Monday, November 29, 2004

abort the human species, before it exists

Last Saturday saw the massive 23rd Anarchist Bookfair in London. As ever, it saw a wide mix of political thought chucked in one room, fizzing with an overload of utopian fervour. And, of course, a load of completely barking stuff too.

Anarchism attracts people who are brilliant uncompromising idealists with enormous faith in the ability of people to organise themselves, people who have an unquenchable desire for justice and infinite incendiary urges to do something about it. They want to take on the whole of the way modern humanity organises itself and change it. That takes a lot of thought and discussion, so there's always going to be plenty of books for an anarchist bookfair.

It also takes a total lack of inhibition about seeming weird. This means that anyone who is weird for any reason can find a place within anarchist circles. Consequently, there are lots of strange ideas at the bookfair. My all-time favourite is someone who saw that amongst my stuff was a pamphlet about cannabis legislation. 'Ah yes,' said the punter as he pointed to it, 'cannabis. But what is cannabis? Is it a set of numbers?'

On Saturday I was there doing a stall for Godhaven Ink's wares. You know how sometimes you're on a long bus or tube journey and there's a sign or advert in front of you and you can't help re-reading it over and over?

Well above the stall at which I was seated hung a large banner. About eight foot square of orange fabric, written on in black marker pen. And for hours, I involuntarily read and re-read it. Each time I had the suspicion that this time it would impart information - not an unreasonable expectation of a large banner, really - and yet each time I started to get a hint of sense it felt like I startled it and it bolted for the exit before I could catch it.

It was, I feel sure, the barkingest thing at the bookfair. And that's not something I say lightly. It's one of those phrases of deep meaning.

For example, if I tell you that Abha is the rainiest place in Saudi Arabia, it doesn't mean too much cos there's not exactly heavy competition. It's one of those impressive sounding declarations that dissolves upon consideration, like being called Britain's Tallest Dwarf. But when you're told Blaenau Ffestiniog is the rainiest place in Wales there's a certain gravity.

Ditto the barkingest thing at the Anarchist Bookfair:

THE SECRET OF ILLNESS IS HUMAN SPECIES

Everyone is tied to particular illness (Einzelkrankheit) which objectively aims at the creation of human species. BUT the doctors abuse and usurp the particular illness (Pathocentrism) to produce out of it the substitute (!) of species (Ersatzgattung): money, instead of human species (gattung). So the doctors abort the human species, before it exists.

Therefore:

SUBSTITUTE THE DOCTORS' CLASS BY THE: PATIENTS' CLASS
TAKE ILLNESS IN YOUR OWN HANDS

Create patients' collectives everywhere!
Start here and now! Do something for yourselves! Prefer confrontation against the doctors' class, make Patients' Front, you yourself!
TURN ILLNESS INTO A REVOLUTIONARY WEAPON!


5 comments:

John Eden said...

I managed to get my visit down to about 2 and half hours this year, most of which was spent in the community politics meeting :0. Good to see you tho.

The banner relates to a group of people suffering from and concerned with mental illness in germany who originated in the Socialist Patients Collective (or SPK - not to be confused with the industrial band who purloined their name).

I think there is some good stuff in there about mental health in terms of criticising the way it is handled (ie people are sick because society is sick) and trying to find some solutions (autonomous patients groups).

However there are a couple of problems, the first being that all this stuff is not only bogged down in marxist jargon, but is not all that well translated from the german.

The other problem is that mad people are, well, mad. Which means they often are difficult to communicate with. Plus mental patient movements are massively plagued by suicide.

A better way into these sort of issues might be the Mad Pride anthology published by Spare Change Press.

SPK have also publised a book entitled "Turn Illness into a Weapon" which I'd be happy to lend you but I have to say, it's less comprehensible than said banner...

Anonymous said...

At the next bookfair make use of the possibility to talk with us, instead of writing about us afterwards.
As far as you mention us: thank you. As to the rest: nonsense. Please compare: www.spkpfh.de.

Frontpatients of the Patients‘ Front

Anonymous said...

Everybody of those many people to whom we talked during the bookfair, some of the discussions lasting more than an hour, everybody, be it friend, be it enemy, knew afterwards that only the diapathics and pathopractice of the Patients' Front is: complete, final in its effects and forever efficient (vollstaendig, endgueltig, nachhaltig) against the doctors' class, the only ruling and all dominating class.
All what Merrick says is completely wrong. Notable for all and every participant of the bookfair, he had decided long before to stay in favour of the doctors' class and against the patients' class. The same concerning John Eden. They are lacking the knowledge and the comprehension concerning the matter, and, above all, perhaps they had devoured the false plants or drugs (every drug is false!), instead of utopathy.

Also in this case we have to prevent the patients' class as a whole from damage. Only therefore this note.

Patients!
Attack every kind of iatrocapitalist society, there included all political parties, families, trade unions, and so on!
The Euthanazia program is running against you. In each part of the world. There don't exist innocents.
The Euthanazism nowadays is caused by the World Health Organization (WHO), not for the first time.
To defend nothing but peace in the world doesn't work. Quite in the contrary.
Isn't it, Dear Lady Spandler? Either or. All depends from the patients' class!
Turn illness into a Weapon!

Frontpatients of the Patients' Front

The organizers of the Anarchist Bookfair London said...

Agreeing with the comments of the frontpatients the organizers of the Anarchist Bookfair London do not want any reporting about PF/SPK(H) but a plain note about their attendance, as noted in the organizers list of the participants of the Anarchist Bookfair.

The organizers of the Anarchist Bookfair London
October 15, 2006

merrick said...

Oh har-de-har, 'organizers'.

I wonder why the organisers of the Bookfair would have the same stilted translated-from-German use of English as the SPK.

I wonder also why they wouldn't want anyone to comment on any of the groups who have a stall there, what the 'organizers list' is, why they wouldn't contact me directly as they do with everything else to do with my attendance, and why they'd go for the American spelling of the word 'organisers'.

Take a tip, guys; if you're going to be liars, at least try a bit harder.