By Theodore Dalrymple
Our tradition, what is Left of it provides a suite of essays that levels over literature and ideas, from Shakespeare to Marx, from the breakdown of Islam to the legalization of gear, and extra. This e-book makes an attempt to revive our religion within the imperative value of literature and feedback to our civilization. complete description
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Additional info for Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses
I didn’t say it was easy; I said it was necessary. There’s no reason why what is necessary should also be easy. But you can’t expect doctors to make you happy while your lover is still strangling you, or to make him stop strangling you. Neither of these things is possible. You must make a choice. ’ To tell such a patient that she is responsible, both practically and morally, for her own life is not to deny her help; it is to tell her the truth. To force her to face her complicity in her misery is not to abandon her to her fate.
Modern walls do not a modern hospital make. Unearthly screams rent the air; foul smells offended the nostrils. Madmen threw their clothes through the windows, started fires in their cells, tore up their sheets, wrapped towels around their heads, angrily addressed their hallucinatory interlocutors while standing stark naked on their beds, refused all food as poisoned and spat at passersby. All that was lacking were visitors from the outside world who had paid their pennies to laugh at the lunatics; I suggested that we reinstitute this great tradition to improve the prison’s finances.
If the Foucauldian style of thought had prevailed at earlier times, with that mindset’s failure to understand imaginatively what is required to go from a state of complete ignorance to one of partial knowledge, and how it is often necessary to act in a state of ignorance, no one would ever have discovered anything about the cause or treatment of disease. Moreover, the connection between madness and medicine is not entirely arbitrary and unfounded, as Scull suggested (though in my opinion the scope of psychiatry has since expanded illegitimately, especially in the grotesque overprescription of psychotropic medication).