Wednesday, August 24, 2011


"Karl Marx was one of the first to observe that as societal wealth increases so too does the prevalence of individual madness. Marx estimated that in 1852 one out of every 850 residents of Great Britain was classified as a 'lunatic' whereas merely five years later the rate had increased to one in 700. The trend has since continued and rates of mental disorders are rising annually in the richest nations. The World Health Organization calculates that one in four people in the US suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder, or depression — the highest rate globally. In the Netherlands one out of seven are similarly afflicted. Most alarming is that in 2005 researchers predicted that one in two Americans will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime. According to the WHO, mental disease will be bigger than heart disease by 2020. In many ways, mental breakdown is much scarier than ecological breakdown, because once we lose our ability to think clearly — once we descend into a society of anxious, depressed me-firsters preoccupied with our own problems — then we will never be able to deal with the political, economic and climate tipping points now bearing down upon us. In a strange twist of face, the apocalypse that we fear is coming our way, may not be of devastated landscapes but of devastated mindscapes." - Kono Matsu

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