[Marxism] Fwd: The Banality of Optimism - bookforum.com / miscellany

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Oct 22 07:25:45 MDT 2015

By Terry Eagleton

Nations, like political creeds, can be upbeat or downbeat. Along with 
North Korea, the United States is one of the few countries on earth in 
which optimism is almost a state ideology. For large sectors of the 
nation, to be bullish is to be patriotic, while negativity is a species 
of thought crime. Pessimism is thought to be vaguely subversive. Even in 
the most despondent of times, a collective fantasy of omnipotence and 
infinity continues to haunt the national unconscious. It would be almost 
as impossible to elect a US president who advised the nation that its 
best days were behind it as it would be to elect a chimpanzee, though as 
far as that goes there have been one or two near misses.

full: http://www.bookforum.com/pubdates/15034

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