Articles

When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid

CounterPunch September 19th, 2018

  Bernie Sanders, in his thirties, wrote and directed the documentary Eugene V. Debs: Trade Unionist, Socialist, Revolutionary (1979), and a picture of Debs is on Sanders’s office wall. But the arc of Sanders’s polit­­ical career has moved in the opposite direction from the arc of his hero. Debs moved from polite dissent to courageously […]

“Don’t Be Stupid, Be a Smarty”: Why Anti-Authoritarian Doctors Are So Rare

CounterPunch August 16th, 2018

n the Journal of Medical Ethics in 2012, Alessandra Colaianni reports “More than 7% of all German physicians became members of the Nazi SS during World War II, compared with less than 1% of the general population. . . . By 1945, half of all German physicians had joined the Nazi party, 6% before Adolf Hitler gained power.” Colaianni points out, “Physicians joined the Nazi party and the killing operations not at gunpoint, not by force, but of their own volition.”

Psychiatric Retraumatization: A Conversation About Trauma and Madness in Mental Health Services

Mad in America July 26th, 2018

Political, cultural, and financial forces have made many mental health professionals so unaware about the reality of trauma and adversity that they often harm instead of help. In her recently published book Trauma and Madness in Mental Health Services (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), clinical psychologist Noël Hunter offers an insightful critique of mental health’s diagnostic and […]

Politics and Psychiatry: The Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up.

CounterPunch July 18th, 2018

Despite increased spending on mental health treatment, mental illness disability and suicide rates have skyrocketed. “Perhaps more disturbingly,” notes clinical psychologist Noël Hunter, “recent evidence has demonstrated that as contact with psychiatric intervention increases, so too does completed suicide, suggesting the possibility that the current mental health system may be creating the very problems it […]

Another Reason Young Americans Don’t Revolt Against Being Screwed

CounterPunch June 14th, 2018

“8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance” was originally published in 2011, then republished on several Internet sites, and has become one of my most viewed articles. The eight reasons include: student-loan debt; various pacifying effects of standard schooling; the psychopathologizing and medicating of noncompliance; surveillance; television; and fundamentalist […]

Hopeless But Not Broken: From George Carlin to Adderall Protest Music

CounterPunch May 2nd, 2018

George Carlin, in his book Brain Droppings, told us that his motto had come to be: “Fuck Hope.” In his autobiography Last Words, Carlin recalled, “The election of Ronald Reagan might’ve been the beginning of my giving up on my species. Because it was absurd.” We can only imagine how Carlin, who died in 2008, […]

School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks

CounterPunch March 16th, 2018

I have never spoken with a school shooter, but I’ve talked with many teenage boys and young men who—though behaviorally nonviolent themselves—emotionally connect with the anger, alienation, and hopelessness of school shooters. Regardless of whether they received poor or excellent grades, these teenage boys and young men all tell me that high school was an […]

Mental Illness Weaponry and Shrink Hypocrisy About Abolishing Stigma

CounterPunch January 26th, 2018

I am a mental health professional, a clinical psychologist, which is not quite as bad as being a psychiatrist but still nothing to brag about. Hypocrisy in U.S. mental health professional policy abounds damn near as much as in U.S. foreign policy. Among psychiatrists and psychologists, there is no more politically correct promulgation than the […]

The Electrical Abuse of Women—Does Anyone Care?

CounterPunch December 22nd, 2017

Many Americans are unaware that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)—more commonly known as electroshock—continues to be widely utilized by U.S. psychiatry. In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, psychologist John Read and co-author Chelsea Arnold note, “The archetypal ECT recipient remains, as it has for decades, a distressed woman more than 50 […]

Presidential Misogyny: From Jefferson to Trump

CounterPunch July 4th, 2017

Perhaps something useful can be accomplished as a consequence of the transparently repulsive Trump: rousing Americans to reconsider honoring US presidents with Presidents’ Day, and replacing it with a holiday that recognizes a more respectable group of people. Trump’s misogyny has long inflamed Democrats, but now even Republicans, including Paul Ryan and Lindsey Graham, have […]