Bruce Levine Blog

The Propaganda Model, Suicide, Ketamine, NYT Op-Eds, and Me

January 13th, 2019

At the time, toward the end of 2018, it didn’t seem completely irrational to submit an op-ed to the New York Times. I had felt compelled to respond to a lengthy NYT op-ed “Can We Stop Suicides?” authored by Moises Velasquez-Manoff, who had offered what I considered to be a fairly insane solution: “an old […]

Uncommon U.S. Justice: The 100th Anniversary of a Tough Lefty’s Victory

January 10th, 2019

The 1919 misfortune of Woodrow Wilson and good fortune of Scott Nearing are nowhere near enough evidence for the existence of God or for even karma, but these 1919 events do provide some therapy for me—a reminder that life, occasionally, is not completely unjust. In 1919, Wilson—who earlier in his administration had racially resegregated several […]

The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug

December 14th, 2018

The drumbeat for ketamine as a way to halt the rising suicide rate is upon us, as the New York Times has now joined the chorus. This is encouraging news unless of course you recall a couple of things: how recent enthusiasm from the medical-industrial complex for increased opioid use for pain resulted in the […]

Noam Chomsky Turns 90: How a U.S. Anarchist Has More Than Survived

November 23rd, 2018

While Chomsky abhors any hero worship—especially of himself—he does value what can be learned from human experiments in living. In this spirit, examining Chomsky’s life has value for anti-authoritarians seeking an understanding of how to survive.

Vital Ignored Truths in Milgram’s Obedience to Authority Studies

October 25th, 2018

Psychologist Stanley Milgram (1933–1984) was deeply affected by Nazi atrocities, so when his early 1960s research on Americans revealed an unexpectedly high rate of obedience to authority commanding subjects to commit cruel actions, this very much troubled him. Milgram’s studies revealed other truths—not as widely known—that are crucial to fighting authoritarianism. One ignored finding is […]

Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” Shows Democrats’ Complicity in Electing Trump

October 13th, 2018

Unlike the standard Michael Moore film that is replete with cheap shots and lurid tangents aimed at hooking and pleasing his choir, Moore cuts back on candy for his Trump-hating fans in Fahrenheit 11/9 and instead provides them with much-needed political truths. The substance of Fahrenheit 11/9 challenges his fans to go beyond their easy […]

When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid

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 resisting […]

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

August 16th, 2018

“Don’t be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the Nazi Party” is an intentionally obnoxious line from the hilarious “Springtime for Hitler” in Mel Brook’s The Producers. Not hilarious is the reality that doctors in Nazi Germany were “smarties” in Brook’s sardonic sense, as they joined the Nazi SS in a far higher proportion […]

Politics and Psychiatry—Brave New Book on the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up

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

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 […]