Money May Not Buy Happiness, But I’m Sure Happy I’m Not Poor

James Lileks has a typically brilliant Screed that takes whiny Leftist George Monbiot’s latest rant in The Guardian and tears it a new one. Lileks points out the numerous logical fallacies and idiotarian shibboleths in the piece and then mops the floor with them. This piece is definitely today’s Required Reading.

One thought on “Money May Not Buy Happiness, But I’m Sure Happy I’m Not Poor

  1. I agree with this piece- partially.

    Psychologists have done several studies in the past few decades of what “really” makes humans happy (if you need some documentation, pick up any of Mihaly Czikscentmihaly (sic?) books). What they’ve found, (suprise, suprise) is that material wealth does make humans more happy- to a point. Beyond the point at which all our comfort and health needs are met, there is little to no improvement in personal satisfaction.

    Well, what does this have to do with the issue at hand?

    Many conservatives are under the impression that “all growth is good”, and that more material posessions are universally a “good thing”. On the other hand, many Liberals believe that we’d be better off with fewer posessions, abandoning technology, and heading back to the cave.

    Both notions, however, are products of the decline of western culture and a skewed paradigm that is diagnosing the problem from a limited perspective. The real problem, as I see it, is that we’ve used our rational, advanced minds to create a scientific, technological, and economic infrastructure that we’re using merely to gratify our basest impulses for power and desire- posessing more objects, more sex- more personal survival. The noble assertion of self that defined western culture- I AM!- has been replaced with the regressive and ignoble- I WANT. Rather than merely taking what we need and using our great mental, scientific, and technological gifts to master ourselves and create a real future for our race, what are we doing?

    I was asked the other day what I would do if I was given $50,000. I didn’t know how to answer that question. I couldn’t think of anything I really want that I could buy with $50,000. A new car? Why? A new computer? Again, why? My basic needs are met.

    The reason for the high rates of depression among youth in this country? After finally defeating my own depression, I discovered the real reason- we have no goals anymore. No transcendental impulses. It seems that these are restricted only to either chasing after hedonistic gratification or embracing a conservative religious view. I wanted something better. I was being denied my impulse to go beyond myself. I wanted something different from what I was being offered. Chasing after more material goods is a treadmill- you can never have enough. But once I discovered that I could take control of my moods from within, and started meditating and trying to live in the moment, I found I could step off that treadmill- and try to apply my energy to things that really matter.

    Unrestrained growth is the philosophy of the cancer- and the philosophy of the orchid. Only through trying to understand ourselves and going beyond the conventional can we decide which humanity shall become.

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