Honor Shame Readings: Week IV – Envy

In response to Dionissis’ request, I post some of the reading I’ve assigned to my students in my Honor-Shame class. Dionissis, you might be particularly interested in the Walcott readings on ancient Greece.

I also append some of the notes I took while preparing for and during the discussion. I welcome comments. Will post earlier readings over time.

Envy, Jealousy and the Politics of Scarcity (Zero-Sum)

Readings:

Schoeck, Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior, chap. 1,

Schoeck, Envy, chap. 3

Schoeck, Envy chap. 5 (Envy and Economic Underdevelopment)

Schoeck, Envy, chaps. 7, 11. (Envy in Social Science (7), in Philosophy (11). Interesting material on Nietzsche, who clearly inspired important parts of Schoeck’s thinking.

Schoeck, Envy, chap. 22 (Envy in Human Societies)

Walcott,  The Greeks and Envy chs. 1-3, and

Walcott, The Greeks and Envy chs. 7-9

George Foster, “Anatomy Envy

Suggested:

Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, and Barry R. Weingast, “The Natural State: The Political-Economy Of Non-Development

Landes, The Emotional Logic of Game Theory

Some of the issues raised:

Definition: Envy is an emotion that is essentially both selfish and malevolent. It is aimed at persons, and implies dislike of one who possesses what the envious man himself covets or desires, and a wish to harm him. Graspingness for self and ill-will lie at the basis of it. There is in it also a consciousness of inferiority to the person envied, and a chafing under this consciousness. He who has got what I envy is felt by me to have the advantage of me, and I resent it. Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings, (Edinburgh, 1912) vol. 5, p. 322.

Envy is classic zero-sum. Your gain is my loss; your success robs me of my sense of value; admiration for you is humiliation for me.

Envy is malevolent: If you have something that makes me envious, I’d rather harm you than get the object. “I wish Boris’ goat were dead.”

Envy is a ferocious policeman of conformity: any tendency to step out of the conforming group brings retaliation. Key dimension of early social solidarity. Schoeck almost argues that envy is what permit the levels of functioning software of solidarity that first enabled homo faber/sapiens to peel off from the hardwiring of instinct.

Envy is a form of vengeance: retaliating against someone who has robbed you of… (honor, prestige, sense of self-worth, property).

Resentment at another’s success: the desire to do harm

Schadenfreude: joy at another’s failure: To what degree do news media become  Schadenfreude-mongers? “If it bleeds it leads.”

Malignant envy and shame: the invisible force field that inhibits people from seeking success: Crabs in the basket – if we’re all here together it’s somebody else’s fault (the aristocracy, the man,  phallo-logocentric partriarchy, the 1%); if you get out, then I’m at fault (lazy, cowardly, lacking in the necessary qualities).

Envy aims at equals: the narcissism of small differences; but in matters of “human dignity”, everyone is given the right to consider themselves equal, therefore, to be resentful of anyone.

Honor and Envy

Honor a great good: in principle expandable (somewhat); in practice (through envy) zero-sum

Sharing the spotlight: honor/glory a self-limited good: honor of a millionaire in Hollywood or in Welsh village

Aristotle: those who love honor are more envious

The importance of honor – more precious than life: among other things driven to it despite the assault of envy it elicits.

Glory as the ultimate: people remember you when you’re no longer alive

Philotimea (love of honor) is difficult and most productive of envy

Paradigms of Justice:

pre-modern (h-s, prime divider): “my side is always right.” invidious cognitive egocentrism: I envy all better than me, and assume that all worse than me envy me. A world in which one assumes malevolence as the norm. Denial of responsibility and projection of guilt the norm.

modern (integrity-guilt, civic polity): “whoever is right, my side or not.” liberal cognitive egocentrism: i do not wish others ill and presume, at least as an initial default, that others do not wish me ill. Benevolence the norm. Self-criticism and acceptance of responsibility (among other things for failure) necessary.

post/hyper-modern (masochistic omnipotence, hyper-self-criticism, cultural suicide): “their side right or wrong.” Progressive cognitive egocentrism: if I blame myself for everything, others will forgive me and like me, and I can fix anything. Complete denial of envy (and of self) in order to posture as the most moral.

The double edge of envy: emulation and excellence? Or resentment and sabotage? Partly depends on the self-confidence of the person. Looking at the successful and wanting to learn and imitate/adapt reflects self-confidence; feeling inadequate and wanting to tear down and do damage reflects fear of failure (one of the plagues of h-s cultures, since failure is so often punished).

