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Ourselves, beyond our selves: On the radical potential of collective joy.

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You know that Gramscian statement 'pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.' And we do need to see that the world we're living in is a fairly frightening place for all sorts of reasons. Our dystopic fantasies are not coming from nowhere. But there is another side, when people come together and say 'this isn't the world we want, this isn't how I want to live.' When we manage to do that, we usually start smiling. We start knowing there are ways to be together, with others, where we might be able to create something different.

Writer Lynne Segal explains why transformative happiness can only be found with other people - as a challenge to the lonely, precarious reality of life under neoliberal capitalism, and as a utopian reminder that a new world can still be built, together, for everyone.

Lynne is author of Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy from Verso.

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Lynne Segal

Lynne Segal is Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College.

 

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