The Politics Of Envy – The Last Word

tax-avoidanceDavid Cameron cheated on his taxes.  He avoided paying his fair share of them.  He might have done so legally, but guilty of Tax Avoidance he is, and people are justifiably annoyed at him.  The Tories, rather than accept that people have a right to be pissed off at their PM, have responded in their usual cavalier way, and become angry at us for being critical of their leader.  They have put it down to people being jealous of Cameron’s wealth.  Yes, it’s all because we have become victims of the Green Eyed Monster.

Therefore they have started beating out that old chest-nut of The Politics Of Envy again.   In fact they have often told us that that is what Socialism actually is. Let’s break down the true meaning of this phrase.  What does it mean logically?

Firstly, what is envy?  The Oxford English Dictionary reveals that it is:

A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck

So if we apply that to a whole political system based on envy does it really add up to Socialism, or not?  Well, let’s go back to the OED:

A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

When those two statements are applied together I think it becomes apparent that describing Socialism as The Politics Of Envy is rather fatuous and self-serving.

And so what if people are jealous anyway?  I must admit when I’m worried about paying for my gas bill, the thought of being born into inherited wealth, privilege, and power absolutely appeals to me.  Imagine having all that security; one would never have to worry about being out of work, unable to afford a home, or being unable to pay your own way at all.

Who wouldn’t be envious?

The fact that people might feel jealous of David Cameron’s position is beside the point.  It doesn’t change what he, or any of colleagues, do to avoid paying their taxes. Claiming that our complaints about it are due to our Politics Of Envy is actually making matters worse.  How dare they? Isn’t envy one of the Seven Deadly Sins?  So are they claiming we are being sinful by being irritated by Cameron’s Tax Avoidance?

If that is the case then I feel it may be necessary to point that avarice is also one of them too.