[image from and linked to article quoted below – Can Critiques of Psychiatry Help us Imagine a Post-Capitalist Future? An Interview with Hans Skott-Myhre]
intro’d here via this thread from mad in america:
“The struggle for liberation under systems of really pernicious oppression is life-affirming in and of itself. You don’t have to get to the end of it for it to be life-affirming. The mistake people make with burnout is that they’re constantly expecting it to get better.” https://t.co/9hALIs4GGo
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/Mad_In_America/status/1453354073197985801
notes/quotes from linked transcript:
I wasn’t particularly interested in having them be much different than they were
fix vs not hidden ness
I took that to heart and really tried to work with folks in terms of how do you manage society in such a way as they don’t continue to incarcerate you?
When I presented my dissertation defense for the second dissertation, one of my committee members said, “well, you are now officially disciplinarily unrecognizable,” and that’s been true
What is interesting about such moments is that it is precisely at the moment where a system is at its full extension that there are more opportunities for other things to happen because the system can’t monitor all of what it has produced.
In fact, if we think of capitalism as a virus, one of the things that capitalism does is that it invades the society’s cellular structure and reconfigures its social DNA so that it replicates itself in the same way that a virus does. Then it gradually spreads itself throughout the system. Initially, for that to happen, there needs to be an initial spot of containment where the body is entered and the disease is centered.
Deleuze and Guattari use the term vacuole, and they use it in an affirmative sense. They talk about vacuoles of non-communication because the vacuole is a cell within a disease structure that actually sustains its health and then gradually spreads itself through the system through antibodies.
bush immune system law et al
Capitalism is an asylum in several respects. First, the asylum was a space to contain misery, poverty, neurological difference, sadness, rage. It was a space to take people who express these things in disturbing ways to the dominant society that wanted to put these folks in a space where they were removed..t
They were removed from society, but it wasn’t the bodies that were removed. Those bodies needed to be removed because they were the symptoms, the obvious symptoms of society. Certainly, one way to manage the appearance of a society is to remove those bodies that express difference and agony and misery...t
Similarly, as we have opened the asylum, we just created spaces everywhere to do that. So we now use medications, for example, to do the same thing the asylum used to do: to create smooth spaces where people no longer express misery or depression..t
We manage people’s sense of difference by identifying them as diseased if they express emotions that indicate they’re unhappy with things..t
Certainly, if people have ways of perceiving reality that are at odds with the message that capitalism wants to give of being a purely rational system, when in fact it’s an utterly psychotic system and utterly delusional, then certainly you don’t want bodies around that give the impression that it is delusional. People are manifesting the delusional. They’re picking up on an element and manifesting it through their neurology.
The asylum has been spread everywhere, but it does the same things. Capitalism is now the administrator of the global asylum. But it’s also an iatrogenic system, which is to say that it produces madness..t
crazywise (doc) et al
We do put them in psychiatric hospitals for brief periods of time. More and more, we put them in refugee camps; we put them in prisons, quite literally; in the United States, the prison industry is where we put a hell of a lot of people who express misery, anger, and sadness in ways that are unacceptable within the dominant society..t They contravene the dominant narrative, which is that things can get better, you can always get better, you can always be happier, etc. You have bodies that contravene that message and say, no, you can’t; the system is not functional that way. You really can’t get happier.
wow.. so spot on
I mean, if everyone’s depressed and everyone’s anxious, then how can that be an individual problem? There has to be a social problem, and it’s a social problem that capitalism can’t admit because it means it’s not doing what it claims to do, which is to provide a society with enough capital so that everyone can strive and do better and be happier and healthier, right?.. t
grammatis broken law et al
I think there’s, of course, a fine and dangerous line here that some would say that you are romanticizing the folks who are suffering and saying they’re the revolutionary vanguard, they’re the ones to lead us forward—isn’t that great? No, I’m not saying that. I am saying that they point to symptoms. They point to both possibilities: alternate neurology, alternate ways of thinking about things, alternate ways of managing emotion. There are lots of ways in which they point to something other than the conventional capitalist subject because, as I say in the book, they’re constitutively incapable of belonging.
I think *being constitutively unable to belong to a system because of how you are configured physically, neurologically, emotionally, or psychically puts you in a unique position to offer something different. It also places you in a really dangerous, difficult position because you can’t fake it very well. .t The system doesn’t care for that very much because capitalism is built on faking it, right? I mean, that’s the name of the game. Fake it till you make it, quite literally.
*higashida autism law et al
wilde not-us law et al
The idea is that we should somehow pretend that we’re okay. We get on Facebook, and we present this profile that isn’t us at all, and then we try to carry that through in our work life and go to work and be somebody that we really aren’t at all. And you can’t collapse, you can’t fall apart, but of course, if you do, then we give you medications to prove that we can make you okay..t
The lumpenproletariat is constitutively incapable of belonging. For some of those folks, that really leads to being severely marginalized in really dangerous ways that can be life-threatening, most certainly. But it also leads to groups of people who find refuge in certain institutions and society. Universities are full of people who are constitutively incapable of belonging, both students and professors. I think this is one of the reasons that they’re under such assault right now because they’re one of the last places where you can find refuge and be and create and think outside of the dominant logic.
Those spaces are a little bit more bourgeois; they’re a little safer places to be than for folks, for example, who are living on the streets or in the prisons, because they can’t constitutively belong. But those bodies also indicate something other, something else, something that we could be that is frustrated, that is made miserable. If you manage things differently with people, there are other possibilities and ways of being in the world that create alternative ways of thinking.
