Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another ‘Correction’ for Me and Those ‘Crazies’ Like Me

From an Intellectual Life Researcher who is Explaining MY Own Experience to Me.
BY Patricia Lefave

I decided I wanted to post this mail I got from “Anonymous’, a person named “Rob” which he sent me as a ‘comment’ on my piece “Society’s’ Delusional Reversal and Group Fabrications.” I actually get quite a few people trying to straighten me out on things but I don’t usually bother to publish them, especially if they are like this one; an essay, not a ‘comment.’ Usually, I just hit the delete button and carry on but I decided this time that I wanted to post this one because it is so long and so very interesting and because it is from a presumably sane person, I suspect who is quite young and maybe a university student perhaps. (who knows for sure)

I want to get the focus OFF the identified patient and on to some of the people we as patients deal with all the time. So I decided to take the opportunity this letter provides and use it here, and now, as a means of sharing the experience so many of us have with the presumably sane ones.
As some of you know, I am currently changing the way I am approaching much of this subject, as I don’t think I can ever use too much detail or stating of the obvious in attempting to penetrate the currently accepted ‘norms’ of belief on this topic.

There is already WAY more of this type of opinion, as expressed by this person, online everywhere, and I represent the OTHER side of the equation and will continue to do so. That is what I get to do in my own personal space. Just for the purposes of showing that difference though, I decided I would respond to ‘Anonymous’ right on the blog, as a separate piece even though I do not know who this actually is, other than someone who states he does not come to this from personal experience. The first thing I want to point out is that I DO, and that is what this blog and my others are all about. They are also for others who HAVE shared this experience and visit here as my primary readers.

So, to Rob here, how about listening for a change instead of ‘correcting’ my experience FOR me? You see, that is one of the real problems we ‘crazies’ actually have a lot. You might just learn something new as part of your ‘larger career in the area of life.’ We do have that in common at least. I too have made ‘life’ a larger area of my ‘career.’

So here goes. First let’s read Rob’s corrections, observations and analyses of us ‘crazies’ in full and then below that I will post my own observations of this non-‘crazy’ or sane person. A little instant analysis of my own you might say. That will be posted after this one and will follow immediately below this, one once I get it done. This is what labelled people are up against most of the time.

The following has been reproduced, word for word, as received by me, as a ‘comment’ without any changes at all:


I found your blog via the Successful Schizohphrenia website. I have been researching mental illness for some time as part of my larger research in the area of life - history, physical sciences, philosophy and the whole ball of wax.

I do agree that much of the mental health business is quackery - I have not been a patient myself, but what I have learned through research leads me to side against the mental health establishment. And their poor success track record actually makes it impossible for anyone interested in winning to side with them. You are wise to point out that the public really should be aprised of how much this is costing in tax dollars and increased exposure to violence. If the public would get mad about this waste of money, then perhaps the funding would dry up and the industry would largely go away.


I do want to object to the way you overly-relativise the relationship between the mental health practitioner and the patient. It is not as simple as dueling perspectives.

While it may be that nothing was really wrong with you, some people are crazy, to use the common parlance, and the problem with crazy has always been two-fold: 1) inability to support and care for self 2) annoyance, violence and property damage to others.

If it was only a matter of the thoughts whirring around in the head of the crazy person, but they were otherwise law-abiding and amiable and cooperative, then no one would have a problem with them and all would be rosy.

However it is the thoughts whirring around in their heads that then causes or is somehow related to the annoyance, violence, property damage and inability to self-support, no less support a family. The business of dealing with crazies exists because the population at large wants the crazies dealt with by the authorities.

Prior to the industrial revolution, when people lived on farms and in villages, simple jobs were often found for the crazies, and they were not such a burden, as they did have family members who at least tried to be inclusive so that they didn't get so depressed. The village idiot was more a source of humor than a problem.

With Industrialization and the rise of the laborer as independent agent we morphed into urban based societies that increasingly over time could not find jobs for the crazies, as jobs, even janitorial jobs, had to be done right, as part of the well oiled machinery.

Then the pressures of urban living and free-agentism caused more and more broken and rootless families, unable to support their crazies, and so the care and feeding of crazies fell on the state, which had always existed at least partly as the agent of the people.

So the state came to be dealing with the crazies out of necessity and not out of any nefarious scheme.

A Nietschean analysis of power can be enlightening, but such analysis often overlook practicalities and human limitations, and tend to be favored by those not in power.

We know from anthropology that as hunter-gatherers switched over to farming and specialization government entities had to be formed to deal with all sorts of matters that affect more complex social structures. Coin was invented had to be minted and controlled, police and armies had to be formed to deal with theft and babarian assaults, trade regulations and measurement systems had to be arbitrarily established, and so on. All that was done out of practical necessity and was not part of any conspiracy of evil.

And in fact, what we think of as ancient barbarians, like the Vikings, were in fact those who had not settled completely into farming life, but still had hunting and gathering proclivities. It's just that since farming began only as stocks of huntables and gatherables dwindled, late hunter-gatherers often had only farms and villages to hunt and gather from.

So over time an "establishment" view is formed which is typically that view held by most people with regards what makes their farm or office life most tolerable.

Many "Rebel" perspectives have been those of the latent hunter-gatherers who simply can't benefit enough from the larger system. Pirates were hunter/gatherers, as was Robin Hood and his Merry Men (aka, his drunken gang). And when the establishment collects too much tax as charges for organizing the infrastructure of the farmers, factory and office workers, there may also be a rebellion of average folks, such as the many Marxist rebellions, which never would have happened if taxation had not been excessive and the government had been more responsive and efficient.

