Schizophrenogenic America


How the United States Drives Its Citizens Crazy

“Schizophrenogenic”=”Schizophreno” from “schizophrenia” and “genic” from “genesis.” Meaning: Tending to produce schizophrenia. When applied to a country it refers to a place that is so unfair and destructive for vast sectors of its population that it will drive them crazy, with all the logical consequences. There are many countries like that around the world, but the most egregious is the United States of America, due to the disparity between the image of affluence and wellbeing it attempts to project and its sordid reality. Powerful interests and popular traditions in the US like to portray it as a model Democracy but in reality it’s a model Schizophrenogenocracy.

The symptoms of this phenomenon are well known, but when you sit down to make a list of them it grows alarmingly long. In general, the country is beset by a desperation that engenders mental illness, crimes and suicides, among countless other evils. Underlying them all is a skewed value system that values wealth and profit first and foremost, regardless of the human consequences. Isn’t this just the way of the world? Actually, no, it’s not. Many countries are managed by generous, egalitarian governments and find the American system abhorrent. The first ones that come to mind are Canada and all of Europe, which offer an obvious alternative to the United States’s smash-and-grab practices at home and abroad. In European countries and Canada the principal objective is the enhancement of the well-being of their citizens. It’s as simple as that. It’s called “socialism,” and it’s that hairy foreign beast that patriotic Americans are prepared to combat to the death. How they came by that conviction is a story for another time. For now let’s settle for the short answer: brainwashing.

As a consequence of these faulty philosophical foundations, a large segment of the young people of the United States is prone to rebelliousness, substance abuse, mental disorders, underachievement at school, depression, hollow hopes, gun fascination and assorted asocial sentiments and actions. They are being medicated for this disorderly behavior at ever-earlier ages. One wonders whether medication is the cure or the cause. Researcher Josephine Johnson writes in the AMA Journal of Ethics in September 2013:

Some say that diagnostic thresholds in psychiatry are too low, causing too many children to be diagnosed, while others counter that mental disorders are underrecognized in children. Some argue that troubled children need behavioral treatments not drugs, while others point out that many medications show impressive efficacy in clinical trials. Some say that problematic moods and behaviors are caused by brain malfunctions that are no more prevalent today than they were 30 or 50 years ago, while others argue that we have the etiological picture all wrong: it’s our society that is troubled, not our kids.

At bottom, nobody is certain why the United States has a disproportionate number of school shooters. But it’s not only the kids. What about the beauty biz that turns American women’s body fears into multi-million-dollar profit mines? The unknown marketing genius who converted a widespread but little-known benign medical condition called “cellulitis” into a vast platinum mine deserves a medal from the American Snake Oil Association.

Filthy Lucre: Profit-from-Misery Scams

There are dozens (thousands?) of other profit-from-misery scams that turn grave social problems into profit. Consider the for-profit prisons, the holding facilities for children at $700 per child per night, sticky-fingered tele-evangelists, sect-related private schools (that Education Secretary Betsy de Vos promotes vehemently as an alternative to public education)… And that ain’t the half of it.

The whole Middle East oil and geo-political cluster-fuck that began with unprovoked attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan–war crimes under international law–has yielded trillions of dollars in profits for American war profiteers and an approximately equal amount of debt for American taxpayers.

Then there are the extreme symptoms, starting with those which occur in public life.  The most sinister example is that of politicians who steal elections, whether by hook or by crook, either through gerrymandering (which is actually legal) or election tampering, or the manipulation of ingenuous voters and the elimination of others by closing polling places and placing other barriers to free and fair elections. Any unscrupulous use of great wealth to influence public policy must also be considered extreme, along with racism which includes murder, White Supremacy and NAZIism.

What Are the Causes of All These Troubling Symptoms?

Insecurity causes unease. Economic insecurity. The insecurity of violent streets, especially for young black men. The numbing insecurity of not having decent medical coverage. Disproportionate incarceration and unfair sentencing practices yielding draconian sentences cause no little unease in communities all around the country. Racial prejudice and inequality contribute to poverty, untenable home situations and limited educational opportunities. Mindless religious and political indoctrination create destructive false hopes and reliance on magical thinking. Massive insecurity is engendered by mental and physical disorders attributable to military service, faulty social values formed by universally-accepted lies, myths, magical beliefs and indoctrination, all of which annul or limit the citizenry’s ability to think clearly. They simply cannot hear the song for the static.

The American Dream and the False-Hopes Machine

The American Dream is achieved by a tiny minority of citizens. For many of the rest it’s the American Nightmare. Even the all-pervasive myth of the “self-made man” is a lie. No man “makes himself.” That nonsense comes out of the American false-hopes machine along with Manifest Destiny, “arms of mass destruction,” rugged individualism, American exceptionalism and US military superiority. (Andrei Martyan, an interesting Swiss defense analyst I’ve recently discovered sums it up nicely: “The United States builds arms to make money; the Russians build them to win battles.”)

Why don’t those right-wing septic-think-tank trolls talk about what their country really has in spades: bare-fisted imperialism in an updated, high-tech version. And a lot of that “high tech” is devoted to thought control. What is “big data” if not an advanced technology for reading the collective mind. Then the big-data magnates dedicate a part of their gargantuan profits to sending teams of media experts, statisticians and information specialists around the world to spread noxious right-wing ideology. Do you need examples? Google the big-data billionaire, Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, and see what skulduggery they’ve been sponsoring both in Washington and on the Brexit front in Britain.  All of this information is in the public domain for anyone concerned enough to take the time to look for it.

The dumbed-down American masses prize shrewdness, not creativity; opportunism and the quick buck, not public service. And most of those who pretend to be in public service are just shrewd opportunists who tailor their discourse to poll results in order to get elected and re-elected. They care nothing for advancing the just causes of citizens. The lowest form of this species is the non-religious politician who panders to fundamentalist Christians in order to win the substantial evangelical vote. Does anyone come to mind?

Is There Any Hope?

Is there any hope for extracting masses of American citizens from this cruel and tragic double bind? The United States is the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world, but your family is reduced to living on the street in a cardboard hut and praying that nobody gets sick while other American families are contemplating spending their tax cuts on a bigger executive jet. What shall we say to these people who are tricked out of a decent life in America? “Hang on, things will get better soon?” Probably not. We’ll have to settle for, “Good luck, you’re going to need it.”

Read more rantings in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.
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Author: Michael Booth

Michael Booth, the creator of, is a US-born publicist, author and online publisher who has lived in a Spanish village in the foothills of Sierra Nevada for the past five decades. Though better known abroad for his fine-art printmaking sites and online magazine, Booth's day job for the past decade and a half, until recently, was his communications agency, dedicated principally to designing and implementing Internet strategies for Spanish companies and institutions. It took him a long time to get out of publicity and into writing but it was worth the wait.

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