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Happiness from makng others unhappy?

April 16, 2012

I can’t help it…From Newsweek

The happiness movement would merely impose more intervention. It “boils down to having zealous politicians regulate the rest of us into their version of happiness,” argues Marc De Vos of the Itinera Institute, a Belgian think tank.

Creating an impossible goal — universal happiness — also condemns government to failure. Happiness depends on too much that is uncontrollable. For starters, personality….

The “pursuit of happiness” may be a “right,” as the Declaration of Independence says. But the achievement of happiness is not an entitlement. The happiness movement is at best utopian; at worst, it’s silly and oppressive. …

I can’t help but wonder if the bold text above really means that the politicians are unhappy with everyone else being happy, and their happiness comes from making others less happy.

Oh, wait. I forgot ONE important component here. Gratitude for your unhappiness is really required to ensure the full political happiness experience

For all the political capital President Barack Obama burned to get the law passed, they finger him for failing to sell the magically delicious parts of ObamaCare to citizens who don’t have sense enough to fall on bended knee.

Ah, the woe of the modern liberal at work: They strive to do good on behalf of the beasts in the field, yet they feel soooo underappreciated in their efforts to run an efficient plantation

 Over dinner I had a conversation about China going after north African investments because of their oil needs. They don’t really feel any need to explain protecting their own national interests with a “we’re really helping the world” argument.

And this particular nugget from The New Yorker:

in 1979 members of the much discussed “one per cent” got nine per cent of all personal income. Now they get a quarter of it. The gains have increased the farther up you go. The top tenth of one per cent get about ten per cent of income, and the top hundredth of one per cent about five per cent.
Yeah. Care to guess how land was distributed in the Roman Empire? 5% owned on the order of 95% of the land (The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather). And no, modern sources from the 1950’s are showing that the concentration of land holdings isn’t really what caused Rome to fall, despite Gibbon’s desire to make it so. And in spite of all that – the Visigoths BEGGED to get into the empire.
 
Maybe our real issue is that we like to obsfucate our own self interest behind a mask of ‘caring’ to convince ourselves that we’re really the good guys, the other team isn’t? “how powerful the impulse is to see what you’re for as unself-interested and what the other guy is for as interest-group greed”
 
We’re just as self-interested as the rest of humanity. We just have different ways of hiding it from ourselves ….Happiness is the ability to hide ones selfishness from ourselves?
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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 1:47 pm

    Weird how happiness gets all tangled up with self-righteous sanctimony. Confuses me. Why in the heck does one have to feel selfless in order to feel happy? I mean, certainly focusing on things outside yourself help b/c too much self-focus makes you miserable too, but why go from one extreme to the other?

    oh and LOL re the woe of the modern liberal. Awesome quote thx for sharing.

    Lin

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