Surprise Attack and Clear-out
The following leads to the conclusion that only patients have a genuinely well-founded interest in overthrowing all existing conditions, and that the revolutionary process needs the medical help of the revolutionary sick people; that the universally developed concept of illness is the navel through which the new man is connected with his indivisible species.
The ancient slave-holding society and the anachronistic society of the free late-capitalists are said to have limited themselves – in short – to treat illness by the means of illness (whereby the diagnosis and the generation of illness were included in this process).
It is only thanks to the
pre-conceptual genius of money that this magic spell [Zauber] has for
more than two and a half thousand years dominated initially the societal
superstructure and later on the basis, initially as a cult and later on becoming
laboratory (German: Labor) and labor (German: Arbeit, work, job)
in one (encountering, however, any frontal attack with that kind of mentality
If one ignores the fact that therapist, in the Greek patristic, simply means monk, which already indicates that cultic acts include illness, as if they were programmed by illness, then, one hardly will see any harm in the fact that the state cult in Hellenistic Alexandria was absorbed completely into illness under the coat of arms of the healing god Asclepios. The latter is said to have owed both his offending (kraenkende, offending with illness) and equally healing force (Kraft, also power), that supported the slaveholder-state, to his own illness, in this comparable to the epileptic demigod Heracles, and not unlike the half-animal (centaur) Chiron. They all were considered archiaters
*arch …: German: erz (ultra), ur (proto-), ober (upper), vorzueglichst (excellent), erstrangig (of first rank), hoechstrangig (of highest rank), altertuemlich (ancient);
Illness functioned as a remedy and also as an integral of culture. Cultic acts, whether as incubation rites, pharmacological interventions, chiropractices, or whatever, were considered to be merely stimulants, channelers, and catalysts intended to induce the tendency attributed to illness, i.e. its tendency to divide, to unite, or to invert differences into another, and to steer the divine, the human and the animalistic with regard to their measured synthesis, as well as with regard to their harmful contamination. Thereby, the onset of illness was seen in the contamination (intermingling, with respect to body and mind, and, in analogous modification, the intermix of humors or body fluids, elements, etc.). And it was conjectured that in the inversion of this contamination, in the sense of the de-mixing and restoration of the right proportions (eucrasia versus dyscrasia), consisted the effect of illness as a remedy.
Illness before and illness behind, no change of sign, no change at all, thus, circular reasoning, original form (arche), primordial creation, exclusive unity. The determining moments of the concept as the contradiction of appearance [Schein] and essence, superseded [aufgehoben] in the manifestation [Erscheinung] that represents them, will be sought in vain also by others in the cult with illness.
The negating affirmation, illness as remedy, does not constitute a concept yet. And the phenomenal fact that a whole social superstructure uniformly reflects its specific difference to the basis as illness is anything else but a phenomenon [Erscheinung], anything else but a reflection of the logic of illness, of its essence that consists of exteriorizing the human species [Gattung Mensch], where it cannot individuate it [individuieren] without any break, as detoxifying, collectivizing and propagating (increasing) violence.
However, in the matter of illness it was at least, if not comprehended, then all the more intuited: that illness was twinned with poverty. The common legacy, the genome so to speak, reveals itself almost casually as money, especially as the latter reappears in the cult quite unveiled. This less in the form of finding a treasure as remedy against poverty – because that phenomenal modality was reserved, at least initially, to the dream activity ("incubation") – but rather in the form of sacrificial taxes, without the tangible presence of which the celebration of the cult was not allowed at all to take place. This condition clearly shows the abstract level on that illness was situated.
Money also coined other articles and
their owners, precisely by transforming them into owners of commodities and
commodities, nothing else. To the total transformation of the human being into a
slave-article corresponded the increasing particularization of that part that
resulted from it: the owner of commodities.
He disintegrated in more and more particles, in psyche and soma, for example – to name just the most striking ones. In the case of the slave, on the other hand, there was none of this, that is no fragment of the body, soul, human being, person, but just an article to buy, to sell, to rent, to give away as a gift, and only as such entrusted to safe hands and careful use. Or, simply for immediate and residue-free total wear at the expense of the owner. Being human, belonging to the ruling class, money and culture on the one hand, and being ill on the other, were one and the same and were considered as an honorable distinction. The "rest", slaves, barbarians and other things were subsumed under chaos.
In as much as the matter of illness was considered being a question of contamination between the psyche and the body, it is now clear that the patient, in principle, could have belonged only to the side of the particle, also that he must have been an owner of commodities, capable of articulating himself, that is, among other things, to own slaves.
