The Politics of Suicide

Former CEO of Zurich Insurance Group Martin Senn committed suicide on Friday May 27th. This follows the heels of another high profile suicide at the multi-billion dollar corporation, their past CFO Pierre Wauthier also blew his brains out just three years prior. With suicide comes the political, and in my view, ideological response to people deciding to ‘opt out’. The reality is that governments and societies seem completely incapable of dealing with suicide, let alone understanding it.

Suicide and Fascism

Shock, fear, and unease follow when someone decides to take their own life and we are seemingly ‘in disbelief’ each time it happens. But it happens, a lot. Mental illness is taboo in many cultures and it’s not hard to figure out why. The assumption for all citizens is that we are capable of controlling our thoughts and ‘warping’ the world around us into some sort of positive feedback loop. It is in Fascist philosophy that we find our perception of western attitudes toward mental illness best described,

“Fascism wants man to be active and to engage in action with all his energies; it wants him to be manfully aware of the difficulties besetting him and ready to face them. It conceives of life as a struggle in which it behooves a man to win for himself a really worthy place, first of all by fitting himself (physically, morally, intellectually) to become the implement required for winning it. As for the individual, so for the nation, and so for mankind” –Mussolini, The Doctrine of Fascism

Reality is a struggle, our existence is a battle and those who commit suicide are weak and therefore, surrendering to the natural world which we so fervently fight against. For capitalism to function it is essential that successful people are ‘strong’ and unsuccessful people are ‘weak’. Those with wealth are capable of warping reality, good fortune follows them wherever they go, they are industrious and in good health. But most of all capitalism promises you that by virtue of hard work you can achieve value within society and finally be satisfied with what you have. Martin Senn challenges this perception on multiple fronts.

‘Suicide is Selfish’

One comment in particular I think personifies our true difficulty in understanding suicide. A friend, attempting to internalize why a multi-millionaire CEO who has spent his entire life climbing the corporate ladder would kill himself said this,

“Once they said he killed himself in a Swiss vacation home I stopped feeling sympathetic.”

The desire within our society is to desperately find –some- selfish impulse within the suicidal framework. To put those who commit suicide as one needing attention (thus unremarkable and unable to attain it through labor), or sympathy (because they failed at personal relationships due to their negative attitudes), or to piss off society by selfishly ‘quitting’ the game, leaving their families to pick up the pieces. This thinking also plays into the collectivist notion that your life isn’t yours to live.

You exist to operate within society’s framework. You will go to college, get a 4 year degree, work a desk job, get married, have kids, have a 401k, and die at 80 released of your duty. By existing in the social world you are now expected to exist for its own sake, to cause minimal disruption to those around you. So keep your head down and clack away on that keyboard. That is your life plan set out by your family, work, and strangers on the street. Suicide is to say that not only is this plan worthless, but that every avenue and iteration within it is worthless. And for those who kill themselves with a weapon, the world you’ve created for them is such a piece of shit they won’t even inject heroin as a plan 598.z to find happiness. Your idea of a ‘good life’ is just that wrong.

To place yourself in the mind of a suicidal person is to make the necessary omission that the past is as irrelevant as the future.

The media lambasts us with the picture of the depressed as being in ‘pain.’ This is clever imagery because it implies a physical affliction when there clearly is none (except for the chemical interactions within your brain). To be in pain is to imply that you are being poked with needles or beaten with a bat, to which our non-depressed people say, move away from the needles, be happier, be positive, exercise and the pain will disappear! You will be cured.

To be depressed is not to be in pain, it is to be dangerously apathetic and hopeless. The past is as irrelevant as the future as the present. Our social world requires people to want to attain more, to find purpose and pleasure in accumulating money, family members, or something social. Depressed people do not want more, they want nothing, they are numb to motivation and besieged by their own monologue. Their own psyche mocking them from afar, reiterating their personal failures in a self perpetuating breakdown which so often leads to physical harm. To blow your brains out in a multi-million dollar Swiss vacation home is an ideological challenge; it is as if to proclaim from the mountain tops, maybe wealth and power won’t make you happier.

