Optimism – Our Enemy

BBC Radio 4

For Archive on 4, Sunday Times journalist Bryan Appleyard presents a polemic that tilts at the current cult of optimism, of positive thinking and the relentlessly upbeat mantras of corporations.

Optimism is trumpeted in books, from the walls of yoga studios, the podiums of leadership conferences and in political life, especially in the United States. The optimistic cast of mind is key, apparently, to marital success, health and progress at work.

Pessimism is stigmatised. But if we could only dump our current and historical imperative to look on the bright side of life, Bryan argues, we’d all be a lot happier.

Produced by Paul Smith

Broadcast date: April 2016