand or put a name to? But they want it, and can’t have it, so they stew in their rage.

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