Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Positive Attitude BS

“Positive Attitude” Bullshit: On the dangers of “radical self-love”
I found this article the other day and while I have to offer a language warning on it, it agrees with a lot of things I've posted on regarding the "Think Positive" stuff that is used to abuse so many of us.

Positive thinking tyranny quote

"You're Not Positive Enough!" My Failure to be a Jolly Droid

Be Positive or Else!

Definitely you can see this is a topic I have written on before.

The above author has many good things to say but you'll notice in the comments some pod people get into the fray who will tell us things if we "think the right thoughts" we will all have great jobs and wonderful lives.

Chloe Anne King writes:

"There is an endless supply of people who are ready and willing to inform us about what we are doing wrong, and how we can alter our behaviour so we can get ahead and inject magic and happiness into our lives. Between modern day guru Gala Darling who believes “positive thoughts generate positive realities,” and you can “manifest” your own destiny, to capitalist public thinkers such as Oprah Winfrey telling us positive thinking can help us obtain “the sweet life,” it is easy to get misled into a muddle of mistruths.
A recent blog by Gala is entitled “Happiness is simple: why too many choices make us miserable and 5 ways to improve your life!” Yeah? Nah. Too many choices are not the issue for a huge majority of the political underclass; a lack of choice is exactly the problem. Whether it be lack of choice when it comes to quality of education, or lack of access to higher education because you were not born into wealth and privilege, or lack of choice when it comes to nutritious food or warm dry housing because wages are often too low in this country, too often, too much choice is not an issue for the growing majority of the 99 percent; restricted choice is."
She is right to point out how these positive thinking gurus always unload the lie about everyone having "choices". Lack of the green stuff--MONEY limits many choices. You don't get things done when there is no money, you are busy spending it on things like rent. In a consumerist society they try to claim we all have choices about what to do, but the amount of money really determines the practical everyday working out of this. I sit and look around and think it would be great to join a gym and get a trainer to help me with some low impact weights, or to get this carpet ripped out and removed, and get some new decent furniture to replace a bed and couch that is broken down or to take a vacation to Vermont, or to hold another art show with actual frames and advertisement, or to go see an online friend but with no money or low money, I don't have a choice in any of this. Millions of other women do not have those choices either. She continues

"Gala and magazines such as Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, tell us:
If you just change your attitude and think more positively over time, your life will get easier. Over time, you will land a job that affords you a contract guaranteeing you some security and a pay-check which does not leave you in poverty. You simply have to manifest what you want. Drink a couple of litres of soda pop, add diamantes to your manicure, wear a fake moustache all day long (as Gala really has suggested as a remedy for the blues), put on a nice pink dress and smile a bit more then BOOM! That suicidal depression over the stresses of life such as being unable to buy food because you are on minimum wage, working depressing precarious jobs, and/or the debilitating anxiety over whether your welfare will be cut this week will suddenly melt away.
Middle or upper class young white women seem to be the demographic of the radical self-love movement. It is all well and good to tell them to “smash that class-ceiling” and just work hard to achieve your dreams and the bling and designer shoes will follow, but as Laurie Penny points out in her book Unspeakable Things, there are a lot of women drowning in the basement. In particular women of colour, trans, and queer women who disproportionality suffer from poverty, depression, feelings of alienation, and are discriminated against in the work-place:"
She is right about the women drowning in the basement. There's many young and old woman who were given false promises and told the world would be their oyster only to find someone ready to discriminate against them behind a desk. Many of us were told if we "worked hard" we could "be come somebody" only to be shocked and dismayed the work world was run like the Lotto and that our punishment wasn't just the loss of status but out and out poverty and disrespect. 

That even those who worked hard were cast aside as easily as yesterday's trash. It's not just young upper class and middle class counterparts who think these things, but wealthier middle aged people as well. I face women of those beliefs everywhere. What do they hold in common? They had money, choices and options. This doesn't apply to all people with more money, some aren't caught in this trap, but sadly those who did see my "failures" as self-chosen including the failed health. Of course even the more monied people suffer from this "think positive" trash as life can bring them hardships they are told they are "responsible" for too, like aging, health problems and other losses. Oprah's disciples for all the talk of happiness, even the ones with "choices" and money, many are simply worn out.

