atomists

Consider mental illnesses an individual chemico-biological problem has enormous benefits for capitalism. First, it reinforces Capital’s drive towards atomistic individualisation (you are sick because of your brain chemistry). Second, it provides an enormously lucrative market in which multinational pharmaceutical can peddle their pharmaceuticals (we can cure you with our SSRI’s). It goes without saying that all mental illnesses are neurologically instantiated, but this says nothing about their causation. If it is true, for instance, that depression is constituted by low serotonin levels, what still needs to be explained is why particular individuals have low levels of serotonin. This requires a social and political explanation; and the task of repoliticalising mental illness is an urgent one if the left wants to challenge capitalist realism.
—  Capitalism Realism - Mark Fisher

The Roman poet Lucretius (ca. 94–ca. 55 BCE) wrote a poem in 56 BCE describing the views of Greek philosophers who, like him, believed the universe to be composed of atoms. This poem is the only record of the beliefs of these early atomists whose works were lost due to their unpopular views. Lucretius’ poem was lost as well, but a copy was discovered in 1417. The veneer of venerable ancient scientists helped convince classics-mad chemists during the Enlightenment to investigate (or at least consider) the atomic theory. Today it is widely accepted.

Consider mental illnesses an individual chemico-biological problem has enormous benefits for capitalism. First, it reinforces Capital’s drive towards atomistic individualisation (you are sick because of your brain chemistry). Second, it provides an enormously lucrative market in which multinational pharmaceutical can peddle their pharmaceuticals (we can cure you with our SSRI’s). It goes without saying that all mental illnesses are neurologically instantiated, but this says nothing about their causation. If it is true, for instance, that depression is constituted by low serotonin levels, what still needs to be explained is why particular individuals have low levels of serotonin. This requires a social and political explanation; and the task of repoliticalising mental illness is an urgent one if the left wants to challenge capitalist realism.

Mark Fisher, Capitalism Realism.

Individualists have always been accused by their enemies of being ‘atomistic’–of postulating that each individual lives in a kind of vacuum, thinking and choosing without relation to anyone else in society. This, however, is an authoritarian straw man; few, if any, individualists have ever been “atomists.” On the contrary, it is evident that individuals always learn from each other, cooperate and interact with each other; and that this, too, is required for man’s survival. But the point is that each individual makes the final choice of which influences to adopt and which to reject, or of which to adopt first and which afterwards. The libertarian welcomes the process of voluntary exchange and cooperation between freely acting individuals; what he abhors is the use of violence to cripple such voluntary cooperation and force someone to choose and act in ways different from what his own mind dictate.
—  Murray Rothbard, For a New Liberty
New York City, like any other ultra-modern cosmopolitan city, is a soulless urban hell, where what I called in The Epic of Arya “the unbearable noise of greed” stifles man’s soul and severs his link with Mother Nature. Unlike great cities like Paris, Vienna, Rome etc.., which are imbued with culture and history, NYC represents everything that is wrong with modernity, as opposed to civilization: racial miscegenation, moral decadence, deviance, depravity, savage capitalism, atomistic selfishness, and spiritual alienation.
—  Abir Taha
The current ruling ontology denies any possibility of a social causation of mental illness. The chemico-biologization of mental illness is of course strictly commensurate with its depoliticization. Considering mental illness an individual chemico-biological problem has enormous benefits for capitalism. First, it reinforces Capital’s drive towards atomistic individualization (you are sick because of your brain chemistry). Second, it provides an enormously lucrative market in which multinational pharmaceutical companies can peddle their pharmaceuticals (we can cure you with our SSRIs). It goes without saying that all mental illnesses are neurologically instantiated, but this says nothing about their causation. If it is true, for instance, that depression is constituted by low serotonin levels, what still needs to be explained is why particular individuals have low levels of serotonin. This requires a social and political explanation; and the task of repoliticizing mental illness is an urgent one if the left wants to challenge capitalist realism.
—  Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher

I abhor the assertion that “well, not all cops are bad” in light of the systematic onslaught that black bodies continuously face at the hands of the police force. The argument is absurd, intellectually deficient and a product of liberal individualism. Such an atomistic approach fails to connect the dots between the myriad cases of police brutality directed towards the black community. Thus it views such cases as a result of individual pathology (i.e., the bad cops) and not a systemic issue. By placing cops within this problematic binary of good cop/bad cop we fail to address the degree to which all cops have internalized racial animosity towards blacks and have been socialized to view us as a danger from which governs their decision-making process (see literature regarding decisions to shoot). Until we address the systemic racism inherent within the police force that continuously dehumanizes blacks we are only band-aiding any possible solutions and thwarting any mechanism of accountability.

Conservatism, then, is not a commitment to limited government and liberty…These may be the byproducts of conservatism, one or more of its historically specific and ever-changing modes of expression. But they are not its animating purpose…[It] is impelled by a more elemental force – the opposition to the liberation of men and women from the fetters of their superiors, particularly in the private sphere. Such a view might seem miles away from the libertarian defense of the free market, with its celebration of the atomistic and autonomous individual. But it is not. When the libertarian looks out upon society, he does not see isolated individuals; he sees private, often hierarchical, groups, where a father governs his family and an owner his employees.
—  Corey Robin