16 November 2006

Censorship and child psychiatry

The censorship is terrible. We just had a very obvious example of it. Obviously it militates invisibly against our books. But in this case Fabian wrote some comments on an article* about child psychiatrists. The article made the psychiatrists sound as barmy and irresponsible as I expect them to be, and this was so obvious that I am not sure what the author of the article intended. Children are getting more psychiatric? Schools are getting better at causing breakdowns in their pupils? More children are being drugged out of their minds? Or perhaps – capitalism and ambitious parents are reducing everyone, children included, to nervous wrecks?

Whatever the author intended, Fabian sent a comment (comments invited and assured of publication so long as on-topic and not abusive). Fabian’s comments were very mild by my standards and certainly not abusive, but suggested that there might be a bias in favour of interpreting anything exceptional as pathological (some of the 'deranged' children were a bit intelligent) and that if psychiatric cases were becoming so frequent among school children, should one not consider that the educational system itself might be at fault?

Fabian’s comment was put on and then removed. This is censorship. There is no possibility in modern society of criticising social authorities or the establishment such as doctors and schools; criticism will be suppressed.

* 'Troubled Children', New York Times 11 Nov 06