Stripped of False Realities: Americans’ Political “Psychotic Break”


Bruce Levine, writing to MIA about his popular story on Counterpunch yesterday, wrote “It’s basically a politics/election piece, which is why I didn’t post it on MIA … But another agenda of mine in the piece is to rehumanize the so-called ‘psychotic break’ and offer alternative explanations for it.  It’s an opportunity to speak to a ‘left-anti-authoritarian’ political CounterPunch audience, many of whom ordinarily wouldn’t bother reading a piece specifically debunking psychiatry bullshit. AlterNet has just republished this CounterPunch piece. I’m encouraging others to utilize their other interests, outside of the ‘mental health’ stuff to get truths in.


  1. Sorry, I couldn’t finish the article, it was very disappointing to see Bruce using terms like “psychotic” in any context. It never clarifies and always mystifies, and encourages people to take psychiatric terminology seriously.

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  2. I agree with oldhead, though still glad I read to the end. This resonated with me:

    “Or, this societal-political “psychotic break” can result in further deterioration, further “social-political illness,” transforming the United States from “friendly fascism” and bullshit hypocrisy about democracy to violent, boot-in-your-face fascism where truth tellers in the tradition of George Carlin are driven underground, way underground.”

    As a former Democrat turned Green turned How Can I Unregister To Vote Entirely, I agree with this ending wholeheartedly. The greatest tactic I saw in the 2016 election was not “How do I bring this voter to my side?”, rather it was “How can I silence and shame this idiot who disagrees with me?” Silence and shame are tactics the psychiatrically marginalized understand all too well.

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    • Glad you get my drift. I normally enjoy Bruce’s stuff, but whatever political perspective people may have, and whatever truth may otherwise be reflected in their thought, conflating political struggle with “mental illness” is, as I said, mystification.

      It’s like that film “The Corporation” which describes the actions of corporations in terms of “sociopathic” symptoms. As if corporations simply need some “mental health” care.

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        • That’s part of my point. Not to quibble but to expand: the same misuse of metaphor which characterizes figures of speech such as “mental illness” as real diseases is further extended when one applies this already bogus concept to another abstraction, the “corporation.” Disease is not a term which can be meaningfully applied to either minds OR corporations.

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