The Complete Concept of Illness
If form and materiality [Stoff] were not being-outside-one-another [auseinander] and being-against-one-another [gegeneinander] there would be no matter at all.
Matter is the concept [Begriff] of the continuity of form and materiality, quantity, one-totally-equalling-another [eins wie das andere], unlimited, without origin and end. There is no substance* without form, the same as form itself must be taken in its content [inhaltlich] as materiality [Stoff].
Annex (Huber, 2005): Not the Aristotelian hypokeimenon is meant, but the Hegelian dialectical identity between substance and subjectivity = movement.
Materialism is the apartness and againstness of the productive forces and the relations of production, of labor and the manner of living.
The concept of being-together-one-another (beieinander, togetherness) and being-one-for-each-other (fuereinander, for-one-another) is dialectics, and is not materialism, in any case; is thus, if it is (concept), dialectic materialism.
There is matter only as quantity, materialism only as dialectics, illness only as the life of the species and the single ones in their apartness and againstness. The concept of illness is life in its indivisibility, is living individuality.
Even the respective process of illness reflects specifics of the species [Gattungsspezifisches]. Namely and selfsame the explicit mode of effect [Wirkungsweise] of almost any species of weapons (Waffengattung, military branch of service): to make unfit to fight. In this, the universal species death individualizes the uniformly broken life. The general gravitation (gravity and dizziness) takes back pressure and impact, lassitude [Abgeschlagenheit] and pains in the limbs into the impenetrable unity of despondency (bacteriological-chemical warfare) and oppression [Bedruecktsein] ("depression"), if not into the explosive-detonative sudden change of tension of the febrile mania or catatonia.
Shivering fits of frost and heat represent the unity of a life poisoned by radiations or by whatsoever on its way to delirium and coma.
As to therapy, there is not any difference. Suggestion and hypnosis individuate the primordial forms of the nature-like universal of the species [naturhafte Gattungsallgemeinheit] such as gravity and warmth just the same as do sedatives and the techniques of hibernation (loss of tension, in Latin: de-tonation and freezing), therapeutic shock, provocative therapy, be it by the means of pyrogene (fever generating) substances (vaccination, pyrifer therapies and malaria therapies), as in the case of symptoms of paralysis, or be it by the means of toxic, delirogenic medication overdoses as, for instance, in the cases of psychosis, neuralgia, epilepsies (falling seekness, falling sickness, morbus sacer: holy illness with heaviness, dizziness and thunderstorm shivers).
Species divided in itself or species in relation to itself, thus Selbstbegattung (literally: self-begetting / self-engendering / self-procreation of the species), that’s how Hegel calls illness. The military and medicine being the procurers, should be added. And certainly not for the sake of completeness alone.
To create collective, living individuality – to be understood always as an indivisible one – would be the task of the human species that does not exist yet. Unless in that what once was the communist program, programmed communism ("… a spectre is haunting …"), unless as illness comprehended in its very concept [als begriffene Krankheit] that is exteriorizing [entaeussern] the dead, sterile self-begetting of the species as an explosive force [in Sprengkraft entaeussert], that is the species’ most elementary substitutes of the lifeless nature, masked by the medical diagnostics as symptoms, phenomena and phantoms and by their therapy as reactions and side-effects ("feverish reaction", "elementary hallucination", "bodily sensation of alienation", "phantomlike pain", etc.) and as such ones reproduced chemically, electrically and photo-mechanically, in order to offer them (these substitutes) in that real state of matter [Aggregatzustand] to the privileged authors and administrators of a life that has been reduced to compactness and compression in a surrounding field of dizziness, gravity, frost/heat and death, for their self-service use [Selbstbegattung in Ueberzeugung, self-procreation of the species by procreating conviction (German: Ueberzeugung, double sense: 1. conviction, 2. over-procreation)].
It’s just like that: the species [Gattung] – in French espèce, as well as especes: coined money, hard cash – is materializing itself, is becoming practice with the human species only in illness, in fact, not from the stuff out of which the life of the most primordial protozoan consists, let alone the human life, but as representation of an inorganic-general pseudo-corporeality [Pseudo-Koerperlichkeit] that is raising itself up against those who, since thousands of years, have been able to substitute the lack of human species by the social syntheticum money, that pseudo-spirituality [Pseudo-Geistigkeit] of which one can read already in the apocrypha that it is residing behind the party-badge of the animal (bull, German: Bulle, double sense: bull, cop) that all those of whom one has to be wary are wearing on their forehead.
Of having got a concept of illness, we were suspected relatively late. About five months before the self-dissolution (strategic withdrawal) of the SPK, in occasion of a discussion with the social psychiatrists of Heidelberg / Mannheim.
Our suspicion that the medicine, far from possessing perhaps a different one, has not got a concept of illness at all, had been confirmed in the whole, though to their astonishment and extreme aversion by representatives of all disciplines of medicine, some of them ordained, about one week before the public origin of the patients’ collective, when, during the "hearing" they had organized against us, they had to admit in public that what they certificate and treat is not illness but disability of labor, that what they are running is thus no medicine but a kind of tool-repairing business, and that precisely from the childbed to the autopsy table.
