Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

  • Posted on: 28 February 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/02/why-anti-authoritarians-are-diagnose... in America</a> - by Bruce Levine, Ph.D.

<p>In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with hundreds of people previously diagnosed by other professionals with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety disorder and other psychiatric illnesses, and I am struck by (1) how many of those diagnosed are essentially <em>anti-authoritarians</em>, and (2) how those professionals who have diagnosed them are not.</p>
<p>Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority—sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.</p></td><td><img title="The answer is no. never. not." src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/epicwinterforest.jpg"></td>...

<p>Some activists lament how few anti-authoritarians there appear to be in the United States. One reason could be that many natural anti-authoritarians are now psychopathologized and medicated before they achieve political consciousness of society’s most oppressive authorities.</p>
<p><strong>Why Mental Health Professionals Diagnose Anti-Authoritarians with Mental Illness</strong></p>
<p>Gaining acceptance into graduate school or medical school and achieving a PhD or MD and becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist means jumping through many hoops, all of which require much behavioral and attentional compliance to authorities, even to those authorities that one lacks respect for. The selection and socialization of mental health professionals tends to breed out many anti-authoritarians. Having steered the higher-education terrain for a decade of my life, I know that degrees and credentials are primarily badges of compliance. Those with extended schooling have lived for many years in a world where one routinely conforms to the demands of authorities. Thus for many MDs and PhDs, people different from them who reject this attentional and behavioral compliance appear to be from another world—a diagnosable one.</p>

<p>I have found that most psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals are not only extraordinarily compliant with authorities but also unaware of the magnitude of their obedience. And it also has become clear to me that the anti-authoritarianism of their patients creates enormous anxiety for these professionals, and their anxiety fuels diagnoses and treatments.</p>
<p>In graduate school, I discovered that all it took to be labeled as having “issues with authority” was to not kiss up to a director of clinical training whose personality was a combination of Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, and Howard Cosell. When I was told by some faculty that I had “issues with authority,” I had mixed feelings about being so labeled. On the one hand, I found it quite amusing, because among the working-class kids whom I had grown up with, I was considered relatively compliant with authorities. After all, I had done my homework, studied, and received good grades. However, while my new “issues with authority” label made me grin because I was now being seen as a “bad boy,” it also very much concerned me about just what kind of a profession that I had entered. Specifically, if somebody such as myself was being labeled with “issues with authority,” what were they calling the kids I grew up with who paid attention to many things that they cared about but didn’t care enough about school to comply there? Well, the answer soon became clear.</p>
<p><strong>Mental Illness Diagnoses for Anti-Authoritarians</strong></p>
<p>A 2009 <em>Psychiatric Times</em> article titled “<a href="http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/adhd/content/article/10162/1452117" onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.psychiatrictimes.com']);">ADHD &amp; ODD: Confronting the Challenges of Disruptive Behavior</a>” reports that “disruptive disorders,” which include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and opposition defiant disorder (ODD), are the most common mental health problem of children and teenagers. ADHD is defined by poor attention and distractibility, poor self-control and impulsivity, and hyperactivity. ODD is defined as a “a pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior without the more serious violations of the basic rights of others that are seen in conduct disorder”; and ODD symptoms include “often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules” and “often argues with adults.”</p>
<p>Psychologist Russell Barkley, one of mainstream mental health’s leading authorities on ADHD, says that those afflicted with ADHD have deficits in what he calls “rule-governed behavior,” as they are less responsive to rules of established authorities and less sensitive to positive or negative consequences. ODD young people, according to mainstream mental health authorities, also have these so-called deficits in rule-governed behavior, and so it is extremely common for young people to have a “duel diagnosis” of AHDH and ODD.</p>

<p>Do we really want to diagnose and medicate everyone with “deficits in rule-governed behavior”?</p>
<p>Albert Einstein, as a youth, would have likely received an ADHD diagnosis, and maybe an ODD one as well. Albert didn&#8217;t pay attention to his teachers, failed his college entrance examinations twice, and had difficulty holding jobs. However, Einstein biographer Ronald Clark (<em>Einstein: The Life and Times</em>) asserts that Albert&#8217;s problems did not stem from attention deficits but rather from his hatred of authoritarian, Prussian discipline in his schools. Einstein said, “The teachers in the elementary school appeared to me like sergeants and in the Gymnasium the teachers were like lieutenants.” At age 13, Einstein read Kant&#8217;s difficult <em>Critique of Pure Reason—</em>because Albert was interested in it<em>.</em> Clark also tells us Einstein refused to prepare himself for his college admissions as a rebellion against his father’s “unbearable” path of a “practical profession.” After he did enter college, one professor told Einstein, “You have one fault; one can’t tell you anything.” The very characteristics of Einstein that upset authorities so much were exactly the ones that allowed him to excel.</p>
<p>By today’s standards, Saul Alinsky, the legendary organizer and author of <em>Reveille for Radicals </em>and<em> Rules for Radicals</em>, would have certainly been diagnosed with one or more disruptive disorders. Recalling his childhood, Alinsky said, “I never thought of walking on the grass until I saw a sign saying ‘Keep off the grass.’ Then I would stomp all over it.” Alinsky also recalls a time when he was ten or eleven and his rabbi was tutoring him in Hebrew:</p>

