Ok

En poursuivant votre navigation sur ce site, vous acceptez l'utilisation de cookies. Ces derniers assurent le bon fonctionnement de nos services. En savoir plus.

mardi, 04 juin 2013

Louis Pauwels, ovvero la scoperta che il fantastico è l’invisibile nascosto dietro il visibile

Louis Pauwels, ovvero la scoperta che il fantastico è l’invisibile nascosto dietro il visibile

di Francesco Lamendola
Fonte: Arianna Editrice [scheda fonte]

 

louis pauwels,matin des magiciens,fantastique,philosophie Che cos’è il fantastico?, si chiedeva lo scrittore e giornalista belga Louis Pauwels, fondatore, insieme al suo amico e collega francese Jacques Berger (il cui vero nome era Jakov Mikhailovic Berger, nativo di Odessa), del cosiddetto realismo fantastico.

Il realismo fantastico, per Pauwels e Berger, è una scuola e un metodo di lavoro intellettuale; esso prende le mosse dalla scoperta che il fantastico non si nasconde nei sobborghi della realtà, ma che l’intelligenza, per poco che si sforzi di cercare, lo trova nel centro stesso della realtà: ed è un fantastico che non invita all’evasione, ma ad una più profonda e consapevole adesione alle cose e alla vita.

Per loro, autori del fortunatissimo libro «Il mattino dei maghi», scienza ed esoterismo possono e debbono collaborare nell’indagine sulla natura del reale: si tratta di due vie difformi, ma entrambe legittime ed anzi necessarie, per giungere ad una comprensione più piena del mondo e ad una maggiore e più intensa partecipazione al reale da parte dell’uomo. A torto le si è credute, per molto tempo, incompatibili: invece sono entrambe fruttuose, così come credevano i grandi maghi-scienziati del Rinascimento, fra i quali spicca il nome di Paracelso, prima che, nel XVII secolo, le due forme di sapere prendessero direzioni opposte e inconciliabili.

Louis Pauwels, prima di fondare la “scuola” del realismo fantastico – che può ricordare il movimento letterario del “realismo magico”, ma, ovviamente, non ha niente a che fare con esso -, era stato un seguace delle dottrine esoteriche di Georges Ivanovic Gurdjiev e un amico di André Breton e dei surrealisti, dei quali aveva, per un certo tempo, condiviso le idee e con i quali collaborato attivamente.

Jacques Berger, da parte sua, nella propria vita avventurosa aveva praticamente sperimentato tutto: ingegnere chimico, aveva studiato la Kabbalah presso i rabbini ucraini, prima di essere costretto a fuggire dalla Russia in preda alla guerra civile; aveva poi studiato matematica e fisica ed era diventato assistente del chimico nucleare André Helbronner, assassinato dalla Gestapo verso la fine della seconda guerra mondiale; era stato perfino avvicinato dall’enigmatico Fulcanelli, l’alchimista di cui si diceva che avesse scoperto ed applicato su se stesso l’elisir di lunga vita, tanto da essere nessun altri che il famoso conte di Sain-Germain, attivo alla corte francese del XVIII secolo – o, almeno, questo Berger sosteneva.

Del libro «Il mattino dei maghi», che voleva essere il manifesto della nuova scuola di pensiero e che fu recepito dalla critica e dal pubblico come una specie di “summa” dell’esoterismo, si è detto tutto il bene e tutto il male possibili: gli intellettuali di formazione neo-positivista, in genere, ne hanno sottolineato, con maggiore o minore irritazione, ingenuità e debolezze (che non sono poche); quelli d’ispirazione teosofica, occultista e vagamente “alternativa” – oggi si direbbe: di tendenza New Age – si sono sprecati nelle lodi, anche se gli uni e gli altri, probabilmente, hanno passato il segno e anche se non sono mancate le eccezioni: di estimatori della tendenza scientista (perché, in fondo, gli autori sembravano ridurre il mistero a una serie di problemi non ancora scientificamente chiariti), e di detrattori di tendenza esoterica (per la stessa ragione degli altri, vista però, da essi, in chiave decisamente negativa).

E poi, diciamo la verità, il successo strepitoso del libro aveva a che fare soprattutto con la vasta sezione in esso dedicata al nazismo esoterico: un campo allora sconosciuto al grande pubblico e che sarebbe poi stato esplorato da storici e politologi di professione, come Giorgio Galli con il suo importante «Hitler e il nazismo magico», del 1989. Come si vede, ci son voluti quasi trent’anni per “sdoganare” un simili argomento da parte dell’ambiente accademico; e non sono mancati, neanche allora, gli intellettuali superciliosi che hanno storto il naso, convinti che la storia sia una scienza e che il marxismo sia la super-scienza per antonomasia, se si vogliono comprendere i fenomeni politici e sociali, oltre che quelli economici. «Altro che nazismo magico, Società Thule e rituali di occultismo: questa è materia da film o da romanzi di terz’ordine; robaccia che non ci abbassiamo a prendere in considerazione, perché ininfluente per spiegare l’avvento del nazismo!».

Così hanno pensato, e talvolta hanno detto, non pochi signori dell’establishment culturale. Sono gli stessi che si tengono la pancia dalle risate ogni volta che qualcuno si azzarda a nominare, sia pure con tutta la serietà e con tutta la cautela dello studioso aperto e non prevenuto, l’Atlantide di Platone, non solo come mito, ma come possibile realtà storica; la presenza di testimonianze archeologiche e paleontologiche assolutamente anomale e dalle datazioni “impossibili”; l’eventualità di contatti avvenuti in passato, e che forse avvengono anche nel presente, tra la specie umana e delle razze aliene intelligenti, provenienti dalle profondità cosmiche o, forse, da altre dimensioni spazio-temporali.

A noi, qui, non interessa riaprire quella vecchia discussione, suscitata dal saggio di Pauwels e Berger (vecchia ormai di oltre mezzo secolo, dato che il libro apparve nel lontano 1960 e dunque, per molti aspetti, ormai irrimediabilmente datata), quanto svolgere una breve riflessione sul concetto del realismo fantastico. Ed ecco con quali parole Louis Pauwels presentava il suo punto di vista, nella «Introduzione» a «Il mattino dei maghi» (titolo originale: «Le matin des magiciens», Paris, Librairie Gallimard, 1960; traduzione dal francese di Pietro Lazzaro, Milano, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1963, 1971, pp. 30-33):

 

«Le danze, così veloci e incoerenti,  delle api disegnano, sembra, nello spazio,  figure matematiche precise e costituiscono un linguaggio. Io sogno di scrivere un romanzo in cui tutti gli incontri che un uomo fa nella sua esistenza, fugaci o notevoli, dovuto a ciò che chiamiamo caso o alla necessità, disegnino anch’essi figure, esprimano ritmi, siano ciò che forse sono: un discorso sapientemente  costruito, indirizzato ad un’anima perché raggiunga la sua compiutezza,  e di cui essa non afferrava, nel corso di una intera vita,  che qualche parola slegata.

Mi sembrava, a volte, di afferrare il senso di questo balletto umano,  attorno a me, di indovinare che mi si parla attraverso  il movimento degli esseri che si avvicinano, si fermano o si allontanano. Poi perdo il filo, come tutti, fino alla prossima grande e tuttavia frammentaria evidenza.  Un’amicizia molto viva mi legò ad André Breton. Fu per mezzo suo che conobbi René Alleau,  storico dell’alchimia. Un giorno, mentre cercavo, per una collezione di opere di attualità, un divulgatore  di argomenti scientifici, Alleau mi presentò Bergier.  Si trattava di lavoro fatto per vivere, e poco m’importava la scienza  volgarizzata o no. Ora, quell’incontro  del tutto fortuito era destinato ad ordinare per un lungo periodo la mia vita, a riunire e orientare tutte le grandi influenze intellettuali o spirituali esercitate su di me, da Vivekananda a Guénon, da Guénon a Gurdjiev, da Gurdjiev a Breton, e a ricondurmi nella maturità al punto di partenza: mio padre.

In cinque anni di studi e di riflessioni, durante i quali  i nostri spiriti, molto diversi,  furono costantemente felici di essere insieme, mi sembra che abbiamo scoperto un punto di vista nuovo  e ricco di possibilità. Ciò che, alla loro maniera, i surrealisti  facevano trent’anni fa. Però, a differenza dei surrealisti, non abbiamo cercato nella direzione del sonno e del’infracoscienza, ma all’estremo opposto: nella direzione dell’ultracoscienza e della veglia superiore. Abbiamo battezzato la scuola da noi seguita, scuola del realismo fantastico. Essa non ha nulla a che fare col gusto del’insolito., dell’esotismo intellettuale, del barocco, del pittoresco. […] È per difetto di fantasia che letterati e artisti cercano il fantastico fuori della realtà, nelle nuvole. Non ne ricavano che un sottoprodotto. Il fantastico, come le altre materie preziose, deve essere estratto dalle viscere della terra, dal reale. E la fantasia autentica è ben altra cosa che una fuga verso l’irreale. “Nessuna facoltà dello spirito si immerge e scava più della fantasia: essa è il grande palombaro”.