Chinese vs. Arab responses to the West (and to Jews)

Ubiquity of envy: institutions only tell you how a culture manages, not whether there’s envy.

Managing envy, the public secret.

Envy as a brake on economic development (Schoeck, chap. 5): if the headwinds of envy are gale force, few ships will leave harbor of conformity to try innovation.

23 Responses to Honor Shame Readings: Week IV – Envy

  1. w.w.wygart says:

    Dr. Landes,

    This is one weeks reading? I think I’d have a hard time keeping up, slow reader that I am, I’d have to give up blogging for the duration. I’ll just have to take the correspondence course.

    Very interesting the case Schoeck is trying to build on the forgotten nature of envy, but I’m not enthralled with his writing [I can say that out loud because I'm not taking the course for credit].

    First impression on Schoeck, is that seems a little dated [1966? a very neglected topic it seems]. Also seems like the examples given, at least in chapt.1 are a little weak – actually they are barely examples, they’re just passing references. For instance some explanation of the how Maori culture concept of ‘muru’ could be instigated by mere envy as opposed to a mutually agreed recognition of the need for compensation for an injury or transgression, “muru raid” seems very dramatic, maybe we find out later on.

    Although ‘envy’ exists in our language as an abstract noun and is used
    as such in literature, there is, strictly speaking, no such thing as envy. There are people who envy, even some people habitually prone to envy, and we can observe emotional stirrings in ourselves and others which would be defined as feelings of envy; yet it is impossible to experience envy as an emotion or as a mood in the same way that we can feel anxiety or sadness. Envy is more comparable with ‘being afraid’; we envy something or someone in the same way that we are afraid of something
    or someone. Envy IS a direct emotion: without a target, without a
    Victim, It cannot occur.

    Eeesh. I think Schoeck’s rhetoric ran away with him here – or maybe vainglory. He’s just spent the previous seven pages, as far as I can tell, explaining how in the psychological transaction of envy there was always somebody or circumstance you were envious ‘of’. In my dictionary ‘envy’ is also a transitive verb [takes a direct object], which could explain a lot. If envy is a verb, that verb can have arguments such as subject and object. We always say somebody is envious ‘of’ somebody else, or some such. If you use a preposition [adposition] like ‘of’ to relate envy to its arguments, you are defining some kind of a spacial relation between them. Of course “it” can occur; you wouldn’t have much of a book here if it couldn’t occur, would you?

    Speaking of vainglory, I really do like the thesis about the possible repression of envy as a word and a cultural concept, especially among scholars. Using a dustbined catchphrase like ‘envy’ gives the post-modern scholar in the Sociology Department very little room to separate himself from the medievalist or the Theology Department. Also, in post-modern society where any hint of the breath of the mere possibility that anything I might[y] choose to do might bear some connotation of being somehow WRONG, using the word ENVY, might bring up some catechism class connotation of having once been considered a ‘Deadly Sin’ – can’t mention that – could be an occasion for Wrath, or Acedia for somebody.

    God forbid.

    W^3

    • Richard Landes says:

      i think the key thing is you’re envious of something you don’t have and you envy the person who has it. the key, as i understand it, is that envy is not really about the object, but the possessor. envy is the malevolence one feels towards the person. getting the “object” one covets is not the important thing, but hurting the owner. thus, for example, the muslims covet jerusalem because the jews have it. when they had control it was a city of minor importance. harming the jews is far more important to them than gaining jerusalem, whose possession is primarily a function of how that will hurt the jews. for the international community to support them in this, to repeat like a mantra “third most holy city,” to assume that giving it to the palestinians will accomplish peace represent not only the auto-stupefaction to which we’ve become victim, but, i suspect a sympathetic envy.

      • w.w.wygart says:

        I take your point, but, the envy itself, if not an object, is a vector, an orientation of relationship, a kind of meta-object, which in my mid is ‘real enough’. It points to the thing, even if it’s not the ‘Ding in sich’.

