Of course, I do not believe that there is such a thing as a 'value-free' science, much less a value-free 'social science.' Hence, I do not urge anything so naive as a value-free observer or observation; on the contrary, what I urge is that the observer's aims and values be as clear and explicit as possible.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults.
Neither he [Ferenczi] nor Freud believed that a person should be exempted from legal punishment--or worse, that he should be punished by compulsory psychiatric "treatments"--because of psychoanalytic information about him. In the light of current thought, this is a startling and sobering fact.
Men love liberty because it protects them from control and humiliation from others, and thus affords them the possibility of dignity. They loathe liberty because it throws them back on their own abilities and resources, and thus confronts them with the possibility of insignificance.
The War on Drugs and the War on Homelessness are on a collision course that no one in the media or in public life are willing to acknowledge. Ostensibly aimed at decreasing the use of illegal drugs, the War on Drugs succeeds only in increasing homelessness.
Is psychiatry a medical enterprise concerned with treating diseases, or a humanistic enterprise concerned with helping persons with their personal problems? Psychiatry could be one or the other, but it cannot--despite the pretensions and protestations of psichiatrists--be both.
Our legal system does not grant adults a right to liberty, because they already possess that right; it only revokes the right to liberty (for certain offenses) or restores it (if the deprivation did not conform to due process).
Parents teach children discipline for two different, indeed diametrically opposed, reasons: to render the child submissive to them and to make him independent of them. Only a self-disciplined person can be obedient; and only such a person can be autonomous.
Addiction, obesity, starvation (anorexia nervosa) are political problems, not psychiatric: each condenses and expresses a contest between the individual and some other person or persons in his environment over the control of the individual's body.
Psychiatrists look for twisted molecules and defective genes as the causes of schizophrenia, because schizophrenia is the name of a disease. If Christianity or Communism were called diseases, would they then look for the chemical and genetic causes of these conditions?
The ethics of psychiatric therapy is the very negation of the ethics of political liberty. The former embraces absolute power, provided it is used to protect and promote the patient's mental health. The latter rejects absolute power, regardless of its aim or use.
Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.
If a man loses his money through unwise market speculation or by playing the horses, he has been punished in a manner which we may call passive. By this I mean that another person has not taken special, socially overt steps to harm the "offender." This phenomenon has not received the attention it deserves.
No further evidence is needed to show that 'mental illness' is not the name of a biological condition whose nature awaits to be elucidated, but is the name of a concept whose purpose is to obscure the obvious.
Suicide is a fundamental human right. This does not mean that it is desirable. It only means that society does not have the moral right to interfere, by force, with a persons decision to commit this act. The result is a far-reaching infantilization and dehumanization of the suicidal person.
The young and the old are defenseless against relatives who want to get rid of them by casting them in the role of mental patient,and against psychiatrists whose livelihood depends on defining them as mentally ill.
Doubt is to certainty as neurosis is to psychosis. The neurotic is in doubt and has fears about persons and things; the psychotic has convictions and makes claims about them. In short, the neurotic has problems, the psychotic has solutions.
Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all.
Narcissist: psychoanalytic term for the person who loves himself more than his analyst; considered to be the manifestation of a dire mental disease whose successful treatment depends on the patient learning to love the analyst more and himself less.
It is the lot of mankind to feel not only insecure but also bored. To combat that experience, people long to be passively entertained, which requires less effort than assuming responsibility for self-improvement.