Most recent update 21.5.22
This one is going to be bit different. Research into psyche and methods on how to apply the data comes in many forms. Some research into better ways of maintaining pleasant society is among best directions and nowadays societies are bit flooded by wannabe despots and messengers of hopeless despair.
The following text is bit fragmented with room to have spaces and private thoughts how to reach those. Some of the components could be found in almost any society but ways to better maintain or gain particular improvements could take some trial and error.
Reasons why some societies feel much more miserable come from very different types of problems and not just lack of hedonistic culture.
People should not worry much about improving society due to insecurities or fears of not having good enough writing or talking skills. Amount of scummy people actively trying to make things worse for various selfish reason is enough to not limit self for lack of perfection.
This post is likely to expand through this year with time of most recent update added on top.
What has been acceptable so far
Any proposal to improve society can have its critics but considering what has been accepted so far is so extreme that thinking of better system doesn't seem so difficult.
People in even the most free societies have been surprisingly receptive to idea that best society should allow almost unlimited profiting no matter how much it pollutes or how unpleasant and harmful it is to workers or anyone living near polluting workplaces with preferably near zero taxes paid by such companies despite getting subsidies etc or else the alternative would be to lose such great job creators. Such system doesn't even require armies to enforce it beside few officially unaffiliated crazy militia types groomed to threaten with civil war or deadly attacks as their "anticommunist fight" against politicians and activists that limit how much people could be poisoned or exploited for monetary gain.
If that twisted mess is acceptable then there is hope for better society models to become accepted. There are other problems too with some mentioned below.
Main type of opposing governmental system
Vast amount of destruction has taken place due to huge number of destructive wannabe rulers who want to keep on expanding their dominions relying on the "might makes right" mindset which in turn is practically just competition on who is more deadly, backstabbing, destructive and nightmarishly hellish towards their opponents or rivals. Ability to maintain stable society doesn't get tested before such rules win by killing other options to rule same region of the planet. These kinds of power struggles have been going on for millennia and are still somewhat glamorized as such ruler still try to justify their role as best possible choice during dark times.
Better societies need to protect themselves with public largely aware of those kinds of monsters they need to keep pushing away from power.
Tyrants tend to make decisions through belief that whoever can cause more misery can be more powerful and much of the hierarchy is kept terrified by specified threats along with whatever scared underlings imagine might happen. Potential to cause huge suffering and harm is treated as major source of power which can lead to lots of people, construction projects and resources harnessed into causing more hellish suffering for those who have or might be risk to tyrants power with competing ones trying to outdo each other. While money is major source of power it tends to not compete much with power based on potential to give hellish suffering for lack of obedience so the wealth is more likely to move from calculating business minded to robbers that command armies. On other hand mass poverty and ruthless neglect due to greed or any other reason tends to create breeding grounds for terroristic despots and lawlessness starting in the form of gangs that try to get out from squalor.
Problem isn't just this type of leader but also the enforcers they recruit and train to be ruthless killer and tormentors. Caringness is one way or another beaten out of such underlings with negative emotions flooded in to such extent that will to live might fade and leave veterans after war in state of suicidal misery.
Miserable troops discarded or encouraged to be entitled minityrants that have right to demand others to worship them but due to nature of their irritating and depressing indoctrination the lasting happiness is unlikely to last.
Hellish enforcers are not always created by rulers but might also be some groups of psychopaths, sadist, rapists and small scale despots who figured out they could get protection from or even support from government if they seemed useful and loyal enough with chaos of war giving them cover to do whatever they want. Insecure rulers might be aware of it and that they are losing many people to monstrous predators but decide that this situation is easier and more controllable that making enemies with such army branches. On other hand those opportunistic predators might find out weaknesses in the security of ruler overthrow their cowardly enabler.
Addictive attention grabbing effect of scary suspicions are commonly exploited to hook in audience and trick them into supporting wannabe tyrants who rely on fear and loathing while teaching masses to fear and show violent opposition to anyone supporting rivals.
Modern rich use less militaries and more information warfare where rich fund campaigns to spread lies useful to them even if it causes mostly misery and suffering to others (including fear and misguided optimism that impoverishes many). In a way it mildly echoes the harm armies cause but mostly the societal ones and is cheaper and less destructive but still disruptive. In most cases the "armies" are created through funding cheap emotion fanning media outlets where lured in audience is at least indirectly encouraged to form some militia with equipment and weapons paid by members of audience who received high enough dose of fear and outrage. If any member of such voluntary forces terrorizes or kills someone then they might get coverage useful to them or dismissed as disturbed lone wolf who just wanted attention so best to forget about them and not check which media figures or leaders they praised in their manifestos.