About five years before, this observation had brought to the one who had presented it in form of a question the title of honor "St.Just of the Psychiatry" – intended, of course, as a mockery.
But also outside the psychiatry, wherever employers and alike had approached us – mainly by phone – and where patients were thinking aloud, illness was reminded firstly and above all as labor. The rest had rather the appearance of a hotchpotch of vocabulary items. And illness itself had firstly and lastly the character and function of a foreign word [Fremdwortcharakter und Fremdwortfunktion].
Finally, during the Hot Winter of the Heidelberg Students’ Revolt (1968/69), the Faculty of Medicine had linked together labor and politics in the matter of illness by a Decree of the Faculty of Medicine: mainly the Psychiatry and the family doctors of the students were called to go through the files of their "estate of patients" [Patientengut] in search of rebels showing an excessive number of semesters. In this, next to labor, now revolutionary revolt took the place of the missing concept of illness, and the rebels had to be denunciated, selected and caught under the pretext of illness in order to be confined to madhouses and prisons, in any case, however, to make them disappear from the university. The tip-off was dead right, but for that reason it was sabotaged so radically that its authors, for the time being, preferred to retreat into denials.
In that way, the concept of illness, which was in no way being thought of in all this, began to fill up with contents element-by-element long before the public origin of the SPK. The particular conditions [Anlaesse] were partly more than inconspicuous and more or less comparable to the "petits perceptions" (Leibniz) of every day. So, for instance, the first flashes of lightning regarding the meaning of alienation in relation to illness: the chief doctor’s round, fall 1967, discussion of the medical case on an elevated scientific level. Chief: "I’ve noticed that you mention so often "experiences of alienation [Entfremdungserlebnisse]" – please, it’s not that you were in the wrong, but, is that, then, a psychiatric term in the first place, alienation (!)?" Reply: "Experiences of alienation, mainly the so-called bodily ones, are referred to by Jaspers in his ‘General Psychopathology’ under the heading of Phenomena, and apart from Jaspers we haven’t got anything else so far. Consequently, that term is a reliable part of the diagnostic know-how [Ruestzeug, means something like weaponry, thus against patients in this case]." Chief: "Yes, but I mean alienation, strictly alienation, that does not origin from psychiatry, does it?" Reply: "No, it is a philosophical concept." (The chief appears clearly to be relieved – how on earth is that?) – "Schopenhauer" –The chief, distrustful: "Oh, I see, Schopenhauer – ?" Reply: "In Hegel, already." The chief (absent-minded): "Oh yes, oh yes." (long silence, he looked piercingly at me – what on earth has got into him? I'm right, aren't I ?!) "Well, all right, let’s leave it at Schopenhauer. Well then, philosophy. We often need it as an auxiliary science. It’s good if one knows what’s what; in psychiatry, however, one has to delimit oneself, one has to confine oneself to the discipline." – (Reply? No further reply. Because, it’s obvious enough: Hearing "alienation" – he has associated Marx, that is to say communism. It appears, then, that there’s something true with it. Therefore, keep your mouth shut, remind it and look it up!)
A little bit later on, students had distributed a pamphlet under the slogan "Recognize the enemy, recognize yourself, a thousand battles without a setback" and called upon the students to constitute a project-group "Psycho".
After a few meetings only, the enemy had been recognized and any setback had been banished. The initiators, probably for the first time being confronted with consciousness of illness and their own being involved, forgot all their keen intentions in the matter of "basis-working" and "Red Help", converting themselves into "psycho"-flip-outs and doing as such ones from thereafter in video-recording, LSD-trips and self-awareness, but mainly in ‘face-massage’ activities by frequently performing in antechambering the public service providing authorities, among them not only professorial ones.
Thus, illness being a rust-proofing agent? There is no end to scratching. And when rust has finally become red, that is due only to the fact that the concept of illness originates from flesh and blood, that is to say, in each case, from one’s own flesh and blood. Precisely alienation, which by no means must always be that sort of therapy that, as Nazism, promises the salvation of the world from illness by killing its bearers, – in the context of illness it likes to behave all to humanitarian, reasonable, enlightened, understanding, rational, political, up to macro-political, analyzing social classes, anti-fascist, anti-revisionist, anti-imperialist and ideologically critical, and, if it can not do otherwise, confession-breaking self-critical and lonesome heroic as well.
But to conserve the appearance of its own being healthy and mentally sound, it spares neither sense of shame nor feelings to an amount of expenses and efforts that, if one understands Marx literally, is revolutionary, and, if one takes him at his word, even proletarian-adversary revolutionary.
