Self in Times of Tyranny of Choice

  • Renata Salecl



Self in Times of Tyranny of Choice

In her article, Renata Salecl takes today’s “endless possibilities” into consideration and critically follows well-established ideas that a free choice is nowadays possible for nearly everything: In the media challenges to be the creator of one’s life can often be found, endless options seem to be available – and often the choices made at last seem to have no clear foundation as attested e.g. by the vast numbers of self-help books on the market. Late capitalism makes us believe we could turn our lives into what we want all but in a self-determined manner, as if we were somehow independent from the Other. Salecl, however, highlights the other side of such ideologies with surprising results: by insisting on having a choice and the related need for control and accountability, a potentially compulsive attitude towards life is manifested – for all intents and purposes with the result of spreading angst. Thus, Salecl considers what is usually not accomplished in the assumption of rational choices.