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REJECTING THE EVIL EYE

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eye777a You’ve seen jewelry like this pendant, haven’t you? If you travel most anywhere in the Mediterranean – Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Egypt – you’ll see people wearing something like this as bracelets, necklaces, pins, amulets. You’ll see something similar in Iran, India, Mexico, and South America.

If you see a lady wearing this in the US, it’s likely because she thinks it’s attractively decorative. But for everywhere else, wearing this type of jewelry is very serious business. Its purpose is to protect its wearer from the Evil Eye.

In Greece it is called matiasma, in Spain and South America the mal ojo. The Evil Eye is known as ayin horeh in Hebrew; ayin harsha in Arabic, droch shuil in Scotland, mauvais oeil in France, bosen blick in Germany, and oculus malus among the ancient Romans.

Today in Italy it is called the mal occhio. Fans of those preservers of certain unpleasant aspects of Italian culture, The Sopranos, will recall Tony Soprano referring in classic New Jerseyese to da ol’ maloik, that old evil eye.

Fear of the envy of others is one of mankind’s most deeply primal and pervasive terrors. Ask a taxi driver in Cairo why he has a beaded blue eye dangling from his rear-view mirror, and he’ll tell you, “Many people will look at you with evil eyes and want to harm you when they see you with a new car – so this protects me.” Compliment a peasant woman in a Turkish or Italian or Peruvian village on her beautiful baby and she will panic in fright, loudly denying your words.

Envy-avoidance is one of the most basic and primary motivators of human behavior. It’s why village life in India and Egypt has not evolved much in thousands of years: the instant some villager tries to do better, so much envy is directed at him or her by other villagers that they quickly abandon the effort.

It’s why such people flee their villages for a city, where they can be anonymous – allowing them to both succeed and be less of a target for the envious.

Socialism can be seen as a desperate attempt to eradicate envy: by forcing everyone to be “equal,” no one will have grounds for envying others. The human reality is that no matter how rigorous the attempt, distinctions will be made as grounds for envy. In German concentration camps during WWII, a prisoner who had a toothbrush was hated and envied by his fellow prisoners.

Liberalism is nothing more than a pose by those afraid of envy. This fear especially afflicts those who feel they have not earned their wealth or celebrity – heirs like Teddy Kennedy and Tereza Kerry, or Hollywood actors and actresses.

Intellectuals are similarly afflicted, as since childhood envy has been directed at them for being smart. The easy way out is to adopt a pose of apology for your wealth, fame, or smarts, and loudly proclaim your liberal “compassion” in an attempt to appease envious evil eyes.

As I have said before, Liberalism is not a political ideology or set of beliefs. It is an envy-deflection device, a psychological strategy to avoid being envied. It is the politicalization of envy-appeasement.

It takes an exceptional amount of courage to not be afraid of envy. It is horribly hard for any single individual to strive his or her best while envious evil eyes are directed at them. It is harder still for an entire society, an entire country to do so. This is the “meta-story” of November 2nd. The overriding question to be determined on that day, the question of the most vital importance, was: would a majority of Americans reject the envy of the world or would they succumb to it?

The defining characteristic of liberals is a willingness to so succumb. The way they frame this is to ask: Why does the world hate us? How can we avoid this anti-American hatred so pervasive in the world? Illumination would come to liberals if only they understood that the – the, as in the only – cause for such hatred is envy.

Liberals are terrified of envy. This fear was the unspoken theme of the Kerry campaign. The basic promise of a Kerry Presidency was capitulation to world envy. The fundamental source of the liberals’ Bush-hatred was GW’s resolute refusal to do so.

But what, let’s ask, are the envious terrified of? Who do those with evil eyes hate and fear the most? The person without fear of their envy. Voodoo only works when the person it’s directed at believes in it. Witch-doctors have no power over people who refuse to be afraid of them. The only power evil eyes have is the deep, irrational, superstitious fear that their envy has the magic power to do harm.

Don’t believe in the Black Magic of Envy and evil eyes are bereft of power. America is hated because its leader, the President of the United States, George W. Bush – unlike his predecessor – is contemptuous of envy and evil eyes.

Thus this election was a referendum on the demand of Old Europe, the Arabs, and other assorted foreign folks that we capitulate to their envy. We refused. That is the great victory, the great triumph of November 2nd.

Now, after such rejection, America has the opportunity to provide a solution to the world’s rage and envy. The key is that very word, opportunity – as in George Bush’s call for an Opportunity Society.

The cause of envy is impotence. Someone is envious of you not just because you have something they don’t – but also because they don’t believe they are capable of getting it for themselves. The basic purpose of the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty, for example, is to hamstring the American economy because Euroweenies don’t believe they can honestly compete with us. It hasn’t got anything to do with some make-believe claptrap called “global warming.” It’s an anti-US envy trip, period.

Here’s a stunning example of how impotent Europeans feel. In a study reported by the Economist magazine on attitudes towards success in Europe and America, in 1988, 56% of Germans felt that success was due to factors beyond their control – compared to 40% of Americans, with 60% convinced that their personal success in life was up to their own efforts. Today, that 56% of Germans has increased to 68%,while that 40% of Americans has dropped to 32%. More than two-thirds of Germans, compared to less than one-third of Americans, believe they are impotent regarding any chance of success they have.

As impotence goes up, whether from Germans or French or Arabs, so does envious rage. America is the natural world target of that rage. Bill Clinton had a very interesting envy-deflection device. Medieval kings always had a court jester – a fool who could poke fun at the king with impunity. Only the fool could do this, and it helped deflate envy within the court. Clinton was his own court jester, which made him world-popular, not world-envied.

America could afford a court jester president in a post-Cold War, pre-9/11 world. Not now. America needs a president who understands his job is to wage war upon Islamofascism and ignore the envy and resentment of the world in so doing. That’s what we have in George W. Bush. This election was a heroic rejection of the world’s evil eyes by the American people.

Now we must join our president in helping those evil eyes to overcome their sense of impotence. We can start by making it explicitly clear that we will never succumb to their envy. Then by enabling them to realize that their personal success is up to them, and helping them to create an Opportunity Society for themselves.

The future belongs to those unafraid of envy. By proving itself thus unafraid on November 2nd, the future belongs to America. Let’s hope other peoples and nations come to grasp this, and choose to have the courage to prosper as well.