We understand the world on the basis of our experience. How can we know if our experience is unique to us or common to many?
As a physician, I listened to hundreds of people's experiences. Their stories enabled me to see social patterns that are normally hidden.
I learned that most people think of their problems as unique and individual, when they are actually common and social. I discovered that the suffering we label as mental illness is the kind of suffering we would expect when people are trapped in bad situations. Why do we treat this suffering as a personal or medical defect? Why don't we change the conditions that cause suffering?
Such questions cannot be left to experts and other authorities. Each of us is personally affected by what happens in society. That gives us the right to express our opinion about what is wrong and to be involved in making it right. How can we do this?
Rebel Minds reveals that what we think of as social problems are actually symptoms of a deeper underlying problem, a global capitalist system that divides humanity into classes: a tiny ruling class who compete for wealth and power, a larger manager class who enforce their rule, and the majority working-class who create all social wealth, yet get no say over how that wealth is used. The result is astounding inequality and massive suffering that is justified with the racist explanation that social problems are rooted in biology and cannot be changed. This is dead wrong.
As Rebel Minds explains, we do not have to accept how things are. We can build the world we want and deserve. Not by wishing and hoping and trusting authorities, but by understanding how we got here, what keeps us here, and what we must do to end our suffering and make the world safe for everyone.