‘Pneumadelic’? Osmond, 1957: “my own preference being ‘psychelytic’, or ‘psychedelic’ ” /2 (2021)

“No account of model psychoses would be complete that did not relate those that are induced chemically to those induced by other means, such as the reduced or specialized environments described by Heron, Bexton, and Hebb and by Lilly. These specialized environments have been used since antiquity.”

“The substances in question can be used to develop very high degrees of that mysterious yet vital quality – empathy.”

“I believe that these agents have a part to play in our survival as a species.”

‘Pneumadelic’? Osmond, 1957: “my own preference being ‘psychelytic’, or ‘psychedelic’ ” (2021)

The broader political meaning of these substances was stated by Osmond from the very birth of the word ‘psychedelic’.

‘Psychelytic’ would appear to be in line with a Gnostic worldview – as presented by Eric Voegelin – requiring the dissolution or disintegration of the psyche. However, instead of psychedelic, for the pneuma to be revealed or manifested a more appropriate term could be ‘pneumadelic’.

‘Psychiatry’ and ‘antipsychiatry’ (2021)

The word ‘psychiatry’ was coined in 1808 by a German Doctor, Christian Reil, and the word ‘antipsychiatry’ was coined a century later in 1908 by another German Doctor, Bernhard Beyer.

For the first time here – and by way of two portraits – the inventors of the two words are presented together.

Federico Soldani: intervista TV su politica, linguaggio medico-psicologico e tecnocrazia [trascrizione] (2020)

“Volevo evidenziare che a mio avviso noi siamo di fronte – anche soltanto guardando al linguaggio, e non solo – a una trasformazione equivalente, se non più radicale, perché le tecnologie di oggi sono molto più invasive e pervasive, di quella che c’è stata 250, 200 anni fa, con la nascita degli stati nazione basati sulle costituzioni alla Montesquieu. E gia’ lo storico, il grande storico Hobsbawm, quello del Secolo Breve per intenderci, nel suo libro che si chiama L’Età della Rivoluzione, che parla proprio di quel periodo, evidenziava come gli intellettuali, o i politici, a quei tempi, quando il potere stava passando da un potere di tipo sovrano, di tipo anche sempre legato all’ambito religioso, a un potere sempre più secolarizzato, questi intellettuali – fondamentalmente gli intellettuali protagonisti dell’illuminismo – prima hanno iniziato a parlare un linguaggio secolarizzato, a dispetto delle loro credenze religiose private, dopodiché è avvenuta la secolarizzazione anche del potere.  Adesso noi secondo me stiamo assistendo al linguaggio che in modo assolutamente, ecco come dire, evidente sta diventando un linguaggio tecnico, medico, psicologico, epidemiologico.  E allora prima cambia il linguaggio – se seguiamo il ragionamento di Hobsbawm – e questo ci indica in che direzione cambieranno le istituzioni.”

Una visita a casa Freud /2 (2010)

Quanto è stato importante il ruolo che casi sensazionali di guarigione, riportati su un giornale medico supportato in maniera non trasparente dalla casa produttrice Parke-Davis, esercitarono sulla convinzione che Freud si formò circa i molteplici usi “terapeutici” della cocaina?

E quale può essere stato l’impatto degli effetti di questa sostanza stimolante sull’ideazione di alcuni dei temi, tra cui alcuni fortemente legati alla sfera sessuale, che sono centrali nello sviluppo della psicoanalisi?

“Gli inevitabili profili di ‘psicologia fiscale'” (2021)

In una audizione parlamentare, davanti alla commissione per la riforma del diritto tributario – ‘Riforma dell’IRPEF e altri aspetti del sistema tributario’ – il direttore della Agenzia delle Entrate italiana ha affermato: “appare utile evidenziare come sia necessario prestare attenzione agli inevitabili profili di “psicologia fiscale”.

“La classificazione del comportamento scorretto come malattia” – sosteneva lo psichiatra Szasz – “fornisce una giustificazione ideologica per un controllo sociale sponsorizzato dallo stato come trattamento medico”.