<blockquote><p>One particular day I read three pages in a row without any errors in pronunciation, and suddenly a penny fell onto the Bible . . . Then the next day the rabbi turned up and he told me to start reading. And I wouldn’t; I just sat there in silence, refusing to read. He asked me why I was so quiet, and I said, “This time it’s a nickel or nothing.” He threw back his arm and slammed me across the room.</p></blockquote>
<p>Many people with severe anxiety and/or depression are also anti-authoritarians. Often a major pain of their lives that fuels their anxiety and/or depression is fear that their contempt for illegitimate authorities will cause them to be financially and socially marginalized; but they fear that compliance with such illegitimate authorities will cause them existential death.</p>
<p>I have also spent a great deal of time with people who had at one time in their lives had thoughts and behavior that were so bizarre that they were extremely frightening for their families and even themselves; they were diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses, but have fully recovered and have been, for many years, leading productive lives. Among this population, I have not met one person whom I would not consider a major anti-authoritarian. Once recovered, they have learned to channel their anti-authoritarianism into more constructive political ends, including reforming mental health treatment.</p>
<p>Many anti-authoritarians who earlier in their lives were diagnosed with mental illness tell me that once they were labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis, they got caught in a dilemma. Authoritarians, by definition, demand unquestioning obedience, and so any resistance to their diagnosis and treatment created enormous anxiety for authoritarian mental health professionals; and professionals, feeling out of control, labeled them “noncompliant with treatment,” increased the severity of their diagnosis, and jacked up their medications. This was enraging for these anti-authoritarians, sometimes so much so that they reacted in ways that made them appear even more frightening to their families.</p>
<p>There are anti-authoritarians who use psychiatric drugs to help them function, but they often reject psychiatric authorities’ explanations for why they have difficulty functioning. So, for example, they may take Adderall (an amphetamine prescribed for ADHD), but they know that their attentional problem is not a result of a biochemical brain imbalance but rather caused by a boring job. And similarly, many anti-authoritarians in highly stressful environments will occasionally take prescribed benzodiazepines such as Xanax even though they believe it would be safer to occasionally use marijuana but can’t because of drug testing on their job</p>
<p>It has been my experience that many anti-authoritarians labeled with psychiatric diagnoses usually don’t reject <em>all</em> authorities, simply those they’ve assessed to be illegitimate ones, which just happens to be a great deal of society’s authorities.</p>
<p><strong>Maintaining the Societal Status Quo</strong></p>

<p>Americans have been increasingly socialized to equate inattention, anger, anxiety, and immobilizing despair with a medical condition, and to seek medical treatment rather than political remedies. What better way to maintain the status quo than to view inattention, anger, anxiety, and depression as biochemical problems of those who are mentally ill rather than normal reactions to an increasingly authoritarian society.</p>
<p>The reality is that depression is highly associated with societal and financial pains. One is much more likely to be depressed if one is unemployed, underemployed, on public assistance, or in debt (for documentation, see “<a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/152873/400_rise_in_anti-depressant_pill_us... onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.alternet.org']);">400% Rise in Anti-Depressant Pill Use</a>”). And ADHD labeled kids do pay attention when they are getting paid, or when an activity is novel, interests them, or is chosen by them (documented in my book <em>Commonsense Rebellion</em>).</p>
<p>In an earlier dark age, authoritarian monarchies partnered with authoritarian religious institutions. When the world exited from this dark age and entered the Enlightenment, there was a burst of energy. Much of this revitalization had to do with risking skepticism about authoritarian and corrupt institutions and regaining confidence in one’s own mind. We are now in another dark age, only the institutions have changed. Americans desperately need anti-authoritarians to question, challenge, and resist new illegitimate authorities and regain confidence in their own common sense.</p>
<p>In every generation there will be authoritarians and anti-authoritarians. While it is unusual in American history for anti-authoritarians to take the kind of effective action that inspires others to successfully revolt, every once in a while a Tom Paine, Crazy Horse, or Malcolm X come along. So authoritarians financially marginalize those who buck the system, they criminalize anti-authoritarianism, they psychopathologize anti-authoritarians, and they market drugs for their “cure.”</p>


Finally, a bit of honesty regarding one's own church. Thank you. The next step, of course, is to get beyond the distinction of legitimate and illegitimate authority, and question the legitimacy of authority itself. Only then can one come to question the legitimacy of legitimacy, and all constraining civil order comes to a stand-still. That is the prerequisite of a DIY or non-relegated (or non-delegated) society where mutual aid is a personal thrust and not a proper reading of Emily Post.

