by Ron Roberts, author, Psychology and Capitalism: The Manipulation of Mind
I have taught psychology and conducted psychological research for over 30 years in a variety of British Universities. During this time, I’ve become increasingly skeptical about what psychology has to offer.
Psychology is not a neutral science that produces value-free knowledge. Its practices, its ‘products’, and its aims both reflect and affect the wider society. It has progressively transformed the public (as well as our own private) knowledge of self, the world, and others. And not for the better.
The past and present history of psychology reveals a discipline in thrall to big business, big Pharma, the military, and the surveillance industry.
The excessive individualism that is peddled in psychology texts conveys the message that vulnerable, weak, or ‘defective’ individuals succumb to psychological problems – described as mental illnesses – that can be corrected only though industry-sponsored interventions. The blindingly obvious role of society is buried beneath a mountain of technical jargon and misleading research.
I am delighted to recommend these essays. Herein are a wealth of ideas to stimulate thought, contribute to a much-needed debate on the left, and clarify the need to refashion our society into a more humane and workable one. A task which is now urgent.