Discover more from Polemics
The Invention of "Mental Health" and The Police State Without Police
What Foucault teaches us about social control
To cure and to confine, are perhaps the two most important words of the modern era with regards to controlling “madness.” Those who are thrown into a psychiatric ward, work on the assumption that doctors must protect society, by confining the mentally ill into prison cells and hopefully find a cure for their dysfunction before they are let out again. Michel Foucault details this process in his 1961 study on Madness and Civilization.
No doubt, there are mentally ill and retarded people. However, as American society has progressed further into liberalism and cultural egalitarianism, the uniqueness of identity politics, as a subculture and ideology, motivates the confused masses to advocate once-shunned illnesses as “the new normal.” Identity politics can be based around “homosexuality,” “autism,” “transgendered,” "black,” “sex work,” and some even call themselves consensually “insane” as an identity. Much of what the elite push is motivated by Malthusian social control, donor interests, the logic of hedonistic capitalism, and a complete resentment against the natural world. With that control comes a new form of semantics and vocabulary that imprisons the soul from ever questioning the power structure and its behaviors.
The concept of “mental health” is a paradox. While further investigated by Thomas Szasz in his work The Myth of Mental Illness, there is an assumption by the psychiatric establishment, and towards its influence upon the bourgeois public, that everyone is driven by insanity, and a proper health checkup, such as the myth of “mental health,” is required to make sure no one breaks the law. It assumes everyone has tangible “health” from their “mental state,” and bis ound to break any second. It normalizes insanity as a foundation of human behavior, and like Victorian prudes, we must repress any form of “mental outbreaks” that we are so supposedly inclined to do as animals.
This isn’t any doubt that there is a real science behind mental illness. There are mentally retarded people, and it is caused through genetics and brain damage. However, many fake diagnoses are pushed by pharmaceutical companies to sell drugs, push agendas, and ostracize middle to lower-class people. Even worse is that those in power are willing to save face against any hypocrisy of their decadent attitudes of hedonism and Machiavellianism.
Addicted to drugs? Alcoholism? Promiscuous sex? Verbal abuse? That’s just what Andrew Tate and powerful people do to get what they want! And the very people making the diagnoses, as six-figure doctors with tons of money, are the same arrogant barbarian class upholding power and the status quo by targeting the poor as “having Asperger’s.” None of these barbaric values are considered to be forms of madness, just like how homosexuality was taken off the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders out of a power conflict. Gays in power? Absolutely. If that can happen, why not take off all mental disorders?
This is the absurdity of “mental health.” One second, the rules are defined by the state and the next, a zeitgeist changes and chooses its next victims to choke. In one culture, a man being brave, masculine, and assertive are considered heroic values. Then a westernized power shift comes in, and dubs this man as having “toxic masculinity” or suffering from unaware “narcissistic personality disorder.” Even worse is that actual mentally ill people will accept their disorder as an empowering condition that makes them feel like a victim against an oppressive society.
Around 2010, the word “gaslighting” became popular over the notion one is pushed into thinking they are crazy. But does “gaslighting” make any sense whatsoever if the actual person being called crazy, is indeed, actually mentally ill? Or the person who is calling a normal person a “gaslighter” simply because they too are spiteful and envious of sanity? The liberal world dubs homosexual “grooming” as a conspiracy theory. Isn’t this a complex form of gaslighting too?
Foucault manages to balance knowledge with power and sees these contradictions as the state trying to control people. Even if a communist revolution comes and an Epicurean-style community is instilled, would people be any different from all the flaws they have now? The elites are insistent that the police force should be abolished, and that an involuntary security force will arise over the good will of the community. As Epicurean and peaceful as this sounds, it is exactly what Foucault is predicting on how people will ultimately reinforce social control within themselves. Going straight back to the paradox of “mental health.”
The Panopticon is a security building that allows all prisoners to be observed by a single security guard, without the inmates knowing whether they are being watched or not. Paranoia arises on the fact that the prisons are compelled to self-regulation, and also the fact that prisons can also see one another, with little to no privacy. In Discipline and Punish Foucault argues that the Panopticon works as a metaphor for shame and guilt. No longer are police involved, and prisoners rather regulate themselves under an egalitarian system. It is a police state without police. We become the informants. There is no hostile group of “doxers,” “Antifa,” or paparazzi because we share those same values. Eventually, we will recorrect peers if they fall out of line, and self-destruct if a certain behavior is not wanted on a subjective, individual level. The elites create the political mirage that they want to abolish the police when in reality, they want to become the police force. Under a future egalitarian society, especially found in communist fantasies, the post-scarcity world will be doomed by a self-regulating managerial class that kills one another over quibbles of indifference or envy. According to Foucault, we are the police.
On “social media” platforms, like Twitter and YouTube, we construct a fake reality around parasocial relationships and cartoonish avatars. We never meet our virtual pen pals in person and develop hostility through our own “content” creation. If any virtual “friend” rejects our content, we click a simple “block” button to ban them from ever engaging, simply because of subjective preferences. For example, Twitter is not only the Panopticon but a prison system we consent to as so-called free agents. The elites who run Twitter don’t have to do anything. They rather set up the automation service as a drug addiction, a “desire machine,” and let the prisons eat one another. We are confined by Twitter, as an illusion we could be internet famous, and protected from other prisoners, where we could break down their reality that they too are in the same prison with us. And once we question this virtual totalitarianism, the elites dub us with disorders and suggest the real cure is for us to pop more soma.
And this isn’t just elites, it’s everyone else enforcing this “mental health” law. In essence, everyone on the internet is mentally ill and requires social control to follow the latest memes, jokes, idols, opinions, and content to be normal. This is done by gossip, slander, and libel, and enforced through the ethics of “X is not your army,” where the online “imagined community” a person is requesting emotional aid from, refuses to assist them in any way, just like in the Panopticon. If there ever was tangible aid, it’s about social control and the enforcement of “mental health.” In other words, aid does not exist on the internet, and rather takes the form of psychiatric punishment.
For example, take this quote from a hostile prisoner who hates looking at my Scream article:
This isn’t just an ad hominem attack, but the prisoner is assuming I “want to be” an “intellectual chud,” or, an alt-right celebrity. I have no desire to be in that market and subculture and have questioned its behavior previously. What I do write about, is anti-liberalism. That does not mean I embrace it as an identity. And how could I have a “wrong” opinion? Opinions are subjective. If I was a liberal, my opinion would be validated. But because I must be some kind of anti-liberal by face value, anything I say requires political re-correction. I am not a human to the prison system. I am seen through “the medical gaze” that I am a body of organs that is mentally ill. The prisons thus self-regulate and control one another through guilt, shame, and devaluing of critical letters (like this one I have written).
I am policed by the prisoners. This is why liberalism or egalitarianism cannot work. Foucault is right to point out that if the problem is within us, then what is against us? I am a man of letters, and importantly, an artist, who tries to enlighten the public through intellectualism and criticism. Just like what they did to Sade, Bataille, and Rimbaud, they want to check up on my fictitious “mental health” and stop me from writing.