Psicólogo Marco Barrientos

En su libro La Sociedad del Cansancio, el filósofo coreano Byung-Chul Han invita a mirar la manera en que la sociedad de la que formamos parte, se las ha arreglado para transformarnos en piezas eficientes del aparato productivo.
Según Han, la sociedad productiva contemporánea ha logrado desplazar el eje del control de sus trabajadores desde un control externo (supervisores, análisis de producción, jefaturas de distinto nivel, etc), a un tipo de control productivo que, siendo aún más eficiente que el anterior, requiere mucha menos energía y resulta infinitamente más barato: el autocontrol.

Han nos plantea que por medio de una serie de procesos de socialización, se nos ha enseñado que debemos ser eficientes, adecuados, productivos y que debemos aportar con lo mejor de nuestro trabajo a los objetivos de las organizaciones en las que nos desempeñamos. De este modo, el mecanismo de control se torna eficiente porque descansa en el hecho de que nos autoexigimos ser los mejores trabajadores. Al parecer ya no necesitamos supervisores que controlen nuestro comportamiento laboral, la maquinaria funciona por sí misma sostenida en nuestra propia autoexigencia. Un ejemplo de ello, en nuestra cultura, es lo mal visto que resulta que las personas se retiren de su trabajo justo a la hora en que termina su jornada laboral, o que estemos convencidos de que los momentos de ocio son pérdida de tiempo. 
El resultado de todo ello es que estamos cansados. En ese sentido, dice  Han, nos hemos convertido en una sociedad del cansancio.

Nuestra propia autoexigencia nos transforma en pequeños dictadores de nosotros mismos, muchas veces hasta quedar exhaustos. Hay una idea potente aquí. Byung-Chul Han nos devela un mecanismo cotidiano que se nos torna invisible por medio de nuestra socialización. Pero tal vez es más interesante preguntarse hasta dónde este mecanismo, o uno similar, se expande en otras esferas de nuestras vidas más allá del aspecto laboral. Solemos estar montados sobre un complejo sistema de autoexigencias que se representan en forma de deber ser y que tienen la potencia de conducir nuestras elecciones, nuestros deseos, nuestro estilo de vida y una buena parte de la forma en que vemos el mundo. Con asombrosa frecuencia invertimos gran tiempo y energía persiguiendo los modelos que creemos oportunos y necesarios. Nos autoexigimos.

Muchas veces radica aquí la esencia del sufrimiento psíquico; nos atormentamos en la diferencia que percibimos entre lo que vemos que somos y lo que creemos que debemos ser, y entramos en un circuito de autoexigencia y recriminación del cual a veces resulta difícil salir. Y así, sostenido en esta diferencia, se instala el dolor.
Han no lo dice exactamente, pero, haciéndose cargo de una tradición relevante de pensadores contemporáneos, desliza la idea de que, al fin y al cabo, todo este cansancio, toda la exigencia, todo el poder que sentimos que la vida tiene sobre nosotros, reposa en una   fantasía bastante inmaterial. Somos nosotros mismos los que le entregamos el poder a las condiciones en las que nos vemos envueltos. Somos nosotros mismos los que nos auto-exigimos. Y, precisamente en virtud de ello es que tenemos la posibilidad y la oportunidad de salirnos de ese circuito. ¿Qué pasaría si un día cualquiera nos despertáramos y decidiéramos olvidarnos de la exigencia?, ¿y si un día nos diéramos cuenta de que corremos tras el éxito, trabajando hasta quedar exhaustos, sólo para comprar cosas que en verdad  no necesitamos y que tendremos que pagar trabajando hasta el cansancio?, ¿qué pasaría si un día dejáramos de buscar cómo ser exitosos y comenzáramos a preguntarnos cómo ser felices?.

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