June 09, 2008

you're miserable because you have too much liberty

According to some study for the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Vancouver, people in western democracies are either not becoming happier or are even becoming less happy.  According to some tool named William Gorton, we're just too free for our own good in the West,

William Gorton, author of the paper, "Too Much of a Good Thing: Freedom, Individualism, Autonomy and the Decline of Happiness in Liberal Democracies," postulated that "the causes of this stagnation or decline may be attributable, directly or indirectly, to core values of liberalism -- namely freedom of choice, autonomy and individualism."


Sounds like we need some Hope and Change!  Moar from our guy who has a hard-on for authoritarianism,

"There's the assumption that human beings make the best choices for how to lead a happy life," noted the professor from Alma College in Michigan. And yet, "we haven't seen increases in happiness that you would expect to see. There's been a big spike in depression in all the Western liberal democracies over the last 50 years --and this is while gross domestic product per capita has been increasing.

"An abundance of choice may actually make people unhappy."


Because standing in bread lines for 10 hours a day is my idea of happiness...idiot. 

But the columnist here made me smile, seriously, read this whole thing, it's an excellent article.  He points out that there are many people who are social conservatives and liberals who would agree with this tool, with social conservatives wanting to restrict certain behavior, and liberals wanting to restrict affluence and certain behaviors.  He gets it,

Both groups (and Prof. Gorton, too), make a common misconception, though: They equate choice with freedom. The two are not one and the same.


He then goes on to skewer the "obscene spectacle" that is the Canadian Human Rights Council's Mark Steyn/Maclean's show trial, and rails against the expansion of the government power and restrictions of Canadian liberties.  A lot of the things he faces in Canada, we face, or we may soon face in the US.  Good luck to all those Canadians who value their liberty, you've got a tougher fight than us. 

Posted by: doubleplusundead at 12:17 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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