I’m watching Larry King live and they’re talking about depression and bipolar disorder and the extent to which they’re much more prevalent in our society than in others, and in recent years versus past years. Amidst all of the talk of genetics, medications, evolution, etc., I find it shocking that nobody seems to think that depression may simply be a symptom of a larger deviation from human needs that results largely from modernity and capitalism. Humans are not designed for:
– Socially dictated lack of intimate emotional contact with other human beings
– Socially dictated lack of a stable social universe
– Demystification of the objective, commoditization of the subjective
– Near total lack of sovereignty over almost any aspect of life
How funny. A person has zero people that he can depend on, zero people that he is sure will even be in his life six months from now, no god, no sense of his own labor (his entire productive world seems to funnel into the boss’s office; all of the time of his life into the abstract that is The Company), and the knowledge that no matter what he is doing or desires to do, The State can at any time do anything to him that it likes, for any reason whatsoever. But he is wrong to be depressed; we should be sure to drug him to the extent that none of these things seem bad any longer, so that he’ll be able to go right back to his lonesome, exploited, impersonal life and work extremely hard for The Company within the rubric of The State.
Depression is not a disease. Depression is the sadness, found among the intelligent, at the pitiful, disconnected, invalidated, ego-sublimated state in which we all live here in capitalist modernity.