Cruel compassion : psychiatric control of society's unwanted by Thomas Szasz

By Thomas Szasz

The popular gadfly of psychiatry examines the transforming into perform of coercing members (especially adults economically depending on others) allegedly of their personal most sensible curiosity. Demonstrates how ethical guy has been changed by means of psychological sufferer in glossy society, how sin has been switched over to psychological affliction as a fashion of controlling undesirables. offers with psychiatry as a social keep watch over medium, the way it disposes of these people undesirable by means of society, and offers a compelling argument for proscribing coercive powers of psychiatry to remove people's own freedom and relieve them in their own accountability.

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Cruel compassion : psychiatric control of society's unwanted

The popular gadfly of psychiatry examines the transforming into perform of coercing participants (especially adults economically depending on others) allegedly of their personal most sensible curiosity. Demonstrates how ethical guy has been changed through psychological sufferer in sleek society, how sin has been switched over to psychological affliction as a fashion of controlling undesirables.

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The promise to discharge commercial obligations was taken so seriously that the principle could also be enforced against a "delinquent" worker, that is, one who did not show up for work as pledged: "In the middle of eighteenth century, Statutes were passed giving justices power to jail workmen who absented themselves from work in breach of contract 'to the great disappointment and loss of the persons with whom they so ~ o n t r a c t . " ' ~ ~ It did not matter why the debtor was insolvent. Failure to repay debt as due made the delinquent borrower appear to be like a thief or ablebodied beggar, a predator or parasite living off the labor of others.

Although it is unlikely that such lamentations helped the victims, they no doubt made the reformers feel much better. Moreover, imprisonment for debt had become so common that the very number of detained debtors offered reformers a limitless opportunity to ventilate their sympathies on behalf of these victims. As one might expect, the system of imprisoning debtors worked differently for the poor and the rich. The propertyless delinquent was 36 THEDEBTOR dispatched to a dungeon where he languished in misery and often soon perished.

These statistics cannot be attributed to the Journal's conservative leanings. ], but even among our poor, 60 percent own automobiles. Compare that with Somalia or Russia or China or India or Africa or Mexico. "38We have redefined the meaning of the word poor. 39Instead, it denotes anyone in the bottom 10 or 20 percent of the income scale. This relativization of poverty, as I noted earlier, explains why the richest countries have the greatest number of persons officially classified as poor, that is, qualified to receive public assistance.

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