Friday, January 3, 2014
They consider happiness is too fleeting and subjective a concept to aim for, but the meeting of certain basic goods would lead to a ‘good life’ which all citizens could enjoy. They identify the 7 basic goods to be Health, Security, Respect, Personality, Harmony with Nature, Friendship and Leisure. Once these basic goods are met the suggestion is that most citizens would experience a happy and fulfilled life, a good life, without endlessly being encouraged to want more.
As the Sidelskys unpick the elements of each basic good, I found that this made a lot of sense, and although they have some challenging things to say about environmentalism and the provision of a basic income for all, it did make me think. It is also an optimistic glimpse of how things could be, if we citizens wanted it enough to ignore the calls of the advertisers, big companies, and the politicians in thrall to continuing national growth at all costs. So I would certainly recommend this book, it should be on the Green Readers list to read, and some of our group have certainly read it.