Imagined Happiness

Harari says that “most of the traditional functions of families and communities were handed over to states and markets.”(Pg. 356) Family and community fell and was replaced by market and state because of the immense new powers that were given to the market and new means of communication and transportation were given to the state. (pg. 358) The traditions of family and community were wiped out when state and market were given power over them. According to Harari, the state and market said things like “marry who you want, become who you want, live where you want, you don’t have to be dependent on your family and community any longer.” (Pg. 359) I think that it is pretty obvious how they gained power after saying those things. Everyone wants to marry who they love and chose a career that makes them happy and allows them to make a difference and feel like they have a purpose. For the most, the state and market system provides most of our material needs that our family and community used to provide for us, but they must supply tribal bonds. (pg. 362) Thus the creation of the imagined community. Which I refer to as imagined happiness here because we end up trying too hard to connect to our community and fake everything.


This question reminds me of the question that we were asked on our midterm about historians. I think historians have a great perspective on how we got to where we are, and they can recognize patterns in our behavior that we can apply to the future or the end of homo sapiens. I think especially after reading Harari, historians do a good job of recognizing similarities in different times in history. I like to say that scientists can figure out how all the physical, mathematical shit works in our world, and they can work on bettering our technology, creating technological fixes and cleaning up the messes that we make, while historians can humanize all of that shit. Things need to be humanized, and historians can do that.


1 thought on “Imagined Happiness”

  1. Hello, Catherine! I concur that we need a “human edge” alongside science and science-related problems. Science is obviously very important, but it doesn’t matter much if we don’t consider how it affects individuals or society as a whole. If we don’t contemplate why humans place ourselves in these situations in the first place, then we have no hope of ever getting to the root of the problem. Climate change is just as much a economical, political, and ethical issue as it is an environmental one. How can we ever expect to remedy it if we don’t have historians taking these factors into account? A very nice post overall! It’s very clear and concise (something I tend to fail at).

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