Smile or Die


Smile or Die

Cognitive and TED collaboration

About the speaker

Ray Laurence

Barbara Ehrenreich is an American feminist, democratic socialist, and political activist who describes herself as "a myth buster by trade", and has been called "a veteran muckraker" by The New Yorker.


The big issue

In this explosive talk, Barbara Ehrenreich shows how optimism as a means of social control is far from a fictional dystopian vision, but is part of the reason why the markets crashed in 2007. This is why we need to replace mandatory optimism with realism. 

Read the book

Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America And The World explores the tyranny of positive thinking, and looks at how it came to be so dominant in the USA. Barbara Ehrenreich takes us from her own battle with breast cancer and the legion of positive thinkers who see any kind of unhappiness as dangerous, to the Masters Of The Universe on Wall Street whose refusal to hear any notes of caution directly caused them to crash the global economy.

Project scrapbook

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