Sunday, 17 April 2011

You WILL be happy - we will make you so!

The more I read about this obsession with “happiness” the more it sounds like some sort of hippy cult. Here’s the founder (or one of them) of “Action for Happiness”, which describes itself as a movement of people committed to building a happier society:

Lord Richard Layard, co-founder of Action for Happiness, said: ‘Our movement is based on a simple idea – if we want a happier society, individuals have got to create more happiness in the world around them. We want millions of people around the world to form Action for Happiness groups to do just that – using the tools which we are able to provide. This is a movement for radical cultural change which can provide the basis for a better culture in the 21st century.’

Now I’m in favour of smiles, hugs and cheering each other up – but forming some kind of “movement” to promote happiness is just creepy. And – if the state gets involved – quite scary. Welcome to our nascent Brave new World!

Our world is not the same as Othello's world. You can't make flivvers without steel-and you can't make tragedies without social instability. The world's stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can't get.

Some people seem to want a world with no tears, no anger, no edge, no grit in the shoe. It would be a dead world.


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