Roots of Polish psychiatry (2022)

“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.”

‘Structures of Capital’: Centre d’étude des problèmes humains, CEPH (2022)

“Coutrot was probably the first French businessman to perceive the possible use of psychology and sociology in business.”

“This was the spirit in which he created the Centre d’Etude des Problèmes Humains, CEPH, in association with the writer Aldous Huxley, the archeologist Robert Francillon, and the economist Georges Guillaume. Hyacinthe Dubreuil, Jean Ullmo, Alfred Sauvy (who coined the expression ‘Third World’), Teilhard de Chardin (a close friend of Coutrot’s), Tchakotine, and others participated in the CEPH meetings, which included eight commissions: economic humanism, applied psychology, rational and humane limitation of inequality, propaganda, industrial decentralization, psychobiology, history and analysis of Marxism.”

“Open to psychology, even psychiatry and sociology, the new managers wanted to take into account the human factor and analyse the motivations buried deep inside managers, at the very heart of the spirit of capitalism.”

“Social psychology techniques, and industrial psychology imported from the U.S. Thus, a mixed discourse can be seen to be forming in which the words and expressions borrowed from the spiritualist and personalist vocabulary (community, person, man, liberty, dialogue) are blended with terms used for technical efficiency and psychoanalysis. The switch to human relations and the social sciences by the heirs of Social Catholicism.”

“A new generation of psychosociologists followed the importing of group techniques… Most received, after their university studies, a complementary education in the United States from the “masters” of American social psychology, in particular Carl Rogers.”

Huxley’s introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita (2022)

“Man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and an eternal Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul.”

“The evil, folly and ignorance which constitute the thing we call our personality and provent us from becoming aware of the spark of divinity illuminating the inner man.”

“The invention of the steam engine produced a revolution, not merely in industrial techniques, but also and much more significantly in philosophy. … External circumstances came to be regarded as more important than states of mind about external circumstances, and the end of human life was held to be action, with contemplation as a means to that end.”

“The solution… must be be sought in the domain, not of philosophy, but of psychology.”

“The Gita, where the psychological facts are linked up with general cosmology.”

“It is only to a mind purified from egotism that intuition of the Divine Ground can come.”

“There will never be enduring peace unless and until human beings come to accept a philosophy of life more adequate to the cosmic and psychological facts than the insane idolatries of nationalism and the advertising man’s apocalyptic-faith in Progress towards a mechanized New Jerusalem.”

‘World Revolutionary Elites’, MIT 1965 – book covers (2021)

Contents of such volume and the two book covers of the hardback 1965 and paperback 1966 editions are presented. The importance and “rediscovery” of such book in PsyPolitics is motivated by the extraordinary concordance with some of the themes present in today’s transforming global politics, currently in mass and digital media, as well as in formulations independently developed over the past three years.

‘Russian Psychiatry – Its Historical and Ideological Background’, Zilboorg 1942 (2021)

“Alcoholism in Tsarist Russia was as typical and chronic a disease as was Tsardom itself.”

“Since the Soviet Revolution, psychiatry has become a branch of public health when it is not a field of laboratory research. What is known here as “mental hygiene” has become the chief field of Russian psychiatric endeavor.”

“The whole working population is brought into the orbit of psychological supervision and educational efforts.”

“A system for ‘the protection of neuropsychic health.’ Sanatoria for borderline cases and for neuroses have been organized.”

“Social hygiene and prophylaxis are the guiding principles.”

‘World Revolutionary Elites’, MIT 1965 (2021)

“Parallel with these events is the perfecting of conditioning procedures, with or without the aid of drugs and hypnosis. The abolition of privacy – already well along in our day – is placing potent instruments of control in the hands of elites who may see an opportunity to consolidate their position by policing the population medically” – Harold Lasswell

“What benefit does Russia derive from this Institute?” Tsar Nicholas II on the Psycho-Neurological Institute (2021)

The last Emperor of Russia and Vladimir Bekhterev’s Psycho-Neurological Institute revolutionaries.

The Lancet’s Editor-in-Chief: “We will be transformed into biopolitical citizens” (2021)

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.

‘Psychologie’, ‘politique’. Encyclopédie, 1751-1765 (2021)

“PSYCHOLOGY, the doctrine of the soul is only a part of Pneumatology or the doctrine of spirits, which is itself only a part of Metaphysics.”

“POLITICS, Political philosophy is that which teaches men to behave with prudence, either at the head of a state or at the head of a family.”

‘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.