Money can’t buy you love, but love is a lot of what we need

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There's an interesting column in the FT this morning considering the experience of Roger Angell of the New Yorker. The tale is worth reading.

More interesting is the reference to the longitudinal study of Harvard graduates of the 1940s (all male, so I accept all the limitations that implies) over succeeding decades, up to and including the present. The conclusion of this work (called the Grant study) seems to be this:

“What have you learned from the Grant Study men?”

“That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

It could, of course, be said that many of us came to that conclusion long ago without the assistance of any such study. But it would be more truthful to say that society as a whole has not.

Neoliberal society worships the cult of the individual. Implicitly and actually it promotes isolation as a result. The consequence is it can treat many people with contempt. The whole purpose of a great deal of our media is to divide society by setting group off against group. In the process it seeks to destroy relationships, which are the very foundation of well being.

Inherently many of us know that such antagonism is corrosive of the soul. That's why moderating comments on this blog is so distasteful; the indifference of some persistent commentators to the human condition saps me, and it shows.

Time for two videos:


For the record, love is not all that you need: you need an income to. If you haven't got that income love is very hard. But it's individualism that's denying many that chance. And that's my point: it's our absence of compassion that is corroding the chance of many in life to fulfil their potential, and that it not by chance. It is the inevitable consequence of the culture of neoliberalism.