|Happiness in society
Author: vis verbi PM
The first in a series of psychological essays. I am not a proffessional, so any and all criticism is welcome. Happiness: an end or a mean, for society as a whole?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 2 - Words: 737 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 08-21-12 - Published: 08-20-12 - id: 3052027
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My first article was about the role happiness plays in motivating people to seek company, this next essay will be about what drives people away from society, or causes them to lash out against it. First, you have to understand my view on the nature of negative emotion. I believe that negative emotion is just that, a reciprocal of positive emotion, a sort of evil twin if you will. If the prerequisites of happiness, such as self-esteem, achievement, peer approval and moral living are not achieved, then the result is emotional ambiguity, which can go either way.
When we reach this crossroads two things can happen, our perception can improve and we start to interpret things positively or our situation (or our perception of it) can degrade, leaving us with a negative emotion. Different situations will leave us with different negative emotions. A failed achievement, for example, will bring lower self-esteem eventually leading to a sense of lost image, and depression. Loss of morality on the other hand, leads to general mistrust, and loss of self-esteem.
Notice a pattern? Self-esteem is one of the central tenets of wellbeing; it is the only one that is completely dependent on self-perception.
So what does drive people from each other? Competition for un-sharable achievements, infighting for peer approval and perceived corruptions of society's morality all drive people apart. The first two are relatively harmless, just competition, a natural part of who we are. It is the third that drives most people away.
Ted Kaczynski was disgusted at the corruption of America by technology, and it drove him insane, literally. This goes further than mere unhappiness, it is discontent played out on a grand, twisted scale. He was driven not by hate of an individual, but hate for society as a whole. He fled society, but found it inescapable, so he attempted to change it.
An important fact to remember is that this drive to change society can be constructive too, just look at Ghandi.