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The happiness industry is a symptom of the sad state of society

Smile or die

By Lynne Segal   January 2018

Dystopian fantasies like "The Handmaid's Tale" dominate popular imagination. Photo: EVERETT COLLECTION INC / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Can we measure happiness? Since David Cameron lauded “General Well-Being” (GWB), over GDP, the official view has been yes. In November, the Office for National Statistics reported that we are generally slightly happier since the Brexit result—at least in England. There’s a surprise!

I say that as most of those I encounter on social media and elsewhere could hardly express greater misery over Brexit; they may admittedly not be the perfect cross-section.…

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