In large parts of the oldest civilized region of the world, you will find in nearly every room a pretty blue charm that looks like an eye. It’s in the front entrance of homes, somewhere in every room, on boats, in airports, in restaurants, and built into the designs of everything from wallpaper to grocery bags. It’s on jewelry, wind chimes, and serving plates.
It is common in the Aegean Sea region but encompasses all countries and religious traditions. Though it’s never received endorsement from any clerical body — they consider it a silly superstition — it is found in the histories of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. In Turkey, from where I just returned, it’s called the nazar boncugu. That’s Turkish, but in Arabic it is ayn al-hasud. In Hebrew it is ayn ha-r a. In Greek, it is το µΆτι, and in Spanish, it is mal de ojo.
Its purpose is to ward off the evil eye. What is that? Americans imagine that it is some ancient myth that has no relevance to modernity. Actually, the evil eye is right now destroying prosperity in the United States. The more it is doing this, the less we hear about it. Far from being some primitive idea, the evil eye is summed up in a wicked vice we don’t hear about anymore: envy.
The evil eye looks for success and wishes for its destruction. It is different from jealousy in that sense. It doesn’t desire the wealth or happiness of another. It wants the other to suffer because of the other’s wealth, fame, success, or happiness. People since the ancient world have feared this impulse more than any other. It is more dangerous to persons and society than any natural disaster. It is a greater threat day to day than floods, hurricanes, or wild beasts.
In other words, the concept of the evil eye grows out of a very real conviction that the greatest threat to human flourishing is the malice of human beings who resent success. And that is actually a very keen insight! No wonder it’s had such traction in all religions for so long.
Further, the charm here looks like an eye too, though its purpose is to fight the evil eye. The best way to fight the evil eye, in this tradition, is to look straight back at it. That’s what the nazar does. It’s an eye for an eye.
In political theory, this would mean secure property rights. It would mean a legal regime that prohibits the realization of envy. Even if you feel envy in your heart, you can’t use institutional measures to see it enacted.
And yet envy — the evil eye — is the basis of vast amounts of American domestic policy. We tax rich people not because that helps the poor in a material sense but only because it is fun to make the rich suffer. We squeeze middle-class amenities not because it’s good for the social order, but because many organized groups don’t like to see the hoi polloi living well. We block opportunities for business not because that enhances productivity, but because it frustrates the cause of moneymaking.
This is envy at work. It shows up in progressive taxation, of course. And the capital gains tax. And the inheritance tax. Even the sales tax. But it also shows up in monetary policies designed to harm savers and please the debt-ridden classes (especially politicians). It is there in transfer programs that spread as much damage to everyone as possible. It is there is foreign policies that bomb civilized countries, turning them into zones of death and suffering and calling it victory.
A world without institutionalized envy is what we’ve come to call the free society. A world with it is what we’ve come to call statism. Therefore, we can see that the nazar is a libertarian symbol. It is the old world’s version of the Gadsden flag. It says: Don’t tread on me. As a symbol, it is richer in moral content than the coiled snake, and more elegant from an artistic point of view.
Given this, who wouldn’t want it hanging in every space where human beings are working toward a better life? It belongs in every home, workplace, or public space. It should be carried on our person and flashed at every sign of threat. I wouldn’t dare watch the presidential debates without a nazar nearby!
The nazar was in every airport in the Aegean Sea region. And sure enough, people at the airport are treated decently. Security was a breeze. They look at your passport, make sure you aren’t carrying deadly weaponry, and let you go with a smile. And this was even true in Turkey, a country that has every reason to fear real terrorism. After all, it is a secularized Muslim country and an ally of Israel. It is surrounded by enemies. And yet, thanks to the nazar, the passenger feels no threat from the security apparatus.
Actually, the nazar is everywhere in Bodrum, Turkey. And sure enough, I didn’t see a single cop anywhere. Once while walking through an upscale commercial mall, I saw a badge. I asked the woman if she was with the police. She corrected me that she is security, private security, and then flashed a warm smile. The nazar is working its magic here!
