“Positive Attitude” Bullshit: On the dangers of “radical self-love”

Why taking action and responsibility for one’s own success while waiting for  and working toward change in society is better than just thinking positively.

“O Magazine implicitly, and sometimes explicitly, identifies a range of problems in neoliberal capitalism and suggests ways for readers to adapt themselves to mitigate or overcome these problems.” She advises us to turn our gaze inward and reconfigure ourselves to become more adaptable to the vagaries and stresses of the neoliberal moment. “- Quoted from the Blog, ” Positive Attitude”Bullshit: On the dangers of “radical self-love.”

I agree that self-love and thinking positive are not actions that will create a lot of change in and of themselves. However, adaptation is a useful and ages-old response to surviving and getting ahead in one’s environment. So, Oprah is not completely wrong with that line of thinking. Systematic changes are extremely laborious, difficult and slow-moving. Changing oneself to a certain extent and looking for opportunities for personal success is one possible solution to making life more bearable and fulfilling while working on that long road toward changing the system. Let’s face it, even though the system is broken, the individual does not have to be broken and can still take responsibility for one’s success and happiness to whatever extent is possible. In other words, blaming the system will not improve one’s life at all. There are things that even the poorest and most disenfranchised person can do to help themselves in this country. Yes. It takes a tough skin and an extreme amount of work and perseverance. But it is possible, as many people have proven throughout history.

I have seen it and I have lived it. That is why I do not entirely agree with the following blog post. Some points about the unfairness of the system are correct.So is the idea that just thinking positively will lead to success is bull. I agree with that completely. But, the writer’s implied refusal to take responsibility for the personal role in overcoming and succeeding in life makes it more difficult to agree with most of her major points. The last thing people need is to be encouraged to blame their lack of success all on the system and refuse to look at changes that need to be made within.It is self-destructive and a waste of ability.

Posse.

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…

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