1 November 2018

The SMPBI site has moved to https://socialistmotherlandparty.blogspot.com/

The SMPBI site has moved to https://socialistmotherlandparty.blogspot.com/
- as you will know if you have arrived from the new one!

As a part of our general restructuring, you will find that there is now a Party Forum, where we can get together to discuss policies, tactics and ideology.

There is also a Cultural site to promote British/Irish Working Class Culture (and confront the propaganda that the elitist degenerate rubbish which goes by the name 'culture' has any connection with the Working Class people of the Isles.

Everything is 'under construction', so please bear with us.

This - the old site - has been converted into an archive.  New articles concerning Party activity, news, policies and more, will now be posted on the new site: https://socialistmotherlandparty.blogspot.com/

31 October 2018

Wilberg on Wednesday - The Illness Is The Cure pt 17/46

On Life Medicine

Basic Principles of Life Medicine

  • Illnesses have life meanings and not just biological ‘causes’.
  • People die through illnesses – not ‘because’ of them – and that only if they are ready to die.
  • It is not illnesses that are the problem in our lives - but the life problems that express themselves as illnesses.
  • The body is not a biological machine or a product of our genes but a living biological language of the human being.
  • Health is not merely our capacity to ‘function’ economically in the labour market but an expression of the degree of fulfilment we experience in our lives, work and relationships.
Life Medicine is ‘holistic’ medicine in the truest sense, exploring the relation between the life of our bodies and our lives and life world as a whole. 

Life Medicine challenges the whole separation between what is called ‘physical ’, ‘organic’ or ‘somatic’ illness on the one hand and ‘psychological’ or ‘mental’ illness on the other.

Life Medicine is not merely ‘psychosomatic’ medicine – it does not merely focus on a limited category of so-called ‘psychosomatic’ or ‘stress-related’ illnesses.

Life Medicine recognises that every bodily state is at the same time a ‘psychological’ state or state of consciousness – and that every state of consciousness is at the same time a felt bodily state.

Life Medicine recognises that for many if not most people, illness is the only way they can give expression to and gain recognition of the ways they are ill-at-ease with their lives.

Life Medicine affirms the healing value of illness itself, recognising that the sense of ‘not feeling ourselves’ that marks the onset of symptoms can be the beginning of a journey that leads to ‘feeling another self’ – one that feels more at ease with ourselves and our lives.

Life Medicine understands illness as a form of pregnancy with its own gestation period and labour pains. From this perspective, illness is not just something to ‘bear’ or put up with. Instead its purpose – one that Life Doctoring can help to fulfil – is to help us to give birth to and embody a new bodily sense of self and a new inner bearing toward our lives and life relationships. In this sense, it can be said that the illness is there to cure the patient – to offer them healing insights into themselves and bring about a healing transformation in their lives.

The Healing Value of Illness

“…the body’s symptoms are not necessarily pathological, that is, they are not just sicknesses which must be healed, repressed or cured. Symptoms are potentially meaningful and purposeful conditions. They could be the beginning of fantastic phases of life, or they could bring one amazingly close to the centre of existence. They can also be a trip into another world, as well as a royal road into the development of the personality.” 
Arnold Mindell

If people become ill, it is quite fashionable to say that the immunity system has temporarily failed – yet the body itself knows that certain ‘dis-eases’ are healthy reactions. The body does not recognise diseases as diseases in usually understood terms. It regards all activity as experience, as a momentary condition of life, as a balancing situation.”
from The Way Toward Health by Jane Roberts (see appendix 6)
In its ‘war’ against disease – a war conducted at whatever cost to the state or to the individual – neither the meaning of illness nor the potentially healing value of illness are acknowledged by biological and genetic medicine. Life Medicine, on the other hand is founded on the recognition that illnesses can themselves serve many different healing purposes:
  • Giving bodily expression to a felt ‘dis-ease’ – to ways in which we may feel ill-at-ease with ourselves, other people or different aspects of our lives.
  • Forcing us to take ‘time out’ from merely ‘functioning’ in a physically or economically desired way.
  • Helping us to feel, focus on and confront painful life problems – even if only through the way in which physical pain can itself focus the mind.
  • Bringing us to a necessary ‘crisis’ in the root sense of the word – a decisive ‘turning point’ in our lives.
  • Allowing us to fully express and reveal intense emotional pain by feeling and expressing it as a reaction to physical pain. 
  • Incapacitating us in a way that allows us to accept real limits to our capacities – limits we might otherwise have sought (or been put under pressure) to deny and overcome.
  • Letting us become dependent on others in a socially acceptable way, and in this way to express dependency needs which we might otherwise think are unacceptable.
  • Enabling us to indirectly ask for and receive emotional care and attention from others through the care of our bodies and being taken care of as ‘patients’.
  • Helping us to give more time and be more patient with ourselves and others by becoming ‘a patient’.
  • Providing a temporary respite from life problems by becoming a medical ‘patient’ in need of treatment and care.
  • Providing a temporary but coherent organising principle for a person’s life – built around their symptoms or around timetables of rest and treatment.
  • Overcoming isolation and offering a medium of human contact through relationships with physicians or through the social environment of a hospital ward.
  • Putting us into an altered state of consciousness – one in which we can come to feel ourselves and see our lives in a different way.
  • Stopping us from just living in our heads and minds and helping us feel our bodies again – thereby giving us a fuller, more embodied sense of self. 
  • Transforming our ‘body identity‘ and ‘body speech‘ bringing about and giving birth to a new bodily sense of who we are and new bodily ways of relating to others.
  • Allowing us to identify with and feel close to an important person in our lives – living or deceased who may have suffered symptoms of illnesses similar to our own.
  • Giving symbolic expression to a subjectively felt dis-ease. For example heart conditions as a metaphorical expression of either ‘loss of heart’ or ‘heartlessness’, ‘cold-heartedness’ or ‘faint-heartedness’ etc.
  • Giving birth to a new bodily sense of self or ‘body identity‘ – one more in tune with one’s current life, able to relate in new ways to others and respond in new ways to one’s life world.
Finally, we must not forget the importance of illness as a quite natural way of dying or as a way out of intolerable life circumstances such as extreme poverty or war. The ‘war’ that biological medicine wages on disease on the other hand, is part of a wholly unnatural and wholly unwinnable war against the basic life realities of both aging and death. That is why people seek cosmetic or herbal ‘elixirs’ of youth and science seeks to develop bio-technologies that offer a purely physical form of immortality. What this reveals is a social culture that values quantitative longevity over quality of life, and why biomedicine uses all possible means even the most toxic to extend the lives of patients by mere months – at whatever economic cost and at whatever cost to a patient’s quality of life.

30 October 2018

Restructuring the Site: A Forum and more for the New Pagan Year

As part of the Samhain restructuring, the SMPBI is adding a Forum to our internet presence.  This will serve two purposes:

  1. providing the members with a secure and private site to discuss policy, strategy and activities, 
  2. providing those who have not joined, a place to meet us online. (although only members will have access to the first part of the forum, which will not otherwise be visible)
We are also altering our posting system, away from daily posting to a more flexible approach:
  • A regular round-up posting will be maintained weekly, or fortnightly (still to be decided), 
  • Additional posts will be added as and when, allowing for us to respond to events as necessary, but without the need to keep a strictly daily presence going.
We are present on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, and will continue adding sites as activists wish.  

