One of the flaws of twentieth century thinking was that a lot of it was geared towards systematising the human universe around us.
Everything had to be reduced to mechanisms, often simplistic, often single-cause. This was certainly true academically, particularly in the humanities which were styling themselves as ‘scientific’ on the basis of that systematisation.
Thinking had moved on from the ‘iron laws’ that social thinkers such as Marx thought they had found in the human condition, but it hadn’t moved very far – witness the ‘psychology’ pioneered by Jung, Freud, Reich and others, in which humans were reduced to categories. If the person didn’t fit – well, it wasn’t the category that was wrong, it was the person, who had to be pulverised into conforming lest they be regarded ‘psychologically abnormal’. And so ‘psychology’ – which is absolutely not a science – became a device by which ‘psychologists’ could…
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