Two Analyses on the Questionable Uses of Psychiatry & Psychology

First up: ‘The Dangers of Psychiatrists Diagnosing from Afar; A Marxist review of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, edited by Bandy Lee, M.D., M. Div., St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2017, Steven Strauss, January 10th, 2018, dissidentvoice.org  (Dr. Steven Strauss practices Neurology in Baltimore, Maryland and is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is a member of the Freedom Socialist Party)

Strauss opens by noting that as Bandy Lee is also a practicing neurologist, and Marxist femininst, the book had caught his eye.  He’d hoped that given how oblivious psychiatry and psychology have been to the role that capitalism plays in mental illness, Lee’s compilation might have done better.  He opines that sadly, it doesn’t.

“In fact, if Donald Trump is as dangerous as the authors claim, then their volume is at least as dangerous, because both their analysis of and solution to the problem, if taken seriously, can only make matters worse.  They do not question the very social foundations which have without a doubt led to Trumpism.  They treat Trump the symptom without touching the underlying disease, and even then their remedy is a small dressing over a gaping and festering wound.

The authors’ discussions are entirely in the liberal tradition.  They clearly support progressive causes, like opposition to racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia, but they do not once question the underlying capitalist system which aids and abets these social crimes.  They do not consider that it was precisely the mass disillusionment created by a combined liberal-conservative assault on working peoples’ standard of living which put Trump in the spotlight.  More of the same assault will only replace Trump with another disaster.”

He argues reasonably that finding a solution to the mentally ill president is to question the sick socioecomics that produced him, then radically transform it to one with no economic generators of mental illness, no economic compulsions for war, racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia, as in socialism in which democracy rule by ordinary people.

He admits that until that day, it’s important to address the immediate urgency of Trump’s specific psychological illness, what we really need to be addressing his political programs, given that so many allegedly rational politicians support and agree with them. As in: they’ll still be around when he’s gone, still leading us to the brink of disaster.  But onward to:

Trump’s mental illness:  diagnosis and treatment

Referencing key themes is book: Trump’s malignant narcissism, underscored by his lying, bullying, lack of empathy, delusional thinking, etc.  Thus his political danger being hot-headedly activating nuclear codes and dropping the big ones.  Strauss references the many commentators noting: ‘One tantrum away…’, etc.  Zo…we need an emergency mental health ‘fitness to serve’ evaluation not only of this President (in order to Article 25 him) but for every other applicant for Prez or Veep.  He laughs at their solution: electoral reform!

“It should be fully appreciated that the authors’ position in no way questions the U.S. nuclear program or a U.S. initiated nuclear war.  These are not the problems.  It is that a deranged human being is currently in charge. If any of the individual authors do oppose the U.S. nuclear arsenal or the role of U.S. nuclear power in the current world order, they do not even hint at conveying that message to the reader. 

It goes without saying that the proposed solution isn’t guaranteed to remove Trump, and even if it did, it probably wouldn’t be any time soon.  Given the alleged urgency of the problem, what would the authors propose we do in the meantime?

We have to conclude from the logic behind the authors’ reasoning that the real problem lies not so much with Trump himself but with a very repairable little leak in our otherwise ingenious democratic plumbing.  The founding fathers, it would seem, did not go quite far enough in their system of checks and balances to preclude the possibility of us electing an outlier situated so many miles off the sanity curve.  That only proves, of course, just how democratic we are, that it really is true that in America anyone can become president, even a psychopath like Donald Trump.  Not to worry.  It’s nothing a little patch can’t fix.  We can keep the pipes from bursting.  And we can thank the mental health profession for coming to the rescue.

What will we have when the leak is fixed?   Obviously, we will all be able to go to bed secure in the knowledge that only a sane president now has the power to blow up the planet.

This is precisely, and without exaggeration, what the book is all about.

Then comes his Deeper Questions section to which he writes the authors seem overtly oblivious, including:

“Virtually every single contribution from the twenty-seven mental health professionals addresses Trump’s psychopathology without once discussing the history of U.S. capitalism or imperialism.  These words themselves appear nowhere in the book.  Social theory, Marxist or otherwise, is non-existent.  The expression ‘U.S. democracy’, on the other hand, fills the pages.

