The Fetishisation of Perfection


Beyond Anomie has commented:

“The title of this post is a lament at how much of the world either cannot play, or refuses to play.  Instead, they focus on improving things in an endless search for perfection.  While superficially a laudable goal, the problem is that in order to improve a situation, you must understand the system well enough to know what improvement means.  Simply having one specific goal in mind frequently – possibly, inevitably – leads to problems in other important areas.  Imagine a fat woman being squeezed into a too-small corset: the narrow waist comes at the high price of either fat spilling over as visible unsightliness elsewhere, or internal distress.  Similarly, targets and outcome measures can lead to many more negative issues in unexpected areas even if the target is achieved.  Better to appreciate the system for what it is, and harmonise your existence within it, which can mean insulating yourself from its excesses by detaching yourself from its impact through rising above it.

“Naturally, I am extremely grateful that most people prefer to seek perfection.  It has led to tremendous improvements in material comforts, and grants me the luxury of not having to live a purely subsistence lifestyle myself.  Nonetheless, those capable of broader perspective will be happier for indulging that aloofness rather than chasing the flitting faerie nymph of perfection.  The nymph, you will recall, generally doomed her lover.”

Evelyn Nesbit

Yes, wake up.  Stop accreditation.  Inspectability is not quality.   Harm arises.

The relationship is taught and learned; it is not ontological.

It’s a fetish because it’s not the thing itself. 

And elsewhere:

“…Many of us strive to for perfection in our work, our relationships and our ethical behaviour.  I suggest to you that this drive for perfection is highly damaging.  By seeking to be perfect, the psychological strain on us is immense, as the goal can never be reached.  In fact, by setting ourselves up to fail, we ensure that even lesser and more achievable goals are missed due to our inability to manage the stress that results.  We cannot be happy because we can never complete a task.

“This is where being “good enough” comes in.  By allowing ourselves to deliberately fail at being what society demands of a perfect human being (being at the apex of one’s profession, having a wonderful spouse and offspring, possessing vast amounts of money and power), we can accept a simpler, purer, less complex lifestyle that we can control and manage effectively.  This offers us the opportunity to be happier, because we’ve changed the rules of the game of life to one that we can win. We can still indulge the competitive side of our natures, it’s just the winning line that is different.

“Some might argue this is defeatist and such unconventional thinking is not practical in today’s society.  They’re entitled to argue that.  I’d just ask one question of you, as the reader, choosing what to believe.

Do they seem happy to you?


Quality through inspection? LOL!

It’s time to start listening to those who can laugh at the inspection cartel.

This entry was posted in Bureaucracy, Cartel, Management, Medicine, Philosophy, Practical problems, Psychology, Science and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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