Tuesday, 06 June 2017

World Happiness Council: Here Come the UN’s Joy Dictators

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Fresh from the World Government Summit, the UN’s “happiness” experts have mandates for your workplace, classroom, neighborhood, and more.

 

If you have been feeling inexplicably joyful over the past couple months, yet can’t quite put your finger on what it is that is causing you to smile, laugh, and rejoice so much, we have the answer for you. Undoubtedly, the mysterious bliss you have been experiencing is emanating from the World Happiness Council, one of the latest creations of the United Nations. As we reported in the June 5, 2017 issue (“Be Happy! That’s an Order!”), the World Happiness Council (WHC) was officially launched in March, as a direct follow-up to the World Government Summit held this past February in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. However, the WHC is actually the culmination of a five-year rollout effort by the UN, which began with the UN General Assembly Resolution 66/281 in 2012 declaring that March 20 would henceforth be designated the “International Day of Happiness.”

Of course, as most of the regimes of the UN are dictatorships of one type or another, they are accustomed to simply issuing an order to “make it so.” Thus, since the World Happiness Council has so ordered, you had better be (or at least act) happy — or else!

Fortunately, the joy commissars at the WHC have not been endowed with global legislative, executive, and judicial powers — yet. But what is the sublime future they envision for us? Well, we can get a pretty good feel for it from the speeches, presentations, panels, publications, and discussions of the “top thinkers” and “experts” at the Global Dialogue for Happiness, a key component of the World Government Summit (WGS).

Here is how the WGS website introduced the Global Dialogue for Happiness:

Happiness is gaining momentum worldwide due to an increasing belief that the real work of government is to create a happy, healthy & positive society. This year, the World Government Summit will launch its activities with a full day event dedicated to the advancement of human happiness around the world….

The Global Dialogue for Happiness event will bring together top thinkers, decision makers and experts from around the world to start a global discussion on the importance of happiness and wellbeing, and the imperative role of governments in achieving elevated levels of happiness worldwide.

Everyone knows that government agencies and ministries are the happiest places on Earth, right? And that government bureaucrats and employees are the happiest, most joyful beings on the planet, correct? Who better, then, to dispense happiness and mandate cheer for the rest of humanity? Besides, is anybody going to seriously argue that our world couldn’t use a bit more happiness? What could be wrong with having a Happiness Central to “scientifically” organize, command, and distribute joy equally to all people?

Well, for one thing, people who object to Big Government as the “go to” solution for every problem (whether real or perceived) will immediately recognize the statist nature of the UN’s “happiness” campaign. Virtually every proposal offered by the “experts” at the WGS calls for expanding the power, scope, and cost of government, especially at the national, regional, and international levels. This would come, of course, with the simultaneous diminution of the rights and powers of individuals and local governments.

 

This article appears in the June 19, 2017, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.

Kjerulf, a techie from Denmark who was an expert panelist at the WGS, provides this bio of himself: “Alexander is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Woohoo inc and one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work. He is an author and speaker, presenting and conducting workshops on happiness at work at businesses and conferences in over 30 countries. His clients include companies like Hilton, Microsoft, LEGO, IKEA, Shell, HP and IBM.”

To get buy-in from the business community for this new grab for government power, notice that he cast it in terms of “competitive advantage,” which has a nice free market ring to it.

 

 

“Given that happy companies have significant competitive advantages, governments have a strong interest in enacting public policies that promote happiness at work in their country,” he says. “But what exactly could a government do to achieve this?”

Yes, what are the 11 government policies that this chief happiness officer proposes? In the text from his essay below, we have shortened most of the entries:

1: Regulate and inspect psychological workplace safety

Pretty much every country has a government agency that sets requirements for physical workplace safety and sends out inspectors to visit e.g. factories and construction sites to make sure that the correct safety equipment is being used and that workers are following safety regulations.

So why not do the same for psychological workplace safety?

In the Scandinavian countries, this is actually in place. The Working Environment Authorities conduct inspections in cases where they suspect that working conditions are psychologically unsafe. They inspect things like:

Amount of work and time pressure

High emotional costs of labor

Bullying and sexual harassment

Contradictory or unclear work requirements

If they find that the workplace is psychologically unsafe they can issue orders that the company must follow. In serious cases they can even issue fines….

2: Regulate against permanent overwork

In Denmark, we have laws protecting employees from permanent overwork. The result is that Danes tend to leave work at a reasonable hour most days, and they also get five to six weeks of vacation per year, several national holidays and up to a year of paid maternity/paternity leave. While the average American works 1,790 hours per year, the average Dane only works 1,450….

3: Mandate employee representation on board of directors

Here’s another idea from Scandinavia — give employees representation on the board of directors:

Employees in Danish companies employing 35 employees or more, are entitled to elect a number of representatives to the board of directors. The number elected by employees should correspond to half the number elected by those who own the company at the general meeting, and should be at least two….