I think of course that the most dangerous and subversive political statement made by high profile suicides and depression cases is that it flies in the face of what we are taught. We work harder every year pretending that an extra 5, 10, or 15 grand a year will suddenly make us ‘free.’ So we derail their deaths as hedonistic, cowardly, or ‘what pain they had to endure.’ As if to say they were cancer patients and had no hope of survival. But here are individuals who have climbed the ladder, reached the echelons of society, amassed so much money that they could retire whenever they so choose. But instead of moving to a hidden Caribbean island and living the ‘dream’ in quiet seclusion, they overdose on drugs or jump off a mountain.

Conclusion

The answer to the suicide problem is simple enough, one must agree that those who commit suicide are not looking for your pity, your respect, or any form of your opinion. They are products of the society you work to produce. The kind of person who jumps off a building merely wants to end it, as they have convinced themselves that there is no cure and they are merely weak. As they have struggled to survive (the Fascists tell us), so they have the right to end the struggle. We call them weak but walk that dangerous line between berating them for being mentally ‘ill’ but not wanting it to go too far (we’re not monsters…).

We just want them to exist in perpetual pain because their life is not theirs to live, their life is ours. Societies arguments have failed, their schooling, relationship customs, and personal fulfillment pathways all come crashing down and yet, you cannot quit; you must exist forever to feel weak and cowardly for even thinking of that awful taboo, to take your own life. So we condem the ‘suffering’ instead to the prison of sleepless night, to fantasize about death while falling asleep, wishing, hoping that tomorrow will be the day the light shines through; but it never does. Our lives don’t change because we are sad and the world does not warp to our ambition. To be mentally ill is to be weak, they are told. They are but quiet heretics among the fervent devout.

The world needs less faux compassion and a little more introspection. To understand suicide is to understand that your political reality, your very ideological framework is not ‘correct,’ ‘moral,’ or even self-perpetuating. Every new generation in western society needs to be coerced and convinced that your road map is worth it. So every time someone unplugs, it must be seen as a statement in how much work we have left to do. We need to stop being surprised when suicides happen, because it implies we were caught off guard. We know full well the problems with our society so stop pretending they aren’t there.

 

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14 comments

  1. Well said… I never thought of it as “fascism” but you pulled together concepts which I might have often held apart.

    Recently, someone told me about the suicide of a teenager, and my response was: “for most of history you started working, family, apprenticeship before tend. Now you have to watch people on TV live, whilst learning obedience and little else until your thirties when you finally have a degree, but also likely a mortgage, student loans, and problems from being too uncreative but very obedient. It is more a surprise to me that anyone survives the system into adulthood.”

    Going further, nobody is really free if we are all in (forced, unfair) debt; nothing is really a democracy if nobody is listening to the concerns of the people; the lies of the system may create distress on a deep level, for those who are too time-scarce to look deeper, and too money-scarce to work towards change.

    I am glad that we do have WordPress, and other platforms and capabilities for discussion which could also be adapted to implement systems which support humanity taking advantage of modern inventions, rather than society distracting most humans from their own humanity until it collapses in a focus on exploitation, at the expense of true compassion and self-awareness.

    Perhaps I can work on models that would help leverage those devices to that end.

    On the other hand, the intention to be truly compassionate, and aware, is part of why I started writing… to both encourage this, and avoid people who don’t have the capacity to do so, recover from dealing with what I now call the effects of negative affect of dispersed imposers.

    However, the entire system is an imposition… but to much degree, neutral, and adaptable, if you can leverage platforms to support what you want, and build more sturdy platforms behind this.

    The aspiration to have the stability to shift the world is not the same as obsession and socially bound ambition, but rather, a function of hope, directed by insight, …. and that is not taught to most people in most places.

