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The Disease Of Capital

We can only interpret the puzzling events of this society if we realize that the dull apathy of daily life does not come from boredom. We must realize how people are crushed beyond any ability to express the misery we feel. Our oppression is carved into our bodies in real ways. But escaping this condition requires us to escape the disease of morality.

Recently in Berkeley CA, Lake Tahoe, and around the country, "yuppies," feminists and others have reported a wasting disease, like a flu that doesn't go away. Its sufferers dubbed their condition "Chronic fatigue syndrome," "the yuppie flu," "environmental sensitivity" or "environmental illness." The problem that the "chronically fatigued" faced from the beginning was that their symptoms were very similar to the symptoms of depression.

Some scientists recently announced that the outbreak of "yuppie flu" in the Lake Tahoe region had definite physical components. Most of the sick people they studied had extra antibodies to a common virus. These scientists say this proves that "chronic fatigue syndrome" is a real sickness - that it is not hysteria.

Many of the sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome and environmental sensitivity have become activists in the cause of their disease. They have advocated their cause in newspapers and on radio. They have catalogued the causes and properties of their illness. The "chronically ill" and the yuppie flu sufferers believe that their illness comes from a virus. The environmentally ill say the problem is increased sensitivity to all man-made chemicals. For a while, these activists were blaming the Epstein-Barr virus for the condition but this seems less likely now.

Many chronically and environmentally ill activists have fought for a place within state-defined categories of disease. They are fighting for, among other things, social security to consider chronic fatigue syndrome and environmental illness disabilities. This would give the sufferers a larger piece of the declining pie of welfare money. Environmentally ill women have also lobbied to ban all scents from gatherings of feminists.

Despite these activists' efforts, there seems to be some suggestion that the disease is not what it seems. One environmental illness activist seemed to weaken her case when she said the main sufferers were politically active radical lesbians. It is absurd that a virus or other disease could infect people based on their political beliefs.

The Disease Of "Social Movements"

Political belief are important to the development of diseases as social movements. In these days of slavery to fashion, the morality of submission has been getting stricter and stricter. Now, only those who are "entirely innocent" qualify for salvation. Unborn babies can qualify for redemption but not the born.

Chronic fatigue syndrome appeared once the media stopped letting people talk about being angry or miserable. What had been in the realm of politics now goes in the realm of medicine.

The feminist movement began within the moral categories of this society. It accepted a newsmedia morality and images of suffering along with the rest of the left. The feminist and self-help movements of the seventies focused on people getting together and raising their awareness of their oppression. But they didn't break from the logic of television. They reached only a moral conclusion - this is bad.

They sought only to reform this society to end each instance of oppression women faced. They didn't aim to create a new system where women had control over own their lives. They celebrated a woman's right to work the same miserable wage labor as men. This is instead of working to abolish all wage labor. (We also want equal rights for women. But we know they can't be gotten in the framework of this society anyway.)

Even their most "extreme" slogan stayed within the logic of wage labor. They asked for "Wages for housework" rather than "End women's slavery in the home-factory."

The logic of the official feminist movement stayed within the logic of the entire system. Oppression, misery, and victimization were the only true evils. Those that knew each oppressions first hand were absolute authorities on them. It was common for a speech of that time (and still in leftist circles) to begin "as a physically different woman of color, I feel..."

Based the moral order of the day, official feminism failed when this order shifted. The newest moral order began when Reagan became president and Alcoholic Anonymous took center-stage as the newest consciousness raising tool. AA also is based on people sharing and supporting each other's pain. As Alcoholics Anonymous popularized the theory that alcoholism is a "disease," they allowed alcoholics to gain respect in the media world. As the innocent victim of a disease, the alcoholic is respected in a world where choices can no longer be made.

AA went even farther in reinforcing people's feelings of being helpless, atomized victims. But both feminism and AA were mystifying because they made immediate feeling of oppression the end of all their thinking. "The personal is the political" made unexamined experience an excuse for unexamined political ideologies.

The remnant of left culture merely put a "consciousness raising" veneer on the decisions of the system. A "Children's Bill of Rights" in schools proclaims "you have a right to accept the consequences of your actions." The only decision that you can "make responsibly" is the decision to crush yourself into the shape the system desires.

Disease of Morality

We can't deal with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome just in terms of whether the disease is "physical." We don't accept the terms of realness that capitalism gives us. The disorder of life debilitates us. We suffer from continuous work, uncertain financial conditions, crime, the hassles of shopping, TV propaganda for sexual roles, and our tense neighbors. This makes tension and depression normal.

The mind and the body are not separate. Even today's prejudiced researchers have documented how cancer, heart disease and other ailments stem from the destructive habits of modern life. It is possible for someone to die from being convinced that they will die. It is not uncommon for a "psychosomatic" illness to exhibit physical symptoms - just as most "physical" ailments have a psychological component.

The need to argue that you have a disease is the biggest disease of all. When modern conditions make people ask to have a disease, these conditions are debilitating. The idea of disease is critical as ideology is reaching the point of absolute zero. The modern idea of sickness arose with modern science. Modern medicine assumes that people get sick through some purely external force; a virus, bacteria, or etc. This model fits well within modern mythology of science and progress. Doctors are a new priesthood who treat the helpless, innocent victims of disease.

The upright Christians of the bible prayed for death to prevent further temptation and assure their place in heaven. Their angry God usually did not grant this death. Our secular authorities now teach us to desperately hope for ways to escape responsibility for our actions.

Sickness is the escape the modern moralist teaches us to hope for. From the time that we are school kids on up, we are taught to look forward to brief periods of illness. This is the only time when we get excused from taking part in the mad rush of modern culture. The cool, clean, white-walled hospital room where you can just lie and be cured is in every soap opera. Disease is sold as a way to escape everyday life.

In the space of total slavery to television, to fashion or to political trends, no one decides their fate. People who want drugs or who enjoy sex simply do not exist. They are edited out.

This space is also a feeling of total emptiness outside of television, outside of representation. Leftists, feminists and political activists inhabit only the most extreme wings of the house built by morality. Once the sun of trends left them, the cadre of feminism was frozen by social alienation.

Modern misery intensifies as the social vacuum becomes more complete. The semi-religions that celebrate people's desire to crush themselves arise just because this is the only activity officially permitted.

The theorists of morality suffer from a condition of their own design. The oppression of women is real. It is horrible and not improved by legislation, social work or marches.