Tip your hat to the Cowardly Lion, pour out a couple snifters of apricot brandy, and reflect on the miracle of self-reflection:
Lacking opportunities to test ourselves — I should say “thankfully lacking opportunities,” as a world war now is the end of the human race — we’ve lost sight of what courage really means. Instead, we’ve elevated cruelty to its place. Just as Marxism turns envy from the worst vice (it’s what caused the angels to fall) into the best virtue, so Leninism turns ruthlessness and brutality into sham courage.
It helps very little that much of the not-all-that-civilized world covets their neighbor’s anything at all:
Envy may be the most powerful immaterial force known to Man. It’s been the principal retardant of all human progress. No “natural disaster” can compare to its corrosive effect. When envy is mated to a perceptible difference between the envious and the envied, the combination frequently proves deadly.
Come to think of it, I don’t remember any of that corrosion going on in the Emerald City.
“Oh, our friends think nothing of it,
To sit around and covet
The things they do not need;
They become downright vicious
When their thoughts are avaricious
And we see them for their greed.”