Remember Sedgwick

Issue section: 

Regarding your interview with Iain Ferguson on Marxism and mental health (November SR) I was surprised that there was no mention of Peter Sedgwick, a leading member of the International Socialists (forerunner of the SWP) who published in 1982 Psycho Politics (Pluto Press). This dealt with anti-psychiatry including Goffman, Laing and Foucault.

Peter’s conclusion was that the mental health movements overemphasise civil liberties and individualistic solutions — at the expense of developing collective responsibility for the care of those experiencing mental health problems.

Marxists do not of course need to reinvent the wheel.

Terry Ward
•Editor’s note: the interview did cover Sedgwick, but this section was cut due to space constraints. Rest assured he is covered in Iain Ferguson’s book.