That’s Kafka, for me, for a couple of reasons. One is that to be a failure is very important. If one wants to be a revolutionary, one can’t be truly successful in the system in which one is embedded. There has to be some element of you that repeatedly fails within the system if you’re going to do anything interesting..t
findings in failings et al
begs a means for non hierarchical listening (non systemized listening)
The law in Laing is the law of the unconscious acceptance of the family dictates. To a certain degree, he talks about how the family trance and the norms of family life—and I would say the norms of society, particularly post-modern capitalist society—put you to sleep. So you go through life in a dream that the family manufactures. We could think in much broader parameters about the constructions of the neurological and quite literally neurological interventions of post-modern capital.
There’s a very much an induction process into a certain kind of trance where you’re not really fully awake; you’re just kind of going through, like a sleepwalker, in your own life.
Laing says that if you challenge that in the family and try to wake up, you’ll be severely punished. I think that’s also true within the dominant society as well. I think that’s also true within the dominant society as well. But there’s another way to think about hypnosis, and that’s through the work of Milton Erickson. Milton Erickson thinks about the unconscious as also having the capacity to be generative.
Our unconscious is full of pretty much everything we’ve ever experienced, and it has the capacity to combine those things in a myriad and interesting ways. But to do that, we don’t need to wake into our conscious minds. We need to wake into our true unconscious because, for us, in a sense, the unconscious is produced by capital. And certainly, in the way Laing was talking about it, the family is a faux unconscious; it’s not an actual unconscious.
again.. need a means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature
I’m also interested to see what that (post capitalist subjectivity) would look like, I don’t know..t
In Europe, we bifurcated when we got reason and rationality. We bifurcated and created an unconscious. We separated that aspect of unreason’s imagination, and we did a tremendous disservice to it. We treated it as not serious. Intuition is not serious, and fantasy is not serious, imagination is not serious, unreason is not serious except when it’s pathological. But we don’t take it seriously as a resource, and we dump it all into the unconscious, and then we give great preference to reason.
When the Europeans in the middle of the 20th century really got interested in trying to break the hold of reason because being strictly reasonable and rational had not led where people thought it would lead (e.g., to genocide and the atom bomb and all kinds of problems), to being too scientific, too reasonable, too rational.
intellect ness et al
You can see it with psychiatric medications, and you can see it with psychiatry in general. I think psychiatry is one of the few systems that has not responded to critique in any meaningful way.
It’s still pretty much its own game, and it’s pretty much not interested in what other people have to tell it. It’s going to operate on its own terms. Psychology is a little bit more responsive in some sectors, but psychiatry is pretty much locked in as a colonial system. It’s going to colonize you if it gets the opportunity to.
The point is that there was no split between the unconscious and the conscious in the Southern Hemisphere. The peoples of Central and South America didn’t do the European split.
I think when you bifurcate your unconscious, then you get states, and you get distinctions. We have to raise our fantasies into reality and then analyze them psychoanalytically to understand them. Gilles Deleuze has a great critique of psychoanalysis insofar as it lays a preexisting template on your experiences and then tells you how you can understand it. You have to raise it out of the unconscious into reason, and then we can explain it and help you to come to understand it.. Gabriel García Márquez and Kafka say, no, absolutely not. The world is far more complicated and messy than that, and we’re creating a lack of reality when we claim to be emphasizing reality.
i think thinking we have to explain/understand is part of our addiction to colonization..
ie: would legit free people feel the need?
there are groups worldwide now working towards neurodiversity that are interested in challenging psychiatry, interested in alternative modes of accessing fantasy, unconscious, intuitive processes. I mean, there are so many.. As soon as these openings are created, capitalism is really good at appropriating them and capitalizing them. I think that people are starting to say no. This is one of the things I think post-modernism gave us.
Yes, I think anti-psychiatry was in that historical moment when decolonization processes were in movement. But, like so many of them, they ended up having neocolonial structures at the end of the day. In other words, we get day treatment centers instead of asylums, therapists working in private practice with medications, and now general practitioners giving people medications. The colonial project becomes a neocolonial project. The aims structures are still in place. It’s just different modes of distribution of power.
When people start experimenting with psychedelics, immediately capital comes along and says, oh, psychedelics, well, that’ll make you work brighter, smarter, you just microdose, and you feel better. You’ll be able to be a more productive capitalist subject. Big pharma is chomping at the bit to get hold of psilocybin as something they can market.
sicko – mm et al
I think the whole possibility of psychedelics is not just remediating misery but actually opening up more possibilities for capacities for liberation and different relational structures. All of that is what capitalists don’t want. They’re really trying to set up neocolonial structures to manage the slippages.
I think that decolonization, the repatriation of the land, is constantly stalling as it bumps into really core subject formations in terms of settlers—things like the belief in private property.. We’re in the process of putting the book together where we’re trying to rethink ourselves as settler subjects. But we’re trying to do it differently from what some other folks in the decolonization, settler-colonial projects have done, which is to rely heavily on indigenous literature and thought, which we think is immensely valuable for decolonization.
indigenous lit not deep enough.. already colonized..
If you’re not going to be a psychologist, and you’re going to be helpful to these folks, what does that mean? How attached are you to colonial identity? How important is it to you that you have this colonial identity? And if it is something you want to let go of, how do you go about doing that so that you can be a useful ally to people who are struggling with really broad contextual racism, disenfranchisement, marginalization, and concomitantly health issues
we need to let go of identity/credentialing ness for sure.. but deeper.. we need to let go of any form of m\a\p.. otherwise we’re just spinning our wheels on bandaids/symptoms like: racism, disenfranchisement, marginalization, and concomitantly health issues