14 November 2006

An Introduction

Introducing myself as your friendly (unless provoked) guest blogger. My username is taken from a poem ('To Posterity') by Brecht:
Ah, what an age it is
When to talk about trees is almost a crime
For it is a kind of silence about injustice!
So to me, to be able to talk about trees (or movies, or art, or whatever) is to display a sense of optimism, to recognise that whilst the times we live in, though not Nazi Germany, are pretty foul, they are also ones in which "man can help his fellow man" and injustice is met with resistance. It also implies that to me being a socialist involves appreciation of the emotional, environmental and artistic (in a broad sense) aspects of life, roses as well as bread, as the saying goes.

As to the substance, Doloras asked me to blog here after reading some rather disconnected ideas I had written on psychology and the mental health system under capitalism. There is no shortage of those who oppose psychiatry, or at least psychiatry in its present form, but too often it is opposed without analysis, without any sense of connection to the world, something that is bad either because it just is or because of the inherently evil actions of those involved in it.

It is not enough, then, to simply point out what is wrong with the mental health system. I want to explore what purpose it serves under capitalism, how its techniques fit into other areas such as, for example, advertising or classification of recreational drugs. And most importantly, what the alternatives are.