Why call it nihilist destruction or any medicinally diagnostic referent of social or even biological illness, when it is so obviously the plain, 'common sense' of liberation from moral ('objective') restraints? There is a reason Einstein was jazzed by relativity, only he completely missed the importance of playing with dice.


"Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority."

And remember kids, Einstein wrote a letter to Roosevelt encouraging him to develop the atomic bomb before the Germans did.

Thanks for posting, I've been thinking about mental health and its relationship to anti-authorianism a lot recently. Let's also not forget that a lot of mentally ill people are authoritarians, and also there is a difference between ODD (for instance) and outright sociopathy.

Not that I think "ODD" is even a real thing.

In fact, this whole thing is run by sociopaths of various degrees (some symptoms: authoritarianism, lack of empathy, violation of the rights of others, etc). But these are sociopaths who "respect authority." The ADHD/ODD and etc diagnoses of children in this country are obviously excessive, and its no accident -
numb their emotions so they can become better manipulative sociopaths!

"this whole thing" = "the world"

But meanwhile, mental illness of sociopathic variety is glamorised - as long as it complies with authority (in the end, at bottom).

Well said. And, further the more they show those qualities, they're given advancement in both the military, politics and business. They always need believable liars and those advancing "plausible deniability".

Worker, I see you're gleaning some stories from our r/@. If you put us on your sidebar, we'll put you back on ours!


keep your corporate-sponsored site the fuck away from here.


ITT: Anoks being disappointed in Bruce for not questioning all authority while not questioning medical discourse as a whole.

Yes. fucking yes. thank fucking god!!!

fuck god

as you can see, this proves aspergers syndrome is more real than ODD.

God only lasts a second.

"There is, therefore, a single ideology ... that of the 'modern ego', that is to say, the paranoiac subject of scientific civilization, of which a warped psychology theorizes the imaginary, at the service of free enterprise [i.e., Imperialism]. Jacques-Alain Miller

The frustrating thing about this whole 'what is insanity/sanity thing' is that society gets off the hook yet again! There are medical mechanics like Richard Dawkins seeking the holy grail of the Western scientific world which amounts to a theory just as determinist and teleologically absurd as the mythologies that Dawkins opposes. Both schools are blinded by a faith which uses mystery of the unknown as its tool to lure those seeking relief from the fear of mystery, or the quest for a relevant reality. Enlightenment was just the subsumption of religion by science, not the overthrowing of it. Now, instead of the miracle of fish/loaves and mysterious ethereal entities creating us, there is the awesomness of ipod and the quantum genetic forces creating, controlling and predestining us.e.g

"Selfish sociopathic genes are guilty your honor, it was not society which made this person who they are" or "These mentalities will always be with us until the end of civilisation"

There is very rarely-

"Why isn't there a study of the influence of all social relationships from the time of birth, and how all data and experience mould a consciousness into a plethora of types"

Anyway what i'm getting at is end this whole quest methodology and the society that requires it to marginalise and classify.


agreed, ‘society gets off the hook’ because science teaches that organisms are independent ‘machines’ with their own internally driven and directed development and behaviour. this view splits the world into the ‘inorganic’ and ‘organic’ realms and gives rise to the notion of ‘life’ as an inside-outward animating source only found in organisms, rather than something that inhabits nature as a whole. of course, scientists keep searching for it but never find it. scientists keep searching for the source of the engineering blueprints also but cannot find them. they can’t find them because they are not inside of the organism. it is only the games of language that reduce the organism as a relational structure in the spatial-plenum to an independent ‘thing-in-itself’ with its own notional internally driven development and behaviour. the development and behaviour of the storm-cell is outside-inward orchestrated at the same time as inside-outward asserting and so it is also with all development and behaviour, according to our experience.

'society' [the dynamic web of relations we share inclusion in] gets off the hook because science teaches us that life is something that infects selected forms of organization in a dead universe, and that all of our organs and parts develop to serve the purpose that is waiting for them in the completed project, a ridiculous notion that is foundational to darwinism and mocked as nonsense by nietzsche. in other words, society gets off the hook for sourcing violent [anti-authoritarian] behaviours and mental disorders because the whole house-of-cards, Western civilizational thinking structure would collapse the moment one ‘let’s go’ of the belief that all dynamics can be reduced to inside-outward asserting doer-deed dynamics [the Fiktional doer-deed actions of local material objects].

you've an accurate and interesting perspective on social dynamics.


don't generalize about 'science' based on the activities of particular scientists.

mainstream science is a 'belief system' and there is an orthodoxy there, which Mach called 'the church of science' that he quit when given an option of committing to a belief in the 'reality' of 'atoms' as 'things-in-themselves' or face excommunication [he was helping to 'write the book of science' up to that point].

so, my references to 'scientists' were with respect to 'the orthodoxy' or 'the science priesthood'. the fact that we do not have such terms as 'science priesthood' in common circulation is due to the powerful influence of the priesthood in our Western culture which is now dominant in global society, and which would have us believe that science deals directly with 'truth/reality' rather than with 'appearances'.

science is finally 'under attack' as it needs to be, for its confusing of 'appearances for reality' e.g. Jonah Lehrer’s article in ‘Wired’, ‘Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us?’

