Francis W. Porretto shares his explanation for why leftists appear to be so unhappy.

Leftists don’t start from the Aristotelian notion of happiness as the consequence of a life well lived. They regard happiness as a right that can be distributed and defended by political action. This clashes rather starkly with the Jeffersonian conception of a right to pursue happiness through one’s individual initiative. Clearly, if happiness can be distributed by the State, no pursuit is required, nor ought it to be.

Blended with this is the Marxian attitude toward freedom. In Marxian thinking, freedom is the absence of tension or conflict. Since tension and conflict are the concomitants of desires yet unsatisfied, every unslaked desire, no matter how small, destroys one’s freedom. This is particularly true in a capitalist social order, where, for Smith to achieve the overwhelmingly greater part of his desires, he must labor in the service of others that they might first achieve theirs.

The unfree cannot be happy. The more conscious they are of their bondage, the less happy they are. When the requirement that one work for what one wants is classed as bondage, the matter becomes incapable of successful resolution.


Yeah, they're a little unhappy.



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