    Myself, I’m learning as I go, but have not been effective at teaching or influencing others. Most have no idea that they need to know this, that their children need to know, that the system on a fundamental level is killing us all. Most respond as subject to the system, rather than agent of self.

    I have to refine my expression of these concepts… but thanks for reminding me to persevere trying to express them. If nothing else, your post has been an encouragement to me, so I thank you for sharing it.

  2. I read your post and i was filled with anger, rage, and disgust. Let me tell you, I could eviscerate you in a second for the stupidity I read. I have several degrees in psychology. I’ve been reading about psychology since 1964 when I was in high school. Whether it is clinical, social, organizational, cognitive, or measurement, I have engage in long and deep research into the subject. To put it bluntly, i know a hell of a lot about psychology. But in reading your post I can only surmise that you posses a very limited knowledge on the subject.

    I have know many individuals with mental problems, I seem to “collect” them, if you will. Perhaps it is because I am a safe “father confessor” personality. I was married to a woman who had severe mental problems. Twice I had to drive her to the emergency room because of overdoses. I have known a couple of people who took their own lives. I have worked suicide hot lines in college. Hell, being a caretaker for my ex wife for fourteen years damn near drove me to suicide. It certainly made me depressed during that time and that is a very common experience for most caregivers.

    So what the hell gives you the right to explain suicide in terms of politics? Are you that stupid? Are you that ignorant? Are you that much of an asshole? What is it? Explain your reasoning, if there is any. I have never read so much bullshit about suicide as i have in this one post. I mean, what was your point?

    I don’t care what a man thinks, I don’t care about what a man believes. That is, until he does harm to others. Then i must point out that he is wrong, that he needs to rethink what he thinks, what he believes, what he says. It would take at least a year to explain the problems, the varieties of thinking, of the various theories, both good and bad, about suicide. The reason why we do not have a national dialogue about suicide is because the average American is so woefully ignorant and cares little for self education on that subject. Even the talking heads don’t understand much about which they talk.

    I do apologize for being upset, for being angry, for being enraged. I apologize for being uncivil. But understand that this subject is near and dear to me and I do not suffer fools gladly.

  3. How egotistical of you. I admire your work on Fascism, very detailed and well written. But you are out of your depth in commenting on suicide. Your paragraphs above, somewhat contorted in analysis, show that you look at the world through the lens of political theory. Many individuals can only see human actions in that manner. Black Lives Matter is very big on seeing the world through their contrived political theories. So you conclude that it must be society to blame for those who commit suicide. Case closed, blame it on a monolith called society. How simplistic.

    Those who commit suicide aren’t admitting failure to conform to society’s norms. Such is rarely the case, yet you want to make that the case. Why? Because it fits with your political theories? So simplistic thought #1, society is some faceless monolith. Not true and never will be. Societies are collections of individuals whose actions and thoughts usually but not always have reference to the collective actions and thoughts of others. We won’t go into individual differences and its ramifications since that would require too much space. Just as mobs do not have a single mind controlling its members so societies do not have a single mind controlling its members. I would refer you to Rupert Brown for the relevant research on that subject.

    Suicide does not have any one single element shared by all who commit or try to commit that act. If one is sick and in-firmed one may be in such a painful condition that living is torture. Suicide would be a preference and in no way signals failure or a lack of keeping up with the Jones. Some stage four cancers are such torture for many individuals that a quick death is preferred. Oh well, you say, that’s just an exception to the rule.

    Severe depression often results in suicide. Is that society’s fault. It is the values of a collective number of individuals that is the cause? Oh please, you bore me with your political views. If only the collective individual membership act correctly in terms of human values than this type of suicide could be avoided.

    Is depression the great reason for suicide? No, it is one factor but not the only one. Often individuals views of reality become stuck, incapable of normal change. Sometimes their reality becomes a bit warped and unreal. Sometimes events around them leave them the idea that there is no way out of the current predicament. Sometimes it’s the damn medication that they start that has such a significant effect upon their psyche that they engage in that act. Anti-depressants are not the godsend the doctors would have us believe. You might care to read up on that small part of the causes of suicide.