The confusion generated by the main SMPBI site having the old party name (Socialist Workers' Party England) will be ended with this site becoming an archive of posts up to the beginning of the New Pagan Year, with a new site with our new name becoming the main active one.  As written of in yesterdays post, there will be a dedicated site for Working Class Culture from the British Isles.

As the old year draws to an end, the new structure will assist us as we move forward, as always dedicated to the struggle for Class and Nation.

29 October 2018

A Party blog dedicated to Culture, beginning in the Pagan New Year

The Pagan New Year is almost upon us.  The SMPBI has an outlook which encompasses the old spiritualism which the global religions have attempted to displace.  We also have a strong focus upon matters of Culture.

This year has seen the SMPBI site publishing daily, with an unbroken run of 245 days (starting on the 27th February, counted up til today).  This run is scheduled to end at the end of this year, counted as ending on the 31st October, Samhain.  We are restructuring our internet activity, bringing in a dedicated cultural blog, to commence on the first day of the next year, the 1st November.

More will be revealed imminently.  Suffice to say, the sister blog will be a place for Working Class Art, Poetry, Short Stories and for news of Cultural Events.  Get in touch with David Parry to contribute.  Socialism is an ideal which encourages healthy cultural pursuits, and stands opposed to the degeneracy of liberal extremism.  If you need a place to post your artistic work, the new blog will be ready to welcome you!

28 October 2018

Socialist Quotes for Sunday Reflection pt 34


Diego Fusaro critiques “anti-fascism”:

But what is anti-fascism worth today when the fascist threat isn’t real? Today anti-fascism has become a tool of the glamorous and cosmopolitan left to defend capitalism. And when fascism really appears, for example during the Ukrainian coup d’état in 2014, our Eurocratic left applauds it! And the only one to combat it gloriously, namely Putin, is treated as a fascist himself! It’s the height [of hypocrisy]! Anti-fascism is a weapon of legitimation for capitalism, an article from the catalogue of the politically correct cosmopolitan.


From an interview Diego Fusaro:

Regarding these right wing values, you've often denounced the theory of gender, could you reiterate your analysis for our readers?

The theory of gender embodies the project of the New World Order in the area of sexual mores. Its goal is to destroy the family, this “genetic cell” according to Hegel on which the entire society rests. Hegel told us that citizens are a universal family in the state. So the project of the globalists is to destroy the family and the state, the family as genetic cell and state as “the fulfillment of ethics.”
In order to do that, they destroy the basis of the family, that is to say sexual difference, through the ideology of sexual postmodernism which negates identities. In the same fashion that the liberal destroys the state, the gender fluid libertine attacks the family. Thus only atoms remain in a context of erotic free exchange without bonds. The family is dissolved and there only remains an atomized system of pleasure seeking individuals, without ethical value or stable bonds.

You also speak of “feminization” or “de-virilization.” How does the reading of Marx and Hegel, who you claim for yourself, lead you to these conclusions?

These authors are precisely the remedy against the de-virilization in progress! Because de-virilization bases itself on the destruction of man, who is a political animal as Aristotle said: so man doesn't exist as a simple atom but in relation to the community. De-virilization precedes the atomization of society, that is to say the opposite of the “community” of which Aristotle, Hegel, and Marx spoke [6]. Today there is only the omnipotent atomized individual, animated by an unlimited consumerist will to power whose consequence is “gender fluidity,” this idea that everyone can quite simply decide if he is a man, a transgender woman, or who knows what! They present it to us as a form of emancipation, but on the contrary it's the acme of capitalism: we become pure asexual consumers without identity.


Michéa on the trap of individualism:

The advent of the individual was simultaneously the best guarantee for henceforth globalized instrumental systems - economic, financial, techno-scientific - of being able to deploy at will complex networks against which individuals, but also communities and states, find themselves politically and ethically helpless.


"But what I fear, what even today one could grasp with one’s hands if one felt like grasping it, is that we modern men are pretty much on the same road; and every time man starts to discover the extent to which he is playing a role and the extent to which he can be an actor, he becomes an actor... With this, a new human flora and fauna emerges that cannot grow in firmer and more limited ages – or that would at least be formally condemned and suspected of lacking honour; it is thus that the most interesting and maddest ages always emerge, in which ‘the actors’, all types of actors, are the real masters. Precisely because of this, another human type becomes ever more disadvantaged and is finally made impossible; above all, the great ‘architects’: the strength to build is now paralysed; the courage to make far-reaching plans is discouraged; the organizational geniuses become scarce – who still dares to undertake works that would require millennia to complete? For what is dying out is that fundamental faith on the basis of which someone could calculate, promise, anticipate the future in a plan on that grand scale, and sacrifice the future to his plan – namely, the basic faith that man has worth and sense only in so far as he is a stone in a great edifice; to this end he must be firm above all, a ‘stone’... above all not an actor! To put it briefly – oh, people will keep silent about it for a long time! – what from now on will never again be built, can never again be built, is – a society in the old sense of the term; to build that, everything is lacking, mainly the material. We are all no longer material for a society; this is a timely truth! It is a matter of indifference to me that at present the most shortsighted, perhaps the most honest, at any rate the noisiest human type that we have today – our good socialists – believe, hope, dream, and above all shout and write pretty much the opposite." -Friedrich Nietzsche


" the organized nation can only be a nation where class differences have been eliminated in a real way, not by pious wishes, because such differences automatically presuppose tensions, harmful to National Harmony. " "

- François Duprat, revolutionary nationalist manifesto


We have been unable to preserve our own historicocultural character in the face of the machine and its fateful onslaught. Rather, we have been routed. We have been unable to take a considered stand in the face of this contemporary monster. So long as we do not comprehend the real essence, basis, and philosophy of Western civilization, only aping the West outwardly and formally (by consuming its machines), we shall be like the ass going about in a lion's skin. We know what became of him. Although the one who created the machine now cries out that it is stifling him, we not only fail to repudiate our assuming the garb of machine tenders, we pride ourselves on it. For two hundred years we have resembled the crow mimicking the partridge (always supposing that the West is a partridge and we are a crow). So long as we remain consumers, so long as we have not built the machine, we remain occidentotic. Our dilemma is that once we have built the machine, we will have become mechanotic, just like the West, crying out at the way technology and the machine have stampeded out of control.

Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Occidentosis: A Plague From the West, Mizan Press (1984), p. 31


What is Creativity?

Kim Jong Il said:
"Creativity is an attribute of social man who transforms the world and shapes his destiny purposefully and consciously."

Creativity is one of the essential attributes of man, social being.

With creativity man transforms nature and society to be more useful and beneficial to him by changing the old and creating the new.

Creativity is an attribute of transforming things and phenomena of the world actively, purposefully, and consciously in conformity with man’s independent desire and demand.

Monkeys or chimpanzees get their food with stones and sticks and beavers make embankments to protect their nests with trees. Their behaviors are only the blind activities based on their instinct and therefore, there are no changes in their activities in the past and at present. However, man not only utilizes phenomena as they are but utilizes them by transforming the world actively, purposefully and consciously in conformity with his will and demand.

