A basic constituent of the US Declaration of Independence. It is not dissimilar to ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’, the demands of the French revolution. But you could also run both of those phrases together thus:
“Life, Liberty, equality, fraternity and the pursuit of happiness”
Weird, is it not, how each of those words can be turned on its head.
‘Life’ = permission to exist.
‘Liberty’ = freedom from risk.
‘Equality’ = standardisation.
‘Pursuit of happiness’ = relative states of misery.
The word ‘happiness’ intrigues me. I seem to remember a time when we had a good idea what that word meant. We considered ourselves to be ‘happy’ when we were smiling and laughing, such as might be the case at a party. The word had connotations of ‘gaiety’ (but not ‘gayity’). Could I describe myself as being ‘happy’ if I was sitting at home, nice and warm and comfortable, with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, and reading an interesting book? You might say, “Yes”, to that question. But suppose that the ‘interesting book’ was ‘The Gulag Archipelago’, which describes the horrors of post-revolution Russia? That book is certainly interesting, but it is far from ‘happy’. Am I ‘happy’, reading about torture, execution and expulsion?
We might change the word ‘happiness’ into ‘contentment’. I remember, some sixty years ago, asking one of the professors at college (‘philosophy’ if you want to know) if he was happy. I think that the question stunned him for an instant, but he was quick enough to reply that he was ‘content’.
Perhaps the Declaration of Independence should have stated ‘the pursuit of contentment’. Certainly, in the situation described above (reading the Gulag), I was content because I was warm and comfortable with a glass of wine and reading something interesting.
But I am not in the tiniest bit content, even though the circumstances are much the same, when I am writing this blog. I seethe. Well, not tonight, because this post is not about torture and persecution.
In the Gulag, torture was not necessarily direct infliction of pain. Isolation in a really cold cell and deprivation of sleep convinced many an innocent person to confess to anything just to get out of that situation. They did not care if they were shot – just get me out of this suffering.
Long ago, in the 1960s, I decide to stop smoking. My memory is somewhat iffy, but I think that it was simply because smoking was supposed to make you ‘out of breath’. Honestly! I think that I lasted for three days or so before I said to myself, “Sod that!” and started to enjoy my tobacco again. In the 1970s, I quit for 12 months, and bought my first car after six months. I could afford the payments. After a further six months, I started smoking again. AND IT WAS WONDERFUL!
And there is the crux. You can stop drinking beer etc, and you will not notice much difference – until you down that first pint after twelve months of abstinence. Only then will you realise what you have been missing.
Humans do not need a ‘Statute’ to tell them that they have a right to ‘seek happiness’. We are born with the instinct to seek ‘happiness’. Babies shriek to be fed, and gain pleasure from the feeding, and then the fall into a contented sleep. “Gain pleasure and then fall into a contented…” are the important words. Pleasure produces contentment.
In other words, I doubt that I would want to read the Gulag if I lived in miserable conditions. Wonderful, is it not, that ‘relativity’ does indeed play a part in whether we are ‘happy/contended’ or not.
What I cannot understand is why our Elected Representatives’ gain happiness from passing laws which torture smokers, drinkers, fatties, etc. Their objective cannot be contentment – it can only be a form of gaiety. What fun! Throw smokers out of their pubs and make publican do the throwing!! How we laughed, and how gay we were!
I had a thought a couple of hours ago. It was about the imposition of the need for a ‘permit’ to import ‘free movement of goods’ goods, such as tobacco leaf. How can there be ‘free movement’ when the freedom requires a permit? Permit = ‘vos papiers! (your papers!). There is no ‘freedom’ when ‘permits’ are required. We are still in the EU, and so obedience to the rules is still required. That means ‘Free movement of goods’.
I can see a vague possibility that Trump might rid the USA of leeches. The ‘swamp’ is full of leaches. I hope that he does so. Tobacco Control is super massive leach. The FDA regs about ecigs are a massive leach. They drain funds out of small companies by imposing a duty to prove that ecig liquids are NOT dangerous, or even more silly, that they could NEVER be dangerous to infinity.
I must buy the latest version of ecig. What shall I buy? I suppose that advertising ecigs has not yet been banned, so I could enquire on-line. What I would like is a version which might justify my importation of tobacco leaf.
But I would wish to import such leaf well in advance of my need to use it. The reason is that tobacco improves in taste if it is aged. It would be nice to import, say, a ton of tobacco leaf and store it to allow it to age. That would be lovely, but “Vos Papiers!” has injected the poison. Further, there are loads of different varieties, which have different tastes. EG, ‘African Red’, ‘Costello’, ‘Prilep’, ‘Shirey’.
Lawmakers have seriously been buggering everything up for the last few decades. Why? God only knows. Perhaps it is no more than they have nothing much to do except bugger things up. Maybe it has always been so, and perhaps that is the reason that there have to be wars from time to time – and revolutions. It may be that Brexit is a revolution, and the election of Trump might be a revolution, but do not discount the power of the aristocrats.
Trump needs to identify the aristocrats and deny them power – if he wants to rule ‘for the people’.
WILL he do so? CAN he do so? I do not know. But what I am certain of is that he must fight against propaganda and release America from Political Correctness, which includes Climate Change, SHS, Safe Spaces, and all the other miasmas.