Monday, February 28, 2011

Class Envy

A man I know posted a joke on a social networking site:
A Teabagger, Union Member and a CEO are sitting at a table with a dozen cookies. The CEO immediately takes 11 cookies for himself. The CEO then turns to the Teabagger and says, "Watch out for that union guy - he wants part of your cookie."
Amusing and poignant. One of his commentators was not amused, however, and complained that the left felt entitled to everyone else's cookies and dismissed the joke and its underlying point as "complete and total class envy."

The charge of 'class envy' seems to come up these days more often than at any time in my memory, so I want to dispense with it. Absurd! Rapacious, grasping theft is evil; calling it so and trying to something about it doesn't make one envious of the thief. There should be a natural alliance between the union man and the tea-partier, but as the joke illustrates, it is pitifully easy to exploit their differences.

The unfortunate truth is that the tea-partier is the one with 'class envy': he is the player coveting the CEO's wealth, convinced of the CEO's inherent superiority and enamored of the fairy tale that another 11 cookies will magically appear for him to take, if only he would follow the CEO's advice and screw the other guy out of a meager one-half of a cookie.

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