the frankfurt school is often described as combining marxism and freudianism, a strategy that remains alive in the acdemic world, for example in the work of terry eagleton. maybe there is a piece of marcuse or adorno where they work that out carefully on the meta-level. but really you should ponder this combination, for it makes no sense. and at its worst, as in eagleton, it just kind of randomly leaps between orthodoxies that are obviously incompatible with one another. you might as well make it marx and locke, or freud and skinner. lacan and althusser aren't going to help at all, i believe, even if you're zizek. what is the nature of the unconscious, according to marxism, and how does it bear on politics and economics? so say we spend the next twenty years exploring my childhood traumas, my anal phase, all the mythological narratives and complexes that constitute my self, my dreams, and so on. what, according to marx, have we accomplished? on the other hand, what is the role of class structure and material conditions of production in the thought of freud? i think you could regard these both as interesting or historically important movements of thought (i do regard them that way; also as completely over, thank god), but tossing them like bouillabaisse and marshmallow fluff into the same food processor and hitting puree is not going to leave you with a good meal. i guess you could toss in nietzsche...wait, just stop.
you'd have to assume that there's a run on sales of semi-automatic rifles right now.
it's amazing to watch all the people saying that the most important thing is to make it easier to involuntarily commit adults. also one theory seems to be that adam lanza killed his mother and went on his spree after she threatened to commit him. it's sort of a classic response: our solution is to stigmatize or dehumanize a certain bunch of people who share some vague set of qualities with the disasterer. really what's being said is we need more incarceration, preventive incarceration based on a shared profile; or, people like that should interned until the conflict is over. and if you think that the psychologists have a good taxonomy of the relevant illnesses or account of their etiology or effective treatments etc - or, for example, if you think that psych profs are the sort of people who are likely to be developing such things in the future - you have not been watching; trusting them to convict or exculpate possible future criminals is an extraordinarily bad idea. we tried that kind of stuff before.
let's think about one of the most basic assumptions of contemporary psychology: there is a self, and then there are diseases or dysfunctions that distort, interrupt, or encrust this self. the illnesses could be removed from the self - with medication, for example - leaving the self free and unencumbered. this appears to be completely uncontroversial within psychology and its neuroversions and also kind of the basic cultural stance. but particularly in any very clear or simple form, it's just false. at least in many cases, what we perceive as mental illness is, i believe, as essential or integral to the selfhood of the person involved as any other basic trait of personality. the relation of a person to their so-called mental illness is not at all like the relation of a person's body to a tumor, for example. i don't think i'm a crispy with an addict module added on; i think i am an addict. we think of illnesses as some sort of humunculus or demon, or sheer neurological mistake. but take the neurosis out the neurotic or the bipolar out of the bipolar, or the adhd out of the boy, and you do not release the true or free self within, you re-make the self on the surface. possibly, you mess with the essence of the patient, which might of course be needful. no doubt it is possible to feel that your mental illness is oppressing you, or is an alien entity occupying you like a demon. but i think that our psychological institutions enforce that account, and make it a condition of treatment, etc. i don't think that's the way it's usually actually experienced. and the idea that you could get a picture like that out of the brain scanning is ridiculous: y'all brought that to every research project, and didn't problematize it for an instant.