A Libertarian Perspective On Depression And Madness...Submitted by icarus on Sat, 07/09/2005 - 1:18pm
Let's be honest from the get-go. There is nothing as disempowering than suffering from an unpleasant mental illness. People suffer at the hands of their illnesses but even more so from the hands of others, there is a nasty stigma attached to mental illness. That stigma creates hierarchy between the functional and dysfunctional, sane and insane, productive and unproductive. The stigmatized were subjected to some of the most cruel and unusual punishments imaginable in name of medicine. The stigmatized suffer the loss of family, institutionalization, female genital mutilation, electroshock therapy and were also the first to go to the Nazi death camps.
Edgar Moniz invented the pre-frontal lobotomy in 1936 and won a Nobel prize. Fifty thousand Americans went through similar lobotomy procedures (1940-50's) removing the part of the frontal lobe (brain) where the emotions are most largely influenced. Many victims of the lobotomy failed to show improvement and often became like zombies; some doctors would perform a second or third operation. The lobotomy fell out of practice with the advent of a crude form of medication called Thorazine, a sort of "˜chemical lobotomy' it was called. These "˜treatments' prescribed for mental illness throughout history were not only torture for the already tortured, they were unscientific.
Before the institution Picton Heights closed in Prince Edward County Ontario my college student mother witnessed shocking abuses against the patients. She reported the conditions at Picton Heights to a staff member at Loyalist College in Belleville then temporarily quit the program. Picton Heights later closed down, along with most other institutions, and many of those who lived in Picton Heights ended up living in the Centre Hastings/Madoc region. There I grew up becoming intimately familiar with many of their stories.
Most of these Centre Hastings survivors of the Picton Heights institution became subjects to equally dehumanizing, but more cost efficient, social service agencies. These survivors and others are school bussed every weekday to the Madoc Retraining Centre because their adopted households cannot watch them all the time. The Retraining Centre runs now much as it did in the summer of 1998 when I saw many developmentally handicapped clients being exploited when assembling hockey helmets, performing yard maintenance for municipal properties, and washing cars. Most clients who worked at the Retraining Centre made $10 a week. This is the hierarchy between sane and insane, the sane get a union wage to watch the insane, and the insane get $10 for the "˜retraining' they must undergo. Those too dysfunctional to be exploited at the Retraining Centre do mundane things like watch television and make crafts. It was I that worked there and later became completely disenfranchised with the "˜us and them' mentality of the social and religious service systems. I discovered it was okay to believe in justice before charity.
As a child my single mother took me into Kingston Psychiatric Hospital to visit a manic depressive, and developmentally handicapped, client who had been put away. He bawled his eyes out when he first saw my mother; he ran down the hall and hugged her weeping aloud, "Alice I am so miserable here!" It was a devastating thing to witness for I'd heard much of the older institutions already, namely stories of Picton Heights. At my bedside, when only five years old, mom described how she had to feed people, change their clothes, and take care of those who could not help themselves. I was always taught that these extreme cases are people, their life has value, and they are highly intelligent even though it may not seem obvious. In fact"¦
"¦Some of the most profound thinkers and creative inspirations the world has ever known have lived with a mental illness. It is not that some people are mad and some people are not, it is that all people are different and require the proper support of a community to give their lives meaning. People need a voice in the affairs of society, healthy food and a livable income/subsistence; these basic necessities to life prevent many mental illnesses from ever setting root in people.
Perhaps in the right conditions the varieties of sanity could become the strength of individuals. Schizophrenic people often tap into parts of their brain that allows them to "˜SEE', and therefore they make observations in profound ways. There is indeed a fine line between madness and genius! Many schizophrenics have been the most unorthodox, willing to push the boundaries, are all over the place with their thinking and are often barely comprehensible. But now schizophrenia is a social weakness unable to cooperate with a rigidly designed society where the mad are ostracized and hospitalized.
Many important tribal practices include the consumption of hallucinogenic plants to attain power and spirituality. In the right conditions great leaps of madness could resemble great spirituality and insight. Intact indigenous/agrarian societies have the lowest rates of depression. Those communities are wound into a complex web, the nourishment of our human networks is what has always given life meaning. In agrarian societies people suffered from schizophrenia however they were able to integrate better into the society; despite some of their downfalls they could milk a goat, play with children, pick apples and fetch water competently. The ill didn't have to drive in rush hour traffic, slave at computers, balance mortgages or ask permission to use the toilet. The ill were not stigmatized and hospitalized, they were valuable members of the community.
