Chris Hedges: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality

Shadow Side of the Mindfulness Revolution

Image by Truthout.org via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges

RT America on Jan 11, 2020

Chris Hedges talks to Ron Purser, professor of management at San Francisco State University, about the growth of mindfulness meditation in the mainstream. As meditation makes its way into schools, prisons and government agencies, Purser argues the booming cottage industry with its promises of “Buddhist-inspired” techniques tries to offer a universal panacea for resolving almost every area of daily concern. While it can be helpful, compartmentalizing the practice away from asking why there is so much stress in daily life and away from making challenges to corporate and political practices could do more harm than good.

Purser is the author of McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality.

From the archives:

Abby Martin and Lowkey: Talking About Deadly Neoliberalism

8 Myths about Socialism: Part 1 by The Anti-Social Socialist

Bearing Witness at Aeon’s End: The Wound Becomes the Womb by Phil Rockstroh and Kenn Orphan

The Dead Letter Office of Capitalist Imperium: a Poverty of Mundus Imaginalis by Phil Rockstroh and Kenn Orphan

Bodies on the Ground and the Rise and Rise of the Economic Elite by Phil Rockstroh

Chris Hedges and Lowkey: The Wreckage of Imperialism and Neoliberalism

Landscape of Anguish and Palliatives: Predation, Addiction and LOL Emoticons in the Age of Late Stage Capitalism by Phil Rockstroh and Kenn Orphan

What is the Relationship Between Loneliness and Capitalism? by The Anti-Social Socialist

Caleb Maupin: Neoliberalism: A Study in Evil

Chris Hedges and David Harvey: The Ideology of Neoliberalism is a Con, Part 1

6 thoughts on “Chris Hedges: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality

  1. Pingback: Chris Hedges: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed – Dandelion Salad

  2. In the 2010’s, the U.S. Army took a deep dive into resiliency training and mindfulness training as a way to increase the resiliency of soldiers. The point is to redeploy traumatized soldiers back to battle as quickly as possible, rather than actually fixing any issues the soldier has.

    Such tools are also often used by corporations to make workers more productive. Work health, or mental health, is beside the point. Presumably a corporation wouldn’t mind a benefit to the employee, and maybe it would even be helpful to the corporation in the long term, but the concern of corporations is their short-term self interest.

    In other words, you have a right to be angry until it affects your productivity at work. At that point, the corporation will try to counsel the anger out of you.

    • Basically, let’s say there is a corrupt system or institution that causes unnecessary human suffering. From an ethical perspective, of course the system should be changed to reduce suffering. But if it persists, is it ethical to deploy a means to allow people not to be as sensitive to the things that cause suffering, in effect, a psychological analgesic?

      That is very debatable, especially when those means are deployed by those who directly benefit financially. It also makes the victimized employees more docile, and less likely to rise up in opposition to their shoddy treatment. But if they weren’t going to rise up anyway….?

  3. I don’t see it this way at all. Capitalists will abuse anything, but as an anti capitalist, I have found mindfulness practice helpful to reduce the need for medication for my breathing problems. Most people I know use if for health purposes and it hasn’t changed our opinion about the despicable policies of this capitalist system.

    Any practice or religion can be used for good or ill. Leave it to the capitalists and imperialists to abuse the very essence of this one.

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