[Marxism] Chris Hedges on [schizophrenia] the military-industrial-academic
poeticaleconomy at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 28 15:13:09 MDT 2009
Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: 'The schizophrenic deliberately seeks out the very limit of capitalism: he is its inherent tendency brought to fulfullment, its surplus product, its proletariat, and its exterminating angel..'
As a clinically diagnosed schizophrenic, I must judge the following (reiteration of Adorno) from Chris Hedges an malicious fallacy:
"those manipulative people [i.e. capitalists], who actually are incapable of true
experience [?], for that very reason manifest an unresponsiveness [?] that
associates them with certain mentally ill or psychotic characters,
Hedges would do best here to recall his earlier warning against the sadism that manifests itself in
'our lack of compassion for the homeless, our poor, the mentally ill, the unemployed and the sick." [schizophrenics are, at one point or another, usually all these 'things']
Indeed, raw schizophrenics are anything but, or indeed the precise opposite of, 'manipulative personalities', 'incapable of true experience', and unresponsive to social needs. Schizphrenics are today the most thoroughly *manipulated* personalities in their being denied all their civil rights and hospitalized (i.e. imprisoned) arbitrarily, and, moreover, forced to accept the most debilitating medications (i.e. subjected to autism). It is only the "autistic", or medicated, schizo who is 'incapable of true experience' and, let us concede provisionally, *unresponsive* -- although I am currently on a regime of forced autism (and asphasia), i.e. anti-psychotic medication, and somehow manage to respond (however pitifully) to Hedges's injustice to my community of interest.
Zizek: 'In the good old Soviet times, Serbsky Institute in Moscow was the psychiatric flagship for punitive political control; its psychiatrists developed painful drug methods to make detainees talk and extract testimony for use in national security investigations. Underpinning the ability of psychiatrists to incarcerate people was an invented political mental disorder known as vyalotekushchayaâ ("sluggish schizophrenia)". Psychiatrists described the disease as a person appearing quite normal most of the time but who would break out with a severe case of "inflexibility of convictions," or "nervous exhaustion brought on by his or her search for justice," or "a tendency to litigation" or "reformist delusions." The treatment involved intravenous injections of psychotropic drugs that were so painfully administered patients became unconscious. The overriding belief was that a person had to be insane to be against Communism.'
One could as easily rewrite Zizek's last quoted sentence as:
"The overriding belief in the contemporary US is that a person has to be insane to be against capitalism.'
Against capitalism, furthermore, not only ideally, but in everyday practice (however individual). Although I am going far out on a weak limb here, a refusal to accept capitalist work discipline, a refusal to be gainfully employed, seems to be the rule among my psychotic peers. The whole trick of 'recovery' from psychosis is to become a wage-slave again.
Please excuse my stylelessness. --Max Clark
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