Who is to judge sanity anyway? There are many kinds of skin, sexuality, bodies, interests, and personalities; there is not just one kind of sanity.
EVERYONE'S GONE MAD: There was a time I questioned if everyone had gone mad or if the problems of the world were all in my head. But I've seen nearly "˜everyone' gripe about the inconvenience of stepping over the homeless on the way to work and I've realized the behaviour of the status quo is completely insane. The functional working sane do as they are expected in order to "˜get ahead'. To maintain the system they slave at the expense of their own misery and yet their misery somehow does not subdue them. If the working sane can last fifty five years of leaving all major decisions of war, famine, laws, and economy to the government they can retire comfortably.
This individualistic drive for accumulating personal wealth, in a job system divorced from traditional models of community, is now a physical state of social madness . People tend to either take advantage of the job system or become servants by intentionally avoiding any pattern of thought that deeply analyses legislated disparity. Many of the working sane cope only through denial, pure-denial is the defense mechanism of the successful. For example most working sane believe that complex systems of power and domination are set against them, but they qualify that by saying, "˜there's nothing you can do so just get used to it.'
The goals of our society are futile, why get used to what is futile? In pursuit of its goals we are destroying the environment and threatening our species. The "˜order' the system maintains forced an economic dichotomy of 400 billionaires in the midst of 2 billion starving people. It is no wonder that people feel insecure, they lack a comforting predictability. Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine draws the conclusion that the American society is driven by fear, and that the ruling elite exploit these fears to sell products and cement the ideologies of capitalism.
What happens when you deny people the nourishment of family, tradition, land, good food, peace, and social security?. The logical result of my fear, your fear, our quirks, our faults, and our lot in this system is to be afraid, angry or sad. The capitalists goal is to offer your insecurity a product that promises to make you feel good instantly. ie. You will never smell good enough to get ahead if you don't buy our deodorant, without our alarm systems a criminal could come in your house while you sleep, or eat more chocolate and sugar!!!
Rates of addiction and depression give a clue as to the general state of affairs in a society, are people generally hopeful or in despair? It is widely regarded that the modern world is highly depressed so the capitalist is seeking ways to take advantage of people's situation. Petty street drug dealers, alcohol producers, pharmaceutical giants, tobacco corporations and coffee shops are examples of capitalists who push profitable drugs to needy and unhappy people. Addiction is not treated as a health problem but as a criminal problem and an unpleasant distortion in the profitable addiction system. The drug addicted are a manifestation of the systems inconsistencies. The message that consumption equals happiness amidst total loss of personal power also explains why addiction is so high in the United States.
Actor Martin Sheen once said, "this supposed idyllic society we have is one of the most confused, warped and addicted in the history of the world." Why is this system confused, warped and addicted? Poverty is tyrannical and oppositely accumulating great wealth leads to great emptiness. The wealthy can never stop desiring more wealth, what they do to satisfy their greed and lust is a form of madness in itself. Those wealthy forces in society see the poor and mentally ill as economically unproductive people and perhaps they are. The Canadian economy claims that it loses $14 billion a year due to depression in the workforce. Mental illness is like an unconscious act of resistance against the tyranny of the economic system, many brains simply are unable to take part and therefore are "˜unproductive'.
Those who cannot cope with such a narrowly defined society stand to become the homeless, the institutionalized, the nothing people, the non-citizens. If someone cannot stay well it can be hard to leave bed, make food, answer the phone and maintain a love life! Madness and depression keeps people poor and alone. More than seventy five homeless people, many of them mentally ill, freeze to death in Toronto nearly every winter. Perhaps 10,000 of the 60,000 homeless people in Toronto sleep in the streets and shelters. Another 2,000 people are evicted every month while the rising cost of renting far exceeds the $325 welfare gives for rent. The reality is that "˜unproductive' people are considered expendable, the system does fail them and sometimes they die horribly alone.
