Sunday, February 26, 2006

I'm happy because I'm a pessimist?

According to a Pew Research center survey I am.
I'm happy because I'm a conservative (in belief, not a Bush sycophant), or is it that I'm a pessimist and I'm happy when things don't go south? It's also not the (entire) result of the last two elections, either:
Election results do not explain this happiness gap. Republicans have been happier than Democrats every year since the survey began in 1972. Married people and religious people are especially disposed to happiness, and both cohorts vote more conservatively than does the nation as a whole.
Begin with a paradox: Conservatives are happier than liberals because they are more pessimistic. Conservatives think the Book of Job got it right ("Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward"), as did Adam Smith ("There is a great deal of ruin in a nation"). Conservatives understand that society in its complexity resembles a giant Calder mobile -- touch it here and things jiggle there, and there, and way over there. Hence conservatives acknowledge the Law of Unintended Consequences, which is: The unintended consequences of bold government undertakings are apt to be larger than, and contrary to, the intended ones.

Conservatives' pessimism is conducive to their happiness in three ways. First, they are rarely surprised -- they are right more often than not about the course of events. Second, when they are wrong, they are happy to be so. Third, because pessimistic conservatives put not their faith in princes -- government -- they accept that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. They believe that happiness is an activity -- it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness.

Ok, I understand that, I consider myself an optimistic pessimist; If it goes the way it's supposed to- great! If not, then I've thought about it, and here's my idea to unf*ck it.

Liberals, on the other hand think that there is a RIGHT to "happiness" and Bu$Hitler=Halburton is standing in the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment