Something Rotten in the State of Norway?
Mankind cannot bear too much reality. People who are unhappy in the now of where they are, delude themselves that there is a better society elsewhere. Utopia might be located in an after-life or it might be in a different part of this planet, or another time in history.
I recall that in the 1960s Professor Joan Robinson was telling us that Mao had it all sorted and we should try to emulate Communist China. C Wright Mills told us capitalism was finished and Castro had found a way to make Marxism human – look what a great health service Cuba has! In the 70s, I studied a fat compendium of essays arguing that worker participation in Tito’s Yugoslavia could teach Britain how to solve its industrial problems.
For a while, Costa Rica, which does not have a standing army, seemed heaven on earth. Only yesterday, I read in Huffington Post that Bhutan had all the answers, with its concept of Gross National Happiness. Someone commented: “I am Bhutanese, and I think the Bhutanese government has been milking this happiness thing for all it’s worth…
The Bhutanese government should realize the special nature of their situation before it goes around promoting resolutions, or telling other countries how they should rank happiness in their list of priorities”.
I recall reading of a survey that said Ireland was the happiest place on earth. That was before the economy went down the toilet and the industrial scale of the Catholic Church’s abuses was proved beyond doubt.