Crazy Making

Ian Mitroff
3 min readNov 20, 2023

I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.

Along with countless others, I grieve for the lives lost to a deranged gunman in Maine. But Grieving is not enough.

While I certainly didn’t want the tragedy to occur, the State of Maine could have foreseen it. Indeed, the State essentially made it inevitable. With virtually no restrictions on the purchase of guns, it was only a matter of time before a major Mass Shooting occurred. In this sense, while shocking, it was not entirely surprising.

Unfortunately, all of the other horrific events going on in the world only interact to make things worse. That is, while tragic in and of itself, the Mass Shooting is just part of a larger series of events going on in the larger world that only add to the stress that has taken over our lives.

Thus, the fact that the Republican Party has titled so far to the Right that it’s Extremist beyond all sensibility is a major source of stress. The fact that it took so long to elect a Speaker of the House, and it’s one who’s so extreme, only adds to it.

The fact that two senseless wars have taken the lives of innocent men, women, and children is an outright abomination.

The fact that women are prohibited in many States from exercising control over their own bodies is equally an abomination. So is the fact that many Trans kids are denied treatment.

The fact that we are so divided such that far too many people have felt the need to leave the States in which they’ve resided for most of their lives is also a scandal. We are so Polarized that we are a Nation in name only, not in actuality.

To say that we’re living under conditions that promote acute Anxiety and Mental Stress, if not Mental Disorders, is no longer debatable, if indeed it ever was. The lack of treatment and the fact that too many are reluctant to seek only compounds the problem.

In short, we are living under conditions that for many are too much to bear.

We are truly in the Age of Crazy Making.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.

Photo by Shashank Sahay on Unsplash