Helmut Schoeck

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Helmut Schoeck (3 July 1922 – 2 February 1993) was an Austrian-German sociologist and writer.



Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior (1987 ed.)

Liberty Fund Inc. (Original work published 1966)
  • Jealousy differs from envy in being infinitely more spiteful, as well as more impassioned and less restrained. Jealousy arises out of an opinion as to what is one’s due; it is not purely a sense of inferiority, as is envy.
  • Proverbs in many languages agree that the greatest damage done by the envious man is to himself. Envy is described as an utterly destructive, uncreative and even diseased state of mind for which there is no remedy.
  • It is not true, as many social critics would have us believe, that only the more fortunate people in this world, those with inherited possessions or chance wealth, have a vested interest in an ideology that inhibits envy. Such an ideology is in fact much more important to the envy-prone person, who can begin to make something of his life only when he has hammered out some sort of personal theory which diverts his attention from the enviable good fortune of others, and guides his energies towards realistic objectives within his scope.
  • To many, the desire to overcome their envy may have been a genuine incentive for positive achievements, and hence have led to satisfaction in a sense of achievement.
  • Many well-meant proposals for the ‘good society’ or the completely ‘just society’ are doomed because they are based on the false premise that this must be a society in which there is nothing left for anyone to envy. This situation can never occur because, as is demonstrable, man inevitably discover something new to envy. In the utopian society in which we all would have not only the same clothes but the same facial expressions, one person would still envy the other for those imagined, innermost feelings which would enable him, beneath the egalitarian mask, to harbor his own private thoughts and emotions.
  • From this the merciful effect of private property is evident, though it is seldom recognized. It is not the cause of destructive envy, as the apostles of equality are always seeking to persuade us, but a necessary protective screen between people. Wherever there have ceased to be any enviable material goods or where these have for some reason been withdrawn from envy’s field of vision, we get the evil eye and envious, destructive hatred directed against the physical person. It might almost be said that private property first arose as a protective measure against other people’s envy of our physical qualities.
  • I have no doubt that one of the most important motives for joining an egalitarian political movement is this anxious sense of guilt: ‘Let us set up a society in which no one is envious.’
  • Perhaps the utopia of equality, of a society redeemed from envy, exerts so strong an attraction upon intellectuals, generation after generation, because it promises always to remain a utopia, and perpetually to legitimize new demands. Nothing could be worse for the utopian intellectual than a society where there was nothing left to criticize.
  • Overwhelming and astounding inequality, especially when it has an element of the unattainable, arouses far less envy than minimal inequality, which inevitably causes the envious to think: I might have been in his place.
  • The best means of protection against the envy of a neighbor is to drive a Rolls-Royce instead of a car only slightly better than his...overwhelming and astounding inequality arouses far less envy than minimal inequality.

See also

Wikipedia has an article about:
Conservative intellectuals
France Bainvillede BenoistBernanosLe Bonde BonaldBossuetBrucknerCamusCarrelde ChateaubriandFayeFustel de CoulangesFaguetDurkheimGirardGuénonHouellebecqde Jouvenelde MaistreMaurrasRenande RivarolTainede TocquevilleZemmour
Germanosphere von BismarckBurckhardtHamannHegelHeideggerHerderJüngervon Kuehnelt-LeddihnKlagesLorenzLöwithMannNietzscheNolteNovalisPieperRauschningvon RankeRöpkeSchmittSloterdijkSchoeckSpenglervon TreitschkeWeininger
Italy D'AnnunzioEvolaGentileMoscaPareto
Iberia & Latin America de CarvalhoCortésDávilaFernández de la Mora y MonOrtega y GassetSalazar
United Kingdom AmisArnoldBalfourBellocBowdenBurkeCarlyleChestertonColeridgeDisraeliFergusonFilmerGaltonGibbonGrayHitchensHumeJohnson (Paul)Johnson (Samuel)KiplingLandLawrenceLewisMoreMosleyMurrayNewmanOakeshottPowellRuskinScrutonStephenTolkienUnwinWaughWordsworthYeats
USA & Canada AntonBabbittCalhounCoolidgeCrichtonBellBellowBloomBoorstinBuchananBuckley Jr.BurnhamCaldwellConquestDerbyshireDouthatDreherDurantEastmanFrancisGoldbergGoldwaterGottfriedGrantHansonHuntingtonJacobyKimballKirkKristolLaschLovecraftMansfieldMearsheimerMeyerMurrayNockPagliaPetersonRepplierRieffRufoRushtonShockleySowellSumnerThielViereckVoegelinWeaverYarvin
Russia DostoyevskyDuginHavelSolzhenitsyn
Ummah AsadFardidKhameneiKhomeiniQutbShariati
Other / Mixed Alamariu (Bronze Age Pervert)ConradEliadeEysenckHayekHazonyHoppeMannheimMishimaMolnarSantayanaStraussTalmon