Thomas Hylland Eriksen
The Paradox of the Big Bad Wolf
We – the global middle class – are living in paradise, and yet we continue to complain. We live longer lives than ever before in human history, we work less and are healthier than previous generations. We can eat anything we like, listen to our favourite music whenever we like, read whatever we like. Most people have paid vacations when they are free to travel the world or just stay at home and do nothing.
Yet we are not satisfied. Studies show that life satisfaction has in fact decreased slightly since the 1950s. Abundance has not made us happy; the good life appears to be just as elusive as it was in the age of scarcity.
The ideas developed in this book are both immediately recognisable and surprising at the same time, and the underlying political agenda is bound to have consequences for the way we will live our lives in what remains of this century.
‘Hylland Eriksen uses a form more reader friendly than most. He says important and reasonable things in a manner so sparkling and casual that you almostMorgenbladet
don’t notice that he’s telling you something – a classic pedagogical device. At the same time he is just and descent enough to give almost all fairly
reasonable attitudes to the problem of happiness proper treatment and thorough evaluation.’