Why I am an abolitionist

My full response to this question http://cantmedicatelife.com/2014/07/23/sometimes-aliases-are-more-than-ironic-eh-cannotsay2013-and-other-antipsychiatry-commenters/comment-page-1/#comment-37939

It is the same reason that when slavery was legal there were two “well meaning” schools of thought about it:

- One that fought for its abolition on moral grounds: slavery is wrong, period. Regardless of any other consideration, its abolition is a noble goal.

- Another that slavery, when applied properly, was a force for good and thus the right approach was to improve the lives of slaves not to abolish slavery. I am not making this up https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proslavery_in_the_antebellum_United_States

“This theory supposes that there must be, and supposedly always has been, a lower class for the upper classes to rest upon: the metaphor of a mudsill theory being that the lowest threshold (mudsill) supports the foundation for a building. This theory was used by its composer Senator and Governor James Henry Hammond, a wealthy southern plantation owner, to justify what he saw as the willingness of the non-whites to perform menial work which enabled the higher classes to move civilization forward. With this in mind, any efforts for class or racial equality that ran counter to the theory would inevitably run counter to civilization itself.

Southern pro-slavery theorists asserted that slavery eliminated this problem by elevating all free people to the status of “citizen”, and removing the landless poor (the “mudsill”) from the political process entirely by means of enslavement. Thus, those who would most threaten economic stability and political harmony were not allowed to undermine a democratic society, because they were not allowed to participate in it. So, in the mindset of pro-slavery men, slavery was for protecting the common good of slaves, masters, and society as a whole.”

So while slavery and coercive psychiatry are not exactly the same, both are justified on the same principle: government paternalism on a “subclass of people”. For the pro slavery people, the “subclass” were the blacks, for the “pro coercive psychiatry folks” that subclass is those the APA labels with the DSM.

So to me, the question is not hard to answer. Other considerations aside, we in the abolitionist movement are fighting for what we perceive as a moral cause and we will not relent until we achieve our goals. Our position might sound ridiculous or unachievable but I think that the same could have been said in 1791 since what the “we must learn to live with psychiatry” crowd sells looks strikingly similar to the Three-Fifths Compromise https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Fifths_Compromise . Guess who had the last word even though it took the US almost 200 years until it approved the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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