Lately, we have always sought achievement. This excess of positivity has brought about the illness of society, suggesting fatigue in the sense of healing. ........Ed
Have you ever thought you were exploiting yourself? Lately, the number of people engaged in self development, such as ‘miracle morning’ and ‘challenge’, and those placing importance to inner growth has increased. Now, the paradigm of “Yes, you can!” is changing. As students enter college through competition and are inspired by the power of affirmation, they exhibit both willingness and anxiety to advance into society. Professor Han Byung-chul called this paradigm change, Fatigue Society. According to the professor, if the society of the past was defined as a ‘Disciplined Society’, there was an exploiter on the other side. Today, where otherness has disappeared in the modern era, one becomes the subject of exploitation. The shift to a ‘Performance Society’ led to excessive positivity, resulting in diseases afflicting modern-day people, such as depression.
Modern-day people become both victims and perpetrators. If the problems of a disciplined society were “war” and “discrimination”, the problems of the present society include internal problems, such as “torpidity” and “melancholy”. The line “Yes, you can” has become a modern illness. The cause of this illness is affirmation. Positive thoughts have always been considered good and must be pursued. Violence can be found not only in negativity, but also in positivity. So, the cause of the illness is the saturation of good things, the excess of affirmation. Strive endlessly to surpass yourself, and burn yourself out. This method of burning becomes more efficient than another exploitation because it gives a feeling of “freedom.” If a ‘Disciplined Society’ gives birth to criminals, a ‘Performance Society’ creates depressed patients and defeated people.
Where does the exploitation come from? Professor Han Byung-chul argues that it is due to the “disappearance of others.” Inner anxiety and misery have been confronted in past societies by countering others in the names of “peace,” “equality,” and “freedom.” With the passage of time, individual freedom has been guaranteed, sovereignty has arrived, and responsibility has also developed on its own. The author says that “a melancholy individual mourning that nothing can be done is possible only in a society that believes that nothing is impossible.” The current society, which seems to have no social rules, prohibitions, or coercions, rather gives individuals a greater sense of helplessness.
Furthermore, the actors of the outcome society have recently fallen into a state of nervousness because they are too active. They make compulsive efforts to stay connected to the people through social media, YouTube, etc. This leads to addiction and loss of speculative ability. Loss of ability causes internal problems, including neurosis. The obsession with what cannot be changed becomes tiring. Professor Han says that “the negativity of getting out of attachment” must be accepted as “the object of acceptance”, rather than the object of refusal. It means that we must bring the negativity that has been tabooed in an over-affirmed society to our lives, and strike an appropriate balance. It doesn’t force you to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning, and force you into the ideal life of meditation, yoga, and reading. It’s not about overcoming given obstacles and trying to achieve the best results in your environment.
So far, ST have grasped the changes in society, investigated their meanings, and sought to find out why the actors bind themselves. So how can we achieve a balance between affirmation and denial? “Positivity” is important, but affirmation without logic and direction is optimistic. Professor Han proposes a fatigued society in a curative sense through certain things like boredom, love, and romance we have lost. Professor Han presents people with the harmony of life through negativity under the name of Fatigue Society as to what kind of attitude can be taken toward world and life. Through boredom and rest, how about looking for happiness in the achievement society and developing an ability to think at this time?
Park Hyun-tae (ST Cub-Reporter)