        W^3

      • @ Dr Landes

        “i think the key thing is you’re envious of something you don’t have and you envy the person who has it. the key, as i understand it, is that envy is not really about the object, but the possessor. envy is the malevolence one feels towards the person. getting the “object” one covets is not the important thing, but hurting the owner. thus, for example, the muslims covet jerusalem because the jews have it. when they had control it was a city of minor importance. harming the jews is far more important to them than gaining jerusalem, whose possession is primarily a function of how that will hurt the jews”

        Dr Landes, if we call the Palestinians “envious” of the Jews on account of their wanting to have Jerusalem just so as to make the Jews feel pain, without Jerusalem having any real meaning for them (for the Palestinians), aren’t we downplaying their true emotion, which is hatred for Jews?

        I mean, “envious” is a term i would use for many westerners who look at Jewish professional success and start disliking Jews because they possess a success that these westerners could not achieve. Or for those westerners that are jealous of Israelis because the latter have higher longevity.

        The fact that there is no real concern for the object (Jerusalem) means to me that the hatred is even deeper and more malicious than would be expected if the Palestinians wanted Jerusalem in itself, and hated anyone who just happened to possess it.

        It seems to me that Palestinians are getting away with murder if we just talk about their envy, instead of their deep hatred towards Jews, a hatred of suicidal proportions – suicide bombers, “i value my life less than having the chance to take a Jewish life”.

        Something that is still forming in my mind (and i won’t write on it until i think about it) is the Israeli reaction to the Palestinians when Palestinians possess things that Israelis want. Both Gaza and Areas B and C are things that now are possessed by Palestinians, and Israelis would like to have, yet we don’t see the Israelis evincing either the hatred or the envy that Palestinians do. In fact, we saw the Israelis surrendering (unwisely, as the rockets prove) things they want to the Palestinians (Gaza). This says a lot about the attitudes of the respective cultures, about the sort of moral character each side nurtures.

  2. E.G. says:

    Does Gluckschmerz belong to another class/week?

  3. @ Dr Landes

    Thank you very much for posting the readings. I will start with Walcott, as you suggested.

  4. Cynic says:

    You classify envy as,
    envious of something you don’t have and you envy the person who has it.,

    but what of the person who has something and whose obsession is to see that nobody else comes by that something?

    Does this not also belong to the psychology of honour/shame in the deeper sense?

    As Dionissis Mitropoulos points out, in the Palestinian case it is their 1400 year old legacy of hatred which is at the heart of everything.
    Before the Jews took control of Jerusalem the “Third Holiest Site”, the temple mount, was in a very bad state of repair.

    • Richard Landes says:

      that’s known as “dog in the manger.” i may not be sitting in my spot, but no one else can either. in the case of jerusalem, it’s: it may not be important to me, but depriving you of it is important to me.

      i think envy is part of a zero-sum universe in which honor for someone necessarily implies dishonor, disgrace for someone else.

      honor is to zero-sum what dignity is to positive-sum.

      r

  5. Martin J. Malliet says:

    On envy and resentment, social inequality, and what to do about it (or: the conundrum of distributive justice)

    I’m not going to make anyone angry with a very, very long reply I put together from existing notes (and which mentions Voegelin). So I just posted it to my new blog of my own. That’s not competition! Or if it is,it’s positive sum! At any rate, I have been told to go away and to stay away, and also to come back. So that’s the best compromise I could work out for myself. For those who are glad that I went away, just this excerpt:

    Conclusion: envy and resentment are always a revolt against myself and my fate. And I only have the choice between accepting my fate (and giving up my envy and resentment) or not accepting my fate (and acting out my revolt typically by holding other people responsible for my fate). As other people are never responsible for my fate any more than I am myself, only the first choice is lawful, whereas the second choice necessarily is unlawful, i.e. it will dispose me to commit unjust acts and to invent untruthful justifications for those unjust acts.

    (If other people are indeed responsible for my fate, I’m not going to envy them! I’m going to be justly angry at them, like at the drunken driver who cost me my legs, and I’ll ask for restitution!)

    Jealousy is either simply a synonym of envy: I’m jealous of him because he has found a way to seduce that beautiful girl whereas I failed (if only by making no attempt). Or it points to a feeling coming from unlawful proprietorship. I cannot really be jealous of my rights, I can only be jealous of my privileges. Sexual jealousy is a very interesting thing, but that’s for my own book, and unlawful proprietorship is always involved, I think: nobody can own his woman, or any woman, as she is a person of her own.

    http://kko-fvd-mjm.blogspot.be/2013/02/on-envy-and-resentment-social.html

    • @ Martin

      “At any rate, I have been told to go away and to stay away, and also to come back. So that’s the best compromise I could work out for myself. For those who are glad that I went away, just this excerpt:”

      I am one of those who ask you to come back, but there is no one who wants you away. The fact that they don’t ask to you to stay does not mean that they don’t want you to stay. It means that they feel awkward to ask you to stay. Actually, i know they do want you to stay because disagreements are always better than having no dialogue at all.

