You Don’t Want Hygge. You Want Social Democracy.

“The fact that hygge became an American trend, even in bastardized form, was a sign that we perceived something lacking in our culture and longed for an alternative. But even when we acknowledged the intangible properties of hygge, we still assumed it could be obtained with individual consumer spending.”


“Everyone has to do activities in the unhappy category in order to keep their affairs in order. But it makes sense that if you take some of those responsibilities off people’s plate and design the economy to give them more time to do activities in the happy category, they will be more content and lead more enriching lives.

“Many working-class Americans don’t have much time for activities in the happy category, because they work multiple jobs or long hours and also have to keep a household in order without much assistance. Many more are afraid that if they take time away from their stressful responsibilities, they will overlook something important and fall behind, and there will be no social safety net to catch them — a pervasive anxiety that creeps up the class hierarchy. This breeds alienation, not intimacy.”