../diaries of
an unemployable
marxist sociologist


Stop telling me how to rest properly

A critical look at the Manifesto for Deliberate Rest

Taking apart self help literature is kind of a hobby of mine. I recently came across the concept of deliberate rest. In his Deliberate Rest Manifesto, author Alex Soojung-Kim Pang explains what we as a culture get wrong about rest, and offers insights into how we might not only take rest more seriously, but also change the way we approach it in the first place. It’s an interesting read and I found myself agreeing with a lot of the ideas he poses, but I also found myself having quite a lot to say about it.

Popular self-help and philosophy books have flooded our cultural landscape like a massive wave crashing on the shores of the growing discontents of capitalism. Whenever I read these bits of therapeutic advice, there’s a part of me that finds them genuinely useful, and another part of me that gets weirdly angry about it. I had the same feeling when reading about deliberate rest. So in an effort to rescue some genuinely helpful knowledge from the individualising grips of neoliberalism, I am going to add what I believe to be missing from the Deliberate Rest Manifesto. If any Marxist nerds are out there, think of this as a historical-materialist analysis of rest.

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