Creativity is an attribute of creating the new.

The most important characteristic of man’s activities is not the partial reproduction or change but the creation of the new that does not exist in ready-made forms.

Thanks to man’s creative activity of creating the new he can create the new things, the artificial things which can never be done by the nature itself. By doing so man expands ceaselessly his domination over the world.

Like this man becomes a being with creativity, the creative being because he transforms things and phenomena in the world in conformity with his demand and creates the new.

That man has creativity means that he has creative capability to transform nature and society in conformity with his will and demand. With creative capability he becomes the most powerful being in the world and makes creative activities of transforming nature and society to be more useful and beneficial to him.

Creative capability includes scientific and technological knowledge, experience and skill.

Scientific and technological knowledge is a social consciousness that reflects the essence and law of things and phenomena, methods and means to change them. By virtue of scientific and technological knowledge man can make creative activities of liquidating the old and creating the new. Of course man’s creative activities of liquidating the old and creating the new have relations with experience and skills. However, man plays no more decisive role than scientific knowledge.

In this respect, the main factor determining man’s creativity is said to be scientific and technological knowledge, which is, so to speak, creative capability of man.


27 October 2018

Advancing Solidarity. A working pact with the BPWP

In the spirit of pursuing practical cooperation with parties across the political spectrum which we have common ground with, the following has been signed by Bob Flowers on behalf of the SMPBI, and Dion Gibbs of the BPWP:

Proclamation of the Coalition between the British Patriotic Worker's Party and the Socialist Motherland Party of the British Isles

27 October 2018

As leader elect of the British Patriotic Worker's Party, Mr. Dion Gibbs and with Agreement of the
Socialist Motherland Party of the British Isles via their Official, Bob Flowers, a mutual agreement of a pact for strategic voting and strategic alliance between the two Parties involved.

  1. We agree to vote for the most likeliest to get elected in a by election or a General Election.
  1. (A) We the signatories agree to advocate for the candidate most likely to be victorious in any elections held.
  2. We the signatories of this pact, agree to look for marginal seats, seats where our candidates are most likely to win or cause a national stir.
  3. We the signatories agree to protest together, attend each others meetings where at all possible and to show solidarity for both parties involved.
  4. We the signatories to this agreement pact, shall both, keep our distinct policies and where our policies diverge together, we will work hard together to effect law change or a change in the public's perception and attitude on the said issue.
  5. We the signatories, agree to, assist each other in any matters that may arise, as to keep any potential schisms at bay.
  6. We the signatories, will work hardest above all to gain political power and to create a Government of National Unity and Strength.

26 October 2018

BREXIT! The False left oppose it, True Socialists DEMAND It

Tomorrow, the great Arthur Scargill - formerly of the National Union of Mineworkers, now President of the Socialist Labour Party - will be speaking in Birmingham about Brexit.

From the SLP Post Brexit Statement:

"The SLP has always recognised the EU as an engine of free-market globalised capitalism. Membership of the EU has inflicted horrendous economic, social and political damage to all working people trapped within it. As for Britain, 90% of our manufacturing and key industries have been wiped out with our health, education and welfare provision steadily wiped out. We see the damage everywhere around us in the need for food banks and campaigns to protect homeless families and hundreds of individuals sleeping rough, whilst high-cost sky-scrapers shoot up to house billionaires and blight our cities.

"The decision by the British people to 'come out' of the unelected and unaccountable bastion of the European Union allows us to renew the fight to restore all the industries and services privatised by Tory and Labour Governments to public ownership – but this time we must campaign for true common and social ownership and control: in our badly damaged National Health Service; our social services including care for our elderly and children; in our education system; and we must demand the restoration of council housing, owned and controlled by local authorities.

"The vote to leave the European Union is a challenge to Britain's trade union leaders to reflect the views of their members on issues such the abolition of Trident and opposition to nuclear power and fracking, alongside job protection, wages, zero-hours contracts, agency working and privatisation. The Socialist Labour Party has consistently pointed out that EU membership has eroded – not protected – workers' rights.

"European Union directives and European Court of Justice decisions have robbed us of hardwon free collective bargaining, the right to strike, and attacked our pension rights. We must now all join a fight to overturn these injustices – and Britain's trade unions must give a lead in recovering the rights our forebears fought hard to achieve."

(Full Statement HERE)

The SMPBI joins with the SLP, CPB-ML, CPGB-ML and other Socialist organisations who understand that the EU is a Capitalists' playground, in calling for the Referendum result to be respected and implemented now!

We have a future outside the EU.  We have no future in a stitched-up 'remain in all but name' so-called 'deal' approved by Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.

In the spirit of Comradeship and Solidarity, we call on members who can get to the SLP meeting in Birmingham to show your support for the hero of the Miners' Strike, and defender of the Working Class.  Details of the meeting can be found at the SLP website:

25 October 2018

24 October 2018

Wilberg on Wednesday - The Illness Is The Cure pt 16/46

Illness as Deviance

In Latin norma means ‘square’, the carpenter’s square. Until the 1830’s the English word normal meant standing at a right angle to the ground. During the 1840s it came to mean conformity to a common type. In 1880s, in America it came to mean the usual state or condition not only of things but of people… [It] was first given a medical connotation around 1840 by August Comte … During the last decade of the nineteenth century, the norms and standards of the hospital became fundamental criteria for diagnosis and therapy. For this to happen … it was sufficient that disease as deviance from a clinical standard make medical intervention legitimate… “
Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis, the Expropriation of Health

Though they may or may not think very deeply about what is wrong with the social and economic system they live in, most people who suffer from being stuck in poverty, poor housing or boring, low-pay jobs would not think of asking what is wrong with them. Nor do people who suffer from the experience of war, floods or other natural catastrophes, deaths in their family etc. Yet when it comes to suffering experienced in the form of bodily symptoms of ‘illness’, then, unless their condition is clearly related to their immediate environment or living conditions (for example starvation, lack of clean water, radioactive emissions etc.) the first question people tend to ask themselves is ‘What’s wrong with ME?’

The question itself carries several implications. Firstly, the word ‘wrong’ implies that something abnormal and unnatural is going on in their bodies, i.e. a deviation from some norm of ‘healthy’ bodily functioning. Secondly, the question implicitly asks for a ‘cause’ of the body’s deviant behaviour – and usually seeks an answer in the form of some medically diagnosable ‘illness’ or ‘disease’. Indeed the sufferer might already be asking themselves speculative diagnostic questions such as ‘Am I getting a cold?’ or ‘Might I have cancer?’.

A third, even worse implication is suggested by the little word ‘me’ – the implication of it being that not just a person’s ‘mind’ or ‘body’ but they themselves are ‘deviant’ in some way. The belief that illness is a form of deviant bodily state or even deviant behaviour may be reinforced by feelings of shame or anxiety around it – for example, shame or anxiety about calling in sick and taking a day or more off work.