    The real incredible argument is that you tried to neatly encapsulate suicide, of which you have exhibited little knowledge and understanding, into a neat political theory. But i doubt you will be able to see the argument. You only see human behavior through your own political theory. That’s what you do. It is evident in all your writing. You could read BF Skinner and gain some insight to basic human behavior. There are any number of books written on primate behavior that apply to us. But that would require you to to adopt a bottom up view of the world instead of your top down model. I doubt you are capable of such a change. But go ahead, defend yourself and tell I’m I just have to be wrong. the reason why society rarely talks about suicide is because society is grossly ignorant and would have to invest too much time and effort to understand. Mankind is basically a lazy dog. And if our doctors, our psychologists can’t fully comprehend how and why suicide happens, then how is society to be expected to do as much?

    1. So first off, it isn’t egotistical of me to ask you explain why you find my post terrible, you wrote about 300 words just saying its bad without explaining yourself. That’s not ego, that’s just your own failure to back up your own argument. It would be as if I spent the next 300 words, clacking away on my keyboard saying that your arguments for why my views on suicide are so terrible by saying you are dumb and therefore everything you produce is dumb so you should feel dumb for saying dumb things. I don’t lose any sleep on people personally attacking what I write (in fact, it’s why I write publicly in the first place), but I do get annoyed when people expect me to respond to non-existent criticism and then go back to me and justify their own laziness under the shield of ‘my ego.’

      Suicide is complicated, but this post isn’t titled, A Treatise on Suicide wherein you would find a five volume, 1 million word tome going through the history of suicide, the practice of clinical psychology, and modern psychological research on the topic. Instead this post is titled The Politics of Suicide. I do not claim within this post that all suicides are the result of the structure of the society which we create, you do in your response but I do not. The view point of the article is clear, it’s external people living in society ‘internalizing’ suicide through their own ideological compass. If you disagree with this framework so much that you refuse to accept the possibility that the economic and political reality of your life has no bearing on the decision to commit suicide, I think you are simply wrong. People commit suicide when the economy tanks, people begin drinking heavily and enter depression when they lose their jobs, and to my point, these are all political and ideological ramifications of a free market economy.

      http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/3/e000785.full

      These suicides AT LEAST correlated, and I claim that, in some instances, they are cause/effect which can be dealt with by internalizing suicide via a different political framework. That is the purpose of this post and the argument I present.

      “Severe depression often results in suicide. Is that society’s fault. It is the values of a collective number of individuals that is the cause? Oh please, you bore me with your political views. If only the collective individual membership act correctly in terms of human values than this type of suicide could be avoided.”

      What interests me about this paragraph is that within it you disregard my argument that your inner circles political and ideological framework has an impact on depression then, one sentence latter, make a political and ideological statement saying how it can be prevented! You say, ‘if only people behaved in terms of human values.’ the catch phrase ‘human values’ IS an ideological statement which has changed throughout history and through cultures. Since we’re in the habit now of pretentiously suggesting high-brow books to read, John Locke’s “Two Treatises of Government” (the second treatise in particular) introduces the concept nicely. That is, no one knows what human values are, we have theories, and those theories are informed by… (religion, philosophy, political issues of the day).

      “Suicide does not have any one single element shared by all who commit or try to commit that act.”

      I definitely do not suggest this, and I think this is the most important quotation from your rebuttal of them all. It seems you are desperate to be outraged, annoyed, or whatever at this post. In doing so you really lose sight of its purpose and its scope by doing exactly what you argue I am doing, making gross generalizations. And if you are as literate and an arm chair expert as you claim, I can’t see how you will make this omission without personally wanting it. I will be the first to admit, my language is at times inaccurate or grandiose. I do not preference every sentence with ‘some’ or ‘a few’ or ‘not all but…’ because it’s assumed and it’s done to save the few people who read my writing from repetitiveness.

