Capitalism and mental health.

5 Feb

Mental health issues will always exist but under this sick society they seem to be so much worse and new mental health conditions are created or exacerbated by capitalism. Whether it is substance abuse issues, anxiety, anger or something else. The long days and few rights at work that people have, literally make them sick, and the soul destroying reality of unemployment and poverty do as well.

A left communist group called the ICC have a theory that they call “decomposition”. I am not sure whether I have understood this theory in the correct way because some of the terms they use are quite complex, but from a basic reading of it, I think it describes quite well what is happening here, as the system’s ability to work even on its own terms starts to collapse and as a result the conflicts between different factions within the ruling class are accentuated, but they are not sufficiently organised enough for it to turn into a world war or even something like the cold war so it just enters a slow decline, and it is marked by such things as organised crime increasingly becoming intertwined and inseparable from the state and other parts of capital. Of course the bourgeoisie have always been involved in this stuff but according to the ICC (assuming that I’ve understood their arguement) they are less and less able to control it and separate it from the “legitimate” parts of the capitalist system. You can see examples of this in Mexico and also in formerly “communist” parts of Eastern Europe.

I hope that the theory of decomposition is not true because it is a terribly depressing one. If I have understood correctly, which I might not have of course, one of the things that they say is that the decomposition of their system could potentially destroy the working class’s confidence in itself and alienates people from the rest of society, so even bourgeois morals etc start to break down.

Of course they are not the only group to say so, the SP have said something similar in the past, that as capitalism becomes more and more unsustainable and more unstable we are going to see more societal breakdowns.

I am not sure where I am going with this, but it seems to me that so many of both my own problems and those of people who are my friends and I see around me can be traced back to the society in which we live. Capitalism encourages a very uncaring society and it basically contributes to an erosion of social bonds between people for all sorts of reasons whether it’s because they’re exhausted from constantly working or looking for work, or because they are resentful of or look down on other people who earn slightly more or less than they do. And it is not like I am not guilty of this myself, I am.

I am sure that not only would a socialist society be able to better care for people who became mentally ill but fewer people would become mentally ill in the first place.

I’m very worried about a lot of things, it just seems like life is a constant struggle at the moment. It’s hard to see a way out with ever increasing doom and gloom and I am desperately trying to cling on to the good things in my life. The future just seems grim with more and more unemployment and poverty for people I care about and in the background the threat of war and collapse. I have been a Marxist most of my adult life but the idea of any kind of distraction from the current course of events let alone a revolution seems more and more distant. 😦

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2 Responses to “Capitalism and mental health.”

  1. Megan Owen January 4, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

    Do you have the original source where the ICC have discussed their theory of decomposition?

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