"The Economics of Happiness" is the name of a speech delivered by Großgermanian Emperor Michael von Preußen on 6 November 2009, from his personal office at the Imperial Palace outside Nordhausen, Thuringia. The speech deals primarily with economic concerns, and the power to deliver a policy speech on such is usually reserved to the Witenagemot. In the speech, the Emperor claims to deliver the speech with '[the Witenagemot's] blessing.'
The speech introduces a new economic policy based off of gross national happiness: that is, measuring a country's success off of the mental and spiritual development of the population instead of the monetary value of the economic output thereof.
Text of the Speech Edit
Good evening, people of Germania.
Today I speak to you on a subject and from an arena which is not my own. This speech is largely on behalf of the Witenagemot, and I want to make clear that, although it will discuss numerous policies which I played varying degrees in deciding, all of them were approved by, and represent economic policies of, the Witenagemot. I am delivering this speech both on behalf of the Councilors of State and with their blessing. Furthermore, I must also thank the many people who had input in both the policies and text of this speech. When I approached the Witenagemot with my ideas which, after much negotiation, became policies which will be announced herein, it was after meeting with, and on the advice of, prominent politicians in two countries: the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Kingdom of Bhutan. I would not be delivering this speech now if it was not for their input and help, which is directly connected to their concern for the welfare of the German people.
I speak to you at a time of great economic turmoil. The aftermath of capitalism's collapse as a viable economic model has affected every single human being on the planet. While some nations have been able to hold on to their liberal democracies, the vast majority of nations have shifted to extremes. We see both communism and fascism emerging in nations around the world, and, as always, they are in competition with each other. Here in Großgermania, we have been able to combine them in a way not seen before, thanks to our National Unionist constitution and the emergence of the People's Empire we, the Germanic people, dreamed of. Certainly, it has not come without a price, and we have seen the devastation that treason can have on any nation. However, our worker-based economic system has seen less harm from the economic crisis we're in than have many nations worldwide. And as such, we have both prospered economically as well as served as an example for nations and peoples around the world.
The problems which now face our national economy are not related directly to the economy itself. We have stabilized production and consumption in a manner which benefits every single citizen of our Empire. No, now we face a problem of overemphasis on the economy. Now, I know many people think that as the economy is the lifeblood of any nation, it is impossible to put too much emphasis on its importance. Allow me, then, to explain my position. As our current economic policy stands, we are focusing on the worker, as we should be. However, we currently focus, seemingly as a throwback to Germania's capitalist past, on the monetary wellbeing of the worker alone. We assume, consciously or otherwise, that with enough money, people will be happy. This is an error. It is an error we are making in repetition of history, as the same error was made by the capitalists before us. And it is an error which we must remedy in order to progress as a nation.
Thus today, I speak to you to announce the implementation on a new economic order within Großgermania: one which is within both our Constitution and the principles of National Unionism, but one which differs greatly from our current economic doctrine. This is a doctrine of gross national happiness. Now, this is by no means a new idea, and is not one I can take any credit for. Rather, it is a concept which has evolved from the philosophy of Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the former King of Bhutan. This philosophy is one which puts human development before economic concerns, and which I believe is the best path for Großgermania to follow as it progresses into a new century of enlightenment and growth. The idea behind gross national happiness is simple: economic development for the sake of the people, not for the sake of the economy itself.
Maintenance of a government of the people in accordance with the principles of National Unionism requires acceptance that the importance of economic concerns should not be in the advancement of the economy itself. Rather, the economy should be a means, not an end. In strengthening the foundations of the economy, the fundamental consideration of all those who participate in it—both the government and the worker—should be the fulfillment of the material needs of man in the course of his overall growth and development. This is the purpose of measuring gross national happiness: to ensure that people can develop their own personal abilities and interests in a manner which benefits them spiritually and mentally. While in materialist schools of thought, the economy represents an end in itself, so that it comes to be a subversive and corrupting factor in the course of man's development, this is not so in National Unionism. The accumulation of wealth and the maximization of profit are not the goal, and therefore, the monetary output of the nation is not as important as the happiness and development of the people. The Großgermanian economic program consists of providing the means needed for the emergence of the various creative capacities of the human being.
What, then, will be the structure of a happiness-based economy? Certainly, this is an area which is new to the world. While nations such as Bhutan have worked to enhance the overall happiness of their population via economic means, no nation has ever designed an economy around the principle itself. The creation, therefore, of such an economy will take time. Furthermore, I am certain we will encounter trials along the way which will reveal errors in planning. But I am equally certain that we will overcome them to form the world's first functional economic order which has at its purpose and focus the happiness, welfare, and development of its people from a social and personal level which is not connected to the dogmatic capitalist regime of money. Perhaps, one day, we shall achieve the goal of the esteemed socialist Muammar al-Gaddafi, who in the 1980s threatened to eliminate entirely the use of currency in his Libyan Jamahiriya. Maybe one day. For now, however, let us focus on the advancement of Großgermania's population as best we can by utilizing the economy as a means to a greater end. Let us see the economy as we always have: as the lifeblood of our nation and our people. However, let us not act as doctors, merely concerning ourselves with keeping the blood flowing. Let us instead act as priests, and recognize that keeping blood flowing is the precursor to maintaining life itself, and let use use the economy to feed our souls.