Such feelings are further reinforced if, as was revealed in a recent documentary on working conditions and regulations in Amazon warehouses – employees are actually given a ‘black point’ for simply taking half a day off work due to illness – or even just feeling tired at the end of a gruelling 10- hour night shift – and thus not fulfilling their pre-set performance targets. Worse still, the Amazon rule was ‘three strikes’ (three black points) and you’re out – quite literally out of a job – and that quite irrespective of whether your symptoms (for example a bad or even chronically injured back) might actually be due to the excessive strain placed upon your body by the job itself (for example from having to constantly push heavy trolleys). In the case of Amazon, we must include also the mental stress of having the maximum time in which you are expected to pick up another item for the trolley literally counted down in seconds on a hand-held monitor carried by every employee).

This is but a particularly extreme example of how the very phenomenon that we call ‘illness’ is never itself brought into question. Is a worker’s ‘illness’ merely their bad back, or some other psychological stress or physical strain symptom? Is it enough to have a doctor diagnose the patient’s symptoms (for example as tendonitis or a damaged vertebra ) to know what’s ‘wrong’ – to know what the ‘illness’ is? Or is what is really ‘wrong’ the fact that institutionalised biological medicine limits the very phenomenon of illness to the patient’s body and mind – failing to look for let alone ‘diagnose’ anything fundamentally ‘wrong’, ‘ill’ or ‘sick’ in their life world.

This narrow biomedical concept of ‘illness’ as a phenomenon is particularly obvious in the case of so-called ‘mental illness’ – where a person may for example, be medically labelled as suffering from a ‘psychiatric disorder’ called ‘depression’ – yet without taking into account any of the countless entirely good and valid reasons a person might have for feeling depressed, even severely or ‘clinically’ depressed (for example the actual or looming death of a spouse, loss of a home or job etc.). More broadly still (and though it seems almost a too blindingly obvious question to even ask, though it rarely is asked) what sort of medical ‘mindset’ is it that regards ‘depression’, ‘cancer’ and even ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’ as ‘illnesses’ – but not exploitative wage-slavery or war – not even dropping atom bombs on whole populations or using carcinogenic uranium tipped bullets? Similarly, what sort of medical mindset is it that regards liver cirrhosis as an ‘illness’ – but not the mass marketing of alcoholic drinks or a culture of binge-drinking? The list of possible examples here is endless, yet they all point to a wholly artificial division between the sickness of individuals and that of society as a whole and social relationships in general – including the doctor-patient relationship – a division maintained not just by medical practitioners but all too often by their patients as well.

From the first question (‘What’s wrong with me?’) comes another: ‘What can I do about it?’. This second question too, carries many hidden implications and presuppositions. One major presupposition is that if a person has discomforting symptoms of any sort, then the natural and obvious course of action is to seek to get rid of them – and to do so both as soon as possible and by any medical means available. The idea that an illness may be a natural expression or even a healthy response to fundamentally unhealthy ways of living and relating, to distressing life experiences – or to a fundamentally sick world – does not even enter the medical mindset shared by most doctors and patients alike. Instead it is as if the whole place of medicine in society is simply to eradicate the symptoms of a sick society by ‘privatising’ them – reducing them to a personal condition of individuals and one that can be diagnosed and treated independently of their larger social and relational context of emergence.

What Martin Buber said of so-called ‘mental illness’, namely that “sicknesses of the soul are sicknesses of relation” can therefore just as well be said of so-called ‘physical illnesses’ too – ‘sicknesses of the body’. Indeed it may be argued that ‘sicknesses of the body’ are there precisely to express and make us aware of ‘sicknesses of the soul’. For the human body is not just a more or less well-functioning biological machine but a living relational language of the human being. And just as ‘body language’ constitutes the major component of all human communication and relating, so also is ‘bodily sensing’ (Gendlin) our most important way of staying aware of how we are experiencing our lives and life world as a whole – being a type of sensitive field awareness of that world as opposed to the more focussed awareness we apply to everyday activities in it.

As Carlos Castaneda put it: “The body is an awareness.” This is an understanding central to the very essence of what we call ‘body’ – a word whose oldest etymological meaning is simply ‘to be aware’ or ‘be awake’. Quite simply, the body itself, being itself so intimately connected with the world around us, also is aware of and knows that world more deeply and intimately than the intellect alone. Yet we are faced with medical mindset that, whilst it claims a huge amount of intellectual knowledge about the body, at the same time totally ignores or devalues the body’s own knowing – that sensitive knowing awareness which the body most essentially is.

A second presupposition of the ‘What can I do about it?’ question is (except in emergency situations or where simple remedies suffice) the belief that anything needs to be ‘done’ at all. For more often than not, when patients present physicians with symptoms, their principal motive – beside the basic infantile one of wanting a parent figure who will ‘make it better’ – is simply to seek acknowledgement or ‘registration’ of their discomfort or suffering by another human being and – through the official role of the doctor in society – by society at large. The patient may also, consciously or unconsciously, be seeking someone who will recognise the ways in which they feel not just ill-at-ease with their bodies but ill-at-ease with their lives, i.e. recognition of the existential or life dis-ease that their body is communicating through their symptoms.

This is not the same thing as asking for a medically recognised ‘disease’ to be diagnosed. For though this is something which may be a comfort for some, for most patients diagnostic testing and its results often constitutes a further step on the road of separating their body from their being, their ‘illness’ from their life – including their life history, relationships, circumstances and conditions, dilemmas and ‘dis-ease’. Taking this step may also lead to suggestions for medical treatment which only serve to reinforce this separation of illness and life, and which often also carry with them another presupposition latent in the question ‘What can I do about it?’. This is the presupposition that if nothing is done about it, ‘it’ can or will only get worse.

On one level, we all have a tendency to respond to any form of bodily suffering in a basically infantile way – feeling upset by it, wanting it to go away immediately or seeking someone or something that will ‘make’ it go away – make us ‘better’ as soon as possible. We may also believe that if nothing is done the symptoms will either persist for ever or get worse in ways that are a further source of fear. This belief and the fear associated with it is often actively intensified by physicians (usually out of their own fear of negligence in ignoring the possibility of some serious or even life-threatening disease developing if what may be its first signs are not looked at more closely or its still harmless first stages not treated promptly). Indeed we could go so far as to say that the mindset of biological medicine is based on a fundamentally paranoid relation to the human body and bodily states. Thus the often amorphous sense of ‘not feeling ourselves’ that is often taken as the first sign of ‘illness’ may already alienate us from our bodies – leading us to experience them in a paranoid way as alien or persecutory bodies, altering and threatening the usual bodily sense of self we take for granted.

In today’s medicalised world however, any suggestion that we might overcome this sense of alienation from our bodies in the way that human beings used to do for millennia – by accepting and patiently bearing the discomforts, pain or incapacity we are suffering – is regarded as a dangerous form of defeatism in the on-going medical ‘war’ against disease, i.e. against whatever genes, cells or microorganisms are currently held by medical ‘science’ to be the alien disease ‘entities’ responsible for that suffering. The role of the physician then, is reduced to one of merely identifying this alien entity as precisely as possible in medical terms, and then medically exterminating or surgically excising it. Hence instead of exercising the art of patience in the face of suffering people become willing ‘patients’, often colluding with physicians in a common war against the supposedly alien entities inhabiting their bodies. The biological fact that there are, all the time, millions of times more bacteria than cells in a ‘healthy’ human body (including pathogenic ones) is quietly ignored – as are many proven medical and biological facts that fly in the face of biological medicine.