Generalmente il fantastico viene definito come una violazione delle leggi naturali, come una apparizione dell’impossibile. Per noi non è affatto questo. Il fantastico è come una manifestazione delle leggi naturali, un effetto del contatto con la realtà, quando essa viene percepita direttamente e  non filtrata attraverso il velo del sonno intellettuale, attraverso le abitudini, i pregiudizi, i conformismi. La scienza moderna ci insegna che dietro il visibile semplice c’è dell’invisibile complicato. Un tavolo, una sedia, il cielo stellato, sono in realtà radicalmente diversi dall’idea che ce ne facciamo: sistemi in rotazione, energie  non esaurite. È in questo senso che Valéry diceva che, nella scienza moderna, “il meraviglioso e il positivo hanno stretto una sbalorditiva alleanza”. Freud spiega tutto, “Il Capitale” spiega tutto., ecc. Quando diciamo pregiudizi,dovremmo dire superstizioni. Ve ne sono di antiche e di moderne. Per certe persone nessun fenomeno di civiltà è comprensibile se non si ammette, alle origini, l’esistenza di Atlantide.  Per altre il marxismo basta a spiegare Hitler. […]

“Su scala cosmica (la fisica moderna ce l’insegna) solo il fantastico ha possibilità di essere vero” dice Teilhard de Chardin. Ma per noi anche il fenomeno umano deve misurarsi su scala cosmica. È ciò che affermano i più antichi testi di saggezza.[…] Un metodo di lavoro non è un sistema di pensiero. Noi non crediamo che un sistema, per quanto geniale, possa illuminare completamente la totalità del vivere che ci occupa. Si può indefinitamente manipolare il marxismo senza arrivare a integrare il fatto che Hitler ebbe più volte coscienza, con terrore, che il Superiore Sconosciuto era andato a visitarlo.»

La concezione di Pauwels e Berger è, dunque, assai vicina, almeno nella “diagnosi”, a quella dei poeti e degli scrittori decadentisti, della quale si può considerare un prolungamento, o piuttosto una nuova versione, aggiornata e corretta: dietro la superficie delle cose, c’è il mistero; la scienza materialista e meccanicista, così come è intesa e praticata ordinariamente, non è in grado di penetrare in esso, perché non possiede gli strumenti adatti, né una struttura logica adeguata: essa non si occupa che del mondo visibile e ignora o, addirittura, nega tutto ciò che non è sperimentabile, verificabile, misurabile e riproducibile.

Fatta la diagnosi, differiscono le conclusioni: per i decadentisti, solo il poeta possiede la capacità di penetrare il mistero, spingendosi al di là dell’apparenza delle cose, al di là della loro superficie ingannevole e illusoria; e ciò per mezzo degli stati alterati di coscienza, naturali o anche artificiali (cioè realizzati con l’assunzione di sostanze stupefacenti): il sogno, la visione, l’allucinazione; avvicinandosi, nel loro approccio, alle tecniche sciamaniche dell’estasi, miranti a realizzare il “viaggio astrale” ed altre esperienze extra-corporee ed extra-razionali (ma non, di per sé, irrazionali, come la cultura scientista pretendeva e pretende tuttora).

Per la scuola del realismo fantastico, si tratta di creare una collaborazione e una sintesi fra le posizioni più avanzate della scienza post-newtoniana, specialmente della fisica quantistica, e le antiche tecniche della magia e dell’occultismo, sperimentate da generazioni di sapienti e di studiosi che erano anche, nello stesso tempo, scienziati, i quali non pensavano affatto di perseguire un sapere alternativo a quello della scienza, ma profondamente integrato con essa. Pauwels, infatti, non crede che il fantastico sia qualcosa di estremo e di irreale, ma che si annidi nel quotidiano e nell’ordinario; e che solo la nostra distrazione, il nostro conformismo, la nostra pigrizia intellettuale ci impediscono di accorgercene e di trarne tutte le meravigliose conclusioni.

È una posizione condivisibile, questa? A nostro avviso, sì, almeno nelle linee generali; anche se poi si tratta di vedere, caso per caso, nello studio dei fenomeni, naturali ed extra-naturali, quale sia la strada migliore da percorrere e in quale misura servirsi dell’una o dell’altra prospettiva: perché il segreto è tutto qui, nel giusto equilibrio fra esse, cosa estremamente delicata e complessa e nella quale vengono impietosamente a nudo tutti i dilettantismi, tutte le approssimazioni di chi vuol cimentarsi nella ricerca, pur essendo sprovvisto di un serio bagaglio culturale e, ancor più, di una seria preparazione intellettuale e di una adeguata consapevolezza spirituale.

Perché il problema, alla fine, non è di tecniche e nemmeno di filosofie, ma di retta intenzione: chi cerca con mente sgombra e con animo puro, alla fine troverà; mentre gli altri, non troveranno nulla.


Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

dimanche, 02 juin 2013

Gilbert Durand, l'esploratore dell'immaginario

Gilbert_Durand.JPG

Gilbert Durand, l'esploratore dell'immaginario

di Massimo Introvigne

Fonte: lanuovabq

A funerali avvenuti, come desiderava, è stata data notizia della morte, avvenuta il 7 dicembre 2012, di Gilbert Durand (1921-2012), uno dei più grandi antropologi del secolo XX. Se mi è concesso partire da un ricordo personale, la pubblicazione in italiano nel 1972 della sua opera principale, «Le strutture antropologiche dell’immaginario» (Dedalo, Bari) – mentre l’edizione francese risaliva al 1960 – fu per me una vera rivelazione, e per certi versi perfino una liberazione. Un grande accademico, in un certo senso, «sdoganava» tutto il discorso sui miti e sui simboli, mostrando che si trattava di oggetti assolutamente legittimi dello studio e del sapere universitario, e che le scienze umane – cui cominciavo ad accostarmi, terminando il liceo – non dovevano limitarsi a considerare l’uomo nella sua dimensione di lavoratore, produttore e consumatore ma potevano e dovevano studiare anche le sue dimensioni simboliche, religiose, mistiche.

Si capisce difficilmente Durand – lo affermava volentieri lui stesso – se si trascurano le sue origini savoiarde, l’amore per la regione di origine, la montagna, la neve – che, nella sua valenza simbolica, è oggetto dei suoi primi studi –, il legame con la capitale della Savoia, Chambéry, dove inizia la sua carriera come professore di liceo dopo avere studiato filosofia e avere partecipato attivamente alla resistenza anti-nazista. Dopo la guerra decide di completare gli studi a Parigi, dove ha l’incontro decisivo con il filosofo Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), il primo che – in una Sorbona ancora molto sospettosa – comincia a studiare l’immaginario e i simboli, articolati intorno ai quattro elementi classici terra, aria, acqua e fuoco, sebbene con un accostamento ancora ampiamente condizionato dal positivismo e dalla psicanalisi freudiana che il suo allievo Durand tenterà più tardi di superare.

Con l’università Durand ha sempre avuto un rapporto ambivalente. Con molta riluttanza nel 1956 lascia il liceo di Chambéry – di cui affermerà sempre di avere i migliori ricordi – per accettare – pur essendo laureato in filosofia – una cattedra di sociologia all’Università di Grenoble II. Studia coscienziosamente i sociologi del XIX e del XX secolo, ma si rende conto rapidamente che nel mondo della sociologia accademica francese non c’è spazio per quanto comincia soprattutto a interessarlo, lo studio dei simboli e dei miti, appreso da Bachelard e approfondito anche al di là dell’Occidente e dell’Europa dopo avere incontrato a Parigi Roger Bastide (1898-1974), uno dei contro-relatori della sua tesi di dottorato, un grande studioso delle religioni afro-brasiliane che per primo gli fa conoscere il metodo antropologico. All’insegnamento della sociologia Durand affianca così, sempre a Grenoble, quello dell’antropologia, ed è come antropologo che pubblica nel 1960 «Le strutture antropologiche dell’immaginario», un’opera che gli assicura una fama mondiale, e fonda nel 1966 il Centro di ricerche sull’immaginario, nucleo della cosiddetta «scuola di Grenoble».

Durand ha sempre presentato come fondamentale per il suo pensiero l’incontro con lo studioso dell’islam Henri Corbin (1903-1978), che a sua volta lo presenta allo storico delle religioni Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) e lo introduce nel Circolo di Eranos, un cenacolo di studio delle mitologie di tutti i tempi e Paesi che si riunisce ad Ascona e dove ha avuto un ruolo centrale lo psicanalista Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), che peraltro nel momento in cui Durand entra nel circolo è già morto. Lo stesso incontro con Corbin avviene due anni dopo la pubblicazione de «Le strutture antropologiche dell’immaginario», un libro rispetto al quale le opere successive di Durand mostrano maggiori aperture verso forme simboliche non occidentali, specie dopo il matrimonio con l’allieva cinese Chaoying Sun, che lo spinge a studiare il ricchissimo patrimonio di miti e simboli della Cina.

