Posted: August 18th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
An article appeared today about the misdiagnosis of 1 million schoolchildren who allegedly have Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), leading usually to a prescription for Ritalin, a psychoactive drug that is designed to calm over-exuberant children and adults. The article can be found here:
Its conclusions are hardly earth-shattering, since we in the West live in an environment where mood-altering drugs are prescribed with almost boundless enthusiasm. The explosion of psychoactive drug use has reached the level where well over 10% of women in the United States are taking one or more anti-depressants, for example. And yet, it has become a truism that the medication of children who are excitable, and the medication of adults who are unhappy, is excessive and irresponsible – but, curiously, the prescription rates continue to climb!
As Anthroconservatives, we seek a society in which every person, or at least as many people as possible, are able to live according to their natural instincts. It is high time that we admit that achieving this goal will be IMPOSSIBLE so long as “civilized” nations remain willing to medicate functional children and adults so as to bring their behavior in line with the expectations of bureaucrats, psychologists, and other “experts.” That is, how can a person lead a natural life, if their innermost self, their perceptions of reality, and their mood and personality, are all subject to continual manipulation by pharmaceutical means?
On one hand, the over-prescription of psychoactive drugs is a symptom of the shallowness of Western cultures, in which any shortcut to “happiness,” especially one offered for a bargain price or covered by one’s medical insurance, is apt to be taken. In the process, the sometimes severe side effects of anti-depressants and other mood-altering drugs are often ignored, and the real and persistent mental health problems which (at least in some cases) led to the drugs being prescribed in the first place are left to fester. Psychoactive drugs, after all, do not alter a person’s personality or their circumstances – they alter a person’s PERCEPTION and outward mood. In other words, they change nothing fundamental about a person’s life. Not surprisingly, their effects are often transitory, insignificant, or even counter-productive, since some anti-depressants are linked to an elevated risk of suicide. Broadly speaking, it is very hard to see how the over-prescription of psychoactive drugs gives anything other than the illusion of well-being – and sometimes not even that! – to most of the people who take them. We would EXPECT, after all, that a society imbibing anti-depressants on a heroic and historic scale OUGHT to be among the happiest societies that has ever existed, but this is demonstrably not the case with modern America.
There is, however, an even darker side to this trend. It is clear that in many cases there are sound reasons why a child may be energetic and fidgety, or why an adult may be sad. As this blog will by now have proved, modern life is in innumerable ways INCONSISTENT WITH HUMAN NATURE. Now, can human beings be acculturated to a lifestyle at variance with their natural instincts? Yes, but there is always a psychological cost involved. For instance, it is POSSIBLE to build a society in which family ties are brittle, in which most marriages end in divorce, in which a corrosive materialism eats away at wholesome values, and in which the individual is viewed as a unit of economic production and material consumption, rather than as an organic part of a HUMAN family and community. We know it is possible, because we have already done it. But, just as surely as it is possible, it is also unwise, because, as deep-felt human needs are left unsatisfied, numerous psychic imbalances will arise. To be frank, how could a dysfunctional society NOT produce dysfunctional people? For this reason, the rise in the prescription of psychoactive drugs is a SIGN of just how alienated human beings now are from their true nature, and also of how utterly unwilling they are to tackle this problem sensibly. We seem to prefer to medicate our alienation away, in other words, instead of asking the more urgent question: where does the alienation come from, and how can it be overcome?
The other reason why the rise of psychopharmacology is such a disturbing trend will be equally obvious: leftists, who have dreamed for several centuries of remaking human beings in an “enlightened,” egalitarian image, now have, in psychoactive drugs, a powerful tool whereby they can achieve the suppression of NATURAL, NORMAL human impulses. Is this a fanciful, paranoid suggestion, on my part? Hardly! Leftists categorize a whole range of normal human attitudes as pathological: from the violent and aggressive propensities of many men, to the demure and nurturing dispositions of many women, to the promiscuous instincts of many teenagers and adults of both sexes – any of these partially innate qualities can be, and often are, seen by leftists as unacceptable, even as indicative of one “syndrome” or another, and it cannot be doubted that they will search for ways to medicate these “problems” into oblivion. The current, clumsy use of anti-depressants to elevate the moods of alienated and lonely people, in other words, is but the leading edge of what will surely become a much more widespread and sophisticated campaign to tailor the psychology of the masses, using pharmaceuticals, to fit the needs of bureaucratic and plutocratic leaders. Already, the precision and reliability of advertising, and other forms of psychological manipulation like information management and crowd control, has reached impressive levels. Psychoactive drugs promise to boost the elite’s capacity to control human psychology to undreamed-of heights – and in the process to chemically reconstruct human nature itself. We will literally BECOME the people leftists – and corporate planners – want us to be.
For all the reasons detailed here, Anthroconservatives must resist the siren song of psychopharmacology themselves, and they must oppose, by every means at their disposal, the policy, in both the bureaucratic and corporate worlds, that tackles any and all signs of deviation from institutional expectations with a strong dose of mind-altering medications. Whatever the answer to society’s problems may be – and we Anthroconservatives ARE closer than others to finding such solutions – we can be CERTAIN that drugs do not hold the key. On the contrary, reliance on psychoactive drugs to maintain one’s functionality in society is a sign of weakness – both of individual weakness, and even more so of degeneracy and alienation in the wider society, which cannot, apparently, conceive of any way to keep the machinery of central-planning and capitalist greed humming without chemically altering the minds of its members.
In short, there can be no more conclusive evidence of the ABNORMAL and INHUMAN underpinnings of modern life than the fact that, increasingly, men, women, and even children, need chemical assistance simply to endure it.