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The Disempowerment of Positive Thinking

Great post on Ehrenriech's book, with a sting in the tail.


NOTE Image from a large collection of demotivational posters here. I wonder if Ehrenriech knows about

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Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

I guess the campaign for the public option occurred after she wrote the book, or it would surely have been among the examples...

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

has been around for years and is awesome.

And I see they've added one on bailouts, which plays nicely into the themes of the book review.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

All this might feel like harmless “feel good” new agey nonsense but the injunction to cut oneself off from “negative people” (that is, anyone with a realistic grasp of the world) has normative implications that can be pretty nasty, from being ostracized to being laid off.

'Nuff said.

Submitted by lambert on


MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

That’s nice but Ehrenreich forgets one thing- and that is the one GLARING omission of her book – Americans elected for President the ultimate motivation speaker, positive thinkers and religious charismatic. Not a system-changer, as we clearly know now (even though the signs were there before the election). The Hope-and-change theme made a lot of people feel good about themselves, about their ability to happily vote for a black man (”we nominated the black guy” exclaimed Chris Bowers after the Democratic nomination).

I just finished watching the "Bloggingheads" discussion between Ehrenreich and Hanna Rosin of Slate, and what struck me is that neither of them mentioned this humongous elephant in the room.

Ehrenreich, of course, was an Obama supporter during the elections. Then as now, it seems like an odd blind spot in someone I admire for her clear, analytical thinking.

caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

but also a Hillary hater. Ehrenreich's CDS was on prominent display during the primaries. And no, I have not fucking forgotten.