Mann, Kafka, Hesse, Jünger
CHAPTER FOUR - Ernst Jünger: The Technologization of Happiness in Heliopolis (1949) 119
Chapter Four Ernst Jünger: The Technologization of Happiness in Heliopolis (1949) Happiness is obsolete: uneconomic — Theodor Adorno, 1903–1969 Historical Preamble: Enforced Happiness History is testimony to happiness agendas that have ranged from the eclecti- cally non-prescriptive to the mainly prescriptive. A humanistic voluntarism underpinned the Aristotelian teaching that in order to lead the “good life” in the widest sense one needed to foster and promote civic virtues. However, since the Enlightenment the course of Western history has demonstrated the inhumanity of certain ideological models of regimented happiness in their practical application, even if the precepts on which they were based and the intentions behind them were essentially humanistic. For instance, despite the noble and egalitarian sentiments underpinning the right to the pursuit of happiness doctrine enshrined in the United States Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jef ferson’s (1743–1826) well-meaning assertion in his last composed letter of 26 June 1826, “the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favoured few to ride them,”1 would inevitably exclude those who failed by dint of class, gender, race and economic circumstances to realize the myth of the American Dream in which the right-to-happiness principle was firmly anchored. 120 Chapter Four The discrepancy between rhetoric and sobering reality was no more in evidence than during one of the defining moments of European his- tory, the French Revolution. The new republican constitution contained the stirring words “le but de la société est le bonheur commun...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.