FDL Book Salon Welcomes Dr. Derek Bok, The Politics of Happiness

By: Saturday May 22, 2010 2:00 pm

America’s government may be the first one in the history of the world that started out with the expressly stated goal of making its citizens happy. Jefferson set out “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. Madison added “to promote the general welfare” to the six purposes of government in the Constitution’s preamble. Both believed that democracy was the system most likely to deliver on the promise of helping people live happier lives.

 

What did Jefferson tell us to do if an opposing faction decides to “refresh the tree of liberty” with blood?

By: Friday August 14, 2009 9:25 am

I wonder how many of the misguided wingnuts who intimidate and strive to thuggishly silence their fellow citizens have read the whole passage? They may be comforted by what seems to be stirring phrase, when torn out of context, but they shouldn’t. Jefferson told the rest of the citizenry what to do in the face of any such violent watering. Jefferson’s advice to the peaceful is much more arduous than striking out in ignorant violence, but we cannot shrink from his instructions. It is our duty as patriotic citizens to remember the words that surround that disturbing phrase, and act on them if necessary.

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