La sociologia e l’antropologia accademiche accettano Durand con molte difficoltà, ed egli mantiene sempre un suo ambito di lavoro indipendente che prescinde dall’università. Con molta prudenza, com’è d’obbligo per l’antropologia del suo tempo, Durand ha cura di partire sempre da un dato biologico, la struttura del cervello umano, ed è anzi fra i pochi ad approfondire le ricerche della scuola di riflessologia di Leningrado fondata dallo psichiatra Vladimir Michajlovi? Bechterev (1857-1927), scomparso in circostanze misteriose dopo avere diagnosticato una sindrome paranoica al suo illustre paziente Iosif Stalin (1879-1953) e studioso di rilievo internazionale, anche se è passato alla storia soprattutto per l’affermazione iperbolica secondo cui «solo in due conoscono il mistero della struttura ed organizzazione del cervello: Dio e Bechterev».

Ma, benché parta dall’anatomia, Durand si rifiuta assolutamente di ridurre l’antropologia allo studio anatomico, così come – pur avendo studiato e insegnato la sociologia – non accetta di ridurre lo studio dell’uomo a quello dei fattori sociali che lo condizionano. Lo studioso savoiardo mantiene per molti anni un rapporto di amicizia e stima reciproca con l’antropologo Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009), il padre dello strutturalismo. Tuttavia, l’antropologia di Durand – come egli stesso scriverà – è, da un certo punto di vista, il contrario di quella di Lévi-Strauss: per quest’ultimo le strutture pre-esistono all’uomo e lo determinano, mentre per Durand le strutture sono «antropologiche», nel senso che nascono dall’uomo.

Il nucleo centrale della teoria di Durand – in questo senso davvero innovativa rispetto all’antropologia materialista dominante quando pubblica la sua opera fondamentale – è che l’uomo si differenzia radicalmente dagli animali anzitutto per la sua capacità di produrre simboli e di esprimersi tramite simboli. Certamente il linguaggio e la socialità sono caratteristiche fondamentali dell’uomo, e Durand riprende dalla scuola francese di sociologia l’idea secondo cui la società è necessaria perché il piccolo d’uomo, a differenza di quello degli animali, per molti anni non è in grado di sopravvivere da solo. Ma socialità e linguaggio, per Durand, sono resi possibili solo dai simboli.

A partire dallo studio della più piccola unità che costituisce i simboli e i miti – che, riprendendo un’espressione di Lévi-Strauss, chiama «mitema» – Durand propone un’ambiziosa cartografia dei principali simboli che hanno caratterizzato le culture umane, distinguendo le strutture dell’immaginario in diurne, notturne e sintetiche. Le strutture diurne fanno riferimento alla conquista del tempo, alla vittoria sulla morte, al trionfo della luce sulle tenebre. I miti che fanno da sfondo – sovente non riconosciuto – alla cultura scientifica moderna sono esclusivamente di natura diurna e, in quanto tali, rischiano di perdere contatto con le altre strutture e di conferire alla scienza un accostamento unilaterale. Le strutture notturne sono invece di natura mistica e drammatica, danno valore al cuore più che alla ragione, permettono di vedere il mondo in tutti i suoi colori e non solo in bianco e nero. La prevalenza delle sole strutture notturne – di cui Durand vede il trionfo nei racconti del ciclo del Graal e anche nell’arte del pittore olandese Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) – si ritrova in molte forme del pensiero religioso ma può provocare fenomeni che l’antropologo chiama di «gulliverizzazione» – con riferimento al personaggio Gulliver del romanzo satirico dello scrittore irlandese Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), che si ritrova in un’isola abitata da uomini di piccolissima statura –, cioè di attenzione maniacale al piccolo dettaglio che portano a perdere di vista il quadro generale.

Infine le strutture sintetiche dell’immaginario, insieme diurne e notturne e tipicamente europee e occidentali, danno rilievo alla dialettica di luce e tenebre che costituisce propriamente la storia, generano miti orientati al futuro e, non integrate con le altre strutture, rischiano di portare a una visione della storia considerata esclusivamente come necessario progresso verso il bene, che Durand ritrova nel monaco calabrese Gioacchino da Fiore (ca. 1130-1202) e nella sua posterità diretta e indiretta – studiata in seguito dal cardinale Henri de Lubac (1896-1991) – che arriva fino al fondatore del positivismo Auguste Comte (1798-1857) e a Karl Marx (1818-1883).

Per Durand tutti e tre i tipi di strutture e di miti sono necessari a un’esistenza umana integrata e aperta all’altro, alla compassione e alla moralità. Pensatore spirituale ma non religioso – nel senso di non aderente ad alcuna religione organizzata –, Durand ritrova l’eredità di questo «politeismo» dei simboli nel cattolicesimo, che cerca nella sua liturgia, mistica e arte d’integrare tutti i simboli senza trascurarne nessuno. In questa chiave, critica anche alcuni testi del Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II e la riforma liturgica post-conciliare che, a suo avviso, avrebbero privato la Chiesa di una parte della sua grande ricchezza simbolica.

In una chiave analoga, Durand critica anche la massoneria moderna, che sarebbe diventata un’organizzazione politica e razionalista perdendo il ruolo di contenitore di miti e di leggende che avrebbe avuto in alcune sue incarnazioni settecentesche. Si spiega così il suo tentativo, nel 1973, di rifondare – insieme all’etnologo Jean Servier (1918-2000) – una loggia massonica di tipo «arcaico», Les Trois Mortiers di Chambéry, che era stata nel Settecento un’istituzione tipica della Savoia e di cui aveva fatto parte in un certo periodo della sua vita Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821), di cui lo stesso Durand ricostruirà con passione la carriera nella massoneria. I diversi scritti sulla massoneria di Durand hanno tutti un tono arcaizzante: e forse l’antropologo coltivava qualche illusione – come de Maistre, che finì però poi per disilludersi, nella prima parte della sua vita – sulla possibilità di contrapporre alle logge laiche e razionaliste organizzazioni massoniche «tradizionali» dedite principalmente allo studio e alla meditazione di alcuni complessi di miti antichi. 

Durand stesso ha presentato come suoi principali contribuiti all’antropologia tre nozioni. La prima è il «tragitto antropologico», cioè l’interazione fra la soggettività della persona e l’ambiente circostante, da cui nascono i simboli e i miti. La seconda è il «bacino semantico», cioè il clima che caratterizza un’epoca in cui l’immaginario si declina in simboli e miti particolari che, dapprima «attivi», diventano in seguito «passivi» e infine perdono il loro vigore, sostituiti da altri. La terza è lo «scambio interattivo fra attività e passività», per cui i simboli possono costantemente trasformarsi da attivi in passivi e viceversa.  Queste nozioni mostrano la grande attenzione – spesso trascurata dai critici – che Durand aveva nei confronti della storia, così com’era attento alla letteratura e all’arte, dal cui percorso spesso si comprende quali simboli si stanno affermando in una determinata cultura.

E l’arte, secondo Durand, è anche densa di contenuti etici. Si può ricordare in particolare la sua appassionata difesa, contro le accuse di chi tentava di metterlo al bando come presunto precursore del nazional-socialismo, della musica di Richard Wagner (1813-1883), che aveva in comune con l’antropologo francese la passione per il mito del Graal e dalle cui opere secondo Durand si ricava una nozione di «comprensione profonda» attraverso il cuore, che porta alla compassione ed è precisamente agli antipodi del nazismo.

Uomo del suo tempo e – nonostante le riserve e i distinguo – figlio dell’università francese del secolo XX, Durand non ci appare oggi come totalmente libero dai condizionamenti relativisti tipici del suo ambiente culturale di origine, da cui deriva anche un certo gergo psicanalitico o derivato da una psichiatria riduzionista oggi forse – e fortunatamente – meno di moda nelle scienze umane in genere. Il suo sforzo di riabilitare i simboli come elementi fondamentali dell’esperienza umana resta però un contributo fondamentale e positivo a uno studio della persona umana che non la riduca soltanto alla sua dimensione biologica ovvero a quella dell’economia e del lavoro, e tenga conto del mito, della mistica e della religione.


Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

samedi, 01 juin 2013

Parsifal & the Possibility of Transcendence

PARSIFAL-superJumbo.jpg

Wagner Bicentennial Symposium 
Parsifal & the Possibility of Transcendence

By Christopher Pankhurst 

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

In 1878 Nietzsche sent a copy of his book Human, All Too Human to Richard Wagner. At the same time Wagner sent Nietzsche a copy of the verse for his opera Parsifal. Nietzsche was later to write that when received this text, “I felt as if I heard an ominous sound – as if two swords had crossed.”[1] Nietzsche had immediately realized that the two men had drifted irreparably apart. In Human, All Too Human, Nietzsche had made a decisive move against the Western metaphysical tradition and he saw the text of Parsifal as being deeply embedded within that tradition.

By the time of Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal Wagner had become immersed in the philosophy of Schopenhauer and he was able to infuse those works with a thoroughly Schopenhauerian atmosphere. In particular, Parsifal was the culmination of Wagner’s life’s work, and with its theme of redemption through compassion it fully articulated his mature Schopenhauerian beliefs. Largely because of Wagner’s lucid expression of this theme, the opera was to become a persistent bête noir of Nietzsche. Although he had previously enjoyed a deep and rewarding friendship with Wagner, Nietzsche came to view Parsifal as the epitome of everything that was wrong with culture, and he continued to gnaw away irritably at it, like a dog with an old bone, for the rest of his sane life.

