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1: So, why are you in business?

Cohen, Ben Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Perhaps you run a business of your own. For years, you’ve been working impossible hours, neglecting family, friends, and the activities you really enjoy.

Maybe you’re convinced that a business shouldn’t have to treat customers and employees as expendable, ignore the needs of the community where it’s located, or pollute the air and water.

Or maybe you’ve been working for a company that’s making use of few if any of your talents. You’re a cog in someone else’s machine, and you don’t get the respect you deserve. Yet you’ve plugged away, year after year.

Questions about the purpose of life and the meaning of work are certainly not unique to people in business. But they take special shape in the business world. The circumstances that so often lead people in business to wonder about life’s meaning are themselves special.

For one thing, business is commonly regarded in our time as a way to pursue the accumulation of money, pure and simple. Loud voices in the business establishment, in academia, and in government insist that’s so. Sometimes they go much further, asserting that making profits is the only legitimate purpose of business.

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Richard Carr University of North Texas Press PDF
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Chapter Fifteen - The Three Delusions

Wilson, Scott Karnac Books ePub

Throughout this book, three artists, if that is the right word, have been prominently featured whose practice has, in different ways, amplified the amusical discontents of contemporary culture. Through the specific modality of joy immanent to their practice, a modality that crackles in the dissonant frisson of amusia, Brian Eno, Yoko Ono, and Masami Akita both disclose and, in some ways, compensate for the maladies of western society exacerbated by the strategies of neoliberal governance. As I have argued in The Order of Joy (2008), the latter specifically concerns the reappropriation of symbolic authority in the form of instrumental directives and imperatives in the conjugation of war and commerce. In this book, I have focused on the (proto-)subject that has been produced both as an effect and agent of this policy: the me-me of game theory, upon whose interests international relations, economics, and biology in both its genetic and digital forms are based. The wholesale production of this minimal subject and its supply of autistic jouissance has enabled the conditions for the emergence of something like a generalised psychosis that is rapidly mutating to the point where a version of autism is becoming the normal, that is to say, most operative, state of the subject in contemporary capitalism accelerated by digital information systems.

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Chapter Twenty-Two: Unconscious Meanings and Consequences of Abortion in the Life of Couples

Karnac Books ePub

Yolanda de Varela


When treating individuals and couples who have had abortions themselves, or have known of their parents’ having an abortion, or have been informed that the option was merely considered, we often find that they take these acts as a rejection. They often repeat abortion as a way of getting rid of a split off part of the self that encapsulates affects of a needy kind. Part of the self is turned against another part of self, suffocating any expression of need, vulnerability, dependency, or suffering for the lost object. Usually the partner in the couple or their live child is a perfect recipient for such projections.

I have seen this need to abort a part of the self in many cases. In the first case, a man who had been rejected by his mother since childhood, and who knew of her later aborted pregnancies, felt afraid of her violence and wondered if she might wish to kill him too. He tried to get rid of a part of himself concretely through attempting suicide by jumping from a cliff, but was stopped by a friend. Psychologically, he constantly expressed his wish to unburden himself of his internally bad self, the part that could feel the emotional pain of rejection. In another case, when a woman heard of her mother's three abortions the day her mother told her friends, “I got rid of it three times!” she reported an impulse to jump off a balcony, but her more adaptive defence system prevented her from acting it out and she brought it to treatment instead.

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1. The Limits of the Humanities

Claire Elise Katz Indiana University Press ePub

The school is the essential distributing agency for whatever values and purposes any social group cherishes. It is not the only means, but it is the first means, the primary means and the most deliberate means by which the values that any social group cherishes, the purposes that it wishes to realize, are distributed and brought home to the thought, the observation, judgment and choice of the individual.

—John Dewey, Philosophy of Education

No sane citizenry measures its public elementary schools by whether they pay for themselves immediately and in dollars. We shouldn’t have to make a balance-sheet argument for the humanities, either, at least not until the balance-sheet includes the value, to the student and to the state, of expanded powers of personal empathy and cross-cultural respect, improved communication through language and other symbolic systems, and increased ability to tolerate and interpret complexity, contemplate morality, appreciate the many forms of artistic beauty, and generate creative, independent thought.

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