The Dubious Nature of “Happiness Economics “

So apparently India at 118th, comes below Somalia, Pakistan, Iran and even Occupied Palestine according to the UN’s World “Happiness” Index which came out this month

Enough is enough.

It’s time we stopped having this complacent, non-questioning approach to this new “Economics of Happiness” (a darling of the socialist left) and start subjecting it to the same vigorous scrutiny that we would do to any other claims.

Here. START with reading up the arguments on the other side – https://mises.org/library/trojan-horse-happiness-researchhttp://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=77http://www.theguardian.com/…/economics-of-happiness-can-mak…
https://www.theguardian.com/…/mathematics-of-happiness-debu…

No Mr.Kasparov, You’re Wrong About Bernie and Socialism

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/10/garry-kasparov-hey-bernie-don-t-lecture-me-about-socialism-i-lived-through-it.html

It’s a poorly thought out case against Bernie and i don’t have to necessarily agree with a chess genius on the intricacies of socialism and economics.

When he says” while inequality is a huge problem, the best way to increase everyone’s share of pie is to make the pie bigger, not to dismantle the bakery” he falls prey to the same myth that Republicans have been perpetuating since ages. This idea that when overall economic development of the nation increases, it necessarily benefits those at the bottom is bollocks. As Bernie points out again and again, almost all new income in US over the last decade has gone to those at the top, the pie is increasing but so is the share of wealth of the 1% at the top. The solution to a system which produces a situation where the 400 richest people own as much wealth as 50 goddamn percent of the population cannot be “Oh well, Capitalism is unfair – it has winners and losers”.

He spews the same bullshit sprinkling of words ” American spirit of innovation and progress ” and tries to paint a picture where USA is unique in its culture and demographics and hence cannot sustain socialism, its extremely reminiscent of what Republicans say all the time about why we govt needs to be as small as possible, people need freedom blah blah. Here the global innovation index clearly shows how nations like Sweden ( Democratic Socialism alert ) and UK lead USA in world innovation and nations like Denmark , Netherlands of Scandinavia too follow just behind.https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/…/data-analysis/

I don’t even know whats the point of talking about USSR, a communist country in this context, i guess it grabs headlines to compare a democratic socialist with those who ran a failed authoritarian regime. Democratic Socialism is as different from communism as Amar Khan is from KRK.He clearly doesn’t understand Bernie’s agenda when he draws parallels with Venezuela and says State ownership of resources makes the govt ” too big to succeed “. Sanders has repeatedly pointed out he wants the public sector to expanded only in key sectors like Health Care and Social Security. Its not like he is calling for the abolition of free market, merely the presence of an enlarged public sector to provide the basic necessities of life which every human being has a right to. People of wealth and privilege are of course okay with a system which rigs the economy and is unfair because they are the ones at the top. They have the luxury of having won the lottery of life and now they can preach to the lower classes of how they “deserve” their win over their “failures”.

Nihlism

Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. While few philosophers would claim to be nihilists, nihilism is most often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche who argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history. In the 20th century, nihilistic themes–epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness–have preoccupied artists, social critics, and philosophers. Mid-century, for example, the existentialists helped popularize tenets of nihilism in their attempts to blunt its destructive potential. By the end of the century, existential despair as a response to nihilism gave way to an attitude of indifference, often associated with antifoundationalism.

In The Dark Side: Thoughts on the Futility of Life (1994), Alan Pratt demonstrates that existential nihilism, in one form or another, has been a part of the Western intellectual tradition from the beginning. The Skeptic Empedocles’ observation that “the life of mortals is so mean a thing as to be virtually un-life,” for instance, embodies the same kind of extreme pessimism associated with existential nihilism. In antiquity, such profound pessimism may have reached its apex with Hegesis. Because miseries vastly outnumber pleasures, happiness is impossible, the philosopher argues, and subsequently advocates suicide. Centuries later during the Renaissance, William Shakespeare eloquently summarized the existential nihilist’s perspective when, in this famous passage near the end of Macbeth, he has Macbeth pour out his disgust for life:

Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

In the twentieth century, it’s the atheistic existentialist movement, popularized in France in the 1940s and 50s, that is responsible for the currency of existential nihilism in the popular consciousness. Jean-Paul Sartre’s (1905-1980) defining preposition for the movement, “existence precedes essence,” rules out any ground or foundation for establishing an essential self or a human nature. When we abandon illusions, life is revealed as nothing; and for the existentialists, nothingness is the source of not only absolute freedom but also existential horror and emotional anguish. Nothingness reveals each individual as an isolated being “thrown” into an alien and unresponsive universe, barred forever from knowing why yet required to invent meaning. It’s a situation that’s nothing short of absurd. Writing from the enlightened perspective of the absurd, Albert Camus (1913-1960) observed that Sisyphus’ plight, condemned to eternal, useless struggle, was a superb metaphor for human existence (The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942).

Contrasting Nihlism with Hedonism

 


			

Open Letter to “Defenders” of Free Speech

Dear Defenders of Free Speech,

( Speech in question : “India Go Back”,  “Kashmir ki Azaadi tak, jung rahegi, jung rahegi.”, “Bharat ki barbaadi tak, jung rahegi, jung rahegi”, “Bharat tere tukde honge, Inshallah Inshallah ” )

There was no nation wide campaign for solidarity with free speech in India when Kamlesh Tiwari was jailed under the National Security Act this year for making comments on Prophet Mohamed. The media brigade of free speech back then like Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai said he should not only be Jailed but also put in the same cell as the Mullah who openly called for his beheading. There was no outrage, no hashtag campaigns and nobody was defending Kamlesh Tiwari’s “right to dissent”.

There was no solidarity with free speech in this nation was when an editor of an Urdu daily, Shirin Dalwi was arrested for publishing Charlie Hedbo cartoon and forced to publicly apologise for the same. Defender of Free Speech Sagarika Ghose not only approved but said those cartoons were “weapons of war”. Leftist academia and campuses did not erupt with ‪#‎IStandWithShirin‬.

There was in fact no nation-wide campaign, backed by media elites, leftist intellectuals and campuses to abolish Article 295A,(like there is to re-appeal 124A),a draconian law which gives extraordinarily broad powers to the govt, to censor free speech and arrest people for simply “hurting the religious sentiments” of the faithful.

Finally, label of “Anti-National” is subject to deadly criticism, and its ‘arbitrary’ usage is opposed by the defenders of free speech, but the very same people feel no qualms about throwing around labels like Fascist, Islamophobe, Communal, Intolerant, Misogynist and NeoCon to silence debate whenever they find their ‘biplobi’ opinions challenged.

Course in Selective Liberalism 101 : Complete.


 

Note 1 :

This is not directed as much to the lay liberal as it is to the liberal academia-intellectual elites, media paragons who have over the years shown a definite pattern of outrage where free speech is the monopoly of only a few. The recent history of curbing of free speech shows that only when the Hindu Right is the perpetrator to we recognise it as an abuse of freedom, however when the same is done my the Pro-Theocratic Muslim Right, there is a definite silence. The selective outrage simply demonstrates that this isn’t about principles because if it was it should be applied evenly.

Note 2 :

The binary narrative of either you support the absolute right of people to call for the destruction of state through war or you support the subsequent right-wing hooliganism and political opportunism, is extremely moronic to say the very least. Its reminiscent of those good old pre-2014 Congress-BJP debates where if you criticised one party, it was automatically assumed you supported the other.