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Disorder: Contemporary Fascism and the Crisis in Mental Health

Date

2018-09-27

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

ORCID

0000-0003-1040-2591

Type

Thesis

Degree Level

Masters

Abstract

In the aftermath of the Second World War and the many expressions of Fascist ideology that arose during this time period, many European philosophers explored the relationship between psychology, emotions, and politics. In analyzing Fascism, philosophers such as Erich Fromm, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Michel Foucault, focused on the social nature of psychology, and they also went a step further in connecting this analysis to the psychological “costs” of capitalism, up to and including Fascism. The threat of Fascism remains a contemporary concern, but a problem that arises in applying these critiques and understandings to psychology and politics today are new technologies, and the dominance of the bio-medical model of mental health. To understand the relevance of these authors today, this thesis first uses an epistemological approach to locate the bio-medical model as a theory of knowledge, and secondly, a historical approach is used to consider the common concern of Fascism that motivated these philosophers to delve into the connections between emotions, psychology, and politics. By threading these distinct approaches and motivations together, this thesis moves beyond simply an epistemological critique of positivism, but suggests that by framing mental health in this model we also discount the role of emotions in politics—which is even more crucial to understand in times of political-economic instability. As many places in Europe and North America see either a resurgence or reinvention of Fascist ideology and organizations, the causes and consequences of epidemic mental illness (panic, depression, anxiety, and addiction), become ever more necessary to examine, along with what makes a “sane society.”

Description

Keywords

Fascism, Mental Health, Positivism, Critical Psychiatry, Michel Foucault, Erich Fromm, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari

Citation

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Political Studies

Program

Political Science

Citation

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DOI

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