23. Identity of illness and capitalism
"It (the manufactory) cripples the workman to an abnormity, while favouring his very partial skill just in the way of a hothouse by means of suppressing a world of drives and dispositions, just as one does in the La-Plata-States where they slaughter a whole animal in order to prey only its coat or its tallow." – "The human being is merely realized as a fragmentary part of his own body." – "A certain mental and physical crippling is itself an inseparable and constituting element in every kind of division of labour as it is represented in society as a whole. Since, however, the manufactory period develops the splitting of all branches of labour up to a much higher level, whereas, on the other hand, it seizes the individual at the very roots of life, it is not before this peculiar division of work is achieved, that is provided the material and the impulse for the industrial pathology."(Note 43).
Illness is the essential condition, illness is the prerequisite and the result of the process of production in the capitalist system (as we just have lined out by some words of Karl Marx). The capitalist process of production is at the same time a process of destruction of life. Life is constantly destroyed while capital is produced. The capitalist system always requires accumulation (Marx), and this is the primary need of capital. Illness is the expression of the life-destroying violence of capitalism. Illness is produced collectively: that is to say that the person who works, by creating the matter capital in the work process that confronts him as an unknown and alien power even though he himself is producing it, produces collectively (together with all the other persons who work in this capitalist process) his own isolation .
It is, therefore, a strict consequence in this context that the so-called capitalist health system does nothing but perpetuate this isolation-loneliness, for the health institutions treat all those symptoms not as such ones which are produced collectively, but quite on the contrary as fate of the single person, as his guilt and failure. However, the capitalist system produces indeed the most dangerous weapon against itself in the form of illness. Therefore, it's quite clear that capitalism in the case of being confronted with the progressive moment of illness soon will deploy its sharpest weapons against it: health system, the judiciary, the police. In the objective view illness as a destroyed (defective = not usable) labour force is the gravedigger of capitalism. Illness = inner barrier of capitalism: if all persons at once fall ill (are acutely ill), that is become unable to work, all possibilities to produce surplus value are completely depleted.
Illness, if it is based on a collective process of consciousness, is the one and only productive force in revolution nowadays, following gradually the steps of effectiveness as there are: protest in the stage of being inhibited, conscious protest, collective consciousness, warfare based on solidarity.
The function of the health care system is to maintain the possibility to exploit the commodity labour force and to increase its exploitability on the one hand (Note 44), and on the other hand it has to ensure that the pharmaceutical and the medico-technological industries realize their surplus value (the health care system is the sphere of circulation of the pharmaceutical and the medico-technological industry). The sick person is therefore the object of a two-fold exploitation: the defective labour force has to be repaired for the purpose of its continued exploitation; as a consumer, the sick person is a very profitable market and ensures the smooth sales of the medico-technological and pharmaceutical industries.
The protest, in which consists the progressive moment of illness, is thus killed off; the reactionary moment, the inhibition is increasingly reproduced in the treating and healing process (= repair of the labour force, of the ability to work). And what indeed is taken away from the sick person is his and her urgent need to struggle for change.
Life is change, that means struggle against the forces of nature in order to appropriate nature in a productive way. The capitalist system opposes life in the manner of a natural force. Protest, that means the expression of life, is constantly killed; this is nothing but organized murder in permanence. In so far as this permanent, organized murder is carried out directly by the institutions of the family, the school etc., it is called education. Education is in no way oriented towards satisfying the real needs of human beings, but quite on the contrary it works towards killing these needs, while obeying only to the commands and the necessities of that natural force that is the accumulation (of surplus value) in the capitalist system. Capitalist accumulation and mass murder, thus, is one and the same thing!
24. The proletariat under the determinacy of illness is the revolutionary proletariat
Not each one of the ill persons (in fact, everybody is ill) belongs to the revolutionary class. But everyone who uses the progressive moments of illness acts in a revolutionary way.
How the front lines between the classes run, will become manifest in the revolutionary struggle itself; remember, in all revolutions there are and have been reactionary and fascist gangs that were recruited among people who belonged to the working class.
Whether one belongs or not to the real revolutionary subject is not a simple and mechanical definition of the class position, but what is decisive are the criteria and marks of class consciousness and class standpoint, which arise in the struggle.
In the present economic system, all proletarians, that is the proletariat as inhibited by the reactionary moment of illness, this inhibited proletariat has got good chances to float like drift-wood in the wake of the liberal-democratic illegality until it will be drowned. Only as proletariat in illness – and to be ill is its essential mark, otherwise it would have long since abolished the fundamental contradiction, regardless of all the lousy rhetoric of its bourgeois patrons amongst the students – only as proletariat in illness, then, and with illness it will develop its revolutionary force, which for sure will be situated beyond the liberal-democratic illegality; for, in this context the proletariat lacks all rights, it possesses nothing that could be apt to expropriate the labour force of other people, it possesses nothing – be it a home, a car or a refrigerator – nothing, that is not under the command of the capitalist forces. In any case, the proletariat in no way has ever owned muscles, nerves and bodies, because the respective functions are pre-programmed in a manner that starts from the basic relations of capitalism, which puts its marks into every proletarian person even before birth, everybody thus being programmed for the best possible exploitation. This program, then, translates into material violence which is deployed against the exploited in the “factories of loyal subjects” such as the family, boarding schools, state schools, barracks, workplace, office, medical centre and mental hospital, prison and so on. Up to nowadays the definition given by Marx in the Communist Manifest is correct, when Marx underlined that the proletarians are those who have nothing to lose but their chains, but that the proletarians also and especially are the negation of the capitalist system, which, on its part, has turned them into being a nothing, – indeed: the proletariat under the determinacy of illness.
The proletarian class, pre-programmed by capitalism, as material for exploitation and thus from the outset being exposed to illness, being systematically dismantled, cut up and crippled in all its development possibilities for the only purpose of ensuring maximum rates of profit on capital, thus thrown into a situation in which, not even with the best intention, neither the work-colleagues nor trade-unions, social welfare courts, health care or anyone or anything else can help or do anything, simply because of the fact that the ill person is placed completely outside the frame of "rights" – therefore, the proletarian class can become a revolutionary force that blasts the system only if the proletarians brand themselves by illness [sich selbst als krank brandmarken] and begin to struggle and to live as self-branded ones basing themselves on the definition of illness. For they are posited as a system-blasting force by nothing and none other than the ruling class of the ruling capitalist system itself. This not because of a whim, but because illness and capitalism constitute a dialectic unit (Note 45).
An essential factor of this objective setting of the sick proletariat as a revolutionary proletariat is, e.g., the fact that about 35% and even more of the net wages are transferred to the capital as so-called social security contributions through state-controlled institutions, i.e. they are invested into the capitalist economy, where they serve among other things as a buffer for economic crisis. If a worker is paid 800 DM wages a month, 280 DM are at the same time automatically taken away from his wage for what they call "social" "security" contributions (illness, invalidity, old age), but which are destined to flow into the economy, serving there for the accumulation of capital and, as just mentioned, for the treatment not of persons, but if need be for economic crises, the untreatable "childhood-illness" of every capitalist system until now and also for all future times. Thus, the working class is permanently forced to produce not only surplus value, but also investment funds for the industry, and all this on the pretext of paying with their wages, which in reality must serve for the reproduction of their labour force, the means to repair this same labour force destroyed in the exploitation process, i.e. the working class is just paying for something which has nothing to do with their labour force at all.