What of the functional worker who by co-operating to survive maintains these systematic forms of nuclear power and domination? What sort of madness is this modern world where people drive Sport Utility Wagons knowing that global climate change could possibly render the planet uninhabitable? You people who still feel nothing own a far greater form of insanity than anything I have experienced. Yours is the insanity of emotional complicity amidst the probability of ecological collapse, nuclear fallout, increasingly police controlled states, climate change and endless murder that all could have been prevented. Your Vulgar Greed, your Pathological Complicity and your Denial Syndromes are about to kill the fucking world TEN TIMES over. So I theorize that the sane are insane and the insane are sane; there can be no such thing as sanity for anyone living in a capitalist police state. You must all be fucking nuts by now!
BORN INTO MADNESS: Pablum and bottle milk are why babies grow up addicted to sugar, Ritalin is later used to calm many children down to the point where they can participate in the boring classroom routine. Hyper children are now being diagnosed with anti-authoritarian/oppositional defiance disorders and hyperactivity when continually "˜acting up' in school. Early signs of resenting the existing world order can now be clinicalized and treated. In this way children who resent having to senselessly obey often corrupt school authorities now get psychologically singled out. Children have to learn how to be happy in the order of things, even when the existing order is completely mad.
If there is treatment available for oppositional defiance disorder why has no psychologist coined the term "˜authoritarian syndrome' for the dominant alpha boys and begun to treat that problem? The answer is a description of the subtle political/professional ideology most psychiatrists subscribe to. Many middle class psychiatrists are gentle, or worse, authoritarian poor bashers with little critique on class or capitalism. They believe that they are being positive when they tell you that you could get a good job if you believed in yourself, "˜so don't sell yourself short'. Many psychiatrists also believe that Ritalin can help a child be more productive in school and grow up to get that good job.
I think back to my constant misbehaviour as a youth and I see it as a very logical response to my situation. I was a creative country boy who learned by climbing trees and exploring the farm and forest. Like all children I was then confined to a desk for fifteen years learning at the pace the teachers spoke at, not the speed that a self stimulated brain thinks at. The education system oppressed my natural learning behaviour for I was denied the full pursuit of my creative passions; it attempted to suppress my natural instincts and desires. My misbehaviour was a form of resistance to the conformity of the education system though I never thought of it so nobly at the time. I "˜disrupted' the classroom mostly because it was more fun than sitting like a rock.
Is it possible that disobedient children have more rational insights into the undemocratic nature of the classroom than the teachers pets? Or is it that one student is a victim and the other a benefactor and this divide teaches kids about getting ahead in capitalism? Why is it that many children never react to this forced conformity of the education system? Why do they work hard to please the teacher and move ahead within the system?
The grading system is both a subtle form of competition and a thermometer for the effectiveness of the conditioning system. The good students embrace the prevailing ideological assumptions and are separated from the poor students. The continual process of grading affirms a students esteem and influences it over the course of many years, grading tells nothing of a students intelligence. The school, media, society, and parental conditioning hits children from so many angles that they grow up with confused ideas about what life is really about.
Being told what you from an early age has a psychological effect that cements your lifestyle patterns. Babies are born screaming for a breast to feed from and a change of diapers; they are complete libertarians. They have to be socialized not to scream when they are hungry. School conditions children that the hours from 9AM-5PM are never their own. There is a tension between the natural desire for liberty and the reinforcement process of the authoritarian system, subconsciously sensing that tension teenagers rebel in anyway available to them. For some people that mental tension never leaves them, it eventually becomes a form of madness or depression.
STATE OF SOCIETY, STATE OF MIND: Mental illness is the highest form of alienation that exists for it is an internal state that confronts every external source of alienation. All the phenomenon that drive healthy people crazy (traffic jams and asshole bosses) has a debilitating effect on those already gone mad. Any obstacle can be insurmountable when the illness sucks your energy dry. Poor people experience high rates of mental illness often because they cannot work enough to escape the routine of poverty, they cannot afford treatment, or the symptoms are not as dramatically noticeable as when a middle class person loses interest in life.
According to Andrew Solomon's very good book "˜The Noonday Demon, An Atlas of Depression' he says that all oppressed groups experience higher levels of depression than privileged groups. Women, people of colour, queer, transgendered, poor and marginalized people have a higher potential of becoming deeply depressed. His book thoroughly describes all of these identity groups one at a time. On the topic of women Solomon mentions that, "mental illness has long been defined by men, In 1905 Sigmund Freud maintained that his patient Dora was suffering hysteria when she rebuffed the unwelcome advances of a man three times here age"¦Feminist critic Dana Crawley Jack believes that the male power system scorns women's depression."
