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#704#705#706#707 Episode #708 - Facing The Failing Culture of Control - 1
(Drugs, Addiction and Health In A Sickening Society)



Sat 7 March 2015  Charles Eisenstein, Tomi Gomory, Ivan Illich, Rebecca Tiger
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2We begin a look at a culture obsessed with control, focusing to begin on the level of the individual. Charles Eisenstein briefly contrasts the old story of isolated individuals in competition with the emerging story of ourselves as parts of a larger self. Then we hear Tomi Gomory, co-author of "Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs" on the increasing efforts made to control and categorize people by classifying them as "mentally ill". After some thoughts from Ivan Illich on iatrogenesis, we hear Rebecca Tiger, author of "Judging Addicts", on how the public perception of addiction has been managed as part of the "War on Drugs".
Although focusing on individuals, this episode is also addressing the modern globalized reductionist culture as a whole. We set the scene with a short section of a 2014 talk by Charles Eisenstein which contrasts the "old story" of isolated competing individuals with an emerging new story of us all as a part of a single interconnected larger whole. Eisenstein dates the competitive mindset of "good versus evil" as far the first systematic human attempt to control the environment:- agriculture. If increased efforts to control the other fail to deliver peace, he suggests that the answer is not more control, but less. The rest of the episode exploring what this might mean on the individual level.

We hear a 46 minute talk between two former inmates of the mental health incarceration system. Madness Radio's Will Hall interviews Tomi Gomory, co-author of "Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs" on how underneath a beneficent exterior, psychiatry is used a force of social control. He highlights some of the contradictions of the notion of mental health 'treatment' and, noting that the head of the NIH admitted that they will no longer be using the DSM-5 categories to pursue their research, challenges the idea that people should be hospitalized against their will. We conclude the first hour with a music break, Building A Wall by Anais Mitchell.

In hour 2, we hear 13 minutes of Ivan Illich contrasting traditional and modern notions of health. Illich makes the remarkable claims that people used to have a physical sense of the good, and that until well into the 18th century the human body was felt to be a microcosm of the natural world. Rhetoric notwithstanding, he says, modern medicine encourages doctors not to listen to patients. Modern health professionals are trained instead to seek mechanistic explanations which analyze a body as a physical apparatus independent of their web of relationships which make up a patients' life.

We conclude with an interview of Rebecca Tiger, author of "Judging Addicts", who begins with a brief history of incarceration in US. Focusing on the "War On Drugs", Professor Tiger explores some of the contradictions arising from the merger of the therapeutic culture and the carceral state: "Rather than reforming the failures of the war on drugs, [drug courts] permit increased Social Control of defendants, in the name of healing and punishing them".
Music: Building A Wall by Anais Mitchell'
Thanks to Will Hall of Madness Radio for the Tomi Gomory interview. Thanks to Doug Henwood from Behind The News for the interview of Rebecca Tiger.
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