It is a French word that looks like it is a translation of the English “resentment.” That is a good place to start, but that is only a start. Schlossberg is discussing the rise of Humanitarianism. This is an extension of the humanism of the Renaissance that is traced back to a group of heretics.
“Humanitarianism was the term originally applied to a group of eighteenth century theologians who affirmed the humanity but denied the deity of Christ.” (page 51)When you get away from the clear teaching of the Bible it opens up the door to all kinds of perversions of truth and allegiance to sin. This led to the extreme mutation of the tenth commandment, “Thou shall not covet.” Ressentiment is coveting gone wild.
“Ressentiment begins with perceived injury that may have a basis in fact, but more often is occasioned by envy for the possessions or the qualities possessed by another person.” (page 51, emphasis in original)Where this goes beyond resentment is in the willingness to do damage to yourself in order to bring the other person down. You hate so much that you are willing to destroy yourself, your family, your future in order to make sure that the other person or group does not enjoy the benefits that they are experiencing.
“Ressentiment values its own welfare less than it does the debasement or harm of its object.” (page 52, emphasis in original)This is part of the thinking that is going on in the class warfare being promoted by the Progressives in charge of our government. That is why Barak Obama can admit that raising the tax rate on capital gains will actually bring in less money but that it is “fair.” The purpose of the tax increase is not to benefit the country but to attempt to destroy those with investments. This is ressentiment at work.
This is why the progressives keep passing program that make it almost impossible for poor people to get off welfare. The goal is not to benefit the poor, it is to cause class warfare that drags down the middle class.
Keep your eyes open. You will see many examples of this. The only cure is a belief in a righteous and just God that says, “Thou shall not covet.”
homo unius libri
Schlossberg, Herbert. Idols for Destruction. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983.