4: Make government workplaces role models

Sadly, the public sector usually has a bit of an inferiority complex…. Since they usually can’t offer the same salaries, perks and incentives as private sector workplaces, they feel that they can’t be as good workplaces….

Public organizations almost by definition work for an important purpose. Schools educate children, hospitals heal the sick, city planners create better and more liveable cities — even the garbage men play a huge role in making people’s lives easier and better….

5: Promote lifelong learning When a government makes education available cheap or free to its citizens, there is a much bigger chance that they get to realize their full potential and become happy at work….

6: Require companies to measure and report on employee happiness

Pretty much all countries require strict financial reporting from companies.

So why not require companies to measure and report on employee happiness?

7: Require all government suppliers to be certified happy workplaces

The government of any nation buys huge amounts of goods and services from private sector companies….

So why not require that all government suppliers be good workplaces?

8: Don’t hobble trade unions….

9: Celebrate the best workplaces….

10: Make unemployment benefits widely available and liveable….

11: Make bad workplaces and managers legally responsible for the harm they cause

If a workplace is run in a way that systematically harms its employees mental health, causing stress and depression, it should be possible to hold the leadership of that company legally accountable.

The proposals offered by Chief Happiness Officer Kjerulf are cut from the same bolt of statist cloth as most of the other presentations at the WGS. And they are completely in sync with the plans outlined in the current (2017) World Happiness Report, the annual report that is now the flagship publication of the new World Happiness Council. Veteran UN guru Jeffrey Sachs is the principal author/editor of the report, as well as happiness commissar for the WHC. Of particular interest to American readers is the section of the report (Chapter 7) written by Sachs entitled “Restoring American Happiness.” Sachs, a longtime minion of hedge-fund socialist George Soros and a member of the world government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), was an advisor to (and endorser of) Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — an avowed socialist. Thus, it should not be surprising that he was appointed to this august new UN position, or that his program for “happiness” is stuffed with the usual socialist nostrums that rely on central planning by government experts (such as himself) and vast new outlays of “investments” that must be extracted from the producing citizens, to be spent by government experts (such as himself).

“In sum, the United States offers a vivid portrait of a country that is looking for happiness ‘in all the wrong places,’” avers Professor Sachs. “The country is mired in a roiling social crisis that is getting worse.”

“To escape this social quagmire, America’s happiness agenda should center on rebuilding social capital,” says Sachs. “This will require a keen focus on the five main factors that have contributed to falling social trust and confidence in government.”

The UN’s happiness guru then lays out his five-point plan:

The first priority should be campaign finance reform, especially to undo the terrible damage caused by the Citizens United decision.

The second should be a set of policies aiming at reducing income and wealth inequality. This would include an expanded social safety net, wealth taxes, and greater public financing of health and education.

The third should be to improve the social relations between the native-born and immigrant populations. Canada has demonstrated a considerable success with multiculturalism; the United States has not tried very hard.

The fourth is to acknowledge and move past the fear created by 9/11 and its memory. The US remains traumatized to this day; Trump’s ban on travel to the United States from certain Muslim-majority countries is a continuing manifestation of the exaggerated and irrational fears that grip the nation.

The fifth priority, I believe, should be on improved educational quality, access, and attainment. America has lost the edge in educating its citizens for the 21st century; that fact alone ensures a social crisis that will continue to threaten well-being until the commitment to quality education for all is once again a central tenet of American society.

In addition to the many other hats that the ubiquitous Professor Sachs wears is that of head of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN). The Sachs program is a piecemeal offering of a significant portion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 17-point plan detailed in Agenda 2030, the UN’s current masterplan for our entire planet.

Danger: “Mental Health”

Released in 2015, the UN report Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a set of 17 “Global Goals” that includes 169 “targets.” The SDGs in Agenda 2030 would, if implemented, institute a worldwide, full-blown, socialist regime. All of this would be accomplished under the guise of fulfilling goals such as ending poverty (Goal 1), ending hunger (Goal 2), combating climate change (Goal 13), and providing access to justice for all (Goal 16).  

Perhaps one of the more ominous presentations at the Global Dialogue for Happiness was the keynote address by Helen Clark, administrator of the UN Development Program (UNDP). Among other comments, Clark, who is a former prime minister of New Zealand and a former leader of the Socialist International, noted, “In Chile in 2012, UNDP released a national Human Development Report on subjective wellbeing.”

“The report argued that if subjective wellbeing was a development goal, then it would need to be addressed in public policy,” she observed. “Indeed a greater focus on happiness by governments could change policies in many ways. One obvious area for action is mental health, the state of which is an important driver of happiness.” The UN and its agencies are leading the global “transformative agenda” that includes, most particularly, redefining what is normal, healthy, and good. Abortion and homosexuality, for instance, which were until fairly recently almost universally considered to be morally wrong, have now been protected, elevated, exalted, and publicly funded. From cradle to grave we must be saturated with “sensitivity training,” i.e., brainwashing, and, increasingly, we find ourselves threatened with fines and imprisonment (not to mention media lynching) if we dare challenge the new “inclusive” paradigm. (See sidebar on page 20).