Such types of governments still curse large parts of the planet as form of predatory hunting zones eager to expand where ruling despots using armies to rob territory, slaves/population and wealth. When ruler dies then often their subrulers end up fighting among each other to figure out who is next overlord with many common people dying or robbed to fuel their current warlords ambition.
Among populace this can lead to hopeless mindset that getting rid of tyrant is worse than suffering under him as overthrowing tyrant would lead to possibly decades of civil war and chaos that makes petty mass murdering tyrants relatively appealing.
Likely all current countries that don't have this kind of problem used to be somewhat like that but through various means they found ways to make it so that when old leader was gone then there wouldn't be capable warlords or megalomaniacs that would try to kill away alternatives to their own rule in hopes of becoming the next ruler for life.
Natural mindsets and social order
Psyches evolved in nature still feel better when living in at least somewhat natural feeling environment where things aren't uselessly robotically mechanical and restricted in excessive ways and various harmless natural behaviors are allowed. Some data on specifics of how to behave can be gathered from observing workplaces with some employees being more like robot (which tend to be somewhat tunnelvisioned driven and/or young trying to prove self) while some older ones might have worked out more pleasant and reasonably flexible work/life balance.
Good to have traditions that help make local seasons more pleasant like for example having tradition of many decorative lights during darkest season. To counter depressive cold darkness also add some tradition of celebration and gift giving. It has limited help but more pleasant than no such celebrations.
Different climates and local natural traits might have other unpleasant times that could be improved through some holidays or festivals. Potentially projectors could be used on blank surfaces to give brain some sense of being closer to tropical environment humans and other primates evolved to live in.
People usually like to belong somewhere and in better cases there is preference to secretive organizations that work to improve society. Such groups should be encouraged to form to counter other secretive sects that realistically will form due to people being too diverse for any particular type of society. In worse places secretive groups can work to reform and alter system towards something better while good societies can also use those as protective measures.
The inevitability of secretive groups could be used to moderate and oversee extremist or malicious groups. When members of such groups get irritated for not having enough violence or chaos then they get weeded out one way or another. When public awareness on such moderated secret groups increases then extremist and sadists might be less daring with joining such groups. There is also possibility that new member might start to undermine or even attack the group they joined due to true or false suspicion of joining a fake extremist group run by traitors to their violent goals.
Calm jobs don't necessarily reduce risky side hobbies as in my current overly calm work (I'd probably feel same in some calm office work) it can feel almost emotionally numbing and draining so it provides me with more desire to get in some mentally and emotionally stimulating situation even if it is bit more risky.
One thing people could do to counter emotionally numbing robotic work could be helping others. Psyche feels better for helping others unless it's too poisoned with contempt and hatred towards everybody. Otherwise helping others can give contentment, calm and joy that self indulgence can't provide. Plus sobriety feels much better when there are others to take care of while self absorbed indulgent mindset not can make sobriety harder to tolerate. Initially during younger age ranges when people are still trying to get their life on decent path and not damn themselves to some low social caste for rest of their lives they might worry more about themselves. When more stable career and good enough income is achieved then in this formerly dream state of having money to buy things more casually turns out to not be enough and hollow aimless depressive state can creep up on psyche. At such times people might think more of getting kids or pets to.
Having a generous society means also dealing with constant parasitic greed which tries to exploit the situation. Volunteering or working in charities might help learn of examples how some try to exploit the generosity. Many miserable places stay miserable partly because miserable sadistic ones try to make any better alternative seem worse. Caringness in those often undermined through most attention drawn towards wasted caringness towards scumbags.
Public should keep clear awareness that there are monsters in all groups and xenophobic tribalism tends to cover up hellish problems within ingroup due to fear of terrible behavior within preferred ingroup coming public might weaken group already under siege. Those xenophobic double standards arise somewhat naturally but larger such movements around world seem guided by powerful who use those to undermine worker and environmental protection and make followers happier that even worst jobs are done by local ethnic majority without any immigrants. It is somewhat impressive how nationalists are used to fight for the right of even foreign companies to pollute and exploit their precious homeland and people after getting enough of their info through the use of emotionally manipulative "news sources free from censorship". As a bonus method of alienating people from nationalists the xenophobes are usually also encouraged to behave in childish petty, angry, sadistic, spiteful ways and use tattoos or signs that can give them more of a pariah status where the job opportunities are limited and choices worse. Continuation of keeping xenophobes in such path can weaken their power.