      “I doubt you are capable of such a change. But go ahead, defend yourself and tell I’m I just have to be wrong. the reason why society rarely talks about suicide is because society is grossly ignorant and would have to invest too much time and effort to understand. Mankind is basically a lazy dog. And if our doctors, our psychologists can’t fully comprehend how and why suicide happens, then how is society to be expected to do as much?”

      Well, if you pose legitimate criticism (as your 2nd reply has done) then yes, I’ll definitely defend myself. What’s the point of having a blog otherwise? I’ve never treated this as my own echo chamber, people can say whatever they want within some bounds. But I’ll always engage in the opportunity to elaborate on my argument and get people who disagree to fully expose their own.

      To your last point here, professional economists do not fully understand macro economics and yet they still derive policy and people still operate under their banners pretending as if they do because that’s generally how science works. We have theories and they are the best we have till we can find something better. No one knows the answer to the welfare problem, we all have our own suggestions and theories, but no one knows. Society seems to have strong opinions about welfare, and as a result, makes political decisions based upon them (even if as an individual they know little). I want people, who are going to internalize suicide no matter what we do or say, to internalize it in a more productive manner; in the guise of how to fix the society you are building.

      How do you expect people to behave on ‘basic human values’ to deal with those with depression or risk of suicide if you can’t even convince other people what ‘human values’ are? Is it to butt into your friends personal life and tell them you care and you’ve been noticing that they are acting unhappy lately? Do you try to get them institutionalized if you believe they pose a credible threat to their own life? You need politics and subversive ideology to convince people to change their behaviors and there are no actions immune from it.

  4. You have framed your entire argument about suicide in terms of a political narrative. You did not bother to separate the different types of suicide into other categories but lumped them all into one neat package. Then when I call you on your bullshit you say that your theory about suicide during an economic down turn fits with a paper you read in the British Medical Journal and thus proves your point. So I read that paper and guess what, the methodology is sloppy. Nut worse than that, the so called evidence of you support for your theory rests on correlation. Okay, repeat after me. Correlation is not causation. Never, never, never. he methodology uses data from countries in 10 WHO areas. Where does the data used in their analysis come form. Government reports. How accurate are those reports, any guess? Actually, some of the governments are honest but a majority are not when it comes to reporting economic data.

    Now I don’t really care about the accuracy of the economic data but the questions are, what was the dependent variable and what were the independent variables, and how were the variables manipulated? Oh, that’s right, this was a metadata study. we don’t worry about variables. We simply take a lot of data and then try to mine an answer. Oh, but they were doctors and clinicians. That does not mean they actually knew what they were doing and looking at their paper I am highly critical. How do I know this? Because I have not only studies methods of conducting research, studied measurement and analysis, and statistical analysis, but I have conducted several experiments. A couple added to the body of scientific evidence, some did not. I have trained in science and not a political theory pontification. And what was their startling conclusion? All they could find was a weak correlation. Looking at their P-values they were cherry picking their results. But the paper was peer reviewed. You know, one of the great problems we have in science is the so-called peer review publications. Recent research has estimated that approximately one out of every three experiments or research papers cannot be replicated with the same results. If your experiment is to be held valid then other individual researchers should be able to duplicate your results.

    As i have said before, political science is not a science, it is opinion. It will never be a science. Hell, you didn’t state what was your hypothesis and you never tried to prove it wrong. You went looking for something you neither understood nor could evaluate. as long as it “proved” your theory, that was all you cared about. Then you want some fantastic argument with evidence as to why you were wrong. That is egotistical thinking. Oh yes, prove me wrong, I dare you. You were wrong when the minute you started to write your post. Then you compound it by citing specious research to bolster you theory. Once again, correlation is not proof of anything. It only suggests a connect at best. Any beginning statistics would have made that clear. So you are left with a theory that is nothing more than opinion. QED

    Do I care what opinions you hold as truth? Not really. I am only concerned when you start spreading ignorance about suicide around like you have some special insight to that problem. Go back and read your original post. You have little knowledge of suicide, of depression, of any mental illness or even process. I will grant that you may know more about political theory than I and it is not something I usually write about. Only a fool will write about that which he neither knows nor understands. If you write about political theory I will read and probably not comment. But the minute you crossover into my specialties with your profound ignorance i will call you out.

