Helmut Schoeck (Envy, A Theory of Social Behavior)

Wer alles glaubt, was er liest, sollte besser aufhören zu lesen.

— Konfuzius

Helmut Schoeck (Envy, A Theory of Social Behavior)

“The future, the only field where the fruits of any development are to be reaped, lends itself to a co-operative approach, to exploitation by men able to exchange and co-ordinate their ideas, knowledge and desires. But this is conceivable only when fear of the other’s envy, of his possible sabotage or malicious sorcery, has to some extent been overcome. No one can even begin to have rational aspirations for the future unless he has a realistic view of what that future may be; but no such prognosis can be made as long as each member of the group carefully keeps hidden his view of the future. Nor can a view that is conducive to social and economic development be formed within a group until its individual members are able, in frank discussion, to compare, weigh and synchronize all their different pictures of the future. It is precisely this, however, which more than anything else is impeded by the ever-present fear that basically everyone, more especially our near neighbor, is potentially envious and that the best defense against him is to pretend complete indifference about the future.”

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