 Many have told me that my life went "badly" because I didn't work hard enough and that I wasn't positive enough, and this is why I didn't get a good teaching job, or a stable middle class life. Sadly many others suffer under their judgments too. More people I believe are facing this, and slinking into the background, because the "throwaway" people aren't just getting cast aside they are being stigmatized at the same time as well, considered "unworthy" and "undeserving".

She is correct about Oprah, Oprah helped a lot with the brainwashing sessions that convinced two generations of women, they could "think" their way into wonderful lives. Oprah basically is a New Age guru, who has taught the "be positive" gospel and the same false teachings of the book "The Secret".

Oprah is a high functioning narcissist who has taught millions of women to follow the detached and selfish code of extreme self-love and aspiration. She announces to the world, "I shall be like the Most High" [Isaiah 14:13] and tells women to follow in her footsteps. 

One reason they want to beat on the hyper-self responsibility drum is because the elites feed off the power of all the plebes to get them to think they are all personally responsible for their poverty, failures, ill-health and dissatisfaction. This allows the powerful and 1 percent to steal and exploit even more freely. 

Oprah is the priestess of the lie that one's life and it's circumstances are all CHOSEN. She basically is a flying monkey for narcissistic and sociopathic elites who want normal ordinary people to blame themselves and not look at the injustices and structures of society that work against them. They want ordinary people to be separated and disenfranchised from each other.

Both left and right beat on the drum too, telling us everything is self determined. The right wing gives the same message that everything is self directed and the left does too. I've seen many Tea Party people post the same messages as the neo-liberal Oprah followers. They believe just like Oprah but in a different way everything is "choices" too. This is one popular meme you will see many conservatives post on Facebook. 

 The same self-determinism I wrote about regarding Mary Oliver and Transcendentalism infuses through American culture. You are the captain of your own ship and every action and choice you make determines your destiny. If things go wrong and you get sick, or you are broke, it is your fault, no one else's. So King is absolutely correct when she writes this:

"What Nicole suggests in her piece is that Oprah just reinforces the focus on the “individual,” which hides the role of political, economic, and socio-economic structures in our lives,"
"Changing your attitude is not going to change or help to dismantle structural injustice and a failed and unstainable economic model which serves only the elite rich of this world, and exploits the rest of us, particularly the working class and those living in poverty. As far as I am concerned positive thinking will fucking ruin your life.
“Just think positive” is a precursor to “it gets better,” and the hard reality is it is only going to get much, much worse for our most vulnerable. With social bonds being introduced into our public welfare state, life for those who have a disability or mental health diagnosis who need support from the state is only going to get more grinding and unmanageable."
The "think positive" garbage has hurt me immensely. Everyone who is disabled in American culture feels the oppressive feel of being told in different ways that we are responsible for our misfortunes despite the natural and random aspect of chronic diseases.

 In a world where everything is a choice, even ill health is seen as one. We know they are working on crushing the poor even more so, their greed has no end and I warned myself about the threats to cut social security by 20 percent here in America.

  Positive thinking ruined my life, because it allowed people to abuse me for things I did not choose. It is abusing millions right now, bringing them severe angst and depression inside as they look at their lives and think "I have failed and it is all my fault" and absolutely despair inside. It denies the true hardships of life such as the realities of aging and lost and sets people up for false expectations and more sadness.

If you wonder why America is the most depressed nation in the world, there you have it in a nutshell. Who can be resilient or even feel supported when everything is a contest and a competition and the winners are few in number and the losers shunted aside.

There is a reason that you will never see a poor or working class woman in any woman's magazines anymore. They have "disappeared" us because it is a threat to their bubble fantasy world that we even exist.

