Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Is the USA a "fascist beast"?

Wed. 2/27/13, 3-5 pm Central,  American Freedom Radio  (archived here.)
First hour: British scholar Rodney Shakespeare writes:

"The USA is a fascist beast. Yes, the country which likes to lecture everybody about liberty, democracy and human rights has become viciously totalitarian.

"Every sane person knows this is true about the USA at home. The government spies on everyone; people are beaten up; in the airports people are sexually humiliated to get them used to being controlled; the mainstream television channels spew lies; thousands of drones will soon be in the skies (and who would be so foolish as to claim that they will not be armed?); and the Homeland Security Agency has bought 1.4 billion dum-dum (expanding) bullets, that’s four for every man, woman and child. The controversy over gun control is really an early manifestation of America’s coming civil war."

Prof. Rodney Shakespeare is a visiting Professor of Binary Economics at Trisakti University, Jakarta, Indonesia. He is a Cambridge MA, a qualified UK Barrister, a co-founder of the Global Justice Movement, and a member of the Christian Council for Monetary Justice. His main website is www.binaryeconomics.net. Shakespeare is also Chair of the Committee Against Torture in Bahrain.

Second hour: Tom Barefoot of the Gross National Happiness Project responds: "Don't worry, be happy!"

Tom Barefoot and other happiness enthusiasts will be celebrating March 20th, the United Nations International Day of Happiness, with a "Conversation on Happiness and Well-Being" at the U.N.  Happily, it's absolutely free of charge! Details here.

Will the USA, dedicated to a self-defeating "pursuit of happiness" (pursuing what you think will make you happy is the surest recipe for misery), finally grow up and learn how to BE happy, thanks to scholarly happiness research and its advocates like activist Tom Barefoot?

Economist John Moynihan, at the end of his argument that the West is doomed to economic catastrophe, suggests that happiness research - which claims that more money can't buy happiness after the first twenty or thirty grand a year buys you life's necessities - may help adjust us to the coming collapse of our pampered lifestyles.

So maybe Tom Barefoot's message is more important than it appears at first glance.





1 comment:

  1. Happiness research seems dodgy.

    Firstly, the data is inconsistent. Here's a study claiming that the golden income for happiness is 75k: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2019628,00.html

    Another claiming that it's really 50k: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/50-000-happiness-tipping-point-poll-says-182514377.html

    And another purporting that it's actually 100-125k: http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail8/story81854/money-buys-happiness-only-for-those-who-earn-below-150k.html

    Secondly, how do you "measure" happiness? To measure anything you must have some kind of "ruling stick" - that's basically what asking people to rate their happiness is. But it's completely and utterly contingent on the individuals' perception of how much happiness is possible.

    So if I'm on a low income, of course I'm going to rate my happiness low! Everyone else has more money than me, and the only way I can possibly stick a number on my "happiness" is by looking at what they have.

    In my opinion, looking at human nature and trying to construct a society that can satisfy it is probably the closest we're going to get to maximizing happiness. In the long term that would require the re-emergence of tradition (i.e. family, community, cultural unity, ect.), not radical redistribution of wealth.

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