      Did you get my second email, or are you just ignoring me?

  6. Martin J. Malliet says:

    Envy in world politics (some speculative hypostheses)

    (1) Without British naval power envy there would have been no Bolshevik communism in Russia

    I’m not going to praise Russian czarist rule, but why did the British have to chose the side of the Muslim Ottoman Empire against Christian Russia? Why not let Russia have the straits? It is at least certain that Russian society would have developed differently if that access to the Mediterranean had been available to the Russian economy.

    (2) Without French civilisational envy there would have been no WW1, no WW2 and no Holocaust

    French envy of Germany is certainly the cause of the 1870 war, which then led to WW1. Russia and France were the only European powers with clear political goals that could only be achieved by a general war. France egged on Russia, knowing very well that Germany would respond by a declaration of war. That declaration of war the French in their childish self-righteousness then used to burden Germany with the sole responsibility for the war and to impose Versailles. (Germany could not win a defensive war against Russia and France when her territory was invaded. This had to do with the source of her military capabilities – industry and railroads – which they could not allow to be disrupted by an invasion. This strategic constraint was known at least to military strategist all over Europe and the reason behind the German saying that mobilisation was the equivalent of a declaration of war. And honest as they were, when Russia launched its full mobilisation the Germans did what they had said they would do and started the war.)

    (3) Without French economical envy there would have been no carving up of Africa

    French envy of British industrial superiority and trade advantages led them to follow a statist and protectionist colonial policy in Africa, to which the British then had to adapt by giving up their preference for indirect rule.

    My purpose is not to start an endless discussion of facts. It is to ask whether it makes any sense at all to derive such a general understanding of the multitude of facts by summarising them.

    I very much think that it does make sense. Not in the sense of establishing ‘true history’, but in the sense of working out an interpretation of history that can become useful in a political dialogue aimed at making the right political choices. History isn’t only a matter of facts. Historical interpretation is also a matter of politics. And this happens inevitably, so that interpretations that are much worse than the one I’m offering may actually become (or have indeed become) decisive for the making of political choices.

    I also would assume that there is a clear connection between envy and shortsightedness. Uncontrolled envy typically attaches itself to the apparent source of envy (which becomes the enemy) and not to the ultimate source (oneself). It is a source of disorder and of war, whereas controlled envy would lead to orderly development in competition with others, by trying to catch up in one’s own development instead of preventing others from following theirs.

    • @ Martin

      “I also would assume that there is a clear connection between envy and shortsightedness.”

      On this i have to disagree. I have met an incredible number of envious people that cannot be considered shortsighted in any sense of the term. Even people who know very well that the war they declare out of jealousy against their enemy will be detrimental to both of them, and yet they proceed with the war. It seems to me that what you had in mind is something akin to weak will (if i read your “uncontrolled envy” correctly), rather than shortsightedness.

      “whereas controlled envy would lead to orderly development in competition with others”

      The Walcott readings that Dr Landes posted have (i think) some discussion about whether competition born of envy is liable to degenerate into hardcore destructive envy, but i haven’t finished with the readings yet. When i am done, i will come back with input.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Envy and shortsightedness in world politics

      Shortsightedness for all practical purposes means that the decision is made on the basis of the more immediate goal or motive while the ulterior goal or motive is discarded. Whether the one making the decision is aware of it or not is practically irrelevant.

      In politics we must of course distinguish between various actors, and my general interpretations of history were concerned with imaginary actors that are representative of the general mass of people involved. I don’t think these imaginary representative actors do exist in reality, or have anything to say in politics, e.g. simple citizen having speculative dreams about politics such as myself. But that’s exactly why I find these interpretations interesting, as well as the whole question of how a civil society, i.e. the general mass of people involved, could find a way to represent itself in public discourse, or rather, in public dialogue.

      Once you start examining the real actors involved in political decision making, it very quickly becomes clear that what appeared as envy and shortsightedness in the general and representative interpretation is easily explained by a motivation that is entirely different, namely the motivation of the real actors.

