Glenn Beck: Gross National Happiness



Gross National Happiness


by Arthur C. Brooks

GLENN: The name of the book is Gross National Happiness.  Arthur Brooks is with us and I know, Arthur, that we only scheduled a few minutes with you and I appreciate you hanging on.  I'm just fascinated with what you found on why happiness matters, who the happy people are and how you find happiness.  We were talking about the people in Hollywood here a second ago and the difference between conservatives and liberals.  It's really just traditional stuff that we learn from our parents and our grandparents that make us happy.

BROOKS:  It's also that, but there's one other thing, Glenn, which is something that you brought up right before the break which is grievance.  The Democrats have not always been this way but over the past, at least the past 15 years, the Democratic party has cobbled together grievance groups and people who define themselves with respect to their grievances, whether they're real or not.  I mean, I'm not going to deny that some people have real grievances.  But if you define yourself in that way and the party defines its power on the basis of people's grievances, this is basically a misery-provoking machine on our hands.

GLENN:  Well, but that goes right to -- you said the three big umbrellas, if you will, are religious freedom, political freedom and economic freedom.  That takes away two of those freedoms.

BROOKS:  Oh, sure.  Basically if you define yourself as not having freedom, as being oppressed, as having a big grievance against the government or against people with power or people with money, I mean, even if you do have some sort of a grievance, if you define yourself in that way, every day you'll be wallowing in it.

I mean, there are some conservatives that do that, too.  But that's really the characteristic of what you hear in Mr. Obama's speeches and Mrs. Clinton's speeches.

GLENN:  Well, that's what I wanted to kind of go to because I find it amazing that somebody like Barack Obama and his wife are -- I know this is counterintuitive to everybody who just watches the press releases and sees the snippets on TV, but especially his wife.  She has talked about she feels guilty all the time, guilty, guilty, guilty.  And she's angry that she had to pay for Princeton and Harvard.  I mean, you've got to be kidding me.  How is it that they can, for the first time, feel proud of their country and yet they're wealthy, they are well educated, they are -- they could be the first African-American couple in the White House in the Oval Office.

BROOKS:  Yeah, they are utterly privileged people.  They have so much more privilege than you or I have, you know, enjoyed in the run-up to any sort of professional success that we would have that it makes you wonder why are they so resentful and why are they trying to play on the resentment of others.  But once again, this is the power structure of liberal Democrats today, and I'm not saying that they're wrong on every issue.  I mean, I have no problems with a lot of their issues -- I mean with a lot of their politics or a lot of their points of view, but I have to say if we're looking for happiness as a country, we can't be looking at it with respect to the grievances that we face.  I mean, even looking back on our privileged lives and trying to pick out the grievances.  I mean, it's really a recipe for misery.

GLENN:  I will tell you that in my life I have found, and I think part of it is because of I'm just riddled with ADD.  I have to be busy and I'm best when I'm busy.  In my life I am generally happiest when I'm working the hardest.  Is there a connection to hard work?  Because I see people now, you can't get people to work hard.  And the misery factor seems to be going up.

BROOKS:  Yeah.  You know, the data are really weird on this, and this completely shocks me.  If somebody asks you what percentage of Americans are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs, most people will predict about 30%.  In reality it's 89% of working Americans.

GLENN:  Wow.

BROOKS:  70% of working Americans, even if they became independently wealthy, would not quit their current job and you find that most Americans, if you ask them anonymously, they will look into their hearts, more Americans say they wish they could work more than the percentage who say they could work less.  So when we say we need more leisure and people push leisure on us and we need more work life balance, we have to think about that very carefully because the data don't support that.  The data say that hard work is the value that brings a lot of bliss for a lot of us.

GLENN:  Okay, so wait a minute.  So what does that tell us?  I mean, is it to the point to where we're running away from something or is it just that -- is there something else that showed you that work is -- there's something -- I mean, you know, it's like Thomas Jefferson said, you know.  There's something about a farmer and sticking his hand in the soil every day.  There's something about hard working people.

