Saturday, May 13, 2006

Just to be clear, while I do think I have a better handle on how to be happy than I did in the past, I'm no more immune to the whole biggering thing than the next guy. Andrea and I live in a nice house, and we have a nice TV, and I have an electric guitar. The price tag on the electric guitar would have covered a lot of MREs.

And then, what's the point of the whole soliloquy anyway? I mean, is the situation hopeless? Well, possibly yes. But if we are realistic about exactly what situation we are in, then we can eliminate false choices - choices that seem beneficial, but in fact yield no benefit. And to the extent that we can try to see clearly exactly what our situation is, perhaps we can see, if not how to fix it, at least what avenues are actually open to fix it, and what avenues are not.

The problem with grand ideologies like Communism and Capitalism, and the compromise, Socialism, which makes no ideologue particularly happy, is that they identify the problem as one of ideology, and attempt to apply an ideology to solve it. But it doesn't work - if the twentieth century teaches us nothing, it is that grand ideologies are not the solution to the world's pain. And my point is that that's not just because we keep picking the wrong grand ideologies. The very idea of an externally-imposed ideology that could render all the people in the world happy is a blind alley. As long as we keep blundering down that alley, widespread happiness is not achievable.

I really think that the best a government can ever do to help is is to make sure that the battles we fight amongst ourselves don't kill anyone. If we want to be happy, we have to individually find our way there, not depend on some outside force to make it happen.


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