For, on the side of the article, no provision was made neither for a psyche capable of contamination nor for the small change required for passing the door step for the Cult with illness. However, in the symptom – with its referential character to sympathy – one’s sight was set, if not on torment [Qual] then, at least, on the quality of a something, in which the quality of the exterior and the interior, of the before and the afterwards were put in one, removed from time and space (Cicero), and this circumstance may have enabled the slave holder, in the subsequent consummation of the particularization of his person, to also concede to the slave the access to the cult.
Here, it is not primarily dealt with slavery. Slavery has its origin in the "division" of labor and corresponds to the functionalization of the human being as a tool, interchangeable with his fellow human beings in the same way as cattle (pecus – pecunia, money) and other inventories of the productive and reproductive sphere.
In contrast, the transformation of man into an expression for money, and that’s what it’s all about here, has the meaning of what one would call metaphorically, with a stereotype of today’s biology, probably most appropriately a total defect mutation. While to the animal species, as a matter of principle, corresponds the basically non-surmountable division between species as a concept in its universality and the exemplary, as the empirical particularity; while the means of work and of subsistence allow conclusions on the perimeter and the center of specialization and specification; whereas even the isolated singularized [das Vereinzelte] remains, howsoever contradictory, expression of an essential unity in relation to the species, under the direction of the medium of exchange money it is once and for all over with the individuality (indivisibility) of this (germinal) rudimentary connectivity of the species [Gattungszusammenhang].
Once the radical [das Radikal] species has been replaced by the omnivalent element of money – and exactly this is the case with the transformation of the human being into a commodity –, then, the human being is, so to speak, levered out, uprooted, that is, to take the metaphor further, chemically pure [chemisch rein] with regard to the possibility of carrying out developments differently than in multiple refractions, in the general fragmentation of all connections into strange particularities, precisely those whose contamination can only be averted by money, and be it by stabilizing their "commodity-nature", namely: under the index of healing.
The substitute-species [Ersatzgattung],
summarized in one word, is: value. It originates in the act of exchange
[Tauschhandlung] on condition that different objects of the transaction, i.e.
objects of different kinds [Gattungszugehoerigkeit], are each the
expression of the same number of monetary units. Thus, for example, the
commodity man corresponds to a certain number of monetary units, and there is
nothing else in it, because everything else about this commodity is merely an
expression of these monetary units, that is to say, the human being, whether
skin, nerves, muscles, is separated from all value, but it is valuable, and that
exclusively as an expression and as a measure of the number of monetary units
under which it is imagined and represented (see below: anima idea corporis).
The fact that skin, nerve, muscle, etc. are equated with this imagination [Vorstellung, representation] and that they appear valuable as a result of this equation
because they have to do with production, is secondary, in their essence they are
irrevocably accidental properties [Akzidentien] of money; because what
matters primarily is to clothe the pseudo-species value [Pseudo-Gattung Wert]
in adequately abstract forms of thought, as it stands out as universal form of
the money-mediated act of exchange.
The transformation of man into a commodity has repercussions not only on the forms of their coexistence. In its effects it corresponds to a mutational leap towards the pathoplastic [Pathoplastikum] culture.
Thus, the becoming [Werden] of the "everything flows" is the category under which primarily the entire complex of turnover of commodities and flow of money takes on a conceptual form. By no means, however, it is intended that in this becoming real developments are taking place, such as, for instance, a real effective becoming [wirkliches Werden] of the human being that was transformed into a commodity, a becoming beyond this commodity status [Warencharakter].
As soon as it is thought, this
category of becoming has coagulated already into being [Sein], by which
the value-form identifies itself also in this larva (mask, disguise)
as a dead end (aporia) of any change (defective mutation).
The Heracleic becoming of the "everything flows" is nothing more than the mercantile hypostatic rear projection of the buoyant slave trade that thrived in the harbor area of ancient Ephesus onto the universe. The Parmenidean being is the corresponding expression for the law of value, thus of the fact that in this ever-flowing becoming nothing really comes to be: that in all transactions of different contents the amount of value [Wertquantum] remains the same. It characterizes the culture-creative importance of illness that a Friedrich Nietzsche, some two and a half millennia after Heraclitus and Parmenides, wanted to attribute to the universe the assumption of an "eternal return of the same" in an equally unreflective way, that is to say that the volume total of the forces available in the universe can only be constant, hence the number of possible combinations a final quantity, and thus the recurrence of identical combinations must be as compelling as the same events in an (approximately infinite) number of chess games.
