Ideologies and the Corruption of Thought

Ideologies and the Corruption of Thought

by Joseph Gabel
     
 

Thirty-five years ago Joseph Gabel pub­lished a modern masterpiece, which in 1975 appeared in English as False Con­sciousness: An Essay on Reificalion . Combining his special knowledge of existential psychiatry, axiology, Marx­ism, and political history, Gabel pro­posed the utterly novel idea that victims of serious mental

Overview

Thirty-five years ago Joseph Gabel pub­lished a modern masterpiece, which in 1975 appeared in English as False Con­sciousness: An Essay on Reificalion . Combining his special knowledge of existential psychiatry, axiology, Marx­ism, and political history, Gabel pro­posed the utterly novel idea that victims of serious mental disturbances (espe­cially paranoia and schizophrenia) re­produce those distorted thought pat­terns commonly associated with ideo­logical beliefs at the collective level. Such beliefs initially had been laid bare in the 1920s by Gabel's intellectual progenitors, Karl Mannheim and George Lukacs. Gabel's remarkable innovation was to transfer the private crisis of mental collapse into the analytic frame­work previously reserved for ideological critique, making him an expert on what was later called "the micro-macro prob­lem." Ideologies and the Corruption of Thought includes Gabel's essays over the last 40 years, characteristically treating micro and macro theoretical matters simultaneously. Originally writ­ten in French and German, they have been recast in idiomatic English and bibliographically updated. Using a unique mode and vocabulary of analy­sis, Gabel offers theoretical investiga­tions of McCarthyism and Stalinism (original and more recent types), as well as Althusser, Orwell, and Jonathan Swift in his capacity as a psychiatric theorist. He also explores anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and a fascinating case study of a paranoid who regarded him­self as the pope. In addition this volume includes a range of general commentar­ies on ideological "thought," utopianism, and false consciousness.

This rich feast of social and political analysis and theory illuminates a range of contemporary concerns—racism, Utopian fantasy, ethnocentrism, anti-Semitism, the interplay of social struc­ture and mental illness, and ideological transformations of social life—which only Gabel's unique mixture of the clini­cal and the political could achieve. It will be studied with interest by all theo­rists and politically alert readers in the social sciences, philosophy, and related fields of study.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560002871
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
01/01/1997
Pages:
229
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Gabel was born in Hungary, and educated in French universities. He is the author of False Consciousness (1962); Sociology of Alienation (1970); Ideologies, Vol. I (1974); Ideologies II (1978), all in French. His book on The Forms of Estrangement (1964) was published in German. His shorter articles have appeared in Kolner Zeitschrift for Soziologie und Sozial-psychologie, and the Newsletter of the International Society for the Sociology of Knowledge.

Alan Sica is professor of sociology and director of the Social Thought Program at Pennsylvania State University. Editor of the ASA Journal Sociological Theory from 1989 to 1994 and now of Contemporary Sociology, his books include Weber, Irrationality, and Social Order; Ideologies and the Corruption of Thought; Max Weber and the New Century; and Max Weber: A Comprehensive Bibliography.

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