But once arriving in the U.S., I didn’t see an nazar. Instead, while at immigration control, everyone watched a propaganda film with a faux-Copland musical score that told all about the glory of American freedoms. Ahead of me in line was a nice family from mainland China, a father dressed in a suit, a busy mom in a dress, and two kids in strollers. They were held for 20 minutes while the rest of us waited. The immigration official forced them to be fingerprinted and handprinted and retina scanned fully three times, and they were interrogated intensely. They were clearly being humiliated, but they maintained a disciplined posture of calm.
I caught up with the father in the airport tram later. I apologized for how he was treated, explaining that while government is getting less invasive in China, it is getting worse in the U.S. He smiled at me and then asked: “Do Americans hate their government as much as the Chinese people do?” I answered with some wishful thinking to make him feel better: “Yes, the American people do not like their government. It is the common enemy of all mankind.” He smiled again, and seem to feel a sense of relief.
The nazar could do a world of good at the U.S. border. In fact, it should be hung in every bureaucracy. Maybe the Washington Monument should just be replaced completely with a giant blue eye to stare back at the bureaucrats, when they stare at all. We need the nazar at every bank, in every home, at every business, and in every commercial center. An eye for an eye. A world safe from the effects of envy.
Original article appears on Laissez-Faire Today
I'm executive editor of Laissez Faire Books and the proprietor of the Laissez Faire Club. I'm the author of two books in the field of economics and one on early music. My main professional work between 1985 and 2011 was with the MIses Institute but I've also worked with the Acton Institute and Mackinac Institute, as well as written thousands of published articles. My personal twitter account @jeffreyatucker FB is @jeffrey.albert.tucker Plain old email is email@example.com
Pingback: RKXeroFlGi RKXeroFlGi
Pingback: craigslist cars
Pingback: demon chat rooms
Pingback: einladungskarten drucken
Pingback: Hillview Peak at Hillview Peak
Pingback: graffiti photos
Pingback: skin tags home remedies
Pingback: Milton Oak
Pingback: prêt hypothécaire
Pingback: Check This
Pingback: greitieji kreditai
Pingback: raspberry ketone extract
Pingback: tax consultant
Pingback: alphaviril ingredients
Pingback: Tahun Baru di Pulau Tidung
Pingback: cena zlomu złota
Pingback: search engine optimization service
Pingback: manage online reputation
Pingback: Funtastic Dental invisalign
Pingback: YouNaturals vending opportunities
Pingback: final cut pro x tutorial basics lesson 1
Pingback: bmw wheels and tires
Pingback: power brands 2012 dubai
Pingback: Click Here
Pingback: Yon Bitton
Pingback: birch gold legit online
Pingback: Diedre Hizkiya
Pingback: kurt rambis home page
Pingback: us tax shield scams list
Pingback: Alise Quinley
Pingback: Delmer Blaski
Pingback: click here for more info
Pingback: Reiko Garland
Pingback: taxi service in boxford ma
Pingback: Arturo Ostergard
Pingback: Otha Cuffari
Pingback: Shelli Sumera
Pingback: Caroyln Magarelli
Pingback: Emerson Laurance
Pingback: Sigrid Swavely
Pingback: Britt Peshek
Pingback: Hobert Hucks
Pingback: Genia Silence
Pingback: Patricia Lazott
Pingback: Trevor Mikrot
Pingback: Andrew Franken
Pingback: Ileana Scully
Pingback: Mi Rerucha
Pingback: Roy Whitecloud
Pingback: Merrill Ramach
Pingback: Cindie Deforest
Pingback: home remedies for warts
Pingback: small business ideas
Pingback: smokeless cigarettes reviews
