In our previous post about OWS, we linked to an item that’s been making the rounds today: this Huffington Post grumble from lesbian “electronic punk” musician JD Samson, who has become dissatisfied with how things are working out for her, affluence-wise. NRO’s Daniel Foster has add some pointed commentary over at the Corner. An excerpt:
The great, and probably terminal, flaw of the Left’s various grievance-group “isms” is that they implicitly rely on a world in which trade-offs have been abolished. It isn’t just that Samson should be free to move to New York and consecrate herself to her “art.” It’s that she should be free to do that while enjoying all the benefits of her choice and suffering none of the consequences. What she wants is not the freedom to choose but the freedom from having to choose.
What sort of worldview makes this fantasy conceivable? Well, if I had to pick just one French term of art popularized by a 19th-century German philologist to describe the Occupy Wall Street set and its attendants, it would be Nietzsche’s Ressentiment. Why does good old English “resentment” not suffice? Why is the extra ‘s’ and fancy French pronunciation required? Well, resentment is about begrudging the success of your betters as a way to avoid reflection on your own failures. The Nietzsche scholar Robert Solomon described resentment as an “impotence self-righteousness” directed at your superiors, and contrasted it with anger (directed at your equals) and contempt (directed at your inferiors). But ressentiment is what happens when you take that impotent self-righteousness and define a whole morality of good and evil in terms of it, build a whole belief system out of it, build an ideology, a political movement — an occupation.
Spot on. Read the rest here.