On Optimism: Why Carry On, When You Can Change The World?

Why keep
Why keep “calm” and carry on hiding…

Isn’t it ironic when those privileged people in power, tell the poor and homeless and unemployed to be “positive” about what those privileged people are doing?  As if those who are exploited and poor will have a sudden change in their circumstances if they are happy about the fact that those at the top of our society are doing better. Are those on minimum wage supposed to put on a happy face and naively trust those at the top to voluntarily throw them a few extra crumbs from their profits?

Perhaps it is the case that those privileged people in power forget that the policies they implement are generally making things worse for those who are currently struggling, whilst simultaneously making things better for their other rich friends; corporations get away with paying virtually no tax, while there are families homeless on our streets, or living from their cars.  People who have sacrificed so much for a crisis they had no responsibility for are being told to be positive about such an economic situation.  We are told the money will eventually trickle down from the top, but actually wealth floods from the bottom up. The truth is that this system which we call capitalism, is a rotten system indeed. Admitting that is the first positive step.  Admitting that much at least, we recognise our denial and naivety in ever having had faith in such a system.

...when you can get angry and fight back
…when you can get angry and fight back

I’ve often been accused of being an optimist, and indeed I believe I am.  I think socialism is an inherently optimistic philosophy, whose advocates stand up strong together and declare, “look at this rotten system we slave for and struggle under – let’s change it for a better world for all”. What an optimistic, positive thing! And then those few in power who are profiting and doing quite well through capitalism say, “oh why do you have to be so negative”.

Those in power want you to be optimistic, confident and pro-active, but only about what you can do to increase their profits or protect their interests.  Don’t dare apply the same qualities to making the world a better place.

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