Lehrer gives an account of how, when medical sciences messes with one thing (e.g. with a drug or a procedure), something else is changed [and becomes a problem] that was previously ok. In summarizing, Lehrer observes;

“David Hume referred to causality as “the cement of the universe.” He was being ironic, since he knew that this so-called cement was a hallucination, a tale we tell ourselves to make sense of events and observations. No matter how precisely we knew a given system, Hume realized, its underlying causes would always remain mysterious, shadowed by error bars and uncertainty. Although the scientific process tries to makes sense of problems by isolating every variable—imagining a blood vessel, say, if HDL alone were raised—reality doesn’t work like that. Instead, we live in a world in which everything is knotted together, an impregnable tangle of causes and effects. Even when a system is dissected into its basic parts, those parts are still influenced by a whirligig of forces we can’t understand or haven’t considered or don’t think matter. Hamlet was right: There really are more things in heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy.”

elsewhere in this topic i have discussed the problem with the absolutist 'one-sidedness' of the causal model which is foundational to the science orthodoxy and thus to the science priesthood.

clearly there are 'scientists' like mach, poincare and schroedinger who are 'outside of the orthodoxy' but it is the science orthodoxy that remains foundational to our cultural and social orthodoxy; e.g. the enforcing of a moral code of behaviour keys to the causal model, while roundup ready 'haves' continue to screw roundup not-ready 'have nots' with impunity thanks to the support of the causal model and the moral codes of behaviour that rest dependently upon it.

Western Society creates our brain through the constant repetition. Even our dogs act differently than other dogs around the world, because of exposure to us.

"a theory just as determinist and teleologically absurd as the mythologies that Dawkins opposes"

What theory is this?

"Enlightenment was just the subsumption of religion by science, not the overthrowing of it."

I think that's what the masses & the ruling classes (most of whom are religious) largely did with The Enlightenment ideas and discoveries, making the "subsumption" not one of a theoretical fault. The masses and the ruling classes alike were doing religion right ("right" meant to read as "fucked up and crazy"), and are doing science wrong "(wrong meant to read as "religiously, and authoritarian"). Simplified, people are doing science without having absolved the residual religious spooks, but it's not science's fault.

"Now, instead of the miracle of fish/loaves and mysterious ethereal entities creating us, there is the awesomness of ipod and the quantum genetic forces creating, controlling and predestining us.e.g"

Except the people who made the ipod exist, and ipods actually happened, unlike the fish/bread miracles and the figures who they were writted about. However, perhaps I don't disagree with the sentiment, commodity culture is definitely idolatry, receiving a secular worship, but worship nonetheless. This appears to align with my previous sentiment, there's nothing inherently religious about an iPod, or the science that created it, but the resulting cultural phenomenons are religious in nature.

You should look up the debate between Dawkins and the Adaptationist school of thought and Richard Lewontin and Stephen Jay Gould's constructionist school of thought.

- an anarchist evolutionary biologist

I'm inclined to do so simply from the way you suggested it, but if you care to spark my interest more by telling me why you think I should, please do!

ydkwtfyta = damned difficult contrary person to satisfy = anti-authoritarian

Authoritarians are to me the most hypocrite, coward, moralistic race of idiots to dare walking on planet Earth.

They are the ones who are mentally ill! They can't see anything outside their psychosis of the hierarchy.

But this article proves how Foucault was dead on about psychiatry as a measure of clinical social control -no matter how you like him or not- by putting individuals into boxes and force-feeding them pills!

I know everyone's sick of occupy shit but here's a story about it anyway!

So I'm a broke-ass @ who happens to do some volunteer firefighting in the sticks. This allowed me to get all that expensive first aid training I couldn't otherwise afford and come last fall, I found myself staffing the first aid tent next to a lot of people from the mental health field.

The occupy camps were a lightning rod for all the mental health cases that have been abandoned to wander the streets and we ended up dealing with some pretty extreme shit. People having full-on violent psychotic breaks from reality, often triggered by street drugs on top of existing issues.

So I shadow a couple of these "mental health pros" and watch what they do. These are ppl with PhDs and supposedly they all came from the institutions that are supposed to be geared towards marginalized communities. Without fail, whenever somebody wouldn't listen to their orders and continued to be a disruption, they would sick the pigs on them. It was their only real solution.

That's all anyone apparently saw fit to teach them in 5-10 years of schooling. Order crazy people around (and sedate them) or else send in the muscle to physically restrain (at best) and/or beat and taser them. I quickly learned that my own judgement was a fuck of a lot better than that shit and I stopped giving them any credit as "professionals".

(one or two of them were also genuinely kind people and they're still ok in my books)

This is me exactly:

"Many people with severe anxiety and/or depression are also anti-authoritarians. Often a major pain of their lives that fuels their anxiety and/or depression is fear that their contempt for illegitimate authorities will cause them to be financially and socially marginalized; but they fear that compliance with such illegitimate authorities will cause them existential death."

