What happens when we stop being a society, and define ‘us’ as a marketplace. The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder (NYT).


If you’ve been confused about that gnawing sensation steadily closing in on the center of your spirit, I’m pretty sure this NYT article accidentally explains that feeling of doom while while revealing the pharmaceutical industry’s astonishing lack of sincere concern for a human being’s health.

As the head of one company’s division hawking drugs to treat ADHD puts it in a moment of accidental candor, we are no longer a society, we are a marketplace.

No more ‘we.’ Just buyers and sellers.

No individuals. Just profit providers and cost creators.

Here’s the full quote from Tom Casola, a vice president at Shire, discussing his company’s financial support of an “advocacy” organization (it’s more like an industry-sponsored PR machine semi-parading as an objective authority about ADHD’s authenticity and treatability via drugs) focused on ADHD:

“We don’t control what they do,” he said. “We do support them. We do support broadly what they are trying to do in the marketplace — in society maybe is a better way to say it.”

Ah, yes. “Society,” he means, not “marketplace.” The ol’ “us.” You know, that thing we do together. That odd concept that comes about when people group up and watch out for one another. Not a large mass whose only purpose is to be manipulated by dubious information practices in order to extract money from it.

We created this concept of “corporation” — an indifferent entity designed to maximize profit with limited if any accountability to the community in which it operates. We let it loose. We play inside of its concept, kids in the sandbox. Its norms and values infect us. We buy and buy, and find more and more things to put on sale.

Can an entire culture be corporatized?

What is left?

Is everyone a corporation now?

Are you branded?

Are your fellow human beings a market to be maximized, or people you want and need to take care of?

The gnawing

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.