Andrew Solomon dedicates a thirty page long chapter to the topic of poverty. He begins that chapter with, "depression cuts across class boundaries, but depression treatments do not. This means that most people who are poor and depressed stay poor and depressed; in fact the longer they stay poor and depressed, the more poor and depressed they become. Poverty is depressing and depression is impoverishing, leading as it does to dysfunction and isolation." My critique against Andrew Solomon is only that he never asked what causes poverty and what can be done about it? Edward Shorter (also mentioned in the Noonday Demon) believed that a person who suffered from fainting spells and convulsive cries in the 18thC, would suffer hysterical paralysis or contractor in the 19thC, and would suffer depression, chronic fatigue, or anorexia today.
Many illnesses have been widespread only in certain cultures in certain time periods. Those in Southeast Asia suffering from an epidemic of Koro will have an anxiety attack where they believe their penis is retracting into their body, they will hold on to hit or tie it to things to stop the perceived retraction. Students in Nigeria have reacted to the importing of western textbook style education with a form of madness that includes difficulties in concentrating, remembering and thinking along with burning sensations under the skin. Bulimia and anorexia had never been a problem before 1995 on the island of Fiji where it was ideal for a woman to be curvy; in 1995 Fiji was flooded with televisions and the western idea of sex appeal was imported. Different groups of people are denied or exposed to different things, their illnesses are manifestations of these unhealthy experiences. Some general practitioners have said that half of their patients symptoms are psychosomatic, the symptoms are the surfacing of repressed emotion.
There was an outbreak of suicides when British Columbia's provincial Liberal government decided to review the status of 19,000 Persons With Disabilities. Human Resources Minister Murray Coell succeeded in changing the conditions of receiving disability in BC then made many recipients re-apply. On November 6th 2002 Arne Ristvedt committed suicide in his apartment on Kingsway Ave. after receiving the 23 page re-application form. In his suicide note he spoke directly of the possibility losing his income and going homelessness writing "˜I can't take the bullshit of this government anymore'. After Arne there were another 30-50 suicides in BC linked to the Disability Review Process.
The initial Disability Review Process cost $5 million dollars, terrorized 19,000 people and claims to have caught fifty fraud cases. An early BC government leak said they hoped to cut 9,000 people off disability. Because of public outcry over the suicides of mentally ill people the BC Liberals had their applications accepted at an 85% rate, much higher than the 35-45% acceptance rate for those with physical disabilities. The government also randomly exempted 5,000 people with mental illnesses. In this way Arne Ristvedt and the others who committed suicide were martyrs for the plight of the mentally ill made impoverished by government design.
Kimberly Rogers is currently the most famous case of poverty induced suicide in Canada, she was pregnant when she was charged with "˜welfare fraud'. Her crime was accepting a welfare cheque after receiving a student loan in Sudbury Ontario, she was placed under house arrest in the sweltering heat of 2001. When her body was finally discovered it was in a late stage of decay and eight months pregnant, at first it was widely believed that the heat wave had killed her. When the investigations concluded that Kimberly committed suicide by taking pills, and had not died from the heat, there was an attempt to write off the injustice that had been done to her.
Kimberly's suicide is more tragic because it silenced her mental terror of facing a lifetime ban from welfare on the doorstep of becoming a mother, under house arrest with her school career in jeopardy plus many other unimaginable terrors. How much punishment can society heap on to a poor person living with a mental illness? In January 2004 the Dalton McGuinty Liberal Ontario government concluded that the lifetime ban from welfare for "˜fraud' was barbaric in a modern society, the law was torn up in favour of a system that could better target welfare fraud! Ontario Works hides its phone numbers, if you lose your job and open the blue pages for help the only number you'll find is for the Welfare Fraud Hotline. Kimberly Rogers stands as a great example of how poor people with mental illnesses are systematically destroyed.
The structures of this capitalist and authoritarian society are over-complicated, the nature of bureaucracy overwhelms peoples ability to cope. After all welfare offices are undemocratic micro-tyrannies. The pounds of paper welfare requires a person to bring, the mandatory job searches, and the condescending nature of the agency system treats people as though the cause of their problems is a personal failure to make good decisions in life. Nothing could be further from the truth. The ideological environment of a welfare office is evident in their names, "˜Ontario Works' or "˜BC Ministry of Human Resources'. Their only goal is to get you into any job you can get, even if there is no decent waged work; this welfare state breeds madness. Most of these welfare workers have never been taught about something called structural unemployment.
