This paper attempts to reduce the distance between intellectual frameworks that inform different fields of social work practice by exploring the relationships between intrapsychic mechanisms, family dynamics, small group processes and such society wide phenomena as public denigration, scapegoating, and the systematic oppression of politically targeted population subgroups. Clinical theories are used to explore disturbing social trends such as the redistribution of wealth while cutting services to the needy, the growth of prisons and disproportionaten umbers of incarcerated people of color, societal retreat from social obligation and commitment and divisive political rhetoric. Suggestions are made about how clinical social workers can actively engage in forceful social activism.

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