Framing a Problem: How Corporations Manufacture Public (and Private) Consciousness

In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to deport Clive Boutilier, a Canadian, on the basis of his being homosexual. The decision was based on the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 that stated “aliens afflicted with psychopathic personality…shall be excludable from admission into the United States.” The legislative history of this act reflected how congress interpreted ‘psychopathic’ to include homosexuality, an interpretation informed by psychiatry and the DSM-II (the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, kinda like the Bible of psychiatry).

Now, the assumption might be that if homosexuality was included as a pathology in scientific literature by medical professionals then there’d be nothing more to argue. But this would be naive. For the medical sciences and health industry are far from being objective. In fact, by designating homosexuality as a mental illness psychiatry simply mirrored the values of a homophobic society interested in maintaining a certain status quo, imposing conformity upon society. Even if a majority of homosexuals turned out to be afflicted with mental illness, it would not necessarily follow that their being mentally ill was a result of their being homosexual;  rather, it would be just as plausible that their being mentally ill were actually caused by the oppressive afflictions of living in a homophobic world. Such a fictional pathology would not be anymore due to intrinsic causes than extrinsic ones.  And if intrinsic, the cause of pathology would be indifferent to sexual orientation, just as readily discovered in heterosexuals as in homosexuals.

The point of this post is not to defend homosexuality per se, rather the issue I’m trying to get at is that what people naively believe to be truisms are nearly always manufactured by societal and normative interests. People think they come to their ideas and beliefs by themselves through rational thought when in actuality they were coerced and pre-programmed to think along certain party lines. This is just another example of how many of people’s values and beliefs are socially constructed and politically coerced, an example of how lobby groups and corporate interests manufacture public and political policies, in turn shaping societal norms and values. It is naive to believe that anyone can be invulnerable to such impositions, that one has shaped one’s own destiny in life of one’s own free will, and nihilistic to believe that such deception doesn’t warrant an active resistance against such evil. In an interview, Robert Spitzer, a psychiatrist acting as a consultant to the DSM-II, revealed how diseases became categorized as such not due to scientific facts but due to political coercion. When asked about how new diseases were included into the DSM:

Spitzer: you have to lobby, that’s how. you have to have troops.

Interviewer: so it’s not a matter of…

Spitzer: having the data? no

Interviewer: it’s nothing to do with science then, and nothing to do with evidence?

Spitzer nodded.

And the scary result of such political coercion that is dismissive of diversity, and that only embraces its self-interests that reflects the dissolution of the democratic process, is that it produces morons like this guy (below) and many others like him who go around duping that part of the masses who are too lazy or disinterested to figure out for themselves the meaning behind things. And we haven’t even begun to discuss how the online medium of communication only exacerbates and spreads such nihilism. Although the DSM has since taken homosexuality off its manual of disorders, there are still morons who keep its seedy legacy alive. Below is a comment that some poster left on this youtube video, to which i replied:

It’s been four decades since such gender issues were stricken from the DSM and yet, here we still are today feeling the effects of the past. Lobbyists’ actions, corporate interests, regimes of the nihilistic status quo, the phallic discourse of the Same, theocratic institutions– the violence of binary metaphysics has lasting temporal effects. Meaning, the dogmatic adherence to apparent truths necessarily marginalizes, objectifies and does violence against those who fall outside the purview of such illusory and politically manufactured truths. But these ideas seep into consciousness and are petrified there as belief. Set into stone. Setting Others in stone. And so its our task to continue to break such stone tablets at the foot of mountains that write in fire.

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