“Everybody talks about the Weather… We Don’t”

da-weatherThis post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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2 thoughts on ““Everybody talks about the Weather… We Don’t”

  1. A form of action, or its potential at least, is present whenever a basis for action is communicated; leaving aside for a moment the familiar strains of social democracy.

    With agitation therapy, can a cure be located in how a patient might respond? If on the one hand the patient is able to develop strategies to assist in co-mingling with the surroundings, or alternately flies into a homicidal rage against the source of the torment, society that is, what has ultimately been gained by this approach, apart from revenge or submission?

    1. I wish I could give you more specific details about “agitation therapy” right now, but I can’t. I have two of the SPK original sources – Turn Illness Into a Weapon, and What the SPK Really Did and Said – and they are nearly incomprehensible. In part I think it’s the translation, and secondly, they merely printed primary source material without much editing. Some secondary literature has been helpful, and I’m waiting for a scan of the SPK sections of Magrit Schiller’s autobiography, which should be a lot more lucid (here is an excerpt: http://books.google.com/books?id=6zkMMaZTrS8C&lpg=PA215&ots=Z0mmAaljAY&dq=%22there%20were%20books%20about%20the%20nazi%20crimes%20during%20the%20second%22&pg=PA214#v=onepage&q=there%20was%20a%20marx%20working%20group&f=false ).

      From what I can tell, this was right at the beginning of the “socialization” of mental illness therapy and was thus still quite experimental. Huber took a much more laissez faire approach than RD Laing, which I suppose was similar to Szasz. There were also a lot of young people (former SDS?) involved, and it had a sort of collectivist energy flowing through it.

      From the little that I’ve been able to find on/about actual patients, it appears that they felt alienated from society and SPK gave them a way to articulate Germany’s still-nazified society as the source of their torment. Moreover, they argue that they are “pro-illness,” because illness is the only thing absolutely antagonistic to capitalism production/work. So, I suppose, relief did not come in the form of eliminating the illness – as the cause, society, was never eliminated – just symptomatic relief.

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