At the heart of Nietzsche’s criticism of Parsifal is his rejection of the possibility of redemption from this world, and of transcendence to a higher realm. With Schopenhauer, the idea of transcendence had reached its most highly developed articulation within the Western philosophical tradition; after Nietzsche’s attack on Parsifal it became impossible to uncritically accept the possibility of transcendence at all.

With the influence of Schopenhauer, the lucid artistry of Wagner, and the devastating critique by Nietzsche, Parsifal can be seen as a nexus for some of the most important tributaries of 19th century philosophical thought.

Schopenhauer’s philosophy begins with the observation that everything that exists can only be known to us through our senses, through perception. Therefore we have no direct access to an objective, independently existing world. For us the world exists only as representation. This applies not only to objects but also to all of the natural laws that connect objects with each other, such as magnetism and gravitation. Space and time are also not independently existing qualities but are dependent on the perceptual faculties of an observing subject, and so are expressions of the world as representation. The ways in which things interact in space and time are determinable by laws, but these laws themselves all belong to that same plane of phenomenal existence. In other words, even causality belongs to the world of representation. Schopenhauer was a great admirer of many of the mystical works of ancient India such as the Vedas and the Upanishads, and he saw an affinity between them and his own philosophical work. The ancient teaching that this world is Maya, or illusion, is often cited by Schopenhauer as being parallel with his own observation that the world is representation.

So, in the world of representation, objects and forces interact with each other in causally determined ways. The individual observer is himself a part of this interplay, so he is also part of the world of representation; he is one object of representation amongst many, many others. If there was nothing else to this explanation then the individual would find himself to be a mere observer of a world of interacting objects and his actions would simply occur according to deterministic laws. But this is not at all how reality appears to us. We feel that we are agents in the world, that we have a self-determined power of volition. So, whilst we recognize ourselves as existing in the world of representation as an object, we also feel that there is something more to it than this. It seems that the world of representation is insufficient to explain the totality of the world that we experience, that there must be some additional, hidden quality to the world anterior to the world of representation. Otherwise the world would consist merely of “empty phantoms.”[2] For Schopenhauer, this additional something is will.

An individual experiences his own sense of will as the volitional manifestation of particular actions of his body. These do not simply appear to him as occurring due to some causal situation, instead they feel deliberately willed. When he stands up and walks to the window he feels that he is acting in the world, not merely observing it. This sense of volition is precisely the action of the will. As soon as the action is performed it is perceived through the senses and becomes a part of the world of representation. But the initial volition does not arise from the world of representation but from the world of will. So, the individual exists both as will and representation.

From this, Schopenhauer extrapolates that everything that exists in the world as representation also has another, and unconditional, aspect as will. In fact, Schopenhauer’s assertion that everything that exists as representation also consists of will is not merely drawn analogically from the experience of a particular individual but is shown to be a necessary state of existence. This is so because representation alone cannot explain the existence of anything. It is possible to describe the actions of all sorts of phenomena and to explain how they interact with each other but we are left with a puzzle regarding the inner nature of these phenomena. However we choose to measure or describe objects or forces, we are measuring and describing only that part of them that manifests itself as phenomena, that is, the aspect of the object manifested as representation. This form can express extension in space or duration in time but its inner quality, its essence, is hidden from us. This hidden essence is “an insoluble residuum”[3] and cannot be discerned by investigating the form of phenomena but only by recognizing the presence of will as the hidden essence within all forms.

Once we are able to understand that it is will that manifests itself in representation, that it is the hidden essence behind all perceptible forms, then we can see that it is, “the force that shoots and vegetates in the plant, indeed the force by which the crystal is formed, the force that turns the magnet to the North Pole, the force whose shock he encounters from the contact of metals of different kinds, the force that appears in the elective affinities of matter as repulsion and attraction, separation and union, and finally even gravitation, which acts so powerfully in all matter, pulling the stone to the earth and the earth to the sun; all these he will recognize as different only in the phenomenon, but the same according to their inner nature.”[4]

Thus, behind all the apparent plurality of phenomena there is a higher unity which is the will. The world of representation is secondary to this because it is dependent for its existence on a knowing subject and so is conditional. The world of will is unconditional; it exists prior to every manifestation. Thus, the world of will, which expresses a unity between all things which appear distinct, is fundamentally real in a way that the world of representation is not. The world of representation, of all perceptible phenomena, is shrouded in the illusory veil of Maya. When we lift the veil we are left with will.

So human beings, like all other things in the universe, have a “twofold existence,”[5] consisting of both will and representation. In impersonal forces such as gravitation and magnetism the will is not especially developed; it acts blindly and in completely uniform ways. In living things such as plants it has a higher degree of organizational development and expresses itself through life-cycles, growing to seed before dying off. In animals it is more highly developed still, so that each individual creature fights for its own food, territory and mates, and so on. In humans the will has developed to its highest form and has the greatest degree of self-awareness, to the extent that, uniquely, it is able to deny itself. In humans, then, we see the greatest degree of self-awareness. But the will manifested in a world of representation finds itself refracted into untold billions of distinct, causal phenomena. In the midst of this illusory fragmentation the will seeks satiety and fulfilment. But this relentless desire, according to Schopenhauer, can never reach an end.

Because humans live in the world of representation we are only aware of the illusory existence of diverse, discrete individuals. Each of us thinks that he exists as a single and separate entity forever cut off from the inner processes of other individuals. For Schopenhauer, this is pure delusion. The reality is that we are all expressions in causal reality of a deeper and more fundamental unity. The will itself is singular and indivisible and it establishes itself in a bewildering multiplicity of varied forms. So, the perception of a world of distinct and separated objects and forces is illusory and, to this extent, is an error. The hidden truth is that of a single, unified will outside of space and time.

But this reality is hidden from us because it does not exist in the perceptual world. So the illusion of a world of many distinct individual objects and forces compels us to constantly strive to achieve union with those things that are separate from us, and which we experience as a lack. The desire for sexual intercourse, hunger for food, and the striving for wealth are all driven by our feeling that we lack those things and we believe that we will achieve happiness and satiety if we obtain them. But as soon as we do achieve one of our desires it begins to lose the appeal that drew us to it in the first place, and we begin to desire other things. This is an endless and inescapable process. It means that the world consists of endless suffering because we are always aware of a lack of something or other, and any fulfilment of desire is always short-lived and leads to the arising of new desires. Longing is eternal, satisfaction brief and illusory.

So, we find ourselves living in a world of illusion and suffering and with an unquenchable thirst for an unknown and hidden world of true unity. One of the primary intimations of this world of unity, according to Schopenhauer, comes from our facility for compassion. Egotism and selfishness derive from the desire to benefit oneself at the expense of others. But the self that benefits from this is, as we have seen, an illusory construct that veils the deeper truth. Compassion and pity begin to erase the boundaries between the illusory phenomena of individuals, and to reveal the hidden unity that actually lies behind appearance. So selfishness reinforces the illusion of discrete phenomena, whereas compassion unveils the truth that everything is the manifestation of an undifferentiated will.

Another way in which we may apprehend this noumenal reality is through art. Art is a means whereby the will is able to objectify itself and this is achieved with reference to Platonic Ideas. Schopenhauer sees these Ideas, which are eternal and unchanging forms outside the incessant becoming and passing away of nature, as “definite grades of the objectification of that will, which forms the in-itself of the world.”[6] In other words, art is able to step outside the individuated world of representation and partake of the undifferentiated world of eternal Ideas. Because art takes us to this noumenal place, we are able to feel a sense of completeness, or rather the absence of willing, whilst we contemplate the art object. With this quieting of the will, suffering recedes, and we are able to apprehend the unity of things.

Schopenhauer singles out music as a special art form quite unlike all the others. Whereas other art forms are concerned with representing the essential and universal elements of things, music is not representational in the same way. Instead, Schopenhauer sees music as being a direct manifestation of will: “Therefore music is by no means like the other arts, namely a copy of the Ideas, but a copy of the will itself, the objectivity of which are the Ideas. For this reason the effect of music is so very much more powerful and penetrating than is that of the other arts, for these others speak only of the shadow, but music of the essence.”[7]

When Wagner discovered Schopenhauer, the effect was utterly revelatory. He had spent years carefully devising a theoretical scheme for opera wherein the text was paramount and the music needed to be subordinated to it. Now he found in Schopenhauer a philosophical explanation of music’s superiority to other art forms, and of its deeper resonance, its natural tendency to articulate the essence of things. Wagner’s conversion first manifested itself in the scores for Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämerung, although the libretti for those works had already been written. Of the three operas fully composed after his conversion to Schopenhauer’s philosophy Parsifal was the one he considered to be “the crowning achievement.”[8]

Wagner’s Parsifal tells the story of the Grail Knights and their King, Amfortas. They are responsible for guarding the Holy Grail and the spear which was used to pierce the side of Christ during His crucifixion. But Amfortas is wounded; he was stabbed with the same spear by the evil magician Klingsor, who then stole it. Amfortas’ wound will now not heal. Klingsor has also disempowered the Knights by seducing them with his flower maidens. Until the Knights can win back the spear, the holy rites seem empty and the land has become wasted. A prophecy has been given by the Grail that the spear will only be won back by one, “made wise through pity, the pure fool.”

