My first memory of him was his doing work in a math book that wasn’t assigned in class. His parents bought it for him.
I clearly remember the feelings I had watching him zoom through the problems. There was a bit of envy, some admiration – and the desire to compete with him, to achieve what he had. Call it a friendly rivalry. Even though I couldn’t articulate it at the time, I was intellectually competitive. Athletics I was uninterested in – but intellect, yes.
Years later I read the ancient Greeks saw admiration as concealed envy. Kierkegaard believed the same thing, and so do I.
All competition is based on some admiration, therefore on concealed envy. If you are so far above someone in ability that they don’t stand a chance against you, there can be no competition with them. Professional athletes are so much better than the average person, there can be no envy of them, so the public has no desire to bring them down, as is normally done with envy. Instead they admire them.
People are naturally envious: that’s the lesson of one of the oldest stories around, that of the Garden of Eden. The "serpent" is a symbol of envy, and envy causes most of the human evil in the world. For all practical purposes, maybe all of it.
The only system that harnesses competition is political and economic liberty, i.e., “capitalism.” Political and economic liberty created the enormous wealth of the Western world, which many of those in the non-Western world envy, so they wish to destroy us..
Bizarrely and perversely, there are political philosophies – socialism and its variations, that don’t create but destroy. All of them are based on eradicating envy, not through turning it into admiration and competition, but through trying to make all of us equal, falsely believing that total equality can exist.
The only way people can be totally equal is if they are totally identical and interchangeable, the way two pennies or two quarters are equal, identical and interchangeable.
So what the human race is stuck with is a philosophy that doesn’t work by trying to eradicate envy by making everyone equal, and another that works far better by letting people be unequal and trying to transmute envy into admiration through competition.
There is no Affirmative Action in entertainment – in sports, music, movies. The best have to work their way to the top through talent and competition. No one will go to see any sports team composed of second-raters. It’d go out of business.
But outside of sports and other entertainments, people think Affirmative Action works. But it doesn’t. What society ends up with is Affirmative Action babies being hired and promoted – and being carried by the more competent people underneath them.
I’ve met women who thought this was funny, since they had deluded themselves with left-wing fantasies about how women have been discriminated against for the last several thousand years. Then I’ve met other women who were outraged when they realized their husbands weren’t going to get the promotions they deserved, so the family could kiss goodbye having even a middle-class existence.
My experience has been these kind of career-oriented women aren’t very attractive or feminine. I’ve can’t say I’ve ever seen a physically attractive female lawyer (except on TV, ha ha). I’ve seen many who were hideous.
I’ve come to the conclusion these hideous career-oriented women are consumed with envy toward more physically attractive women, the kind who can get a husband (“If I can’t have husband, home and children, I don’t want you to have them, either”).
When women go into anything en masse, they destroy it. Look at the way they are trying to remove competition in schools - everyone is supposed to win, to increase their "self-esteem." It's nonsense.
Many women are natural socialists/fascists. That, in a sentence, is why they destroy everything. Everyone is supposed to be "equal," which is the essence of socialism.
Societies generally find ways to reduce envy or turn it into admiration. We’ve lost that ability for the most part, and the people who should know these techniques – lawyers, politicians and academics – are for the most part incompetent. Our leaders don’t lead, just screw things up. It’s amazing to watch these morons stumble around. It’s the blind leading the blind.
We’ve lost the ancient wisdom of how to deal with these problems. The answers are there; people just have to look to the past. Unfortunately they think they’re too smart to do this. I can’t imagine some geek/dork/nerd with a worthless Ph.D. in Economics having a clue that admiration is concealed envy.
Hell, at six years old I knew more than most “intellectuals.” That’s why I dismiss almost all of their babbling.