gabor on capitalism




why capitalism makes us sick – 27 min video from event at berkley in 2011 – Gabor Maté


3 min – it’s really important for people to search for the truth themselves.. and not to automatically id w any particular system.. because as soon as you start to id.. as soon as you try to find the answer outside yourself.. you may surrender your critical faculties..

begs (since we now have the means).. tech as it could be.. to free/reset us back our critical faculties.. everyday..

so if we hold onto our critical faculties and look at the truth.. what do we see.. in this society what we see is a society that literally makes people sick..

hari present in society law

krishnamurti measure law

because 50% of n american adults have a chronic illness

now..according to a strict medical model.. that’s too bad.. these people are just unfortunate.. because what the med model does.. whether w mental/physical illness.. it makes two separations: 1\ separates mind from body and 2\ separates individuals from their environment… which leaves of completely bereft of what causes most disease.. and what they’re betraying there is a complete poverty of understanding of what makes the human brain tic.. and what creates a human being .. and what causes people to behave/function/feel the way they actually do

4 min – those separations are socially imposed.. culturally defined.. and scientifically they’re completely invalid.. because the truth of it is .. that the traditional teachings of shamanic med cultures around the world.. and of traditional chinese med or indian med.. that mind and body are inseparable.. have now been validated by modern science..

5 min – so.. my profession.. although it claims to ground itself in science.. and what they call evidence based practice.. i only wish..  i only wish they looked at the actual evidence.. i only wish that they would ask themselves.. why is it in the us.. an african american male has 6x the risk of dying of prostate cancer than a caucasian.. well it’s got to be genetic.. no it isn’t.. because .. in african.. don’t suffer same rate.. so what is it in this society.. why are black women.. esp middle class black women.. more likely to suffer miscarriages.. that’s not a genetic question.. it’s a social question

6 mi – rate of autism in this country has gone up 40 fold.. or 30 fold in 30 yrs.. you know you can’t be dealing w genetics because genes don’t change in a population over 30 yrs.. or even 500 years.. there’s got to be something going on in society.. that’s driving the emotional ill health of children..

and if look at addictions.. a couple myths associated with it:

1\ that it’s a choice people make.. and the criminal justice system.. apt way of putting it.. a criminal system.. the justice system is criminal.. is based on the very idea that people are making choices when they become addicts.. if they’re not making choices.. why punish them for it

krishnamurti free will law

2\ that it’s genetic

3\ that drugs are addictive.. which is inherently nonsense.. because if it was true.. than anybody who tried a drug should become addicted.. but most people who try most drugs.. don’t become addicted.. the real question is.. why are the drugs addictive to certain people..what creates the susceptibility.. what makes them vulnerable..

hari rat park law

7 min – american army back from nam.. 20% of gi’s addicted to heroin.. a few years later.. only 1% was.. 95% cure rate.. now in my site in vancouver.. if i had 16% cure rate.. i’d be recognized as an international genius because cure rates are really really low.. how come 95% cure..? maybe have to look at lives/circumstances under which they get addicted

8 min – look at aboriginal population of n america.. these people actually had potentially addictive substances available to them.. not only available.. but they were using them.. but there was no addiction.. if substances addictive.. or if genetically inclined.. should have been addicted.. but there was no history of addiction.. prior to the coming of the caucasians.. in fact.. natives used these to raise (enhance) level of consciousness and addiction.. don’t want to be aware (escape)..

if choice and genetics don’t explain it now we have to look at history.. what happened to native people in this part of the world that drove them into addiction..

9 min – alcoholism came around in the 18th century w the rise of capitalism.. you can make a very good case that one of the health outcomes of capitalism .. is addiction.. in other words.. can you understand people in isolation from the system in which they live.. well the answer is that you can’t..

1\ biology of human beings shaped by they psychological and social environ in which they live.. ie: asthma.. it’s well known now.. not controversial.. that children who’s parents are stressed are more likely to have asthma.. if ask avg physician why .. they have no idea.. yet.. if ask how do you treat the asthma.. w stress hormones.. shouldn’t we ask then if stress has something to do w it..?

10 min – the emotional level stress of the parents.. disorganize the stress response mechs of the child

not yet scrambled ness

11 min – parameters of stress: uncertainty, lack of info, loss of control, and.. lack of opportunity to express yourself..

not voice less.. maté acting out law

when marx talked about freedom.. he talked about freedom in 3 ways

1\ freedom from economic necessities..from threat to life

2\ freedom from interference by other people

3\ freedom to express yourself.. be yourself..

that’s freedom.. now what freedom is there in this *free society..?.. when people are not free of economic worry.. tremendous uncertainty/fear.. lack of control.. **when people have no control over their lives.. they have no freedom..

*krishnamurti free will law

**is this what Benjamin means by sovereignty in the stack..?

12 min – and they’re physiologically stressed.. and when physiologically stressed.. that’s going to manifest itself in the form of illness

13 min – stats..  california study of 18 000 .. linking abuse to exponential increase in illness

14 min – stress helps.. ie in case of attack.. but if chronically stressed.. creates disease..