What does this mean?  It means that the socioeconomic foundations of the United States are taken for granted.  They are a given.  Even more, they are accepted as legitimate.  The notion that capitalism has something to do with why we are in such a predicament and why even an allegedly sane president will not make us any safer is safely kept in the dark, as if it does not even exist or is not up for discussion.

The theme that the fundamental aims of U.S. foreign policy are legitimate runs throughout the book.  I stopped counting how many authors were concerned that Trump is alienating “our allies” and taunting “our enemies”.  We read more than once about the sane and wise John Kennedy and how he was able to successfully beat back the Cubans without resorting to nuclear war.  There is praise for the likes of the CIA and FBI.  Kissinger and Brzezinski get favorable treatment.  One author tells us not to worry because even if you oppose the pro-Zionist Trump, you can continue to love Israel.

Mind-boggling.

Other headings of high interest include:

No discussion of nuclear war

A comment on sanity, with quotes from Eric Fromm, Sigmund Freud to rebut the authors, etc.

His The Chomsky epilogue rises to high satire in my estimation; it’s longish, but opens:

“The book ends with an epilogue by Noam Chomsky.  Considering Chomsky’s world-renowned reputation as a left wing critic of U.S. domestic and foreign policies, and after reading twenty-seven essays filled with patriotism, praise for the likes of the CIA and FBI, sighing over Zionism, adoration of John F. Kennedy and his actions opposing the Cuban revolution, and many similar points, I asked myself if Chomsky had even read the manuscript which he agreed to contribute to.”

He ends:

“I venture to say that if working people and unionists could be drawn into a discussion of the Trump danger, their solution to the problem would involve far more than election reform and convening a panel of mental health experts.  Sadly, bringing their discussion to working people for critical feedback is not part of the book’s message.

But if it was, that would be a major step in the direction we need to go.

By the by, at least one of the contributing authors to this book was is pop-biographer Gail Sheehy of the Passages series; her bio page says nothing about her related to ‘psychology’ or ‘psychiatry’… but I’m sure her ‘expert analysis’ was right on the money, so to speak.

When seeking images of the book cover, I also found this charming one and clicked into its web page of origin:

It went to this anti-liberalism website, and included what I assume (but don’t know) are a few chapters of the book, including Robert L. Lifton’s, Judith Hermn and Bandy Lee, with various articles their troupe had written and published at differenet websites, but no hyperlinks, such as this one:

“Dr. Gartner (author of “Donald Trump Is: [A] Bad, [B] Mad, [C] All of the Above”), the initiator of an online petition, now with fifty-five thousand signatures, who cofounded the national coalition, “Duty to Warn,” of (as of this writing) seventeen hundred mental health professionals.”

From Bandy on the poorly attended Yale conference (after noting the Fear Factor), but watched online by many:

“If we are mindful of the dangers of politicizing the professions, then certainly we must heed the so-called “Goldwater rule,” or Section 7.3 of the APA code of ethics (American Psychiatric Association 2013, p. 6), which states: “it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion [on a public figure] unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”

“Embracing our “duty to warn,” as our professional training and ethics lead us to do at times of danger, therefore involves not only sounding an alarm but continually educating and engaging in dialogue our fellow human beings, as this compilation aspires to do.”

‘An association of mental health professionals advocating Trump be removed under the 25th Amendment as psychologically unfit, on Twitter. #DutyToWarn

Ha ha: turns out it was the self-same Bandy Lee (‘an assistant professor in forensic psychiatry (the interface of law and mental health) at the Yale School of Medicine who has devoted her 20-year career to studying, predicting, and preventing violence’) who’d addressed ‘briefed a dozen members of Congress — Democrats and one Republican — on the president’s mental state.’

Jeebus, this group never came out of the wall to advise the same for HW Bush, who of course was famously in the throes of his ‘Don’t cry for me, Argentina’ dementia while serving, or had I missed it?