 They feed us these lies, about the "ideal life" and that it is the "good and worthy" who obtain it and that everyone else is unworthy. These New Age and other lies are so vast, many are even rejected and thrown away by their own families because they did not obtain a certain degree of success.

 King is correct in how the "think positive" nonsense is abused in the over-saturated work-place where jobs are few in number to numbers of people and how it is used to abuse people and tell them it is the fault of negative thinking because the bean counter behind the desk did not hire them. This serves the needs of those who wish to oppress workers and fire them at the drop of a hat.  Yes these false messages bring immense feelings of insecurity and isolation.

The "be positive" nonsense has led to a break-down in social connection in our society as everyone is trying to "save face" and never talk about any problems or failures. It keeps everyone silent and not asking any questions about the discrepancies in the system. When everyone thinks they are at fault and everything is an "individual choice", they are locked alone in their own little bubble of self-doubt and angst. Neo-liberalism does suck.

I want to meet people who have broken out of the lies out there, so far I have met online friends but hope to meet some even locally who understand how we have all been taken for a ride. It's bad enough that we live in a system that is so unjust but should we accept how this system with people like Oprah rip us to shreds inside and as people taking away our dignity for not measuring up? While I am dubious about a restructuring of the system being a solution knowing the history of revolutions, at the very least, we should seek freeing our spirits and souls from this oppression. God sees these things different and knows the "think positive" gurus are the wicked filling their own pockets at the expense of the poor. 

"The disenfranchised, poor, and working class need to collectively band together to restructure the systems, and to expose the neoliberal policies and thinking which has helped create feelings of disconnection and discontent in the first place. Adherence and adaptation will further exasperate the situation, endorsing solutions built on neoliberalism to solve the very problems it has helped to create—which is exactly the thinking that people like Oprah and Gala promote—is truly next level insanity. It doesn’t even make sense!
 Radical self-love and positive attitude advocates such as Oprah and Gala are more about adapting to a world “gone mad” and systems that do not serve you, than really improving your life."
The is exactly the purpose they serve, voice pieces for a wicked system, where to keep the plebes controlled, they tell us our entire life is a manifestation of our own thoughts and choices. The Bible of course says different. 
"It is a fairy tale which tells you:
If you change your attitude and enough of yourself maybe someone might love you. If you work hard enough and want it badly enough maybe you will land some dream job which pays you enough to afford both rent and food and a bit of financial security. If you just play by the “rules” and adapt to a brutal capitalist system while changing what colour lipstick you wear and your “negative” thought patterns, your life will become easier and better."
She has that right, it's fairy tale and a lie!


  1. Neo-liberalism has been called the barbaric phase of capitalism for a good reason; however, I see all the phases as barbaric & serving really only the overlords & those allowed into the overlords' favor (only for as long as pleases the overlords, of course.) Let's see about these choices - a war victim chose to get a bomb dropped on his/her home & lose all including his/her life? An infant chose to be raped & killed by a relative? Oooh, there are just so many BAD choices made by people - like being caught in the middle of a flash flood, getting burned alive by an angry mob, getting killed by a stray bullet while sleeping in bed.... Mm hmm. Who made those bad choices though? Not the victims. The poor are a class by choice - by those overlords, not by the poor, for example. OK, some are poor by poor choices made by those specific poor... but usually even those have a back story. Plus, the overlords do most of those bad choices too or worse & get bailed out. Hmm. Tell me again reality is not positive? Yeah.

    1. I agree it is the barbaric phase of capitalism and they want control of every layer and facet of society even our own minds to capture and control them. It helps cover their evil because don't you know all the war victims and others sent out "negative energy"? I mean that is what Oprah is pretty much saying. They want everyone to believe the poor are poor by choice for their own power. It's a way to close down consciences. The overlords never pay for their "choices". I always think the complaining about welfare is interesting when the bankers got trillions in bail-outs!

  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcyuIKzpYJQ

    1. 52 million dollars and I wonder how much of that money was funneled for tax write-offs? Weren't those girls sexually abused too? Maybe a few were sent to a certain billionaire's island too full of pervs. I am glad he saw through Oprah's nonsense. Notice how she announces her "good deeds" to the world.

