Quote of the week

My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
4 May 2011

The [DA’s] open opportunity society is based on a conservative political philosophy, as it provides an ideological defence of the capitalist system. The children of the historically advantaged invariably have a head start in realising inherent talent. This society attributes an individual’s lack of success to individual weaknesses, not the system. Britain’s New Labour party, under Tony Blair, also adopted the open opportunity society as the ideological counterpart to its neoliberal restructuring of the economy and society. As a result, inequality grew more rapidly than it did under John Major’s conservative government. The capacity of those on the higher rungs to reproduce their privileged positions increased, with no evidence of downward mobility if their offspring were less talented. In contrast to the stated intention, Blair’s open opportunity society became, in Alex Callinicos’ words, “entrenched inequalities of opportunity.” – Jane Duncan on the DA

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