“The Soviet regime applies ‘scientific socialism’, within which psychiatry has a special place.”
“Historian Paul Johnson notes that in 1919 the Moscow Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced an anticommunist leader to treatment in a sanatorium.”
“Glasnost has not involved the release of any dissident from a psychiatric ‘hospital’.”
“Neal Ascherson, in the New York Review of Books, says German doctors were dazzled to discover that, under Hitler, medicine was ‘the central intellectual resource of the New Order’.”
“Since Freud postulated that the self is a fractious committee — the ego, id and libido — there has been ‘scientific’ doubt about the importance of reason in the individual’s life.”
“As Khrushchev said in Pravda in 1959 about people ‘who might start calling for opposition’ to communism: ‘Clearly the mental state of such people is not normal’.”
“Psychiatry, with its expanding arsenal of drugs, can be abused as a brutal instrument of social control. And the official Soviet premise, that only the psychologically disabled could fail to love socialism, enlists psychiatry as a rationalization for the regime.”
“The roots of Freemasonry, one of the most important cultural and social phenomena of modern times, are clearly European, but the origins of this fraternal organization are as obscure as they are legendary.”
“There has been very little or no research so far into the impact of the Masonic ideas of tolerance, freedom, equality and brotherhood on the development of psychiatry. The degree of this influence was certainly different from one country to another.”
“Polish Freemasonry was reborn in 1920, with an important role played by three psychiatrists: Rafał Radziwiłłowicz, Witold Łuniewski and Jan Mazurkiewicz, who were Grand Masters of the Grand National Lodge of Poland.”
“Freemason psychiatrists headed the Polish Psychiatric Association throughout the entire inter-war period: Chodźko in 1920–23 and 1928–30, and Mazurkiewicz in 1923–28 and 1930–47. Radziwiłłowicz was the General Secretary of the Association between 1920 and 1928, and he was also the founder of Rocznik Psychiatryczny (Psychiatric Annual), the journal published by the Association.”
“Frantz Fanon’s psychiatric career was crucial to his thinking as an anti-colonialist writer and activist. Much of his iconic work was shaped by his experiences working in hospitals in France, Algeria and Tunisia. [His psychiatric writing] from 1951 to 1960 in tandem with his political work reveals much about how Fanon’s thought developed, showing that, for him, psychiatry was part of a much wider socio-political struggle. His political, revolutionary and literary lives should not then be separated from the psychiatric practice and writings that shaped his thinking about oppression, alienation and the search for freedom.”
“It was out of desperation and his lack of success with Soviet doctors, Fanon’s biographer David Macey reports, that Fanon had agreed to American offers to fly him to the United States.”
Horton, while clearly and unmistakably espousing a globalist and technocratic view, at the same time introduces themes from an author such as Foucault – who worked largely on topics related to psychology and psychiatry – and even appears to criticize the dangers of technocracy at the end of his book. The risk of recuperation – of Foucauldian themes and tools radically challenging the rising ‘biomedical’ as well as ‘psy’ global power – into mainstream globalist and technocratic discourse is definitely present, in my view, in Horton’s latest book.
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.
“To attribute the behavior of generals or of the imperialists to a sort of monstrous irrationality commonly accepted as normal means not allowing oneself to consider that the logic of war, or of the bomb, or of hunger, is not the result of particular psychological processes, but of a social system which is neither mad nor irrational and simply defends with maximum coherence some vested interests.”
The most famous novel by Aldous Leonard Huxley is opened with an epigraph by the man who described how psychiatrist Bogdanov – founder of Bolshevism with Lenin – was treating, surreptitiously, philosophical ideas he disagreed with as a form of mental illness.
“It was not exactly the emancipation demanded by Karl Marx, who, moreover, did not have the fancy to imagine that the result following industrial capitalism were the states altered by LSD” – Geminello Alvi, ‘Capitalism. Towards the Chinese ideal’ (2011)