The health system, which is
nothing but an institution for repairing and controlling the destroyed
labour force (this is the objective function of its therapeutic and diagnostic
apparatus) automatically overrides fundamental rights. It deals with patients
as if they were nothing but objects and things.
At the same time, however,
it constitutes the basic natural right to self-defence! Specifically, the
following basic rights are suspended by criminal conspiracy: the freedom of
movement, habeas corpus (inviolability of the human person), the freedom of
expression, the secrecy of the post (suspended without saying in all
institutions as prisons, mental hospitals etc.; cf. the institution’s internal
regulations), the right to a fair legal hearing etc. etc. The following crimes
are committed permanently: deprivation of liberty (authorization of the
officials of the health system to commit persons to a psychiatric institution),
bodily injury, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, forced labour for patients
imprisoned in mental institution and
For these reasons it is clear that all the ill people need to defend themselves.
The need for change coupled with the pressure which starts from suffering has to be directed, by its nature, against and aimed at the object by which illness is generated, that is the social order based on capitalism, this social order, which has become the second nature of everybody (that is elsewhere called: soul). The basic human need is production, that means the creation of all possibilities that are necessary in order to assimilate nature in the best and most pleasurable way; nothing else can be meant by the expression: the fight against the forces of nature. But what is taking place here and nowadays is the production of surplus value, accumulation of capital, and destruction of life. The utility value of the commodities, just as life itself, is nothing but a waste product of the capitalist relations of production and in this degenerated form they are treated according to the laws of capitalism: "ex-and-throwaway" or "throw away after use".
But the productive force of our consciousness which is the prerequisite for regaining the material means of production is able to conquer the hostile force of nature of capitalism:
- "Don't take alcohol, don't take pills, which make you go asleep or quiet. Don't take speeds: take the power, that's better.
- If you feel bad, if you sit in front of the television screen and are bored, then you ought to learn that television is poisonous.
- Attention television: poison.
- Alcohol kills at hundred kilometers an hour. The capitalist society even kills when walking.
- Labour medicine: medicine of exploitation or exploitation itself?
- Labour medicine: protection of the workers or factory's police?
- Protection of labour: hard working 11 months a year, so that you can live 4 weeks on paid leave. But you need to live for 12 months.
- After a wearing down and dull work-day you lack all enthusiasm to make love. The medicine there can do nothing with its pills and its big talks. But it is necessary to change the working-day, to make it worth living. The doctor, that are yourselves. Take over the power in the factory and in the society, become masters of your life.
- You are tired, because the work you do
fucks you off and makes you sick - refuse stimulating pills [verweigert Aufputschmittel].
If you are fed up with the stressing commands of your foremen, your bosses or of the machines, then there remain only two solutions:
1. You claim that the work must end immediately. The social security has to pay for you. But keep in your mind that the account has to be paid by you in the end.
2. Or you take all power in the factories under your own command by making revolution, that's better." (Note 46)
25. About the “healthy” socialists and about the reactionary dogmatism of certain “leftists”
If the SPK had to argue in public discussions with leftists, it was quite usual that the leftists showed tendencies towards dogmatism regarding Marx’ analysis of capitalism, such as to the question whether a teacher, for instance, should be conceived as a producer of surplus value or not. We started from the point that, in our opinion, the teacher works in the production process of the commodity labour force as a producer. In the course of education and training, the commodity labour force (pupil, apprentice and student) becomes qualified and trained, i.e. increased, according to the demands of the highly specialized production process in late capitalism. This same specialization and qualification add to the commodity labour force more value that is then appropriated by capital and turned into surplus value. It is the capitalist accumulation which is the main beneficiary of the increase of productivity linked to increasing specialization.
However, the one-sided and dogmatic use of the concept “productive total worker” and its application without exception to the classical industrial proletarian people, considering them as the only group in the society which creates alone and as a such one all richness of our society, this view is a mistake and has reactionary effects.
The roots of this one-sidedness are surely nourished by the fact that most of the leftist students did not come to Marxism starting from their needs, that is from their own consciousness of their own objective class position, but conversely they came to Marxism starting from their (quite justified) dissatisfaction with the organization and contents of their studies, and later on they perceived the objective class situation of the proletariat, which they promptly treated as a mere object of their agitation, idealizing and even taking it for their fetish. Rather, all depends on realizing that the crippled and mutilated consciousness must become an object of agitation-work in the collective, and the essential mediation stage of this necessity is to grasp one’s own illness just as being one's own. The difficulty for left wing students to work out a political practice, which is a consequent one, is due to the fact that any kind of dogmatic "intellectual" work causes one's own illness to be veiled. Only by learning this, we are able to understand why a leftist student in a discussion could make the following statement: "I myself don't belong to the exploited class, I am on a scholarship". Class consciousness can only arise from the struggle between classes, which soon will form the corresponding class consciousness. Of course, you can always find an infinite number of more or less subtle back doors through which you can escape belonging to the revolutionary class.
In any case, illness is the quality [Qualitaet Krankheit] that is connecting all those who are struck by the machinery of oppression.
Characteristic for the behaviour and reasoning of a large number of people (especially students) who call themselves “socialists” is their attitude towards illness. They consider illness as if it were an isolated, negative thing and nothing but an inhibition. For them, illness is part of their "private life", a problem which everybody has to get along with alone, but which in no case is allowed to "bother" any political activity. However, to take oneself for a "sound" socialist within the society in which we live, cannot be anything other than the expression of a tendency towards an elite consciousness which is in compliance with the system of oppression in which we live.
Such a "sound" elite consciousness leads to:
1. Artificially splitting of one’s own life in a private life on the one hand and in political activity on the other. As a result, the separation of professional and private life induced by social conditions is permanently reproduced and every kind of political activity remains alienated.
the vanguard and the masses. Cast a glance
at the wrong application of
definitions like "vanguard" and "masses" in the light of
what Wilhelm Reich has pointed out in the "Mass-Psychology of
des Faschismus"] and in "Listen, Little Man" ["Rede an den kleinen Mann"], when he
dealt with the difficulties to activate the masses so that they would decide
for themselves whether they should take part in some kind of mass strike or
not. W. Reich based his research on the fact, that in the event of a
strike or theft, one should not ask why these
workers are on strike or why this
person stole, but rather ask why not all
workers are constantly on strike against the rule of existing social conditions
and why not all consumers satisfy
their material needs through "theft".
The function of a true vanguard can only start from a practice that must be accomplished in line with the principle of multi-focal expansionism. In the context of multi-focal expansionism, every focus as such acts identically as if they were masses and vanguards at the same time, for if they act as foci (masses) they unite the social contradictions in their inner heart, and if they act as hearths (vanguards), by applying and passing on the progressive moments of these contradictions, they activate and mobilize them, thus bringing about effective changes all over in their surrounding areas. The contradiction between the vanguard and the masses is resolved in the expansive moment of the principle of multi-focal expansionism, when the proceeding generalization of the revolutionary consciousness and revolutionary activities continues to develop.