Following up on the Dubai World Government Summit, one of Alexander Kjerulf’s offerings on his website, The Chief Happiness Officer Blog, asks in the title, “Shouldn’t Your Country Have a Happiness Minister?”

One somehow gets the impression that Comrade Kjerulf is angling for the job — or at least wouldn’t reject the opportunity to run a new Ministry of Happiness. Perhaps he (and we) should reread George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, in which, it will be remembered, the totalitarian state ruled by means of:

• The Ministry of Love (Miniluv), which carried out torture, imprisonment, and brainwashing, as well as organizing the regular “Two Minutes Hate” sessions;

• The Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which flushed truth down the “memory hole,” rewrote history, and published lies;

• The Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenty), which rationed all goods in a planned state of perpetual scarcity and poverty;

• The Ministry of Peace (Minipax), whose purpose is to assure a state of perpetual war.

As Orwell stated in 1984, “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.” To these, Jeffrey Sachs, Alexander Kjerulf, and other practition­ers of Orwellian Newspeak and doublethink would add a Ministry of Happiness, which most certainly could be depended on to morph into a dreadful instrument of despair, misery, and woe. Those who will buy the notion that happiness can be created by government dictate probably are already very close to embracing the mindset that willingly accepts the Party’s slogan in 1984:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Sidebar:

Thanks to stiff resistance from many Muslim states, the Holy See, some Latin American countries, and various Christian, pro-life, and pro-family groups, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Agenda 2030 do not explicitly mention “sexual identity,” “sexual orientation,” “gender identification,” or LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) “rights.” However, the militant LGBT advocates are lobbying unceasingly to see that those important agenda omissions will be rectified. Thus the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Development Program (UNDP), The Lancet (British medical journal), and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) — among others — have been hard at it, attempting to redefine the wording in the text of Agenda 2030. “The 2030 Agenda is based on the principle of ‘leaving no-one behind,’” says Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN assistant secretary-general and UNDP assistant. “Passing protective laws and policies that guarantee gender recognition is essential to the health and well-being of transgender people,” he insists.

The LGBT activists also see the frequent references to “inclusive” in the SDGs as vital ground for exploitation. Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn, the newly appointed UN independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, sees the SDGs and the work of UN agencies as a “good entry point for us.” Muntarbhorn, a law professor and homosexual activist, is an advisor to nearly a dozen UN agencies. He is one of the “experts” whom the happiness dictators will be relying on to craft laws making it a crime to counsel LGBT individuals to change or leave their chosen “lifestyle.”

The well-funded radicals at the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, for instance, have testified before the UN Committee Against Torture, seeking condemnation of conversion counseling, whether by religious representatives or secular therapists.  In short, they want to outlaw “conversion therapy,” to make it virtually impossible for those struggling against unwanted same-sex desire and behavior to be able to find professional help.

According to the LGBT militants, any expression that states or suggests that LGBT sex is wrong, immoral, unnatural, or abnormal is an act of oppression against LGBT individuals and the LGBT community. It makes them unhappy; thus, their right to happiness is being violated. Apparently, the new heterosexual “intolerance” of the LGBT lifestyles is a sign that it is the heterosexual who is in need of corrective therapy — since he/she is obviously maladjusted and unhappy.

The Youth Coalition’s Jose “Lloyd” Nunag, a registered nurse from the Philippines and a delegate to the 4th United Nation’s Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) meeting in Geneva, says: “In my opinion, a lot remains to be done [on Agenda 2030] in order to ‘leave no one behind’, reduce inequalities and to achieve the empowerment of young people, specifically young women and LGBTQI young people.” And he’s dissatisfied that “there is no indicator specifically focused on young inadequately served populations such as LGBTQI youth.” LGBTQI? Yes, while you were busy with other mundane matters, such as supporting a family and paying bills, the pervert lobby expanded its ranks by adding the “Queer” and “Intersex” designations to their acronymic banner. But that’s not all; some have already added “Asexual” to the approved sexual identity nomenclature, so you’ll begin seeing more usage of LGBTQIA by the politically correct set.

The UN’s World Health Organization has already adopted the LGBTQI designation. A WHO webpage celebrating May 17 as International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia declares: “The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda imagines a world that reflects equity with universal respect for human dignity and pledges to leave no one behind. This includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals, who currently face high rates of physical and mental health issues and reduced access to medical and social services. In observance of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (May 17th), WHO has developed an FAQ on sexual diversity and health, which defines terms, highlights key issues and outlines UN positions related to gender identity and sexual diversity.”

In the interests of “world happiness,” the UN’s happiness ministers will have to stigmatize, marginalize, then criminalize the homophobes, transphobes, biphobes, and other phobes who are making this planet such an unhappy place.

— William F. Jasper

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