The fact of the matter is also that in industrialised societies billions of people – even if not ‘ill’ in medical terms – are already unhealthily alienated from their bodies. They are so simply by virtue of having to sell their bodies’ physical and mental capacities to an employer – for them to use or abuse at will for in the pursuit of commercial and corporate profit. Yet instead of this fact – this ‘sickness of relation’ – being taken as an illness in itself it is meekly accepted as an unalterable economic ‘given’.

After all, we all have to ‘earn a living’, even if we have no option but to do so through what Marx described so well as “the alienation of labour” – a big part of which was the alienation of the labourer from his or her own body. The result is that ‘health’ as such has increasingly come to be defined as mere ‘fitness for work’, i.e. the capacity to ‘function’ economically and in this way conform to and sustain an economic system based on wage-slavery.

That the human body should rebel against this type of alienation and slavery through symptoms of ‘illness’ – even and particularly if as human beings we do not ourselves rebel – is surely a healthy response (and that even and particularly if it incapacitates or disables the individual’s capacity to merely function economically as a ‘healthy’ corporate wage-slave).

And yet the pseudo-religious dogma and moralistic judgement that illness implies something ‘wrong’ with the body – or even with the person who is deemed ‘ill’ – stubbornly persists, thereby providing an on-going justification for the increasing medicalisation – and commercially highly lucrative medication – of almost every form of human suffering. Thus despite the no less commercialised proliferation of ‘alternative’ forms of medicine the true alternative to biological medicine finds almost no voice in our society. This is the alternative of understanding the very phenomenon of ‘illness’ in a way that transcends the boundaries of the body, of seeking and finding meaning in illness rather than seeking medical cures for it. By this I mean understanding what we call illness as something with an innately healing function – not something in need of cure or elimination but there to cure us – to free us from intrinsically unhealthy ways of thinking, relating, living and ‘making a living’. Hence the provocative title of my book – ‘The Illness is the Cure’.

One fundamental way in which each of us can therefore begin to alter our whole understanding of and relation to illness from this new and radical perspective is therefore precisely not to ask ourselves the sort of questions referred to at the beginning of this essay- questions such as what is ‘wrong’ with us or with our bodies. Instead we can ask ourselves what it is that our bodies are telling us is wrong with our lives. Similarly, instead of asking ourselves what we can ‘do’ to cure our symptoms we can ask ourselves what our bodies themselves are urging – or even forcing us – to start or stop doing in and with those lives (by which I do not mean things like stopping smoking or starting on the latest health tips and fads).

It is the reduction of life as such (Greek bios) in all its dimensions to the life of the body, and the reduction too of life’s own meaningful ‘speech’ (bios logos) to a single science called ‘biology’ that together constitute the most basic falsehoods on which modern ‘biological’ medicine is built – preying on our need for instant fixes for any form of suffering.

Therefore a second way of fundamentally changing our relationship to illness is, like the Stoics and Pyrrhronian skeptics of ancient Greece, to refuse to judge any particular way of experiencing our body – and with it our minds – as ‘better’ than any other. This means also breaking with the conventional association of health with happiness. For it might well be that by fully accepting a bodily state of suffering associated with ‘illness’, not only do we not cease to be capable of happiness, but might actually experience a new and deeper state of ‘happiness’ or ‘well-being’ – one wholly independent of the presence or absence of ‘illness’ or suffering in our lives.

What we are speaking of is a depth of contact with our own innermost being (Greek daimon) that in and of itself constitutes a state of ‘well-being’ – one that the Greeks called eudaimonia.

23 October 2018

Russ James on Alan Cox's Radion Show 10pm 25.10.18


Russ James will be on Alan Cox's Understanding Spirit radio show, at 10pm, this Thursday, the 25th October.  To listen live, go to Alan's website and follow the links:

This is the last chance for suggestions for topics to discuss.  Please send them to the internal email or for non-members, to jointhesmpbi@gmail.com

22 October 2018

David Parry working with the Eurasian Creative Guild

7 Day Literary and Art Week concluded amidst dreams and hopes
Source: http://eurasianperspective.co.uk/2018/10/11/7-day-literary-and-art-week-concluded-amidst-dreams-and-hopes/)

LONDON(Raza Syed/Sohail Loun):The second 7 Day Literary and Art Week 2018, which brought together writers, poets, intellectuals and experts from  all over the world and various walks of life, concluded on 7th Oct 2018(Sunday )with a musical night of dazzling performances in London.

The festival was launched a Fitzroy House where guests and participants from throughout the UK and abroad were warmly welcomed at a ceremony hosted by Sarah Eicker and Anna Lari.

The second Literary and Art Week organised by the Eurasian Creative Guild  was a celebration of new fiction, nonfiction and poetry as well as painting, drawing and sculpture by contemporary Eurasian writers and artists.

Comprising a dynamic and varied programme of 25 events, it showcased work by both established and emerging writers, poets and artists  many of whom were visiting or being represented in the UK for the first time, through readings, discussions and networking, as well as exhibitions interspersed with outstanding performances by renowned musicians.

Guests were then invited to the 5th Base Gallery in Whitechapel for the opening of ‘Living and Dreaming’; an exhibition of contemporary Belarusian art organised by Belarus’ Belbrand Association and the Art Haos Gallery in collaboration with Pro Art & Co.

This was the first time that selected artists had displayed their work outside Belarus and offered audiences a rare opportunity to witness how contemporary art is evolving in the post USSR era. Influences of the country’s grand-masters Mark Chagall and Leon Bakst could clearly be discerned, alongside subjects drawn from traditional folklore but there were also international references including Chinese scroll paintings and Impressionist-style landscapes. In addition to the 5th Base gallery, art was also exhibited in the other venues and altogether, 20 artists, from 5 countries (Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus) were presented including : Gulnara Makhmudova, Gulzada Hamra, Yulia Krylova, Alesia Isa, Alexander Perlin, Maria Kosheleva, Anastasiya Shilyagina, Maria Larionova, Pavel Grebennikov, Roman Sakovich, Varvara Viborova, Olga Grouss, Alexander Yushkevich, Egor Batalyonok, Nicolay Buschik, Alexandra Demidova, Vasilij Kostuchenko, Ivan Semiletov, Anna Silivonchik, Alexandra Shibneva.

The 4th day of Literary Week began at the Celebrity Drop-in Centre at St. Peter’s Anglo-Catholic Church in Clapham, London, hosted by former Chair and long-time champion of ECG, Rev.David Parry. David was then joined by Danielle Irandoost at Yunus Emre, to conduct a discussion on the intriguing interplay between art, espionage and the occult sciences within a distinctively Central Asian context whilst referencing amongst others, writer, painter, theosophist, archaeologist and philosopher,Nicholas Roerich.

Talking about the Festival, Guest and participants said that the festival had made a mark on the cultural life here and stating that Eurasian Creative Guild has become “a prominent voice of Central Asian’s intellectual journey.”