Quite in contrast, a self-proclaimed vanguard – to say it quite direct – comes along and calls upon the workers to develop a "revolutionary" consciousness they themselves. Using some of Marx’ papers, this so-called vanguard explains to the workers that there exists exploitation against them. To most workers this makes rational sense because it is really nothing new for them, but they lack the experience of a successful struggle in solidarity, and an experience like that cannot be preached. As a result, there are no practical consequences. The current needs of the workers are only addressed in a quite abstract and isolated manner – for example, if there is dealt with, as a so-called "struggle" against the "grievances" like pollution of the environment and housing shortage. Illness is dealt with only in connection with an "accident" at work and an "occupational" illness, but by that illness itself is neither allowed to enter the consciousness nor to become a mobilizing power in the context of the exploitation and of the needs of the single persons, the context from which arises illness and by which it is determined.
The masses, the proletariat, are conceived merely as an object and agitated more or less in a “schoolmaster”-like manner. The needs of the exploited and oppressed population are classified into those that can be used for agitation, and those that everybody has to get along with by themselves alone in their own lonely way: reproduction of the capitalist utilization process and garbage collection service (a day-by-day recycling process, indeed!).
Also characteristic is the
attitude of the "sound" socialists towards the so-called public
health system: in this "tertiary sector" the assumption of power is a
question that is posed last of all. Yet the public health sector is seen and
treated by them as being “in dire needs of reforms”. But because the sound
"socialists" don't care about what illness indeed is and lack an
appropriate concept of illness, they only sometimes and sporadically polemize
and agitate only against the sinecures of the bosses in medicine, against the
use of science for warfare, against the profits of the medical drug
manufacturers, against the numerus clausus system in medicine (limited number
of study places for those who want to study medicine) etc. etc. And they even
distinguish between the so-called pure research which, in their opinion is a
"good" thing, quite in contrast to war research, without further
questioning this alleged difference and certainly not attacking it.
The necessary changes and reforms of the health sector in their opinion should be done by those who work in the hospitals and by the medical students. Health care and the “well-being of patients” are being misused as disguise and as an alibi for the class interests of doctors and medical students. A misuse because the afflicted, i.e. the patients, of course are not allowed to have a say – as for the patients, they are simply ill, while according to their own self-validation the doctors, caregivers, nurses and medical students are by definition "sound" and “healthy”. And the sick patients must first be made “healthy” by them and then they are "sound" workers and “healthy” if they have undergone a treatment in accordance with such a view – and this "health" produced in this way should then be the engine of the revolution!
"Health" is not the opposite of illness. Health is a thoroughly bourgeois label. This health corresponds on the subjective side to a distorted consciousness, it is identical to illness in the sense of "mental (and physical) crippling", which Marx has pointed out as being "inseparable from the division of work in society as a whole" (Note 47).
Capitalism in its generality defines and establishes the norms of the commodity labour force and with that capitalism determines what is “healthy” and "sound" and what is “sick”. Those who do not comply with this norm are (ill) unable to work and, therefore, they also are unable to sign contracts, and as a consequence they drop out of the production process. "Nothing is ... more ridiculous than to speak of “work medicine” (industrial medicine, occupational medicine); in the whole of the existing society there exists nothing but work medicine. Every kind of medicine is nothing but the regulation of the capacity to work. The norms of labour stamp the consciousness and the judgement of doctors on a scale that is more precise than every kind of biological or physiological value." (Note 48)
It is exactly the same with
science: in the opinion of these "socialists" science should "serve as a productive force for the
workers". However, no mentioning of socializing science as a tool and
means of production for the interests and by the population itself! Those who
have finished their studies at the universities are expected to pursue science
later on in their professional life, taking into account their socio-political
"responsibility"; in this way they shall be "neutralized".
A nonsense! And at the same time an expression of the consciousness of its intercessors
who can't and don’t want to imagine the socialization of all means of production, including science: "Nous participons,
vous participez - ils profitent!" ("We participate, you are partners
- but they earn the profit!")
The starting-point (principle) of the people's university just doesn't mean to open the university only in a quantitative way in order that the population might take part in lectures of research and teaching, neither does it mean some "co-determination" on the subject matters and contents of research and teaching, but people's university means a qualitative determination and control of science, what science ought to be and how to practice it, according to the needs of the population.
We often heard the objection expressed by the dogmatic left that illness were nothing but a transient state, that the patient status is only a transitory one, so that those who are ill could not become revolutionary subjects; but all these arguments have been unmasked as arguments that have nothing to do with the matter as we have taken down in the preceding lines of this text. Nevertheless, the named objections can be disproved to the point of absurdity in a quite direct way: the life of each person is but a transitory state of inorganic matter and therefore no one as a single person could undertake to fight against class oppression and to make a revolution with other currently living persons. Of course, such an absurdity is never expressed, but nevertheless it is practiced: there are people who do long-term doctorates on Lukács, others who semester after semester perform seminars on Marx’ labour value theory, etc. – perhaps to convey to the "posterity" some kind of revolutionary tools which they themselves don’t know what to do with?
26. Capitalism and its agents as manifestations of nature’s violence
In the capitalist production process the inhibition of life, which follows from this process, is valorized, exploited and reinforced (= the finally resulting product of the capitalist production is illness). If illness expresses itself in the form of protest, capitalism by means of its institution, the state, makes use of various state bodies in order to fight illness: health system, doctors, hospitals, mental hospitals, the judiciary, prisons, police, army. By the production of surplus value, the life of the workers is gobbled up by capitalism, which in its effect is a violent force of nature raised to a higher level of power (turning life into dead matter, i.e. commodities). Thus, judges, physicians, policemen, military men, are nothing but tools that have to guarantee the smooth running of this life-destroying production process. The fight against capitalism – and only this fight is identical to life in this particular society, with which we are dealing at the given historical moment – must be directed against the functions of capitalism and also against its functionaries, whose illness is being valorized and exploited in order to maintain the existing capitalism that acts as a violent force of nature raised to a higher level of power: the lack of life as power (Note 50).
Ill persons and thus outlaws (= people deprived of any right), moreover if they are threatened by murder, at any rate and no matter what they do, they act, in principle, in self-defence. Those against whom their fight is directed are not attacked as human beings; the fight is not directed against policemen, top-leaders of universities, directors, ministers or other exponents of the system, but the ill people fight simply against the natural powers that are counterposed to them as masks behind which a part of capitalism works, manifest in its exponents.
Thus, for example, the Vietcong do not aim at destroying American human beings, for what they do is to find out and to attack those points within the overwhelming destruction machinery deployed against them, which fit best in each moment to achieve the greatest possible stopping effect against the colossus capitalism.
27. All about physicians, lawyers, university professors, the health system, the judiciary, science
Doctors, lawyers, professors act as agents of the dominant institutions of capitalism. In the self-representation of the system, they function as connecting links between the respective ruling institutions on the one hand, and the patients, clients, students, or the population on the other. The physician lives on the social security contributions and on the fees of the patients, the lawyer on the fees of his clients and the university professor on the tax money of the population.