Despite being well versed in dealing with the values of morality, like almost no other, the birth of the eternally same value-form from the historically quite finite value-thing money was as alien to him as, at the same time, was the contempt for everything "morbid" congenial to his character.
The substantially dislocated, not to say essential madness [Wesensverruecktheit], of this approach has its crucial point in the mechanics of commodity exchange. It is neither the expression of an eccentric genius, nor the product of a spirochetal pallida infection. But it can be taken as proof for the statement made at the beginning that illness has been connected to structurally isomorphic thought patterns for millennia. The clearer these emerge, the greater the spontaneous disposition to suspect the presence of a disease, to see mystical powers and currents at work, the lesser the tendency to identify the fully developed pre-capitalist barter economy with illness, let alone with one side of its essence, its generic universality [Gattungsallgemeinheit]: the value-form.
The value-form, which exists nowhere else but in thinking, does not originate from brain-activity, is not a reflex of personal subjectivity, but has phyllo- and ontogenetically only the money-mediated act of exchange to its origin and subject. It seems that this fact at least was still intuitively present in the ancient ideology because it transferred the subjectivity, namely under the category of hypokeimenon (serving as basis, subject, substance), to the outside world, conceiving, therefore, in a way comparatively "materialistic" what, since Descartes, is considered as the principle of the self [Selbst] – because there is no other meaning of what the history of philosophy relates to the term subjectivity – as a matter of the personality, especially of the emancipated bourgeois, emancipated by the "division" of labor.
Thus illness, also as a characteristic of the sick healing-god, remained exteriority, something that acts from the outside. Even more in the state cult, illness brought forth this stigma. The associated rituals and procedures of the abstract exchange of sacrificial taxes against "values" are aimed at an object, "the sick one", who is separated as far as possible from the subject of the act of exchange (represented by the monk-"therapist"). Anyone who is in the state of "incubation", is without consciousness. An apparently dead person in healing sleep who is being used to form the contents of those rituals that pretend to celebrate the life of the human species in its specific difference ("atomon eidos"), that is in the value-form which exists only in man. A dead on demand, temporarily with an outboard engine, second-hand life.
But to be without consciousness also means to be without subject-object division, without subject-object relationship, because consciousness in the original sense of the word meaning is only another expression of this relationship and that division.
The coincidence of subject and object in illness, more precisely: the fact that what produces suffering has been created by the sufferer himself – suffering-set-in-motion [ins Werk gesetztes Leiden] – or ought to be created by the sufferer ["Leidenschaft", "passion", K.Marx], this fact is considered by (bourgeois) psychanalysis since Freud a common doctrine, which also Marx was following up on the basis of his fundamentally different approach. Furthermore, it is particularly important that the "Psychopathology of Everyday Life" refers to illness as a state of facts to which everyone, thus explicitly not only the "clinical ill", is subject in his daily life when he performs, against his intention, those "determined faulty actions" [gezielte Fehlleistungen] that just strike back on him as "malice of the object" as much as they have long since got an – illusory – foundation in the biologistic voluntarism in the form of an "… apparent design in the fate of the individual" (Schopenhauer).
As is known, it is the "unconscious", substantialised and objectified to the "sub-conscious", resp. the "volition" and the "genius" (Hegel, Schelling) that, abstracting from space, time, and reality as such, are to be considered as active subjects, what presents itself to observation as a disease given by destiny [schicksalhafte Krankheit]. The point is, then, to exchange the point of view of the one who mistakenly thinks that something just happens to him, with the point of view of the one who observes how he himself is producing precisely that.
In this view, subject and object merge completely. If the species is the principle of the unity, if the dichotomy becomes real as one and a whole, becomes a monad, then – under the historical conditions of capitalism – it (the species) can have its reality in the broadest sense (starting with the money-controlled ancient barter society) nowhere else than in (this view of) illness.
Thought through to the end, such achievements of bourgeois psychology and philosophy lead to the conclusion (so they say) that every patient has reason to consider himself fortunate, because illness leads him to the path of perfection (C.G.Jung), as, for instance, to the fundamentally pessimistic recognition that death is the best of all conceivable solutions, after that birth cannot be undone anyway by no-one (Schopenhauer). Ultimately, after all, death alone would be the species that unites and connects everyone, because it is death that reduces the supposed subject of division and disunity [Subjekt aus Spaltung und Zerrissenheit] to its identical essence, after that illness, beyond its function as a means of knowledge of the unity of the Self and of the suffering from it, makes the disunity far more noticeable – aches and pains and despair pushed to the limits –, than that perfection of the elitist "autonomy of the Self", as the recent bourgeois theory promises to those who, under its guidance and armed with the promise of attaining creative ability, are encouraged to turn illness into an warning sign [Menetekel].
