How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

Barbara Ehrenreich: The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined AmericaimagesCA7DQ0CI
By Emily Wilson

When Barbara Ehrenreich went to be treated for breast cancer, she was exhorted to think positively; and when she expressed feelings of fear and anger, she was chided for being negative.

Ehrenreich, the author of 16 books, including Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch, which examine the blue- and white-collar job markets, took on what she sees as an epidemic of positive thinking in her new book: Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America.

Positive thinking is different, she says, from being cheerful or good-natured — it’s believing that the world is shaped by our wants and desires and that by focusing on the good, the bad ceases to exist.

Ehrenreich believes this has permeated our culture and that the refusal to acknowledge that bad things could happen is in some way responsible for the current financial crisis.

In her new book, Ehrenreich examines how the positive-thinking movement was started by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, and an amateur metaphysician named Phineas Parkhurst Quimby in response to Calvinism; how being positive became mandatory in corporate culture; and how she thinks prosperity preachers, such as Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston encouraged a culture of debt by telling their congregations that God wants them to have a big house and a nice car.

Continue

 

Advertisements
Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://patriotreport.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/how-the-relentless-promotion-of-positive-thinking-has-undermined-america/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: