Ideologies and the Corruption of Thought  book cover
1st Edition

Ideologies and the Corruption of Thought

ISBN 9781138510760
Published February 12, 2018 by Routledge
238 Pages

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Book Description

Thirty-five years ago Joseph Gabel pub­lished a modern masterpiece, which in 1975 appeared in English as False Con­sciousness: An Essay on Reificalion . Combining his special knowledge of existential psychiatry, axiology, Marx­ism, and political history, Gabel pro­posed the utterly novel idea that victims of serious mental disturbances (espe­cially paranoia and schizophrenia) re­produce those distorted thought pat­terns commonly associated with ideo­logical beliefs at the collective level. Such beliefs initially had been laid bare in the 1920s by Gabel's intellectual progenitors, Karl Mannheim and George Lukacs. Gabel's remarkable innovation was to transfer the private crisis of mental collapse into the analytic frame­work previously reserved for ideological critique, making him an expert on what was later called "the micro-macro prob­lem."

Ideologies and the Corruption of Thought includes Gabel's essays over the last 40 years, characteristically treating micro and macro theoretical matters simultaneously. Originally writ­ten in French and German, they have been recast in idiomatic English and bibliographically updated. Using a unique mode and vocabulary of analy­sis, Gabel offers theoretical investiga­tions of McCarthyism and Stalinism (original and more recent types), as well as Althusser, Orwell, and Jonathan Swift in his capacity as a psychiatric theorist. He also explores anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and a fascinating case study of a paranoid who regarded him­self as the pope. In addition this volume includes a range of general commentar­ies on ideological "thought," utopianism, and false consciousness.This rich feast of social and political analysis and theory illuminates a range of contemporary concerns - racism, Utopian fantasy, ethnocentrism, anti-Semitism, the interplay of social struc­ture and mental illness, and ideological transformations of social life - which only Gabel's unique mixture of the clini­cal and the political could achieve. It will be studied with interest by all theo­rists and politically alert readers in the social sciences, philosophy, and related fields of study.