making a killing: suicide under capitalism

the commune

Tom Denning writes on the social meaning of suicide

Some years ago when the streets were filled with red flags, I saw two comrades die at home clutching a common gas tube.  Few of us cried then, and each of us knew that they were crying for themselves, for the irreducible substance of our imaginary fears, for all the questions the political struggle left unresolved . . . Nobody thinks of waving red flags round these silent deaths.  Why?  Because we can’t attribute any ideal meaning to them?  Because we can’t abstract from the complex and confused personal reasons which caused these deaths? [1]

                                                                                – Lea Melandri, 1977

Can we not?  After all, as Erwin Stengel put it,

Suicide appears to be the most personal action an individual can take, yet social relationships play an important part in its causation and it has a profound social impact.  While…

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