But at least it cannot avoid addressing this aspect of alienation in all the breadth and depth of its significance, although, in general, it is careful enough not to call this phenomenon explicitly by its name.
If the invitation to recognize in the apparent randomness and strangeness of fateful events the unitary product of one’s own activity, whereby this product as illness is tacitly held to be (not exteriorised and) inalienable, then this is due to the fact that there are people who are also capable at least to produce something, namely illness, by finding, by completely and entirely rediscovering themselves, and by achieving fulfillment with all the generic and consubstantial forces [mit allen Wesenskraeften].
However, as already said, they achieve fulfillment as a defective mutation of the value-form, camouflaged or whatever by "will", "sub-consciousness" and expressed in hidden sympathies and symptoms which, as already briefly mentioned, Cicero already knew as manifestations of the consensus, of the cognatio, of the coniunctio naturae, of that point of coincidence between exterior and interior, in which (temporally and spatially) separated things are connected. And it appears indeed that the defective mutation is precisely what makes up the entire force of its essence, which consists in becoming equivalent to fantasies of mysterious origin, that is to live entirely for – but above all to get completely drowned – in one of the many roles that are prefabricated and class-specifically exemplified as biographical destinies, but especially as social roles, coined money, character, and that means (since W. Reich) with reason: (character) armor against the "sparkle of the protoplasm"; and which consists, on the other hand, in animating the value-form as that primordial norm (according to Kant-Laplace) that, is said to constitute the essence of all, with matter as the species as such: being explosive, concentrating in a flash space, time, both quality and quantity in one point and in the blink of an eye [Nu (German), nous (Greek)] and condensing them into dimensionable effects of death as the most abstract universality.
Quite analogous the money-driven act
The exchange of equivalents does abstractify (Sohn-Rethel) space, time, quantity and nature of the objects to be exchanged. It is the spiritual counter-image of that primal explosion, thus, for truth, the primal norm of affirmative destruction.
The only criterion is the equi-valence. It constitutes the form of the exchange-movement, the value-form, which empties the thinking not only of all its habitual formal principles (categories), but also initiates, perpetuates and stabilises that qualitative change that enters as a determining part the defective mutation.
The value has been dislocated and displaced into the things. These form in all their heterogeneity only the shell of its substantiation (fetishism of the world of commodities). It seems that in this way the value comes towards the sole and exclusive bearer of the value-form, the human brain, from the outside, that it seems to happen to it, while it is the human brain itself that projects it as a form (arche) towards and against [entgegenwirft, entwirft] all experience, induced by the act of exchange as a scheme of thinking that encompasses everything. The madness and the dis-location [Ver-ruecktheit] of the brain consists in the fact that its bearers behave as value-things, as objects (primordial narcissism).
Therefore, it is not the power of the Schopenhauerean "will", nor the drives of an anarchistic "sub-conscious", that produce defective mutations in the form of hardly transparent coincidences and of fatal sufferings, illness instead of producing man as indivisible (human) species; those that impose phantasms, those that push to imitate and to show off estranged, that is to say alienated lives; those that actuate primordial explosions and elemental forces of nature, which have been reshaped (socially and historically) long since, towards a breakthrough by detoxifying the singularised isolated, by collectivising despair and by individualising human life as species.
Where social as well as natural being has been translated long since through (the medium of) the universal command of the abstraction of exchange [Tauschabstraktion] in equations of value (equivalents), before having the chance to dissolve in the known categories of conscience and being [Bewusst(Sein)], instances such as the "sub-conscious", the "will", the "genius" are superfluous, when it is about sensing the deceptions of the factor fate and to pick up the manifestations of what is hidden behind the sign of illness.
The principle of equivalence and the law of value do not need these instances in order to short-circuit anything and everything animistically, to "animate" it (cf. libidinal "load"), or to return him as "nerve of things" ( – refers to money; hereby, it is overlooked that the human being is not always a thing between things, and that money is nothing but the substance of its dislocation and formal-madness – ) the reality of life he has been deprived of (affirmative negation).
