II    Theses and principles

1.    11 x illness

  1. Illness is condition and result of the relations of production in capitalism (Note 9).

  2. Illness being the totality of conditions of capitalist relations of production is the productive power (force of production) par excellence for capitalism.

  3. As the result of capitalist relations of production, illness in its developed form as protest of life against capitalism is the revolutionary productive power par excellence for all human beings.

  4. Illness is the only form in which "life" in capitalism is possible.

  5. Illness and capitalism are identical: in the same measure in which dead capital is accumulated, a process which runs parallel to the annihilation of human work, so-called capital-annihilation, becoming a common matter, illness becomes more widespread and increasingly malign.

  6. Relations of production in capitalism involve that living work [lebendige Arbeit] has to be turned into dead matter (commodities, capital). Illness expresses this process, which is in permanent progress and gaining ground.

  7. Illness is the veiled unemployment and in the form of social security contributions being imposed illness is crisis-buffer par excellence in neo-capitalism (late capitalism, post-capitalism) (Note 10).

  8. Illness in its undeveloped form is inhibition and impediment, and therefore the inner prison of the single and lonely ones [der Einzelnen].*

  9. If we get illness released from administration, exploitation [Verwertung] and the custody [Verwahrung] through the institutions of health and if illness emerges in the form of collective resistance, there is the situation that the State has to intervene in order to substitute the inner prison of the patients by external, "real" prisons.

  10. The health care system can get along with illness only on condition that patients are totally outlawed.

  11. Health is nothing but an ideologistic-nazistic figment of the mind (Note 11). The function of this figment is to veil in the heads of the making-stupids and of the made-stupids [Verdummer und Verdummten dieser Erde] that illness is conditioned by society, and also to veil the social function of illness.

* Let us remember: everyone in this system is a single one, separated, encapsulated and isolated [Einzelner / Vereinzelter]. Until today, the in-dividual as such does not really exist yet. Creating living conditions so that in-dividuals can really exist is indeed one of the revolutionary tasks.

2.     Three starting-points of practising SPK


What we started from was that all patients in this society must have a right to life, that means a requirement for treatment

  1. because "their" illness is conditioned by society

  2. because the volume and capacity of treatment and the medical functions are institutionalized by society

  3. because each person, be it a labourer, a house wife, a pensioner, a student, or a pupil has paid for every possible treatment, even before requiring it. This is so because social security contributions amounting up to 35% and more of the net income are imposed, they are confiscated automatically in order to maintain all health institutions.


The right of treatment, referred to under I), must entail the necessity of control by patients of

1. the health institutions for treatment: domiciliary authority of the patients concerning all public institutions which have to do with illness.

2. Patients' control over all medical education and its application by

a) governing science according to the necessities of ill people, that is the population as a proletarian one being determined by illness – the principle of people's university socializing the means of production called science,

b) domiciliary authority and working conditions, control over the university's household by the patients who are treated at the university.

c) Fulfilment of the patients' claim to determine by themselves how and in which way they are treated or not.

3. Control of the way and of the manner in which social security contributions are levied and invested, control of the budget of the social insurances or services and of the social funds.


In the relation between physician and patient, in the therapeutic situation, the patient is experiencing focally his role as a mere object and his deprivation of rights in the confrontation with and within the social relationships, of which the relation between physician and patient is only one of all these social relations. Therefore, this situation, this relation is the starting-point par excellence to transform in clear consciousness and in a necessity-related manner the existing social relations in general, of which the patient is the object. From this consciousness the following necessary guiding principles of activity on which everything depends have to be deduced: emancipation - cooperation - solidarity - political identity.

3.     10 principles of practising SPK

  1. The needs of the patients are the starting-point of our work.

  2. Along the process of mutual self-control between patients in personal agitation as well as in group agitation, the needs are differentiated concerning their double role being not only products but also productive powers (forces of production).

  3. In personal and group agitation basically any kind of material "offered" by the patients is always worked on.

  4. Through this active medium of personal and group agitation the objective and external conditions of existence in the single patient as well as in the patients' collective as a whole are included in the collective practising.

  5. Only in connection with personal agitation, group agitation and scientific study groups in community (working out altogether a theory which is both useful and necessary) the needs of the single one and of the group can be worked on.

  6. The needs of the patients brought into an objectivized form in this connection with personal and group agitation are to be concentrated in the study groups, in which they are also generalized in order to be turned into the collectivized needs as a unity of need and political work (political identity).

