Bruce E. Levine

Noam Chomsky turns 90: How the controversial activist survived to become one of the most influential anarchists in US history

“The person who claims the legitimacy of the authority always bears the burden of justifying it. And if they can’t justify it, it’s illegitimate and should be dismantled. To tell you the truth, I don’t really understand anarchism as being much more than that.”

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Would We Have Drugged Einstein? Here's How Anti-Authoritarianism Is Deemed a Mental Health Problem

In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with hundreds of people previously diagnosed by other professionals with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety disorder and other psychiatric illnesses, and I am struck by 1) how many of those diagnosed are essentially anti-authoritarians; and 2) how those professionals who have diagnosed them are not.  

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3 of the Biggest Misogynists to Reach the Oval Office Before Donald Trump Got There

Perhaps something useful can be accomplished as a consequence of transparently repulsive Donald Trump: rousing Americans to reconsider honoring U.S. presidents with Presidents’ Day, and replacing it with a holiday that recognizes a more respectable group of people.

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Americans' Political 'Psychotic Break'

Stripped of the false realities of democracy, legitimate media authorities, and American exceptionalism, U.S. society is having a “psychotic break” of sorts. What many Americans have previously believed to be “reality” is disintegrating.

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Is Society or Psychiatry to Blame for the 'Seriously Mentally Ill' Dying 25 Years Prematurely?

“Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This is not controversial, as establishment psychiatry and its critics agree.

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Why TV Drug Ads Work Despite Disclosing Terrifying Side Effects

Who doesn’t laugh at drug commercials with their before-and-after scenes of life-changing improvements accompanied by numerous terrifying side effects? But these drug ads continue because they work. Beyond the overt manipulations, there are more covert ones—including techniques that diminish the impact of the required warning section. 

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10 of the Worst Abuses of the Psychiatric and Psychological Professions in American History

Psychiatrists and psychologists have been used by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to facilitate mind control and torture in Project MKUltra and in the American Psychological Association-bolstered CIA torture programPsychiatric political abuses in nations that are U.S. enemies have been routinely denounced by U.S. establishment psychiatry and the U.S. government, especially during the Cold War within the Soviet Union (where political dissidents were diagnosed with “sluggish schizophrenia” and psychiatrically hospitalized and drugged). However, the abuse of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment to subvert human rights has occurred not only in the totalitarian governments of U.S. enemies but in the United States as well.

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Leading American Psychiatrist Conducted Disturbing Experiments -- and Now He's Smearing Journo Who Uncovered It

On April 26, 2015, Jeffrey Lieberman, former president of the American Psychiatric Association, stirred up controversy by calling investigative journalist Robert Whitaker a “menace to society” on CBC radio because Whitaker, in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic, had challenged the long-term effectiveness of psychiatric medication.

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8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the U.S. Crushed Youth Resistance

Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination.  

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10 Ways to Fight the Corporatocracy

Many Americans know that the United States is not a democracy but a "corporatocracy," in which we are ruled by a partnership of giant corporations, the extremely wealthy elite and corporate-collaborator government officials. However, the truth of such tyranny is not enough to set most of us free to take action. Too many of us have become pacified by corporatocracy-created institutions and culture.

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What We Are Not Being Told About Suicide And Depression

For nearly two decades, Big Pharma commercials have falsely told Americans that mental illness is associated with a chemical brain imbalance, but the truth is that mental illness and suicidality are associated with poverty, unemployment, and mass incarceration. And the truth is that American society has now become so especially oppressive for young people that an embarrassingly large number of American teenagers and young adults are suicidal and depressed.

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3 Things We Need to Do to Rise Up and Defeat the Corporatocracy

Transforming the United States into something closer to a democracy requires: 1) knowledge of how we are getting screwed; 2) pragmatic tactics, strategies, and solutions; and 3) the “energy to do battle.”  

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How Ayn Rand Helped Turn the U.S. Into a Selfish, Greedy Nation

Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society....To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.— Gore Vidal, 1961

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Why Do Some Americans Speak So Confidently When They Have No Clue What They're Talking About?

The Harvard Business School information session on how to be a good class participant instructs, “Speak with conviction. Even if you believe something only 55 percent, say it as if you believe it 100 percent,” Susan Cain reported in her bestselling book Quiet. At HBS, Cain noticed, “If a student talks often and forcefully, then he’s a player; if he doesn’t, he’s on the margins.”

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Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate and Control?

What a fascinating thing! Total control of a living organism!  — psychologist B.F. Skinner

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Illegal-Psychiatric Drug Hypocrisy and Why Michael Pollan Is Smarter Than I Am

Before Michael Pollan gained well-deserved respect and influence authoring five bestselling books about food, he got my attention in the late 1990s writing articles about American illegal-legal psychotropic drug hypocrisy. For those of us who appreciate what Pollan later accomplished for the local food and real food movements, it’s probably been a good idea that since 1999 he has stopped writing articles about drug hypocrisy, otherwise he might never have become so well-received.

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Drug Company Dominance Makes Some Shrinks Very Rich, and Many Patients Over Drugged

What does it tell us about the state of psychiatry when some of the biggest names in the psychiatric establishment are distancing themselves from psychiatry’s diagnostic system and its treatments?

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Why Do Some Americans Speak So Confidently When They Have No Clue What They're Talking About?