Parsifal himself is introduced to the drama when he kills a swan. He does not know why he killed the swan, and it transpires that he is ignorant of his parentage and he does not even know his own name. Evidently, he is the prophesied fool. But Parsifal cannot understand the Grail Knights’ rites, and so he is dismissed as a mere fool, not the prophesied redeemer. He soon finds his way to Klingsor’s castle where Kundry, who is simultaneously a servant of the Knights and one of Klingsor’s maidens, attempts to seduce him. This is the cause of an epiphany for Parsifal. With the arrival of sexual arousal, Parsifal is no longer the innocent fool he was, but he is immediately able to overcome this desire and exercise a will-less compassion. He then becomes the pure fool who will fulfil the prophecy. He wins the spear from Klingsor, which he will use to heal Amfortas’ wound. Klingsor and his castle disappear: they were mere phenomena, and Parsifal has revealed their illusory character.

It transpires that Kundry was present at Christ’s crucifixion and that she mocked Him. She has been trapped in an eternal life of repentance ever since. Now Parsifal, through his compassion, has redeemed her. At the close of the opera, on Good Friday, the sacred rites are once more performed but this time with appropriate numinosity. Parsifal is acknowledged as the Redeemer.

The influence of Schopenhauer throughout Parsifal is absolutely clear. The world of Parsifal is one of ubiquitous and lingering suffering. The Grail Knights are condemned to meaningless ritual because of their failure to remain chaste. By succumbing to sexual desire they are chained to the illusory pleasures of the world, and these pleasures, as Schopenhauer has it, are transient, illusory and outweighed by the greater reality of suffering.

Kundry, through her mockery of Christ, is locked in an eternity of suffering. The significant point to Kundry’s suffering is not that she is being punished for mocking God, but that she suffers due to a lack of compassion. By laughing at the suffering of Christ she failed to recognize that the suffering of one is, in essence, the suffering of all.

The eponymous hero is able to redeem the Grail Knights through compassion, by realizing the hidden reality behind the illusory phenomena conjured by Klingsor. When Parsifal causes Klingsor’s realm to disappear he is banishing the world of mere appearance, with all its beguiling desires and pleasures. The final redemption comes from the realization that compassion reveals the hidden unity behind all phenomena. This redemption is not effected through the divinity of Christ; the Good Friday scene is the fulfilment of this redemption, and the Redeemer is Parsifal. Redemption comes from the acceptance of the singular essence of the will and the unity of all things, not from a supernatural intervention.

There is also an interesting structural resonance with Schopenhauer’s thought. Amfortas’ wound is an analogue of the suffering of Christ: his wound was caused by the same spear that pierced the side of Christ. But when Parsifal enters the drama he shoots a swan with an arrow. The swan is a symbol of the sacred so this image again recapitulates the piercing of Christ. In this way, a threefold analogue of suffering becomes a depiction of the Schoperhauerian idea that the will is a unified whole which merely appears to become separate and distinct in various manifestations. The trinity of pain enfolded into the drama exemplifies the notion that the suffering of Christ is important because it is the suffering of all, even of animals. The importance of Christ for Wagner, as for Schopenhauer, comes from the fact that his story of suffering and redemption through surrendering the will is a universal truth and is a metaphysical reality inherent in all living things.

So, Parsifal is not a Christian work of art, despite what many seem to think. It is a work of art which elaborates a sophisticated piece of secular philosophy. The importance of Parsifal, and perhaps the source of misunderstanding, comes from the fact that it is a secular, atheist work which nonetheless presents the reality of transcendence as a proximate and intimate possession of all living things. The Grail hall is a place where, “Time is one with Space.” When Parsifal approaches this hall with one of the Grail Knights, Gurnemanz, the stage directions indicate that the scene begins to change: “the woods disappear and in the rocky walls a gateway opens, which closes behind them. . . . Gurnemanz turns to Parsifal, who stands as if bewitched.”[9] Clearly, the Grail Knights are guarding a numinous place, or at least a place infused with numinous emanations from the Grail itself, but deeper than this they are guarding the concept of transcendence itself. And, with his portrayal of Schopenhauer’s ideas concerning the possibility of redemption within a secular framework, Wagner himself is guarding the possibility of transcendence against the ongoing decline of Christianity.

When Nietzsche first read Parsifal, and heard the sound of swords clashing, he had come to view the notion of transcendence, whether through religion or through art, as an impossibility. Whilst he had already decisively rejected religion he had gone still further and questioned the notion that there is a metaphysical side to existence at all. Despite his friendship with Wagner and his earlier allegiance to Schopenhauer he had come to the conclusion that such a metaphysical realm, the hidden unity of the will, simply did not exist; or if it did exist, that it was completely unknowable to man and so not worth considering.

Nietzsche had come to realize that Schopenhauer, in working out his philosophical worldview, had taken a number of impermissible steps. When Schopenhauer had described the phenomenal world of appearance as illusory he was entirely correct, but he then went on to assume that there must be a world of ultimate reality, a “real” world distinct from representation, lying anterior to the apparent world. Nietzsche questions why, if we are constantly deceived about the nature of the apparent world, we should give any credence to speculations about a hidden world. In fact, he goes on to question why, if such a world anterior to appearance did in fact exist, it should be assumed to have any greater validity than the world of “mere” appearance: “It is no more than a moral prejudice that truth is worth more than mere appearance; it is even the worst proved assumption there is in the world. Let at least this much be admitted: there would be no life at all if not on the basis of perspective estimates and appearances.”[10]

In addition, when Schopenhauer perceived the will as an intimately known presence within himself he falsely assumed that it was a singular force. From this perception he inferred an undifferentiated reality behind the entire world of appearance. But Nietzsche realizes that the will cannot be described in such a way. For Nietzsche, the will is something that emerges as the result of a conflict of impulses and desires that exist simultaneously within an individual. The act of willing emerges as the effect of the most domineering of these impulses. Crucially, it is the result of a prior battle that gives rise to the act of willing and it is an error to ascribe this will to “the synthetic concept ‘I’.”[11] The individual contains many souls, and the one that wins the battle of the wills becomes identified as the individual’s will. In this respect, Nietzsche has stood Schopenhauer’s thinking on its head. Instead of a unified whole manifesting itself as plurality, Nietzsche perceives a battleground of competing interests, one of which achieves victory and is then assumed to be the volition of an integrated agent. From here it is a short step to the realization that “life simply is will to power.”[12]

This realization reveals another false step in Schopenhauer’s argumentation, or rather a severe error of evaluation. If it is assumed there is a holistic and in some sense “higher” reality behind appearances, then this reality assumes a position of superiority to the world of appearances. In Nietzsche’s terms this means that a fictional world has the whip hand over the real world: “Once the concept ‘nature’ had been devised as the concept antithetical to ‘God’, ‘natural’ had to be the word for ‘reprehensible’ – this entire fictional world has its roots in hatred of the natural (actuality!), it is the expression of a profound disgust with the actual. . . . But that explains everything. Who alone has reason to lie himself out of actuality? He who suffers from it. But to suffer from actuality means to be an abortive actuality. . . . The preponderance of feelings of displeasure over feelings of pleasure is the cause of a fictitious morality and religion: such a preponderance, however, provides the formula for decadence . . .”[13] Although this polemic is aimed at the Christian concept of God, the point is equally applicable to Schopenhauer’s world of will. And, once more, Nietzsche has turned Schopenhauer’s thought on its head. Rather than suffering and want being caused by the splintering of a prior unity into discrete phenomena, Nietzsche sees the presence of suffering in the individual as the cause of the creation of this fictional world of unity. It is simply a palliative created to alleviate dissatisfaction with the real.

Of course, this is no neutral matter of academic philosophy; it is fundamental to knowing whether it is possible or desirable to believe in the existence of a noumenal world, whatever its character might be. The existence or non-existence of such a transcendent world has ultimate implications for questions concerning God, life after death, and so on. And this is why Nietzsche’s attack on Wagner’s perceived decadence was so vociferous: “He flatters every nihilistic (Buddhistic) instinct and disguises it in music; he flatters everything Christian, every religious expression of decadence. Open your ears: everything that ever grew on the soil of impoverished life, all of the counterfeiting of transcendence and beyond, has found its most sublime advocate in Wagner’s art.”[14]

And this is the heart of the matter: the counterfeiting of transcendence. When one becomes a fellow traveler with Nietzsche one realizes the intellectual impossibility of accepting notions of transcendence. The very idea of transcendence itself becomes anathema because it implies a belittling of the here and now, of actuality. Consequently art that posits transcendence as an ultimate aim becomes risible, and the beauty of Wagner’s opera dissipates like Klingsor’s castle.

