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Economics of Happiness! — Helena Norberg-Hodge
Cindy welcomes Helena Norberg-Hodge, an analyst of the impact of the global economy on cultures and agriculture worldwide and a pioneer of the localization movement. The destructive impact of globalization on our children is no less destructive than its historical impact on the Ladakh, an isolated Himalayan culture described in countercurrents.org here. Over the past three decades, Ms. Norberg-Hodge has studied this process in numerous cultures around the world and discovered that we are all victims of these same psychological pressures. In virtually every industrialized country, including the US, UK, Australia, France and Japan, there is now what can only be described as an epidemic of depression. In the US, a growing proportion of young girls are so deeply insecure about their appearance they fall victim to anorexia and bulimia, or undergo expensive cosmetic surgery. Why is this happening? Too often these signs of breakdown are seen as ‘normal:’ we assume that depression is a universal affliction, that children are by nature insecure about their appearance, that greed, acquisitiveness, and competition are innate to the human condition. What we fail to consider are the billions of dollars spent by marketers targeting children as young as two, with a goal of instilling the belief that material possessions will ensure them the love and appreciation they crave. But the reality is that consumption leads to greater competition and envy, leaving children more isolated, insecure, and unhappy, thereby fuelling still more frantic consumption in a vicious cycle. In this way, the global consumer culture taps into the fundamental human need for love and twists it into insatiable greed.
This interview is from January 30, 2011.
Cindy’s website is here.