Maleficent Obsession

The Long Dark Tunnel of Resentment

I have been reading Max Scheler's Ressentiment, an analysis of the inversion of moral values that occurs when someone who is in an inferior position, unable to strike out openly in vengeance and wrath, and unable to eliminate the condition that makes him feel inferior, turns the virtues of the superior into vices, and sees his own hatred, weakness, envy, and vindictiveness as virtues. Nietzsche said that Christianity was a religion of ressentiment, but Scheler corrects him on that crucial point, affirming the generous rejoicing in excellence that characterizes the saint. If saints strive with one another, it . . .

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Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.


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