I frequently hear capitalists accuse socialists of stoking peoples envy or accusing anyone critical of inequality as being merely envious of others but reading Daniel Bell, who I reckon is a bit more difficult to place politically, he suggests that status competition in consumer socieites has lead to the institutionalisation of envy.
So instead of being something which anyone, socialist or otherwise, could import into cultural or political struggles its something which is already there and infact underpins the economy itself.
Would you agree or is it just too easier to believe the former than the later? Or could the later be true but the former true too? I think perhaps its a case of each but capitalising on accusations of envy has pretty much been restricted to the political right wing.