Intelligent people and depression

Intelligent People and the Defects of Society
Why some people are more intelligent than others is a big question for many disciplines. Psychology and biology are the main branches of social sciences dealing with this matter. However, this topic falls in the realms of sociology more than anything else does. And the question should be changed from “how do physical conditions define one’s intelligence?” or “how much effect do genes have on the intelligence of an individual?” to “how does the social structure define one’s intelligence?” Is the triggering effect of social conditions on intelligence more powerful than physical conditions or biological inheritance or not? Another point is whether this triggering effect is a positive thing or should its effects be considered as the defects of individuals. In the absence of emphasis on the importance of intelligence, could the well-known geniuses of the world have ever come up? Prozac Nation is a perfect name for today’s modern societies. Modern life has become nothing else than tremendous change itself, in which people don’t have the chance to live and experience life. Everything is happening so fast that people have no chance but to try to catch up with it. The system cannot be rejected partially. One does not have the chance to choose not to work and earn money throughout his life because the society, with its norms and pressurising aspects, does not allow this, at least for the duration of a life. The system either has to be rejected totally, or accepted totally. In the former case, the individual does not have a home, any friends, any jobs and any money. He is totally outside everything - everything which absorbs/comes to include more of the areas of our lives as time passes, which is called the invasion of the life-world by the system. The second choice is to be inside the system, and it means to be an active part of the system, due to the enslaving nature of it. Once the choice to be a part of society is made, than all burdens and aspects of it are automatically accepted. He has to earn money, to feed himself, to be respected, to be powerful and so on. With the power that money brings he tries to ascend in the social hierarchy, forced by his inner motives. And this means spending money on expensive cars, houses, clothes and vacations. He has to have a good education, in order to earn money, to be respected and to have friends of similar qualities. For all of these, he has to be ambitious. Ambitiousness is a social phenomena, although it seems more like psychological. The desire to have or possess more and more of everything, no matter what it is, is the outcome of such a social structure that we are living in. It is the driving force that keeps the system working. That it is a defect rather than something that should be admired and aimed at, comes from the assumption that the social structure or the system is a total failure and does not comply with neither nature nor human nature. What modern society aims at is not “good” but “better”, and how good it is, is less important than how fast it is getting better. This can be seen in economy most clearly. A country’s or region’s economy is in a good state if it is getting better fast. Growth rate is more crucial than “being grown”. The reason for this is that economy or society can survive only if it is growing. The whole system falls into a crisis if growth collapses, and the way to overcome the crisis is growth again. While growth is expressed in percentages, it expected to occur exponentially. And it has become clear that this is not possible in reality, global poverty and especially global warming are concrete proofs for this. Assuming that social structure is a failure, we may define the building blocks of it as what is defected. The individual of modern societies, which is the corrupted version of the enlightenment individual, is ruled by the requests of the social structure rather than its original instincts or desires. The excessive greed and ambition is imposed on individuals and this passes from one generation to another, thus enabling the shaping of individuals starting from childhood. The hierarchical mind set of the parents is imposed at an early age to the child. This happens by applying their own ambition on their children by pushing them to be successful in certain areas that they have failed, or succeeded, or think of as being important. It can commonly be seen that parents who are social failures force their children to join in social life. Or parents who don’t have good education push their children in these areas. For example, engineering education is more desired by lower-income families in Turkey, and being an engineer is seen as a means for gaining social status. Another important point in this discussion is, what happens to the society under these conditions and where is it heading towards. The answer lies in Elisabeth Wurtzel’s novel, Prozac Nation. The modern society seems like a “soul asylum” where individuals are triggered by social conditions to be more productive, more useful and more intelligent. They are forced not to be good but to be always better. That this conflicts with human nature can be seen clearly from the high usage of antidepressants. People are forced to be more useful, and short circuit when loaded too hard. And the world turns into Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World where people take “soma”, today’s equivalent to antidepressants. The only difference is that it has become so common that people who take it are called normal rather than ill, like it is In a world where “IQ” is such a popular concept, and where having it is seen as a virtue, people are forced to be more intelligent. Being intelligent, they function as better parts of the big machine. However, the machine begins to heat up as it works. The parts which heat up most are those that carry the biggest load. People who are called “very intelligent” or “genius” by those around them usually use or need to use antidepressants or drugs of similar kinds. A common characteristic of these people is that their intelligence has been triggered by some external conditions. In the example of Turkey, children are forced to be intelligent to succeed in big exams that occur approximately every 3 years in their lives. When we look at those who are the most successful among the young people, most of them have psychological problems, such as social fobias, anorexia nevrosa, depression and various personality defects despised by others. They need to take drugs to slow down their minds that happen to be working too fast to adapt to daily life. Especially those that are interested in questioning life and reasons of existence are the ones who need antidepressants. According to this point of view, intelligent individuals, who are more crucial building blocks of the system, for instance by helping economic growth by their work, are responsible for the survival of the system. And because the system is defected itself, they can be considered defected humans, badly produced by a defected society. The “growth” oriented society, including many forms of political organisations like capitalism, communism and others, has a fake god that it has created: growth. It harms both itself, its parts and its surroundings, including nature.


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