At first and for the time being, however, what mattered was still to cope with the mild surprise that the social barrier only too well known by each patient, especially in relation to the "psych", had clicked to once again. Only that in this case one could in no way call upon stupidity to explain that effect. After all, those to shrink back under strange horror were erudite socialists. Not so much from patients, but from the pretence to appropriate their own madness and screwed-up-ness, and that precisely in form of a political decision. So, in their search of allied inmates comrades had occupied entire madhouses and made the experience that a constituent part of illness is mainly the normality they had been trained to, the so-called personality, which made it impossible for them to change the one or the other spot (ueber den einen wie anderen Schatten springen, literally (slightly altered): to step out of one’s own shade).
Not only that, in all this, illness had mirrored politics and had changed it. Not only that the activated consciousness of illness (consciousness of illness, here, stands for the first formal certainty that illness is entailed in the subject-object relationship) had transformed indifference in enmity. Not only that the usual recommendations, made to the public for the scope of rehabilitation, to show understanding when confronted with patients, as well as the recommendations made to the patients to hide as much as possible their "status" and, wherever that were impossible, always to ask, hat in hand, for good weather, had proved to be blatant humbug, or in the least a sort of transfer of guilt (in German: Umschlags-haefnerei, literally: trans-shipment; here, it refers to the psychiatrist Haefner, Mannheim, and his doings) at the expense of those who fail to comply with all this.
The claim of appropriating one’s "own" illness targeted implicitly the ruling policy of property at the nerve center of the subjectivity, and at the same time it called upon authentic communism, in which is at stake in the first and in the last the collective appropriation and implementation of essential human forces [menschliche Wesenskraefte], of the human species in its indivisibility–individuality.
All these impressions have contributed, already during these preliminary stages, to radically mistrust any politicization aimed at a revolution that deliberately and explicitly, but mainly with the excuse that more important matters were at stake and, of course, under the pretext of the politicization itself, excludes illness from praxis and theory by patting those concerned on their back.
In the liberated rooms of the later SPK, initially (March 1970) the question was whether to deepen the antiauthoritarian line or to promote the "reconstruction of the proletarian organization". Any accessible texts on Anarchism, on one side, and Party-Communism, on the other, as well as on psychology that was at least on a trial basis materialistic or political, and on strategic outlines too, were made available and put up for discussion wherever need arouse and wherever that was possible and desired in the given situation of the slowly developing collective consciousness.
There was unanimity that dominion and authoritarian behavior both as institution and as actuality should not have any place within the range of illness. It was also clear that Anarchism, for being historically and methodically an extremely inconsistent movement in theory and praxis, could not reach the roots of illness, and that applied even more so with regard to the dialectics of the reproduction of illness in the revolutionary process. We will come back to this issue further on.
The coherent [in sich geschlossene] theory and praxis of the revolutionary oriented workers’ movement, at the contrary, with its difference between Wage Labor and Capital, between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, which the workers’ movement declared each time to be the "basic and main contradiction" (at that regard, Marx had been comparatively cautious: Within the capitalist system, both wage workers and capitalists are – capitalists, who must sell and capitalize commodities. That it are always the same people and even the majority that get the worst of it, can and ought to lead to revolution. That this is a must, i.e. straightly and at each stage it has to be this contradiction, where on earth is that written?) had surely enough extension (Spannweite, literally: span width, wingspan) at the beginning of systematic Capitalism, to integrate the social misery produced during that time into the revolutionary process.
For us, and with regard to the circumstances of here and now – continuing increase in the rate of profit, imperialistic wars alias "Free Market Economy", "healthy growth" on the one hand, and, on the other, murder and manslaughter (cold civil war conducted by the governors, violence [Gewaltfoermigkeit]), continuing increase in the rate of suicides, and all in all: the growing tendencies in the matter of self-service use of medicines with inclusion of the 98-100 % therapy-refractory addictions, transformation to an increasing extent of the once so vehemently contested apparatus of the welfare and health system into an instrument of torture, disciplining and dulling of the increasingly crippled working class oriented at the wage labor-concept, all that and all along the line – for us, then, under the specific aspect of the consciousness of illness, as developed till then, and not least with regard to the fact that, in the liberated rooms, we were put upon less than nothing, that is to say less is more, meaning that we were put on our own forces, the identity of the contradiction between wage labor and Capital appeared to have been cut too small from the beginning to the end.
To that came the pre-conceptual impression that Capitalism, here, in our German surroundings, after the capitalization of all the living conditions of the farmers and workers, has not made a stop at the commodity labor force, but that it has taken into account [verrechnen, mit in Rechnung stellen] since long the unsaleable [unveraeusserliche] substance of that commodity, often understood as body [Leib], thus, to use a metaphor from physics, the energy as basis of the capacity to work, to make profit from, and that it drills for illness as it does elsewhere for petrol.
That thus the law of value [Wertgesetz], among others, is no longer just the form of an equivalent transformation in the interrelation [Wechselverhaeltnis] between the means of production and the product, but that each product, expropriated in the process of exploitation, is being "enriched", for not to say: overcharged imponderably [cf: Imponderabilien] by a value-factor X of illness that is generated along with it in its manufacture, and this value-factor X is consumed up from the "substance" and milked by the medical system.
