When did our culture start setting happiness as the highest value individuals can achieve?

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When did our culture start setting happiness as the highest value individuals can achieve?

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Hollywood and other popular media? I’d say in less than 100 years.

When the pursuit of happiness through consumerism became the primary driver of the economy.

Thank Edward Bernays ( Freud’s nephew) for that. He mistrusted the masses to run a democracy and realized that consumerism could be used to control society. Herbert Hoover praised him for transforming Americans into “constantly moving happiness machines.”
Here is a good article about that. [https://www.highsnobiety.com/2016/11/29/consumerism-social-control/](https://www.highsnobiety.com/2016/11/29/consumerism-social-control/)

When you’re saying “our”, are you referring to American culture, western culture, or another culture?

Why are the replies all attaching happiness to consumerism? Personal contentment is something that I utterly strive for and it’s rarely reflected in consumerism at all.

Is it? I see a lot of people sacrifice happiness for other ends all the time.

When did we start measuring success in $ ?