Psychopolitics, Part 4

Here is a good quote to illustrate the previous point:

The body no longer represents a central force of production, as it formerly did in a biopolitical, disciplinary society. Now, productivity is not to be enhanced by overcoming physical resistance so much as by optimizing psychic or mental processes. Physical discipline has given way to mental optimization. (25)

Just think about all the productivity planners we so love on this blog. Han is clearly right.

And by the way, look at how accessible Han’s language is. This is very rare in thinkers who write in German, like he does.

OK, so what’s the problem with endless self-optimization now that the exploited part of the human being is not the body but the mind? Just like physical breakdown and exhaustion haunted the industrial workers’ bodies, we now face mass-scale mental breakdowns and exhaustion.

Trying to eliminate every painful experience and every negative emotion makes human lives not fully human. The terror of negativity, exclusion, true difference, triggers, and so on comes from the fear of humanity and the desire to turn human beings into nothing but completely efficient machines.

Everybody hates long posts, so I’ll stop here.

7 thoughts on “Psychopolitics, Part 4”

  1. Another problem is that this makes it harder for Americans to continue to be anti-intellectual and make a good living.


  2. Is he talking about the Western countries or the entire world? There are still pretty brutal manufacturing and mining processes, and now even recycling processes that physically break people, it is just that these jobs have moved to much poorer nations. I recall a few years ago there was a terrible fire in a clothing factory in Bangladesh that was almost like a famous deadly fire in New York City 100 years ago.


  3. I know bunch of people in the restaurant industry. They say that because of Yelp, all servers live in a panopticon where the manager is always spying, everyone in town can rat anyone out, and they have to listen to regular freakouts that involve a single bad reivew. People that drive for uber are similarly paranoid.


    1. Yesterday, somebody on an FB mommy group claimed she wanted to prank her husband and asked complete strangers on the FB page to send him “sexy selfies.” And many women did.

      I don’t believe anybody minds the panopticon. I believe they mind the negative reactions to their exhibitionism but if the have Instagram or FB, they can’t possibly mind.


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