15 min – when it comes to addiction specifically.. vancouver stats.. the heart of addiction is always emotional loss (ref to 13 min ca study).. but another side to it as well.. if look at number of children being diagnosed with this or that disorder.. not all of them are abused.. so what’s going on..


dw winnicott: two things can go wrong in childhood

1\ things happen that shouldn’t happen.. abuse/trauma

2\ *things don’t happen that should happen.. presence of non-stressed, non-depressed, emotionally attuned, available caregivers

16 min – *that’s not available in a country where the avg maternity leave is 6.5 weeks.. where kids spend most of their time away from the nurturing adults in their lives.. in the company of other kids.. so that they’re forced to look to each other as their attachment figures.. the desperation of all these kids to connect.. the sense of disorientation they feel when they can’t connect with their friends.. by some electronic means.. it’s not a tech problem it’s an *attachment problem.. those kids have been disconnected from the adults in their lives because the adults are not there for them.. they can’t be.. they’re too * a few weeks ago.. stressed parents.. not unloving parents.. stress parents.. simply are not as attuned to the emotional cues of their kids as they’d like to be.. allan shore: proximal separation

*missing piece #2

**unwanted stress

17 min – allan shore: proximal separation.. parent physically there but emotionally unavailable because too stressed/distracted

and this society rewards workaholism.. they tell you what a great guy you are.. they reward you for the very things that undermine the health of your family..t

and for a lot of people it’s not even a question of a choice.. ie: where exactly does single welfar

work et al

18 min – ie: where exactly does a single welfare mother go to work.. usually at low paying job far away from home where she has to commute for an hour or two.. and all that time she’s working/commuting.. her child is at some daycare.. inadequately staffed.. w undertrained personel.. so who does that child connect to..? other kids.. and children become connection .. for first time in history.. large number of kids.. immature creatures.. getting their modeling.. and their cue giving.. and sense of direction/values.. how to walk/talk.. from other immature creatures.. well what do you expect in that culture but all kinds of dysfunction.. and again..

that’s not an individual choice those parents have made.. that’s just another way in which this system is undermined the necessary conditions for childhood development

19 min – notre dame study 2010: healthiest environ for child rearing is the hunter gatherer society/village.. why.. because in hg village 3 things happen to kids that don’t happen in our culture:

1\ kids always with the parent.. well that’s not possible in this country.. when puritans arrived in america they were appalled at the parenting practices of the natives.. because the natives didn’t beat their kids.. to the christians this meant.. sparing the rod spoiling the child

2\ when kids cried they were picked up.. we’re telling people.. at 5-6 months.. don’t pick them up.. you want them to become independent..we’re missing the point that they way to promote independence is to *invite the dependence.. people can feel independent when they feel secure in the world.. promote independence by inviting dependence.. so aboriginals picked up kids when crying which meant.. brains not overwhelmed by stress hormones.. when a child’s brain is overwhelmed by stress hormones because he’s not picked up.. that has all kinds of impacts on the child’s brain development.. because brain develops in interaction with the environment..


jean leidloff

*invited to exist

h & g.. affluence w/o abundance.. james suzman

20 min – so even if we don’t abuse kids in this country.. but if you just follow the parenting practices recommended by the so called experts.. you’re going to screw up your kids tremendously..

3\ children are brought up in context of nurturing adults.. not just the parents.. clan/community/neighborhood

so any system that destroys those conditions.. that stresses the parents..

study led by Darcia Narvaez

hg child

21 min – it’s all in the genes is an explanation for the way things are that does not threaten the way things are

why should someone feel unhappy.. or engaging in anti social behavior.. when that person is living in the free est and most prosperous nation on earth.. it can’t be the system.. there must be a flaw in their wiring somewhere

22 min – cop story from (hungry ghosts) dead eyes.. spirit broken.. why the dead eyes.. because the child can’t escape, fight back or seek help.. the only way that they can possibly endure the trauma is to shut down their emotion and awareness of the pain

in this society.. we have a massive emotional shut down.. you can see it in the increasing violence in the culture.. in the media culture.. takes more and more to titillate us.. we’re shut down because we hurt so much.. and the more we shut down.. the more and more stimulation we need to make us feel anything at all

24 min – what do we do.. we take people who are abused to start with and then we make them the social enemy.. and they’re the ones who make up our jail populations.. so we try and rescue them if we can.. and if we fail to rescue them.. then we persecute them for the rest of their lives.. and that’s what we’re doing with this war on drugs.. and there’s no war on drugs.. you can’t war on inanimate objects.. there’s only a war on drug addicts.. which means that we’re warring on the most abused and vulnerable segments of the population..

25 min – we could argue left and right on what a failure the war on drugs has been because you see that it’s not working.. but i have a diff pov.. if decade after decade after decade.. the stated intentions of our policies are not being realized.. in fact the very opposite is happening.. then is it really a failure.. or maybe it is serving some purpose.. maybe it’s serving the purpose of maintaining the rationale.. of law enforcement and a repressive apparatus that can be used against people when the need arises.. maybe it has the function of demonizing a certain section of the population and increasing the fear in the rest of the population that justifies more repression.. maybe it has the function of keeping a whole legal apparatus going.. maybe it has the function of making a lot of money for a lot of people.. of fueling the privatized incarceration industry.. so maybe it’s not a failure after all.. from that perspective.. was nam a failure..? no.. it was lost militarily.. but the end result was.. the us still gets to control the economies of se asia.. is iraq war a failure..? well it is for the people who died there.. for the 1/2-1 mn iraqies.. but it’s not a failure for the american oil co’s

war ness

26 min – so that every war.. we have to be careful before we call them failures.. somebody wins.. the somebody who wins are the same people who are destroying neighborhoods/communities.. it’s that same system that undermines human health/dignity/connection.. that really makes life less tolerable on our planet

we don’t have to agree on what the solutions might be.. but what we do agree on is the importance of speaking the truth.. the importance of people getting together.. and struggling together for a different life.. because it’s the loss of control and the isolation and the suppression of self expression that are the greatest cause of stress.. then surely one answer to the stress of this culture is to get together and to express ourselves and not to be silent.. and to connect with other human beings


richard on capitalism