The Demand

What is reported about the recent statements made by the psychiatrist Cooper – revolutionary action alone is therapy against madness – retracts pretty much everything one was genuinely annoyed about when, at the beginning of ’72, reading Cooper’s "Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry" and "The Death of the Family".
As to the essential rest, however, it was already clear back in those days that Cooper, compared to Laing and Basaglia, after all, has broken at least with some professional decency rules, also that he is thoroughly fed up with the metaphysical pitfalls of the so-called "common sense" in all its varieties and that he is going ahead with almost collective forwardness. Partly, even though these parts – family on the one hand, Third-World-class-struggle-apologetics on the other – are certainly not those from which the ruling macropolitics can be challenged in a manner that can be felt by anyone (and that is what matters).

Macropolitics can only mean: Imperialism.
With revolutionary-action-that-is-therapy-against-madness, Cooper, thus, means anti-imperialism; revolutionary action is anti-imperialist, if it takes on the form of the national liberation struggle or, expressed more precisely: when it develops in the form of the national struggle for liberation (see, for example, Mao, "On Practice and Contradiction").
Anti-imperialism, therefore, has reached its goal when the nation is liberated from foreign domination. Of course, that does not exclude that this nation becomes for its part imperialist, and another one anti-imperialist in relation to the first one etc. – a therapy-against-madness it is not, the proposition can’t get rid of its opposite, the macropolitics remains what it was: imperialist.

Currently, among others, especially the fascist AAA in Argentina, too, think of themselves as anti-imperialist. Even the socialist left of the Weimar Republic thought of itself as anti-imperialist and anti-fascist, the same left that introduced those bills for forced euthanasia, afterwards executed by the Nazi-Borms against several ten thousand people as therapy "against madness" (see Marxist-Leninist Dictionary of Philosophy, keyword: euthanasia).

The Danes, however, although from the point of view of the NS-State belonging to the Master race, identified themselves, wore the Yellow Badge with the Star of David. And that alone was already anti-imperialist and anti-fascist enough, not to say insanely dangerous and, at least for all those who had been declared insanely dangerous by the fascists, a revolutionary act that was therapy against madness. If thereupon all the Danes had been gassed on the spot, then the deportation, a manifestation of imperialist macropolitics, would have been nullified.

Thus no "madman" at all, neither Dane nor non-Dane, was deported. So, macropolitics, the imperialist, had been thwarted anyway.
Therapy against madness, therefore, does not proceed as a determinate negation, determined by contents such as imperialism, fascism, madness, socialism, but as an absolute, radical negation (negation of the negation), in which the mass-line illness is the main line of the revolution in every phase and the revolutionary turn of madness always remains the task as long as it exists.

In psychiatry (as far as it accounts to itself for it), madness means reinterpretation and re-physiognomisation of all contents of experience under the impression of a specific situation such as persecution, isolation-diremption* (as megalomania, delusional jealousy, intoxication- or microbe-mania etc.). Thereby, it is characteristic that everything is connected with everything, that there is a method in it, that one sticks to the specific, and always the "deeper meaning" of the whole. –

* in the German text: Ver(ein)z(wei)lung = isolation, separation, dis-sociation, split, duality

Anyone who has understood and acknowledges the rate of profit as a principle, lives in a uniformly harmonised system and ignores any kind of contradiction, discrepancy, etc., unless it affects his specific situation (i.e. rate of profit and its reflexes).
Thus, both forms of contradiction are identical opposites, whereby, what psychiatry deals with, is the main side, if the contradiction is to be turned in a revolutionary manner.

Each determinate negation – recognisable by the prefix anti – instead of being therapy-against, is therapy-good-for the reproduction of madness, because it is putting off what it distinguished itself from, becoming more and more alike, and for that very reason as a "revolutionary action" it is disproportionate to macropolitics. While, for example (the revolutionary patient as a category), the category of revolutionary patients is a continuation of the medically disguised capitalist violence and, at the same time, applies at that point that is the strongest and the weakest of the whole system in its actual and, here with us, valid conception (iatrocracy as a bad in-between-ness [Hegel, "schlechte Mitte"] in the centre of the main contradiction of capital and illness), the category of "anti-imperialist revolutionary action", which explicitly distinguishes itself from madness, encounters peripheral, advanced posts of macropolitics, it wants to change, in order to finally be provoked and challenged by madness in the shape of violence as a medical one.

If place and time of this challenge belong to hostile terrain, then also the impact will be controlled and determined by the enemy, that means that it will be taken care to ensure that the macropolitical course of business continues undisturbed and that the medical violence, in case it has suffered any damage, is taken back one stage.

