Reflexive Impotence

Reflexive impotence amounts to an unstated worldview amongst the British young, and it has its correlate in widespread pathologies. Many of the teenagers I worked with had mental health problems or learning difficulties. Depression is endemic. It is the condition most dealt with by the National Health Service, and it is afflicting people at increasingly younger ages. The number of students who have some variant of dyslexia is astonishing. It is not an exaggeration to say that being a teenager in late capitalist Britain is now close to being reclassified as a sickness. This pathologization already forecloses any possibility of politicisation. By privatising these problems – treating them as if they were caused by only chemical imbalances in the individual’s neurology and/or by their family background – any question of social systemic causation is ruled out.

Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism

Fisher in today’s Guardian: Why mental health is a political issue

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