Mittwoch, 28. Februar 2018


Helmut Schoeck, Envy:

>Let us take a typical case:
A new centre of power has come into being. It may be merely a routine change, it may be usurpation or a party acceding to power by legitimate or illegitimate means, or again it may be a new departmental manager in a plant or officer in a military unit. A previously existing vacuum or balance of power has been altered; a new centre of power, whether vested in a group or an individual, exists, and it seeks to expand and to establish itself by bringing under its domination those groups and persons who have not yet submitted to it. At this stage some individuals or groups will already have lined up behind this new power, whether out of greed, cowardice, stupidity or genuine enthusiasm. But these men who have already submitted to the new power are not satisfied with conforming, themselves and almost invariably develop intense feelings of hostility towards those who continue to stand aside sceptically appraising the new power and considering whether to remain aloof. ... Tension, usually originating with the conformists, then arises between those who conform and those who do not. Why is this?
Anyone who has already adapted himself against his will, whether out of cowardice or for the sake of comfort, begrudges others their courage, the freedom they still enjoy. Anyone who has already committed himself to the new leaders, from calculation or from real enthusiasm, sees both himself and his chosen power group endangered by those who obviously prefer, and see it as politically feasible, to keep their distance. Those at the periphery of the power centre, though in no way entitled to wield authority, now begin to exert pressure on other people in the course of daily social life, within the framework of local groups and among business or neighbourhood connections, with the object of getting them to conform as well.<

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