Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More Happiness, or Else

Pat Kane weaves together some compelling ideas about happiness and the state's role in ensuring happiness for its citizens, using this article as a starting point: Consumer capitalism is making us ill - we need a therapy state. A quote:
"The church has lost sway, and the state has retreated behind the single rationale of promoting economic competitiveness with its overtones of Darwinian selection (a major source of unhappiness in itself with its vision of life as a competitive struggle). That leaves the market a free rein to describe happiness - the new car, new sofa, new holiday - and to manipulate our insecurities around status.

Leave things as they are and the state will increasingly have to pick up the bill for how consumer capitalism effectively produces emotional ill-health - depression, stress, anxiety. Leave things as they are and the state is part of the problem, promoting a set of market values that produce emotional pollution."

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