The process is also not exclusive to the Soviets: it has been regularly used in so-called “free countries” for more than half a century. Not only rich people are declared insane, and interned, while their relatives “administer” their property, likewise scholars or scientists who offend the effective standards are constantly placed in asylums. Three recent examples in one of the most progressive countries of the world, the United States of America, had been the writer Ezra Pound, psychologist Wilhelm Reich, and recently Professor Timothy Leary.
Ezra Pound was placed in an insane asylum for having declared himself in favour of the fascists in World War II. He was one of the greatest American poets, and was free for some years. If someone among our readers finds that Pound does not deserve our affection because he was a fascist, this reader sufficiently runs the risk of sympathisizing with the position of the medieval inquisitors: that the fact of us being “true” and the others “mistaken”, gives us the right to restrict them, or to try to change their opinion through punitive methods. This, by the way, is a position that the fascists would warmly approve of!
The difference between the pillories of the Inquisition and the brainwashing of the politically modern “psychiatric” hospitals (whether left or right) is a difference of degree, and not of type. The oppression is not less intolerable because it leaves torturing the body to concentrate itself in the spirit.
Wilhem Reich was placed in an insane asylum for insisting that children should be permitted, since coming of age, to observe the sexual activity of adults. The shock of being interned unbalanced his mind, recognized as brilliant, and died sick (which he wasn’t before being interned). Professor Timothy Leary was placed in an insane asylum for defending the use of LSD, and freely teaching its manufacture. Recently he was freed, and he has made conferences against the use of psychedelics, programmed by governmental authorities. – Marcelo Ramos Motta
 Editor Note (Paul Joseph Rovelli): During this period in history, many Americans were clamoring for a fascist dictator to lead them out of the depression. It was the innovation of Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ that headed this off. And for a brief time, Roosevelt effectively had dictatorial control of the country. That is how he got his program through Congress.
Translated from the Portuguese by me