  3. Have you heard of Barbara Ehrenreich, Peeps? She writes about exactly what you are saying about forced optimism. There are some good videos of her speaking on Youtube.

    1. Yes - one, for example - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvwyhSeLZT8

      article: Barbara Ehrenreich: The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America - http://www.alternet.org/story/143187/barbara_ehrenreich%3A_the_relentless_promotion_of_positive_thinking_has_undermined_america

      the book - http://barbaraehrenreich.com/brightsided-by-barbara-ehrenreich/

      her blog - http://ehrenreich.blogs.com/barbaras_blog/

    2. Oh yes I have heard of Barbara E. I mention her in some of my other links about false positive thinking. I have "Bright-Sided" on my shelf. I wish I could get at least one book group to sign on to reading it!

  4. Thi$ posItIve mooovement is just nosey-with-a-smIle. Love your articles, Peeps.

    1. I agree. It's finding out someone's problems to turn them against them. Thanks Sue.

  5. Anybody who falls for the fairy tale is a fool to begin with.

    1. I agree. Some of them also love the delusion and want nothing else. Any reality makes them angry!

    2. Another big lie is "do what you love and the money will follow". Dangerous!

    3. One of the worse. Remember I was an art ed major. loved it but set up the poverty wheel. Not sure if good health and no aspergers could have changed the outcome either, the aspieness if anything helped in creative art lesson planning. One thing I notice about the successful artists at art fairs, they are at least upper middle class. I could never even afford the same materials.

  6. There was no quicker way to put my mother in a rage than to get all up beat and normal. You knew if you had a positive attitude she would make sure you were deflated before she was done with you. So we all developed tunnel vision and took her one day at a time. If that's your default survival mechanism as a child you'll never allow yourself yourself the luxury of hope. In my house hope was a dangerous thing.

    1. We couldn't win. Be beaten down and cry and get another smack or a rude word. Smile and laugh and the narcs go running to find a giant sharp pin to pop your balloon of happiness. Actually IRL I struggle with hiding happiness the most because I don't want it ruined, I got so used to it. Queen would go on about my laughter, angry at how it sounded which is pretty sick if you think about it. I agree about hope, you went day by day with the only hope being that the hammer didn't fall that day.

  7. I've been reading this the last couple of weeks out of Micah 3 - "And I [MIcah] said, Hear, I pray you, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Is it not for you to know justice? - You who hate the good and love the evil, who pluck and steal the skin from off [My people] and their flesh from off their bones..."

    It freaks me out how closely this verse relates to your commentary. Like the turkey vultures I see flying around where I live, the priests and rulers of this age pick at and eat the flesh off the men and women cut down by the rampant evil in this world. They see a man or woman lying parched on the desert sand, dying of heat exhaustion, thirst and malnourishment. Rather than offering that person a glass of water, some shade from the oppressive heat, or a even a mother f--king cracker, they start picking at the skin of this fallen one. Like a filthy scavenger bird, they begin gnawing on the flesh of this fallen one. When the vultures take a break from their blood feeding frenzy, they look up and give each other a knowing glance and a wink. They know this carcass lying dead in the desert will be blamed for making the wrong choices in life. Those vultures will fly away, their bellies full and their darkened consciences clear.

    1. Hmm I have another bible study to do...wow that bible verse sums it up, after someone has "fallen" and suffered, they do pluck the skin off their beones and jump on them with glee. So many save face and play pretend to keep the same thing from happening. It's like once you fallen and can't get up the rabble runs to kick you in the face and strip you clean. In our case we got the positivity brigade doing the same thing, it's your fault because you didn't think the "right thoughts! Yes no comfort offered, only condemnation, and cruelty to make things even harder and worse on someone already suffering. Yes the vultures will pat each other on the back and with their darkened consciences untroubled, say "look how happy we are" and "how miserable that one was" to the carcass laying in the desert. This is one sick society. Thanks Smakintosh

  8. I see this all the time. There is this saying that was going around facebook that say said, "You can't blame anyone for what went wrong in your life and it only makes you stronger." Or something like that.