  7. Form and content of the study groups are to be determined by the needs of the patients. To get it clear and to pull it forward the method of dialectics in Hegel and the critique of political economy by Marx have proved best.

  8. In the process of personal and group agitation and in the study groups the following has to be socialized: special knowledge and trained skills concerning single patients as well as concerning especially the knowledge and the skills of those who are able to practise medical functions in order to reduce differences in the level of education in the SPK caused by a lower or a higher education, so that in the course of time also a common and equal level of education is being achieved.

  9. SPK products are as follows: emancipation - cooperation - solidarity - political identity.

  10. Aim and steps of our work: incorporation and the best possible development of the single persons in collectivity, the foundation and development of more and more collectives elsewhere, the socialization of SPK-methods in other organizations and groups which already exist (multi-focal expansionism). The merging [Aufhebung] of all collectives in the socialist revolution as a common matter [die Aufhebung aller Kollektive in der Allgemeinheit der sozialistischen Revolution].

4.     Towards a "people’s university"

Science has to be released from its function which is a thoroughly life-denying and parasitic one. If hundred men are producing so many things that one hundred and one men could live on the collective product, you can be quite sure, that the one-hundred-and-first man becomes a "scientist". That's to say that he soon will begin to rule and to govern the process of production, which is done by the one hundred people who really produce something.

Starting condition and final result of the capitalist relations of production is a science which always has to devise increasingly new and sophisticated methods for ruling and governing (cybernetics) the process of production in the way to maximize profits. That means that life-denying relations of production are produced. The correct way to treat this social "development" consists in the struggle for socialization of the means of production, and this struggle is also the struggle which aims at a collective appropriation of science, an appropriation by the expropriated, a struggle therefore for a collective production of social relations, in which everybody – according to the collective needs of the single ones who form this society – has to be a scientist, the conscious owner of the social relations of production.

The pretext of scientists to make science for men is not sufficient. They ought to make science for ill human beings (for another mankind doesn't yet exist), while handing over this science to those who need science to satisfy their needs, that is, they have to lay their science into the hands of ill people. This can't be expected from scientists, for – as we were told from these high lords of science – they are not willing at all to commit such a kind of "self-prostitution" (Note 12), to abolish their capitalism-orientated function. That is why for them, belonging to the reactionary spearhead of capital, science is a means of production which they have at their disposal and which they want to keep on having at their disposal whatever it costs. Therefore, the owners of capital build ivory towers for them (universities). And the scientists take care that their science fits their purpose as well as possible to remain in their ivory towers for always and, what is more, that they cannot escape from them, from the ivory towers, being created by the scientists themselves. And that is why the ill people themselves have to take science into their own hands. Consequently, the "people's university" as a principle! For the ill people the owners of capital build custody houses (hospitals and ambulances, mental hospitals, prisons), and ill people want to get out there and even must get out there.

5.     People’s university SPK

  1. It was not any matriculation or final exam and also it was not the purse, which have been chosen by us as a criterion when somebody entered the SPK. The sole criterion were the needs.

  2. In contrast to the university which, following the university's law of Baden-Wuerttemberg, relegates students if they are taken for being "ill" by whoever it might be, or respectively casts them out of the university; in exact contrast to that we started from the premise that all are ill, and for those who had, especially by their own body, grasped this fact we declared ourselves to be competent.

  3. Instead of accumulating exploitable knowledge and skills of the single being [des Einzelnen] by and for capital, we aimed at socializing all scientific knowledge and methods as far as they were necessary for the ill population.

  4. We contrasted the isolation and alienation of science from the practical needs of ill people with science in the service of a critique by practising arising from the social relations in which the struck one is situated.

  5. Instead of proclaiming liberty for investigation and teaching (freedom against what and for which purpose?) we collectively learned and researched those matters that could be useful for the liberation from social repression.

  6. Instead of the principle of competition (examinations) and instead of alienated determination (by the needs of the capital to accumulate and to get profits) our guideline in scientific work was collective practising and collective self-determination.
    The culture-minister (Minister of education and the arts) of Baden-Wuerttemberg (Note 13) (by his decree of 18 September 1970) and the Heidelberg university's Senate (by decision of 24 November 1970) refused the patients, organized in the SPK who wanted to continue their work at the university, every kind of financial support, although the legality of the SPK's claim had been clear by self-evidence for everybody and which was recognized by everybody in general. This also in spite of the fact that there were three positively affirming reports done by recognized scientists and commissed by the university's chief and by his management board (Note 14):


Chapter III