But whilst one listens to the music of Parsifal and becomes immersed in the extraordinarily high level of dramatic development, the possibility of transcendence comes back in to focus and inspires an intuitive yearning to grasp it: the ultimate grail quest. And, in fact, when Nietzsche actually heard Parsifal for the first time he was to write, “Did Wagner ever compose anything better? The finest psychological intelligence and definition of what must be said here, expressed, communicated, the briefest and most direct form for it, every nuance of feeling pared down to an epigram; a clarity in the music as descriptive art, bringing to mind a shield with a design in relief on it; and, finally, a sublime and extraordinary feeling, experience, happening of the soul, at the basis of the music, which does Wagner the highest credit.”[15] Wagner’s desire to present Schopenhauer’s metaphysics in artistic form might appear now to be an item of merely historical interest. But what we know intellectually will not always remain sovereign, and Parsifal is unlikely to be the last time we seriously consider the possibility of transcendence.

Notes

1. Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, in Basic Writings of Nietzsche, trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: The Modern Library, 1967), 744.

2. Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, trans. E. F. J. Payne (New York: Dover Publications, 1969), vol. 1, 119.

3. Ibid., 124.

4. Ibid., 110.

5. Ibid., 371.

6. Ibid., 170.

7. Ibid., 257.

8. Bryan Magee, Wagner and Philosophy (London: Penguin Books, 2000), 196.

9. Richard Wagner, Parsifal, in Parsifal (Wagner): Opera Guide 34 (London: John Calder, 1986), 96.

10. Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, in Basic Writings of Nietzsche, trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: The Modern Library, 1967), 236.

11. Ibid., 216.

12. Ibid., 393.

13. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ, in Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ, trans. R.J. Hollingdale (London: Penguin Books, 1968), 135–36.

14. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Case of Wagner, in Basic Writings of Nietzsche, trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: The Modern Library, 1967), 639.

15. Magee, Wagner and Philosophy, 325.

 


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/05/parsifal-and-the-possibility-of-transcendence/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/hacker.jpg

mercredi, 29 mai 2013

L'occidentalisme contre l'Europe

 

N.O.M.jpg

L'occidentalisme contre l'Europe

Ex: http://www.europe-identite.com/

Tomislav Sunic

Conférence prononcée  à Lyon le 25 mai 2013  („GUD-Europe Identité“)

Le terme « occidentalisme » n’existe qu’en langue française et il a une signification bien particulière. Souvent les mots « Occident » et « occidentalisme » reçoivent leurs sens particulier en fonction de son utilisateur et de son état des lieux. Le terme « occidentalisme » ne s’utilise  guère en langue allemande ou en langue anglaise. Même le vocable français « Occident » possédant  une signification largement géographique est traduit en allemand comme « l’Ouest », à savoir « der  Westen. Il en va de même pour l’anglais où le terme français « Occident » est traduit en anglais par « the West », le sujet auquel on a consacré  pas mal de livres et de traductions. À ce propos, Patrick Buchanan, ancien conseiller de Ronald Reagan et écrivain conservateur ẚ gros tirage a publié y il a une dizaine d’années le bestseller « Death of the West » (La Mort de l’Occident) où il se lamente sur le sort de l’Ouest envahi par des millions d’immigrés non chrétiens. Dans sa prose, l’Amérique et l’Europe sont mises dans le même sac.

Or nous savons fort bien que l’Amérique et l’Europe ne sont pas synonymes – ni par leur notion des grands espaces, ni par leurs volontés hégémoniques – quoique ces deux continents soient pour l’heure toujours peuplés d’une majorité d’Européens de souche. Fort souvent dans notre histoire récente, ces deux grands espaces, malgré leurs populations quasi identiques, se sont livré des guerres atroces.

Dans les langues slaves, le substantif « Occident » et  l’adjectif  « occidental » n’existent pas non plus. À la place « d’Occident », les Croates, les Tchèques ou les Russes utilisent le substantif « zapad » qui signifie « l’Ouest ».

Le substantif français « occidentalisme », indique une notion de processus, une motion, à savoir une idéologie, et non l’idée d’une entité stable dans le temps et dans l’espace comme c’est le cas avec le substantif « Occident ».  Je vous rappelle que le titre français du livre d’Oswald Spengler, Der Untergang des Abandlandes, ou en français  Le déclin de l’Occident, ne reflète pas exactement le sens du titre allemand. Le mot allemand « der Untergang » signifie, en effet, la fin des fins, une sorte de débâcle finale, et il est plus fort que le terme français «déclin » qui sous-entend une gradation, donc une « déclinaison du mal », et qui laisse envisager pourtant une possibilité de demi-tour, une fin qu’on peut renverser au dernier moment. Tel n’est pas le cas en allemand où le substantif « Untergang » porte un signifié final à sens unique, irréversible et tragique. La même chose vaut pour le substantif allemand « das  Abendland », qui traduit en français, signifie « le pays du soleil couchant » et qui porte en langue allemande une signification largement métaphysique.  

Je dois vous rappeler ces nuances lexicales afin que nous puissions bien conceptualiser notre sujet, en l’occurrence l’occidentalisme. Il faut être bien conscient que les termes, « L’Occident «  et « l’Ouest », dans les différentes langues européennes, portent souvent des significations différentes lesquelles engendrent souvent des malentendus.

Nul doute que les termes « Occident » et « occidentalisme » ont subi un glissement sémantique. Au cours de ces quarante ans, ils ont pris en français une connotation associée au mondialisme, à l’américanisme vulgaire, au libéralisme sauvage et au « monothéisme du marché », très bien décrit par Roger Garaudy.  On est loin des années soixante et soixante-dix, quand le journal  Défense de l’Occident  sortait en France contenant des plumes  bien connues dans nos milieux. La même chose vaut pour le mouvement politico–culturel français « Occident » qui portait dans les années soixante une certaine promesse tant pour les nationalistes français que pour toute la jeunesse nationaliste européenne.

Or les deux termes – « Occident » et « occidentalisme » – qui sont aujourd’hui fustigés par les cercles identitaires et nationalistes français sont toujours objet d’éloges chez les identitaires et les nationalistes est-européens qui souffrent d’un complexe d’infériorité quant à leur nouvelle identité postcommuniste et européenne. En Pologne, en Hongrie ou en Croatie par exemple, se dire de « l’Ouest » est souvent une manière de mettre en lumière sa grande culture ou bien de se targuer de son style d’homme du monde.

Je vous rappelle qu’à l’époque communiste, les Européens de l’Est se sentaient non seulement vexés par les brimades et les oukases communistes, mais également par leur statut d’Européens de deuxième classe lorsque les Occidentaux, à savoir les Francophones  et les Anglais utilisaient le terme « l’Est » pour désigner leur coin d’Europe, à savoir l'Europe de l'Est c’est-à-dire, « Eastern Europe ». D’ailleurs, en français, on utilise parallèlement l’adjectif  « orientale » –  à savoir « l’Europe orientale » – pour désigner l’Europe de l’Est, un adjectif dont l’homonymie rend les Européens de l'Est franchement furieux.  L’adjectif « oriental »  rappelle aux Européens de l’Est l’Orient,  la Turquie, l’Arabie, l’islam, des notions avec lesquelles ils ne veulent absolument pas être rangés. Même les Européens de l’Est  qui maîtrisent parfaitement la langue française et connaissent la culture française préfèrent,  faute de mieux, que les Francophones, au lieu d’« Europe orientale »,  désignent leur coin d’Europe, comme « l’Europe de l’Est ».

Balkanisation et Globalisation

L’histoire des mots et les glissements sémantiques ne s’arrêtent pas là. Tous les Européens de l’Est, qu’ils soient de gauche ou de droite, les globalistes ou les anti-globalistes, et même la classe politique au pouvoir en Europe de l’Est aiment bien se désigner comme membres de la « Mitteleuropa » et non comme citoyens de l’Europe de l’Est. Le terme allemand  Mitteleuropa veut dire « l’Europe du centre », terme qui  renvoie aux beaux temps nostalgiques de l’Empire habsbourgeois, au biedermeier, à la douceur de vie assurée autrefois par la Maison d’Autriche et à laquelle les Slovaques, les Polonais, les Croates, les Hongrois, et mêmes les Roumains et les Ukrainiens appartenaient il n’y pas si longtemps.           