************************************************************************

Ahhhh.  but moving on to No. 2: ‘The Electrical Abuse of Women: Does Anyone Care?’, Bruce E. Levine (a practicing clinical psychologist, writes and speaks about how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect), Dec. 22, 2017, counterpunch.org

“Many Americans are unaware that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)—more commonly known as electroshock—continues to be widely utilized by U.S. psychiatry. In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, psychologist John Read and co-author Chelsea Arnold note, “The archetypal ECT recipient remains, as it has for decades, a distressed woman more than 50 years old.”

In a comprehensive review of research on ECT, Read and Arnold report that there is no evidence that ECT is more effective than placebo for depression reduction or suicide prevention.” They conclude, “Given the well-documented high risk of persistent memory dysfunction, the cost-benefit analysis for ECT remains so poor that its use cannot be scientifically, or ethically, justified.’

“This begs the question of why this brain-damaging electrical abuse of predominantly middle-aged women, unlike the sexual abuse of younger women and girls, is not today addressed by most high-profile feminists. One renowned feminist who did speak out against ECT was Kate Millett (author of the 1990 book Loony Bin Trip), but she died in September 2017 after receiving little attention in recent years. There continues to be women such as psychologist Bonnie Burstow (author of the 2006 article “Electroshock as a Form of Violence Against Women”) who do see ECT as a hugely important issue for women, but Burstow is renowned only among ex-patient “psychiatric survivor” activists and dissident mental health professionals.”

He notes that many feminists and Americans at large believe in the APA’s promulgation of the research showing the efficacy or ECT in treating depression, with no basis in factual evidence.

If and when there were placebo-controlled studies (simulated ECT while under general anesthesia):

“Read and Arnold report that none of these studies showed ECT effectiveness beyond the end of treatment.”  He then explains the data, and skewers the meaningless of APA claims that include no placebo-control.  As in: ‘Anecdotal testimonials are worthless at best’.

But here’s where it gets scary biscuits:

“Psychiatry is well aware of ECT’s negative public image, so today the administration of ECT is not as painful to observe. Patients are administered an anesthetic and given oxygen along with a muscle relaxant drug to prevent fractures. However, the goal of ECT is to create a seizure, and these ECT “procedural improvements” raise the seizure threshold, thereby necessitating a higher and longer electrical charge, potentially resulting in even greater brain damage. The standard “electrical dosage” is from 100 to 190 volts but can rise to 450 volts. Thus, while ECT no longer appears quite as torturous to observers as it appeared prior to these procedure changes, ECT’s effects on the brain are as—or more—damaging than ever.

Even ECT advocates such as the APA recognize ECT’s adverse effects on memory, but the APA tends to minimize the extent of this damage. However, in 2007, the journal Neuropsychopharmacology reported a large-scale study on the cognitive effects (immediately and six months later) of currently used ECT techniques. The researchers found that modern ECT techniques produce “pronounced slowing of reaction time” and “marked and persistent retrograde amnesia” (the inability to recall events before the onset of amnesia) that continue six months after treatment.”

I did find that ECT shocks are usually done is a series, on or two a week for X weeks.  He tries to guess how many people are ‘treated’ with ECT, but recent data is scant and only estimated, including the 2009  Journal of Psychiatric Practice having reported, “approximately 100,000 people in the United States and over 1,000,000 worldwide receive ECT. ‘.  He did dig out, however, that women are 2 to 3 times more likely to be its…recipients than men, and that often it’s women over forty-five who are in ‘severe’ clinically depressive states.

“Psychiatrist(s) commonly recommend ECT to severely depressed patients after various antidepressants fail to improve symptoms. Psychiatry increasingly focuses on symptoms and not causes of our malaise, and so it often fails to address obvious sources of depression such as loss, unhealed traumas, and other overwhelming pains”

I dunno how many Amerikans are taking prescription anti-depressants, or are now addicted to opioids, whether legal or not, but given the inherent dangers of the former, plus the addictive nature of the latter, is the alternative of ECT akin to ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’?  The answer might depend on the individual.

