Inspired by Szasz's talks that I heard last night on youtube, I decided to listen to him some more today. I'll get to his work later (which will require me to first finish the huge number of books I've been constantly purchasing and downloading), but his next talk that I listened to – a short while ago – is even more dramatic in impact and clarity than the one I shared with you last night.
I must admit that I've not been challenged by anyone so deeply as I've been by Thomas Szasz's ideas.
Interestingly, in my current draft version of DOF I've landed on a position that is fairly close to Szasz's views about individual responsibility. In particular, I dislike the idea of people escaping responsibility for criminal acts on grounds of mental illness.
But on the other hand, I suffer from some of the indoctrination of the "standard" psychology literature. For instance, I have a fairly extensive background in abnormal psychology, which I studied for my IAS exam. Thus I read more than 30 post-graduate books written in the 1960s and 1970s. True, I also know that psychology has changed dramatically (but haven't kept pace with the change – except to read Seligman and the like).
Whatever the change has been, it has clearly not been enough. We still have monstrous psychologists who, today, intend to "test" the "mental health" of three year old schoolchildren for potential psychological "disorders". What monstrosity! Delusion.
Listening to Szasz has also made me more opposed than ever before to the idea of doctors being empowered to "prescribe" "medicines". Powerful unions of doctors and psychiatrists have created a sweet gravy train for themselves even as they provide TOTALLY UNACCOUNTABLE "services" to the "masses" like us. The very idea of someone being empowered to "legalise" a drug is now on the line, in my mind.
Disclosure of the effects of a drug, yes. But then we must be free to decide whether we want it, and whether we will pay for it. Legalisation (and therefore handing over control to some "professionals") is a dangerous power game. Pure politics. "Legalisation" is the obverse of making it ILLEGAL for you and I to get the medicine without handing over our hard earned money to unaccountable "doctors".
In brief, I've rarely come across a clearer-headed person in my life than Thomas Szasz. Enjoy this talk, below. I will, time permitting, have much more to say about his ideas and work.
More on Szasz: here.
Recent talks at a conference: here and below:
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