Jealousy, Jouvenel and the War Against Socialism

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

Exclusive to STR

In his famous post-World War Two exposé, On Power: The Natural History of Its Growth, Bertrand de Jouvenel makes some salient observations at the very beginning of Chapter IX, “Power, Assailant of the Social Order” (pp. 171-172):

“Power is authority and makes for more authority. It is force and makes for more force. Or, if a less metaphysical terminology is preferred; ambitious wills, drawn by the lure of Power, expend unceasingly their energies in its behalf that they may bind society in an ever tighter grip and extract from it more of its resources.”

“Every increase of state authority must involve an immediate diminution of the liberty of each citizen; every augmentation of the public wealth means an immediate lopping of the revenues of each. So obvious a danger should, one would think, have the effect of uniting all in an almost unanimous opposition, by which Power’s advance would surely be stayed.

“Why is it that the opposite happens and that we see Power pursuing its triumphal way over all the pages of history?”

“The reason is that there are in society, in addition to the state and the individual, social authorities as well, which also claim from the human being their due of obedience and services. And the diminution or disappearance of his obligations to a social authority may affect his life and stir his interest more than the aggravation of his obligations to the political authority.”

I think it is safe to conclude that, shifting the vernacular to a more modern and commonplace paradigm, Jouvenel was speaking to the fact that a significant percentage of the populace tend to view the State Construct as a great leveler or equalizer against what they view as sheer Darwinism: A force, quite literally, which is tasked with preventing domination ("exploitation") of the masses by a well-monied elite. That such “robber barons” are mostly enabled by those calling themselves the State – who themselves, are, of course, made affluent through their ability to commandeer stolen wealth (taxes) whilst actually producing nothing of value in the way of goods or services – always seems to be just too inconvenient of a truth for such government-apologists to ever openly acknowledge.

I bring this to the attention of the reader in order to set the proper stage for the accusation I am about to make; one long overdue, and that few in the public arena dare give voice to: Socialism is, by its very nature, a jealous doctrine. It is, of course, not predicated upon empirical reasoning, nor objective logic of any kind. It is solely rooted in emotions of the most negative and cynical brand imaginable. It seeks, by raw physical force, to make equal those who are inherently – by their own very human nature – unequal. It champions mediocrity and outright failure, while vilifying and outright punishing talent and enterprise.

From the frozen gulags of Soviet Russia and the subtropical island prison of Cuba, to the concentration camps of North Korea and the starvation and rioting amongst the palm trees of oil-rich Venezuela, the rotted and poison fruits of Marxist-socialist doctrine have sickened and starved untold millions in the name of class-envy. And still, its headstrong and ineducable proponents rail incessantly, like madmen in their padded cells, for its full-scale implementation – time, and time, and time again, no matter how many chances it has been given to function, and no matter how many times it continues to result in failure, destitution, and death.

Those of us who value both our lives, and the freedom to conduct them without violent interference from outside forces, have little rational choice but to arrive at a distinct conclusion: The fight against socialism is not one waged against a mere difference of opinion, but, to be sure, a struggle for every aspect of human survival itself. It is in every sense, a war. Not just of ideas, but for the inherent right of every human being to be afforded the opportunity of choice, prosperity, and liberty – words perverted and misused in every way conceivable by left-wing apologists; where “choice” means only government-approved alternatives, “prosperity” means government-provided welfare, and “liberty” means not having a Wal*Mart nor any gun owners in your local neighborhood.

The kind of eviscerated, emasculated society envisioned by such state-worshipping, market-hating fanatics has, insofar as it has been imposed on modern Amerika to date, been nothing short of a disaster. The most affluent and productive society the world had ever known has been commensurately reduced to a stultified pig-sty of taxes, regulations, licensing, and other Marxian impediments to economic growth and even scientific progress itself. Under today’s conditions, America would’ve never managed to become much more than another run-of-the-mill Third World mediocrity – little more than another USSR, at best. Ponder that for a moment.

Now think about envy, covetousness, jealousy – and its sociopolitical end-product, socialism, and whatever we can possibly do to oust it and its influences from our lives forever.

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Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 153

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales.  He has also written and published poetry, non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues.  He currently lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University.  Alex's Amazon page can be found here, and his work may also be found at both Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.  His MeWe group can be found here.


Samarami's picture
    "...Now think about envy, covetousness, jealousy – and its sociopolitical end-product, socialism, and whatever we can possibly do to oust it and its influences from our lives forever..."

It was important that I learn early-on that there is not a lot I can do about YOUR "...envy, covetousness, jealousy..." (and the end-product of socialism). But there is something I can do about MINE. Well, in a sense, Alex, since both you and I are here on STR I can have some influence upon you and perhaps a few others, and you're certainly having an influence upon me -- and many others.

But keep in mind -- probably 99.5% (more or less) of folks who engage in envy, covetousness and jealousy (and who root for socialism) are not here and will never read your article or my comments. And I don't have time to go out and attempt to recruit a sizable dent in that 99.5%.

So I've got to find a way to be free. Here. Now. Today. Where I'm "at". Freedom starts between my ears.

The challenge of anarchy is learning to circumnavigate and sidestep the socialistic trip-hazards. I may not eliminate them all, but I can learn to avoid allowing them to constantly trip me up.

It's eerie, the number of people who appear to crave central political authority -- and ensuing socialism. And it appears that my primary defense against those throngs is to abstain from beans. Sam

Paul's picture

One wonders about people whose worldview is so infused with and dependent on such a disreputable emotion as jealousy. Are they not ashamed? Maybe there is not much shame left in this world.

Samarami's picture

Yet, when you think about it deeply, you begin to see that the entire infrastructure of state rests upon a bedrock of jealousy and envy. Which is exactly what Alex's little essay encompasses -- nicely, I should add.

The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam

Samarami's picture

Thinking to amend my most recent response to Paul's comment on Alex's essay, I decided to post another remark. Because, looking at my earlier comment where I used the arbitrary figure 99.5% (of general population who will never read what we write here -- or other anarchist forums), I think truth would verify a much stronger -- more like 99.995% -- figure. That's during my more anarchistically unenthusiastic phases.

The waning days of summer and autumn seem filled with political holidays (one coming up in just a few more days) designed to unabashedly sell socialistic murder and mayhem to the hoi polloi as being good and deserving of their celebration and their support. Hard acts to follow. Which put me to mind of an article Butler Shaffer posted several years ago:

And even Butler -- one of my many mentors -- seemed to cling to vestiges of statism with his tongue-in-cheek recommendations for additional holidays. Alex is right:

    "...The fight against socialism is not one waged against a mere difference of opinion, but, to be sure, a struggle for every aspect of human survival itself..."

I believe we're going to win the struggle. I believe my 26th grandchild -- a little girl, Naomi Mae, born last Thursday -- will grow up to see the victory. I'll be fortunate to still be capable of witnessing her triumph.

Gotta keep biking every day to make it happen. And, of course, continue to abstain from beans. Sam