So the whole rebellion thing is not about alternate or better realities, but simply money, more free time, and less burdensome living.

You write of "realties". There is only one reality, if we properly contstrain the word "reality" and not allow it to include fantasies or subjective tastes. In that one reality we all need food, water, freedom from undue stress, as stress causes nuerosis and physical maladies, and we need a little space to kick around in and of course we need entertainment so as not to go stir crazy. And also in this reality we have the physical sciences, which measure and discover relationships amoung matter and energy which are then manipulated to make new things that we use. Mixing abstract philosophy with science makes no sense - science does not uncover "essences", it is only about making practical and profitable changes in matter and energy.

Within any given society or culture, an individual who refuses to work though he not be rich, or who makes troubles for others in a chronic way, may be either a criminal or mentally ill or both, but either way they are a problem if they are a problem for others, and they will be dealt with, as all troublemakers are dealt with sooner or later by the group at large or their agents - the police and the mental health professionals.

So I think the whole matter is rather practical and does not deserve the abstract treatment you are giving it.

I am aware that many of those deemed schizophrenic talk of large, nefarious schemes "behind it all". Illuminati, Free Masons, The System, and all that. That's all very nice in an abstract way, but it is not at all practical and does not solve anyone's needs at the moment. Jobs tend to solve immediate needs. From that one gets food, water, housing and clothing.

Of course there is a "system" or "establishment", and of course some are in positions of authority. And one can call those in authority blind, or whatever, but they can call you blind or whatever. The name calling is not productive.

And as it turns out, if someone is fairly well educated and sane, then they will recognize that there is a system in place, and that it formed gradually over time, with it's roots in late hunter-gather civilizations, and that there are some conspiracies but most of us can do nothing about that. And life in the modern Western world is rather cushy for most people there, compared with other places on Earth and with past times, and so we would expect most people to be complacent and support the status quo, which they do.

So it makes no sense to demonize the average Joe or Josephine, nor to demonize the mental health community. What they do is about right, all things considered.

And to imagine a world (a heaven) where things are better, where people really care for each other, and really care for those labeled or who could be labeled crazy, is to be imagining, and that's all. And you may be committing an injustice when you measure the behavior and thinking of others against this imagined standard, as they will always fail to measure up. You are in fact making a slave morality - the morality of the weak, who demonize the strong merely for being strong.

And if you want to be left-fieldish, I can note how in India, the homeless schizophrenic, who like many of the schizophrenics here will not hold a job, is not called a homeless schziophrenic but a wandering Holy Man, who is passing through his final life on earth and will upon death be acheiving Nirvanna. With a very few exceptions, there are no laws in India against public nudity, because these crazy Holy Men are often nude. The Hindu belief system would erode if the Holy Men were not allowed to roam naked as they please. Same with the roaming of sacred cows.

Now, is that a better way to deal with the issue? Instead of demonizing the crazy, they are lauded. Yet, no one really wants them around and pays alms to make them go away. They tend to smoke a lot of ganga, like crazies here in the USA . Same exact population subgroup, different surface valuation.

But then the bonus for the people of India is that they have little if any tax money spent on caring for these individuals. India is quite poor and could not afford that expenditure. (there are some mental hospitals in India , but nothing like the number we have here, and they have a population of 1 billion!!)

Before siging off, I do want to emphasize again that the crazy is crazy, and typically offensive to normal people. The crazy is not wanted - not in the workplace or at parties. These individuals do not have something enlightened going on in their minds that the rest of us don't understand.

Many of us are well read and "get" Neitzsche and deconstruction, and post-structuralism and the role of science and what physics and math really are. We are not exactly supporters of the "system", though we may work within it to make our living. We may not feel it is our calling to rebel against a system that works pretty well for us, all things considered.

The crazy person does not likely have anything of real value to tell to humanity. And it is unjust to compare individuals like Jesus of Nazareth or Gandhi to crazies, as is sometimes done - though they were rebels and helped overthrow oppressive regimes.

A real rebel is an active man or woman with real strength of character and carefully plots the rebellion, as they truly want success. The crazy thrashes about, talks of the "sytem", and better moralities and such but is ineffective. The crazy is not success oriented.

But then someone who is not really crazy but just confused gets labeled as crazy, and then overcomes that stigma and may do something actually effective. Such persons were never crazy in the first place - just confused and probably had a contrary nature or stubborness. So their overcoming is not a vindication of the perspective of crazies as "enlightened", or "rebels", though it may be taken as such by some.

In the Western World, despite there being a system that makes it hard to get ahead, we still have huge numbers of examples of the poor and average child becoming fabulously rich. Thus we have proof that the system is not so totally rigged. And they can become rich in unconventional ways, like Richard Branson of the Virgin enterprises, or Mel Gibson, the actor/director/producer. And talk about crazy, I mean if Mel Gibson can get rich any crazy should be able to.

And when you get rich in this world, you rarely have to kiss any butt, and people begin kissing your butt. This is how humanity is. It is not a conspiracy and I really don't think we can do much better than this.

So, if I was in charge, I would not spend so much money on the current types of mental health care, but instead I would try to re-educate the crazies, or the confused, especially with regards accurate history, math and physics. These three fields of study when studied help to bring about sanity. And for those crazies who still refuse to accept life for the lacklustre event it can be for some, I would have forced labor camps, as in China .

I would like to send the crazies to India to wander about in the muck, but I doubt the Indian government would sanction that, as that too would tend to undermine the Hindu perspective.

Of course, from a Western-centric view all the Hindus are crazy. Perhaps we should view India as a vast assylum?



Well. Stay tuned for my own analysis.

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