At present the first traceable use of the term psychopolitics is by the German jurist expert in international law Heinrich Rogge in Psychopolitics and the problem of the leader (Psychopolitik und Führerproblem, 1925).
Rogge’s prominence is also testified by the reviews that at least from 1934 to 1937 his writings on Hitler and on the prospect of peace in Europe obtained in the magazine Foreign Affairs, of the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
“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.”
“When the recent surge of recreational use of so-called ‘hallucinogenic’ or ‘psychedelic’ drugs first came to popular attention in the early 1960’s, it was commonly viewed with suspicion and associated with the behavior of deviant or revolutionary groups.”
“Not only is ‘psychedelic’ an incorrect verbal formation, but it has become so invested with connotations of the pop-culture of the 1960’s that it is incongruous to speak of a shaman’s taking a ‘psychedelic’ drug.”
“We therefore, propose a new term that would be appropriate for describing states of shamanic and ecstatic possession induced by ingestion of mind-altering drugs.”
“Narcotics that induce hallucinations are variously called hallucinogens (hallucination generators), psychotomimetics (psychosis mimickers), psychotaraxics (mind disturbers), and psychedelics (mind manifesters).
No one term fully satisfies scientists, but hallucinogens comes closest. Psychedelic is most widely used in the United States, but it combines two Greek roots incorrectly, is biologically unsound, and has acquired popular meanings beyond the drugs or their effects.”
“South London and Maudsley has announced a new partnership to launch The Centre for Mental Health Research and Innovation to accelerate psychedelic research and develop new models of care for mental health in the UK.
Working together with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, and COMPASS Pathways, a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health, this pioneering collaboration will provide patient access to cutting edge research studies in multiple areas of high unmet need in mental health.
The Centre will accelerate research of emerging psychedelic therapies, support therapist training and certification, evaluate real-world evidence, and prototype digital technologies to enable personalised, predictive and preventative care models.”
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.
“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
In this article, two covers are presented from conferences proceedings sponsored by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, about Cybernetics – 1953 Macy Conferences – and Neuropharmacology – 1955 Neuropharmacological Conferences, in which U.S. neurophysiologist and behavioural scientist Ralph Waldo Gerard proposed the term ‘psychotomimetic’.
“There is one golden rule that should be applied in working with model psychoses. One should start with oneself.”
“Our psychotomimetics resemble the hypothetical endotoxin that Carl Jung called toxin-X and that we have called M (mescalinelike) substance.”
Osmond views raise an interesting paradox of experience over logos: if in order to discuss rationally about such substances one has to use them and if using them disorganizes the psyche, would it ever be in fact possible to discuss rationally about them? Or the move to use them implies – a priori – an abandonment of human rationality?
“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.”
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’.
“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.”
“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)