    1. “You have framed your entire argument about suicide in terms of a political narrative.”

      Correct, this is what I do on this blog. I take modern events and frame it into a political narrative.

      “You did not bother to separate the different types of suicide into other categories but lumped them all into one neat package.”

      I did not bother because if I went through such rigor in every single post; I wouldn’t be posting it for free on the internet I would be an academic with tenure.

      “Then when I call you on your bullshit you say that your theory about suicide during an economic down turn fits with a paper you read in the British Medical Journal and thus proves your point.”

      So what bullshit is that, exactly? You are incapable of understanding that I am not going to spend 100,000 words parsing out modern suicide like a psychology text book. It simply will not happen. If you are honestly looking for this level of detail in this blog you have some very skewed expectations from me. As I mentioned before, and as you refuse to acknowledge, I am discussing societies ineffective method of internalizing the suicidal behavior of an individual. This is political. Why people commit suicide is a separate issue, of which I say there is evidence to suggest economics and politics play a role. This isn’t revolutionary, I can find plenty of articles to back me up.

      The only one who seems to be doing any work here is me.
      http://jhr.uwpress.org/content/44/2/277.short
      http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/cou/39/4/482/
      http://jech.bmj.com/content/53/11/694.short
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1521/suli.2007.37.1.103/abstract;jsessionid=126D7DE3D582F6D2DA815EBFAE4E4ABF.f02t04?userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=

      “So I read that paper and guess what, the methodology is sloppy. Nut worse than that, the so called evidence of you support for your theory rests on correlation. Okay, repeat after me. Correlation is not causation. Never, never, never. he methodology uses data from countries in 10 WHO areas. Where does the data used in their analysis come form. Government reports. How accurate are those reports, any guess? Actually, some of the governments are honest but a majority are not when it comes to reporting economic data.”

      Look, if you’re going to play this game of dissecting this particular source and saying it’s junk, then circle back and say the conclusions I am writing in my post is incorrect because of this source (by the way, I found this after I posted it, not before) then I’m going to need some actual work on your part before I concede this point. What you are doing is sloppy and lazy.

      1. All forms of modern sociology, psychology, economics. Or really, any social science is predicated on correlation implying causation based on some underlying theory. Humans are not physics experiments so your point here is ridiculous.

      2. If you are going to criticize government reporting and a medical journal peer review you need to go into specifics. Which countries in the report are wrong and why are they wrong. Please provide evidence for the incorrect economic data for a. the countries mentioned in the study and b. evidence that the data was incorrect for the time period in which the study was conducted. Until then you’re just yelling at a wall. The burden of proof is on you here, not me.

      ” We simply take a lot of data and then try to mine an answer. Oh, but they were doctors and clinicians. That does not mean they actually knew what they were doing and looking at their paper I am highly critical. How do I know this? Because I have not only studies methods of conducting research, studied measurement and analysis, and statistical analysis, but I have conducted several experiments.”

      This is great, I know you think very highly of yourself but this is not an acceptable refutation of the paper. This is a childish argument, “the paper is incorrect because I am smart” is ridiculous and you know better.

      “Recent research has estimated that approximately one out of every three experiments or research papers cannot be replicated with the same results.”

      Citation needed. But more importantly I care about why the article I posted is incorrect. There is a large tier list of good research journals, and poor ones so I smell some skewed sampling here. What I posted is an article from a well respected medical journal so lets see some work on your part about why it’s wrong, rather than this wild ‘political pontificating’ you are doing right now.