While I find myself in agreement with the anti's, I still have to avoid both groups as I cannot trust either one. Fortunately, the authoritarians have seen fit to provide me the means to remain financially secure (due to my mental illness making me unfit to be around them). The social marginalization can be a bitch, though. Lot's of cannabis, psychedelics and dissociatives help. They say I'm crazy. I know there is something to their claims, but how can I take anything they say seriously when they are so blatantly sociopathic?

The birds clamored to fly, fly, fly
While the fish swam many leagues below
Flowers bloomed in the freshness of the spring
All was right as so many of us prepared to take flight
But then the dark clouds rolled in
Reminding us of our burdens of an original sin
Don't remember asking for input
And no escape appears in our collective field of sight
I may be out of my mind
Since you've pulled me out
But don't think for a moment I don't yearn to fly and swim
Every spring when I take a whiff of the fresh air
We all scatter in search of an escape to anywhere

Word to the quote. When I read that I kind of paused and went into the lala-land of YES- clearly, this does describe the crux of the shitty aspects of my life (the present condition of slavery to the state). My writing doesn't make any sense right now. but maybe you understand what i'm saying (don't get me wrong- it's nothing deep, just incoherent)

whoa i saw that movie

Bruce Levine, in this article, is totally on target. Nothing could be more unnatural for a human being to do than to submit to force-backed compliance with orders issued by a ‘higher authority’.

I would suggest this. Do a survey that starts from A, 100 ‘anti-authoritarian’ individuals and asks how many of their friends have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, and also B, 100 ‘authoritarian’ (authority compliant) individuals and asks how many of their friends have been diagnosed with a mental disorder. There will be many, many more mental disorders in the ‘anti-authoritarian’ collective, and such ‘correlations’ are used by authoritarians to discredit the views and remove the voice of anti-authoritarians. But it is only naturally to be ‘depressed’ by being imprisoned in an authoritarian system and to become manic with the mere thought of unbridled freedom and have that shit-stirring manic mood carry into one’s behaviour.

A close friend diagnosed with ‘manic-depressive [bipolar] disorder [my own friendships and relations include more than an average proportion diagnosed with ‘mental disorder’] took her own life in the peak of her life because every time her hyper-intelligent anti-authoritarianism stirred it, when she was not in the safe company of her friends, some authoritarian type would freak and call the police who would forcibly deliver her to the nearest psychiatric hospital where she would be jabbed up the ass with haldol or some other heavy-duty ‘anti-psychotic’ and forced to spend a month inside, until she was ready to give the committing psychiatrist the bullshit answers he wanted to hear in order for her to get his signature-authority for her release.

Her love for her parents was huge and she wanted them to be proud of her and celebrate the life she wanted to live, but they were pillars of compliance to the authoritarian system so they could only see her as their brilliant, gifted daughter who was unfortunately ‘infected with a terrible disease’. Their love and energies were expended on having her ‘take her pills’ and being a ‘normal’ productive performer in the authoritarian society that they so esteemed. her need for their love and approval, combined with her innate free-thinking anti-authoritarian persona, put her in that double bind that all anti-authoritarians are in, where the need for love and approval so often clashes with the need to live a free and natural life. in her case, the intensity was so acute and unrelenting that it proved fatal.

If the above suggested surveys were carried out, what a wonderful opportunity those statistics would provide for authoritarians to ‘discredit’ the views of anti-authoritarian collectives; i.e. there is no argument that they include a disproportionately high ratio of individuals with ‘mental disorders’.

Psychiatrists are busily searching for ‘viral’ and ‘genetic’ cause to the relentless rise of ‘mental illness’ in spite of massive drug intervention; e.g. ‘The invisible plague: the rise of mental illness from 1750 to the present’ by Edwin Fuller Torrey and Judy Miller. But who would think to correlate this rise, NOT to viruses and genetic spreading and other 'intra-organism sourcing', but instead to the clash of the natural spirit with the steady intensification of authoritarian regulation and controls [e.g. as in the ‘Gulag Archipelago’ and variants thereof]. the deepening entrenchment and invasiveness of authoritarianism is bringing on a sense of despair in step with advances in surveillance and tracking technologies that cloak and smother would-be non-compliers like a darkening cloud,following even those merely suspected of having the potentials of going against the authorities, anywhere they might travel to on the globe. The darkness and depression that increasingly troubles the mind, as Levine suggests, is stemming from the deepening pervasiveness and invasiveness of global authoritarianism.

What else besides viruses and genes has changed from 1750 to the present? how about 'the ability for the free spirited individual to avoid being shackled by the chains of authority and forced to witness, and even participate in, a 'collective insanity' called 'normality' wherein a 'now-civilized' ethic of rape and plunder produces an increasingly disparate split into 'winner' and 'loser' social classes. Such 'normalized insanity' is enough to drive natural folks nuts, one way or the other [or to self-destruction]. that is THE 'double bind' of our authoritarian system dominating era.

wow folks, I think we just witnessed history, because Emile has made his most readable comment ever! Jokes aside, I think emile's post is quite good.

the shift that you ‘see out there’ in me, is instead a shift ‘in you’.

just look at ‘what is going on’.