BROOKS:  Well, work, it depends on where you're working.  There's a reason that work doesn't give so much satisfaction in France and the reason for that is that the labor market is so rigid that people are badly matched with their jobs.  In America we've got a pretty well functioning labor market and so if you want to build decks on the backs of people's houses, you can get the skills and do that.  If you want to become a college professor like me, you can go to school and you can do that, too.  And so if you are well matched with your profession, you are going to have more meaning in your life, have more success and create more value for other people because service to others is the key to this thing.  And you are going to be able to do it.  That's the reason that work is so satisfying in America and it probably isn't in other places.

GLENN:  You know, that's really -- because as you're saying this, I'm thinking to myself about -- I'm thinking about working here, and I love my job but I hate the frustration of New York, and the frustration isn't even with 18 million people here.  It's not about the traffic, it's not about anything.  What it is is the union restrictions, it is the government restrictions, it is -- it's all the crap that comes with this city that makes it damn near impossible to get anything done.

BROOKS:  Yeah, it's people pushing you around, and that's how a lot of Americans feel.  They just say leave me alone, to create value, to serve other people, to find meaning in my personal values and my personal life.  Yet there's this huge, you know, government industrial complex out there that's dedicated to pushing people around, to taking from one group of people and giving to another.  And, you know, who's responsible for that?  To my view the answer is we are because we're demanding for politicians to protect us from every kind of danger.  Take my shoes off at the airport.  There's misery.

GLENN:  Wait a minute.  So where is the disconnect?  Because Obama will say we've had enough of this "Go it on your own" society and I say no, we haven't -- what?

BROOKS:  Not even close.

GLENN:  We're not even close, exactly right.  Not even close.  But why is it we are attracted to that?

BROOKS:  Because in the short run we want security.  In the short run we want goodies.  In the short run we're anxious about our economic security and we're resentful about people who have more.  And so it wins votes to tell people that they're miserable and to promise them goodies.  What we know is in the long run that stuff comes home to roost, to, you know, misquote reverend Jeremiah Wright.  That's what will really come home to roost is when we strip away our liberties.  That will come back around and sooner or later you'll be stuck in the airport security line and miss your flight and at that moment the security policy that you acquiesced to from your congressman will make you miserable because it took away your liberty.

GLENN:  The name of the book is "Gross National Happiness:  Why Happiness Matters For America and How We Can Get More of It" is out now in bookstores everywhere.  Its author is Arthur Brooks.  And Arthur, it is a pleasure talking to you.  We'll talk to you again.

BROOKS:  Thank you, Glenn.

GLENN:  Thank you.  Bye-bye.

You know, isn't it amazing that your gut tells you all of this stuff but now somebody's finally done all the research on it.  And you look at the research and you're like, oh, thank goodness; I thought it was me.  This goes again back to what my gut has said for a long time.  It's not just you.  People like us, we just don't ever say it out loud because of political correctness and everything else.  Start saying it out loud.  It's not just us.

Critical race theory: The education trap

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The fall semester isn't far away. If you aren't prepared for that, someone else is. Predatory behavior. The most important takeaway from this piece is, whatever is happening on campuses right now is what is going to play out through the rest of society in about 30 years. We're seeing it right now with Critical Race Theory.

It started on the campus. It started in the classroom. And our children are set to be the next victims in the cultural warfare for a nightmare that seems like it will never end.

Colleges are manipulating the system.

It's a little ironic that colleges are overflowing with Marxist professors who preach the Gospel of Karl Marx in their classrooms, because academia in America is the perfect example of capitalist achievement. If anything, colleges are manipulating the system in a way that should make Marxists furious. And they hurt the people that Marxism is supposed to rescue.

Colleges are an enterprise. They are Big Business. It means nothing to them to send thousands of students into debt—not if it means the campus will get a new fountain or another office for the Diversity and Inclusion department.

They'll never admit it, but a big part of their problem is that they have put so much into the myth of progress. They can't even admit that it's a myth. Because it's useful to them.

Roger Scruton once said:

Hence the invocations of "progress", of "growth", of constant "advance" towards the goal which, however, must remain always somewhere in the future.

In reality, they don't give a damn about actual progress.

