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Increasing reality apathy and blunting

Palliative care society
Forfatter: Byung-Chul Han
Forlag: Matthes & Seitz Berlin (Tyskland)
CRITICISM OF MODERNITY: The neoliberal "happiness dispositive's" imperative of happiness regards pain as a failure, a weakness. The pain has become dumb, and consequently speechless and meaningless. But is the consequence that the neoliberal paradigm of freedom is disintegrating?

That pain is not something that should only be minimized as soon as possible, but rather can also offer a hidden potential, is also the starting point in the German-South Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Hans' new book Palliative care society («The Palliative Society»). The book can be considered a sequel to his bestseller Fatigue society ("Fatigue Society", 2010), which contemporary diagnostically criticizes paradigmatic changes in the emergence of the neoliberal consumer society – where a former collective "negative" psychology with the goal of compensating for external abuses and shortcomings has been replaced by a more individual, "positive" psychology, with emphasis on optimism and self-optimization – and with fatigue syndromes and ADHD as societal pathological consequences.

In his new book, he expands the examination of the excluded negative pain by examining contemporary tendencies to avoid, repress, or medicate it in all its forms — personal as well as political. In the performance society, pain has become somewhat undesirable and disruptive. At the same time, in its various nuances, it is an inevitable part of life that apparently does not exist. . .

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Lukas Lehner
Freelance writer.

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