Pride (narcissism) is the devil's original sin, which is why in his Commentary on Psalm 18/2, 15, St. Augustine records that pride turned Lucifer into Satan and banned him eternally from heaven. Just as pride turned Lucifer into Satan, the Prince of demonic darkness, it causes the soul to likewise rebel against God and wander off into Satan's darkness. This vice is therefore no slight evil:
"It makes those infected with it refuse to bow their necks to the yoke of Christ while they harness themselves all the more tightly to the bondage of sin."
The Decalogue shows that the beginning of idolatry is pride (preference for self over the Holy Trinity and neighbor). The wicked will of the bad man is not in submission to the Trinity but autonomous devilish self. Having made an idol out of him or herself as is the case for increasing numbers of narcissistic Christians and non-Christians and in particular Leftist Progressive pagan 'elites' and their liberal acolytes---the narcissist assumes he possesses honor and self-invented rights. This is why preference for 'self' leads to contempt for the Holy Trinity, objective truth, law (i.e.,the Ten Commandments and Constitution), wisdom, norms, authority, standards, rules, institutions and other people, their families, property, and wealth. As a whole, Scripture combines pride with covetousness, greed, malice, hatred, and jealousy into a single concept--ressentiment--- that is a manifestation of idolatry of self issuing in hatred of and rage against the Holy God and one's brother, which means that there can be no charity whatsoever where there is envy (ressentiment) and hatred in one's heart.
Ressentiment or malignant envy is the passion which causes evil. It is the father of death,
"... the first entrance for sin, the root of wickedness, the birth of sorrow, the mother of misfortune, the basis of disobedience, the beginning of shame. Envy banishes us from paradise....Envy made Joseph a slave. Envy is the death-dealing sting, the hidden weapon, the sickness of nature, the bitter poison, the self-willed emaciation, the bitter dart, the nail of the soul, the fire in the heart, the flame burning on the inside..." (Life of Moses, Gregory of Nyssa, quoted in Death by Envy, Fr. George R.A. Aquaro, p. 74)
In his first edition dictionary, "The American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828" Noah Webster defines ressentiment, or what he simply identifies as envy as,
"...pain, uneasiness, mortification or discontent excited by the sight of another's superiority (often spiritual)or success, accompanied by some degree of hatred or malignity, often or usually with a desire or an effort to depreciate the person, and with pleasure at seeing him depressed; malice, malignity, invidiousness, ill will."
According to Webster, malice is,
"extreme enmity of heart; malevolence; a disposition to injure others...from mere personal gratification or from a spirit of revenge."
Malice is inseparable from the following:
1. Malevolence: having an evil disposition towards another or others; wishing evil to others....a malevolent heart rejoices in the misfortune of others
2. Malign: to regard with envy or malice; to treat with extreme enmity; to injure maliciously
3. Malignant: malicious; having extreme malevolence; bitter enmity; malice
Much of America's millennial mindset is darkly stained with malign antisocial and dehumanizing features,
“...and displays the sine qua non of narcissism, which is flamboyant rage when challenged. It surfaces in celebrities so hardened that they extol and glamorize abuse and cruelty. For the right wing, this is exemplified by Milo Yiannopoulos's statements about child abuse, and for the left wing by Lena Dunham's normalization of the abuse she committed and especially by her terminal addiction to the philosophy of glorious abortion.” (Milo, Lena, and Malignant Millennial Narcissism, Deborah C. Tyler, American Thinker, May 13, 2017)
There is even burning envy of believers by unbelievers:
“There is much less envy of the rich by the poor than there is of the happy by the unhappy; by those who believe by those who don’t believe.” Dennis Prager
Bill Maher unwittingly reveals the evil disposition of his heart in his vicious tirade against Christianity, which he malignantly describes as a,
“...sexist, homophobic, magic act that’s been used to justify everything from genital mutilation to genocide..." “You want to raise the tax on tobacco so kids don’t get cancer? Okay, but let’s put one on Sunday school so they don’t get stupid.” (Churches Should Pay Taxes for Making Children ‘Stupid’, zionica.com, April 19, 2016)
In his seminal work, "Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture," Herbert Schlossberg, a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and leading scholar on the relationship between Christianity and the societies in which it has existed, writes that ressentiment begins with perceived injury occasioned by envy toward and covetousness of the spiritual and/or temporal possessions or qualities possessed by another person. If the perception is not either sublimated,
"...or assuaged by the doing of some injury to the object of the feeling, the result is a persistent mental condition, stemming from the repression of emotions that are not acceptable when openly expressed. The result is hatred and the impulse to spite and to say things that detract from the other's worth." (p. 51)
Ressentiment, or what Schlossberg describes as Schadenfreude, is rejoicing at another person's suffering, thus vengeance is the principle manifestation of ressentiment:
"Food is a weapon." (Maxim Litvinov, Soviet Commissar of Foreign Affairs)
Ressentiment has its origin in the tendency to make comparisons between the attributes of another and one's own attributes such as wealth, popularity, appearance, intelligence, success, personality, position, gender (straight male, straight female), children, and friends, for example. Any perceived superior difference is enough to set the pathology in motion. Thus ressentiment whispers continually:
