Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Social Dementia Causes Heated Misunderestimations - 3

Who are "Just US?"
In this series we have been focusing on the source of dementia in the with a special emphasis on looking at places where it is not hard to find it.

That would be the realm of officialdom (see e.g. Etiology of Social Dementia through Etiology of Social Dementia - 8, and this).

A group, nation, or civilization cannot be considered sane and at the same time have the same psychotic symptoms that individual people have when those individual people are diagnosed as suffering from dementia of one sort or the other.

Three well-known individuals of history have pointed this out, each in their own unique way:
"I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness." - Sigmund Freud

Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
(see e.g. The Life and Death of Bright Things). We can sanely and properly deduce that it is time for a check up, time for psychoanalysis, yes time for the in particular, civilization in general, to do some deep and serious soul searching -- like individual people do from time to time.

But there are rules against the psychoanalysis of the untouched:
I write this despite the so-called Goldwater Rule, an ethical standard the American Psychiatric Association adopted in the 1970s that directs psychiatrists not to comment on someone’s mental state if they have not examined him and gotten permission to discuss his case. It has had a chilling effect. After mass murders, our airwaves are filled with unfounded speculations about video games, our culture of hedonism and our loss of religious faith, while psychiatrists, the ones who know the most about severe mental illness, are largely marginalized.
(NY Times, emphasis added). But how would a psychiatrist "touch" a group, nation, or civilization with the reality of its condition anyway?

Better still, how would the American Psychiatric Association touch a group, nation, or civilization with the reality of its condition?

Here again, Freud was ahead of the curve enough to give us a starting point:
I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness.
The diagnosis of collective neuroses, moreover, will be confronted by a special difficulty. In the neurosis of an individual we can use as a starting point the contrast presented to us between the patient and his environment which we assume to be normal. No such background as this would be available for any society similarly affected; it would have to be supplied in some other way. And with regard to any therapeutic application of our knowledge, what would be the use of the most acute analysis of social neuroses, since no one possesses power to compel the community to adopt the therapy? In spite of all these difficulties, we may expect that one day someone will venture upon this research into the pathology of civilized communities.
(MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact - 5, quoting Freud). The problem is exacerbated by the reality of the definition of schizophrenia:
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it hard to:
  • Tell the difference between what is real and not real
  • Think clearly
  • Have normal emotional responses
  • Act normally in social situations
(Schizophrenia - PubMed). One would think that fits the current national policies, as well as those of civilization itself, quite accurately.

Which is exacerbated by the added dementia of exceptionalism, morphing the discussion into one of "my dementia is better than yours because it has been blessed by the priests of the bully pulpit."

The previous post in this series is here.

"oh no I've said too much ... "

"I haven't said enough ..."

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