sometimes explode's blog

negative affirmations: on the critique of positive thinking.

Using a recent article critical of positive thinking this short and ranty response looks at a general trends in left discourse to make this critique while concealing its own operation as a form of positive thinking. Originally written on the day the article, '"Positive Attitude" Bullshit' went live.

Rhythms: third movement

Bathing in the cold glow of the planet Melancholia, from the eponymous film.

Second part of investigation into rhythmic understanding of madness and our corporeal bodily existence. Runs a little longer than the usual libcom article.

Authoritarianism, work and therapy

Reaction to the news that the UK Government have been discussing linking employment support payments to undergoing mental health assessments among the psychiatric population. This short article has a particular focus on the authoritarianism behind this move.

The anxious worker

Looking at the contemporary conditions of work and how these give rise to anxiety and depression.

Rhythms: second movement

Second post on the subject of rhythms. Begins to explore the idea that madness may be an experience of corporeal rhythms, and that power operates by imposing its rhythms of its own.

Unproductive bodies [part 2]: vulnerability and pharmaco-syndicalism

Second part of two piece article on the production of dependent bodies. Introduces the idea of vulnerability and what could be called pharmaco-syndicalism, or autonomous pharmacological practice (and idea that will be returned to elsewhere).

A reply to Mark Fisher on magical voluntarism

Short article exploring the idea of magical voluntarism and how it relates to questions of organisation.

Unproductive bodies, part 1: narcotisation of dependency

A schematic look at positive psychology's deployment within the UK's workfare regime and the position of the substance-dependent body as a model in the production of subjectivity. This forms the first part of a short series on positive psychology, work, and the production of unproductive bodies.

The nervousness of politics

A brief look at Plan C/ the Institute for Precarious Consciousness's recent theses on anxiety. The claim that anxiety is the hegemonic affect of late capitalism is explored a little. If you don't have time to read this, go and read the theses anyway.

Rhythms

A screenshot from the dance film "Korper" by choreographer Sasha Waltz.

Part of the series on the society of stimulation, this post introduces the idea of rhythms as theoretical machines and political tools of capital and workers.

Speed & politics: an amphetamine political economy

Building on the society of stimulation, this long-read post is a theoretical examination of pharmacology as material practice and as metaphor. Today capital operates via the production of hyperaroused bodies but in doing so it also creates the conditions under which the nervous system itself becomes a site of the refusal of work. [TW: eating disorder, suicide, drug dependency].

The society of stimulation

An introduction to the idea of a society of stimulation that produces hyperaroused bodies which, unable to take the strain, become anxious and depressed bodies.

Subjectivity as kinesthetic

A speculative theory of subjectivity that begins from the assumption that there is no inside, specifically no "depth interiority". Originally written for syntheticzero.net but it is reposted here as it is obvious that any psy-politics is required to speak about subjectivity. This post is more theoretical in nature & assumes some familiarity with the continental philosophy tradition.

On Institutional Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a particular way of paying attention to whatever our experience i

A short critical article on CBT and mindfulness proposing that we understand how the other side of responsibilisation is a kind of meditative detachment on the part of public institutions. This text is a brief look at what Institutional Mindfulness does.

A brief history of cognitive behavioural therapy, part 1

First part of a brief history of cognitive behavioural therapy, focussing on the role of psychoanalysis in setting the scene for the emergence of CBT.

Psychopolice order

What will the announcement that community psychiatric nurses are to be posted in criminal justice settings do to psychiatric services and patients?

The madness of austerity: Simon Stevens's NHS

A brief look at what the appointment of Simon Stevens as head of NHS England means for mental health services in context.

Thomas Szasz and the antipsychiatry of neoliberalism

A short critical introduction to the work of grandfather of psychiatry Thomas Szasz.

The Sun and the "Mental Patient"

Analysis behind today's headline in The Sun newspaper: "1,200 killed by mental patients".

Pharmaco-centric capitalism: a reply to Will Self

A critique of Will Self's August article on psychiatry and "Big Pharma", focussing on the need to conjoin critique of the current practice of psychiatry with an analysis of its place within capitalism.