"I can forgive everything, but not that you are---that you are what you are----that I am not what you are---indeed that I am not you." (Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior, Helmut Schoeck, ibid, Schlossberg, p. 52)
The envied other's very existence is a reproach,
"When heaven with such parts blest him, have I not reason to detest him?" is a genuine and natural expression of the human mind. The man who writes as we cannot write, who speaks as we cannot speak, labors as we cannot labor, thrives as we cannot thrive, has accumulated on his person all the offenses of which man can be guilty. Down with him! Why cumbereth he the ground?" (Schoeck)
Progressive Leftism's Politics of Resentment
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." (Winston Churchill, British orator, author and Prime Minister during World War II, 1874-1965)
"When I say that Marxism is based on envy, I mean that the glorious revolution of the proletariat...was really a promise to put a final end to all the conditions that make for envy." (Joseph Epstein, author and former editor of The American Scholar, from Truths about Socialism, Coral Ridge Ministries, p. 66
"Political Ponerology" is the name given by Polish psychiatrist Andrzej M. £obaczewski to an interdisciplinary study of the founders and supporters of 20th century envy-fueled totalitarian political regimes. His study utilizes data from psychology, sociology, philosophy, and history to account for the propagation of man's inhumanity to man through such phenomena as terrorism, aggressive war, ethnic cleansing, ostracism, despotism and genocide:
"As many as 7 million Ukrainians were starved in Soviet Socialist dictator Joseph Stalin's artificial, forced famine in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933. This is approximately the total population of Manitoba, Newfoundland, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island." (Inky Mark, M. P. Dauphin – Swan River House of Commons 2 June 1998, Famine-Genocide in Ukraine 1932-1933)
"... On one side, millions of starving peasants, their bodies often swollen from lack of food; on the other, soldiers, members of the GPU carrying out the instructions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They had gone over the country like a swarm of locusts and taken away everything edible; they had shot or exiled thousands of peasants, sometimes whole villages; they had reduced some of the most fertile land in the world to a melancholy desert." ( Malcolm Muggeridge, "War on the Peasants," Fortnightly Review, 1 May, 1933)
According to the authors of "The Black Book of Communism," Communist and Socialist regimes did not just commit criminal acts but were criminal enterprises in their very essence:
"...all ruled lawlessly and without regard for human life (and) one particular feature of many Communist regimes (was) their use of famine as a weapon. The Bolsheviks had decided to eliminate...any challenge or resistance, even if passive, to their absolute power. This strategy applied not only to groups with opposing political views, but also to such social groups as the nobility, the middle class, the intelligentsia...the clergy...military officers and the police." (pp. xvii, 8-9)
Financed by Western Progressive bankers and powerful Wall Street businessmen, Marxist Communists systematically stole the personal property of Russians, sexually perverted their children and filled their heads with Darwinism and hatred of the Trinity, their own parents, the Christian church, priests, their homeland and its' culture and traditions. If this was not evil enough, they maliciously undermined and destroyed the traditional family, unleashed a holocaust of easy divorce and abortion as well as homosexualizing the culture, desecrating and blaspheming churches, crucifying thousands of nuns and priests and in general, committing monstrous crimes against humanity which took the lives of more than sixty-million men, women, and children. For example:
"About 200,000 clergy, many crucified, scalped and otherwise tortured, were killed during the approximately 60 years of communist rule in the former Soviet Union, a Russian commission reported this week. In addition, another 500,000 religious figures were persecuted and 40,000 churches destroyed in the period from 1922 to 1980, the report said. Half the country's mosques and more than half the synagogues were also destroyed" Clergymen were crucified on churches' holy gates, shot, scalped [and] strangled," said Alexander Yakovlev, head of the Commission for the Rehabilitation of the Victims of Political Repression. The commission prepared the report for Russian President Boris Yeltsin. "I was especially shocked by accounts of priests turned into columns of ice in winter," Yakovlev said. "It was total cruelty." (paulbogdanor.com)
"Persecution and martyrdom of Christians under 20th century totalitarianism – mainly of Russian Orthodox Christians under Bolshevism – is by far the greatest crime in all of recorded history....Attempts at "killing the soul" started only months after the Revolution of 1917." Persecution and martyrdom was, "several times greater than the Holocaust in terms of innocent lives brutally destroyed. It has killed more Christians in a few decades than all other causes put together in all ages, with Islam a distant second as the cause of their death and suffering. And yet it still remains a largely unknown, often minimized, or scandalously glossed over crime." (New Martyrs of the East and Coming Trials in the West, Srdja Trifkovic, OrthodoxyToday.com)
Though Lobaczewski's study is a clinically accurate description of the nature of human evil it falls into the error of attributing evil to biological causes rather than the sin nature of man. Despite this failing, Political Ponerology is a shocking account of large scale evil super-heated by molten hatred of and rage against the Holy Creator God and the Body of Christ and burning with ressentiment and will to power – or what Lobaczewski terms the 'ponerogenic processes' that overtook modern Russia that have overtaken whole societies and nations since time immemorial.
