Title: When the Whole World is Ill…
Subtitle: … I don't know if I even want to be healthy
Author: Anonymous
Date: Autumn 2018
Source: Translated for The Local Kids, Issue 2
Notes: First appeared as Wenn die ganze Welt krank ist… weiß ich gar nicht, ob ich überhaupt gesund sein will… in Fernweh (Anarchistische Straßenzeitung, München), Issue 24, February 2017

In this society, certain feelings of suffering, such as persistent depression, inner dissatisfaction, emptiness and numbness become commonplace. Because these feelings are not just something exceptional and temporary for many people, but something permanent - they become relative. Because these phenomena appear in so many different people - and do not just disappear again - the suffering becomes something normal, perhaps without reason and cause, something one can come to terms with and treat. Or you repress it, try to deceive yourself about it and so you can perhaps suppress these feelings.

We have to function, keep working, stay fit, hold on, grit our teeth - that's what counts. And if there is a work accident and a cog in the machinery no longer feels well, there is always a way out of the crisis, of illness, burnout, depression and whatever, because after all, we are all ill from time to time. It's not going that well for all of us, the main thing is finding a way to deal with it, finding a way to compensate for all the pressure and stress, whether in a fitness studio, in a spa, at a party or on an adventure holiday. In the constant crisis management, trapped between work, stress and leisure industry, everyone learns to find a way to deal with their own emotional crippling... the church consoles us with a paradise waiting for us and offers us a community of faith and traditional values and rites that offer us a bit of support. And even more modern is the spiritual trend that finds its expression in esoterica and meditation yoga or Zen Buddhism mania and wants to let you know that you can be happy in any circumstances, no matter what your life situation. All just a matter of training... but happy work slaves, is that what we want to be? Do we really not have any greater demands of life, of our lives? Take everything for granted, accept everything, always in search of your own centre, always controlled and self-disciplined, always in line... so that the permanent illness, the constant grief and frustration, the prison of wage labour and nuclear family, all the deflecting and artificial cheering up, yes, this whole society that smells of death, seems normal and alive.

I think that not only do people have certain basic needs, which include vibrant social relationships and emotional ties, but also certain fundamental needs to shape their environment and society and to be creative. These needs are individual and I think that they are thoroughly passionate in nature, which means that they need to find the opportunity and necessary freedom to realize themselves. By creative activities we understand nowadays almost exclusively arts and crafts or various scientific, IT or hobby activities. But the need to change and shape the things around us, like the city, or the structure and roles in this society, can at most be channelled into alienated and specialized activities such as those of politicians, bureaucrats, or inside bleak associations and organizations. Everyone must discover for themselves what these creative needs are, but I think that here and now we are not capable of unleashing the whole extent of our creative passion, since the social prison surrounding us has from the start robbed us of our imagination of what is possible once we get moving. Perhaps a lot of emotional misery in this society is due to the fact that these needs for creation are simply unsatisfied.

However, I think that these passions in us not only have a “positive” creative side, but also a negating side, a negative, that rejects what keeps us from fulfilling our wishes and which impulsively resists what imposes itself on us, puts itself above us, oppresses, subjugates and hurts us. This not only means resisting and defending oneself, but also destroying what denies us the freedom to realize our needs and ideas. Suppressing this passionate impulse in oneself can also be a cause for inner suffering.

But democracy teaches us each day that putting these “evil” passions into deeds is generally one thing: crazy, sickly, irrational. The very feeling of hostile, hateful feelings is pathological, yes, mentally ill, because after all... there are no real reasons for the suffering, for the hatred, for the hostility. Declaring as illegitimate the resisting, rebellious acts - especially when they are carried out on their own - takes place mainly on a pseudo-medical, scientific level, in order to unquestionably support that it is illogical, as a result of self-perceived suffering or as a result of oppression and perceived injustice, to act offensively... But I wonder if it cannot be a logical decision to reject the everyday little tyrants and attack your own oppressors, their institutions and structures? We are told that with it one would risk one’s life, one’s freedom... but is it not a much greater risk to live a life that is perhaps not worth living? Hoping too often after waking up that the week will pass as fast as possible? In which there is no room to breathe, no place to think and above all no freedom, no real freedom, for the exploration of our needs, for the unleashing of our passions?

Let us not be persuaded that it is normal to lie on the ground and that it is pathological to want to get up. Only we ourselves know who we are, what we want and who and what keeps us from developing and passionately shaping our lives. Let’s see it as a challenge to attack that which tells us that we are small and weak, incapable and ignorant. Let’s fight against our oppression and invent our own language of joy and revolt, in which we can discover our ideas and feelings, our euphoria and enthusiasm.

Let’s get rid of the causes of our suffering and let our passions run wild.