My previous post over at my business Instagram account discusses how psychiatry has no right to explain away its deficiencies revealed by the Rosenhan experiment in 1973 by saying the patients it defined as delusional were lying when, really, they wouldn’t be expected to. But if you are delusional … do I need to carry on?
This is what I said:
The most important philosophical lesson about all this is that fake fear is all it takes to generate terror, and in fact it makes terror the cheapest and most pernicious of warfares.
Rosenhan wasn’t an example of terror: psychiatry meanwhile, its object, often is. I say this because the protesters against Rosenhan argued the problem was in the delusional patients not acting in good faith. WTF? If you are REALLY delusional, as psychiatry says happens, when are you EVER going to be able to act in good faith? And if you act in good faith, shit, you’re really NOT delusional.
So fear, whether fake or not, is real. And terrorism, whether mass theatre or invisible private, too.
I am asked for an analogy. I am reminded of the widely accepted concept of bullying in labour law. In order to trigger an investigation into such an accusation, it is enough that the alleged object of the act feels they have been bullied. That the alleged bully argues an absence of intention matters not at all a priori, and indeed never should. When power exerts itself, it does so from a height. That height – that view of flat terrain – allows for no accurate perception of the impact of words or deeds, of slights, of objective cruelties, or even of physical violence. The habitual loses, too, its opportunity to be understood from scratch.
I would suggest, after my recent posts on the concept of a neo-terrorism which – using high-tech and extreme right-wing ideologies – terrorises not nation-states nor peoples nor regions but concrete individuals, maybe over lifetimes, maybe without the potentially society-changing individuals ever comprehending their condition of terrorised, that as with bullying and labour law, so now with this new kind of terrorism of the individual citizen: if a citizen of a country simply feels they are being terrorised in this way I describe, they should not need to name names in order for the police to open an investigation.
It happened to me a year or so back in Chester UK. I went to the police and suggested this form of neo-terrorism. They said: “Give us a name.” By its nature, this is either impossible – or dangerous at a personal and existential level.
But I did have a name. In fact, I had six. And if someone in authority was interested, I would give motive, means and opportunity for those names. In my life, maybe for a lot longer than 2002, but certainly since 2004.
So maybe, in the light of gathering evidence re supposedly delusional reports of these kinds of neo-terrorist events much more widely, we need quite different organs of investigation.
A Nuremberg for the 21st century?
Not for me only. Not for me mainly.
But for me, too.
Video filmed @cafeenseine. These words @marksandspencer #graftonstreet #dublin. Both places are places I feel safe in. And I love the tech I use.