Alphabet soup

The Next Step in Social Engineering

Have you had enough of the endless promotion of transgenderism? Just as policy makers take heed of widespread public backlash against LGBTQ++ indoctrination in primary schools, they are shifting their focus back to mental health, a concept so broad that it affects everyone and may justify almost unlimited intrusion into every aspect of our private lives including our innermost thoughts. We could almost say mental health is the bandwagon that reaches people that other bandwagons cannot reach.

Slowly but surely, we have grown accustomed to a new set of subjective labels to categorise other human beings. Traditionally we cared about practical traits like biological sex, vocation or cultural background. We knew families needed a mother and father team and children needed love, affection and a sense of belonging. We respected people for their functional roles in life, whether they helped raise the next generation, tilled the land or repaired machinery. We also knew harmonious communities needed some degree of cultural compatibility and shared values. Now an army of corporate-state managers wants to take care of all that. They do not want independently minded adults forming loving two-parent families and passing their customs, skills and ethos onto the next generation. Long gone are the days when bureaucrats paid lip service to grassroots democracy. Unless you join trendy vanguard campaigns such as Black Lives Matter or Extinction Rebellion, the media-savvy progressive intelligentsia will smear your protests with accusations of political extremism or conspiracy-theorism. Behavioural scientists now view principled opposition to their concept of progress as social diseases that warrant proactive re-education programmes and justify censorship.

This brings us to another thorny question. Who gets to decide the diagnostic criteria for problematic neurodivergence? Once we equate mental health with physical health, the new umbrella term of health security takes on a new meaning. A temporary narrow obsession with stray genetic sequences has empowered technocrats to expand their surveillance grid. It beggars belief that the government would squander £37 billion on a contact-tracing app for the sole purpose of marginally reducing infection rates. The NHS app soon morphed into an all-encompassing digital health passport with full details of your mental health records accessible not only to the public health services, but to their partners in the global cybertech industry who could easily link your health service account with your social media activity, location, physical activity and spending habits. Even without CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies), Big Tech can easily track what we do and think. Google knows which YouTube videos you watch, reads your social media posts, eavesdrops on your private conversations and tracks your movements. Police forces supplement these spying operations with hate speech and radicalisation monitoring units. The 77th Brigade of the British Army intervened online to tackle the proliferation of counter-narrative information, portrayed inevitably as misinformation. Their operatives set up bogus accounts as medical professionals and concerned citizens, often replying to posts by dissidents with professionally designed diagrams and analysis supporting the official narrative. Their strategy is not to persuade us, but to distract, demoralise and isolate us. Big Tech clearly works in tandem with governments, but often appeals to mental health to explain why they had to intervene to protect the public at large from incriminating evidence they could smear as medical misinformation. Noncompliant behaviours and unapproved thoughts now warrant neuropsychological profiling.

Social planners now champion many decadent lifestyles we once considered dysfunctional as they would prevent people from leading productive family-oriented lives. It is very easy to monitor welfare-dependent online gamers or drug addicts. They do not threaten the hegemony of large corporations in the era of smart automation. Self-absorbed citizens immersed in virtual realities are easy to please and will conform to new behavioural guidelines outside their tightly controlled spheres of illusory freedom, as long as they can enjoy their daily routines. From a people management perspective, unemployable layabouts are almost model citizens. Their minor misdemeanours justify endless surveillance, whose real purpose is to keep tabs on dissidents. Police forces around the UK have little but counselling services to offer the victims of burglary. Yet they now arrest people for misgendering transsexuals online, praying silently outside abortion centres or organising peaceful protests against lockdowns. Whatever your views on the abortion debate or transsexual rights may be, hate crime legislation targets unapproved thoughts based on state-sanctioned truths. When English pro-life campaigner Isabel Vaughan-Spruce started to pray silently near a Birmingham abortion clinic, six police officers were dispatched to arrest her. Her presence may allegedly upset abortion service users and may be hateful to staff at the clinic. This logic redefines hatred as expressing disagreement with protected categories or sacred cows, but more important recontextualises dissent in terms of mental health. The mainstream media seldom misses an opportunity in their in prime-time dramas and news shows to portray traditional Christians, antivaxxers and nativists as lunatics who may become domestic terrorists at the drop of a hat.

I first heard of Asperger’s Syndrome, now usually merged into the wider high-functioning autistic spectrum, in a BBC documentary sometime in the mid 1990s. They portrayed it as mad professor syndrome. The label seemed innocent enough. I had only just become aware of children diagnosed with a previously rare developmental disorder on the same spectrum. Little did I know this quaint condition would soon become both a household name and a catch-all explanation for non-compliant behaviour. Its broad diagnostic criteria can apply to almost anyone with socialisation challenges. Nearly 30 years later, celebrities and TV presenters broadcast their autistic identity. Some claim Elon Musk is on the spectrum. Now, mirroring gender self-identification legislation in Scotland and Canada, Professor Sue Fletcher-Watson from the University of Edinburgh has called for legal recognition of autism self-diagnosis. Whether personality profiles involve depression, obsession, compulsion, hyperactivity, lethargy or aversion, they all attract celebrity endorsements and high-profile marketing campaigns. Psychological labels promote introspection and shape our perception of reality. We begin to see ourselves and others around us not as autonomous actors with nuanced characters, but as stereotypes conforming to an alphabet soup of psychobabble acronyms and gender pronouns.