In this it does not matter that phenomena such as the animation of everything (animism) are older than the subsumption of society under money. What matters is that the "individual soul" in its origin has nothing to do with the archaic animism, rather it has its origin in exactly this universalisation of the monetary economy that transforms the greater part of society and potentially everyone into the commodity of trade and labor, the slave, but attributes a soul only to the commodity owners as – especially in the beginning – their common spirit, lately stylizing it for the needs of a particular psychotherapeutic fashion trend even to the repressed and therefore "unconscious" spirit.
To the division, rather: split of the substance of value in commodity and money on the one hand, thus corresponds the splitting of the living body into a commodity and a soul as the reified representation [Vorstellung, imagination] of an inalienable body [unveraeusserlich] on the other.
"Genius", "will", "sub-consciousness" are only extreme modifications of the pseudo-thing soul with regard to inalienability. It’s one’s soul one is reluctant to give up just as one is to give away one’s money. For many centuries both have defended top positions against better life in the hierarchy of "immortal values". Thus still in Hegel the "genius" – in contrast to the "sentient soul" ["empfindende Seele"], which senses the spatial separation of the body (res extensa) as a unity (posited in one in the sensation), and in contrast to the "feeling soul" ["fuehlende Seele"], through which state transitions like waking, sleeping and dreaming are felt as living unity, that is the temporal separation put into one – so the "genius" is considered the instance in which space and time, as well as all natural differences, are not yet effective, thus like a value, as an everywhere und nowhere, ever and never, as a "natural soul" ["Naturseele"] that is open to all influences and manifestations [Aeusserungen] without opposing resistance.
After all the previous explanations, it is not necessary to point out in particular the concordance between value as the transcendental (pre-structuring all experience) and universal forming principle and the "repressed spirit", synonymous with "genius", "will", "sub-consciousness", "natural soul" – soul in general. This concordance is obvious insofar as the like can be claimed for issues that are different in appearance, but essentially the same. Its origin from the transformation of man into a commodity has its base and reason in the (epochal) abstractifying act of exchange. The concordance, therefore, is essentially equivalence, not only equality (identity of opposites) in the sense of dialectical logic, because it has its root – and that is decisive – in the practice of the exchange of equivalents.
This circumstance makes it impossible, among other things, to suppose a false circular argument and makes it superfluous to endeavor the philosophical hermeneutics of the alleged rise from the "productive prejudice" to the result, which, in turn, being considered for its part a prejudice, is said to self-critically enrich itself; in short: this circumstance preserves one to make a virtue out of the necessity of Nietzsche’s self-thinking or inward thinking / self-execution [Selbstdenken - Selbsthenken], because it attributes to the practical activity of men the methodological primacy over the how of their experiences altogether.
Still less can it be about the truism
that, as to value, one would have to distinguish between use-value and
exchange-value, that value was based on a social convention, that as price,
fluctuating according to the situation of the markets, "it manifested grotesque
ideas" (Marx), and that it would have to correspond to a social need in order to
become actual at all.
Superficially, it is simply about the contradiction that value and "genius" form a generic universality [Gattungsallgemeinheit], the coherence of which makes the substratum of this universality, that is man, possible only as (a mutation) of the mutating degeneration.
To deepen these connections, it
should be noted that the conception of value and of the soul-as-genius
presupposes a reality in which people and other things, in addition to space and
time, becoming and being, etc. have no other function than to repel one another
(repulsion) and to disintegrate in themselves.
Only the abstractions value-form and soul continue to exercise power over the contents of these categories.
The act of exchange does not only abstractify just space and time. The product of this process is also the negating dismantling of the person up to its anonymity, because the act of naming is considered itself as the most extreme abstraction of the sign-making spirit [Hegel, zeichensetzender Geist], as this abstraction that becomes effective in the act of naming is in its turn basically only the confirmation (affirmation) of the abstractification that has its foundation in the universal negation of the act of exchange.
It is nowhere else but in the conception of genius, will, sub-consciousness – i.e. short and old-style: the soul – that these conditions and circumstances are manifest, and these instances are genetically and actually nothing but the manifestation of the value-form that constitutes their foundation: they reveal themselves equally as namelessness and impersonality, as also as power, to which person and name prove to be just as little obstacles, resistances and limits as their repulsion in the "nexus" of space, time and causality.