Not that this, as said, empirical experience would have been necessary for the systematics of the concept of illness. It has passed, in any case, in numerous of the collectively written texts and by consequence it was for orthodox Leftists a red rag, and only by this issue they could be lured and enticed on the devious path of emotion, committed discussion, and de-compensation while having a hunch for being prone to illness they themselves.
The identity of illness and Capital, which we set against the formula of wage labor and Capital, was the second step on the way to the conceptual comprehending of the consciousness of illness. The first step, the negative identity of illness and labor (cf. "certificate of disability of labor"), had already shifted wage labor close to alienation, even if only based on impressions such as "strange sound-character" [Fremdwortcharakter*] and the means of payment: certificate of "illness", that is to say the certificate of disability of labor.
*"Strange sound-character" [Fremdwortcharakter]: illness as unity of laboratory and labor = work, in Latin; too much credit and honor one gives to Medicine by conceding to it that it possesses a concept of illness in the form of a laboratory concept, or by reproaching it for not possessing a concept of illness, but a laboratory concept instead. The laboratory techniques are only one of the variables in the service of the virulence (noxiousity) of that illness that the medicine represents on the whole (otherwise it would be revolutionary).
Since in the deceptive reality (of capitalism) illness and labor relate to each other in the same way as fire and water do, because the one who’s off work, is in illness, the one who is at work, is not in illness, while within the subject itself labor is being remembered [er-innert] and interiorized in illness, up to the delusional work [Wahnarbeit] in the so-called endogen psychoses, and in labor illness is programmed in the same way, the sickness benefit, just as the wage, corresponding only to the maintenance of the commodity labor force and its reproductive costs, only the two components wage labor and alienation had to be related to each other, while illness eluded that comprehension.
The conclusion of that mirroring of illness in consciousness had to be made more precise in the sense that illness, on the one side, and alienated labor, that is to say labor and alienation, on the other, represent both one moment of the concept (of illness), and precisely that of the difference, or more precisely, that of the negative identity.
That meant, at the same time, however, that illness could be comprehended directly only by the Capitalism, and that this had to be the moment of identity, because and (better:) since aside from the moment of difference, the concept contains only that of identity.
If illness is thus the negative constituent of alienated labor opposed to the positivity of illness and Capital, then, illness and Capital are the moment of the (antagonistic) contradiction opposed to the moment of alienated labor.
You’ve got to separate them in your analysis, (but) you've got to get them combined in the appropriate praxis, which has to be found, in order to resolve them.
Up to that stage, the concept of illness had been reflected by March 1970. Of that reflection, in the main and on the basis of the actual interests, only the consequences for the line to be taken and the effects on the conception of the collective itself were articulated and discussed.
Illness was to become the central category of identification for everyone and in every respect. From Anarchism was to be taken the organizational principle "from the periphery to the center, from the basis to the top", what, for instance, meant: to advance in "therapy" (from now on: agitation), by means of an as extensive as possible understanding of the systematics of Capitalism in mind ("periphery") to illness itself ("center"), or – another example – to contact other organizations and movements only via their basis, in order to activate the consciousnesses of illness and to drive them without break towards the organizational top (thus avoiding both entrism and splitting up in factions).
In addition to that, our concern was to determinate what had to be defined (definition like de-limitation, Ent-grenzung) not in relation to the "sphere of production", but to put first and ahead of the latter, because of its only negative identity with illness, its more typical factory halls such as the health system, the medical and military complex, and especially the madhouses, as the basis and central point of reference ("the proletariat under the determination of illness").
At this stage of the consciousness of illness, the choice of name: "patients’ collective" was no longer only a program; but rather a catalyst that converted the ‘diminishing disease’ (consumptive disease, in German: Schwindsucht) that our enemies wished on us into the opposite.
As to the moment of the identity of the components illness and Capital in the concept of illness, there stand for it sporadic collective statements in connection to the activities of the SPK, since high summer 1970, such as for instance:
"Abolition of the sex and gender specific differences"
"Illness: life broken in itself"
"Meter-kilopond, calories, toxic unities – forces of nature raised to exponential power …"
"Illness makes exactly the explosive ready to break up this system out of which it is generated"
"Illness is mass-line"
Thus, it was the process of the species that was concerned, the relation between illness and the species in its generality [Gattungsallgemeinheit], inorganic violence and living individuality, that is to say: indivisibility of the "socialized human being in a human society" [des gesellschaftlichen Menschen in einer Menschengesellschaft] (Marx).
While the negative identity of wage labor and illness was evident in the fetishes of alienation: certificate of illness and laboratory, the unity of illness and Capital had to be deduced and made accessible from the Marxian concept of value and the Hegelian theory of illness.