As movies, series and books can teach people follow the plot when attention of audience is kept by some hardship or danger that has to be overcome and this also applies to how much people keep track of what is happening in the system.
Cautious fear is natural emotion that would be inevitable even in best places that in turn could either protect or undermine it. There are plenty of parasitic predatory groups that might try to exploit and undermine nice places to among other things not just profit through robbing but also show that more cruel and miserable places are strong and stable. Malicious factions might sow despair and fear encouraging selfish greedy hoarding, join armed groups to rule in the predator run aftermath etc.
Overall mood in decent society should be along lines of "for now we are more free of those petty squabbles and sociopath than ever before in history" to stay alert about problems but also appreciate what they are free from.
Public should be encouraged to avoid and oppose attempts for petty tyrants to consume the masses as petty self indulgent tyrants have been trying to do through millennia. Predators might be encouraged by belief that happy people are sheepish easy to dominate although to counter it both thrillseekers and people with calm almost boring jobs might be craving for more emotional and thrilling activities like fighting back to not live as scared and miserable underling to some despot held in power through frequent shows of what hellish suffering ruler can inflict for lack of obedience.
Populace should be steered from being gullible as world stability and
many other things have worsened because much of the world population is
horribly gullible to the point they don't even try to verify claims that
deeply change their worldview or sense of reality. Lies are taken as
truth or sincere as long lies are spread through people that seem to
know what they talk about. Instead of spending time for doublechecking
info that updates sense of reality many just allow their worldview and
sense of reality be twisted into miserable and seriously distorted mess
and in process some of those who didn't have time to verify claims start
spending much of their days spreading the same lies that managed to
deceive them. When populace could be teached to be much more cautious
with what they believe (becoming aware of what extreme lies they used to
believe might help) then it would make society much harder to control
with some feelgood sedating lies but also harder to destabilize through
angering and maddening lies. If this gullibility of masses can't be
fixed then it might lead to end for freedom of speech one way or
another. Either systemic lies would have to be blocked and removed or
there will be end to that freedom as gullible outraged masses get used
by their "shepherds" to cause civil wars, coup attempts and
glorification of some chosen new strongman leader that coincidently
needs to get rid of critics and dissenters to achieve some glory.
To some extent public should be aware of way people get manipulated into being someone awful or someone heroic. There are events, environments and stimuli that make people fall under thrall of their "inner demons" but there are also events, environments and stimuli that can make them heroic and selfless. Having lists on what what make people worse or better is important. Malicious factions and individuals have likely used their dark insight to make people more hellish for their own selfish reasons attacking all that might make them better and they have easier time hiding behind ignorance if public is too ignorant to notice how they are twisted into miserable state and just let it happen. On other hand conditions that make people better need to be known and protected as there are plenty of corrupting forces trying deter masses from being helpful by pushing them into self centered idleness and irritation/anger towards those who oppose even most blatant abusiveness. At least some of those hell building projects are funded by aggressive expansionist countries that are fine with supporting creating chaos and hellishness in places outside their borders
I'm in no way a free speech absolutist as there is plenty of things public shouldn't know about including the list of nightmare fuel lurking in psyches but awareness of such more esoteric manipulations can be helpful in world where many powerful governments and organizations might create hell around world under guise of "psi op in service of national self interest".
As people have more free time then more of the workforce could be guided towards dealing with predatory abusers in society that they used to be too tired to deal with with due to too many problems within own personal lives.
People stuck in miserable places might get complacent with serious problems as long even mild comforts are easily available.
People serving despots at least through their taxes tolerate it largely because of familiar small comforts are available. Cozy familiarity and reliving good times are core components people build their lives around and as long those are catered to people might feel cozy and happy while governed by monsters. Losing comfort products due to rulers mistake make bad decisions much more personal and less acceptable.
Such numbing effects of comfort and routine can be used to unsettle both good or bad societies and even best places can decay when corrupting forces keep overtaking it while most are too busy with their own comfort zone.
