One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life by Mitch Horowitz

By Mitch Horowitz

From the millions-strong audiences of Oprah and The Secret to the mass-media ministries of evangelical figures like Joel Osteen and T. D. Jakes, to the motivational bestsellers and New Age seminars to the twelve-step courses and help teams of the restoration flow and to the increase of optimistic psychology and stress-reduction remedies, this idea—to imagine positively—is metaphysics morphed into mass trust. this is often the biography of that belief.

No one has but written a significant and broad-ranging remedy and heritage of the positive-thinking move. formerly. For all its impression throughout pop culture, faith, politics, and drugs, this psycho-spiritual circulation continues to be a maligned and misunderstood strength in sleek existence. Its roots are unseen and its long-range effect is unacknowledged. it's always thought of a cotton-candy theology for brand new Agers and self-help junkies. In reaction, One basic Idea corrects a number of old misconceptions in regards to the positive-thinking move and introduces us to a couple of colourful and dramatic personalities, together with Napoleon Hill and Norman Vincent Peale, whose books and impact have touched the lives of thousands and thousands the world over.

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If the camp is the defining place, or non-place, of modernity, then it is America as the land of the reservation that best embodies this nihilistic modernity. If the concentration camp evolves from the prison which evolves from the monastery, then as a secularized, forced Christianity it is even more nihilistic, even more radically life-denying. A country that has made the concentration camp (or equally, slave-labor plantation) its defining characteristic is certainly nihilist. Concor60 dantly, so long as America exists it is pointless to complain about the prison-industrial complex.

So as Revolution, America is outside the current of progress and meaning: it is chronologically connected to struggles in Europe, but not essentially. As we know from historical anecdote, originally the Declaration of Independence had “property” in place of “happiness”, until Franklin convinced Jefferson to change it (not out of principle but because it looked bad). This is a good illustration of American so-called idealism. The two most left, democratic characters in the revolution are discussing how best to hide their mercenary motives and their miserly love of money.

Now this same doctrine tries to implant itself in Europe, first of all in Greece, 59 whose fascists America has supported since the Truman Doctrine in the late 1940s. The only thing that is really notable is that this enhanced Nazism is superior to the prior, cruder version. American foreign policy is an insidious Nazism that passes its own domination as a purely technical question (a nihilistic question of technology) and by limiting its excesses, passes for democratic or necessary. And if Nazism created industrial death in its camps, what can we say of the American Way of Life with its atom bombs and its killing of the planet and threats to end all humanity out of sheer stupidity and greed?

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