Thursday, 22 November 2007
It seems uncontentious to assert that tyranny makes people unhappy. More insightful, perhaps, was Kierkegaard's notion that too much freedom generates anxiety. From this it might be deduced (and often is deduced by people) that a via media is necessary; that a middle way between authoritarian and anarchistic value-structures will maximise our felicity. But it doesn't require too much thought to realise that too much mediocrity creates surer and more profound anxiety than either of the other two alternatives. Which all seems designed to hem humanity into misery. But not so; the trick is to uncouple happiness from notions of choice, option, compulsion or freedom altogether.