La notion d’appartenance à l’Europe, surtout dans ce coin de l’Est européen  s’aggrave davantage par les vocables utilisés par mégarde. Ainsi le terme «   Balkans » et  l’adjectif « balkanique », utilisés dans un sens neutre en France pour désigner l’Europe du sud-est,  ont une connotation injurieuse dans la culture croate même si cette désignation ne véhicule aucune signification péjorative. La perception que les Croates se font d’eux-mêmes va souvent à l’encontre de celle qui provient de l’Autre, à savoir de leurs voisins serbes ou bosniaques.  Aux yeux des Croates, les termes «  Balkans » et « balkanisation » signifient non seulement une dislocation géopolitique de l’Europe ; le vocable « Balkans », qui peut porter un signifiant tout à fait neutre en français ou en anglais, et qui est souvent utilisé dans des études géopolitiques, provoque souvent chez les nationalistes et identitaires croates des sentiments associés au comportement barbare, des complexes d’infériorité politique, et l’image de dégénérescence raciale de leur identité blanche. De plus le terme « balkanique » en croate induit souvent un sentiment négatif où se mélangent et se confondent diverses identités raciales et culturelles venues de l’Asie et non de l’Europe. On entend souvent les Croates de n’importe quel bord, se lancer mutuellement pour leurs prétendu mauvais comportement, la boutade : « Ah t’es un vrai Balkanique !».  Ce qui veut dire, dans le langage populaire croate, avoir un comportement non civilisé,  ou être un « plouc » tout simplement.  En Serbie, ce n’est pas le cas, l’identité serbe étant bien réelle et bien ancrée dans le temps et dans l’espace des Balkans et ne portant aucune signification péjorative.

Les Allemands, qui connaissent le mieux la psychologie des peuples de l’Europe centrale et des Balkans, sont très au courant de ces identités conflictuelles chez les peuples de l’Europe de l’Est et des Balkans. D’ailleurs, le terme « der Balkanezer » possède une signification fortement injurieuse dans le lexique allemand.

Quelle Europe ? 

Passons à l'Europe. A la fameuse Union européenne, bien sûr. Alors, qu’est que cela veut dire être un bon Européen aujourd’hui ? Soyons honnêtes. Compte tenu de l’afflux massif d’immigrés  non-européens, surtout du Moyen Orient, tous les Européens – que ce soient les Français de souche, ou les Anglais de souche et les « souchiens » de toute l’Europe,  sont en train de devenir de bons « balkanesques Balkaniques. » En effet, qu’est-ce que cela veut dire aujourd’hui, être Allemand, Français, ou bien Américain, vu le fait que plus de 10 à 15 pour cent d’Allemands et de Français et plus de 30 pour cent des citoyens américains sont d’origine non–européenne, donc non-blanche ? En passant par Marseille on a l’impression de visiter la ville algérienne ; l’aéroport de Francfort ressemble à celui de Hongkong. Les alentours de Neukölln à Berlin charrient les parfums de la casbah libanaise. La glèbe, le terroir, la terre et le sang, si chères à  Maurice Barrès, si chers à nous tous, qu’est-ce que cela veut dire aujourd’hui ? Strictement rien. 

On a beau prendre maintenant les allogènes comme coupables. Force est de constater que ce sont nous, les Européens, qui sommes les premiers responsables de l’occidentalisation et donc de la perte de notre identité. Ce faisant on a beau vilipender la prétendue inculture des Américains, au moins ils ne sont pas tiraillés par le petit tribalisme intra-européen. Les Américains de souche européenne peuvent demain, à la rigueur, devenir le fer de lance de la renaissance d’une nouvelle identité euro-blanche. Force et de constater que les sentiments d’identité raciale chez les nationalistes blancs américains sont plus forts que chez les nationalistes européens. 

Or en Europe de demain, dans le meilleur des mondes européens, même sans aucun allogène, il est douteux que le climat sera d’emblée propice à des grandes embrassades fraternelles entre les Irlandais et les Anglais, entre les Basques et les Castillans, entre les Serbes et les Croates, entre les Corses et les Français.  Soyons francs. Toute l’histoire de l’Europe, toute l’histoire des Européens, au cours de ces deux millénaires s’est soldée par des guerres fratricides interminables. Cela vaut toujours pour L’Europe orientale, à savoir « l’Europe de l’Est, » qui continue toujours d’être en proie à la haine interethnique. Le dernier conflit en date fut la guerre récente entre deux peuples similaires, les Serbes et les Croates. Qui peut nous garantir le contraire demain, même si l’afflux des Asiatiques et les Africains devait prendre subitement fin ?

Se dire « être  un bon Européen » aujourd’hui, ne veut rien dire. Se proclamer un « bon Occidental » non plus. Etre enraciné dans son terroir dans un monde globaliste n’a strictement aucun sens aujourd’hui, vu que nos quartiers sont peuplés d’allogènes qui avec nous sont soumis à la même culture marchande. Il y a au moins quelque chose de paradoxal avec l’arrivée des non-Européens : les interminables guerres et les disputes entre les grands discours  des nationalistes européens, entre les Polonais et les Allemands, entre les Serbes et les  Croates, entre les Irlandais et les Anglais – semblent devenus dérisoires.  L’afflux constant de non-Européens dans nos contrées européennes fait de la désignation  « L’Europe européenne » une  absurdité lexicale.

Ce qu’il nous reste à nous tous à faire c’est le devoir de nous définir tout d’abord comme héritiers de la mémoire européenne, même si nous vivons hors d’Europe, même en Australie, au Chili, ou en Amérique et même sur une autre planète.  Force est de constater que nous tous « les bons Européens » au sens nietzschéen,  nous pouvons changer notre religion, nos habitudes, nos opinions politiques, notre terroir, notre nationalité, voir même nos passeports, mais nous ne pouvons jamais échapper à notre hérédité européenne.

Non les allogènes, mais les capitalistes, les banksters,  les « antifas » et  les architectes des meilleurs des mondes, sont désormais nos principaux ennemis. Pour leur résister, il nous incombe de ressusciter notre conscience raciale et notre héritage culturel. Tous les deux vont de pair. La réalité de notre race et culture blanche ne peut pas être niée. Nous tous, nous pouvons tout changer et même aller sur une autre planète.  Mais notre hérédité, à savoir notre fond génétique, on ne peut  jamais changer.

La race, comme Julius Evola ou Ludwig Clauss nous l’enseignent, n’est pas seulement la donnée biologique – notre race est aussi notre responsabilité spirituelle qui seule peut assurer notre survie européenne.

Tomislav Sunic ( www.tomsunic.com)est écrivain et membre du Conseil d’Administration de American Freedom Party. http://a3p.me/leadership

 

lundi, 20 mai 2013

The Enlightenment from a New Right Perspective

immanuel_kant_f.20101213-11.jpg

The Enlightenment from a New Right Perspective

 

By Domitius Corbulo

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

“When Kant philosophizes, say on ethical ideas, he maintains the validity of his theses for men of all times and places. He does not say this in so many words, for, for himself and his readers, it is something that goes without saying. In his aesthetics he formulates the principles, not of Phidias’s art, of Rembrandt’s art, but of Art generally. But what he poses as necessary forms of thought are in reality only necessary forms of Western thought.” — Oswald Spengler 

“Humanity exists in its greatest perfection in the white race.” — Immanuel Kant

Every one either praises or blames the Enlightenment for the enshrinement of equality and cosmopolitanism as the moral pillars of our times. This is wrong. Enlightenment thinkers were racists who believe that only white Europeans could be fully rational, good citizens, and true cosmopolitans.

Leftists have brought attention to some racist beliefs among Enlightenment thinkers, but they have not successfully shown that racism was an integral part of Enlightenment philosophy, and their intention has been to denigrate the Enlightenment for representing the parochial values of European males. I argue here that they were the first to introduce a scientific conception of human nature structured by racial classifications. This conception culminated in Immanuel Kant’s anthropological justification of the superior/inferior classification of “races of men” and his “critical” argument that only European peoples were capable of becoming rational and free legislators of their own actions. The Enlightenment is a celebration of white reason and morality; therefore, it belongs to the New Right.

In an essay [2] in the New York Times (February 10, 2013), Justin Smith, another leftist with a grand title, Professeur des Universités, Département d’Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences, Université Paris Diderot – Paris VII, contrasted the intellectual “legacy” of Anton Wilhelm Amo, a West African student and former slave who defended a philosophy dissertation at the University of Halle in Saxony in 1734, with the “fundamentally racist” legacy of Enlightenment thinkers. Smith observed that a dedicatory letter was attached to Amo’s dissertation from the rector of the University of Wittenberg, Johannes Kraus, praising the “natural genius” of Africa and its “inestimable contribution to the knowledge of human affairs.” Smith juxtaposed Kraus’s broad-mindedness to the prevailing Enlightenment view “lazily echoed by Hume, Kant, and so many contemporaries” according to which Africans were naturally inferior to whites and beyond the pale of modernity.

Smith questioned “the supposedly universal aspiration to liberty, equality and fraternity” of Enlightenment thought. These values were “only ever conceived” for a European people deemed to be superior and therefore more equal than non-whites. He cited Hume: “I am apt to suspect the Negroes, and in general all other species of men to be naturally inferior to the whites.” He also cited Kant’s dismissal of a report of something intelligent that had once been uttered by an African: “this fellow was quite black from head to toe, a clear proof that what he said was stupid.” Smith asserted that it was counter-Enlightenment thinkers, such as Johann Herder, who would formulate anti-racist views in favor of human diversity. In the rest of his essay, Smith pondered why Westerners today “have chosen to stick with categories inherited from the century of the so-called Enlightenment” even though “since the mid-20th century no mainstream scientist has considered race a biologically significant category; no scientist believes any longer that ‘negroid,’ ‘caucasoid,’ and so on represent real natural kinds.” We should stop using labels that merely capture “something as trivial as skin color” and instead appreciate the legacy of Amo as much as that of any other European in a colorblind manner.