Ressentiment has played a part in human dynamics ever since the Evil One persuaded the envy-bitten Cain to murder his brother Abel, a green-eyed Saul to try to murder David, Judas to betray Jesus Christ and the Pharisees to crucify Him.
After ancient Greece had succumbed to a malevolent spirit of ressentiment, as is happening very quickly in America, an egalitarian, collectivist, or leveling impulse served to help relieve a vicious, envy-torn culture by leveling all people down to the lowest common denominator:
"...one had to watch not only the malevolent actions of envious friends and enemies, but the very real threat of ostracism by the democratic community. Philanthropy had much less to do with (love of man) as it had with....avoiding other people's phthonos of one's success." (Death by Envy, p. 14)
"...the envious are more likely to be mollified by seeing others deprived of some advantage than by gaining it for themselves. It is not what they lack that chiefly troubles them, but what others have. The envious are not satisfied with equality; they secretly yearn for superiority and revenge." (On Appeasing Envy, Henry Hazlitt, Mises Institute, July 30, 2013)
The anonymous author 'Michael Swift' warns of this very thing in a widely circulated article called "Gay Revolutionary." In prose that chills the spine Swift warns the envied straight community that the men of Sodom shall be victorious,
"....because we are filled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed who have been forced to play seemingly bit parts in your dumb, heterosexual shows throughout the ages...We too are capable of firing guns and manning barricades of the ultimate revolution....Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks." (Spirit Wars: Pagan Revival in Christian America, Peter Jones, p. 255)
Today increasing numbers of morally relativist Americans at every level of society, on both left and right, Christian and non-Christian, are controlled by inflated passions unfettered from the restraint of immutable Truth and Moral Law. Adding to the problem are culturally and science and evolution relevant church models attended by thousands of Americans that cater to self-indulgent pride and emotional feel-goodism (2 Tim. 4: 1-220).
Worse, rancid ressentiment oozes from the pores of America's God-hating, self-worshipping, evolutionary humanist Progressive ruling class and in particular, our pro-cross dressing, pro-sodomy, pro-abortion, pro-white racism, pro-any-destructive-idea lending itself to the misery, impoverishment, degradation, humiliation and suffering of middle class Americans. For example, while pretending to be a caring President for every American, former President Obama's barely leashed enmity fueled his publicly stated belief that DNA doesn't make people male or female but it does make white people racist. Obama's depraved claims were described by our equally depraved media as 'bold' rather than what they really were--enmity:
“..the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination” exists in institutions and casts “a long shadow and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on.” ("Obama Logic? Racism is Genetic, Gender is a Choice, Cliff Kincaid, gopusa.com, June 23, 2015
When ressentiment has finally saturated a society's entire ruling class and its' privileged special rights groups (barbarians), will-to-power and vice will be celebrated rather than virtue and opposition from morally convicted people crushed. It is then that we will face what Lobaczewski calls Macrosocial Evil or a "macrosocial ponerologic phenomenon." (p. 121)
The most frightening aspect of America's descent into madness, idolatry, heresy, barbarism, ressentiment, vengeance-seeking, murderous rage, and lawlessness is that it will lead inevitably to a tyranny of evil, persecution and martyrdom:
"The New Martyrs' example and their legacy is precious, because in this, 21st century, it will be the turn of Western Christians to experience martyrdom. In Western Europe they will be persecuted by the unholy alliance between the postmodern, Christophobic velvet totalitarianism of the therapeutic hyper-state, and a resurgent Islam which already accounts for a quarter of all newborns in France. In the United States they will be persecuted for refusing to accept the destruction of the moral foundation of the society, currently epitomized by abortion, by "gay marriage," and by the ever-expanding speech and thought codes. Instead of being thrown to the lions or sent to Siberia, the resisters will be subjected – by some monstrous mechanism devised by an ever more activist judiciary – to the mandatory "sexual diversity orientation sessions," or feminist-led pro-abortionist "right-to-choose education workshops," or "immigrant rights sensitivity training," after which the continuing refusal to recant will lead to compulsory "therapy" and forced medication. This scenario is not farfetched on either side of the Atlantic. Western Christians should be prepared for martyrdom." (ibid, Srdja Trifkovic)
In his 1974 essay, "Repentance and Self-Limitation in the Life of Nations," ex-atheist Alexander Solzhenitsyn warns that the only way out for an idolatrous, ressentiment-filled people is repentance,
"and the search for our own errors and sins. We must stop blaming everyone else (and) claiming that we alone are in the right. Repentance is the first bit of firm ground underfoot, the only one from which we can go forward not to fresh hatreds but to concord. Repentance is the only starting ground for spiritual growth. "
Having begun the work of repentance, we will then be able to carry our Christ's command to,
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.(Matthew 5:44-45)"
Without wholesale repentance and a turning back to our Lord, the wrath of God will fall upon this proud, ressentiment-fueled nation:
"The wrath of God is a fearsome and terrifying thing. Only those who have been covered by the blood of Christ, shed for us on the cross, can be assured that God’s wrath will never fall on them. “Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him!” (Romans 5:9)." (What is the biblical understanding of the wrath of God? gotquestions)