      That was the central point of Philip Greenspun’s article on Israel. And in my own explanation of what is needed to get peace negotiations started for the Israel-islamist conflict, I also clearly said that the whole Palestinian political leadership must be banished. Or better even, hanged. (I’m all in favour of the death penalty for political criminals, because the burden of proof can often be easily met, i.e. the disrespect of the natural law in the obvious cases is so enormous that there can remain no doubt. That is also the meaning of the quote from Democritus: “It is needful to kill the enemy, whether a wild or creeping thing or a human being.”)

      The general and representative interpretations of history are important because the real actors wilfully exploit misrepresentations as a useful fiction behind which they can hide themselves together with their true motives. That was indeed my starting point: these general interpretations of history are a matter of politics, they are the symbolic battleground for representation of the mass of the people involved.

      http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2012/09/25/tablet-article-a-cultural-redesign-of-the-peace-process/#comment-588842

      • @ Martin

        “Shortsightedness for all practical purposes means that the decision is made on the basis of the more immediate goal or motive while the ulterior goal or motive is discarded. Whether the one making the decision is aware of it or not is practically irrelevant.”

        Martin, i was not trying to pick on you when i disengaged envy from shortsightedness. For one, i am reading on the subject of envy the posts of Dr Landes and i was inviting discussion. But i, too, had some politics in mind, politics with respect to the I/P conflict. And to my mind it might make a difference whether we perceive the Pals as merely shortsighted in my sense of the term (which i think is the usual one, i.e. someone who cannot foresee the long-term ramifications of his actions) or, if we perceive them more clearly, as the hateful persons that their envy has turned them into. Perception of shortsightedness might cloud the perception of the true nature of their hate. It is a hate that does not preclude the Pals from predicting the damage that it will keep on inflicting on both sides of the conflict, but makes them choose to go on with their terrorism and their intransigence precisely because they can foresee that this hurts the Jews too in the long run, and they are willing to go on irrespective of the damage to themselves.

        I fear (and i might be wrong) that allowing the Pals to be labeled as shortsighted gives an excuse to the western progressive moral narcissism to treat the Pals with the usual benign contempt: “Oh, come on now you Israelis, we all know that the Pals are not that forward-looking, they do act in this impulsive way all the time! It is you, the Jews, that are supposed to act responsibly in the peace process! Aren’t you the ones that take pride in having instilled the proper sense of morality into western civilization? Prove yourselves to us then!”.

        And in this way the Palestinians get away with premeditated murder, literally too, and the Israelis find themselves in the impossible situation of being bullied by the world’s public opinion to try to reconcile themselves with the Pals, the Pals who do not wish to reconcile and who are aided and abetted in their long-term plans by a West too eager to exculpate them on the grounds of shortsightedness or of anything equally complacency-producing.

        It is one thing to have to deal with a Palestinian bull in a china shop, a bull that just sees red. It is a different thing to have to deal with a Palestinian bull intelligent as a fox, who on top of his insatiable aggression knows very well how to play the PR game and dupe the western do-gooders. And if the West does not realize this fact of Palestinian psychology, it will keep on applying the pressure for concessions in the peace process on the Israelis, who cannot really back off any further than they have already done – last time they obliged (Gaza, 2005) it cost them something like 8,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilians, courtesy of a Hamas that is not shortsighted at all.

        It seems to me it makes a practical difference to dissociate Palestinian envy from shortsightedness: one excuse less for the terrorists and for their western (dupes and not-so-dupes) accomplices.

        PS. I love foxes (bulls too), and i apologize to equally minded people for paralleling them with the Pals – animals are never that calculative in their aggression, they are not really malicious.

        PS2. I am obviously referring to those of the Pals that share the aggression mindset (and i believe it is the majority). Those Pals who are really moderate are obviously exempt from my criticism – and they are as innocent victims as the Israelis are.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Or in a few words: the apparent envy and shortsightedness in the general and representative interpretations of history are proof of the political disrespect of the natural law.

      • @ Martin

        “Or in a few words: the apparent envy and shortsightedness in the general and representative interpretations of history are proof of the political disrespect of the natural law.”

        “To laconizein esti philosophein”, i agree!