Thus: the self-accumulative process of the Capital [surplus value begets Capital, money is working, money -> money’ = M (money) -> M’ (more money)*, [Geld – Geld Strich (stroke) – Fetischlein deck dich, spelled in German, in paraphrasing the Grimm fairy-tale "Table set yourself"=> little fetish set yourself] and the self-begetting / self-engendering, in the sense of Hegel [Selbstbegattung**], of the process of illness (illness has not health but life to its counter-"part"; illness is the process of particularization, of the dismembering of the single one – cf. lassitude [Abgeschlagenheit] and pains in the limbs, incoherence, etc. – and of the abstract totalities and mediations being remembered [er-innert] and interiorized in the process of illness, of the abstract totalities and mediations in the apartness and againstness of the world of inorganic matters such as gravity, temperature, toxic, electrical alternation; in brief: mechanics and chemism as abstract "midsts" [Mitten!] collect and unify [auffangen] the dismembering effects and propel them to the crisis and beyond it [darueberhinaus]).
Plusmacherei, making surplus (Karl Marx). Nota bene: only organisms and machines are capable to work; or have you ever seen a coin as such one doing any work?
** Enzyklopaedie d. philos. Wiss., § 371ff
Value exteriorized by force and violence interiorized by healing-power, alienated against any life specificity and gender specificity [Lebens- und Geschlechtsspezifitaet], and be that as primordial as it will: this is the contents of the process of the species, reduced to its essential nucleus with the existing mankind, (or better:) organisms of mankind as they exist in the present.
Or, to say it a little bit long-winded: illness is, in its nucleus, violence acting as a substitute (substitute essence) of the process of the species that has to be individualized in favor of society as a whole, this being urgently necessary in present and in future history [Substitut (Ersatzessenz) des gesamtgesellschaftlich zu individuierenden, geschichtlich dringend gebotenen Gattungsprozesses], since this process (of the species) has been driven away to the opposite carriageway by the basic and main ‘traffic’ rule of the capitalist culture and accumulation, the self-begetting (process of the Capital).
In that pointed intensification, the moment of the essential unity of illness and Capital turns to the extreme of its abstract identity, against which the negativity of wage labor and illness – for which stands the expression: alienation – is but a mirror reflection [Widerschein], a reflex, a reflection [cf Spiegelbild, Widerspiegelung] which has its material grounds in the universal and pseudo catalyst of the synthetic (artificial) (Sohn-Rethel) commodities exchanging society, that is to say in money.
Illness, quite on the contrary, has its history in matter itself, precisely as being violence only in connection with that explosivity out of which matter has originated and into which it leads either by acutely boiling away or by chronically rotting away. (From where, then, does it come, that in the people’s saying animals and plants affected by disease, in general, just decay and perish [eingehen und verenden], while bombs, humans, shells and such like burst and crack [krepieren]? The illness of animals always has left behind already its process of the species, which there, in principle, has reached its conclusion. To croak is the "job" of those (things) that have got the process of the species inside - as matter - or - as Man - who still has got it ahead).
In the concrete process of illness of the single and isolated one, the result of the materiality of the self-engendering process and the reality of alienation is not violence, but it is alienated violence, which has got its barrier in the cycle of the unity of producer and product (also called reification [Verdinglichung]), is trembling in itself (Hegel), remaining echo, remaining powerlessness, and fizzling out, and it is not, in any case, the agitating [erschuetternd], propelling and soliciting moment of the process of the species.
In the group, as a such founded on illness, on the contrary, the potential of violence is being exteriorized immediately from the beginning: "We are talking of illness only in terms of the concepts of violence and attack"; that’s the abbreviation – for not to say shortening – by which the Patients’ Front, months after the self-dissolution of the SPK, though not pressing ahead with the concept of illness, had caught up with the central moment of the praxis of its pre-history (pre-conceptual history). Because already that first form of exteriorization had blown off the barrier of alienation, becoming thus an expanding open frontier against the institutionalized, alienated violence, and that first form of exteriorization, for its part, was impossible to be institutionalized, and this means always: impossible to be suppressed and compressed to the form of a merchandise and commodity. Not in the beginnings and not behind bars and locks, and not even by print media and courts – as one might remember.
What, in 1964, was put in circulation under "St. Just", and what, in 1972, was stuck over it, so to speak, by changing the label to "Marat", was thus impossible to become a merchandise, neither as a shoddy farce [Schmierenstueck] nor as a cock-and-bull story [Raeuberpistole]. Instead of that, it was the alienated violence processing against itself for months and years in a phantom trial [Gespensterprozess] in front of empty courtroom docks and empty lawyers’ benches (rust-protection-and-state-security theatre).
Thus, no success to atomizing and singularizing violence by solitary confinement under the silently petering out of violence (Nichts mit ver–Einzellen–der Entfremdung unter still versandelnder Gewalt), as it is provided for in the medically programmed course of illness; instead of that, it were the contexts of alienation that were made to fizzling out in the breach of their primal division (Entfremdungszusammenhaenge im Bruch ihrer Ur-teilung versandend), and the attacking power of the collective became concrete firstly and straightforward by the individuation of the exteriorization of the collective effects, revolution in illness, revolutionary patients.
