Über die Selbstgefälligkeit (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2021) -- Defined as an excessive pleasure in one’s sense of self-worth, status, and accomplishments, complacency is attacked as a social and political vice, often seen as responsible for routinized thinking. The complacent glide through life as if upon a flattened field, deluding themselves into believing that there are no obstructions or serious problems on the horizon. To be pleased means to traverse a smooth, even place, without contradiction or opposition. Still, any critique of complacency risks falling into a difficult trap, insofar as it might well lead to the critic’s own arrogant self-satisfaction. Mindful of this peril, On Self-Complacency examines the theoretical and historical characterization of the key term. It aims to plunge the depths of a concept that rests on a flattened worldview, considering the possible value of being displeased and displaced.
January 27, 2021