Psychology, Meet Politics: Two Sides of the Same Coin

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From openDemocracy: “All over the world we’re succumbing to polarisation, tribalism and sectarian thinking. The erosion of our sense of common ground is preventing us from responding to some of the toughest and most urgent challenges we’ve ever faced, like climate breakdown, hyper inequality and mass extinction.

Whether we manage to find our way through depends primarily on what goes on inside our minds – on whether we’re able to manage our mental and emotional states at a time of extraordinary turbulence; whether we reach for the right stories to explain what’s happening at this moment in history; and above all, whether enough of us can see ourselves as part of a larger ‘Us’ instead of a ‘them-and-us,’ or just an atomised ‘I.’

Our future depends, in other words, on collective psychology . . .

We usually think of the problems we’re facing in the real world – climate breakdown, mass extinction, inequality, poverty – in a different category from our crises of mental health, like our epidemics of depression, anxiety, suicide, and self-harm, especially among the young.

But actually, our inner and outer crises aren’t separate. Take depression or anxiety. We used to think that they were caused by imbalances in brain chemistry, and that the way to treat them was simply to take drugs to redress the imbalance. Now though, we’re realising that they have deep roots in how our ways of living fail to meet the psychological needs of many – and maybe most – of us . . .

It turns out that ultimately, democracy depends on citizens who can manage their mental and emotional states, feel empathy for each other, and share a sense of common identity and purpose – things in which we’ve invested next to nothing.

So right now, our internal and external crises are reinforcing and amplifying each other, creating a situation full of risk. How do we interrupt this dynamic?”

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1 COMMENT

  1. “The erosion of our sense of common ground” is planned and intentional division, being pushed on humanity, via the mainstream media. The so called “elite,” who control the media, want us divided. It’s called a “divide and conquer” strategy. They want to divide humanity in the hopes of maintaining control, as their Ponzi scheme of a banking system implodes, or they take us into a WWIII. Since war has historically been how they cover up the Ponzi scheme nature of their banking systems.

    “Our future depends, in other words, on collective psychology,” then maybe the psychologists should stop stigmatizing people, or “othering” people, based upon your ‘them-and-us’ theology? I’m pretty certain the majority of the rest of the Americans believe “all people are created as equal.”

    “We used to think that [inner and outer crises] were caused by imbalances in brain chemistry, and that the way to treat them was simply to take drugs to redress the imbalance.” No, not everyone believed such a moronic idea, that’s what the “mental health” workers believed.

    Professionals should not claim your delusional ideology was everyone’s delusional ideology. But, of course, they did attempt to silence those of us who were unaware of how delusional the “mental health” workers were, thus didn’t agree with you insane “chemical imbalance” belief system.

    I do agree, distress has “deep roots in how our ways of living fail to meet the psychological needs of many – and maybe most – of us . . .” Yes, we have bad systems set up in the US. Chris Hedges nicely synopsizes the problems:

    “We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”

    And the “chemical imbalance” deluded, psych drug pushing, “mental health” workers are, by far, murdering more than any other medical specialty.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNpGe5r0jI0
    http://www.webdc.com/pdfs/deathbymedicine.pdf