Now I reckon a Marxist analysis would rightly indict capitalism as underpinning many of the reasons ordinary people get depressed: no jobs, scant, if any, wealth, one paycheck or large hospital bill away from destitution or home-foreclosure if not homelessness, the background media background of fear this nation, fear that national leader who’s coming to get you!  fear the future! But remember to go out and support the duopoly candidate of your choice!  They care about you, and will perform miracles to better your lives!

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wendy davis's picture

work. as Firefox quantum doesn't support 'easy copy', i'd given up other easy methods to crosspost this. thank you, johnny!

I'd like to add this essay by JP Sottile at consortiumnews.com, for instance: ‘Missing the Trump Team’s Misconductconsortiumnews.com, January 9, 2018

“If the so-called “Liberal Media” really is out to “get” Trump … they really suck at it.
Why? Because if I was a managing editor at MSNBC (or CNN or the “Today Show” or “Good Morning America,” for that matter) and I was “out to get” Trump … I’d have spent a good three blocks of airtime on former Eli Lilly bigwig Alex Azar. He’s Trump’s replacement for the sleazy, insider trading Dr. Tom Price at the Department of Health and Human Services. Hell, POLITICO even did most of the work when it published a big story detailing the way Eli Lilly gamed the patent system to sustain Cialis as a rock-hard profit producer when Azar was a Lilly exec. They used a pediatric study loophole the makers of OxyContin had once used to squeeze another six months of profits out of their drug.

On the other hand, they are not talking about the Oil Industry’s influence and the opening up of offshore drilling. They are not talking about the significant expansion of the war on terror … and Trump’s direct hand in a spike in civilian casualties around the Muslim world. They are not talking about the trainwrecks inside the Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They are not talking about Trump pushing DIPLOMATS to get even more involved in selling weapons around the world. They are not talking about Trump’s role in opening up the media for more consolidation. And they are not talking about a dozen other damning stories that, if they’d just dispatch some effing reporters and producers and photographers, they could use those video-driven packages like a goddamn barrage to pepper Trump’s presidency and, in turn, to corner his supporters on Capitol Hill.”, and so on.

and if any of you would like to comment at the Café Babylon version, please feel free. lots of my photos in the banners (if you click on the banner, randomly generated others appear...like magic), and no registration required.

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@wendy davis that’s just it. I think the professional left as a whole is hoping Trump will continue to be good for ratings, be they TV or donations or votes or whatever. Ignoring the fact that he should have been the easiest candidate in history to beat, other than running around like headless Chicken Littles whose sky is falling, what are they doing to insure his defeat other than drumming up the fear? Nothing I can see.

If these people believed Trump was as dangerous as they want us to believe he is, they would be tiresly working 24/7 to get him out of office, by any means necessary, not writing books, being talking heads or social media critics. He may be crazy, but he’s also good business for the left who want to offer us no alternative of substance.

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Just another Bozo on the bus.

wendy davis's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter @Dr. John Carpenter @Dr. John Carpenter (the night tripper?), there's that, plus the fact that so many are unable to see that he was the natural next step in the devolution of the Presidency. Consider the authors of the book: "There is praise for the likes of the CIA and FBI. Kissinger and Brzezinski get favorable treatment. One author tells us not to worry because even if you oppose the pro-Zionist Trump, you can continue to love Israel.” wtf? praising the purveyors of the US hegemon much? #Oprah for President! and consider the D political class:

‘House Democrats supply votes to block limits on NSA spying’, wsws.org
“Sixty-five Democratic representatives joined 191 Republicans to ensure the continuation of Section 702 of FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), which allows for the warrantless collection of electronic communications of individuals outside the US and their contacts, including American citizens within the US. The NSA uses Section 702 to scoop up millions of emails, text messages and video chats with the connivance of Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AT&T and other Internet giants.
Prior to the final vote, 55 Democrats helped torpedo an amendment, put forward by Michigan Republican Representative Justin Amash, which would have placed limited curbs on the way data collected by the US government can be used, requiring the Federal Bureau of Investigation to obtain a warrant before collecting information on American citizens from the NSA database.