      “Do I care what opinions you hold as truth? Not really. I am only concerned when you start spreading ignorance about suicide around like you have some special insight to that problem. Go back and read your original post. You have little knowledge of suicide, of depression, of any mental illness or even process. I will grant that you may know more about political theory than I and it is not something I usually write about. Only a fool will write about that which he neither knows nor understands. If you write about political theory I will read and probably not comment. But the minute you crossover into my specialties with your profound ignorance i will call you out.”

      You are doing a whole lot of ‘you don’t know x but I do’ without actually providing any showing it. You can talk all you want about how much more knowledgeable you are than I am on a topic, and that’s fine. But the fact of the matter is you have yet to actually provide reasons why I’m wrong. Thus far your criticisms can be reasonably categorized as lazy and borderline ad hominem. Attack the argument, not the credentials or the character of the arguer. This is grade school stuff.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/health/us-suicide-rate-surges-to-a-30-year-high.html?_r=0

      ““It’s really stunning to see such a large increase in suicide rates affecting virtually every age group,” said Katherine Hempstead, senior adviser for health care at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who has identified a link between suicides in middle age and rising rates of distress about jobs and personal finances.”

      1. Yes, every social and political theorist sees causation as the underlying reason for the “correctness” of their thinking. Marx thought he had got it right. So he applied a very broad brush to his theories. The great experiment was the USSR. The failure of that country speaks for the falseness of his theories. But you see, that is the major problem with social and political theories, they must speak in very broad brush strokes and thus make biased assumptions. The ideal of the “common man” must have characteristics that are at once very narrow and yet become broadly applied to all men. so you come up with a theory that somehow x causes y on a broad scale, throw in a few studies that at best provide correlation and proclaim that your theory is correct. Under your theory then all we need do is to change our individual and collective political thinking and suicides will vanish.

        You come out with a theory that cannot be proved and yet you go shopping through scientific journals for the “proof” you think that verifies the correctness of your theory. In the end, what has your theory done for mankind? What has it told us about the human condition? That if we think the wrong political thoughts our country on a whole will have higher suicide rates due to wrong political thinking? Earth shaking.

        You start from false assumptions and make some theory then look for and find dubious evidence that proves you right. And then when challenged you complain that those who challenge you haven’t used the proper form of logic to dispute your theory.

        We are not talking about second amendment rights or what constitutes free speech or whether a republican form of democracy is superior to direct voting. For those types of subjects there are no definitive answers because one cannot go out and test them.

        But you take a psychological condition or problem and want to tack your theory, not as a course of treatment, but as a means of validating your thought and you use nine inch nails to do it. You show no real concern about the suicide rate because you offer no treatment, only speculation as to its cause. That is pure hubris.

        The funny thins is that every time there is economic dislocation there is an increase in the rate of suicides. that has been observed for the last hundred years. There’s no mystery about it. One can find commentary in the literature through out the years. you aren’t the first to comment on the problem and offer some theory and you won’t be the last. There are those who were sure that it’s genetic. Others have claimed it’s the fluoride the powers that be put in out drinking waters. you come along and ascribe it to political thought. Let me clue you in, so have others. And no, I’m not going to do your research for you. Go look it up for yourself.

        As for Ms Hempstead, since you pulled her quote out of context, she finds the suicide rate stunning and says she found a link between suicides in middle age and rising rates of distress about jobs and personal finance. Of course there is a “link”, but the question becomes:does the rising rates of distress about jobs and personal finance cause suicides to rise or are the suicides themselves personal manifestations of the inability to cope with personal distress about one’s job, or lack thereof, and personal finances, meaning running out of income and savings? You see, human actions are not so easy to sort out. If a commonly held belief in some political ideology is to blame for suicides in the population then why would economic distress make the rate rise? You never answered that question. Do economic conditions have the ability to change the commonly held belief in political ideology? If so, how are those beliefs changed and how does that relate on an individual level. the common man might be thinking:”I’m out of a job and have no money left. Maybe I am believing in the wrong political ideology and i must either change my ideology or commit suicide.” That’s quite a stretch of imagination.

