II    Theses and principles

1.    11 x illness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.     Three starting-points of practising SPK


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

  1. because "their" illness is conditioned by society

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

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


The requirement of being treated, referred to under I), has to entail the necessity of control by patients of

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

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

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

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

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

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


In the relation between physician and patient, in the therapeutic situation, the patient is experiencing focally his role as a mere object and his deprivation of rights in the confrontation with the social relations and being a part of them, the relation between physician and patient being only one of all these social relations. This situation, this relation is therefore the starting-point par excellence to transform in clear consciousness and in a necessity-related manner the existing social relations at all, the patient being their object. From this consciousness have to be deduced the following headlines of activity on which all depends: emancipation - cooperation - solidarity - political identity.

3.     10 principles of practising SPK

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

  2. Along the process of mutual self-control between patients as well in personal agitation as in group agitation the needs are differentiated concerning their double role being as well products as productive powers (forces of production).

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

  4. By means of personal and group agitation being active medium for this purpose the objective and external conditions of existence in the single patient as well as in the patients' collective as a whole get into collective practising.

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.     Towards a "people’s university"

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

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

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

5.     People’s university SPK

  1. It was not any matriculation or final examen and also it was not the purse, which were chosen by us as a criterion when somebody entered SPK. Nothing but the needs were to be respected.

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

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

  4. Against the isolation and alienation of science concerning practical needs of ill people we opposed science useful in order to insert a critique by practising arising from the social relations in which the struck one is situated.

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

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


Chapter III