To the act of turning illness into a differential, infinitesimal of the species (externalized violence) belongs, of course, also the exponential increase of the collective in constant (stenical) straits (cf. 'stenos' greek: narrow, constricted) [in konstanter Enge], with the result: resonance oscillation because of an increasing density of agitation, instead of trembling in itself. And where the dominating communication systems mask atomization and isolation in order to reinforce them as, for instance, "elementary hallucinations and sensations", "influencing thoughts and delusional ideas of reference in the context of paranoid syndromes" etc., in the self-begetting process and in order to falsificate [umluegen] them scientifically as crisis of identity, there, electro-acoustic oscillatory circuits, photo stimulants and biochemical catalysts are handy means of transport that turn the paranoid syndrome, beyond exteriorization and alienation, to become an enemy [das paranoide Syndrom ... zu verfeinden].
With this, the concept of illness has been essentialized and condensed [zurueckgefuehrt] to its five elements:
To wage labor and alienation, on one side, precisely to the moment of reality, in the terms of dialectics: difference,
to the moment: revolutionary patients, expressed in the terms of dialectics: process,
and to Capital and species, on the other side, that is to say to the moment of materiality, in the terms of dialectics: identity.
Who knows that the concept for its part is a moment in the dialectics of concept – primal division [Urteil] – conclusion, knows also what is to come. Thus, one moment of the primal division was contained in anticipation in the experiences around the events referred to above as "project-group Psycho", one element of the conclusion was contained in the events around the self-dissolution of the SPK. In the former the announcement of the process of becoming fundamental enemies [Verfeindung] (expression for politics), in the latter the community in revolution by means and on the foundations of illness.
Schematized according to the concept:
illness as a function of the Capital is identical reflection, i.e. destructivity that is turning itself into surplus (sich verwertende Destruktivitaet),
as a function of the species it is identical relation, i.e. auto-destruction (exemplarily suicide and homicide respectively), by which the general destructivity that is pre-posed as Capital achieves its result, its "individual" expression (self-begetting),
as a function of the alienation it is a reflex in the difference, i.e. the product’s dominion, raised to power, over its producer, reflected as alienated violence over the particularization and decomposition in illness,
As wage labor, it is negative relation, relation in the difference, i.e. relation of reciprocal exclusion of illness and wage labor.
Conclusion and review [Anhang]
The concept of illness originated and developed by itself essentially from the immediate experience of alienated wage labor, because it was possible to break off the wrong consciousness following the connecting thread and the nucleus of crystallization: dialectics.
To assume that within the exploiting system of alienated labor everybody is ill, it is already sufficient to know just a few basics from comparative work physiology. It is well known that the human organism, at the stage of the collectors and hunters, is exposed to the uttermost strains. However, this had been all in all only during a fourth or a third part of the year. The rest is occupation, that is to say creative activity within the indivisible life-totality of the social relations, which the human organism cannot exist without and of which the single human being knows that, without him, this social relationship is lacking something.
The wage-dependent slave, on the contrary, if deducted the working days he’s off and those he’s on leave, is exposed to strains for at least the half or three fourth parts of the year, a matter of fact that makes him aging before time and becoming idiotic [verbloeden], apart from and beyond the relatively natural effects of wear and tear.
And the life totality, in which he might recover himself and regenerate, does not exist. It is part of the working year.
It is also known that a consequently conducted character analysis (W.Reich), the exclusive subject of which, regardless of the patient’s grinded in behavioral reactions, consists in dissolving neuroticisms in the form of muscular tensions ("character armour"), is increasing the capability to perform productive efficiency, as well as interest and motivational behavior to an intensity never reached before. Only that in this "essential character change" the creative component is prevailing over all the rest to such an extent that any enchaining to regular programmed work, tedious activity and partial socializing [Teil-Sozietaet] appears to be no longer possible on the long run, even if best motivation is given.
In the dominating conditions, and that means, here, among people that are all ill, this one who has been healed is not capable to live, rather he has become a deadly sick healed one, living among incurable "healthy" people, someone who acts driven by impulses, a Triebtaeter in the original sense of the meaning of the word. According to the argumentation of W. Reich, he is either being killed in one or in the other way or he will develop a devotion to that sort of "therapy" that appears to be capable to give him precisely that illness that suits him, an illness that is suitable, above all, to the illness of his environment, and be that boozing alcoholism. (What is now being dug up once again under the headword "sophrology" that’s character analysis in extreme dilution, so to speak a spiritual homoeopathy, thus a compromise. It is foreseeable that it will turn out mainly to the advantage of the reactionary forces, and that it is not in the line with the revolutionary progress in any case).