Copy of an original letter to a patient, who is now in a mental hospital:
"Dear Sir .......!
That you have called Dr. Honeck an agent of capitalism nobody here has taken as an offence because we are accustomed to hear things like that.
We know the great role that terms such as "agent of capitalism, socialism, Mao Tse Tung" have played in your condition of mental disturbance at that time. At that time, you connected everything and everybody to the big politics, you showed little interest in matters of minor detail.
You have to practice more and more to hold tight to simple human relationships and to throw overboard everything that has to do with delusion and phantasy.
Your unjustified distrust towards our medical efforts will delay your healing. Rather, the medicaments you dismiss as narcotics are indeed psychopharmaca, and by those psychopharmaca psychiatry was revolutionized in the sense that nowadays diseases like yours, which were once considered incurable, now got a chance to get healed.
Dr.med. Ingo Sonntag"
(Dr. Sonntag is a psychiatrist at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Freiburg – Dean of this hospital is Professor Degkwitz)
Following their self-understanding in conjunction with their own class understanding and the rights of their class, they ought to keep themselves ready and available exclusively in favour of the population. But being anchored in the health system, in the judiciary and in the university, as functionaries and agents of these ruling institutions, they are forced to assert the interests of capital against the population. This their function they present most clearly and in a quite general manner by bringing into prominence their limits of competence and by keeping their distance.
The physician is not concerned with the patient, but only with the patient's (un)fitness to work. The lawyer is not concerned with the client, but only with the law case. And the scientist is not concerned with the needs of the population, because he works exclusively for the interests of capitalism, regardless of his understanding of science in each case. In each one of these three cases a distance is being kept between the needs and sufferings of the patient, the client and the population on the one hand and, on the other hand, what these functionaries (physician, lawyer, scientist) regard and treat as their subject of work. The physician, the lawyer and the scientist themselves are parts of the power system, exponents of the social relationships, which constantly produce anew their "working matters” for them, from which they benefit. Due to their social origin, education and economic possibilities, there exists a barrier between them and the wage-dependent population who is sick, persecuted by criminalization and systematically kept in intellectual underdevelopment.
28. The function of the physician as a trustee of capitalism and how to abolish this function
Every need (Beduerfnis, Be-duerfnis: something that has to be most urgently done, allowed and promoted instead of being restricted – –), every symptom has a progressive and a reactionary moment. It all depends on activating the progressive moment and on making use of it, but also on becoming conscious of the reactionary moment at the same time.
The need for "leisure time", "private life" must be regarded as nothing but an institutionalized and channelled reaction to the illness producing conditions, for example, of the working sphere, and the "satisfaction" of this need must be regarded as the corruption of the need for liberation, a corruption done by the options of "freedom", offered by the leisure-and-hobby-industry, in the soccer grounds, in front of the television screen, in hobby-corners, in rabbit hutches and pet kennels or on Mallorca. The need for liberation, mutilated in any case and crippled also by the consciousness-industry, which works under the command of capitalism, this need for the collective production of freedom is thus deviated and turned into the need of consumption of freedom as a commodity, good for the capitalist system’s need to earn profits. This so-called freedom, demoted to a commodity, from which follows some kind of relative contentment on the side of the consumers, also the fraud of health and healing in the medicine – law and order – is transformed permanently into a value by capitalism in continued and intensified exploitation at the place of work.
In the objective view, the material livelihood and the function of the physician are based on the illness of the patients. If illness is recognized as a prerequisite and result of the capitalist production process, any progressive activity of the physician can only consist in working towards the abolition of the physician's functions, which are capital-centred and, therefore, objectively hostile towards illness and the patients. That means that the physician must achieve a change of the whole society, but not – as it is misunderstood and practiced in a crippled form – that he has to take care of producing some "health" in the patients, because in doing so, he ensures nothing but a temporary disappearance of the single patient’s wish for "treatment". The progressive turn of his function can only be put in practice if the physician works together with the patients based on solidarity. Most important in practising this turning-point is to socialize all medical functions. In concrete terms, this means that the doctor’s special knowledge and experience needs to be socialized, which, however, is quite another thing than passing on that knowledge and experience according to the usual patterns of education and training which are authoritarian ones. Therefore, it is a basic necessity that both the patient and the doctor as being a part of the society become aware of their simply being objects, and that this is the basis on which this socializing process starts working, determined by this one condition that there is the common cause of their both being objects. This learning process between physician and patient proceeds by interaction and collectively and can only take place on the basis of cooperation and the complete involvement of the physician in the patients' collective.
Either the physician places his functions in the service of the needs of the patients (abolition of the private ownership (private property) of medical skill as a means of production) or he submits – for his "personal" material and class-related advantage – to the dictatorship of the capitalist production with its laws of nature, but then he works inevitably and objectively against the life interests of the patients, being their enemy. Every "as well as" in the ruling system always is at the expense of the ill people.
29. The Rector of the University of Heidelberg as an advocate of capitalism
From the very beginning, the Rector of the University of Heidelberg, Professor Rendtorff (a theologian and a member of the Socialist Democratic Party), in his capacity as a highly specialized functionary in the capital-orientated university had been enabled by ourselves to acknowledge the functions of his office within the hierarchically constituted wheelwork of the ruling system (just like his later enemy, the scientific assistant and psychiatrist Dr. Huber, the then so-called SPK-leader, had acknowledged those functions in his daily work and office some 8 years at the same university in his capacity as a physician at the Faculty of Medicine on the one hand, and as a seminarist at the Faculty of Philosophy on the other hand). Prior to the dismissal without notice of Dr. Huber by the University, the patients had made numerous attempts to speak to the Rector of the University as the decision-making instance about the situation of the patients in connection with the problems and difficulties which immediately were menacing them, but all their attempts were in vain, because in the opinion of the Rector the dismissal without notice of Dr. Huber was none of their (the patients’) concern (!!). But while refusing the discussion with the patients and being unable to even give a written reply to their letters, he was nevertheless able to sign the documents for dismissal and the restraining order that banned Dr. Huber from entering the clinic. When the patients, who after the forced dismissal of their physician were cut off from the help they were accustomed to, assembled in order to defend themselves and their needs by the only means they had at their disposal, that is their collective hunger strike, the chief of the University was only willing to make a minimum number of concessions, which were completely insufficient and which he later on denied to fulfil one after the other.
He did not take note of the social distress mental patients suffer from except in the form of this state of emergency that had been caused by himself and under his responsibility. Not taking note of the more than 100 patients equally shocked but not present at the hunger strike, he seemed to be blind on one eye, when, meeting the hunger-striking patients, he once more tried to turn only to Dr. Huber, whom he saw hunger-striking amongst the other hunger-strikers. By a behaviour like his, which must be understood as an expression of the ruling killer ideology, he made a significant contribution to mask the problems of illness that are social problems by trying to personalize them from the beginning and by directing the public interest only against one person, namely to a so-called "case Huber". By this, however, it became clear for everybody and even for the newspaper men that it is quite a common method to establish some ring-leader already in the beginning when a collective struggle against the social misery starts (Note 51).