It remains to be said that this power is an artificial social product, set in motion by the practice of the exchange of equivalents, culminating in an inter-human relationship [Zwischenmenschlichkeit] in which the "inter", the "between-ness" [zwischen] is unified and uniformed in the law of value, and the "humanity" [Menschlichkeit] is divided in occult qualities: extracts and substitutes out of the hierarchy of a money culture that is driven to the level of the transformation of man into a commodity.
power [Macht], this too stands in contradiction to its
exteriorisation, to its manifestation. Power [Macht], being a species by
reason of its essence [Wesensart], by its exteriorisation as violence is
converted directly into impotence [Ohn-Macht], in its non-essence [Unwesen],
tearing apart its network of artificial communication woven from the
abstractions of the exchange of equivalents. In illness, this antagonism of the
species [Gattungsantagonismus] is exteriorised and is identical unity,
that is: appearance. Entirely a symptom, illness abstractifies from the
substance of the law of value the basic form of the essential human unity [menschliche
Wesenseinheit] as violence.
If value and violence are the essence of illness, and illness is their appearance, then, in any case, it must be assumed that the appearance has its function not in showing its essence, but in concealing it. The phenomenon illness is representative of the antagonism between value and violence. It represents something again as a unity [es stellt etwas als Einheit wieder vor], which, if it were united as value and violence, would be a non-something [Nicht-Etwas], a nothing [Nichts].
One can therefore expect that violence and value form the genetic and actual vicinity of illness, which "recalls" and "interiorises" ["erinnert", Hegel] both its form violence, and its contents value, not differently than the trembling of the death scream "recalls" and " interiorises" the struggle between masterhood and servitude, which, for Marx, became the model of the class struggle.
The fact that it is precisely illness and no other phenomenon that represents here the unity of something incompatible in principle is based already, in a first approximation, on the species’ specificity [Gattungsspezifitaet] of the value-form ("nowhere else but in man") on the one hand, and the category of the force of nature on the other. Both of them are superseded ["aufgehoben", preserved and overcome] in man – in order to suddenly turn, re-actualised as alienation, into illness: self-begetting [Selbstbegattung].
Reviewing the cult of illness of the Hellenistic-stoic imprint, it was observed already at the outset that illness is entirely embedded in state power [Staatsgewalt] and in the system of the exchange of equivalents. Illness does not appear and manifest itself [erscheint nicht], but it is – precisely a kind of carrier-substance that grapples with its various humors (body fluids), elements and contaminations. Whereas what appears is the (state-) power, represented by the god of illness Asclepios, and the abstractifying act of exchange, represented by the monk-therapist.
Even without the illness of the god,
it seems quite clear that it is the essence of illness that comes face to
face with itself under the mask of the monk and the god, in order to "heal"
itself, namely – as briefly indicated in the beginning – illness as appearance
with illness as essence.
Not only is it known how easy patients fell by the wayside when they were too weak to reach the places of "salvation" [Staetten des Heils], that, as pregnant women, as people of small means, etc. they were shown the door, that they perished during the "healing sleep" or a few months later (if they had been guilty of any "irregularities", especially in matters of sacrificial taxes). All these "failures" were officially interpreted as intentional therapy on the part of the god. Also, we have a good knowledge of both the strictly maintained separation between the cultic act, i.e. the abstractifying doing, represented in the therapist to the purpose of rendering the patient equivalent to his sacrificial taxes and of adjusting him to the "un-conscious" value-form, as well as of the way in which the god appears and acts, or even not – but in any case in order to directly turn as a somnambulistic experience of the adjusted and preserved patient from numinous apersonality and anonymity into the location of a poverty curing treasure or a medicine.
The species’ connections [Gattungszusammenhaenge] of value and violence, the former represented by the therapist, the latter by God, were thus not only meticulously separated from one another. They did not even join together or establish a relation or unity in their corresponding reification either as a medicine or as a treasure, let alone in illness itself, in which the supernatural violence of the value would have revealed its authorship in the commercialization of man in the matter of illness as a substitute of the human species.
However, especially the generating of
the value-form by the money-directed and controlled act of exchange, this agent
of the universal commercialization, is far from being separated from violence.
So, for example, the soul, not unlike money, to mention only the two most important and primordial reifications of the value-form, is conceived as supernatural violence, i.e. it is immune against its destruction by pressure and blows, heat and high tension, and in general against all kinds and species of natural force.
The value-form sets itself up as the power over just that violence that it is so desperately in need of, more than anything else to continue its existence. The essential difference [Wesensverschiedenheit] of its origin, the latter is rooted in nature, the former in society, continues to exist also in the fact that they are mutually exclusive like fire and water.
And the slave is raw material with
the contradiction of remaining a commodity that throughout his life needs to be
tamed and dominated by the use of violence in order to be adequate to the
value-form without objectifying himself to a value-thing [Wertding] with
the significance of a soul.