As there seems to be ingrained desire to worship/live for something greater so less harmful forms of worship should be allowed as without living for something greater people might feel more depressed, burnt out and hollow with tendency to become more self-destructive and miserably moody. Worship of people shouldn't be encouraged as people are too flawed and limited but more abstract and ideal things like progress, society, beauty, love etc can be decent things to worship as something greater than self. For clarity there is huge emotional difference between working to help
others for the sake of it and the mentally draining work for someone because it pays the bills. In a weird way living to carry on some ideal can make self feel lighter and more alive than just embracing mundane self serving routine which can feel more dim, "soul crushing" and heavy burden to carry on for long time.
One of the major tests that most powerful people need to be checked for is how they respond to many terrible events, real life monsters and crimes.
Sometimes psyches that have been exposed to worst things done by people might succumb to despair start to lash out with negative emotions or spread messages of terribleness while doing less good towards others as if infested by some contagion of misery that it then also tries to spread to others. Such mental affliction, combined with power, can lead to extra miserable society where little good happens while abuses and pointless suffering are treated as things to be accepted. Leaders for happy society should be able to keep their supportive and overall optimistic mindset beyond the point where they lost track of how many horrors they've become aware of or else society might become run by something resembling miserable deathcult working to hasten the end to suffering of life.
Lots of misery can come when someone miserable, from lowliest commoner to powerful leader, finding too much info on how to cause misery to others and through such lessons feel like they gained power. Hunger for power is common and some feel the only power they have is to cause misery and suffering in others which grows more dangerous as new forms of inflicting suffering are learned with sadists being likely most driven in this path with each new lesson also potentially weakening remaining caring or supportive attitudes.
Refusal to admit own mistakes is sign of candidate that might be needed to weed out.
The fact that even mere common cold or bad sleep messes up peoples ability to functions should be taken as strong hint that no high stakes power should be held by just one person. And yet through history many milions have been killed because rulers who couldn't manage what they had felt need to have grab even more things they couldn't manage well with ability to harm local resistance as only prerequisite to gain power.
Leadership class should be more like in democracies where there are many specialty roles and there is less fears of getting executed for not seeming perfect. Replacement workers can take over while some are sick or in some other bad state.
Still the problem of secret hellrisers or power brokers using power to make things more miserable but at least they are not hiding behind notorious tyrants that push populace away from trying to change anything in government.
Ruling classes at some level need their own way more secret keepers of order and functionality by keeping track of the leaders and checking for signs of corruption like deathculty tendencies or jaded entitled megalomaniacs who chase harmful thrills or attempts to sell out the country for some expansionst predatory country. One way or other these rotten elements would need to be removed and due to likely opposition by those corrupt ones who'd try to undermine such oversight any way possible would necessitate secrecy.
Might be quality improving trait of meritocratic ruling class to have very fuzzy border between underlings and superiors which deal with leaders. Same people might help use the ideas to influence society when advice is good enough or remove them from power if attitude and work quality suffers enough. Constant reminders that helpers might remove them if they start abusing the power can motivate with keeping behavior more reasonable and acceptable.
Major addition to ruling class that by now probably every government uses are computer provided special skills.
Critics of AI involvement in pleasant society should be kept aware that even in most stable societies user info is being sold to almost anyone with money for any use even if the buyers of data seeks to ruin the country by spreading anything remotely believable to turn people against each other and maybe even start civil war. Besides predatory and abusive users are already somewhat recklessly provided with with tools to pick out their preferred victim types and give each other advice publicly.
For obvious safety reasons and peace of mind AIs shouldn't have their own robot armies but filtering their proposals through people who review the plans or control armies.
One milder and acceptable way to gradually phase in AI overseers is by having many security public cameras connected to programs that are trained to constantly check for violent crimes and to notify enforcers along with clips of crimes with humans deciding if it was actual crime.
Utopic AI can notice when person is getting depressed or anxious considering how their movements are or by what content they consume but counter it by offering or introducing new pleasant contacts or sensations. And like nowadays, AIs can grab peoples attention by recommending them more content that they are driven to check and shift attention away from pointless worries.
One major upside of AIs is the relative consistency and tireless drive which can keep them working without depression, anxiety, diseases and loss of interest, attention or willpower longer than any human can live. AIs have potential be the most stable rulers people have ever had. Some potential weaknesses like radiation flipping some ones and zeroes could be avoided with redundancies. Researching ways to add best leadership traits into such AI project can give government with one of its most valuable advisor. Data processing abilities of computers can also keep track of known resources, soil fertility, rainfalls, likely weather, transport costs, mineral reserves, likely pollution and health effects from manufacturing or mining etc combined with tracking on what people need or reasonably want (excluding things people usually discard quickly) which can be useful for more sustainable and well thought out economic activity.