Sunday 26 May 2024

"Resenting-the-resenter" - a disguised manifestation of the master sin of modernity

I have often harped-on about the sin of "resentment" - because of two reasons: first, it is seldom regarded as a sin, often considered a virtue; and second that it is the master sin of leftism - which is the basis both of the "Ahrimanic" materialist-totalitarian impulse, and of its now succeeding "Sorathic" motivation of spiteful destructiveness and each-against-all chaos

Perhaps the major socio-political movement of the past couple of hundred years has been the creation of ever-more resentment groups: examples include the working class, particular nations, women, non-white races, non-Christian religions, and any sex and sexuality other than married families or celibacy. 

Such groups are formed by their resentment, and are joined-with other resentment groups by the mutuality of their sin. 

There is a resentment-group for everybody now - including the richest, most powerful, and famous people in the world. Indeed, one of the twists of resentment is that it often presents in terms of resentment "on behalf of others".

This has always been a feature of resentment-rooted politics. The ruling class always made-up a majority of influential and powerful communists. Feminist men likewise. And resentment "on behalf of" other races and religions is a veritable industry. 

Resentment-on-behalf-of also disguises personal resentments - which, although covert, may be the true and most powerful motivator. 


Perhaps the most insidious aspect of resentment is that it is seldom acknowledged - either to others, or even to oneself; and whatever is unacknowledged cannot be repented.

Much of this is to do with the fact that whoever or whatever is resented always - in a false but often compelling sense - "deserves it"; so the resentment can be disguised as "simply the facts". 

Furthermore, resentment appears under the guise of "resenting-the-resenter"...

Resenting-the-resenter means that I resent some person or group, on the basis that they resent me.

(And therefore are trying to harm me).

The fact that their resentment against me may well be true, is used to disguise the fact that I have myself developed a sinful and motivating resentment. 

(And whatever is unacknowledged cannot be repented.)

What needs to be borne in mind, is that resentment is a sin because of the harm it does to the resenter; therefore resentment is always wrong - and therefore wrong no matter how apparently "factually based" it really is. 

In other words, the facts are nothing at all to do with the sin - except in providing a fake excuse, a false and irrelevant "justification", for not repenting it. 

That is: a person or group may really and truly be dedicated to harming others - but it is still and always a sin to develop an attitude of resentment towards him or them. 

Because the sin harm us - whatever it may or may not do to others. 

Take a (semi-humorous) example from this blog. I often indulge in rants against The Normans

I genuinely believe that The Normans are a problem, that they are constitutionally lacking in empathy, and have caused and still cause a great deal of harm to many people in may places (not just in the UK and Ireland). 

I also believe that modern Normans are strongly motivated by resentment - especially against the native English people. 

Those may be regarded as The Facts (from my point of view), and they have various real world implications for choices and actions. But at times I confess that I have fallen into resentment against The Normans... 

Now; I need to be able to recognize when this has happened - I need to recognize when I am actually resenting The Normans. 

Because this always needs to be acknowledged and repented - because otherwise I am doubling-down on a sin.  


Nobody "deserves" to be resented - no matter what they have do or want to do - because resentment is not about Them but about Us. 

"Deserving" has precisely nothing to do with it. 

It is a favourite (and highly effective) ploy of Satan to win adherents in the spiritual war of this world; by the false conception of "justified resentment" against his agents. He encourages a resenter; and that resenter then creates further resentment. 

Thus Satan gains supporters on both sides - because both sides are in fact unrepenting sinners, and thus (in truth) are affiliated to Satan. 

My take-home message (to myself as well as others) is simply that: All resentment is un-justified.


Mia said...

There is so much serious work to be done, it's like our lives depend on doing Fourier transforms but we're still trying to attain basic numerical literacy.

You *have* to look at these things *without* ending up trapped by the sins of despair and fear. I wonder how many instinctively just don't look out of a fear of fear.

In Letter from a Father Arkle says time is intensity. Even if time is just an aspect of being, our experience of time in this realm is varied. Everything important I've ever discovered about myself or the world has felt like Hemmingway's description of bankruptcy- painfully slow then all-at-once. I've heard a Christian perspective that the repetition required for learning is intentional, otherwise it would be too easy for evil to get a foothold. I've never been a determinist explicitly, but it's lurking everywhere in my attitudes, actions, and emphasis. I rarely see Christians explicitly link determinism to fear, resentment, and despair, but it seems the root (or a root) of all three to me.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Mia - I have never noticed that part of Letter from a Father - thanks for pointing it out:

"Such time as this would seem a long time to you, but remember that time to me is a very different thing. To me it is the correct intensity of expression of the things that I wish to talk to you about and to show you. It is exactly a measure of the proper growing pressure that I consider appropriate in any situation to make the best use of that situation. Too much intensity and hurry would burn your nature, and too little would leave you fast asleep and untouched."

I have a different understanding of "time" - but Arkle is certainly interesting here.

Dr. Sentient said...

A cousin of jealousy, envy, and anything ego-driven, resentment is the helpless, frustrated reaction to control. Rejecting control is not. It is uplifting and loving towards self, others and life.

Bruce Charlton said...

@DS - Sometimes resentment is a reaction to being controlled; but I would suspect usually not. Often it is just something learned, socially inculcated - which then frames all interpretations.

cecil1 said...


a) Can one be angry at injustices, and demand compensation, without being resentful??

b) The descendants of the Normans are obviously still in England in some form. Can you readily identify them and their actions as a group? What are those harms, and where are most Normans found in England?? I wasn't aware this distinction was still very real. I know it sure was in the 1200's!!

When I visited England as a teenager you could definitely tell the Saxons and even the Vikings in certain areas of England-- though they obvious didn't call themselves that.

Most of my ancestors are from England/Scotland. Maybe some of us are still part Normans without having a clue! We always thought of ourselves as just English.

Bruce Charlton said...

@cecil1 - "Can one be angry at injustices, and demand compensation, without being resentful??"

Yes and yes - but, of course, most "injustices" are nothing of the sort, and compensation is a legal not theological concept.

One never *needs* to be resentful - although, like many sins, it may be impossible to avoid in practice. Hence repentance being the core concept of Christianity (i.e. not *avoidance* of sin, which is impossible.)

a_probst said...

And one may envy the vocally resentful their moral superiority! A common temptation since the 1960s.