Thursday, March 21, 2019

Comments by lashend

Showing 5 of 5 comments.

  • 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.