Anna Komar (Belarus) closed the session with a selection of deeply moving poems from“Recycled”, inspired by a young woman’s harrowing experiences of love and abuse. She was joined by her editor John Farndon who warmly endorsed her poetic talent.Perhaps this was the most remarkable programme of the event.

Marat Akhmedjanov founder of Eurasian Creative Guild, thanked all the literary community for making the festival a grand success. He said that the platform is an institution with a huge vision and an ecosystem of multiple projects.

Talking about the Festival, Guest and participants said that the festival had made a mark on the cultural life here and stating that Eurasian Creative Guild has become “a prominent voice of Central Asian’s intellectual journey.”

21 October 2018

Socialist Quotes for Sunday Reflection pt 33

Globalization encompasses three institutions: global financial markets and transnational companies, national governments linked to each other in economic and military alliances led by the United States, and rising "global governments" such as World Trade Organization (WTO), IMF, and World Bank.
Charles Derber argues in his book People Before Profit, "These interacting institutions create a new global power system where sovereignty is globalized, taking power and constitutional authority away from nations and giving it to global markets and international bodies". Titus Alexander argues that this system institutionalises global inequality between western countries and the Majority World in a form of global apartheid, in which the IMF is a key pillar.

The establishment of globalised economic institutions has been both a symptom of and a stimulus for globalisation. The development of the World Bank, the IMF regional development banks such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and multilateral trade institutions such as the WTO signals a move away from the dominance of the state as the exclusive unit of analysis in international affairs. Globalization has thus been transformative in terms of a reconceptualising of state sovereignty

Derber, Charles (2002). People Before Profit. New York: Picador.

Alexander, Titus (1996). Unravelling Global Apartheid: an overview of world politics. Polity press. pp. 127–133.


“In all of Europe, in the whole world, political power is at the service of high finance and banking, it submits to the abject impositions of thieves and fraudsters working together in legal consortium. Not even in the worst times of barbarism and slave trade were human beings trafficked with such cold cruelty. Nations are put on the market. Public life exists only as a filthy commerce practiced within the confines of sterile institutions and hollow laws.”

- Gabriele D’Annunzio in an address to his Arditi, Fiume, 1920


October 20th, marks the anniversary of Gaddafi’s assassination. Let us recall the words of his will and testament:

I call on my supporters to continue the resistance, and fight any foreign aggressor against Libya, today, tomorrow and always.

Let the free people of the world know that we could have bargained over and sold out our cause in return for a personal secure and stable life. We received many offers to this effect but we chose to be at the vanguard of the confrontation as a badge of duty and honour.

Even if we do not win immediately, we will give a lesson to future generations that choosing to protect the nation is an honour and selling it out is the greatest betrayal that history will remember forever despite the attempts of the others to tell you otherwise.


20 October 2018

Freedom is an Illusion without Economic Sovereignty

The present government is possibly the least trusted government in living memory, and it is certainly a contender for the least democratic.  At a time when the policies of government have pushed the people to think only of how they are to survive, the cynical opportunists are wasting no time to break every election pledge, and push forward with an agenda that the people did not, and would not, vote for.

Under the lie of 'austerity', the government are transferring wealth away from the poorest sections of society, into the coffers of the richest.  Theresa May has stated that austerity is over.  The austerity policies continue, so this is another sound bite without substance.  Giving tax breaks to their friends and their masters in the Establishment, and cutting services for the common people, the government insist that only by encouraging enterprise and cutting bureaucracy can the country struggle out of recession.  What they fail to mention is that every recession is artificially created in order to redistribute wealth away from the people.

The re-privatisation of the Banks taken into public and part-national ownership under the previous regime, was conducted at a loss to the taxpayer.  Yet again, the bankers gained at our expense.  If the government was honest in any way, it would admit that the banking crisis was created to increase the grip of international finance, and that the only solution to our economic woes is for the government to issue its own currency, and pay the banks what they are owed in debt, using worthless pieces of paper created with no backing - in exactly the same way as the banks created the debt in the first place.  Would the banks then fail?  Hopefully so.  However, what would be guaranteed would be that the people would owe the banks nothing, and the graduated income tax system introduced as a temporary measure to repay the Bankers' loans to pay for the war against Napoleon, could finally be abolished.  Of course, as the politicians serve the Bankers and not the people, this outcome could not be expected under the present system.

On top of the theft of the people's money; in effect reducing us all to wage-slaves who have no option but to pay their taxes forever, the government have 'relaxed' green belt restrictions, allowing for the already over-populated UK to be flooded with millions more people who will be housed at the cost of the destruction of the land.  Our country already relies on imports of food, thus an increase in population can only make the suffering which will come when food imports are interrupted, more devastating than if the population stayed at roughly the ridiculous level it is at now. 

Tinkering with the economy is the way of political parties of ever hue.  What the main parties will not do is to bring about full economic sovereignty for the country.  As long as the issue of currency is in the hands of the banks, the country will never be free.

The great American, Thomas Jefferson stated that
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."

That was true for the early United States, and it is true now in this and every other country.

Relaxing austerity is mere smoke and mirrors.  Theresa May will not tackle the banks, nor will Jeremy Corbyn.  Refusal to even consider breaking the power of the banks, is certain proof of allegiance to the economic system they are a central part of.

19 October 2018

Act NOW: Stop the GRA Reform.

Image thanks to Socialist Feminist Network: https://www.socfem.net/

The deadline for filling out the Gender Recognition Act Reform Consultation Survey is 11pm tonight.

If you have not had a chance to voice your opposition to a reprehensible piece of legislation which will wipe out hard fought for Women's Rights, and will be a Charter for Paedophilia, you need to go online NOW and do so.  The site you need to visit is:


If self-id for Gender is allowed, it will encourage the manipulation of impressionable children, into undergoing medical assault which, whilst highly profitable to the pharmaceutical companies, will have life-long devastating effects upon the children themselves.  Reform of the legislation will embolden paedophiles as it will enshrine in law the sexualisation of children.  The media is pushing the transfascist agenda, the education system is in lock-step, the government and so-called opposition parties are equally pushing this vile anti-reality insanity.

The powers that be have consistently undermined the safety of Women and Children. This is just another part of the total removal of all defences against misogynist control.  Major corporations back this move.  Capitalists only back that which increases their revenue.  The GRA Reform will destroy the lives of those who are pressured into undergoing 'sex-change' (which is in any case impossible).  It will also wreck all the progress towards equality which women have fought hard for.

Already we have seen Men self-identifying as Women in Sport, with the recent case of a man 'winning' the Women's World Cycling Championships.  His physiology gave him an advantage over women, turning him from a loser in Men's Sport, into a 'winner' by cheating in Women's Sport.  In another case, a Woman Boxer was seriously injured when beaten (literally) by a Man who could not defeat other men in a boxing ring, so chose to pretend to be a woman so that he could legally assault women in the ring and gain a 'victory' which he had no right to.

Self-id will exacerbate the problems women and children are already facing, and will also have an impact upon Trans-Sexuals, who will be lumped in with people who larp gender roles to be fashionable, and dangerous perverts and/or rapists who will use self-id as an opportunistic way of gaining access to more victims.