Economists do not want zero percent unemployment rate because secure workers can make crazy demands from the bosses like safety standards, living wages and benefits. When unemployment falls too low banks raise the inflation levels to insure a profitable level of unemployment, in British Columbia the jobless rate will not fall below 8% until 2007. In a business run/profit driven society, where housing is a commodity and good paying work is rare, people are going to fall through the cracks and end up on the streets. This economic system allows people no time to heal in comfort.
The welfare worker has no ability to consider the tyranny of the economy, unemployment, people's health, or the thousands of other anxieties the system has created. Welfare workers are taught the ideological assumption that "˜poor people are leaching off the system'. Nothing could be further from the truth as the leaches are big business, they receive terrific tax write-offs that equal welfare for only the companies richest shareholders The barriers poor people have to receiving a livable income amidst so much wealth is madness and is causing too many suicides to keep up with. The barriers of poverty cause isolation as people cannot afford transportation, drinks, cover charges, or treats to bring to parties.
Economic security is the easiest way to insure a person has adequate nutrition (especially vitamin B) which helps reduce psychotic and depressive episodes. An adequate diet is not something that anyone on welfare or even disability can easily achieve. Instead poor people eat foods filled with sugar, caffeine, carbohydrates and transfats which negatively impact their moods. The brain is essentially fat and easily influenced by healthy fats such as omega acids. Most of the best organic foods, forms of therapy and treatments are expensive and not accessible to people in the low income range. Mass access to good sources of protein, organic fruits, and quality fats saves lives and maintains many poor peoples mental health.
Medicating mental illness has become a profitable industry as people desire to return to the workforce quickly. There is a strong tendency to over-prescribe anti-depressants rather than question the conditions that create the patients despair, for example about three million Canadians are taking SSRI's. Anti-depressants should not be the first option to treating an illness however they should not have to be the last option either. Medication cannot be divorced from other methods of treatment such as counseling, nutritious diets, and involvement in a supportive community. Exercise can have much the same effect as medication.
Depression is partly a physical state, it has a physical effect on the brain. A depressed brain changes colours while healthy brains are grey. Recent brainscan technology has concluded that a victim of depression is not receiving a regular blood flow into the frontal lobe of the brain. If you are already chemically inclined to be sad, or even if you fall into a depression due to life circumstances, it will soon manifest itself as a physical problem. If not dealt with quickly it could get worse. The deficiency of serotonin in the brain is a physical health problem and it can often be treated through medication.
If you had a lung infection it wouldn't be considered a weakness on your part to take antibiotics to save your life, however it is not widely thought of in that way when it comes to mental illness. Mood medications are highly stigmatized, but if nothing else is working and medication could better the quality of your life then there is no reason to continue on with pointless suffering. But be aware that the two main motives of medicating mental illness is to generate corporate pharmaceutical profits, free the mental health system of your burden and return you to the work force as soon as possible.
THE MAD RADICALS: It is not surprising that bipolar disorders, depression and madness turn up frequently in front-line activists. In the United States an unknown number of anarchists have been deemed mentally ill and institutionalized. It is politically useful for tyrants to suggest that anarchism is itself madness. The truth is that authoritarianism creates a feeling of helplessness which leads to madness; anarchism is the opposite of authoritarianism. If society drives you crazy you will likely seek some sort of rationale to deal with the situation, therefore you are not nuts because you have analysis about society. Things are as bad as you think they are, though I hope you notice the good things that happened today.
People who have a mental illness suffer a great deal and often identify with other peoples struggles, when they see tyranny and oppression they react to it. Depressed people have nothing to gain by accepting the lies of society, their conscience cannot play along with the capitalist mentality of stepping on others to climb up the corporate ladder to success. For many depressed people their first activist experiences are very empowering but as time wears on the fight becomes hard to maintain.
