Friday, June 5, 2020

Comments by lashend

Showing 7 of 7 comments.

  • Meanwhile, at the same time that the corona virus has been used to justify and facilitate the confinement (… and derogation of other rights, but I’ll leave that more usual material alone for here and now …), the head of the Prisoner Governors’ Association recommended releasing prisoners to avoid the obvious consequences of confining people in the middle of an epidemic/pandemic. (And Iran pardoned 10,000 prisoners for the same reason.) [REF:

    That opposition in the treatment of two different classes of “under-people” serves to paint a clearer line about which lives are determined to be “grievable” (to use Judith Butler’s term) or “worth preserving” or “worth living” … and which ones are not.

    In other words, the same story that we here all now – except painted a lot more clearly on the background of the pandemic.

  • There are a bunch of things I’d like to comment on, but – for now – there is one that I think is a crucial point. You finish: “It may be true that the house always wins, but that only applies if you choose to cross the threshold and enter the casino.”

    But that’s precisely the contrary of how psychiatry works. I’m sure we could dig up some numbers, and I don’t know them offhand, but I’d wager to guess that some substantial portion of psychiatric victims never **chose** to cross the threshold and enter the casino. Psychiatry came and got them – and, once it got them, it sunk in its possessive claws and didn’t let go. Some people got tangled in its bureaucratic weaponry (i.e., mental health laws), some people got “treated” in ways that destroyed their lives, and some people either died from the abuse or decided that they couldn’t live with the hellish memories of what psychiatry had done to them.

    I know I didn’t search out any psychiatric casino, and I surely didn’t choose to enter it. When (real) doctors accidentally killed me and needed an “alibi,” so to speak, who do you think they called? It wasn’t the ghostbusters … Psychiatry came, saw, conquered, and destroyed. There was no voluntad here.

  • The problem with “critical” work (critical PAR, critical psychiatry, critical XXXX) is that it comes from and remains within a single order, a single paradigm – basically, the problem is that it’s “critical” and not “radical”. That Fine can point to the system-sustaining utility of her CPAN method (e.g., “Attending college in prison significantly … saves taxpayers’ money.”) shows how fully it fails to see possibilities outside the regnant system. In other words, that “it saves taxpayers’ money” is a nameable “good” derives from a **particular set of socio-political-economic values and priorities. (It’s a parallel sort of “good” pursued by a researcher who, say, studied the effects of better “hospital” meals on the experience of forcibly detained and “treated” “patients”.) That **particular set of socio-political-economic values and priorities probably isn’t shared by her interlocuting “actors” – but they do not have the “permission”, so to speak (that is, the possibility is not built into the research design), to deviate from it. No matter how much they “participation,” that participation is limited by the constraints imposed by the researcher (e,g., Fine), who, no matter all the lip service in the world to a democratic knowledge-making ideal, remains the only authorized knowledge-maker in the group of interlocutors. (Indeed, at the end of the day, who is “interpreting” all the “data” and publishing all the “findings”??)

  • I agree that ECT (like many of Psychiatry’s “practices”) is barbaric. And I respect Connie’s decision to wage a hunger strike against it, especially given its place in “the protest tradition.”

    One thing that worries me about waging a hunger strong in the context of anti-*psychiatry is that the specific claim used by Psychiatry to justify its grotesquely abusive power – it’s “for the good of an incapable/mad/mentally ill underperson” – is that that same claim could be used to subvert the hunger striker’s act. In other words, if the ordinary hunger striker’s play is to claim the very last straw of power she can locate, that over her own life, those with greater power (such as Pscyhiatry-as-Institution) can use it to negate the striker’s power over her own life: they can force feed her, force her to live, and force her to live in tacit recognition of its (psychiatry’s) greater power. Of course this is less likely to happen “on the street” than in a carceral facility. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the “psychiatric police” were to show up, “notice” a woman “acting irrationally in such a way as to pose a danger to herself”, sign on the dotted line, and have the hunger striking woman carted off, locked up, and force fed.

    I took at a look at four different problematic contexts of “force feeding”, including hunger striking, in a video-paper, if you’re interested:

    Again, I respect and appreciate Connie’s decision, and I would like to see her wage a successful campaign.

  • Are you familiar with Byung-Chul Han? Maybe you’d find some of his writing appealing. See especially “The topology of violence” (Spanish version “Topologia de la violencia” is easily findable in PDF … English version just recently published); “Saving Beauty” (English version partially on Google Books, Spanish version – “Salvación de lo Bello” – easily findable in PDF); and Han’s remarks generally on the “excess of positivity” in the contemporary order.