That's how they have turned academia into instruments of social engineering. They use college to change society.

Their purpose is no longer educational. It's social. They're using the classrooms to cause social change.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

On Monday's radio program, Glenn Beck and Stu Burguiere were joined by Pat Gray to discuss "woke" Olympic athletes.

In this clip, the guys discussed how "bravely" some athletes are for threatening to protest the national anthem, for twerking on stage, and for showing off how woke they are.

Glenn reminded America of actual bravery at the Olympics when Jesse Owens won the gold medal at the Berlin Olympics. "He [Owens] was oppressed," Glenn said.

Watch the clip to hear Glenn tell the full story. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Political commentator Bill O'Reilly joined the Glenn Beck radio program on Friday made an important prediction about President Joe Biden's chance of reelection in 2024.

O'Reilly told Glenn that former President Donald Trump was brought down because of COVID. "if COVID had not appeared, O'Reilly stated, "he [Trump] would have won reelection."

O'Reilly went on to predict that like Trump, President Joe Biden would lose reelection because of COVID. People saw a president who could not put out an intelligent fact-based message about COVID and people will remember that," he explained.

O'Reilly later added that "Trump and Biden are one-termers because of COVID."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Critical race theory: Marxism is a religion

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Marx didn't actually tell his followers that the system needed to be destroyed. And it's not what Marx actually believed. Very few Marxists actually understand what Marx laid out.

Marxism isn't a list of demands and instructions. It's Marx's attempt to tell the future. Some of it he got right, most he got wrong. For example, he predicted the rise of automation.

Believe it or not, Marx was not an anti-capitalist. If anything, he revered it.

In a letter to Engels, he complained that too many people misunderstood his message, that his plan is to merge with capitalism. To make it new. He wanted to reify his brand of socialism, reify is a Marxist term, actually. It basically means to make an abstract idea concrete.

Marx didn't hate capitalism. He actually thought it was necessary. And he knew communism would never happen without the aid of capitalism.

Marx didn't hate capitalism. He actually thought it was necessary.

From there, he takes these ideas to some weird conclusions. Horrible conclusions. The main one being revolution.

What does the first phase of the Marxist revolution look like? How will we know if it has started? How can we tell if it's already begun? Marx's idea of the "dictatorship of the proletariat," where the working class would rise up in revolution and earn their freedom.

But what did Marx mean by freedom? Like so much of Marxism, it involves giving up your individuality, in service to the collective: "Only in community with others does each individual have the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; only in the community, therefore, is personal freedom possible."

That's from his book The German Ideology, which he co-wrote with Friedrich Engels, the guy who paid all of his bills: "Free competition, which is based on the idea of individual freedom, simply amounts to the relation of capital to itself as another capital."

His idea here is that capital ruins any idea of freedom or individuality. And competition is what he uses as proof. In other words, Marx's definition of freedom has nothing to do with actual freedom, freedom as we know it.

He wrote, in Capital: "It is not individuals who are set free by free competition; it is, rather, capital which is set free."

He's saying that Capital manipulates our individual freedom and forces us to exploit ourselves. For someone who didn't believe in God, he sure had some fanciful ideas about the forces that control the universe.

For someone who didn't believe in God, he sure had some fanciful ideas about the forces that control the universe.

Marxists have always argued that capitalism is a religion. That our debt to capital is no different than our debt to God. Critical Theorist Walter Benjamin wrote an entire book called Capitalism as Religion, and wrote that capitalism is "the first case of a cult that creates guilt, not atonement."

There were many strains of socialism before Marx. There were entire movements, named after socialist and anarchist philosophers. But Marx was the one who figured it out, with the help of a rotating cast of people paying for his sloth, of course.

Marx's influence on socialism was so profound that socialism was practically re-named in honor of Marx. Marx has been deified.

He created a utopian society. Very hypothetical. It requires a working class that is devoted to daily readings of The Communist Manifesto.

This assumes that people who work all day — at a real job, where they can't just sit on the couch all day as Marx did — even have the energy to read dense theory when they get home.

Marx made a religion.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.