Summary of Life-Hacks of the Poor and Aimless

On Negotiating the False Idols of Neoliberal Self-Care

The Baffler,

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Life-Hacks of the Poor and Aimless summary
The coercive aspects of modern “wellness” ideologies shouldn’t make “ self-care” anathema to the political left.


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Faced with modern “wellness” ideologies which imply that all life’s problems can be solved with a better exercise routine or change in mind-set, it’s little wonder that many on the progressive left reject the notion of self-care altogether. But, as author and editor Laurie Penny persuasively argues in this article, rejecting self-care entirely, in favor of “despair” and unhealthy habits, won’t solve social problems either. Society needs a new view on self-care – one which recognizes its value, as well as its potential for coercion. getAbstract recommends Penny’s perspective to political progressives.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why modern “self-care” ideologies are deceptive
  • How the political left has reacted to self-care ideologies
  • Why the left’s blanket rejection of self-care merits revision


The idea that you can exercise or diet your way to a better life may sound attractive, but, ultimately, these and similar “self-care” ideologies simply encourage a critical view of yourself – rather than addressing the socioeconomic issues so many people face today.

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About the Author

Laurie Penny is a contributing editor at the New Statesman. She is the author of five books, most recently, Unspeakable Things.

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