Monday, April 21, 2008


Envy never comes to the ball dressed as envy, it comes dressed as high moral standards or distaste for materialism.
Martin Amis


TomG said...

when'er I see the use of 'never' warning bells chime ... and is this one not perhaps free license to do whatever one wishes, without regard to the effect upon others - maintaining that they'd do likewise if they were equally empowered to do so, that their claims of higher moral standards are but mere envy in disguise?
Cheers, Tom

Dubbahdee said...

I suspect that is the problem as Mr. Amis sees it.

How do we discern between what is actually a high moral standard, and what is actually envy dressed as high moral standard. If they look alike, it is easy to be fooled.

Amis may be claiming, as you suggest, that all examples of high moral standards are merely examples of thinly disguised envy, but that is not really what the text says. Sometimes we want to apply the reflexive property to places where it simply doesn't work.

TomG said...

Thanks, but not what I meant at all - rather I meant what the proponent of that quote upholds as true (rather than the usual suspects his judgement's aimed at). Simply put, all I'm saying is how easy it is to use this assumption of others' moral standards as a means of acting without concern for how one affects others - simply dismissing any adverse effect as the very same likely one that would have been done to oneself if the shoes had been reversed ... which is pretty much a license to do what one wishes regardless of possible harm to anyone else. A most cynical assumption I'd say! Cheers.