Pelosi spoke from the House floor to denounce the amendment and encourage her colleagues to vote against it, earning praise from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. “I want to thank [Pelosi] for coming up and speaking against the Amash amendment and in favor of the underlying bipartisan [bill],” Ryan stated. Pelosi also played a crucial role in 2013, in the immediate aftermath of the Snowden revelations, in quashing an earlier attempt by Amash to limit the NSA’s surveillance powers."

not that there aren't many other agencies spying on us, sharing 'intel' (dhs, fbi, dea, etc.) but jayzus: 'we'll make you more secure!™, darlings! the wikileaks demonstrating that the Clintons had urged herr drumf to run...were fun to read indeed.

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2018/roll016.xml

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

If these people believed Trump was as dangerous as they want us to believe he is, they would be tirelessly working 24/7 to get him out of office, by any means necessary, not writing books, being talking heads or social media critics. He may be crazy, but he’s also good business for the left who want to offer us no alternative of substance.

Not necessarily the case.

So long as we have the pseudo-Christian neo-Pharisee religio-fascist Mike Pence as Vice President, and the advocate of Ayn Randian amoralism Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House, it's actually possible that The Chump is the least of the three available evils. I fear a situation of ex frixorio, in igne (out of the frying pan, into the fire) would result, and I suspect many of my fellow American leftists do as well. Please do understand that this doesn't mean that I find The Chump as anything save evil. But we are somewhat shielded from the worst of his evils by his incompetence.

I'm not sure we want anyone in the Oval Office who is both evil and compos mentis.

Bad

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides I’m a Hoosier who lived under Pence before he was called up to the grownups table. Locally, a lot of people breathed a sigh of relief at having him out of our politics, but I never could see having him as VPOTUS anything but a million times worse. I’m still not convinced Trump is not a stalking horse and once his ego says he can bow out from this job he never wanted anyway, he will, leaving us with the man they really wanted as president. I guess we will see but at the very least, I think Trump is playing heel so tptb can get what they really want while the Dems only offer resistance when it’s safe and meaningless to do so.

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Just another Bozo on the bus.

mimi's picture

I have to read it tomorrow slowly and may be, if I understand it properly, I say something about it.
I am so glad to have all those articles and links to read.
Yes 3

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wendy davis's picture

@mimi @mimi you're welcome, mimi, and ye, waiting is on reading and comprehending, perhaps answering. it's a two-fer, thus long, but to me both were worth reporting, most especially the first, and were part of a whole. as in: science schmience.

but as to your quote at the bottom? a brilliant long commenter at the café is homeless in olympia now, through no misdeeeds of his own, and reports to us now and again. yeah, more reading, but more immediate and simple to understand than this longish lunker. (smile) did you find you buffy video? 'no more greedy guts' wasn't it? one of my all-time faves is 'priests of the golden bull'. boy, did she nail it.

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis

There was a crooked man who walked a crooked mile
He raised a crooked sixpence to hide a crooked style
He won a crooked vote and smiled a crooked smile
Windego

this is actually the issue I was looking for in "No more greedy guts". I was stupid not to search for the meaning of Keshagesh, the old TOP diary popped up and I saw what it meant. For some reason I had something of no more "sugar daddies" in my mind and thought about our "sugar mommies" (HRC, Oprah, and other female big fat cats. Well, something was wrong in my memory).

There was a crooked woman who walked along the crooked mile
together with her crooked sixpence hubby to hide her crooked style
she wants a crooked vote to win a crooked power pile
but there came just that crooked vile,
who had the bigger money pile to steal her crooked power smile.
Windego.

/s sigh.
Good Night. It's 2 am at night and I still haven't read all I wanted to read.

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wendy davis's picture

@mimi @mimi she's aces, and was a friend of the late great, john trudell, may he rest in power. this is the last song he recorded just ahead of his log death from cancer. for indigenous talking songs, perhaps the best in the world. no, check 'perhaps': the best! more will likely kick up on the sidebar...

the many ways that he turned grievous poisonous tragedy into medicine is beyond my ken. one of the originators of AIM, as well. bless his brave heart.

his bio is here,

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
to see from where I am, but the bio link is awesome. Read half of it. To be continued. Have to take a break. Thank You so much.

