Munchausen by Society

This article has nothing directly to do with dumpster diving, and was cross posted at: Firedoglake.com.
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Munchausen By Society

By: Crane-Station Wednesday January 12, 2011 8:46 am

Is it at least possible that one segment of our current society with the financial upper hand has a sociological or psychiatric disorder wherein it needs marginal segments of society to remain marginalized and even dehumanized?

For the purposes of this discussion, wiki summarizes Munchausen Syndrome and its cousin, Munchausen syndrome by proxy:

Münchausen syndrome is a term for psychiatric disorders known as factitious disorders wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma in order to draw attention or sympathy to themselves. It is also sometimes known as hospital addiction syndrome or hospital hopper syndrome. Nurses sometimes refer to them as frequent flyers, because they return to the hospital just like frequent flyers return to the airport. However, there is discussion to reclassify them as somatoform disorder in the DSM-5 as it is unclear whether or not people are conscious of drawing attention to themselves.[1]

Münchausen syndrome is related to Münchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP/MSP), which refers to the abuse of another being, typically a child, in order to seek attention or sympathy for the abuser.

Although I have no background in the behavioral sciences other than the School of Hard Knocks from which I seem to have graduated, I believe in an affirmative answer to the above question, and concede that a study to prove it would be almost impossible from an ethical and statistical standpoint.

But I cannot help but look at our lack of mental health treatment, for example, that inevitably feeds the prison-industrial complex. Absent razor wire, many of our prisons might pass for mental illness/assisted living complexes, with most of the assistance coming, by the way, from inmates themselves.  Prison is lucrative: money, free labor, and who knows maybe even free organs at some point. And a whole bunch of people to blame our problems on.

Then I look at the demonization of immigrants, an en masse condemnation of people that we have never met;  however, but for them we literally would not be able to zip up the designer pants that we wear, nor would we be able to cobble together a meal for ourselves, and I wonder how it is different to hire an immigrant versus a sweat shop worker in another country. Again I see another lucrative off-shore-type venture with the added benefit of a convenient group of people right here at home that we can not only work to death but also blame our problems on.

I cannot help but notice the unemployed and underemployed and ninety-niners and traumatized, injured veterans living in their cars and I see them characterized as lazy people sucking off the teat of the public dole and enjoying the high life on food stamps and petty crime, such judgment again without a scintilla of evidence or merit. And I see this group, without face or voice, as another group that we can blame all of our problems on.

When all else fails, even as our WWII generation dies I see predatory and inhumane treatment and little, if any due respect or desire to learn from them and beg for their wisdom as a generation of survivors.

Maybe if we take the focus off all the groups made up of people that we do not know and have never met, we will have only ourselves to blame.

And then maybe the faceless people that we have blamed, marginalized, disenfranchised and stolen from will become human to us and will walk among us.

cross-posted at: https://dumpsters2011.wordpress.com/

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