The wire-pullers of the Faculty of Medicine, in their attempt to conceal the real needs of the patients and the failure not only of any medical care and therapies at the University by means of ostensibly-formalistic personal debates in public, a harmful behaviour to the detriment of the patients, thus were actively supported by the chief of the University*. In view of the arguments brought forward by the patients towards the chief of the University, one can certify him at best to be a case of self-inflicted immaturity.
*In the meantime, the Hubers sold what they could sell from the products of their work, and they also took out loans to help the poor in the SPK who would otherwise have had nothing to eat. Later, in prison, this resulted in further difficulties, threats of punishment and punitive measures, especially against Mrs Dr. Huber. In iatro-capitalism, even the good and virtue are easily perverted into their opposite, so perversion is not a question of morality, but belongs from the outset to the system, namely to the iatro-capitalist system.
30. The institutions of capitalism
A characteristic of the capitalist order of the economy (= anarchy) is the functionalization of life for the needs of capitalism: Human beings are objects to be consumed by the economy, .i.e. man must serve the economy, not the other way around. This process of functionalization and destruction of human life is controlled by the state.
The constitution (the Basic Law) includes nothing but capitalism-centred "rights" and duties imposed on citizens (population). The Office for the Protection of the Constitution [Verfassungsschutz] has the task of protecting this constitutional reality against the population, not the other way around!
The state-organized healthcare system has the task of protecting capitalism and the social "order" against the sick, and not the other way around of protecting the population struck by illness against the illness-creating conditions and against the murderous violence of capitalism. The Parliament, which makes the laws, has – like the medical system – the task of categorizing the life-expressions of the ill population into those that favour the ruling social relations of production and those that could be apt to change these social relations in a way that they might be beneficial for the population. However, the Parliament sets the right in order to protect and maintain the private ownership (private property) of the means of production. According to these laws, "crimes" (which are nothing but the expression of the social antagonisms as they exist in a single person) are condemned and combated as a breach of social norms perpetrated by single persons. The task of the so-called judiciary is, therefore, to liquidate any kind of protest that is expressed by the perpetration of a "criminal act". The judiciary, thus, takes on the function of a distributing station, of a selection ramp (see concentration camp) for ill people. In collaboration with psychiatry, the judiciary dissects the ill people in order to be consumed and exploited in the prisons later on and also in workhouses disguised as institutions of social psychiatry (see for example the German Central Institute for Mental Health of Professor Dr.Dr. Heinz Haefner in Heidelberg and Mannheim), also in mental hospitals and nursing homes or, in the case of fines, the judiciary delegates the persons concerned to the "free" labour market in order to intensify their exploitation. What did it say above the gates of the concentration camps? "Arbeit macht frei!" ("Work sets you free!").
The army, the frontier-guard (Note 52) and the police are tools of violence used by the government to enforce the life-denying social "order" of capitalism against the needs of the ill population. The police – “your friend and helper" – do not exist to serve the population but quite on the contrary, they exist to serve the interests of the despotic rulers and the agents of capitalism. But if the police do not exist to serve the population, thus, the population must serve the police. A police state is not only characterized by its function to have the ultimate competence as an armed force to kill life which has become of no further value for the exploitation agencies of the labour market, the health care system, and the judiciary: a characteristic of a police state is already the functionalization of the population for the needs of the police (see the police search on TV, for example “file sign XY-Zimmermann”, a journalist in German TV who, from time to time, acts as an entertainer inviting the population to take part in police investigations). This dirty business on the level of consciousness is prepared and provided by religion (guilt-and-punishment), school (reward - punishment) and a suggestibility to authority that is constantly crammed into one's "everyday life".
The attempts to incite the population to take part in these chases and persecutions by public calls in newspapers, broadcast and television, ordered by the police, are serving only the interests of the state and capitalism and work against the real interests of the people themselves. If the police are successful (shootings, rabble-rousing, manhunt, arrests), the population, too, earns some praise, because the people can read in the newspapers that their taking part in the criminal search has made the success of the police possible. It is also by such means that the state tries to fight the declining mass loyalty and to continually affirm and reproduce a consciousness which believes that the interests of the exploiters were the same as the interests of the exploited, a belief that is of highest importance in order to maintain the despotic state system.
Everybody must become a little policeman – because not everyone can be allowed to become a “criminal”, for the "crime" if it is done collectively and in solidarity against private property would be the socialist revolution. And if everybody in this state has to become a little policeman, then we call this state a police state.
From this follows that the socialist revolution can be delayed only by the use of the police state, in a troublesome way which causes an unbearable multitude of damages in the population. Such a police state is characterized by the totalitarian administration, the functionalization and utilisation of human life in an uninterrupted chain of competencies: family, school, military service, business management, health care system. All this works according to the principle of legality (§ 152 StPO; StPO = Code of Criminal Procedure) that, however, is only applied against crippled human beings suffering from illness, oppression and exploitation, but never against public prosecutors, judges, directors, police officers and other trustees of the capitalist system who, according to their “self-validation” have to be “healthy” and “sound”, and who, in context with the persecution of innocents (§ 344 StGB; StGB = Penal Code), systematically commit crimes (§ 129 StGB) by violating domestic peace (trespassing, § 342 StGB), causing grievous bodily injury (§ 340 StGB), deprivation of liberty (§ 341 StGB), extortion (§ 343 StGB), incitement to hatred (§ 130 StGB) and so on. Whoever sees in these statements a seditious libel against the state (§ 131 StGB) may prove the opposite in practice, if he has the suitable power at his disposal (Note 53).
31. About the problem of violence – the escalation of violence
Ascertainment: All potentials of violence both material and ideological are on the side and in the hands of the state which is the suppression mechanism of capitalism.
If we use teach-ins, go-ins, strikes and other means in order to express our arguments and critiques against the capitalist relations of production by words and basically by a material critique, we always experience that the power apparatus of the established science and of the state refuse any practice oriented debate even on a verbal level. If labourers cease to work (work stoppage) in order to express their protest against the life-destroying capitalist working conditions, promptly members of the works committees and of the trade unions step into the scene – supported by the violence potentials of strike breakers, factory security, police and federal border guards – referring to so-called factual constraints and coercions (= coercion to earn profits) in order to suffocate any kind of protest on the side of the workers. If the critique based on arguments, if the protest as resistance starts to become a material force, it soon well be criminalized and eliminated by the state which turns this resistance into the crime of "resistance to the authority of the state" by using the “ringleadership"-ideology.
If this resistance remains no longer isolated but rather appears in an organized form with the revolutionary productive force of illness as content, then the artificially individualized "resistance against the authority of the state" combined with the ringleadership-ideology from the viewpoint of the rulers is turned into some "criminal conspiracy attempting to overthrow the constitutional order" (§ 129 und § 81 StGB (Note 54)), and the revolutionary productive force of illness together with its carriers, the socialist patients, are thrown behind bars and walls in order to keep them there (detainment in solitary confinement, because at this stage of the conflict between life and capitalism the separation and isolation can be achieved seemingly only in an overt form by the use of brutal violence), the patients thus being kept in prison in order to protect the murderous social relations of destruction against the productive force of illness. This escalation of violence on the part of the ruling oppressors is nothing but a reflective image of the revolutionary productive force of illness, when brought to its development. The patients who are dragged before the court stand there as representatives of the productive force of illness. Opposite to them and standing against them, there is the petrified, dead power of capitalism which tries to take revenge on them for the emancipation and solidarity of the patients by means of the criminal law based on guilt. "Vengeance is a dish that is best enjoyed cold” as pronounced by Hitler's Propaganda Minister Goebbels in 1944.