A negative definition of macropolitics can be found in Lamberg: Guerilla in Latin America. According to him, revolutionary actions of this type are those that do not change macropolitics because they are faced with the homologue-structured buffer systems police and military, in which they neutralise themselves with empirical inevitability.

It makes no difference, of course, that Cooper, by using the term macropolitics, certainly did not mean more than not just only "health policy", "reforms", "legal and economic" and all such like (micro)politics. His remarks revolve around "revolutionary action that is therapy". He, therefore, must mean something that lies within the negative definition of macropolitics and that revolutionary action, that principally does not exhaust itself in criminological-military contents, is structured differently and functionally, in any case, cannot have its target points, better: its focuses, in those outskirts of the macropolitical forms of violence.

Such a focus, at the same time an intersection of macropolitics and revolutionary action, would then be what one might call iatrocracy on a world-wide scale (iatros, from Greek: medical doctor): think of brain imperialism in all its manifestations, of the fact that only the medical violence can claim that the substrate patient is at its mercy with skin, hair, thoughts and other innards in total dependence and without resistance, without the slightest prospect of ever being able to determine this violence ("there is no right for patients") technically or only cognitively, to think also of the fact that the medical doctor, more than the policeman, the priest, the judge, is allowed to exercise violence that passes through the body of the patient (Gaglio, "Medicine and Profit").

That "depression, infection, inability to work and dysfunction induced by medicine, nowadays, cause more suffering than all traffic and work accidents put together, that only the damage done by industrial food production can be compared with the harm done by the doctors" (I. Illich, N.Forum, p. 251), whereby the rate and dependency of the medically generated "cybernetic patients" is constantly growing.

It’s only on this background as a mass-specific reality and substantiality that revolutionary action can have an impact on macropolitics. If it has a content other than these correlations, if it aims at something other than these bases of madness of capitalist culture, then it will be swallowed up by criminological and militaristic reform projects, digested and excreted sterilely.
"Fortunately" these facilities are themselves highly pathogenic, which is why the excreted products succinctly refute the semblance of sterility.

The proof to the contrary has been provided already by the subjectively revolutionary, objectively reactionary (W. Reich) Nazi fascism. It justified its anti/imperialism – as is known, very effective on the masses – with the universal epidemic of Judaism and as fight against-"genetically-defective-offspring", all under the guise of class-hygiene (see "Mein Kampf", "Stuermer"). And this myth sufficed to transform both those affected as well as outsiders into reactionary patients and to functionalise them for macropolitics. (According to the reports of survivors, even some of those affected, being "conscious" of their existential guilt, were "reasonable" enough to agree with all the measures of their executioners in white coats).

Afterwards, as far as there was an afterwards, psychiatry has categorised this "reason" as a (persecution-related) "creative personality change".
In the meantime, the myth of class-hygiene has been replaced by a solid "health" machinery that, as the State, as a capitaliser, spreads enormous terror through "mass education", "early detection", "medical screening" etc., partly through statistically pseudo-founded disease utilisation, partly through the massive demonstration of its ability to prolong actually discovered ailments in order to exploit them to the maximum, but in any case to bind everyone – and this begins already with the zygote – as a patient, marking the majority as (disposable) slaves to a health that by no chance can be achieved (to health-maniacs / insanely healthy persons).

Even greater – naturally – is the terror, if this machine is endangered and if the irruption of the socially potentiated forces of nature is no longer restrained by any hope of "medical help" (reports on the behaviour of imperialist combat units from the perspective of a psychiatrist in the Vietnamese theatre of war, other experiences, not that far-fetched).

This example illustrates both the connection between macropolitics and madness and what is revolutionary action as therapy against madness. Wherever and however iatrocracy collapses, life stands against macropolitics, namely the same waste and disposable product life as resistance, that otherwise is the unresisting point of attack of medically disguised violence. Trained in health mania, combat units without paramedics and doctors behave to their superiors and commandos like morphinists with acute withdrawal syndromes.

Illness and capital are interlocked by commodity. Macropolitics and madness by iatrocracy.
The revolutionary action, therapy against madness, produces revolutionary patients, neutralises deadly iatrocracy and thereby it deprives madness of the objective and macropolitics of the subjective basis.

By the way, Cooper can easily be absolved from the self-reproach of formerly romanticising madness: renaissance didn’t brighten up the merchant capital it was reflecting, no anti-psychiatry can glorify the colonial epidemic that madness is reflecting.

1974, 752, Z 35 (Postal Code 752 = prison of Bruchsal,  cell 35)

Huber PF/SPK(H) WD,

From: SPK-Documentation Part 3, 1st edition 1977


MFE Greece, MFE craencStw

Final editing:



Patients’ Front / Socialist Patients’ Collective, PF/SPK(H), 01.02.2018