        In my own few words: ascription of shortsightedness to the Pals trims, in terms of perceptions, the edges of their aggression and distorts the Western public’s image of the conflict. As a result, the West places the onus of concessions in the elusive peace process on the ones (the Israelis) that have nothing more to give to an enemy (the Pals) that is emboldened by concessions, and becomes more and more intransigent the more the West (unwittingly, and not so unwittingly in the case of some people) accommodates their far reaching plans to eliminate Israel.

  7. @ Martin

    “I also clearly said that the whole Palestinian political leadership must be banished. Or better even, hanged.”

    I have in mind the force that can be unleashed to implement your wish:

    http://www.idfblog.com/2013/02/26/miss-israel-2013-soldiers-and-beauty-queens/

    PS. In case they happened to pop up in the cafe, if i were you i would choose to err on the side of caution and look the other way!!!

    PS2. Martin, the guys in the blog i have been commenting recently, and who i complain delete my comments, have no sense of humor at all: they deleted this photo, too, along with my comment.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Dionissis, as so often before I have some difficulties following you, but I will read again and maybe find something to say about Palestinian hatred. As for the banishing of their political leadership, to make any sense at all for Israel and the prospect of peace, that needs to be accomplished by the Palestinian people and their new leaders themselves, not by the IDF girls you’re drawing my attention to. But they look good! Are they anything like a representative sample of Israeli young women? Or a very exclusive sample of ‘beauty queens’ as they are called in that blogpost? Because their wearing boxing gloves notwithstanding, they don’t look to me like they’re intent on starting a fight with you when you look at them in a café! The second from the left in the back row is the one I would be looking at particularly, to see if she has Ada’s potential.

      • @ Martin

        “Dionissis, as so often before I have some difficulties following you”

        I can elucidate, if you tell me what was not clear. My major point is that envy and shortsightedness are not correlated in general and that, more specifically, if we allow for Pali envy to be associated with shortsightedness we give one more excuse to westerners to excuse the Pali intransigence and to pressure the Israelis for concessions, rather than pressuring the ones responsible for the stalemate (the Pals). The envious Pals are not shortsighted, in my view. They foresee that their intransigence will be backed by the West and will push Israel into a corner. And they go for it with cunning premeditation, so long as the West obliges. They anticipate the long term consequences, and they deem that these consequences will be good for them. In this light, i wouldn’t consider their envy of the Jews as shortsighted.

        “Because their wearing boxing gloves notwithstanding, they don’t look to me like they’re intent on starting a fight with you when you look at them in a café!”

        You are probably right, except for the one in the second row, sitting on the right. I would bet she would look back coolly and intently so as to discourage the enemy from keeping looking. Whatever your next step would be, watch it!

        “Are they anything like a representative sample of Israeli young women?”

        I don’t know, but i will ask EG next time he shows up.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      The one on the right sitting in the second row? That would be the one sitting on the right in the front row (or first row)! Both in the front row are girlish, lovely, but not with Ada’s potential. The first girl from the left in the back row I would think is the nicest of all: easy trusting love you can get from her, and that is very valuable. Not being content with the easy trusting stuff myself, I would prefer to probe the next girl, as I said, because she may have Ada’s potential. It’s in her eyes: she can make the distinction between you and herself, and reflect on it. She understands the natural law! And that’s very rare in women, from my experience.

      I read in the newspaper that the final election of Miss Israel 2013 went to an Ethopian girl (with picture), whom I find much less interesting than my Ada soldier in your picture. Ethopian women are often exceptionally beautiful, but they are also often cut. It’s awful, to see that mutilated c__t. I only understood recently that the women themselves don’t feel at all like they’re missing something, as they were cut as babies and have no experience of what is taken away from them. It’s literally the ‘hole’ in women Jacques Lacan talks about. These women simply cannot understand what Ayaan Hirsi Ali is talking about. Ayaan Hirsi Ali herself is cut, but she doesn’t talk about it, at least I haven’t read anything from her on how she learned what it was and how it was an injustice done to her. But I think that that experience of a learning process is central to understanding her personality.

      I’ve read intrigueing things about young Israeli women, but without an explanation: like they’re the only ones who really learned something from feminism without losing their femininity. Well, if my Ada soldier love from your picture wants to invite me to Israel, I would accept her invitation.

      Palestinian hatred not a sign of shortsightedness? Ask the Palestinian women, when they feel free to speak their mind and listen to their heart. Everybody has a heart, some Jamaican girl told me recently!

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