"Charges are pressed by the prejudice, stupidity sits in judgement, and all this to the only expense of protecting that small fry” said the lawyer Horst Mahler to the court when he was sentenced in a trial pursued against him in favour of the Springer press. By the "small fry", he meant Springer, the owner of the Springer press. The small fry Springer, nevertheless, is only an advocate of the destructive force of capitalism, of the life-destroying relations of production. The prejudice is by no means a monopoly of only the prosecutor. Prejudice and stupidity are also united in the person of the judge: Juergen Roth wrote in the weekly newspaper "Publik" already on August 13, 1971 that judges from Heidelberg "unofficially" say that all patients are criminals. This phenomenon, however, is not called prejudice in the current language of prevailing law but rather "bias" and it is the class of the judges themselves who allegedly is able to decide whether a judge is subject or not to "prejudice" – self-reflection in the distorting mirror!
Actually, this “bias” rather implies for the first time the supreme juridical concession of legal relevance to the patients in the form of their passive legitimation, meaning that they from now on and in the future are dignified owners of rights, because they have attained the capacity to be sued (passive legitimation = the right to be sentenced). It was this right of the capacity to be sued that was refused to the patients by the competent judge and also by their own lawyer when they looked out for juridical help against the eviction sentence in order to get a delay against the menace of its immediate execution. Patients must be branded as criminals, illness must be made a crime, when illness appears in favour of the patients as an organized productive force.
In health care, illness is handled as an object, as material of sick people [Krankenmaterial], that means that the reactionary moments of illness are brought into action against the patients: the negative attitude regarding illness becomes confirmed. The patient’s illness is taken away from him, it is turned into a bureaucratically managed thing, analyzed by chemistry and X-rays, pharmaceutically, electrically, by radioactivity, amputated and treated by surgery; in short: the patient is expropriated and his illness is turned into capital, into the capital of the building and construction industry (hospitals, chief physicians’ villas), into the capital for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries (test-tubes and lab-tests, medicines), for the electrical industry (X-ray machines, radiation systems, apparatuses for electro-, cardio- and encephalography, electric shock apparatuses etc.), for the glass industry (laboratory equipment) etc.
The protest as the progressive moment of illness in favour of the patient is systematically suppressed in the doctor-patient relationship and, at best – provided that the protest can appear at all – it is disqualified and ignored as something that they call nagging and querulousness or, in "severe cases", it is treated as psychiatric illness material, detained in mental hospitals and exploited in order to be capitalized.
However, if illness occurs in an organized way, as it did in the SPK, then its capitalist exploitation by the "health" system is made impossible, because the patients are making use of the progressive moment of illness by and for themselves. If the utilization and exploitation context of illness is disturbed by the patients, the police and the judiciary take the place of the health system: machine guns instead of electric shocks, solitary confinement in prison instead of Haloperidol and sedation cells – escalation of violence!
32. Example: persecution “mania” – the progressive and reactionary moments of an illness
"Mania" of persecution is a very widespread illness; in the broadest sense it is the ultimate social disease. The term "mania" of persecution is nothing but a label, the meaning of which, however, signifies that those who invented this term are not able to mean what they say when they use such a label. If somebody experiences a threat from all expressions which he gets from his surroundings, a threat to his existence, a menace against his "life", if he even by his fantasy produces impressions (hallucinations) for which there are no directly ascertainable causes in the material present, then the established medical fabricators of diagnoses declare him to be paranoid, a persecution maniac. Agoraphobia (fear of crossing wide places), fear of bridges, claustrophobia (fear of overcrowded rooms), hypochondria (fear of the failure of one’s own body), erythrophobia (fear of blushing) etc. are nothing but special manifestations of "mania" of persecution. "Mania" of persecution is nothing but the labelled, proscribed, discriminated and defamed reverse or continuation of what the vernacular calls "healthy distrust". "Mania" of persecution is caused by the fact that in the capitalist society the single isolated person is nothing but an object; thus, "mania" of persecution is an expression of the polar relation between life and capitalism, between organic, living matter and inorganic, dead matter.
The isolated human being suffers from anxiety, feels threatened by unknown "powers", because he cannot see through the social reality, because this reality is strange to him, because the existing relation between him and the reality is a relation of mutual alienation: the basic condition of the capitalist society is exactly this loneliness and isolation, combined to the lack of consciousness with regard to this relation. The reactionary moment of the illness "mania" of persecution is the inhibition, even immobility (paralysis) which it means for the objectively powerless, isolated and alienated persecution "maniac". The progressive moment, on the other hand, is the protest against the ruling relations of production, which impress the ill person – thoroughly in line with reality (adequate to reality) – as hostile and life-threatening. The task and function of agitation must be to make the social reality transparent for the ill person and to turn his and her protest, which lacks any orientation (undirected paralyzed protest) into collective activities of resistance against the disease-causing and life-destroying social relations.
The destructive usability of the "mania" of persecution as a social illness manifests itself in the mobilization of the reactionary moment of the "mania" of persecution, put into practice by the small radical minority of the agents and henchmen of capitalism, who have the whole material potential of violence in society at their disposal (weapons, prisons, courts, hospitals, mental hospitals and nursing homes etc. etc.: XY-Zimmermann – the instigator on television – Baader-Meinhof-hysteria, wanted posters, instigation campaigns staged by the Genscher-Springer-Loewenthal-gang).
On the other hand, the fear of the rulers (that is, their "mania" of persecution), which is thoroughly in line with reality, is the reaction to the dormant power of a population acting collectively and in solidarity, a power that is held down by the rulers permanently and by violence; "their thousandfold fear needs to be guarded a thousandfold".
The lonely and isolated human being, as well as the amorphous mass of the population, is only the object and not the subject of the process of history. The persecution "maniac", externally determined by alienation, manipulated, subject to persecution, finds himself delivered without any protection to the objectively murderous relations of production of the ruling social "order". Thus, „mania“ of persecution is thoroughly in line with reality, it is an adequate expression of reality.
If the persecution "maniac" gets into a completely harmless small talk in a coffee shop with a person unknown to him and is asked by this person where he comes from and where he lives, the persecution "maniac" soon becomes uneasy and fears that the person he is talking to could be a spy of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution [Verfassungsschutz]. – There are indeed many such agents and there are a lot of people who act as informers of such state institutions, even unknowingly or out of selfish interests (again "mania" of persecution). If the persecution "maniac" eats a herring, he thinks it may have been poisoned and contaminated to make him sick personally or even to kill him and that there exists somewhere a plan to this purpose. – The so-called environmental contamination does exist, committed under and by the life-inimical dictatorship of capitalism, and this is a matter of fact constituting an absolutely real menace against the life of human beings, a menace based on reality by which everyone is struck.