Levine is implicitly accepting Mach’s principle, a principle that makes my writing look weird to others because it is non-causal. that is, levine accepts that ‘authoritarian inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of our common living space [habitat] at the same time as the dynamics of our common living space are conditioning the behaviours of its inhabitants [this includes us].

As in a ‘master-slave’ situation, the free-spirit of the slave will rebel against the authoritarian dynamic that pervades the common living space, and [on those occasions they can no longer stomach it] become violent. because our society employs a morality that keys to individual behaviour, the rebelling slave will be judged to have committed an immoral act and be punished and put back ever more firmly into his slave state.

can you see this, that our society and its science, believes that whatever sources/animates the behaviour of an organism must reside inside of the individual organism? society does not generally accept that some people (authoritarians) are able to ‘condition the dynamics of the habitat so as to condition the behaviours of the inhabitants’, and thus ‘do violence to others’ in a manner that ‘launders out’ their role in sourcing the violence [by infusing the habitat with dynamics that oppress some far more than others].

This ‘non-causal’ view takes one into the philosophy of Nietzsche, Mach, Poincaré, Shrödinger etc. The over-simplistic philosophy of ‘blame’; e.g. the 1% is ‘doing it to us’ derives from a morality based belief system that subscribes to the notion that individuals are fully and solely responsible for their own behaviour. but levine is saying that authoritarianism is conditioning the common living space in such a manner as to condition the behaviours of the inhabitants; e.g. to induce depression and mental illness and associated behaviours that derive from the ‘conditioning’ of the living space rather than jumpstarting from internal processes. therefore, those who are conditioning the living space (authoritarians) are disassociated from the violence of the anti-authoritarians since the latter's behaviour derives from the conditioning of the common living space [Mach’s principle is in operation].

Morality therefore protects the authoritarians while it imposes its judgement on the ‘slaves’.

Monsanto’s ‘round-up ready crops’ are a good example of how this conditioning of the habitat works.

Imagine that $1000 per month is the minimum ‘nourishment’ that allows an individual organism to survive on. Now imagine that some of the organisms gather together a ‘war chest’ that will give them $5000 per month for an extended period [these organisms correspond to the genetically modified organisms which are resistant to a certain type of taxin, er, toxin]. those indemnified by the war chest arrange for a ‘tax’ of $1500 per month to be levied on everyone, including themselves. as it turns out, they are not bothered at all by this toxin/taxing while the others are all dying and selling their family heirlooms and properties, if not their bodies, to survive. this is way our ‘roundup-ready’ society works. ask the people of greece.

so, you would perhaps rather hear it from bruce levine rather than emile [emile will take it down deeper into the philosophical cellar] that the behaviour of the individual does not have to derive from the interior of the individual as a moral code of behaviour enforcing society assumes, but that the behaviour of the individual can be INDUCED by the [e.g. oppressive] dynamics of the common living space he is shares inclusion with authoritarians in, and furthermore, authoritarian factions within the common living space can condition the dynamics in a kind of master-slave manner so as to squeeze the blood out of those lowest down in the authoritarian pecking order; e.g. by the roundup-ready game, which, because of everyone’s loyalty to ‘democratic process’, those at the bottom will even vote in favour of, and bleed-to-death for 'the good of the country' while those at the top are partying.

....aaaaand he returns to his usual postmodernist gibberish.

‘gibberish’ is quite a good example of ‘one-sided’ [absolutist] thinking characteristic of Western civilization that is bringing it to its current state of collapse.

as Mach and Nietzsche observe, dynamics in nature are inherently ‘relative’ in that all dynamics involve conjugate ‘assertive’ and ‘accommodative’ aspects. evolution, in Nietzsche’s terms, is a fluid process involving the conjugate relation of endosmosis [outside-inward shaping inflow-ence or ‘epigenesis’] and exosmosis [inside-outward asserting outflow-ence or ‘genesis’]. that is, ‘space’ is a participant in physical phenomena [Einstein’s words] by way of its spatially-variable accommodating influence conjugate to an asserting influence.

the causal model of Western civilization is a one-sided model which recognizes assertive influence only. Western civilization’s moralist approach to managing the social dynamic pivots from the one-sided, ‘absolutist’ ‘causal’ model. the word ‘absolutist’ is used here since the one-sidedness comes when we impose a notional absolute space and absolute time reference frame on the dynamics we are observing, thereby removing [in our mental modeling] the variable accommodating role of space [the ‘habitat dynamic’] and making it appear as if there is only an assertive/causal aspect to dynamics.

