I know I'm being pretty harsh on Agamben, but I actually agree with him that we need a critique of healthcare provision (both physical and mental), because the systems established to gate access to diagnosis/treatment often diminish autonomy as much as they enable it.
But we need to be able to look at the concrete details of these institutions without giving ourselves a free pass to ignore the discourses of medicine, psychology, and psychiatry whenever we want. Bad critique is epistemically capricious where good critique is responsible.
This is as good at time as any to repost some unrolled threads from 2019 in which I talk about expanding Mark Fisher's work on the politics of mental health to healthcare more generally (threadreaderapp.com/thread/1181998…) and discuss bipolar disorder specifically (threadreaderapp.com/thread/1173211…).
Part of the critique I've been developing of the 'embodiment paradigm' (thephilosopher1923.org/interview-wolf…) is that its worst impulses are complicit in the sort of counter-productive 'critical' interventions that Agamben's biopolitical critique of epidemiology exemplifies.
Those of us who struggle with our bodies (for various reasons) are all too aware that institutionalised healthcare diminishes our autonomy, not because it exercises power over biology, but because this power is something that we cannot use to cultivate our personal autonomy.
It is more often not so much a matter of the provision of oppression than the privation of freedom, as is all too obvious to anyone living in the US or who has paid even the slightest attention to the healthcare hellscape that's been allowed to flourish there. That's biopolitics.

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More from @deontologistics

15 Jan
So, here’s a way of reframing this question: which societies enabled coexistence and collaboration between people with divergent social styles, rather than imposing a dominant social style? Such social pluralism is very important indeed.
I suspect that the vast majority of the answers to the original question will fall foul of the tendency to project ideal social arrangements that reflect our own style of social understanding and engagement, and that this will lead them to talk past one another.
Consider the perspective of someone far away from you on in the neurological map, who doesn’t overlap with your socially calibrated genetic resources for social intelligence: the social heaven of an autist introvert may be the social hell of a bipolar extrovert, and vice versa.
Read 25 tweets
14 Jan
This is what happens when you train neural networks largely on tone and its stylistic relics. They pick up formal features of arguments (not so much fallacies as tics) that have almost nothing to do with semantic content (focus on connotation over implication).
This is a secular problem in the discipline. It's got nothing to do with the Analytic/Continental split in the anglophone world. They've both got the same ramifying signal/noise problem, it's just that the styles (tics and connotations) are different in each pedagogical context.
And this is before we start talking about tone policing and topic policing, which are both rife and essentially make the peer review journal system completely unfit for purpose, populated as it is by a random sampling of pedants selecting for syntactic noise over semantic signal.
Read 39 tweets
13 Jan
It's hard to believe it's been four years since Mark left. What a day to talk about the meaninglessness of death. If there's one thing Meillassoux is right about, it's that nothing less than the complete and total resurrection of the restless dead could make death meaningful.
Who wouldn't want to hear what he had to say about the absolute fucking state of this place (Earth)? That excuse to hear his insights might be a reason to hate this state just a little less. But we can't, and so it doesn't. How I wish it were otherwise.
Mark's death wasn't uniquely his own. There was nothing authentic about it. It was the same desperately sad story that you will hear over and over again throughout your life as unquenchable misery pulls meaningful people into an indifferent void.
Read 25 tweets
12 Jan
I'm strongly committed to the virtue of sincerity, but we are all put in positions in which we bend the truth to fit the shape of our discursive context, in ways that produce misunderstandings we can't anticipate. Sometimes (good) rules of thumb get read as (bad) iron laws.
Here's the most common white lie I tell students, friends, and strangers alike: there are no bad questions. I say this to disinhibit people, so they begin asking questions, and so the process of asking them will refine them and take us in an interesting dialectical direction.
This solicitation of thought in process, in which imperfections are encouraged as a way to draw out and develop ideas, is a crucial feature of the generosity required to perform Socratic midwifery properly, rather than 'own the [libs/trads/etc.]'. It's about sincerity, not irony.
Read 61 tweets
12 Jan
Here's a meta-thread organising the Laruelle thread ('Non-Laruelle') into chapters, which will be expanded as it continues to expand. Chapters will be subdivided into parts.
The beginning of the overall thread is here (), and chapter/part links will go to the first tweet in each section. There may be a few accidental forks her and there, but the thread is linear for the most part.
Read 8 tweets
11 Jan
Time to post a few more pieces of inspirational art in a final fit of procrastination.
I get pretty critical of certain strands of Marxism, and prefer to present myself as a left-accelerationist (in contexts where that's understood) or as a what @michaeljswalker 'class war social democrat' (in those where it isn't), but I try never to dismiss communism outright.
I may see myself as more an Owenite than a Marxist in some respects, but I cannot listen to this song without something stirring within me, and I recommend it to anyone quick to dismiss communists because of the historical arc of state communism in C20th:
Read 36 tweets

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