Paul Goodman on the psychology of children and families.
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.
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.
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.