He will be fond of paying his tribute to progress – and his supposed cure [vermeintliche Heilung] even in form of long infirmity – already in advance, especially if he considers himself belonging to the top-level salary earners. He has once again settled into alienation.
For the beginnings of the patients’ self-organization such impressions from second hand had the importance of stirring up thinking-impulses. There arose thoughts like that there ought to be a way of breaking the tyranny of the wage labor system in the special case of the healed ones with the support of their co-patients’ solidarity, or at least to control and to force back the influences of domination that derive from it ("patients’ control"), namely that of employers, bureaucrats, colleagues (competitors) and contact-persons, to an extent that is necessary to implement the claims for life of the emancipated individual as the ruling standard ("dialectic anarchism").
What was right in that was, that under the tyranny of Capitalism it is undoubtedly and in all circumstances always "the patient who is right" (Laing). Right, too, was that this had nothing to do with charity and altruism, and even less with conformism, but with liberation in the interest of the possibility-and-ability-of-life, as well as with the principle that by striving for the freedom of the others one is extending the limits of one’s own freedom approximately to infinity (Bakunin). Even the bourgeois, or better petit bourgeois tendency, so suspicious in its onset, to a step-by-step emancipation of the single individuals had certainly and thoroughly been reflected on and it was agreed upon that we would take the responsibility for it, and we would take it on our own fools’ cap, self-critically, so to speak.
The complete concept of illness had not been reflected yet. There was not such a concept, yet. And there was nothing wrong with that, because in this way the utopia individual-therapy could be related quite soon to the embryonic concept of illness, particularly to its moment: self-begetting, and the abstract utopia could be replaced by the tendency of working out dialectically the process of illness brought together in the collective in its effects on the alienated violence on the basis of the results of the experiences of everyday life and it could be developed at least a kind of collective instinct for the junctions in the process of the revolution [Umwaelzung].
In this way, the over-valuated paranoid reactions, for instance, of the Faculty of Medicine and of others, the Students’ Union (AStA) included, on our interpretations of illness did not find us unprepared.
It’s true that Marx mentioned explicitly the medical class already in the Communist Manifesto, precisely where he accuses Capitalism of having leveled the reputation of all the professional branches so highly estimated in the feudal system to the point of sheer ridiculousness. It seems, however, that everyone’s secret horror of his or her own susceptibility to an illness, if not the remnants of damages caused by violence through the extension and intensification of illness itself, meanwhile have increased to such an extent that this feudal atavism, if things are summed up, has rather gained in reputation, and that merely thanks to illness.
That it hangs solely by precisely this single thread, that of the general readiness to shrink back from illness as the invisible enemy in one’s own inside, and that, by consequence, already the first attempts to enlighten about the actual interrrelations [Zusammenhaenge] would get on the nerve of that reputation, was to be expected.
Even the terror-propaganda of Streicher, Rosenberg and Goebbels in the matter
of hereditary diseases, racial disgrace [Rassenschande], the poisoning of
blood and soil must have owed its efficiency solely to the violence-specific
moment of self-begetting in the concept of illness. Thus, it’s no wonder that
the propaganda of illness works also the other way round, i.e. in function of
the revolution. And it does that even in the rational medium of dialectics. A
course, thus, that’s right, in contrast to the Fascist one. Because it forces at
the same time to split off from itself the alienated, structural violence, and
precisely that part of it that is a substitute of the species, perverted
socialship, so to speak. And once the latter has been externalized, it is
extremely difficult to be taken back on this side, because it grafts on to
And its administrators are not capable to take it back without forgetting themselves, i.e. without falling out of their class, the ruling class. But then, it is no longer solely the notorious uneasy feelings that are creeping over them. They are now offended and hurt by illness [gekraenkt] in a most fundamental sense and susceptible to terrorizing themselves (self-begetting).
Authentic illness specifics are thus to be found, then, also behind the enemy lines.
It was essential to reach an agreement on the point that these results had nothing to do with the notorious maxim "to defeat the enemy with his own weapons". To defeat him with illness means to beat him with a weapon that, in his alienation, is to him the strangest, mostly estranged, eerie and terrific weapon (for government officials, bosses and managers, illness is, in their alienation, just one more "free space", i.e. "escape" ["Freiraum"], for the rest it’s the loss of forced labor in freedom; it is, in tendency, the uttermost hetero-determination this system is capable of offering), provided that it is he himself, who is forced to turn that weapon, which no medical doctor can take him away, and which no medical doctor will envy him, against himself and thus forcing him to judge himself.
And externalized illness is, in addition to that, also the checkmate of the entire bourgeois ideology. Grasping the weapon of the enemy would therefore be only grasping the vacuum, thus missing the concept of illness [vorbei am Krankheitsbegriff]. To put the latter on a scientific basis in terms of the bourgeois science could not be in our interest just for the mere reason that in the field of ideology and of the criticisms on it weapons are not exchangeable. Entirely in contrast to the military field.
