Renata Salecl: The Paradox of Choice

Dan Coleman, Open Culture, Jun 23, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Interesting video by the people at RSA Animate of Renata Salecl's talk on The Paradox of Choice. Choices, she says, are anxiety-provoking. We are always worried about how people will regard our choices. We want to make an ideal choice. Choice always involves the loss of possibilities. And there is the aspect of pretending to believe, which involves the idea of belief in the beliefs of others. The idea of choice is that you foster this belief in the ability of others to have choices, even in cases where you don't - if you are ill, for example, or unemployed, or somehow not a celebrity. Capitalism, says Seleci, is a system that feeds on this belief. It fosters the myth of choices being made where none have been made. In this way, it acts against social change, because it attributes causes to (fictitious) choices rather than to the system of government itself.
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