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Capitalism - Bad For Your Mental Health?

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Xysea http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfr...

Interesting article in the Guardian, that says that capitalistic societies tend to suffer from a greater range of mental illnesses, including depression.

Comments? Thoughts?


Johann Capitalism is a two-sided dagger. It hampers someone but nourish the other one simultaneously.

Indeed there are many malefactors from it. Statistically one can state that in the rich countries they share a greater number of mentally unhealthy population than the poor countries.

It's funny. After all we are almost desperate for that.


message 3: by Steve (last edited Jun 03, 2008 03:20AM) (new) - added it

Steve I agree with the argument that a society which equates happiness with possessions and material success will inevitably produce unhappiness. This then becomes self-reinforcing, as people discover that their lifestyle and gadgets aren't making them happy, and so pay for a succession of therapists and drugs to find out why. Instead of questioning the assumption that happiness = more, bigger, faster stuff, a lot of therapy puts the problem inside the person (their upbringing, expectations, etc), with the result that the person needs to be "fixed" - by more therapy, drugs, possessions and experiences.

The article cites other western European nations as having a more balanced approach. Certainly it is not unusual in French towns to see signs in shop windows saying that the owners have gone away on holiday and the shop will re-open in two weeks, which would probably be unthinkable in 24-hour shopping Britain.

I'm not so sure what we can do about this. Yes, there is a counter-cultural movement that de-emphasizes materialism, but much of this is still structured in societal assumptions about lifestyle choice. It may, as in the Guardian article, take a generation to turn this around. The question is where we start.


David If you are interested in this topic, you might turn to Erich Fromm's The Sane Society.


message 5: by Emily Iliani (last edited Jun 09, 2011 12:56AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emily Iliani David wrote: "If you are interested in this topic, you might turn to Erich Fromm's The Sane Society. "

The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement Can be a helpful reading too. I find that living in an era where everybody feels that they are Entitled to the latest iphone or the lastest YSL's heels, is very stressing to the soul not just the pocket.

You always need to compete for the most Latest Hot-stuff on the market, to no end.


Emily Iliani just watched War on Democracy. Woot woot; anybody noticed how simple it is to be evil and bad?


Richard This week's riots in England would suggest that capitalism causes inequaltities & unhappiness. Wilkinson & Pickett's Spirit Level research concludes that we do better when we're equal. Unlikely to happen under capitalism.


Emily Iliani Richard wrote: "This week's riots in England would suggest that capitalism causes inequaltities & unhappiness. Wilkinson & Pickett's Spirit Level research concludes that we do better when we're equal. Unlikely to ..."

reminds me of whats happening in USA also.


Rahul Emily Iliani wrote: "Richard wrote: "This week's riots in England would suggest that capitalism causes inequaltities & unhappiness. Wilkinson & Pickett's Spirit Level research concludes that we do better when w..."

Of course capitalism inherently causes inequality. However what is interesting is that there is a correlation between nations that pursue anti-egalitarian policies like US/UK and their increased health and social issues - as The Spirit Level shows.

Meanwhile capitalist Sweden has low inequality and this correlates to its low health and social problems.

Some capitalist societies while being obsessed with measuring quality of life in monetary terms have undoubtedly lost sight of the value of health and well being.

Seems a no-brainer to everyone but the elitist socio-pathic free market fundamentalists who divide and rule.


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