The worldís mental health epidemic is
caused by the system weíre forced to live
By Caitlin Johnstone
March 15, 2021 "Information
Clearing House" -
Are you psychologically unable to keep up
with the harsh pace demanded of you by
capitalism just to survive? Join the gang:
weíre all depressed because weíre stuck in
dead-end jobs that simply turn millionaires
How many of peopleís mental health diagnoses are
really just them struggling to function in a
capitalist system that is amoral, destructive,
overwhelming, overbearing, unsatisfying, and
bereft of meaning?
Itís surely one of the most
under-examined questions in the field of modern
psychology. People in general and researchers in
particular all too rarely think to take a step
back from the data they are looking at and
consider the large-scale framework within which
that data is materializing, and to consider
whether thereís anything about that particular
framework which is giving rise to the particular
data sets they are seeing.
How many of the mental health diagnoses given
out are really just people not coping well under
capitalism? Itís worth looking into. How many
people end up consulting with mental health
professionals because they find themselves
psychologically unable to keep up with the
frenetic corporate pace thatís demanded of them
in order to ďearn a livingĒ? Or earlier
on as children because they are unable to
successfully navigate the capitalism boot camp
known as school? How many people are given
diagnoses, and corresponding bottles of pills,
simply because they canít march to the beat of
the capitalist drum?
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Beyond that, how many people are pushed into
mental illness by the madness of our current
system? How many people suffer from very real
depression or anxiety arising from the pressure
to keep churning out pieces of future landfill
in meaningless jobs which serve no purpose other
than to turn millionaires into billionaires? How
many people simply collapse under the weight of
financial insecurity, food insecurity, housing
insecurity, employment and insurance insecurity,
combined with the effects of desperate attempts
to self-medicate the stress?
How many of these stressors are exacerbated by
being psychologically pummelled with mass media
propaganda day in and day out, artificially twisting
your mind into the belief that this is all normal,
and that if you canít keep up, youíre the problem?
Telling you that itís fine and normal for there to
be billionaires and empty investment properties
while you struggle to keep a roof over your head?
Telling you itís fine and normal for wealth and
resources to go toward murdering strangers overseas
while youíre forced to choose between medicine and
And by the capitalism propaganda known as
advertising? How is our psychological health
affected by a nonstop barrage of corporate messaging
informing us that we are deficient, and that there
are things we lack which we must obtain in order to
become whole? That weíre not beautiful enough, not
skinny enough, not fashionable enough, not affluent
enough, that we donít own enough of the top-line
items which only the well-off can afford?
Iíd venture to say this all has a major impact on
our minds. You can have anxiety without being poor,
but you canít be poor without having anxiety. Our
competition-based model uses the stress of potential
homelessness and death to keep all the slaves
turning the gears of the machine, and that stress is
now interwoven into the very fabric of our society.
Itís so pervasive you have to take a step back just
to see it all.
So how best to respond to this depressing
situation? How best to avoid drowning in the tar pit
of a soulless, nihilistic political and economic
paradigm? How to find meaning under a meaningless
system which squeezes your psychological wellbeing
in order to power its batteries?
Well, that question is much easier to
answer. You find meaning under a meaningless system
by working to destroy that system.
Do whatever you need to survive, up to and
including taking psychiatric medications if you need
to, and with whatever remaining time and energy you
have left, throw
sand in the gears of the machine. Do whatever
you can to upset the status quo. Engage in activism.
Join a union. Start a union. Start a podcast. Start
a Twitter account. Above all, work
to spread awareness of whatís really going on in
our world, because thatís the weakest point in the
machineís armor right now.
The loose transnational alliance of plutocrats
and government agencies which comprises our real
government works so hard to manufacture
consent because they require the consent of the
governed in order to rule; we greatly outnumber them
and we can oust their rule if enough of us decide we
donít consent to it anymore. In a western society
which must try to at least appear to support free
speech, the best front on which to attack such a
power structure is on the front of information.
They canít kill and imprison us all, so if we all
awaken to how oppressed we are and to who has been
oppressing us, we can use the power of our numbers
to kick them out and replace them with a healthier
model. The job of the propagandists is to prevent
this from happening. The job of you and me is to
make it happen.
wake people up to the injustices of our system, as
many people as you can by whatever means you have
access to. Wake them up to the abuses of capitalism.
To the abuses of imperialism. To the abuses of mass
media propaganda. Learn as much as you can about the
madness of our current system, and share what you
have learned with as many people as possible.
All positive changes in human behavior arise from
an increasing awareness of the underlying dynamics
which give rise to them, whether youíre talking
about the psychological dynamics underlying the
addictive or compulsive behaviors of an individual
or the power dynamics underlying the murderous and
oppressive behaviors of a globe-spanning empire. If
you are looking for meaning, you will find it in the
spreading of that awareness.
We absolutely do have the ability to move away
from this misery-generating competition-based model
that is choking us all to death and replace it with
one in which we collaborate with each other and with
our ecosystem toward health, beauty, truth, and
thriving. If there is meaning to be found in our
world, it lies in that direction.
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