The word “unhappy” has almost been banished from our vocabulary. It has been replaced by the word “depressed.” For every patient who confesses to unhappiness, a thousand now claim to be depressed. What was once considered to be an inescapable part of the human condition has been elevated (or is it reduced?), by a semantic change, to an illness. And since good health care is now regarded as a right, the corollary of unhappiness being an illness is that people believe themselves to be entitled not merely to the pursuit of happiness, but to the thing itself.

A right being unconditional (or else it would not be a right), the pursuit of happiness must therefore always end in success, rather as the bear-hunting of such leaders as Brezhnev and Ceausescu had always to end in ursine slaughter, thanks to the minions who drove tranquilized bears to be mown down at point-blank range by the leaders. The pride of...

 

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