Self-id will encourage homosexuals to identify as being in the wrong body, which is profoundly homophobic, as well as scientifically nonsensical.

Self-id will allow even more predators access to Women's Refuges, Prisons, and into female only organisations such as the Girl Guides.  Do you want your daughter to have to share a sleeping space with a boy who claims to be a girl?  At best he is mentally ill (which is bad enough), at worst you could be putting your child at risk of rape.

SMPBI has a policy of not asking people about their sexuality.  We don't see an individual's sexual preference as any more relevant than his or her taste in music (with the obvious exception of paedophiles/rapists and indeed music which promotes the same).  We do not see homosexuality as something to be ashamed of, but the GRA Reform will embolden those who do.  Children who are homosexual will be encouraged to see themselves in need of costly treatment to 'cure' same sex attraction, with expensive 'therapy' including surgery being pushed on them to put them in the 'right' body, rather than accept that they prefer their own sex to the opposite one.

GRA Reform is crafted in such a way to legalise and normalise homophobic bigotry, sexism, paedophilia, misogyny etc, all at the same time as generating vast profits for the trans industry.  It has to be stopped.  We have to stop it now.  The deck is stacked against us, but we must shout with the voice of sanity now, so that should the Reform happen, we have the strongest base possible to fight back.

If you are on the fence, you need to get off it now.  If you need more information, a good place to start is with Radical Snippet's banned facebook writings, now available at:


You're online already, so there is no excuse for doing nothing.  Go to the Consultation link now (it closes at 11pm):
Do it NOW!

18 October 2018

Liberal-extremism is a Disease of the Mind

Psychology is a much mocked science.  Captured early on by the charlatan, Sigmund Freud, Psychology will forever be tainted by its association with the plagiarist and sexual deviant, and by those who followed in his wake.  However, whereas the presence of shysters is undeniable, the willingness to reject the study out of hand, is a reaction we undertake at our peril.  The motley collection of cranks and politically correct psycho-social engineers hiding behind the claims to be academic researchers, have done much to aid the advance of liberal extremism, but this truth only underlines the validity of the science itself.

Carl Gustav Jung began in the shadow of Freud, but soon realised that the entire direction of psychology was wrong, and that an understanding of the workings of the mind could not be generalised to everyone, regardless of cultural background.  Understanding that at our very essence we are spiritual creatures, Jung's greatest gift to our understanding was his emphasis on the inner psychic/spiritual unity of culturally kindred peoples.  Absolutely rejecting the imposition of Freudian Psychological analytical techniques on anyone except people raised under the debilitating conditions of a neurosis founded on a persecution AND superiority complex, Jung understood that each culture can be said to have a distinct soul - its very own collective unconscious - and that attempts to analyse others through the looking glasses of our own origins, are futile.  Whereas Freud is a key tool of the Globalists, Jung stands as a staunch defender of freedom in a multipolar world.

The deliberate muddying of the science of Psychology, by elevating the theories of certain personalities, and ridiculing those of others, has been a part of the politicisation of science.  Just as social anthropologists and ecologists can be bought to serve the globalisers, sadly, so can a significant number of scientists of every discipline.  The internal debates and the public mockeries which shroud our perception of the study of ourselves, masks the most fundamental fact; that the Bourgeois Ruling Class fully appreciate how the scientific method can be applied to understanding how we think, and to using that knowledge against us.  The deliberate denial of a biological basis in how we think, is pure politics, and whilst demanded of the masses, is not practised by the ruling parasitic class.

The basic psychological predisposition of the British Working Class is towards fairness, and tolerance of ideas.  One of our most clearly identifiable traits is our love of freedom.  We espouse Freedom of Speech, Thought, Expression etc; not because we are ideologically conditioned by our leaders to do so, but because we internally know that Freedom is right.  We sense it at a level which is beyond intellectual; it is a part of our spiritual outlook.

Liberal extremism has perversely corrupted our inner sense of fair play.  Our inner desire to see real justice for everyone, has become the tool by which to make us weak.  Liberal extremism only exists because our enemies have taken a wholesome desire for everyone to be treated with respect, and turned it into a way of beating down those who oppose the replacement of all we hold dear with a 'culture' of bland consumerism .  The sense of fairness which opposes the exploitation of those weaker than ourselves, has become the sick diseased liberalism which promotes all manner of degeneracy and social suicide.  The enemy has studied us, and found a weak spot by which to undermine us, whilst simultaneously appealing to our inner soul.

The vipers who are destroying us, have cunningly corrupted the foundations of our societies by attacking the very core of how we feel.  They have attacked us at a level which undermines our ability to obey our instincts and to fight back.  Rather than expending energy trying to accommodate people who are clearly not a part of the majority society, we need to accept that they cannot be - nor should they.  We need to use the Science of Psychology as Jung intended; to understand ourselves, and to defend and develop our own culture as a Class; to harness and embrace our own collective unconscious.  Psychological manipulation has been used to turn us against ourselves.  Once we can see this attack, we can protect ourselves from it.

Liberal extremism is a bourgeois sickness. Once we see it as a mental disease, we can understand that there is as no point in trying to reason with those who suffer from it. Rather, we must quarantine those who have fallen victim to this toxin, in psychiatric institutions where they can be contained.  In the cases of members of our class who have fallen victim to the machinations of the anti-reality media and educational indoctrination system, it is possible that some of them may be rescued from the sickness - through intensive re-education / deprogramming - and be helped to reach a level of mental health where they are no longer a danger to society, and may have the potential to re-enter it as useful contributing members

17 October 2018

Wilberg on Wednesday - The Illness Is The Cure pt 15/46

Biomedicine as a Religion
of Salvation from Sickness

Science is the new religion.” Nowhere, outside perhaps cosmology, is this saying by Martin Heidegger more evident than in the field of biomedical science, which, like a religion, claims an absolute monopoly on true ‘knowledge’ in matters relating to illness and the human body – regarding all other or earlier forms of medicine as based on primitive or pre-scientific ‘beliefs’ in contrast to true biological ‘knowledge’ in the form of biomedical ‘science’ – the ‘one true faith’.

The cultural kinship between biological medicine and religion goes even further and deeper however. To begin with, the words ‘whole’, ‘hail’, ‘hale’, ‘heal’ and ‘holy’ share a common origin. Hence the unhealthy is also the ‘unholy’, as echoed in the German word ‘Unheil’. It is not surprising then, that some religions have therefore traditionally associated sickness with sin, not least Christianity – which also laid emphasis on the healing powers of Christ as part of his salvational role.

The theme of this chapter is that biomedicine effectively offers the same type of salvation as a religion, so that even whilst its emphasis is on salvation from sickness rather than from sin, nevertheless in today’s health-obsessed culture, health as such has become a synonym of what is ‘good’ whereas illness is regarded as something not only intrinsically ‘bad’ but also associated with ‘unhealthy’ (read ‘sinful’) activities such as ‘bad’ foods, smoking, overeating, not taking enough exercise etc.

Thus it was only a small step from the demonization of smoking to the demonization and ostracization of smokers – who are constantly reminded by medical propaganda and gruesome images on cigarette packets that they will pay the price for their filthy habit or ‘sin’ – for example through eventually contracting one or another form of serious lung or heart disease as a form of punishment.

