psychology

Race, education, intelligence: a teacher's guide to the issues

race and iq

A late 1970s pamphlet from the National Union of Teachers on the bankruptcy of IQ studies and the biologizing of 'race'.

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.

Positive affect as coercive strategy: conditionality, activation and the role of psychology in UK government workfare programmes

A journal article on the use of psychology in workfare to erase the experience and effects of social and economic inequalities and to construct a psychological ideal that links unemployment primarily to psychological deficit. This, in turn the authors argue, authorises the extension of state — and state-contracted — surveillance to psychological characteristics.

Authority and delinquency - Alex Comfort

Classic 1950 essay on the criminology of government by Dr Alex Comfort, republished in 1988 with a new preface. Originally written in the wake of WWII, the book was concerned with illustrating that deviant behaviour - unacceptable in the public at large - had become the norm in the political and military arena.

The sociology of Leninist organizations

The behavior of Leninist groups is shaped less by the rules than by the social environment of their organizations.

Robin Williams, mental illness, and the stigma epidemic

The tragic death of Comedian Robin Williams, in an apparent suicide, has placed the issues of mental illness, suicide, and associated ignorance and stigma, firmly in the public sphere.

Capitalism and schizophrenia - Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

A painting by Francis Bacon

The two volumes of Deleuze and Guattari's influential text: Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980).

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 mad history of the world - Michel Bounan

In this book first published in France in 2006, Michel Bounan recounts the history of the world according to a developmental schema defined not by modes of production, but by modes of “collective mental disorders”, specifically “socio-neuroses” corresponding to particular stages of human history (sedentary agricultural imperial civilization/phobia, classical capitalism/obsession, and the “society of the spectacle”/hysteria), and speculates that the catastrophic collapse of industrial society will result in a “true catharsis in which all particular neuroses are dissolved” and humanity will rediscover the lost “unitary consciousness” of our primitive ancestors.

The Self-Liberation of the Proletariat Is the Collapse of Capitalism! – Revolutionary Communists (Grupo de Comunistas de Consejos de Galiza)

A 2004 programmatic statement by a Galician council communist group, which observes that “social change and self-transformation proceed in tandem in real revolutionary practice”—for which purpose certain “useful elements” of “western psychology and the currents of eastern spirituality” can help us confront the challenges of life in capitalism—and “the spiritual transformation of life and the material transformation of life [are] indissolubly linked, as parallel and interacting processes and realities”, but that only “class struggle” enables the proletariat to “become capable of advancing its own self-transformation”, which is presently of an “experimental nature”.