The Harvard Business School information session on how to be a good class participant instructs, “Speak with conviction. Even if you believe something only 55 percent, say it as if you believe it 100 percent,” Susan Cain reported in her bestselling book Quiet. At HBS, Cain noticed, “If a student talks often and forcefully, then he’s a player; if he doesn’t, he’s on the margins.”

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America’s Last Renegades?

The historic divide between the “respectable” vs. the “renegades” is the subject of historian Thaddeus Russell’s 2011 book A Renegade History of the United States, which argues that when renegade groups gain civil rights and social acceptability, they lose their renegade culture. At least one group of American outsiders, not discussed by Russell, continues to be socially unacceptable, making it easier for them to retain a renegade culture.

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Why Drugging All Schizophrenics For Life Is Not the Answer

It was an amazing victory for mental health treatment reform activists and one investigative reporter: on Aug. 28, 2013, National Institute of Mental Health director Thomas Insel announced that psychiatry’s standard treatment for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses needs to change.

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The More a Society Coerces Its People, the Greater the Chance of Mental Illness

Throughout history, societies have existed with far less coercion than ours. While these societies have had far fewer consumer goods and less of what modernity calls “efficiency,” they also have had far less mental illness. This reality has been buried, not surprisingly, by uncritical champions of modernity and mainstream psychiatry. Coercion—the use of physical, legal, chemical, psychological, financial, and other forces to gain compliance—is intrinsic to our society’s employment, schooling and parenting. However, coercion results in fear and resentment, which fuel miserable marriages, unhappy families, and what we call mental illness.

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How Our Society Breeds Anxiety, Depression and Dysfunction

In “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?” (New York Review of Books, 2011), Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, discusses over-diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, pathologizing of normal behaviors, Big Pharma corruption of psychiatry, and the adverse effects of psychiatric medications. While diagnostic expansionism and Big Pharma certainly deserve a large share of the blame for this epidemic, there is another reason.

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Why Life in America Can Literally Drive You Insane

In “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?” (New York Review of Books, 2011), Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, discusses over-diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, pathologizing of normal behaviors, Big Pharma corruption of psychiatry, and the adverse effects of psychiatric medications. While diagnostic expansionism and Big Pharma certainly deserve a large share of the blame for this epidemic, there is another reason.

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Are the Young People That Shrinks Label as Disruptive Really Anarchists with a Healthy Resistance to Oppressive Authority?

Many young people diagnosed with mental disorders are essentially anarchists who have the bad luck of being misidentified by mental health professionals, who 1) are ignorant of the social philosophy of anarchism; 2) embrace, often without political consciousness, its opposite ideology of hierarchism; and 3) confuse the signs of anarchism with symptoms of mental illness.

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What's Behind ‘Substantial Increases’ in Suicide Rate for Middle-Aged Americans? Bad Economy Is Likely Culprit

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on May 3, 2013 that “recent evidence suggests there have been substantial increases in suicide rates among middle-aged adults in the United States.”

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Why the Newest Psychiatric Diagnostic Bible Will Be a Boon for Big Pharma

After the American Psychiatric Association (APA) approved the latest version of its diagnostic bible, the DSM-5, psychiatrist Allen Frances, the former chair of the DSM-4 taskforce and currently professor emeritus at Duke, announced, “This is the saddest moment in my 45-year career of practicing, studying and teaching psychiatry” (“A Tense Compromise on Defining Disorders”).

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Does TV Help Make Americans Passive and Accepting of Authority?

Historically, television viewing has been used by various authorities to quiet potentially disruptive people—from kids to psychiatric inpatients to prison inmates. In 1992, Newsweek (“Hooking Up at the Big House”) reported, “Faced with severe overcrowding and limited budgets for rehabilitation and counseling, more and more prison officials are using TV to keep inmates quiet.” Joe Corpier, a convicted murderer, was quoted, “If there’s a good movie, it’s usually pretty quiet through the whole institution.” Both public and private-enterprise prisons have recognized that providing inmates with cable television can be a more economical method to keep them quiet and subdued than it would be to hire more guards.

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Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate and Control?

What a fascinating thing! Total control of a living organism!  — psychologist B.F. Skinner

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How Psychiatry Stigmatizes Depression Sufferers

Viewing depression as a “brain defect” rather than a “character defect” is supposed to reduce the stigma of depression, according to the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the rest of the mental health establishment. But any defect can be stigmatizing. What if depression is the result of neither a brain defect nor a character defect? 

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Would We Have Drugged Up Einstein? How Anti-Authoritarianism Is Deemed a Mental Health Problem

In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with hundreds of people previously diagnosed by other professionals with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety disorder and other psychiatric illnesses, and I am struck by 1) how many of those diagnosed are essentially anti-authoritarians; and 2) how those professionals who have diagnosed them are not.  

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Will the Young Rise Up and Fight Their Indentured Servitude to the Student Loan Industry?

In October 2011, the White House announced, “Currently, more than 36 million Americans have federal student loan debt.” By the end of 2011, student loan debt had exceeded $1 trillion. Two-thirds of college seniors graduate with student loans, including over 62 percent of public university graduates. According to the Project on Student Loan Debt, they carried an average of $25,250 in debt in 2010, but many have far greater debt than that average. And nowadays, with high unemployment, even higher underemployment, the inability to pay bills, and accumulating interest and penalties, the lives of student loan debtors can quickly turn into financial nightmares.  

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