I generally find it sensible to reject the opinions of those who refer to the world as “the system”. Author and former Bellevue patient Malcolm Lowry (1909-57) seems to have been one of these people, as Dalrymple suggests in the BMJ (subscription required):
According to Lowry, there is little difference between the staff and the patients. It is the world that is mad, not the lunatic. He says to the doctor: “You’re as resigned as your wretched patients, and you not only stand for it, but persistently your technique is to try and adjust them back to the system—just as you might imagine wounded soldiers being patched up to be sent back to fight by surgeons who had been smashed up themselves.”
This is R D Laing avant la lettre: the madman is simply one who has seen clearer and further than the so called sane.