I like Mark Purcell’s thoughts here. Chimed in my head with the work of Sara Ahmed in ‘The Promise of Happiness’

Path to the Possible

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Always worth reading, of course, but here she is getting at something I have been trying to understand.  She calls it joy, which for her is a “strange admixture of terror, pain, and delight.”  I have been calling it “delight” (after Nietzsche).  D&G like jouissance, Hardt and Negri prefer joy as well…. Whatever term we use, it is a feeling, a sentiment, that comes when we do something hard but rewarding.  Not the easy and cheap gratification of ‘pleasure,’ but the down-deep feeling of being awake and alive and in the world.  It is not, as she says, purely a good feeling.  It is mixed with anxiety, fear, and worry.  But it is longer-lasting, slower-burning.  A nutritious meal rather than a piece of candy.

It is the feeling we get, I argue, when we are getting democracy right.  Not the euphoria of Mubarak stepping down or the anguish of…

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