        So why do I bother? You are read by a number of people and in your ignorance of mental health problems, causation, and therapies, your opinions do great harm if others believe you your theory. Your theory is wrong and the import of your theory as to what actions may be needed to reduce the rate of suicide are wrong. I know, you don’t see it. you are in love with your wonderful theory, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. You are morally wrong to spread your ignorance about mental health issues and claim that you are correct. I have degrees in psychology. I have quite a bit of experience with those individuals who have mental health problems. I have done a ton or two of reading and research, both deep and wide in scope. Your ideas offer no help in this area. In fact, they are more hindrance because they promote false assumptions. Yes, you are a man with good intentions and like all men of good intentions you so very often fail to see the far reaching consequences of your good intentions. But then the road to hell has always been paved with good intentions.

        1. I am glad to see that once again you refuse to back up your argument for why the article I posted is incorrect, other than your own theorized method for how I selected it. I’m glad this is out in the open.

          Secondly, Marx did not use modern statistical methods in his analysis. So your “correlation” argument here is uninformed.

          “You come out with a theory that cannot be proved”
          This point seems to have gone over your head, no social science theory or phenomena can be “proved”. And until neuroscience begins taking over the psychology field, neither can pschycological theories.

          “The funny thins is that every time there is economic dislocation there is an increase in the rate of suicides. that has been observed for the last hundred years. There’s no mystery about it.”

          So now you turn around and pretend to have seen the relationship between economic and political consequences on the suicide rate all along. So what was the point of trying to discredit the article I posted if you had known all along this relationship was well established?

          “Of course there is a “link”, but the question becomes:does the rising rates of distress about jobs and personal finance cause suicides to rise or are the suicides themselves personal manifestations of the inability to cope with personal distress about one’s job, or lack thereof, and personal finances, meaning running out of income and savings?”

          So just a few sentences later you make a second U turn and claim that this relationship is fuzzy, that losing your job or distress may have some impact but ever just don’t know for sure what. To your second point, this will be the third and last time I spell this out for you, the post it talking about non suicidal people’s own method for understanding and responding to suicide within our political world.

          “Your theory is wrong and the import of your theory as to what actions may be needed to reduce the rate of suicide are wrong.”

          Then you do it again, saying politics and economics doesn’t impact people’s decision to commit suicide. What a wild ride we are on here.

          If you want to burn me at the stake because every second I mention people having suicidal of depressive thoughts I don’t say see a professional or call a hotline then too bad. I also didn’t give any public service announcements when I wrote about drug abuse in the political world, my ethical responsibility (once again, a political construct) in this manner does not exist.

          “And no, I’m not going to do your research for you. Go look it up for yourself.”

          You are the one talking about how much paper you have to your name, all your personal experience, then, you say a peer reviewed article from the British medical journal is junk. I say explain yourself and this is how a self proclaimed expert in the field responds? This is why, every time you go on about how great you view yourself I skip it. I really don’t care, I care about the argument so you can save yourself a lot of time and cut all the worthless junk from your future responses.

          1. Let me get this straight. You say no social science theory can be proved and then you demand I prove your theory wrong. I can see you love to argue and are very good at turning things inside out to suit your arguments. I can see that I am dealing with an ignorant and stupid man. No, I haven’t miss any of your “points” but you keeping ignoring mine. So be it. I may as well be talking to a fence post for all the lack of intelligent response I get from you. Believe your own bullshit, I’m sure it is rewarding.

            1. My point with the social science argument was to highlight that your standard for a “correct” or “provable” social science theory is impossible to satisfy, I said this when I mentioned that almost all quantitative social science work depends on correlation/causation based on an underlying theory.

              For the rest of the arguments, I’m satisfied that I have explained myself, the readers can choose who is correct or not

  5. Interesting post. Very interesting.
    Also, some person once said: “Never argue with fools”. I add to that, ‘Or mad people.They will commit suicide”. Have a wonderful day.

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