Aries – Mental – Root: HOW MUCH

How much does envy affect?

Envy is an omitted topic, a bit like those family stories that cannot be evoked because it would mean questioning the meaning of a certain bond, showing the limits, the errors, the perversions and substantiating the reasons for which it is avoided. One of the reasons, following De Nardis’ thinking, why envy does not «stand out» in sociological studies is due, rather than to its invisibility, to the threat it poses to the social sciences themselves.

Sociological epic has not dealt with it, it is true. Envy, in fact, emerges as the ugliness that tends to destroy the very object of sociology and its legitimacy to exist as a science: society and the possibility of its cohesion/integration, especially in terms of solidarity. Is society possible? And, if the answer is yes, how is this possible? The two transcendental questions on which social science is founded cannot overlook a minefield such as envy, which tends to constantly sabotage the very dynamics of the object, especially of the small group […]. the negative aspect of social individuals, in this case envy, goes against a heroic sublimation of the theory that invests social actions with beauty and purity (in the heroic concepts of solidarity, conflict, change, trust), systematically – though no longer always – stirring up envy, for the subtle reason that threatens to sabotage the legitimacy of some sociological constructions ideologically cemented by certain background theories, an essential element of a projection concerned with guaranteeing cohesion among individuals not only in equilibrium and social order but also in conflict and change; because without cohesion there is no social fabric that legitimizes simply why it exists, sociology itself and the acid of envy would want to burn it and dramatically dissolve it.

In addition to the lies of omission, to trace the origin of the discursive production on envy, we must specify the reference to the Judeo-Christian tradition, although not lacking even in the celestial constellations, pagan myths that speak of cases of envy, resentment, violence and exemplary revenge. About the reasons why the feeling of envy takes root best in the Judeo-Christian world, where the principle of equality spreads, Nietzsche writes: «Where equality has really penetrated and become permanently established, that altogether immoral inclination is born, which in the state of nature would be difficult to understand: envy.»

There are different ways of reacting to common feelings or vices. In the specific case of envy – unlike anger, jealousy and other vices that enjoy a certain social justification – the strong disapproval of envious behavior becomes subject to greater masking, and therefore more difficult to detect. In the competitive world of organizations with different forms of recognition and reward mechanisms – as Kets de Vries notes – envy has an «excellent opportunity to proliferate». The ways in which people deal with envy are different and not mutually exclusive. And yet, the ways of dealing with envy can be either destructive or reparative. Among the destructive ones, the author mentions: idealization, withdrawal, devaluation, revenge, generational envy. On the other hand, from the constructive side, we find the desire to excel and reparation.

I invite everyone to read Matias’ post with the topic of the day.

Finally, I encourage everyone to reflect on the concept of the day. No one else but us can re-signify our own being

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