In the face of the universal object of the abstractification of exchange, the commodity owner, too, is objectified, an object (for freedom, despite ‚democracy‘, the language of the Hellenistic antiquity had not even coined the word!), but the powers that tame the owner of commodities are illness and as a synonym, culture. At the same time, illness is, though in all alienation, violence wherever it is a culture-bearing foundation beyond the immediate cult that has been shaped and coined by it.
Not only to become equal to the highest things of value [Wertdinge], to God and gods, that are, unlike money, things of value comprehensible only by the mind’s grasp, not only to play their role, but to be them, and that in every moment, especially in that of physical death – in fact, it is the essence of the act of exchange of equivalents that abstractifies everything, including the person -, it is this identification in the unequivocally clinical-psychopathological sense that allowed someone like Alexander ("I am Jupiter Ammon") to represent the life of Jupiter Ammon, just as illness represents the unity of value and violence; that lets God die on the cross, because the Crucified has become one with him, meaning that two of them would have been too many, and because it has always been that supreme value-thing, the equivalence, therefore, that has every reason to convert into that omnipotent value-form – all this shows how and why under the dictatorship of the capitalist money economy illness dominates through and through the entire cultural superstructure, establishing a perpetual cultural counterrevolution that is still going on today, but above all it realises the social human being as an indivisible species, as an individual that can cope with its alienation only as revolutionary patients who re-actualise the essential contradiction between value and violence as a cultural-revolutionary practice.
To keep commodity and value separate from each other, or, what is the same, to keep pure and clean [Stein und rein halten] slaves and slave owners, soul and form of government [Staatsform], all that in the cultural practice as well as in ideological-cultural creative respect: this function of elite in the interest of the alienating value-form, of the principle of equivalence that turns all and everything in one another and its opposite, this was both arch-iatria and iatrocracy. Both were absorbed as integral components by the appearance [Schein] of illness in its capacity as founder and programmer of culture. They belong to illness because, even over millennia, illness still shows itself as a not only passenger but plastically modifiable secondary-effect [Nebenerscheinung], quite in contrast to its essence [Wesen], nowadays known by the name of health system [Gesundheitswesen].
The early capitalist era – to put it
bluntly – does not know any illness, but only the consequences or side-effects
of it: magic, witchcraft and work of the devil. What it had been in the
pre-capitalist antiquity as substantialised appearance, that’s illness between
the 14th and the 16th century, as a tendentially all-encompassing
substance, an essence curdled into the substitute of the species.
The oppressed are no more just totally – in flesh and blood – transformed into commodities. Moreover, as serfs and "free" workers they are also split up into two different lives, thus no life at all: into the commodity of labor-power, in order to sell it as their possession and, if possible, to "capitalise" it, and into the inalienable and unsellable basis of life of this commodity of labor-power. Their life is, therefore, just as little individual life, let alone concretisation of the indivisible species by each individual. Even less than in the slave-holder state of antiquity. It is a life divided in "productive and unproductive consumption". The result of the one is the life of the capitalist, that of the other is the life of the worker himself (K. Marx). The life "atomised" into the fragmentation of its fission products tends, each part for itself, to decompose and disintegrate in opposite directions.
Analogously to the commodity owners of antiquity, at the transition from the "Middle Ages to the Modern Era" it is especially and as well the oppressed who are particularised. At the same time they are, thanks to the physical adaptation to wage slavery, and that precisely through the mediation of the law of value, beginning with their first breath, participants, synergists, and – or even, if you like – accomplices of the abstractificating act of exchange.
Just like the psyche resulted from
that in the ancient slave holder society, corresponding to the value-form
reified in money, now the oppressed, too, claim this imperishable
everywhere-and-nowhere, always-and-never for themselves. This is, by the way, an
act of rebellion from the viewpoint of the rulers, and their history books
record burning of witches and religious wars. And of course – according to the
state of the ideological defense mechanisms at that time – these souls were
proscribed (by the rulers) as devilish products, or, subtler, they were saved
from the devil at the stake that deprived them "only" of the living body. As to
the pagans, it was a foregone conclusion that these were without a soul and that
they belonged to the devil.
