Leftists use psychiatry in the same way the Soviets did
Kanye West is in the news because of his quixotic presidential run. He's unlikely to make any difference in the outcome, but he does have some important things to say. The media, however, have encouraged people to ignore him by focusing not on what he's saying, but on his mental health. This is a modern totalitarian tactic that Orwell wrote about and the Soviet Union often used.
West is one of the best-selling musicians in the world, having sold a staggering 140 million records. In addition to his music, he's a fashion designer and a successful businessman. Although his net worth is often disputed, most agree that it's well over $1 billion and possibly as high as $3 billion. Kanye has achieved this extraordinary success despite his admitted problems with bipolar disorder, which gives him wild mood swings — or, as he's called it, a "sprained brain."
It's important to note that Kanye's mental health has not stopped him from being an adept businessman. He's not delusional; he just goes up and down a lot and, perhaps, feels his emotions strongly.
On July 4, Kanye announced that he was running for president in the upcoming 2020 election. It's a bit late in the game, but he has filed paperwork in various states to get on their ballots. Many Republicans are supporting him because they believe he'll siphon away black votes for Biden. Many Democrats are opposing him for the same reason.
But Democrats have another reason to oppose Kanye: he's speaking out as one of the most impassioned anti-abortion figures in modern politics. Tucker Carlson explains that the Democrat media, rather than challenging Kanye's narrative — which they can't, because his facts are correct — are claiming that, poor Kanye, he's mentally ill:
When I watched Tucker, I thought, "Where have I heard that before?" Then I remembered. First, it's right there in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. When Mr. Charrington, a member of the Thought Police, is in the process of torturing and re-educating the free-thinking Winston Smith, the subject of objective reality versus state-controlled reality comes up (emphasis mine):
"You are a slow learner, Winston."
"How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four."
"Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane."
With an eye to those emphasized words, Mr. Charrington has announced a fundamental principle of a totalitarian state: the definition of insanity is holding ideas that contradict the state narrative.
Nor was this merely an artistic fillip on George Orwell's part. Instead, that was the norm in the totalitarian Soviet Union. Wikipedia has a good summary of the abuse of psychiatric diagnoses in the USSR:
There was systematic political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, based on the interpretation of political opposition or dissent as a psychiatric problem. It was called "psychopathological mechanisms" of dissent.
During the leadership of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, psychiatry was used to disable and remove from society political opponents ("dissidents") who openly expressed beliefs that contradicted the official dogma. The term "philosophical intoxication", for instance, was widely applied to the mental disorders diagnosed when people disagreed with the country's Communist leaders and, by referring to the writings of the Founding Fathers of Marxism–Leninism — Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin — made them the target of criticism.
Even while modern totalitarian states routinely use psychiatry to silence dissent, their practice of insisting upon a political reality disconnected from objective reality actually damages their citizens' mental health. Former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, in The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, explained how those who were neither true believers nor committed dissidents tried desperately to keep two parallel paths in their brain, one for the actual world about them and the other for the facts the state insisted they believe. Sharansky called these people "doublethinkers":
Doublethinkers live in constant tension from the gap between their thoughts and words. They always avoid saying what is not permitted but also try to avoid saying what they do not believe. But fear societies generally do not leave their doublethinkers such a luxury. They demand from their "cogs" constant expressions of loyalty. In kindergartens, schools, universities, workplaces, religious institutions, public meetings, and elsewhere, doublethinkers must parrot the ideology of the regime and hide their true beliefs. This constant self-censorship can be such an inseparable part of a doublethinker's existence that it becomes so habitual that the tension between thoughts and words is almost no longer felt. Indeed, only when doublethinkers are free are they fully aware of the extent of their previous self-imposed intellectual servitude.
With the Democrats attacking Kanye's mental health as a way to deflect from his accuracy about the black holocaust in America, Democrats are behaving precisely as the Soviets did and for the same reason: to preserve their power by denying dissent and by driving everyone else crazy.