Monday, November 29, 2004

Pursue Happiness – Vote Republican

The notion of happiness as a virtue has been discussed in detail in books by Dennis Prager and Marc Gafni. Prager's book makes the point that being happy is not just something nice, but it's a responsibility each of us has for the sake of those around us. Unhappy people make those around them unhappy, and happy people make those around them happy, and happy people are generally better people in a moral sense.

Gafni develops the notion of the soul print – your unique spiritual make-up, indeed, the shape of your life. In the quest for happiness, Gafni guides you through an exploration of the shape of your soul, and from that, what shapes – in people and experiences – will fit this shape that makes up your soul.

In ceremonial magick, and in Wicca, we have the notion of the True Will. This is the path that each person was made to follow – his destiny, if you will. We hold that when a person follows his or her True Will, it's like a thread following its path through a tapestry. When the thread is in its proper place, all the other threads move aside to let it pass. Likewise, when a life follows its path through the universe, barriers move aside to allow the life to move ahead. I've come to believe happiness, as distinct from pleasure, having fun, or being amused, is a profound state of being that occurrs when a person is following his or her True Will.

So what does this have to do with political parties?

I believe different parties advocate policies that have distinctly different effects on happiness.

What was determinative is that the two political parties view the American people very differently. The Republican Party has become the party of individualism, believing that free enterprise, market economies, and individual choices give people the best chance of a good life; that if ordinary Americans are left alone to make their own decisions, they will generally be good decisions, so they--not the government--should have the power to make them. Conversely, the Democratic Party is the party of centralization, believing that a wise and benevolent, best-and-brightest, urban blue-county government can make better choices than those of rural, red-county Americans. This is not a new belief; it is the legacy of the 1930s (the New Deal) and the '60s (the Great Society). It was fully reflected in John Kerry's campaign: Taxes must rise and government must grow; trade must be regulated and limited; the 1935 Social Security system is perfect and nothing about it may be changed.

People spend lifetimes learning their own path. Can a bureaucracy learn the paths of all those under its care?

A system that allows people to make their own choices, as much as possible, seems to me the best way to promote happiness. Add to that the fact that people are more prosperous, and therefore have more choices in life, when they are freer. Then notice which party is taking real steps to increase freedom in the world.

A party can't insist that the Gods be on its side. It has to act in such a way that it is on the side of the Gods.

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