Biomedical science is not only a religion of salvation from the implicit ‘evil’ of illness but also and in this way a search for salvation from death itself. Indeed through advances in genetics, biomedical science holds out the ultimate prospect of overcoming death itself – through a form of physical immortality.

Through the medicalization of death, healthcare has become a monolithic world religion.” Ivan Illich

The new religion has evolved to the point of having its own Bible and Book of Genesis – namely the human genome – a bible which is understood by the medical-scientific high priests of this religion as literally holding all the keys to life and death, sickness and health – yet which only those high priests can decode and master.

Through this new bible the long-standing quasi-religious quest for ‘miracle cures’ on the part of biomedical science continues. For though medical researchers regularly complain about the exaggeration of such cures on the part of the media, pharmaceutical companies still promote their pills as ‘magic bullets’ with miraculous powers – and that however negligible their effectiveness in comparison to placebos, or however mysterious their mechanism of action is to biomedical science itself.

Nevertheless, as Illich also points out: “Public fascination with high-technology care and death…” continues, and can be understood, as the expression “…of a deep-seated need for the engineering of miracles.”

A case in point is ‘intensive care’, which Illich describes “…as but the culmination of public worship organised around a medical priesthood struggling against death.”

On the other hand, he also points out significant differences between the religion of biomedicine and the approach of traditional religions to illness and suffering.

The major religions reinforce resignation to misfortune and offer a rationale, a style and a community setting in which suffering can become a dignified performance.” The difference also lies in the different modes of interpretation of illness that these religions offer, whether “…as karma accumulated through past incarnations, as an invitation to Islam, the surrender to God; or as an opportunity for closer association with the Saviour on the Cross.”

In contrast:

Medical procedures turn into black magic when, instead of mobilising his self-healing powers, they transform the sick man into a limp and mystified voyeur of his own treatment.” They also “turn into sick religion when they are performed as rituals that focus the entire expectation of the sick on science and its functionaries instead of encouraging them to seek a poetic interpretation of their predicament or find an admirable example in some person – long dead or next door – who learned to suffer.”

Illich himself became a supreme embodiment of such an “admirable example” during the last ten years of his life, during which he refused hi-tech biomedical treatment for a painful and disfiguring facial cancer on the grounds that it would prevent him from engaging in the most innately fulfilling and therefore most essentially healthy dimension of his life – namely his work.

Yet as he also observed, the religious dimension of biomedicine is nowhere better exemplified than by the money poured into hi-tech cancer research and treatment, which increases in direct proportion to the ineffectiveness of such treatment – or its iatrogenic effects in either triggering or worsening cancer conditions as well as severely damaging the patient’s quality of life (for example through carcinogenic chemo- or radiotherapy) and all this on the pretext of saving that life.

This paradox can only be accounted for by recognising that “Paradoxically, the more attention is focussed on the technical mastery of disease, the larger becomes the symbolic and non-technical function performed by medical technology … Not only white coats, masks, antiseptics, and ambulance sirens but entire branches of medicine continue to be financed because they have been invested with non-technical, usually symbolic power.”

This would also explain why entirely fake operations relying only on the symbolically suggestive power of mysterious forms of technology and belief in the god-like power of clinicians or surgeons have been shown, like placebos, to be capable of producing exactly the same results as real operations – with operating theatres serving as the innermost holy sanctum of hospitals – the temples of biomedicine.

This is not to say that emergency-room operating theatres and intensive care units do not and have not saved lives or that they should be abolished. But intensive hospital care for the ‘terminally ill’ is a different matter entirely – for as Illich notes, evidence suggests it does not increase life expectancy at all and in many cases it actually reduces it in comparison with home care – which allows the patient to “avoid the exile, loneliness and indignities which, in all but exceptional hospitals, await them.” Thus “…patients who have suffered cardiac infarction themselves tend to express a preference for home care; they are frightened by the hospital, and in a crisis would rather be close to people they know. Careful statistical findings have confirmed their intuition: the higher mortality rate of those benefited by mechanical care in the hospitals is usually ascribed to fright.”

Putting the fear of God’ – and of death – into patients is a more recent and one of the most perversely religious dimensions of biomedicine. Thus the current standard of what is bizarrely understood as ‘ethical’ practice on the part of biomedical clinicians is to present patients diagnosed with terminal illness with a worst case scenario as regards their maximum life-expectancy.

Thus a patient may be told that he or she has at most one year or less to live, even though the clinician well knows from experience and empirical evidence that though this may be the case, there can be absolutely no ‘scientific’ certainty in this respect – and that the patient may in fact live on for anything up for an indefinite number of years – or even, as also happen, go into remission.

The profound and stressful psychological impact of such prognoses – and that not just on the patient’s state of mind but on their body – goes without saying. As a result it can prove tantamount to a self-fulfilling prophecy – a form of ‘death by prognosis’ – akin to a doomsaying religious prophecy or a witchdoctor’s curse.

Just as religion has its own temples so does biomedicine – the hospital or clinical surgery. These are truly clinical temples, unadorned, like Lutheran churches, and replacing uncomfortable pews with cheap plastic chairs. Stands or shelves abound in every waiting room, replete with glossy printed religious tracts warning of the evils of this or that disease and/or of the price to be paid by unhealthy (read ‘sinful’) lifestyles.

The institutional hierarchy of biomedicine is also like that of a church, except that its bishops are managerial bureaucrats who preach the gospel of cost-cutting and the sanctity of efficiency. Consultation with the patients are ritualised time-limited ‘procedures’ which severely restrict the patient’s ability to share their own lived experience of illness and its effects on their lives – something which anyway counts for nothing to the clinician unless the patient’s own words can be immediately translated into the dry liturgical language and terminology of biomedical science.

The physician is not there to listen, understand and empathise but, like the dogmatic mouthpiece of a religious belief system – simply to prescribe what the patient must do – whether this means taking a pill or undergoing a further standardised ‘procedure’ whether in the form of a blood test, a scan, an operation or a further tightly time controlled consultation with a ‘specialist’ in one or other area of biomedical theory and practice. All such procedures are of course documented in the form of medical records, reports, test results and communications. The result is that the patient is ultimately reduced to a set of documented, biomedically framed accounts of their illness in which all traces of the patient’s experience of illness have been purged.

As for the written ‘prescriptions’ with which patients regularly leave their clinic or hospital, these are comparable to the so-called ‘indulgences’ granted (or even sold) by the Catholic church, “proving relief from the temporal punishment resulting from the effect of sin” – or in this case sickness.

Finally, we should not forget also the religious and globally ‘crusading’ role of biomedicine in seeking to displace local, culturally and ethnically rooted understandings of illness – which, again, are seen as mere systems of ‘beliefs’ in contrast to the supposedly universal truth of biomedical ‘knowledge’. Here we see something akin to the historical appropriation of local ‘pagan’ gods and symbols by Christianity. Yet if traditional local remedies can be displaced by – or, as is increasingly the case – modified and repackaged as patented pharmaceutical products, then of course this crusade also reaps big profits for Big Pharma – just as the Crusades were as much about bringing home booty as imposing new belie