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Big Al's picture

of societal and government causations, or insert caveats about Obama and Bush, etc. in order to say Trump is a nutcase. Sure, the democrats are ignoring their own house when they say it, but that just shows their hypocrisy, not that Trump isn't whacked out. I don't know if he's mentally ill according to medical definitions, but he's certainly living in a different world in his own mind and has been for most of his life. Getting rid of Trump isn't going to solve our problems, but that still doesn't mean he's not a fucked up human that shouldn't be in the White House.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al big al. he's just took his time to actually read the book and appraise it was what it said, and more importantly...what it did NOT. i'd read your 'remove him by any means necessary', so i did anticipate some possible push-back from you. did strauss or sottile reference obomba or bush? i know i did on GHWB (not violent at all, of course), but that's all i remember...

but to me, all strauss's points are exactly of target, not a peep about nuclear war, fighting the deep state neocons like kissinger, zbig, the CIA, so many others of our oppression and others around the globe. but your objections to the need to understand 'societal and government causations' just don't make sense to me. as he'd said, take him out under article 25 without understanding or objecting to how we got here to this naked face of devolutionary Prez seems not only craven, but a set-up for the next of his disgusting ilk. am i getting what you're driving at?

oh, and i have a Q: i'd seen you saying that wsws censors comments. can you explain that, please? you do know they use (the ptui) disqus for comments, yes?

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

A lot of my comments don't make it through their censorship which is funny because they are calling Google out for theirs.

Good essay. I'm still working my way through it. WSWS has two good articles on how the democrats are working with Trump for funding for more border patrol agents and other issues. The issues that aren't being talked by the people who vote for democrats and the media could fill a stadium. I too have been saying that with all the focus on Trump, the things that the republicans did during the first 100 days of Trump's presidency went unnoticed. Too many issues are still being ignored by the media as you stated. And on many alternative websites that used to cover the issues and one unnamed website that used to do the same thing. Now it's Russia, Trump, Russia, Trump and more Russia. Gack!

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg snoopydog? some folks hit the authors hard, so i'm left wondering what's over the top? glad you like all this, but it's obviously mainly copy/paste, which is about all I can manage relatively easily by now. I'm not very familiar with dialectical analysis, so some Marxist notions that strauss brought to bear...are unfamiliar to me, if they don't outright puzzle me. I re-read his OP this a.m., and had to laugh at this passage I'd missed:

"“So the mental health professionals assigned to Lee’s committee had better know what sanity is before they hammer out their screening protocol. Consider, however, that if one of Lee’s authors is to be taken seriously, no socialist will pass the test, because believing in the worldwide spread of the socialist revolution is yet another example of grandiose thinking.”

but remember when before the Mueller investigations...libruls were adamantly against the CIA? recently emptywheel covered wikileaks posting the cia vaults 7 and 8, and concluding close to: ack! that will severely weaken the CIA! good!

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis I think this is primarily a democratic party thing and since I'm in no way connected to and adamantly opposed to the dem party, I guess I sort of resent being put in the same category of Trump haters. Their motivation is totally different from mine and I have a track record as you know of railing against everything establishment.

Relative to WSWS, it's a small world after all. I noticed Paul Craig Roberts praised it as the leading left wing site on the internet and another writer at Counterpunch also lauded it's approach. I've done some research on the history of that site, the ICFI and the Socialist Equality Party and started questioning what they really wanted to do. They (a number of commenters who call each other comrade) kept referring me to their SEP registration form and insinuated that I needed to "educate" myself. The snobbery is too much at times.
I would say that's just me but in my research I saw I wasn't alone in those thoughts.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Big Al

They (a number of commenters who call each other comrade) kept referring me to their SEP registration form and insinuated that I needed to "educate" myself. The snobbery is too much at times.
I would say that's just me but in my research I saw I wasn't alone in those thoughts.

Me quoque, amice!