‘gibberish’ is what the child hears coming from the mouths of adults before the child has learned a language. in the Machian model ‘transmission’ and ‘reception’ are conjugate aspects of one dynamic, thus ‘understanding’ is neither in the transmitted content nor in the ‘receiving’ of the signals but derives mutually from both. This conjugate relation is incorporated in Gabor [quantum physics compliant] communications theory.

when the Western child learns to speak a language, the gibberish is no longer ‘gibberish’ and a pride develops in their ability to ‘understand what is being said’. but when the English-only speak tourist visits Rome, all they can hear on the streets of Rome is ‘gibberish’. And as the satiric character ‘C.J.’ in Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin would say;

“I didn’t get where I am today by not being able to recognize ‘gibberish’ when I hear it.”

obviously, it takes the conjugal relations of the dual aspects ‘to tango’ and a deficiency of understanding is perspectival; i.e. one can regard it as deriving from either the transmission [asserting] or from the reception [accommodating], depending on who is doing which.

[It is the same perspectival ambiguity/paradox that Howard Zinn builds his 'A People's History of the United States' around; i.e. the opposing perspectives of 'executioner'/'colonizer' and 'victim'/'colonized'. the paradox is resolved by shifting from the causal model of dynamics and acknowledging that dynamics are more generally understood as the transformation of spatial relations; i.e. while it appears to the colonizers that they are the executioners of the genesis of a wonderful new world and to the colonized as the victims of the degeneration of a wonderful established world, it is evident that both share inclusion in a transforming space. in 'transformation', 'genesis' and 'degeneration' are conjugate aspects of a single dynamic.]

since our globally dominating Western civilization has embraced the one-sided causal world view, and implemented a morality based approach to social dynamics management, it has blinded itself to the ‘real world’ wherein the missing ‘accommodating’ aspect of the conjugate relational pair is needed to make sense out of what is going on.

that is where the phrase ‘roundup-ready society’ comes in. for example, 'acid' has the causal powers to dissolve metal and glass, but by differentially ‘immunizing’ these materials with a wax coating [making them more or less ‘accommodating’ to the causal action of the acid], we get to manipulate the causal effect so as to produce a desired result. those people who immunize themselves to turbulence can enjoy and profit by the turbulence to the point that it is to their advantage to themselves trigger the turbulence. if you can afford anti-biotics, you don’t need to worry about passing bacteria around. if you have a water chlorinator, you don’t need to shoo away the geese who are shitting in the reservoir. if you have a gas mask, you don’t need to worry about fumes filling your common living space.

what we achieve does not simply come to pass through our own assertive, causal, actions, as is the one-sided absolutist assumption built into the mass thinking of the Western culture, the accommodating aspect co-influences results.

therefore, immunize oneself and bring on the toxins! those who have not immunized themselves will be struggling to survive which will present all kinds of opportunities;

Falstaff. ... Worcester is stolen away tonight; thy father’s beard is turned white with the news: you may buy land now as cheap as stinking mackerel.

Prince. Why then, it is like, if there come a hot June and this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads as they buy hob-nails, by the hundreds. [Shakespeare, Henry IV]

prince hal’s daughters, had he had daughters, would not be amongst those whose maidenheads were being bought by the hundreds, and shakespeare’s prince hal is compared to machiavelli’s ‘prince’, the master of manipulation that has been transported from seedy tavern to kingly court.

those who immunize their daughters can welcome the ‘civil buffeting’ that brings forth all manner of opportunity for the ‘immunized’;

so it was in the asian economic crisis of 1997/98;

“Indonesian women are being forced into prostitution as the economic crisis worsens say human rights groups.” (Reuters, 28 September 1998) ... The city of Surabaya, with tens of thousands of prostitutes, is the largest sex industry center in South East Asia, which consists of hectares and hectares of modest houses with large, plate-glass windows where bored girls sit waiting: "streets full of human aquariums". It is also a magnet for the divorced and dispossessed women of the strict Islamic villages. (Louise Williams, "Sex in the Cemetery," Sydney Morning Herald, 25 January 1997)

the views of people like Mach and Nietzsche, who critique the one-sided causal model of Western civilization with its derivative ‘moral code’ applied one-sidedly to the assertive action of individuals, are summarily dismissed by the gatekeepers of mainstream science.

we are like people in a waiting room who observe that some of our brothers and sisters are equipping themselves with expensive gas masks and taking expensive anti-biotics, and then getting very careless with their emissions of fumes and their germ spreading habits, and when those without immunization are desperate for help to survive, they look upon those who are immunized as saviours; ‘please sir, screw ‘MY’ daughter’.

but to even allude to this in our authoritarian, roundup-ready society where those 'in authority' are those who are not only immunized but are the same ones who are managing pathogen containment, is to be accused of ‘speaking gibberish’.

there is an ambiguity in 'authoritarian' behaviour as nietzsche pointed out in 'The Will to Power'. the greater/transcending 'will to power' of the free spirit [the Dionysian] is not for 'power over others' but the power to live life voraciously, to eat it all up and grow bigger through its outside-inward nurturance. the mediocre 'will to power' is for 'power over others'. these may both manifest as 'authoritarian' but those 'running in the pack' with a leader like Geronimo were not 'under his authority' but were co-celebrants of anti-authoritarianism [co-celebrants of free living] under his [without imposed compliance] leadership. The men in the cavalry seeking to exact compliance on the part of the apaches were encouraged in their compliant behaviour by the authoritarian general, by his execution of 'deserters'.

