Be very careful of this finding that the peasantry are happier than the rest of us.
Results from the Government’s first ever survey of National Well Being, published by the Office for National Statistics, are likely to show that people who work in farming, forestry and fishing are happier than others.
For we will undoubtedly have those along the CarolineLucasGreenpeaceFoEGreensnef axis telling us that since the peasantry are happier thus we should all go be peasants.
Which is total codswallop of course.
What has been found is that our society has managed the division and specialisation of labour properly. wages in those fields are generally low but life satisfaction is high. Just as Adam Smith pointed out, wages will, when you consider everything, generally be the same everywhere.
Further, the people who enjoy standing up to their clavicles in shit and mud are the people doing so.
It does not follow that forcing others into the same peasant lifestyle will make them happy.
Although, I guarantee you, this is what we\’ll be told. Just as nef made the absurd and similar claim a few years back. People who like being frugal are happy being frugal. This is true: nef went on to insist that therefore if we forced everyone to be frugal all would be happier.
No, that just doesn\’t follow. Just as it doesn\’t follow that if the 2% of the country on the land are happy we\’ll make the country happier if we force another 10 or 20% onto the land.