Article: Psychiatry, Authoritarianism, and Revolution: The Politics of Mental Illness during Military Dictatorships in Argentina, 1966–1983 (Marco A. Ramos)

bhmcoversmallThe recent issue of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine (vol. 87, no. 2, summer 2013) features an article by Marco Antonio Ramos entitled ‘Psychiatry, Authoritarianism, and Revolution: The Politics of Mental Illness during Military Dictatorships in Argentina, 1966–1983’. 

The summary reads:

From 1966 to 1983, Argentina underwent a period of political radicalization as fascist regimes used terror to control its citizens and leftist guerrillas resorted to violence to spark revolution. During this politically volatile period, psychiatry transformed from an apolitical clinical specialty into an ideological tool used for both leftist resistance and military oppression. The largest psychiatric organization at the time, the Federación Argentina de Psiquiatras (FAP), became the center for a new politically committed brand of psychiatry in Argentina that united psychoanalysis and community psychiatry with Marxist theory. Though the military targeted and eventually dismantled the FAP and its leftist brand of psychoanalysis and community psychiatry, sectors of the government also paradoxically appropriated and reframed community-based psychiatric perspectives to pathologize leftist subversion and advance their own conservative ideology.

  1. We don’t have to look to South American tyrants for the abuse of psychiatry. I started to write about military psychiatry after the Fort Hood massacre and was appalled by what I found in the anti-Freud movement. See http://clarespark.com/2009/11/08/is-the-history-of-psychiatry-a-big-mess-2/. “Is the history of psychiatry a big mess (2).” Social psychologists affiliated with the New Deal did their bit too to undermine the practice of psychiatry and to replicate the authoritarian practices of more overtly repressive societies.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: