It goes without saying that the events of the past two years have been ‘insane’, in a manner of speaking. The imposition of lockdowns, social distancing, mask-wearing and the mandating of so-called ‘vaccines’ in many professions have caused great anxiety on the part of many people. This is easily ascertainable by simply asking whether this statement applies to oneself, one’s family members and friends, as I have done, and chances are that the answer would be affirmative.
Hence the question: How does one stay ‘sane’ in these disturbing times? I put ‘sane’ in scare quotes because some people may argue that ‘sanity’ in an ‘insane’ world would require adapting to the insanity surrounding one, and that a different kind of ‘insanity’ is demanded to be able to resist the primary insanity you face every day. That is certainly one way of looking at it.
This is compatible with Jacques Lacan’s belief, that adaptation to societal norms at any time is bad for any person. Think of apartheid South Africa, or Nazi Germany – to adapt to those societies meant orienting one’s actions to a set of norms which, when measured against moral principles that transcend those societies, turned out to be highly immoral. Hence, the advice not to adapt too readily to the norms currently governing people’s behaviour, turns out to be good.
This is further accentuated by an historical example of behaviour that, in retrospect, appears as an instance of a kind of mass insanity, namely the so-called ‘witch craze’ of the 16th and 17th centuries in central Europe, in the course of which thousands of women were burnt at the stake . Considering that this persecution of women rested on so-called ‘evidence’ such as a woman being seen with a black cat, or having moles on her body, it appears that delusion was an integral factor in this phenomenon – keeping in mind that delusion is something that does not accord with reality.
Ironically, therefore, delusional perceptions of women comprised the basis of the norms adhered to in the course of their relentless persecution. From this example it seems that ‘delusion’ is crucial to understanding what insanity is, even when it is conjoined with social norms at a specific time.
Are there conspicuous norms or guidelines pertaining to our behaviour in contemporary societies? Of course there are! The most salient of these are: wear masks in public; practice social distancing and get vaccinated! Are there reasons why we should question these and not adapt to them? At first sight they seem innocuous enough – don’t they promote health and safety? That’s what the authorities in every country – except for Sweden – would want us to believe.
Yet, Sweden, which decided right at the beginning of the ‘pandemic’ that while people would be encouraged to be careful, they would not be forced into masking, distancing and vaccination, has not seen a comparatively higher number of fatalities than other European countries from COVID-19.
This emphasises my Lacanian point about not ‘adapting’ to societal norms too easily, in so far as the Swedish authorities did not act in conformity with the normative, but arguably delusional recommendations of the World Health Organisation, which were readily adopted by the large majority of other countries; in so doing they precluded many, if not most of the deleterious psychological and economic consequences of lockdowns.
To elaborate, let us have a look at a telling interview (video here) that the young thinker, activist and musician, Tessa Lena, had with Dr Emanuel Garcia, a psychiatrist from New Zealand and one of the few medical professionals in New Zealand who questioned the so-called ‘new normal’ from the beginning. Here are some of Dr Garcia’s remarks from the interview:
‘2020 happened, and it happened all across the world. And I would say that immediately, I began to detect … something was rotten in the state of Denmark. Nothing seemed to add up from the very, very beginning …the reaction of the world was really, it was almost in unison, like the conductor just said, ‘Okay, let’s go down to pianissimo,’ and everything shut down. And it was absolutely amazing how, basically the entire world worked in concert, to, from their perspective, contain this deadliest pathogen in human history…from my perspective, I think the policies were strange, they were contradictory…They were incursions into the liberties of individuals…So we find ourselves here under a new traffic light system, which imposes a lot of restrictions — and most alarmingly, I think — and this will tie into other things that are going on around the world — they’ve created a jab apartheid system!
So that right now where I live, the unvaccinated are not allowed to go to cinemas, cafes, restaurants, sporting events, barbers, hair stylists. It’s, it’s, it’s unbelievable…so my question has always been, we should … we should have informed consent, we should know what’s in this thing, what it’s supposed to do, what it’s not supposed to do. People … many people think, oh, it’s just like the measles vaccine you get, you don’t get the measles again, everything’s great. Well, that’s not really true…We know about the mRNA … mRNA technology … we know that neither it prevents transmission nor infection.’
