Psychotic Shooters on the Open Frontier of Profit


Joseph Natoli writes at CounterPunch:

“Each of the Republican candidates for the presidency declared last week that we should deal with school shootings by providing aggressive treatment of people with mental illness — not to alleviate the suffering of the mentally ill, but to protect other people from the mentally ill.”

Andrew Solomon, “The Myth of the ‘Autistic Shooter,’ The New York Times, October 12, 2015

Delusions are the belief in something that is not true. People who have delusions will continue with their delusions even when shown evidence that contradicts the delusion. That is because, like hallucinations, delusions are “irrational” — the opposite of logic and reason. Since reason does not apply to someone who has a schizophrenic delusion, arguing with it logically gets a person nowhere.


It seems possible and may be probable that the conditions that create the inequities of plutocracy break down the psychic defensive capacities of those on the wrong side of plutocracy. It may be that the surrounding conditions created by gross inequities weaken mind, body before recuperative factors of family values, a father in every home, for-profit education, mostly STEM which innovates new products and new apps, early Mozart, Christian, and Constitutional values, the urge to start a business, and gun ownership kick in. If our attention is now drawn to mass random shootings in schools, strip malls and movie theatres by the mentally ill, might it not also be drawn to the drastically changed and aberrant conditions which have transformed an egalitarian directed democracy into plutocracy?

While we are pondering this causal chain, this chain of custody and ownership, profit is already there, profit which both activates and de-activates. For instance, the economic Losers must be actively moved on from emerging prime real estate locations, from notions of job security, retirement pensions, middle class lifestyle wages, affordable college education, and, my particular interest here, mental health care beyond a fifteen minute drug management session. What must be deactivated are not only vestiges of welfare but the House’s “Freedom Caucus” wants to deactivate the Federal government itself. If such activation/deactivation goals were not being met we would not now be a plutocracy, we would not have 76% of the nation’s wealth in the hands of the top 10% and the bottom 40% with negative wealth, i.e. debt only. This warfare leaves bodies and minds devastated and savaged.

Big Pharma has a vast marketing frontier in those who cannot afford one-on-one talk therapy and are given a lifelong cocktail of antipsychotics. The U.S. accounts for 34 percent of the pharmaceutical world market. It is an open frontier in regard to price regulation, approval barriers and span of time from concoction to shelf. According to a PBS Newshour report, “Why do Americans spend so much on pharmaceuticals?” “Americans use more medicines than people in other developed countries. They rank first for their use of antipsychotics as well as drugs for dementia.” Our mental illnesses are a kind of win/win marketing frontier.

Psychotics with guns make the headlines but its depression in the general population that makes the big bucks. Medco’s report, “America’s State of Mind” finds that “the number of Americans on medications used to treat psychological and behavioral disorders has substantially increased since 2001; more than one‐in‐five adults was on at least one of these medications in 2010, up 22 percent from ten years earlier. . . The research reviewed prescription drug claims of over two million Americans to assess the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs and anti‐anxiety treatments between 2001 and 2010.”

The savvy expectation is that the conditions that a de facto plutocracy behind the mask of a de jure egalitarian democracy will manufacture more psychopaths. The Brave New World soma strategy to deal with a population that, were they not doped up, might violently disrupt that brave new world, is useful if a society is “creatively destroying” a growing number of its population each day. While the poor have daily evidence of their poverty, a collapsing middle class live in the illusion that they are middle class and just a short distance, not from ruin, but from fame and fortune. They are, in short, heading for a catastrophic break-down. Big Pharma is already set to give us all a “soft landing.”

Read more here.