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Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 25, Curtis Edmonds rated it it was amazing. Why can't I stay home? Why do I have to learn? Why can't I stay the way I am? What's the point of this? Why do things have to be this way? Why can't things be different? Calvin's Mom throwing Calvin out the door : Life is full of mysteries, isn't it?

See you this afternoon. Calvin at the bus stop : "At AM. Mom's not very philosophical. Libertarian sociologist Charles Murray argues that it is perhaps the most important philosophical inquiry, at least from an American perspective. Murray argues that although we pursue happiness in different ways, all of us are pursuing the same end, the "good one seeks for an end to itself and for no other reason.

In Pursuit of Happiness and Good Government

He has Calvin the brat and Hobbes the tiger go outside on a winter's day, playing in the snow, and then running back to the fireplace, and then repeating the cycle again and again. The only words in the strip come at the end, when Calvin tells Hobbes, "If there's more to life than this, I don't know what it is. Calvin and Hobbes aren't playing in the snow to seek social acceptance or popularity or any other goal except the central goal of happiness.

Calvin does imagine at one point that he can become a TV superstar through sledding -- "So, with some strong visuals, our sled ride could conceivably make us cultural icons! Murray begins after a long period of noodling about definitions of happiness with the theory that happiness cannot exist until certain material needs are met. One cannot pursue happiness if one is starving, or physically unsafe, and part of the legitimate role of government is to guarantee certain levels of nutrition say, through Department of Agriculture crop subsidies or food stamps and protection through military and criminal justice spending.

Watterson illustrates this by putting Calvin in an unsafe world.

He faces a number of threats, not the least of which is Moe the bully. Moe -- not usually a prime source of irony -- explains to Calvin that he's not taking Calvin's toy truck; "You're giving it to me, because we'll both be happier that way. Hobbes greets Calvin at the door on schooldays, plowing him into the front yard at times.

When Calvin tries to outwit Hobbes by fashioning a dummy and placing it by the door, Hobbes welcomes the dummy with open arms. May I draw mustaches on all the superheroes? I may! Oh joy! Murray argues that the extraordinary paradox, "You can't fix poverty by giving people money," has validity. A few days later, even if the money continues to be provided, the dispiritedness and neglectfuless will be back and the home will be a dump with different furniture.

Calvin wrestles with this issue, of course, given the parsimonious nature of his dad.

In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government

You'd have to eat a bucket of bugs before I'd pay you a dollar. Calvin's dad, who's obviously read Murray's book, isn't buying it, though; "I'm not going to bribe you, Calvin. You should apply yourself for your own good. Watterston captures this perfectly.

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I should always be saying, 'My life is better than I ever imagined it would be, and it's only going to improve! I'm just going to jump from peak to peak! He notes that the poorest rural Thai village is a better place to pursue happiness than the largest American housing project, mainly because the unsafe nature of the latter prohibits the formation of communities.

Murray endorses the "broken windows" theory of law enforcement, which says that policing minor crimes like broken windows increases the lawfulness of the neighborhood -- an approach adopted, with great success, by Mayor Giuliani in New York. Calvin, by contrast, being the ultimate libertarian, questions the overall need for law enforcement.

Charles Murray's In Pursuit: Of Happiness & Good Government ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Scientific Progress Goes Boink! In one instance, Calvin lures Rosalynn outside and locks the door on her something I tried once, myself and in another, adopts his secret identity of "Stupendous Man! Calvin also has the ultimate law enforcement officer to deal with: Santa Claus.

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One of the books funniest panels has Hobbes forging a letter to Calvin from "Santa Claws", in which Calvin is told he's a "rotten little kid". Santa called me rotten! The letter continues, "I'd suggest you start being kind to animals. Perhaps you know an animal who would like a snack soon. Or maybe you could let an animal read your comic books sometime.

Think about it. One of these is self-esteem, which Murray points out must be justified; self-esteem must rise from individual accomplishments. One cannot have real self-esteem that is based on a fantasy, as Calvin illustrates over and over again. Troubles arise when we realize that the quality of government is much in the eye of the beholder, as most things are. Murray further postulates that one's view of human nature is also inextricably intertwined with one's concept of what government should be and do. Murray contends that we have lost some control of our lives as the national government has inserted itself into matters that are more cogently understood from a local point of view-or are seen as not any of government's business at all.

He asserts that Tocqueville was right when he looked at local government in the early s:. Here is an explanation of why the percentage of people who vote continues to drop, and why there is more public sentiment of powerlessness in the face of government, and distrust and disillusion at its operation.

Murray recalls that Jefferson and his contemporaries understood the interrelationships all people have, that they complement one another in community more than they compete. We naturally achieve that comity in both our private and our public lives. Murray seeks to rekindle the sentiments of interrelatedness even as he labors to determine how to reign in government.

For Murray, and many others, that inference is mostly correct. The recognition is that the agglomeration of power and administration on a grander scale and with increasing power over local considerations and the idea that one-size-fits-all government actually works is a less valid notion.