Pingback: follow link
Pingback: Inocencia Keeneth
Pingback: Dawne Robicheaux
Pingback: Johnathan Monohan
Pingback: Magan Grisby
Pingback: Rashad Abdo
Pingback: Marylou Campolo
Pingback: Leah Marrin
Pingback: Joaquin Risner
Pingback: gestion integral de servicios
Pingback: Buy Facebook Likes
Pingback: Get Facebook Fans
Pingback: buy 100 facebook photo likes
Pingback: your foams
Pingback: online casino gratis geld ohne einzahlung
Pingback: types of businesses
Pingback: photo likes
Pingback: buying facebook fans
Pingback: buy likes
Pingback: raspberry ketone diet
Pingback: free smokeless cigarette
Pingback: for beginners
Pingback: buy photo likes on facebook
Pingback: buy followers
Pingback: weather in tijuana
Pingback: data recovery
Pingback: paintless dent repair
Pingback: buy real estate calculator
Pingback: does wartrol work
Pingback: ĀTRIE KREDĪTI
Pingback: yeast infection
Pingback: bali florist
Pingback: How To Conceive A Boy
Pingback: ashley judd before and after
Pingback: join wake up now
Pingback: marvel hero power leveling
Pingback: Divorce Attorney Mesa AZ
Pingback: rs 3 power leveling
Pingback: My Homepage
Pingback: wow power leveling
Pingback: my website
Pingback: Instagram Followers Bot
Pingback: view more
Pingback: green tea powder
Pingback: eq2 power leveling
Pingback: swtor power leveling
Pingback: financing for restaurant
Pingback: voir plus
Pingback: click here
Pingback: RaiderZ GP
Pingback: tsw power leveling
Pingback: fifa 14 coins pc
Pingback: make money with youtube
Pingback: the secret world power leveling
Pingback: poe power leveling
Pingback: AION Power Leveling
Pingback: path of exile power leveli
Pingback: fifa 14 Coins
Pingback: Age of WuShu Liang
Pingback: runescape 3 power leveling
Pingback: diablo 3 power leveling
Pingback: Cheap diablo 3 gold eu
Pingback: cliquez ici
Pingback: ãƒ‰ãƒ©ã‚´ãƒ³ã‚¯ã‚¨ã‚¹ãƒˆX è‚²æˆä»£è¡Œ
Pingback: ãƒ©ã‚°ãƒŠãƒã‚¯ã‚ªãƒ³ãƒ©ã‚¤ãƒ³ è‚²æˆä»£è¡Œ
Pingback: runescape 2007 gold
Pingback: MHF è‚²æˆä»£è¡Œ
The dollar in your pocket is worth a whole lot less today than 100 years ago. And you have the Federal Reserve to thank for you. So, as the Fed approaches its 100th birthday, Gregory Bresiger reflects on the controversial institution, relaying the criticisms of several of the Fed's most vocal opponents. Read on...
There's been a lot of press lately about the 3-D printing revolution - much of it right here on The Daily Reckoning. But there is one technology that's already threatening to make 3-D printing yesterday's news. Josh Grasmick examines a new kind of printing... that takes place in the 4th dimension. Read on...
Rejoice! What was perhaps the freest market in the entire world is now ended. Crushed. Wiped out by the swift hand of the state. Wait... That's NOT a good thing? (Sigh)... Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Dominic Frisby explains why the shutdown of the Silk Road is such a travesty. Read on...
There is one chart, just one chart, that market analysts and gold bugs alike could learn a lot from. It displays clearly the ebb and flow of one critically important trend, where it's headed through the end of the year, and how you can use it to your advantage. Greg Guenthner explains...
China's push towards a more market-based economy could kick into high-gear, as recently proposed economic reforms are some of the country's most radical policy changes in over three decades. But what will that mean for foreign investors and how could it shape the global economy? Frank Holmes takes a closer look...
John Mauldin spoke with Steve Forbes on the future of gold and the Federal Reserve in an interview released yesterday. What he said may surprise you.