Happiness, or at least, polite concealment of the lack of it is like a civic duty in contemporary world. Happiness is the norm, misery is a pathology. Says who? Us, the majority. Be happy or pretend to be all right or shut the f*** up. And if you can't, take a pill and it'll do the trick for you.
The less we hear about unhappiness - the better. It's not a big problem when the news report tell us about some people who're in trouble: natural disaster or any other objectively tough circumstances. We'll just say 'they got unlucky, they have a right to be miserable'. But when we see relatively well off people, in circumstances like our own, or even better, we often feel angry 'how dare they be so pessimistic and unappreciative'. They don't have a right to complain, there must be something wrong with them! Why? Because we've found a way to stay all right in such conditions, though it wasn't easy, it required some effort. Why can't they do it? They could, but no, they are trying to put everyone down and ruin our castles in the sky that we've worked so hard to build!
No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities. (Christian Nevell Bovee)
What we are in fact doing is treating those people the way we treated ourselves. At some point we've made a choice to silence a voice that was nagging 'something isn't right here'. We've told ourselves to get a grip and concentrate on the positive aspects. We've decided to conform with the status quo and expect others to do the same.
Like in Soviet Union. You only had a freedom to think for yourself if your thinking was in line with the official course. You did not have a right to ask questions, you had a right to be a happy builder of the communism.
Isn't it the way pessimistic philosophy is being met? Why are you whining, why are you asking the questions about the meaning of it all, about the costs of our actions, why can't you just get in line like everybody else and make yourself useful?
Talking about SU. Gotta love the propaganda machine there. All those posters filled with inspired, determined citizens. Incidently, I came across a parody on one of such posters that is relevant to the subject. It's in Russian so I had to translate the verse myself. Find it right under this picture:
"My every day is clear and joyous
And filled with images so blissful
Not quite because this world is marvellous
But because I'm an imbecile
Say yes to antidepressants!"
The message is similar to the thought Gustave Flaubert expressed:
"To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost."
yes, the 'i am free' image is great.
I like how clear you've expressed the thought. And agree with it. We're living a lie to survive.