    My reply was, "But what if someone is to blame, and it didn't make you stronger." I got no reply.

    Its so invalidating to think that we are always in so much control in our own life that no one can derail it. They really can. Back when I was in contract with mother, she would tell me not to worry about anything. But at the same time was capable of knocking me down. Right at the same time, and it was like the positive thoughts were killing me. They kept me gaslighted.

    In a way I think the positve thoughts are dangerous and does nothing to protect us from the predators.

    1. Yes I've seen that meme, where it says everything in life is a choice and the way your life turned out was all your doing. That is my reply to that stuff. Next time I see that meme I am going to ask if they think I chose to be disabled? In the old days people had more of a clue, because this may be morbid, but people did die young. Step on a nail out on the sidewalk and you could be dead within days if an infection set in. There wasn't this semblance of having complete CONTROL over everything. The wealthier definitely have more control and rub it in the faces of those who do not. It is invalidating. I mean one thing I am waking up to, is man, I got my butt kicked, for things way beyond my control--Aspie, rare fat disorder of Lipedema, etc, and there were these people screaming at me acting like I walked up to a counter and purchased this stuff to happen free of choice. My mother never worried about nothing. Having a woman who was incapable of fear was scary to someone like me. The positive thoughts and demands kept me gaslighted too. I was told it was my fault I was not happy as I got severely and otherwise and abused.

      The positive stuff is a gaslight, a society wide one to throw a veil over evil actions and for people to blame themselves for everything that happens.

    2. That " what doesn't kill you makes you stronger thing is derivative of Nietzche". Last time I checked on him he was still dead.

    3. LOL I agree. I hate that saying, it goes with no pain no gain.

  9. If I can't blame my parents for the bad things in my life. Do I have to give them credit for any good? Because the positive influence they had on my life is less than zero. I am still alive despite them not because of them.

    1. I guess we can give them credit for the roof, some clothes, and food. Too bad there wasn't any love or real connection. Of course I think I paid back in spades being the scapegoat. She couldn't have hired a kicking post. I am still alive despite them too.

  10. Those old tapes started playing in my head this morning when I was feeling deep grief and anger over having to euthanize my little cat who went into kidney failure. That animal was my best friend.
    The old tapes I refer to are the ones from the New Age period where I learned that I "attract bad things to myself" with my "negative attitude."
    My "negative attitude" tends to stem from the depressive side of bipolar disorder, from having been psychologically abused by various people over the years, from the stress of never having enough money, and from the fact that nothing good ever lasts for more than a short time.
    I put a stop to those old tapes. I always thought that it seemed kind of sanctimonious and mean-spirited to blame people who were suffering. I'm sure of it now.

    1. So sorry about your loss, of your pet. :( I will pray for you.

      Yes the New Age or as one friend calls it the NEW CAGE, taught us all for years that those who have bad things happen to them sent out negative energy or even built up bad KARMA by being evil, in pervious lives. Think about how that gives more power the elite to abuse and exploit, training people even religiously that everything is their fault--even the personal responsibility thing with fatness and more was kind of born and bred in that one.

      All the abusers get an excuse then, the depression is supposedly our fault. I have struggled with Major Depression with various anxiety disorders all my life. For Aspies it is a given. Even PCOS is known as a cause of depression. I know the roots of my depression and angst too are in abuse and never having enough money and yes feeling like everything good is taken away or hard to obtain. Even the few times I am happy, I actually worry about the carpet being ripped out from underneath my feet. Normal people don't seem to get these things and blame me for feeling depressed. They don't care if you are fighting it either, they want you to RECOVER RIGHT NOW, and if you don't you are a worthless friend, relative etc. {well that is the treatment I got from someone around here}
      I am glad you put a stop to those old tapes. I believe they are causing far more of the depression and angst out there too.