“Nothing captures the biological argument better than the famous New Age slogan: ‘Happiness begins within.’ Money, social status, plastic surgery, beautiful houses, powerful positions – none of these will bring you happiness. Lasting happiness comes only from serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin” — Yuval Noah Harari
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In this quote, Harari is questioning why humans have come to serve the very things they created, like corporations, money and nations, rather than those things serving human needs and interests as intended.
He notes that these social constructs were invented by humans in their imagination to be useful tools, but now it seems humans have become subservient to them.
Harari appears to be arguing that the order has become inverted – instead of institutions existing to benefit people, people now feel they must sacrifice their lives and well-being to prop up and serve these human-made systems.
The quote encourages examining this relationship and whether corporations, money and nations still fulfill their original purpose of serving humanity.