"Incubated in the 1960s, the virus [i.e. the attempt of the prols to improve their living conditions] was spread wider and in more virulent form by Mrs Thatcher and her Blatcherite successors (Blair and Brown). This selfish capitalism (free market economics) has greatly increased our likelihood of mental illness: we are twice as likely to suffer (23% of us) than our mainland Western European cousins (only 12%), who have relatively unselfish capitalist economies....
Less materialistically motivated populations tend to be more family and community minded. In societies like Denmark, for example, people are much more liable to be concerned about the well being of a child who seems distressed in public. If a wallet is dropped, it’s much more likely to be handed in. There are much higher levels of trust between people of all ages, less cynicism about government."
"...I believe there will be a gradual increase in the extent to which people come to realise that they do not need such high incomes if they spend less. As we rediscover the difference between real needs and false wants – confected by advertising and peer pressure – we will start to wake up and smell the coffee: compared with much of the population of the world, nearly all of us are incredibly wealthy. If we can just get on with enjoying that wealth through better family lives, intimate friendships, communities and enjoyable hobbies, we will be a whole lot more mentally healthy."
"Instead of these materialistic values, we need goals and motives that are driven by real satisfaction of authentic needs. That means a greater concern with the pleasure of an activity for its own sake, rather than possible external benefits. Like children’s play, this kind of activity takes the person into a state of “flow”, where time passes without your noticing, a state of full absorption. I witness this in my children every day, but adults can have lives like that too. It’s often achieved by pursuing paid work that is interesting to you rather than seeking promotion or greater salaries – within a corporation, for example, putting interest in the work ahead of material or promotional gains. Oddly enough, that can actually lead to greater success, although it is not the goal."