Even if the patients’ self-organization, at that early stage, was still not
aware of the fact that the categorical basics of each empirical science, from
physics up to parapsychology, since Aristotle and Descartes with their "either /
or" (tertium non datur) are nothing else but madness as such, against which the
dialectics inherent in matter itself, as for instance in the case of physics as
the most advanced science, has asserted itself, with difficulty though, but
steadily, – for being then, with the pretext of systemizing the results,
falsified and counterfeited in a sort of utile idiocy by the bourgeois
philosophers –, that the madness, which is mirrored in the excluded
contradiction not otherwise than it is in the Manichaeism of all the capitalist
institutions with the commodity right at their bottom and the class antagonism
right at their top, has its basis, not otherwise than the clinically so called
madness, in the ordinary money-mediated exchange of equivalents, which – being
as unnoticed as compulsory transcendental – is turning the common-to-all world
into a static [statische] zero and replacing it by that figment of the
mind that is Value as the thing of all trades [aller Welt Ding] and
collecting the dismembering appropriation, piece by piece, in alienation, on the
one side behind the walls of clinics, and on the other side within safes;
even if that anchoring of science in the exchange of commodities and trafficking in human beings had not been seen clearly yet and the connection between illness and bourgeois science had not been linked yet, there was no reason to follow, for instance, the recommendation of Lenin to put science without questioning in the service of the proletarian public welfare.
The enmity for science, of which the patients’ collective had then been promptly accused on the part of the students, and which the establishment applauded persistently, has therefore its roots not in "The Anarchism" that obviously was hold responsible for that enmity (why was that, on earth?).
But rather in a fundamental being-concerned they themselves, even if those who, being the victims of guinea pigs experiments, are taking the crushing blows of that science, are accidentally in the skin of the always-present "other", whose destiny is supposed not to be one’s own concern.
Certain problems in the matter of science were raised by Psychology. No, not because its scientific rigor is being questioned to a large extent, what is entirely wrong, because what makes its categorical structure and its civic-military field of operation to differ from any other science? Answer: Nothing.
The particular interest of the patients, especially after numerous students of Psychology and psychologists had joined the Collective, was sparked off by the object of that doctrine, the soul. A few considered this doctrine (psychology), just for the mere reason of that substrate of it, to be "idealistic", aligning their sights on something located somehow between spiritual and spiritualism [spiritualistisch und spiritistisch], and thus they thought in a staunch materialistic-orthodox manner to have settled the whole thing. It turned out, then, quite regularly, that they were deeply imbued with hope believing that the creation of a "materialist psychology" would explain the mystery.
In the subsequent development it proved surprisingly right that in this issue one has just to follow the Bible according to which the living soul is precisely what Man was created as, and what remains of him when he dies, while one has only to imagine that this process that results in the living soul started approximately at the time of the origin of Man, with his preparation to be transformed, in the form of a kind of universal child mortality, into precisely that commodity as which he passes the rest of his earthly so-being in the circuit of production and consumption: being in all his possibilities once and for ever but a dead Man, exactly as (!) a living soul (!).
The complete concept of illness:
1 and 3 relate to each other (firstly) as antagonisms (confrontation [Widerstreit]).
1 and 3 are (secondly) – as Wage labor / Capital and as Species / Alienation – two contradictory to each other and at the same time identical antitheses ().
In the revolutionary process, 1 is remembered [er-innert] and interiorized and has to be remembered [er-innert] and interiorized, 3 is externalized and has to be externalized, viz. 1 is broken life, 3 is individuation of the species.
To 1 belongs also the fetishism of the commodities, to 3 "defensive medicine" ["Wehrmedizin"], medicine is thoroughly an aggressive militarism.
In the universal systematic of the concept ("identity of identity and difference") 1 corresponds to identity, 3 to difference, 2 to the identity out of 1 and 3.
The life of the concept is the continual and constant being-one-against-another of the 3 moments and the being-one-with-other of the sides.
"The Bacchanalian frenzy [Taumel], where not one member is not drunk". 5 elements, because the moments of identity and difference are empirically doubled, both functionally and structurally.
1 corresponds to difference ("little fetish set yourself"),
3 corresponds to identity ("settled in alienation").
To 2 belongs individuation of 3, and particularization of 1 as practice.
Comprehension does not relate to matters, not to their mirrored reflections (emotions, feelings, sensory perceptions, thoughts), but the materiality [Stoff] of the concept is contradiction, processing asymmetrically and never "moulting to the logic of balance".
What links Capitalism and illness, is the self-begetting ("by itself").
Corresponding to Wage labor and illness on one side, alienation on the other.
Revolutionary process: Individuation instead of 1 and weapon, violence instead of 3.
VIII ’75, 714, Z235
(8/1975, Postal Code 714, Prison Cell 235)
Kurd Ch. Schager, Dipl.-Angl., M.A.soc.ling. , PF/SPK MFE
Thus Peter Brueckner urged my writing down, before Pestl killed him.