Thomas Szasz - 1994 - Cruel Compassion Psychiatric Control Of Society's Unwanted (273p).pdf

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In this work, Szasz challenges the notion that the aim of involuntary psychiatric treatment is for the patient's benefit.

From the Preface:

We can influence others in two radically different ways-with the
sword or the pen, the stick or the carrot. Coercion is the threat or use of
force to compel the other's submission. If it is legally authorized, we
call it "law enforcement"; if it is not, we call it "crime." Shunning coer-
cion, we can employ verbal, sexual, financial, and other enticements to
secure the other's cooperation. We call these modes of influence by a
variety of names, such as advertising, persuasion, psychotherapy, treat-
ment, brainwashing, seduction, payment for services, and so forth.
We assume that people influence others to improve their own lives.
The self-interest of the person who coerces is manifest: He compels the
other to do his bidding. The self-interest of the person who eschews co-
ercion is more subtle: Albeit the merchant's business is to satisfy his
customers' needs, his basic motivation, as Adam Smith acknowledged,
is still self-interest.
Nevertheless, people often claim that they are coercing the other to
satisfy his needs. Parents, priests, politicians, and psychiatrists typically
assume this paternalistic posture vis-a-vis their beneficiaries., As
the term implies, the prototype of avowedly altruistic domination-
coercion is the relationship between parent and young child. Acknowl-
edging that parents must sometimes use force to control and protect
their children, and that the use of such force is therefore morally justi-
fied, does not compel us to beIieve that parents act this way solely in
the best interest of their children. In the first place, they might be satis-
fying their own needs (as well). Or the interests of parent and child
may be so intertwined that the distinction is irrelevant. Indeed, ideally
the child's dependence on his parents, and the parents' attachment to
him, mesh so well that their interests largely coincide. If the child suf-
fers, the parents suffer by proxy. However, if the child misbehaves, he
may enjoy his rebellion, whereas the parents are likely to be angered
and embarrassed by it. Thus, what appears to be the parents' altruistic
behavior must, in part, be based on self-intere~t.~
Thomas Szasz - 1994 - Cruel Compassion Psychiatric Control Of Society's Unwanted (273p).pdf 13.482 MB
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