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+1 vote
you are sickened when the media venerate barbarians?
you wonder how it is that people can be so evil that they slice little girls with knives?
you see people slaughtering others by the hundred thousand for ''moxy'' and ''freem'' and you just wonder how it is that they can
be so evil?
or do you?
how come there is no discussion of this among anrcho-types?

4 Answers

+3 votes
at the risk of buttressing your oddly-posed examples... i will agree with your implied criticism.

there *are* anarchists who do talk about these concepts -- mostly those who are influenced by stirner and/or reich.
but why haven't more talked about this perspective?
perhaps too many are over-influenced by materialism, and the sense that economics is the real, authentic (tm) reality.
or perhaps people are reacting to the use of psychology as a distraction from acting in the world (see adam curtis' the century of the self documentary series).
or maybe there are enough wingnuts in anarchist circles that talking about psychology would create conversations that are too difficult for people to deal with.

or, you know, maybe all of the above.
by (52.9k points)
hi dot, thanks for that....hypnoanalysts in the uk are helping people to completely cure themselves of neurosis in 8 sessions or less.
a friend of mine normally does this in 3 or 4 sessions, as her sessions are 90 mins long.
absolutely brilliant huh?  lots of people reading this comment will not understand at all - that is a problem.
0 votes
Dot - Awesome job bringing up the documentary series Century of the Self. Aside from that though... I have a totally different perspective on this question.

I think anarchists are constantly talking about psychology (social psychology), even the more materialist or marxist of us. Maybe not the schools of psychology, but usually when someone is writing about class interests, the effects of authority or rulers, the State, etc. - they inevitably must rely on *some* psychological analysis to get at any conclusions as to why these things aren't good. When people talk about Identity - that is a psychological discourse. When people talk about Patriarchy, that is a social psychological analysis. Alienation is a social-psychological phenomenon. How can one even begin to speak of *oppression* without at least some sort of psychology to comprehend what exactly is being oppressed?

The reasons why anarchists probably don't talk about a lot of the more well known psychologies is probably because psychology has been exploited so well by capitalists and stateists (marketing, prisons, etc.) that there is a general distaste for explicitly talking about or writing about these psychologies. Or, pop-psychology is good enough? Or, not all anarchists have studied psychology to a degree where they feel comfortable talking about its history, arguments for and against this or that theory of psychology, etc. But watching the Century of the Self series is definitely worth any anti-authoritarian's time, I believe. At the same time, if anarchism is a type of theory... it is one that is heavily dependent upon social-psychological insights.
by (2.5k points)
ta squee!!   i see your reasoning...but consider this ::
country : uk
expected time of arrival of revolution : never/minimum 500 years.
things to do meantime:: organise, share,protest,educate....etc..etc.
best form of therapy for those who have suffered serious personal injustice:: hypnoanalysis.
point is that nobody ever seems to discuss the best therapies in @A@ forums,etc - as if this totally irrelevant to anarchist thoughts and action.
but this is wrong!!
the therapists of hypnoanalysis.com can do the blowaway technique for kids - so that they will get rid of their neurosis b4 it becomes hard-wired in the mindbody system - so what do we have then ??!! a child who will grow up to be completely free of emotional problems.
what if we had a world full of such people?? no rape, no muggers, no megalomaniancs, no angry offensive gangers on the building site....a beautiful world....!! has to start somewhere...
by discussing therapies among 'A' heads!!??
Say what?! To be blunt -- and I may be overstepping some line of psychological tenderness here -- murrawo you are fucking crazy.
yes in fact you're being seriously rude - has it ever occurred to you that you just might not have a clue what psychoanalysis is for?
i think i'll forget about anarchist forums in future - too much running about with a tiny bit of knowledge and way too much adrenaline.
Well... if you look at my blog, I discuss therapy quite a bit. Not hypnotherapy (which is great)... but maybe I will some time. squee.anarchyplanet.org
i drank some beer today squee - can't sleep now at 3.10 am , tough shit!
will check your blog later, thanks!
ps. successful hypnotherapy course now costs £2300..help..
An anarchist who's rude?! I've never heard of such a thing! When someone wanders into a situation where he is a stranger and starts blathering on about his own particular agenda/projects without the first inkling as to what the broader conversation is about, what you you call that? I call that rude, disrespectful, arrogant, and not a little authoritarian. And yes, I've been called all those things too.

I have a pretty good idea what psychoanalysis is for, which for the most part is about helping alienated people feel less alienated in a social context that makes them crazy. Psychoanalysis is about coping with things as they currently exist, not with being righteously angry and motivated to change the way things currently exist. So no thanks, I'll keep agitating for radical and irreversible social transformation instead. Thanks anyway.
It depends what sort of psychoanalysis... I mostly agree, but this isn't true with existential psychoanalysis, which along with perhaps Ericksonian shit, or Gestalt therapy is the only stuff I think is worth anything. I just got done writing a long thing about this so I don't really want to just write that all out again when it's on my blog. As for the "rude" thing, I'm impartial.
well hey i'll continue to talk about the best form of therapy available on planet earth - whether or not i am attacked by coldly offensive lunatics.
It's too bad Squee is a real person, otherwise I'd have to say something about you communicating with your imaginary playmate...

Thanks for the new insult to add to my resume: "coldly offensive lunatic" is delightfully poetic. Yowza.
Squee is both a real person and an imaginary play-mate. He was created from the bowels of Phoenix's 90's punk scene for the amusement of pist off kids. He still exists in cyber-space and at some local bars, but outside of that he is fairly imaginary.
+2 votes
Even in our modern age, we know very little about how the brain works. This small amount of knowledge is consistently hyped up by overzealous scientists who all too often overstate their case. Much of it ends up "corroborating" essentialist ideas, particularly about gender. If the true defining factor of a working theory is its ability to predict (and thus affect, influence, and control), then neither social theory nor psychology have proven themselves worthy.

The psychological industry will claim to have improved many lives. It has also claimed lives. Most psychotherapy (psychotherapists, counselors, etc) are about as rigorous in methodology as a focus group or ethnography. There is the same general concern for researcher/subject power dynamics, superimposed upon therapist and patient. Thus, it is almost always useless to talk of some abstract, general idea of Psychotherapy, capital "P." Every psychotherapeutic interaction is intrinsically contextual, dependent upon the psychology of the specific individual therapist and specific individual patient. The same patient will get completely different results depending on the therapist, meanwhile the therapist is unlikely to achieve any consistent results among her patients. Thus, I am not against psychotherapy, per se. Psychotherapy has become an institution before it has proved itself effective, and it is important that any "revolutionary" brand of psychotherapy not repeat this mistake.

I'll leave a discussion of the pharmaceutical industry and its relation to psychology for another time...
by (230 points)
+2 votes
It might not be well-publicized, but there are quite a few anarchists that discuss psychology. The Icarus Project has a lot of anarchists involved in it. There's also Somatherapy, an explicitly anarchistic group therapy.
by (6.1k points)
Not an answer but a semi-relevant story. Last time I tried to bring these topics up, some guy wouldn't stop talking about how flouride in the water was making us all crazy. The topic got abandoned shortly thereafter.

made into comment.