Here one already encounters some significant insights regarding the question of vaunted ‘normality’ versus ‘questioning’. Dr Garcia belongs to those who question, instead of blindly and obediently accepting rules and regulations imposed on them. This is not surprising; as the infamous Stanford (Zimbardo) and Yale (Milgram) experiments, which were set up in such a way that those who participated carried out unreasonable instructions on the order of those who seemed to have the authority to do so demonstrated, people are only too susceptible to obeying the instructions of others who are in positions of supposed ‘authority’ (see here).
The question is: who were the people in need of psychotherapy in these experiments? It was those who carried out the instructions thoughtlessly.
In the Milgram experiment it was the ‘teachers’ who administered what they believed to be electric shocks to people who answered incorrectly to questions, and in the Zimbardo experiment – which involved student-volunteers, some of whom acted as ‘wardens’ in a simulated prison situation, while others adopted the roles of ‘prisoners’ – it was both the ‘wardens’ and the ‘prisoners,’ who increasingly acted as if they really found themselves in such a situation, instead of play-acting the roles. In other words, they were deluded.
Why do I say this? Because these individuals clearly did not have the psychic and volitional resources to refuse going along with what they were asked to do when they reached a kind of moral limit to reasonable expectations.
The ‘teachers’ should have resisted proceeding with the incrementally more severe shocks they believed they were administering when the subject showed signs of suffering, and the ‘wardens’ should have refrained from acting with increased cruelty towards the ‘prisoners’ who supposedly misbehaved. The latter should have opted out as soon as they saw what was happening to them, but they were clearly afraid to do so.
In all these cases, they lacked moral autonomy of the kind that Dr Garcia has displayed in New Zealand in the face of a veritable ‘medical dictatorship’. Clearly, it is not Dr Garcia, nor his like-minded colleagues (a small minority), who need psychotherapy; it is the vast majority of delusional individuals who uncritically and ‘obediently’ accepted what they were told and carried out these instructions as if they were prisoners who need(ed) psychotherapy. This shouldn’t be surprising; The famous psychoanalyst, Julia Kristeva, explains as follows why it is conducive to psychological health to ‘revolt’ in certain situations:
‘Happiness exists only at the price of a revolt. None of us has pleasure without confronting an obstacle, prohibition, authority, or law that allows us to realize ourselves as autonomous and free…on the social level, the normalizing order is far from perfect and fails to support the excluded…’
Needless to say, the ‘excluded’ in today’s societies globally are the so-called ‘unvaccinated’ – so-called, because the experimental ‘jabs’ given to millions of people are not vaccines in the true sense of the word; as Dr Garcia reminds us (above), unlike real vaccines, they do not prevent one from getting Covid-19, nor from infecting others. It is like taking a prophylactic tablet against getting pregnant, which does not prevent pregnancy, nor allow men to go without a condom. But would anyone be stupid enough to take such a prophylactic? And yet, millions have fallen for the ruse that the jabs offer protection against Covid-19. Today one witnesses increasing evidence that these so-called ‘vaccines’ are not just ineffective, but positively dangerous to boot. For an elaboration, see here and this article by Olivier.
Those in need of psychotherapy today are the delusional masses who have fallen for the abuse of pseudo-authority on the part of governments and other organisations such as the WHO worldwide. In doing so they have demonstrated that they lack the moral autonomy that ethically mature human beings possess.
I would counsel them to start re-educating themselves by reading Immanuel Kant’s famous 18th-century prize-winning essay, “What is enlightenment?” which advises its readers to live according to the motto: Sapere aude (‘Have the courage to think for yourself!’)
 Shlain, L., (1999). The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image. Penguin Group, .
 Kristeva, J. (2000). The sense and non-sense of revolt: The powers and limits of psychoanalysis, .
 Olivier, B. (2021). The “Pandemic” and the Differend, Phronimon 22 : 1-35.