The Pollyanna proclivity. #207 –Robert M. Shelby, 9-16-13. [476 txt wds]

The Pollyanna proclivity is the face of a psychological coin, so to speak, that has denial as its reverse. This balancing proclivity compensates for denial. The two go together like two sides of one coin. Optimism refaces pessimism as a defense to preserve the ego’s equanimity, imaginarily saving the self from its ego. When one has a partial view of the world, one seeks completion in artful creations that may be more fraudulent than true.

Self convinced of one’s ego fraud, one projects agendas that seem immediately gainful but which ultimately lend to the world’s destruction.

Hence, many would-be preservers of status-quo see the continuation of carbon culture as necessary and expandable, for their minds are as if buried in outdated self-interest as the mythical ostrich head in sand. Like lemmings, they will rush on with each other over the cliff into a cold sea. Unfortunately, seated quietly in their board rooms, their self-satisfied direction is rushing everything and everyone down with them. No doubt vainly they see themselves as riding the avalanche on down, staying on top of it.

The conservative attitude tends to discount need for change. It first denies any good can follow from change, blinding itself to the need to adapt to change which comes anyway. Once it sees change happen, it treats it as negotiable, trying to give up the least possible in exchange for keeping as much of its own prior gains and position as it can. In this losing battle, a great deal of road-kill and peripheral damage can occur. The Iraq oil war exemplified one such vain enterprise. The Plan For A New American Century (PNAC) was a Pollyanna design that tried to make a cake walk out of and endless tragedy its instigators not only did not care to face beforehand, but would still deny its evils today.

I recently read some Pollyanna comments in the paper. Referring to concerns about gas-fracking, rail lines, accidents and tar sands crude, one writer says: “I believe on a national and state level those issues are being addressed and will be regulated.” Such faith is downright touching. And again: “I happen to trust … any company that could cause a safety, health or traffic issue to satisfy [public] concerns.” Lastly, he writes: “Fossil fuel is here to stay for many years. science and high-tech will make it clean and safe to extract and use. It is going to provide revenue for … California …”.

My hat comes off. I bow my head as before a funeral cortege. Such people are legislation mystics. No ill can befall us that Providence will not prevent or cure. “Pie-in-the-sky” used to be a property attributed to utopian progressives. Now it belongs to died-in-the-wool “backwardites.” Utopian retrogressives. Folks more of carbon than water.


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