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In Solidarity

Welcome to attempts to integrate art, life, and politics via philosophy and creative community. Consider collaborating with DSC.

Against the Therapists

Mental health under all the prevailing conditions of contemporary life becomes a process of coming to terms with the incompatibility of desire with the world as it is—Freud's reality principle. Nietzsche's “learn to think differently, so that at last one begins to feel differently” is amended by the mental health profession to become “to feel differently, learn to think about your job and your spouse in this prescribed way.” The fact that you have the feelings you do is taken for granted—these should be nonjudgmentally accepted if not embraced. The social structure of our umwelt is also to be accepted, namely you have to have money to live; you have to work to have money. Critique of the world as you find it, healthy critique that is, is possible as long as you are able to make your way through the work day and cultivate a good relationship with your partner. The therapist has nothing to say about the “I would prefer not to” that the revolutionary and the free spirit carry in their breast pocket like a party membership card.

What does the therapist have to say to the flaneur, the slut, the hobo, the poor artist, the hedonist poet, the squatting anarchist, the revolutionary? The fault is in our feelings, in our thoughts. You're anxious about your job? Don't quit your job; you have to work to live. Learn to feel better about your job, and if you do quit your job, make sure you have another one lined up first. Sure, it's fine if you want to make art, write a book, fight capitalism. Just make sure you have the money to do it. Oh, and be sure to continue your therapy. Just be sure you have the money for it. The therapist is like a giant ear with a coin slot. It allows you virtually unlimited affirmation of spoken feelings as long as you keep feeding it quarters. What comes out in exchange for words and coin? More words. You are valuable. Your feelings matter but can be changed. Your thoughts are legitimate as long as they don't destabilize your life or the world too much. Just be sure you can keep feeding the till.

Modern morality, priests for the corporate workplace. Cheerleaders for the status quo in your head. You don't like work? Let's get you to think about work differently. You think capitalism is nonredeemable? Maybe you should focus on your hobbies instead of politics. And please don't blow anything up. Don't hurt anyone. Everything is fine. Just don't think about it. Oh, these therapist-moralists might admit that things are a bit fucked up, that not all is right with the world. “Of course you feel these things. The world can be a cruel place. But nothing can be done about that. And in any case, it wouldn't do to dwell on that; you must change yourself." Conform yourself to the flow. Accept. Love. Yourself.

The sense in which I am a Materialist

The Birds of the Air, they neither reap nor sow.