Which is why I tend to take WSWS with a grain of salt. Like this one:

salt-lick-1.jpg

Wink

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@Big Al @Big Al big al. but last night i did get to musing about your (and mine with caveats) desire for revolution, which led me to being even more certain that more amerikans need to be 'woke' enough to understand not only the pitfalls of capitalism, but the need for a complete revolution of values (and tomorrow is...MLK day).

meaning, I guess, that both strauss's and Levine's essays are highly relevant to that, lest post-revolution, the new boss looks just like the old boss. (smile)

gotcha on the hubris there, though.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

It went to this anti-liberalism website,

I have a micro-tweak to add here, courtesy of all the utter confusion recent Americans have attached to the word "liberal".

https://tppahanshilhorst.com/ is an anti-neo-liberal Leftist website, and, in my opinion, a great one for progressives/leftists to read.

My thanks to wendy and JtC for bringing us this fine Essay! Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides nice catch, and thank you! wish I knew how to tweak it in edit. I vaguely remember looking at what I'd claimed, knitting my eyebrows, etc. and moving on. but then i stared at the way I'd spelled 'psychiatry' in the title, looked it up three times before i decided: yeah, i got it.

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Bollox Ref's picture

will be regarded as a coup by his most fervent supporters.

It's not a viable option.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

wendy davis's picture

@Bollox Ref @Bollox Ref an author at slate has an interesting and amusing take on it, and what it would take in terms of article 4. and which others could/should fall as well.

for T, it would take a palace coup.

but i'd have to say that some writer/bloggers believe that herr drumpf's having turned over his war policy to the generals in his cabinet was by way of a voluntary military coup; parse that as you will. but giving them free reign to make war as they see fit (as in Afghanistan) seems to fit the bill.

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mimi's picture

as a very cynical attempt to "excuse" the never ending imprisonment of Assange in his Ecuadorian embassy cell.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s poor hygiene sparks complaints at Ecuador Embassy: report

Yeah break the guy and wonder about him losing his mind and letting himself go with regards to his hygiene. Great! So humane of you to let him out and give him some Ecuaroian passport or some such to fly him out. Next prison cell will be in the Ecuadorian jungle. (Has Ecuador a jungle?)

Sorry. I waste my time.

Gosh, another fucktard report. Sorry, had to get this one out of my system.

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wendy davis's picture

@mimi i have a list of links as to what's been going on ever since assange was given Ecuadorian citizenship, and the major hit pieces on him, from say...the guardian. but if you click thru that piece to the IB times the title references 'stinkyLeaks'. AND they call dumbshit-borg his ally, or something. oh, my, no. arch enemy might be closer.

FWIW, and I forget the actual history, but: ‘Daniel Domscheit-Berg – The Man who Sold-out WikiLeaks’, arkhorsenet wordpress, Jan. 8, 2013 domsheit's side of the story is...everywhere, including tada! in film!

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
I remember having heard about the tension between Assange and the German jealous guy.
Sorry, that I am not as capable to have followed all of this and be sure that I to understand all I read. Very telling ... that the authors of the IB article can't stand Assange eating with his fingers and whiping them off on his pants. Very important news and a very "German" thing to be upset about! /s
I am so tired. I walked around and ran into this intercept article: Julian Assange’s Hatred of Hillary Clinton Was No Secret. His Advice to Donald Trump Was.
What the heck. I am so confused I give up to understand who is betraying whom and who is jealous and envious. I am not reading that any longer. For me it's hopelessly beyond my capabilities of understanding it. I remember a day way back when I still worked one of our correspondent consoled me and said I don't have to read tweets, it's not necessary. Nice lady she was. May be she was right as well?
Well, I have still not worked myself through your article. Shame on me. Help
Pardon

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wendy davis's picture

@mimi @mimi
that was quite an anti-assange screed by mackey, and he'd also written one in august of 2016. I covered the first one, even though I loathe giving the intercept clicks. last I'd looked it had over 900 comments, many luckily in support of assange. but even at the café, a few commenters were creeped out about his direct messaging on twitter w. trump, jr, but I did remind them that those communications were pre-election, and at the time T wanted 'out of nato', détente w/ Russia, far less war in general, while Clinton was quite the neo-con war-monger, and seriously wanted assange's head on a pike (he lost her the election, remember?). it didn't turn out that way with Herr Hair, of course, but then...

(how funny this software decides what spelling and font to use, lol.)