The systematics of illness, however, includes definitively the culmination of the psyche as a magical power (a pathogenic and lethal force [Gewalt]) in connection with practices that unmistakably bear the stamp of the universally-abstractifying subject, practices that became socially acceptable relatively late in the context of what, in effect, was a bourgeois revolution, under the name of sympathetic cures, mesmerism and animal magnetism. A picture, the body modeled of plastic-elastic material and the like, is put as an equivalent of the affected person who is to become the object of the magic procedure, put as an equivalent to his visual memento in extreme concentration, that is by leaving aside all other contents of experience [Erfahrungsinhalte], until these contents of consciousness, too, disappear in the overall impression of the unit of value [Werteinheit].
In other words: It is about what happens automatically and inadvertently in each purchase or sale of commodities, namely that the buyer or the seller is obliged to ignore their interest in the use, the type of the exchange objects, the place and the hour, and to concentrate only on the value, so that the transaction can take place; all that is set in motion, so to speak, as a suggestion in the magic procedure. And it seems that the deep-seated impressionability of each social being for everything that shows, and be it only from afar, physiognomic features of the universal money spell, has led to partially surprising results that are still the object of bourgeois investigative zeal because they have nothing whatsoever to do with physics, psychology, statistics, sociology and ethnology, etc., but all the more so with the defective mutation of man, which has to be ignored scientifically.
The vasalls sell their labor-power to the rulers, but the substratum of it, they themselves, that is what in accordance with the rulers and against their pretense of monopoly they call the soul, they sell to the devil. To the magic of gold and God (of money that dominates everything) the oppressed oppose that of the soul, that is to say the reified substratum of the commodity labor-power, and of the devil.
In contrast to pre-capitalism of
antiquity, the phenomenon illness is considerably obscured by its essence,
namely by value and violence, to the point that in cases of devil exorcisms, for
instance, it became – incognito, needless to say – a veritable goldmine and
source of prestige for the church as entrepreneur, the same phenomenon that, at
the beginning of the Enlightenment, explicitly passed from the devil to the
doctors as the commodity of treatment of illness.
Thus the medical profession became heir of the devil.
The doctors were no longer considered and no longer acted as intermediaries of the cult, as the monk-therapists of antiquity. They considered both the human being and the animal as beings with a soul – a concept that is only too consequent with the idea of man as working machine [L’homme machine] – and actually as magnetic and as magnetising. Because the soul is, according to its essence, an abstract multi-alienated thought, namely a reified reflection of the value-thing money, it can be re-actualised only in the context of an act of exchange. The (German) term "Ueberzeugung" (litterally: over-creation, over-conception, figuratively: persuasion, suggestion) circumscribes the actual processes and results in a more suggestive way than the scientific term suggestion itself, because, if one takes it literally, it not only points to the "supernatural" as the banal reality of an unconsciously and thoughtlessly conjuring barter society which is entirely based on the exchange of equivalents, but it explicitly emphasises a central category of the process of the species [Gattungsprozess].
But, whether magnetism or dyscrasia,
a natural raw material-like form of energy or sublime cultic power, whether
vulgarised value-form or force of the demiurge: none of these sides and moments,
although each of them pretends to be able to produce illness and to heal it as
well, meets the requirements of the concept, namely to reflect the essence in
the appearance. Thus, in the process of the species the unification is achieved
only by appearance, the essentially singular principle of the species appears
in the zygote (fertilised egg cell), but without overcoming, as a whole,
separation [Auseinandersein], disunion [Uneinheit-lichkeit],
alienation [Entaeusserung] and specification.
Thus, the reference to the process of the species and the metaphoric of "Ueberzeugung" [over-creation, persuasion] is not at the level of the deduction of the concept of illness from what has been exposed so far, but it has to be understood as an anticipation. Because up to now the concepts of value and violence were the maximum of generalisation that manifested itself in the historical scope of illness. However, it took the Numinous (gods) to mirror and to reflect upon all that on the basis of enslavement revealed itself all too easily as violence in its thoroughly primitive natural-pecuniary rawness; and the phenomenon of value, identifiable without further ado as the result of the historical development of a society, is entirely attributed to nature, as a reflex of the animalistic "animal magnetism", while it is, with reason, neither a matter of gods nor of natural phenomena, but it should be a matter of the concept, namely of the concept of illness, to reflect both moments.
In this respect illness is the side of the appearance [Erscheinung], the concept of the universality of species [Gattungsallgemeinheit] is the essence. It is determined by the specific contents of the concept of illness, violence and Value, which are at the same time its essential moments. …
73 - ´75, Zz, 7/752
(written by Huber in prison 1973-1975)
From: SPK-Documentation Part 3, 1st edition 1977
MFE Greece, MFE craencStw
Patients’ Front / Socialist Patients’ Collective, PF/SPK(H), 14.08.2019