Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Higher and lower pleasures

Third Way guru Anthony Giddens takes on the Madeleine Bunting role in despairing over modern life in the Guardian. His target is addictive behaviour, which, apparently, "always starts with pleasure" and develops because, "We are freer now than 40 years ago to decide how to live our lives". So how do we deal with it; abolish pleasure and freedom? Not quite, but close:

Whenever individuals' behaviour is controlled by habits that they should control, we are at the fulcrum of the relationship between domination and freedom. Government has been reluctant to intrude, but now it must.

He reckons the solution is "to orient-policy towards self-esteem". I look forward to receiving my self-esteem targets; until then I shall indulge in my addictive behaviour, like reading the Guardian, and wondering why.

8 comments:

mikeovswintonlions said...

Re latter sentence; especially when a Mr John Vaughan of Leeds had a letter regarding the commentating skills of Jonathan Davies that puts into a nutshell much of the truth regarding Rugby League in the copy of The Times that I found lying on a train seat this morning; "It is a mystery why anyone would rather watch the other code [ he means "rugby" union], with players rolling round on the floor when not kicking for goal." Spot on, eh Peter.

Dr Hiding Pup said...

If anorexia is linked to the rise of supermarkets, does this mean we can get Tesco to foot the bill for all the treatment and care anorexics need?

Graeme said...

Did you happen to catch the Guardian Weekend special on the guilty pleasures of intellectuals that ran a few months ago? It turns out that Giddens is really into pro wrestling. It's been funny thinking about Giddens--not that I try to do that very often--knowing that.

Graeme said...

Here we go: Guilty pleasures of intellectuals

mikeovswinton tallyho! said...

The Guardian Guilty Pleasures piece is even funnier than I remember it being. Wonder if Professor Scruton listens to Elvis on his walkman while he's trying to murder foxes in a rather garish red coat?

The Plump said...

I like Zizek's choice of the PC game Stalin Subway - seriously bizarre. It's the last one in the article for the curious.

Larkers said...

Well, this is weird list of intellectuals: Elaine Showhatever? My lower pleasure is reading lists ...

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