La psicologizzazione del discorso pubblico (2019)

La psicologizzazione del discorso pubblico e’ una delle strategie principali di lungo periodo che servono a de-politicizzare e de-sovranizzare il cittadino elettore.

‘Life in a Technocracy’, 1933: a soviet of technicians… in America? /14 (2021)

“Probably the one event capable of instigating so fundamental a change would be a major collapse. Only if the present producing and distributing apparatus should definitely break down, only if hunger and cold should spur the minds of a majority of the nation into unaccustomed activity, could a revolution conflicting with nearly every current belief gain momentum.”

“Since revolution should neither be desired nor expected now, and since the transformation from capitalism to technocracy is so drastic that certain of its stages will certainly be considered to be of a revolutionary nature, it may be asked what preliminary steps should be taken in order to prepare for the crucial moments.”

“Revolution, as Trotsky puts it, can only occur when the class in power has outlived its usefulness and thereby become rotten.”

“As a result, capital has been shorn of its function though the realization of this may not immediately percolate through the group consciousness.”

‘Life in a Technocracy’, 1933: a soviet of technicians… in America? /13 (2021)

“There is no a priori reason why a sustained, even intelligent, study of the phenomena which induce these visions cannot eventually permit us to attain them at will.” “And when a being is in possession of them, he knows or thinks he knows the meaning of life and thus, as a secondary benefit, reduces, by the aid of memory, to their proper unimportance, the sorrow, the tragedy, even the ostensible evil which is woven of necessity into the texture of our temporal days.”

‘Life in a Technocracy’, 1933: a soviet of technicians… in America? /12 (2021)

“Society since the beginning has discouraged by means of church, school, and statutory restrictions all experimentation in the domain of spiritual living. The consequence has been a stultification of the intellect, a frustration of the emotions, and a damming up of nervous energy which is bringing many people to the verge of a nervous breakdown. A technocracy would attempt to set free that great surplus of vital energy now burning itself out, uselessly, in the business game, and redirect it into unexplored channels.”

“Research work, directed toward discovering the causes of psychic maladjustments, may prove more difficult than devising a machine to pick cotton; and successful achievement in this field will surely be harder to measure.”

‘Psyspeak’ on PsyPolitics and ‘therapy-speak’ on The New Yorker (2021)

In the summer of 2019, I proposed the use of the terms “psyspeak” or “ideopathological lexicon” to mean psychologized as well as medicalized lexicon used outside of the clinical context especially when applied to the wider societal and political world, during a talk at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London.

On the 26th of March this year, just a few days ago, The New Yorker online published the following article, under Cultural Comment: “The rise of therapy-speak. How a language got off the couch and into the world” by Katy Waldman, a magazine staff writer.

‘Life in a Technocracy’, 1933: a soviet of technicians… in America? /11 (2021)

“As a last measure the energy certificate” – a measure reminding of today’s Chinese ‘social credit’ – “could be cancelled. This punishment should prove efficacious in most cases. When an individual proved obstinately recalcitrant for obscure reasons, the psychiatrists would attempt to unravel the trouble. In no case should real punishment, such as solitary confinement or labor forced by physical threats, be necessary.” “On first thought, tyranny, due to the human tendency to get drunk with power, would seem to be a grave menace to the technocracy. Our present constitution is so preoccupied with guarding against this menace that executive action is greatly hampered. In fact, action would be nearly impossible if every legal requirement were conscientiously fulfilled. In a technocracy there would be no statutory checks on tyranny.”

Il ‘Grande Internamento’ (2019)

La tendenza generalizzata contemporanea che, riutilizzando un termine di Michel Foucault, chiamo “grande internamento” e’ ravvisabile in tre tendenze in corso: il mentalismo, il neuro-centrismo, e la rivoluzione digitale e virtuale.

‘Life in a Technocracy’, 1933: a soviet of technicians… in America? /10 (2021)

“Human energy, applied to finding ways of life that satisfy, to creating values which uplift the spirit, may improve the lot of man on earth as emphatically in the inner psychic sphere as man’s genius, directed toward conquering the outer material world, has ameliorated the conditions of his physical existence.”