psychology

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”.

The ignorance of the society of knowledge - Robert Kurz

A short 2002 article by Robert Kurz on the hype about the information society, with its “knowledge degraded into ‘information’”, its dystopian implications with regard to culture and individual integrity, and its disappointingly meager impact on the economy (Marx: knowledge has “no exchange value”), which it was supposed to rejuvenate (“the New Economy … began to collapse as soon as it was proclaimed”).

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.

The eclipse and re-emergence of the antipsychiatry movement

Brief introductory post outlining what antipsychiatry is and the need for its renewal.

Madness and civilisation: a history of insanity in the age of reason - Michel Foucault

A critical history of the idea of madness in European culture and society from the Middle Ages to the modern age.