Or the persecution "maniac" has got some money or a job. He fears that he could lose his money or his job. He also fears that someone could steal his money, that a "more prestigious" colleague could push him out of his job. – That little money he has got is his "admission card", which alone allows him to eat, to dress against the cold, to have a roof over his head; the job is the only way for him to "develop his personality", to earn a living. For him, his life consists of nothing but of money and a job. – But there is need and misery, that is, thieves. And there is the principle of competition, which means that there exist ruthless egoists. And there is capitalism, and because of that those who are without money and without work are less than nothing and are completely turned into the plaything of the ruling interests (which are not only the interests of the rulers as such); capitalism, in which the sick, oppressed, exploited worker is constantly being robbed by the department store syndicates, by the banks and by profiteering home-owners through prices, interests and rents; capitalism, in which factories are closed in order to get "rationalized" without regard to workers’ needs.
The persecution "maniac" because of his anxiety doesn't want to go to the doctor and he fears the check-up, the therapy, injections, operations, amputations etc. – Before an examination is done his "personal data" are taken down, and also his biography (anamnesis), he must present his identity card, as with the police, show his purse (has he paid his health insurance or not), just like in the grocer’s shop or as if he were visiting his future father-in-law for the first time, and he must undress in order to let them take a look at him and to touch him just like a cow at the cattle market, and he has to look forward to his diagnosis like the defendant to the sentence at the court. And then comes the therapy, the punishment: he must stop smoking, stop drinking, he has to undergo treatment with injections that cause him pain, he has to undergo operations, he must agree to the removal of organs or limbs. And neither during the check-ups nor after his being "restored" ("recovery"), will anybody tell him the true causes about the how and the why of these procedures!
- "Mania" of persecution ? No, reality!
Or suppose that the persecution "maniac" turns to a newspaper to get it to make his needs and the needs of society the content of an article: The journalist, who represents certain social interests, will deal with him trying to mask this real function of his. Perhaps the journalist will give some explanations to the persecution "maniac" how to present his case, he will speak about the constraints involved in this matter, about the "public opinion", the advertising clients and subscribers who have to be treated very carefully. Finally, if the persecution "maniac" is lucky, perhaps some little article may appear. The hallucinating persecution "maniac" does not recognize neither himself nor his case in this article. Now he will be of the opinion that for him the world has turned into something he no longer understands. And then suddenly a large article by a professor or even by a minister is published, and in this article you read completely different things. It says that the persecution "maniac" is a persecution maniac indeed, that he is mad and a criminal and that he "cannot be tolerated and must be disposed of as quickly as possible".
- "Mania" of persecution? No! Reality!
Or the persecution "maniac" feels threatened and persecuted by murderers when he goes home in the evening. Gloomy shapes stalk after him. But what he never has learned neither at home nor at school, neither during his apprenticeship nor during his studies at the university, is the fact that the capitalist society is based on murder, that "his life" is nothing but a waste product of capital accumulation, that the systematic and protracted murder, as it is expressed by illness, is the prerequisite and the effect of the capitalist relations of production. And he never experienced that he is being followed and lurked around day and night, that his home is surrounded by plainclothes policemen disguised like highwaymen, and that the institutions and agencies of capitalism are after every independent life expression among the oppressed and exploited ones to kill them by all means at their disposal, from ministerial decrees to public defamation up to the bullets of a police submachine gun.
The man or woman who are afraid of being murdered or killed, are right! But they should be taught why they are right. Then their fear turns into a weapon.
33. Aggressiveness -– aggression and defence
Just as sadness, despair, etc., aggressions are affects that, under the rule of the primary social need for capital accumulation, must be subjected to "special treatment" by the institutions of capitalism in cases of emergency.
What normally manifests itself as aggression is nothing but a distorted protest: conventions, politeness, to be correct and friendly, irony, self-control, to keep one's distance, to be extremely reserved (for: "you never know"). Such an inhibited and channelled protest prevents open confrontations, is directed against ourselves, is gradually passed on from top to bottom: from the boss to the foreman, from the foreman to the worker, and from one worker against the other.
Social manners are bypassing manners which aim at veiling the class antagonism, they cover up contradictions and nourish a guerrilla war between those concerned, between the exploited and the oppressed themselves. It is the class enemy to whom we leave the dirty business with the conventions – the lovely smiling grimace of violence. As long as we bypass our difficulties instead of running the risk of a direct confrontation by tackling them, nothing changes. The word "aggression" is derived from the latin verb "aggredi", which means "to approach something".
If it occurred to the patients of the SPK that they not only sometimes were reproached of being aggressive, naive, militant etc. etc. (those who made use of such reproaches usually were "left" students and "sympathizers"), then these reproaches must be regarded as a simple reproduction of the labelling rituals as they are used by psychiatrists, psychologists, criminologists, instigators to hatred, judges, public prosecutors etc. (all those who are accustomed to dissect their opponents by classifying them to the end of their physical destruction). Such reproaches are also an indication of the inability (fear!) of these "leftists" to break with bourgeois conventions – instead they bypass the matter and also themselves through votes, discussion leaders, lists of speakers, and polite forms of debates. In this way, they reproduce within their organizations exactly those structures that they pretend to fight on a mass scale.
Quite common to all struggles for liberation is the fact that those who take part in this warfare make use of their role as objects imposed on them by turning it into an affirmative principle: the proletarians of the Communist Party’s Manifesto (1848) who "acting in a communist revolution have nothing to lose but their chains", the Black people organized in the Black Panther Party in the USA, fighting against their "modern" slavery, and finally the ill people, who have discovered the only revolutionary productive force, the revolutionary productive force which consists of illness and who act accordingly by turning it into activity.
The liberation struggle of the sick people is not about defending a social status that has been fixed by the prevailing social circumstances, just as little as the proletarians in the Communist Party’s Manifesto were concerned about defending their status of being and remaining proletarians, and just as little as those of the Black Panther Party intend to defend and thus to maintain their role as Black people in the society of exploitation. Because of their status as being deprived of all rights, which is their constitutive characteristic, the ill people have the "natural right" of self-defence, which means the right to defend the vital substance left to them, which is subject to the constant aggressions of the agents of the death-economy (Note 55).
Self-defence is not an end in itself, but a strategy that preserves what is being defended – the remnants of vital substance, "life" – in order to use it in the collective struggle for liberation against the constraints of organized capitalism, against the advocates and the agents of exploitation, oppression and murder formed by the social institutions of here and nowadays. Thus the process of self-defence already contains its opposite, the attack as the collective struggle based on cooperation and solidarity, a struggle which is both a method and a new quality. The collective struggle is the new quality, in which the dialectical antagonism of attack and defence is resolved (Note 56).
34. Identity with capitalism exemplified by “success”
"Success" in this society means corruption of the "successful" – the "defrauded fraudster" [der "betrogene Betrueger"]
The identity with capitalism of the single, isolated persons is expressed in many forms: striving for and clinging to property, fear of losing this property, disdain for "bare life", be it only the want for fashionable clothing, the so-called status symbols – cars, travels, hobbies, home furnishings etc. –, are merely petrifactions of life – identity with capitalism. This accumulation of consumer goods is nothing but self-deception and has to serve exclusively the reproduction of the commodity labour force. The "success", if achieved by a single person, is an illusion: be it that he finds a favourable work or a housing more or less acceptable, or that he succeeds in passing an excellent examination, or that he "succeeds" with women.
