Friday, February 28, 2014

The contradictions of #capitalism – resolved!

In his takedown on “mindfulness” #EvgenyMorozov quotes a curious piece by #ArianaHuffington, “Mindfulness, Meditation, Wellness and Their Connection to Corporate America's Bottom Line.” There, Huffington points to research indicating that mindfulness can make everyone more resistant to stress and thus happier and more productive – boosting both individual happiness and the corporate bottom line: “Stress-reduction and mindfulness don't just make us happier and healthier, they're a proven competitive advantage for any business that wants one." 

I initially thought this was meant as a spoof, but I guess it isn’t. How about, then, making work and the rat race a bit less stressful, so there is less need for Zen-like detachment and other self-management techniques? Or expanding economic opportunity for the young, to say nothing of dampening inequality? Such adjustments, apparently, could hurt profitability and competitiveness, and cannot be seriously considered. Huffington, by the way, passes for a leftist public intellectual – representing, I guess, the old “new left” (to be distinguished from the NewNewLeft whose political rise #PeterBeinart anticipates).