Capitalism and Suicide

A reminder of an observation by Walter Benjamin from Steve Waters at the Guardian:

Walter Benjamin once observed – contentiously, and somewhat problematically – that while suicide has a long history, the modern conception of it as the ultimate solution to personal failure derives from the ascendancy of capitalism: the idea that our failures are ours and ours alone. This is small comfort to anyone who, thanks to the cold gales of global capital, finds themselves claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance.

Walter Benjamin committed suicide in 1940 while fleeing Nazi-occupied France. His party was detained at the border by Spanish authorities. Fearful of being turned over to the Nazis, he took his life that night. The next morning his party was allowed to enter Spain.

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