I dunno, I did a three-part series on all of it, but it's likely too much noise to too much light to read altogether. and assange still hasn't tweeted anything past this chess board so far. 'the marshall gambit' from 1918 leading to some pretty wild speculations in the twittersphere. beats me, but in the good-whistleblower, bad whistle-blower saga, I'm with wikileaks.

https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/952036089015033856

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Alligator Ed's picture

@wendy davis

One steadfast Assange ally was Kim Dotcom, founder of the shuttered file-sharing site MegaUpload, who helped fuel a conspiracy theory that the DNC emails had not been hacked by Russia, but provided to WikiLeaks by a young Democratic staffer named Seth Rich, who was subsequently murdered.

Conspiracy theory--no, conspiracy truth. Who could believe the author's unbiased position after reading that?

In the department of emerging evidence comes a further quote:

Instead, the hacked emails were used to reverse-engineer preposterous conspiracy theories, like the imaginary pedophilia scandal called Pizzagate, which WikiLeaks was still treating as real two months after the election.

Recent events seem to be painting a different picture, including human trafficking by U.S. "peacekeepers" in Bosnia, Clinton's buddy trying to smuggle Haitians out of the country with Hillary's help. Etc.

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hecate's picture

is that most psychotherapists are themselves unwell, because where and how they live, is unsane.

If you look beyond the modern, Western schools of psychiatry, you find that in traditional societies among primary people it is understood that sanity and madness have to be defined always in relationship to the natural habitat; and that indeed, to a very large extent, madness is understood to be an imbalance between the individual and the natural environment, or between an entire tribe or a people and its natural environment. That's a much larger conception of what sanity and madness are.

If we suspect that an entire culture may be embedded in "collusive madness" or "communal neurosis," where does the therapist then look for a baseline to define sanity and madness? Perhaps an entire society is mad, in which case you don't simply want to adjust people back into another condition of madness.

There is a madness involved in urban industrial society that has to do with our lack of balance and integration with the natural environment. We're not basically okay within an urban industrial society. That's a problem with the possibility of treating problems of neurosis within an urban framework. The city is itself shot through with a kind of madness. I'm talking about something that's so apparent in the pace and tempo of our daily life that I think it's almost taken for granted that we are living a kind of crazy life. All we have to do is be caught on the freeway in a traffic jam to recognize the madness of the way we've constructed the world around us. The amount of waste and the amount of stress and the amount of tension that we inflict upon ourselves. There's something crazy about that.

When we say we are crazy with what we're doing in this urban environment, this quite simply has no professional meaning. Because psychiatrists who are themselves products of an urban culture and practice within an urban context are often not prepared to call into question a context that they themselves are tied to. If the city is a crazy context in which people live, then that would also be a crazy context in which to carry on psychotherapy.

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wendy davis's picture

@hecate @hecate
thank you. I got a bit caught up in reading his theory from the beginning, looked at the slidey-bar, and realized there were still miles to go before the end. but you picked a pretty pithy and representative section, didn't you? i'll gladly finish it later. 'industrial disease' (the lyrics are here) dovetails nicely, I think.

a small group of us were discussing the admonition 'Know Thyself' recently, and several of the themes in his eco-psychology popped up, including Sophocles' Oedipus, uncle zigmund, the seeming fact that Buddhists were more apt to care about all creatures on the planet than Christians, etc.

Whether or not we need solitude and silence to look within, quotes from philosophers and mystics galore, including this tangentially related one from Uncle Albert:

" “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
~ Albert Einstein

I hope you're good w/ me taking this over yonder to the café; almost no one has commented there on it. but one of the reasons I created the place as I did was that I'm so replenished by the banner photos of our little slice of heaven here, and also...the night sky.

on edit: 1/15 noonish: not having heard back from you, i took this to the café, an an indigenous/chicano commenter was jazzed about it. thanks again. turns out that raszok crossed over in 201, but he's all over youtube, as is another indigenous speaker on eco-psychology. native americans meet theoretical physicists in abq. whooosh!

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hecate's picture

@wendy davis
sorry I didn't swing by and reply earlier, but you should always feel free to take anything I say or link, that you find of value, to anywhere at all. ; )

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