The feeling of being "esteemed", of being sympathetic and well-liked, of "having achieved something", of being good or even better than the others (principle of competition and achievement) is, however, the result of the systematic suppression of human life. The feeling of success is usually accompanied by feelings of gratitude towards certain social institutions such as: employers, homeowners, university and college rectors, newspaper editors, book publishers, and finally gratitude towards the social conditions in general. However: what is taken as one's "own" success is in reality the success – a success of corruption anyway – on the adversary’s side; and such a success that forms an important part of the "successful", essentially represents nothing but their identification with capitalism.
35. Political identity
In order to maintain and to perpetuate the disproportion between the forces of production that have been developed up to a high level on the one hand, and the relations of production that are systematically and by force maintained in an underdeveloped condition on the other, a disproportion from which the accumulation of capital earns its benefits, it is necessary that the human needs are submitted to the "laws of nature" of capitalist production and destruction.
For the single, isolated person, this contradiction appears as the splitting between and as a contrariety of reason and feeling. The coexistence of the two artificially separated expressions of life with as little disturbance as possible of this coexistence is the condition for the "peace" of the emotions, for the maintenance of order in the manufacturing plants, in which human life force is rationally, i.e. efficiently converted into inorganic matter (capital).
The "reason" of capitalism finds expression in the rationalization of factories, the expansion of the forces of production, the intensification of exploitation and the perpetuated maintenance of the relations of production by means of force.
The single, isolated person in his rationality is determined by the rationality of capitalism, which confronts him as a natural power, a natural power which he experiences day and night, and which in its "naturalness" seems to him as if it were altogether "reasonable". His protest against this life-destroying violence therefore, can initially only be a felt one, an emotional protest. But since "reason" is the dominant power, these emotional "slips" are rationalized by the single one and "disappear" by converting into stomach ulcers, gall-bladder inflammations, circulatory disorders, kidney stones, every kind of cramps and spasms, impotence, catarrh, toothache, skin diseases and rashes, back pain, migraine, asthma, car and work accidents, dissatisfaction etc. – or the emotions which belong to the interpersonal relationships proliferate in the interpersonal relationships ("emotional plague"), in lack of emotions (lack of affect, "serious person"), in psychoses, etc.
The violence of "reason" is the creeping death in the shape of the reactionary moment of illness.
The needs of those who have been damaged in this way, i.e. by the system, that means our needs are to be turned to play the central role, to become the starting point and the motor of the political work that has to spread by agitation all over the socialist self-organization determined by illness.
Needs such as property, career, individuality, development of one’s personality, revolutionary perspective of profession, the so-called "common human" needs are always nothing but the reproductions of capitalist forms of social intercourse and status, which are inhibiting solidarity and which are life-inimical.
Everything seemingly different, splitting and separating, which favours loneliness and isolation and therefore works for the benefit of capitalism, is abolished in the community and the company of ill people with their needs for change. This commonality of consciousnesses expresses itself in what we call political identity*. Political identity means: unity of needs and political work related to these needs, and that can only be the struggle in solidarity fighting against capitalism which manifests itself as a natural force.
* Here is a necessary and more precise extension:
Within the political identity, SPK/PF(H) distinguishes 3 identities:
1. Political identity: stable against separation with respect to spatial distances and distancings. Today we call this identity: pathopractic identity.
2. Ideological identity: stable against external temporal influences. Today we call this identity: diapathic identity.
36. Instead of an agitation protocol
Imagine some ill person, permanently troubled by: sleeplessness, headaches, pounding heartbeat, fear of death. And, on top of that, the ill person must always fear falling victim to an "occupational disease", an industrial "accident", a traffic "accident" or an influenza. Now if the ill person goes to the doctor, he expects that the doctor will find the causes of his suffering (by examination, diagnoses) which the ill person by his self-understanding takes for being "organic" ones, and makes them go away (therapy). This quite "natural" expectation seems to be met by the doctor’s methods and procedures: he takes the patient's blood for examination, he takes X-rays of his body, checks his reflexes using hammer and needle, and finally he prescribes some pills or applies an injection to the patient. Or he sends the patient to a hospital, where he is operated, cut open and sewn up again or amputated. Before or sometimes after the "therapy" the patient is allowed to talk about his illness. But in no way about the things he wants to talk: he has to give the doctor his personal details, his health insurance, the data of his passport, that death sentence on demand that every citizen of the Federal Republic carries in his pocket and he must give the doctor the health insurance certificate that proves that the patient has already paid in advance the costs of his "repair" by means of the permanent garnishment of his wages ("social security contributions").
If the ill person, before he or she starts working in a factory, has to present himself or herself to the company physician (also called doctor of "confidence", because the capital trusts him), or if the ill person has to present himself or herself to the public health department of the state (a kind of technical check-up for workers who are working-machines = MOT, technical inspection agency) in order to undergo a statutory medical examination ordered by law against him or her, then the ill person will of course be busy to answer all questions as "correctly" as possible. He or she won’t tell anything about his or her sufferings and troubles. When asked "has there been a hereditary illness, a mental illness or a suicide in the family? " the sick person will not answer neither spontaneously nor truthfully: "of course, where else?", but quite on the contrary the sick one will simply say "no". For he or she needs a workplace and is forced to get it, otherwise ...
On the other hand: a sick person comes to the SPK with more or less the same expectations regarding the "therapy" of "his" or "her" illness. In the SPK, however, the physical examination and the medical care and also the medical treatment and nursing is only of subordinate importance. Quite on the contrary, there the ill person is given ample opportunity and time to speak about the causes and the functions of his or her troubles, to think about them and to have discussions about them together with other ill persons whom he or she meets there day and night. In the course of the therapeutic agitation process, the ill one suddenly or gradually discovers that this whole story of the organic conditioning [organische Bedingtheit] and self-inflictedness of his or her illness [Selbstverschuldetheit seiner Krankheit], ... perhaps ... really ... yes, that this is perhaps the key, that his whole social existence ... yes, but then he ought to do something, then he perhaps could ... do something ... together with the other sick people. Well – but they are much "healthier" than me, otherwise they wouldn’t be so lively as they really seem to be ... As to myself that's quite a different case, for I’m really ill. I can't ... or am I perhaps afraid? Afraid of losing my own illness? Afraid of my own vitality, of my own life energy, which since I was born has been suppressed to the degree of parsimony, suppressed to live on a low flame? – Then I'd rather try it politically: you can be politically active only if you are completely healthy! And if I nevertheless should fall into illness, I shall go to the doctor and he’ll fix me quite perfectly. And even the doctors use to say that you have to believe that you will get completely healthy and then you will get healthy or remain it. And when I’m completely healthy ... well then, then I'll make the big time! "Cooperation" ... "solidarity" – where do you find something like that? ... In China, in Viet Nam, in Cuba, well ..., well ..., but here, today? ... Here! Today! Socialist self-organization determined by illness?