Medicine and anarchism
( Thought and Will, March 1, 1924 )
We receive invitations to make propaganda in favor of this or that curative system, emblazoned with the adjectives “rational”, “natural”, etc., accompanied by criticisms, just or unjust, against “official science”.
We will not do anything about it, because we do not believe that being anarchists gives us or others the supernatural gift of knowing what has not been studied.
We understand all the harm that the current social organization, founded on selfishness and the contrast of interests, does to the development of science and to the sincerity of scientists.
We know that many doctors, driven by greed and often forced by need, prostitute what should be one of the noblest human missions, and make it a vile trade. But all this does not prevent us from understanding that medicine is a very difficult science and art that requires long and arduous training and is not learned by intuition – and on our own, when it were the case, we would still prefer to entrust our health to a dishonest doctor, rather than a very honest ignoramus who believed that the liver is in the tip of the toe.
In our opinion, those comrades who take sides for a given therapeutic system are wrong only because the inventor professes, more or less sincerely, anarchist ideas and gives himself the air of a rebel and thunders against “official science”. On the contrary, we immediately put ourselves on guard if we see that someone wants to use his political ideas to get his scientific ideas accepted and makes it a question of the party.
Moreover, we know someone who, finding it convenient to earn a living being a doctor without being one, invented any system of “natural” medicine and ranted a lot against doctors; but then, when he was induced to study and was able to obtain diplomas, he began to be a doctor like the others.
Medicine and … anarchism
( Thought and Will, May 1, 1924 )
Under this title in the editorial post of our n. 5 we published a note in which we refused the invitation of some comrades to make propaganda in favor of certain healing systems contrary to science and generally accepted medical practice.
This is displeased to comrade N. Cuneo of New York, who while acknowledging that “Thought and Will” is not a suitable place for medical discussions (and in fact he is not among those who had urged us to that propaganda) rises, in “Libero Agreement ”of April 15, in defense of the“ natural cure ”, ie without drugs ( drugs – ed), which seems to be making great progress and has already been recognized and legalized in many states of the American Union.
It is evident that we were unable to make ourselves understood.
We did not intend to “put any method on the index”; but we only wanted to declare our incompetence, our ignorance… and also a little to call certain comrades to the consciousness of their ignorance.
There is a tendency among us to find true, beautiful and good everything that presents itself under the pleasant mantle of revolt against admitted “truths”, especially if it is supported by someone who is, or is said to be, an anarchist. This demonstrates a lack of that spirit of scrutiny and criticism which should be highly developed in anarchists. It is good not to consider any of the achievements of human intelligence as definitive and to always aspire to new discoveries, new advances, but we must take care that the new is not always better than the old, and that the quality of anarchist does not bring with it the gift. of infused science.
Medicine is an eminently experimental science, and it is a young science which, it can be said, is still in its infancy. So it is good that you look with sympathy every attempt, honest and enlightening to open new ways for you. But it does not seem too much to expect that those who want to criticize and fight the old methods know what they are and what are the facts established for or against them.
In other words, we simply ask that those who want to talk about something first take the trouble to study it.
Therefore, if there are comrades who feel they have the competence to discuss health matters, let them do so, but do not ask us to talk about what we do not know. Moreover, we know of talented doctors who profess anarchist ideas; but they do not speak of anarchy when they do science, or they speak of it only when the scientific question becomes a social question, that is, when they see that the current social organization hinders the progress of medicine and prevents them from being applied for the benefit of all humanity. .