The logic of discrimination theory never quits. If there’s a group of people with problems, then the problems are caused by irrational and unjust social discrimination, and comprehensive forcible action is called for to root out and compensate for the discrimination. No other view of the situation is conceivable. A recent example: the British government’s social exclusion unit has just “exposed” how millions of lives are being destroyed, not by mental illness—that would be blaming something about the victim, and therefore the victim himself—but by the stigma attached to mental illness. A couple of examples of how lives are being ruined:
- Only 21% of people with long-term mental illness are employed.
- Adults with a psychotic disorder are three times more likely to be separated or divorced.
It’s obvious from such facts, at least to the British government, that the problems are caused by discrimination, and something has to be done to give mentally ill people ordinary mainstream opportunities. That is to be the explicit social policy, and there’s no reason they can’t carry it out. Job problems can be solved by forcing employers to hire the psychotic, marital issues can be dealt with by continuing to abolish marriage, and issues of community exclusion can be handled by enforcing a contrary policy of inclusion—for example, by doing away with barriers to jury service, as the government intends. It’s true the effect will be to degrade yet further the functioning of the institutions though which ordinary people carry on their lives and participate in running society, but why should ordinary people be allowed to carry on their lives and run things as they please? If they’re not closely supervised and tied up in a thousand ways they act in irrational and unjust ways, so if their ways of doing things are disordered and made nonfunctional that’s all to the good. Or such is the implicit logic of our current system.