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Addiction, Alienation and the Problems of Individualism - SOLD OUT!



"The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is human connection." 


This quote, taken from Johann Hari's "Chasing the Dream" will fuel our discussion on addiction. 

We are a society riddled with addictive behaviors.  From food to the internet to our smart phones and the old standbys like drugs, sex and alcohol, it would seem that no one is immune.

Addiction is a word that’s thrown around a lot these days but do we really know what it is?

The addiction treatment industry is worth 35 billion a year in this country.  The vast majority of treatment is based on 12 step programs like AA which are rooted in a deeply Protestant belief in our inherent weakness and powerlessness.  The example of the Rat Park experiment shows us how our only “weakness” is our deeply social nature and our addictions are fostered by an increasingly alienating society not something within ourselves.  

Classified as a biological disease since the sixties addiction is actually our (arguably healthy in terms of self-preservation) reaction to a socially isolating society and culture and not an inherent biological weaknesses or character flaw.

In this class we will explore what it means to see addiction as a social failing rather than an individual one.  We will consider how our current model of addiction has been failing us for over a century and how we can rethink it to help ourselves and each other.


Feel free to watch the Rat Park experiment video which we will be screening in class.

Addiction made by Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell




Location: Chinatown Soup

16B Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Chinatown Soup is a creative community advancing art, justice, historic preservation, and civic engagement in downtown New York.


Other upcoming Olios


Jul 22

Immoral Art?

Taught by Jeanne Proust
3 p.m. at Mathew Gallery

Sign Up - $15

Jul 26

A Dog Named Ego

Taught by Michael Prettyman
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Jul 28

NYC Poetry Festival | Revolutionary Letters, Confronting the Times

Taught by Jessica Rogers
1 p.m. at Governors Island

Sign Up - $10

Jul 28

NYC Poetry Festival | Sekou Sundiata & Radical Citizenship

Taught by Brian Lewis
3:30 p.m. at Governors Island

Sign Up - $10

Jul 29

NYC Poetry Festival | The Dangerous Pleasure of Art

Taught by Geoff Klock
3:30 p.m. at Governors Island

Sign Up - $10

Jul 29

NYC Poetry Festival | Poetry of Loneliness and Collaboration

Taught by Heather O'Neill
1 p.m. at Governors Island

Sign Up - $10

Jul 31

Immersive Listening - Bowie's "Low"

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Aug 21

The Poetry in Piledrivers: Pro-wrestling as Art

Taught by Ben Abelson
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15


Find out when we launch new classes!