The Global Pursuit of Happiness

The Global Pursuit of Happiness

ENDANGERED ice caps and polar bears notwithstanding, the thing that most annoys me about global warming is that the climate wars have turned its prophets into priests of a new campaign against the modern world.

It’s a few years since Australian author and former think tank boss Clive Hamilton started telling us that the failures of freedom are a “profound challenge to liberalism”. It is “more pressing every day, to question the value of the economic, political and personal liberties that have been won”. Now he has dedicated a book – The Freedom Paradox – to it and the metaphysics of godless repentance.

The answer to the malaise is to surrender your “individual self” to the “universal self” to achieve “metaphysical empathy”. Why do you need to repent? Because everywhere he looks, the world is falling apart. But he hasn’t looked very hard or far.

I’ve not read Hamilton’s new book, which clearly touches on happiness, but I’m familiar with his earlier works and although I don’t agree with everything he says his writings certainly make for interesting reading.

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