Perhaps one of the most persistent problems activists face is exerting themselves too much and burning out, burnout leads to serious depression. When a depressed person communicates that they cannot do something that the political group wants them to do for the cause, it must be taken seriously. Some people burn out and never get involved with radical politics again. Post Traumatic Stress Disorders are common for activists who have experienced intense police violence, jail, or have witnessed the violence of poverty. People stressed to the maximum often flare up or exhibit strange behaviours, the community has to be patient and non-judgmental. Do not take people for granted and do not dismiss them when they break down crying.
Bipolar/manic depressives have often been some of the most compulsively creative and inspiring people in the history of the world, whose moods shift between incredible highs and intense lows. The incredible lows give insight/inspiration to a bipolar person which sometimes manifests itself as a great deal of creativity and intelligence. Such high energy is like a temporary superpower, temporary because the mental over-exertion forces an oppositely depressed phase. Most manic people need the space to operate in their own way and live in their own world a little, when they have the power they are a force to contend with so people tend to love their manias.
There is little that a person can do while in deep in the bipolar depression. During a manic phase a persons high energy may be too intense for those around them, during the low phase a persons irrational despair is often to intense for others to deal with as well. A bipolar person and their comrades should talk about this condition, it is very difficult to support someone if you cannot understand what battles they are experiencing. It is very difficult to say you believe in a revolutionary community if you do not support a struggling comrade.
Unfortunately the anarchist/activist community does not differ from mainstream society in how it creates cliques and popularity structures. These cliques are social hierarchies and are very difficult for the depressed to break into. Those who can contribute 150% of their energy for the glorious cause become the most popular organizers in the group. Depressed people can rarely dedicate 60% of their energy to a project even when they are passionate about it. Everyone has a different amount of energy to contribute to the cause, it has nothing to do with how dedicated their heart is. The activist community often measures people by the sane stick even though the alpha emotional state is quite rare.
If many people drawn into radical and political communities have poor mental health or acquire it down the road, then my concern is that there isn't a lot of space given to take their needs seriously. Many activists exhibit behaviour that is oppressive to those with mental illnesses. Perhaps the term "˜sanist' should be created to describe those with an emotional exterior that excludes the needs of the mentally ill or do not recognise their needs as real. A sanist may reject an ill person because their often strange behaviour isn't "˜cool'. A sanist may be overly blunt at a time that a depressed person cannot handle rejection. It is a sanism to disregard a mental illness because a person looks normal.
The radical community must change the way it deals with mental illness, not avoid it, not stigmatise it, not down play it or blame the system without offering emotional support to its victims. Within our communities there must be support networks created, forms of counseling made available, education and emotional support. Radicals need to stop avoiding peoples illnesses because they are too much to handle, or because they can't admit that they too are tormented day and night with depression. Liberation starts by changing and healing yourself and your comrades.
Sisters, brothers and others, it is you that has to go knock on the door of a comrade that is breaking down from their mental illness. Because a depressed person may have a difficult time leaving home, calling or visiting them is a simple way to show solidarity and be an ally. Checking up might remind them that people care and are paying attention. The initiative you take, though it seems small, can be the difference between life and death for a struggling person. Your political objectives cannot be compromised but they also can't be put ahead of the needs of your comrades. Building a community of solidarity is the very essence of what a radical movement is supposed to be about, the depressed need your solidarity more than anyone yet they are the last ones to get it. Many radicals have killed themselves, sometimes through direct suicide and other times through indirect means such as alcoholism or addiction. If the radical community fails to address a comrades suicidal inclinations it speaks volumes about what movements could actually achieve.
The way that radical movements organize saves lives. Movements have to break through the alienation people experience and give them a fighting hope. Social squabbling, political divisions, and the dismissal of those with other ideas can weigh most heavily on those already experiencing an intense level of anxiety or unhappiness. In the end it is the tiring sense of loneliness that causes many suicides, so don't let politics keep people apart. Depressed people are fighting for their lives. If the community does not meet the needs of the depressed they may walk away from activism entirely or kill themselves because there's no other community left to go to. A panic attack makes a person feel like death or madness are the inevitable conclusion to their lives, it doesn't take much to push someone over that edge when they are sitting on it.
The topic of suicide and depression in our communities is scary but it needs to be addressed together. Be on the lookout for your comrade's subtle cries for help - before we lose another. In these dark times we will need every fighter we can get. It is up to you survivors to destroy the economic and authoritarian system that is driving us all mad, sad and to the brink of extinction.