the downsizing fad in corporations put a lot of people in psychiatric wards who had played the role of 'hatchet men' and thus were internally conflicted in their 'authoritarian role play'. the high density of 'mentally ill' in street people seems to associate with a rejection of authoritarianism to the point that one chooses a life in poverty outside of the regulated grid, over continued participation in the regulated authoritarian grid. so 'conflicted authoritarians' are also associated with 'mental disorders' prior to converting to their natural condition of anti-authoritarianism [free and natural living]. if they are unable to get out of the authoritarian grid because of deep emotional relational attachments, they remain conflicted and are prone to mental disorder.

Must I diagnose corrupt authorities that I hate as the cause for my ADHD?! Can I have a compensation?

I don't agree that all anti-authoritarians must have to be considered as a threat to society or any different than authoritarians. I don't agree also that "anti-authoritarianism" can in psychology be put as a cause for ADHD, too. Only if the individual is often put in a situation, where he is forced to do/see/hear/feel/etc. and UNDERSTAND stuff that's against individuals beliefs of justness, can he suffer from factors that lead to ADHD. If it's a lot of numbers of anti-authoritarians diagnosed with ADHD, then it's a signal for others that there is something wrong in material world, especially if large masses of anti-authoritarians share the same objections.

Considering recent events around the world (the riots everywhere), I presume that an average authoritarian is just naive, stupid, careless or with distorted sense of fairness (evil and/or egoistic)... as it's separating humans this way and/or feeding with pills. It's a moral discrimination and medical crime.


ODD is for kids and teenagers - it's part of the development of personality, as I remember from my studies.

...ODD is meant for kids, I learned that as well... but I also learned that bi-polar diagnosis are meant for at least late adolescents and psychiatrists haven't had a problem ignoring that. The DSMV is going to be out soon and it's being written without any peer-review. A lot of adults who have past diagnosis of ODD or others of its class graduate to mood disorders and sometimes personality disorders. I think a stronger point that could be made is just that numerous diagnosis can fit non-conformity and rebellion into a package.

Check out uk anti-psychiatry zine with insurrectional take 'Beyond Amnesty' on http://325.nostate.net/library/beyond_amnesty.pdf


Biopower is benevolent power, full of a pastor’s concern for his flock; the kind of Power that wants its subjects to be safe, that wants you to live. Caught in the vise of a kind of control that is simultaneously totalizing and individualizing, walled into a double constraint that annihilates us by the same stroke with which it makes us exist, the majority of us take up a kind of politics of disappearance: feigning an inner death and keeping our silence, like captives before the Grand Inquisitor. By subtracting all positivity and subtracting itself from all positivity, these specters steal from a productive power the very thing it might have exerted itself upon. Their desire to not live is all that they have the strength to counterpose to a power that intends to make them live. In so doing, they remain in Bloom, and often end up buried there.

So this is what Bloom means: that we don’t belong to ourselves, that this world isn’t our world. That it’s not just that it confronts us in its totality, but that even in the most proximate details it is foreign to us. This foreignness would be quite enjoyable if it could imply an exteriority of principles between it and us. Far from it. Our foreignness to the world consists in the fact that the stranger, the foreigner, is in us, in the fact that in the world of the authoritarian commodity, we regularly become strangers to ourselves. The circle of situations where we’re forced to watch ourselves act, to contemplate the action of a “me” in which we don’t recognize ourselves, now closes up on and besieges us, even in what bourgeois society still calls our “intimacy.” The Other possesses us; it is this dissociated body, a simple peripheral artifact in the hands of Biopower; it is our raw desire to survive in the intolerable network of miniscule subjugations, granulated pressures that fetter us to the quick; it is the ensemble of self-interested contrivances, humiliations, pettiness; the ensemble of tactics that we must deploy. It is the whole objective machine that we sacrifice to inside ourselves.

I would just add the simple and I think fairly obvious point that this goes far beyond this article on ODD. I think that given the capitalist "totality" that anyone who is considered well adjusted to the current society is probably mentally ill, and many who are not adjusted to capitalism are in fact more sane than most. I don't think most anti-authoritarians have been screened, but I would bet that most would probably qualify as mentally ill by the profession.

If you're not self medicating with drugs, I don't see how a sane person could not be depressed or otherwise greatly disturbed in the current society without a very supportive and loving radical community.

I have a history of depression and have been hospitalized after an attempt at suicide. (they also said that I was OCD and BiPolar II, yeah right). I am no longer on medication (have been off of it for 6 years) and just as happy as ever after finding radical groups and politics.

The point is simple, social environment is not a given, it can and must be changed as a therapeutic method. Indeed, it is probably the best therapy.

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