Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Dangerousness Is Not a Disease"

Thomas Szasz's take on the Virginia Tech shooting is here at the Foundation for Economic Education website.

Cross-posted at Liberty & Power.


Matt said...

That was a great response. I also found where I read the article about evil. It was written by Lew Rockwell, On Evil Acts, on the Mises Website.

Mike said...

That was short, sweet and brilliant. Everyone ought to read this.

Nice find Sheldon.

Anonymous said...

Those who have based their economic sustenance and self worth on the existence of ‘mental illness’ will risk collapse of their ‘kingdoms’ if they acknowledge that the real problem is of their own making.
People keep saying “we have to rid mental illness of the stigma attached to it”.
That is like saying we have to rid the flames from the fire. It’s like trying to disprove a tautology: Stigma is implicit in ‘mental illness’. The underlying aim of insisting that someone has a mental illness is in part to induce stigma..(i.e. ‘you disgrace me’). Some argue that people want a diagnosis, because they know something is wrong with them and they want to know what it is that is wrong with them so they can get help.
This argument also crumbles. Ninety percent of the people that come to my office want to be understood as people with life difficulties and do not want to be identified as some one who is mentally ill and by definition has a ‘broken brain’. The 10% who want/demand a diagnosis are most often those invested in the welfare system or sick role and sustain their support from that system just as the psychiatrists sustain their support from the system of mental illness. The opportunity for emotional and life healing opens up widely for those who view themselves as people with life difficulties. Healing often does not happen for those labeled as mentally ill because they are viewed as having a ‘broken brain’ and the target of treatment is symptom control. Symptom control works for symptoms.
So what about Cho Seung-Hui? It appears that his family stayed away from seeking ‘help’ because of the stigma of ‘mental illness’. What if we lived in a world where we understood that there is no such thing as mental illness outside of physiologically identifiable neurological diseases (which by the way; when a disorder becomes biologically based it moves from the realm of psychiatry to the realm of neurology). In this world Cho may have been treated differently. In stead of being left alone and ‘not talked about’ because of embarrassment; his family, friends and community may have experience freedom to address his more palpable underlying problems resulting from or in the pain of his personal and social isolation. Shunning, historically is one of the most extreme forms of psychological torture. Cho was caught between either being ignored/shunned or brought to the attention of the ‘mental illness’ authorities and stigmatized.
Mental illness induces an eclipse of the real personal and social problems. The bottom line is that we are social beings and healthy relationships and communications are human necessities. As long as we deal with problems in living as concretized biological abnormalities we will remain stagnant and never grow.
It may be of interests for readers to know that as a young psychiatrist such views cannot be expressed openly without committing professional suicide.