Recently Bill Whittle did an epsiode of Firewall entitled “Number Six,” about the sin of envy. He starts off with a hypothetical: what would happen if your employer gave you – no strings attached – $200k.
And if the deal was structured so that either everyone took the money or no one got the money, well, I assure you that there are people out there – not everyone, but a few – who would rather tear up two hundred thousand dollars of pure gain simply because the idea of other people having more is so repulsive to them.
We call these people “Progressives.”
Jeremy Clarkson of the hit British TV show Top Gear has experienced this firsthand. Reader “Sinker” sent me a link to Clarkson’s essay on the subject.
A few moments ago, my dog died, and, as an experiment, I announced the fact on Twitter. Now, everyone must have known that when a family pet is put down, the family in question is bound to be upset. So you’d expect a bit of sympathy. And, in America, that’s what you’d get.
Not in Britain, though. Moments after I posted my Tweet, a man called Ryan Paisey asked: “How does she smell?” Adam Farrow said the news was “kinda funny”. Phil May wanted to know if it was James May’s fault, and Tom Green said simply: “Good”. All that in less than what Twitter calls zero seconds.
Five minutes has now elapsed, and still it’s a non-stop tirade of abuse. Which confirms my theory. Britain is a nation of 62 million complete and utter b*******. We are the country that invented the concentration camp, and international slavery.
I think, however, Mr. Clarkson has misdiagnosed his countrymen. It’s not that they’re “complete and utter b*******,” it’s that they’re complete and utter Progressives. I know, they’re hard to tell apart, but you can be a b****** and not be a Progressive. The opposite is not true.
They’ve taken class warfare from the 99% vs. the 1% to the absolute individual level – if anyone has more than anyone else, then they’re “the enemy.” And if someone is ostentatious about their possessions, they’re even more greatly hated:
There is more evidence of our inherent nastiness to be found on the road. Last week, I was testing the magnificent Ferrari 458 Spider, and I couldn’t have been more despised if I’d run around a shopping centre in full SS uniform and a Ku Klux Klan hat trying to steal children. The message was clear: “Whoever is in that car has become rich by exploiting the workers, and, as a result, we are not going to let him out of that side turning.”
Here in the U.S., the Progressives have not made as much “progress”:
Again, we must draw parallels with the US. Over there, when a tramp sees someone drive by in a Ferrari, he will say, “One day, I’ll have one of those.” Here, what he will say is: “One day, I’ll have him out of that.”
And I think Clarkson really understands Progressivism’s influence, too:
Outwardly, we hated communist Russia; inwardly, it’s what 95 per cent of the country wants.
Here it’s maybe a third.
But they’re working really hard to increase the ratio.
I wanted to add this, too. In 1967 the “Longshoreman Philosopher” Eric Hoffer was interviewed by Eric Sevareid and it was broadcast in September of that year. Listen to Hoffer on the topic of intellectuals and on the people of Britian as of 1967:
Not quite fifty years later, you can see where the U.S. is heading.