Smith’s article, which brought some 370 comments, a number from Steve Sailer, was challenged a few days later by Kenan Malik, ardent defender of the Enlightenment, in his blog Pandaemonium [3]. Malik’s argument that Enlightenment thinkers “were largely hostile to the idea of racial categorization” represents the general consensus on this question. Malik is an Indian-born English citizen, regular broadcaster at BBC, and noted writer for The GuardianFinancial TimesThe Independent, Sunday Times, New StatesmanProspectTLSThe Times Higher Education Supplement, and other venues. Once a Marxist, Malik is today a firm defender of the “universalist ideas of the Enlightenment,” freedom of speech, secularism, and scientific rationalism. He is best known for his strong opposition to multiculturalism.

Yet this staunch opponent of multiculturalism is a stauncher advocate of open door policies on immigration [4]. In one of his TV documentaries, tellingly titled Let ‘Em All In (2005), he demanded that Britain’s borders be opened to the world without restrictions. In response to a report published during the post-Olympic euphoria in Britain, “The Melting Pot Generation: How Britain became more relaxed about race [5],” he wrote: “news that those of mixed ethnicity are among the fastest-growing groups in the population is clearly to be welcomed [6].” He added that much work remains to be done “to change social perceptions of race.”

This work includes fighting against any immigration objection even from someone like David Goodhart, director of the left think tank Demos, whose just released book, The British Dream [7], modestly made the observation that immigration is eroding traditional identities and creating an England “increasingly full of mysterious and unfamiliar worlds.” In his review (The Independent [8], April 19, 2013) Malik insisted that not enough was being done to wear down the traditional identities of everyone including the native British. The solution is more immigration coupled with acculturation to the universal values of the Enlightenment. “I am hostile to multiculturalism not because I worry about immigration but because I welcome it.” The citizens of Britain must be asked to give up their ethnic and cultural individuality and make themselves into universal beings with rights equal to every newcomer.

It is essential, then, for Malik to disassociate the Enlightenment with any racist undertones. This may not seem difficult since the Enlightenment has consistently come to be seen — by all political ideologies from Left to Right — as the source of freedom, equality, and rationality against the “unreasonable and unnatural” prejudices of particular cultural groups. Malik acknowledges that in recent years some (he mentions George Mosse, Emmanuel Chuckwude Eze, and David Theo Goldberg) have blamed Enlightenment thinkers for articulating the modern idea of race and projecting a view of Europe as both culturally and racially superior. By and large, however, Malik manages (superficially speaking) to win the day arguing that the racist statements one encounters in some Enlightenment thinkers were marginally related to their overall philosophies.

A number of thinkers within the mainstream of the Enlightenment . . . dabbled with ideas of innate differences between human groups . . . Yet, with one or two exceptions, they did so only diffidently or in passing.

The botanist Carolus Linnaeus exhibited the cultural prejudices of his time when he described Europeans as “serious, very smart, inventive” and Africans as “impassive, lazy, ruled by caprice.” But let’s us not forget, Malik reasons, that Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae “is one of the landmarks of scientific thought,” the first “distinctly modern” classification of plants and animals, and of humans in rational and empirical terms as part of the natural order. The implication is that Linnaeus could not have offered a scientific classification of nature while seriously believing in racial differences. Science and race are incompatible.

Soon the more progressive ideas of Johann Blumenbach came; he complained about the prejudices of Linnaeus’ categories and called for a more objective differentiation between human groups based on skull shape and size. It is true that out of Blumenbach’s five-fold taxonomy (Caucasians, Mongolians, Ethiopians, Americans and Malays) the categories of race later emerged. But Malik insists that “it was in the 19th, not 18th, century that a racial view of the world took hold in Europe.”

Malik mentions Jonathan Israel’s argument that there were two Enlightenments, a mainstream one coming from Kant, Locke, Voltaire and Hume, and a radical one coming from “lesser known figures such as d’Holbach, Diderot, Condorcet and Spinoza.” This latter group pushed the ideas of reason, universality, and democracy “to their logical conclusion,” nurturing a radical egalitarianism extending across class, gender, and race. But, in a rather confusing way and possibly because he could not find any discussions of race in the radical group to back up his argument, Malik relies on the mainstream group. He cites David Hume: “It is universally acknowledged that there is a great uniformity among the acts of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains the same in its principles and operations.” And George-Louis Buffon, the French naturalist: “Every circumstance concurs in proving that mankind is not composed of species essentially different from each other.” While Enlightenment thinkers asked why there was so much cultural variety across the globe, Malik explains, “the answer was rarely that human groups were racially distinct . . . environmental differences and accidents of history had shaped societies in different ways.” Remedying these differences and contingencies was what the Enlightenment was about; as Diderot wrote, “everywhere a people should be educated, free, and virtuous.”

Malik’s essay is pedestrian, somewhat disorganized, but in tune with the established literature, and therefore seen by the public as a compilation of truisms against marginal complaints about racism in the Enlightenment. Almost all the books on the Enlightenment have either ignored this issue or addressed it as a peripheral theme. The emphasis has been, rather, on the Enlightenment’s promotion of universal values for the peoples of the world. Let me offer some examples. Leonard Krieger’s King and Philosopher, 1689–1789 (1970) highlights the way the Enlightenment produced “works in which the universal principles of reason were invoked to order vast reaches of the human experience,” Rousseau’s “anthropological history of the human species,” Hume’s “quest for uniform principles of human nature,” “the various tendencies of the philosophes’ thinking — skepticism, rationalism, humanism, and materialism” (152-207). Peter Gay’s The Enlightenment: An Interpretation (1966) is altogether about how “the men of the Enlightenment united on . . . a program of secularism, humanity, cosmopolitanism, and freedom . . . In 1784, when the Enlightenment had done most of its work, Kant defined it as man’s emergence from his self-imposed tutelage, and offered as its motto: Dare to know” (3). Norman Hampson’s The Enlightenment (1968) spends more time on the proponents of modern classifications of nature, particularly Buffon’s Natural History, but makes no mention of racial classifications or arguments opposing any notion of a common humanity.

kant.jpgRecent books are hardly different. Louis Dupre’s The Enlightenment and the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Culture (2004), traces our current critically progressive attitudes back to the Enlightenment “ideal of human emancipation.” Dupré argues (from a perspective influenced by Jurgen Habermas) that the original project of the Enlightenment is linked to “emancipatory action” today (335). Gertrude Himmelfarb’s The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments (2004), offers a neoconservative perspective of the British and the American “Enlightenments” contrasted to the more radical ideas of human perfectibility and the equality of mankind found in the French philosophes. She brings up Jefferson’s hope that in the future whites would “blend together, intermix” and become one people with the Indians (221). She quotes Madison on the “unnatural traffic” of slavery and its possible termination, and also Jefferson’s proposal that the slaves should be freed and sent abroad to colonize other lands as “free and independent people.” She implies that Jefferson thought that sending blacks abroad was the most humane solution given the “deep-rooted prejudices of whites and the memories of blacks of the injuries they had sustained” (224).

Dorinda Outram’s, The Enlightenment (1995) brings up directly the way Enlightenment thinkers responded to their encounters with very different cultures in an age characterized by extraordinary expeditions throughout the globe. She notes there “was no consensus in the Enlightenment on the definition of the races of man,” but, in a rather conjectural manner, maintains that “the idea of a universal human subject . . . could not be reconciled with seeing Negroes as inferior.” Buffon, we are safely informed, “argued that the human race was a unity.” Linnaeus divided humanity into different classificatory groups, but did so as members of the same human race, although he “was unsure whether pigmies qualified for membership of the human race.” Turgot and Condorcet believed that “human beings, by virtue of their common humanity, would all possess reason, and would gradually discard irrational superstitions” (55-8). Outram’s conclusion on this topic is typical: “The Enlightenment was trying to conceive a universal human subject, one possessed of rationality,” accordingly, it cannot be seen as a movement that stood against racial divisions (74). Roy Porter, in his exhaustively documented and opulent narrative, Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World (2000), dedicates less than one page of his 600+ page book to discourses on “racial differentiation.” He mentions Lord Kames as “one of many who wrestled with the evidence of human variety . . . hinting that blacks might be related to orang-utans and similar great apes.” Apart from this quaint passage, there is only this: “debate was heated and unresolved, and there was no single Enlightenment party line” (357).

In my essay, “Enlightenment and Global History [9],” I mentioned a number of other books which view the Enlightenment as a European phenomenon and, for this reason, have been the subject of criticism by current multicultural historians who feel that this movement needs to be seen as global in origins. I defended the Eurocentrism of these books while suggesting that their view of the Enlightenment as an acclamation of universal values (comprehensible and extendable outside the European ethnic homeland) was itself accountable for the idea that its origins must not be restricted to Europe. Multicultural historians have merely carried to their logical conclusion the allegedly universal ideals of the Enlightenment. The standard interpretations of Tzvetan Todorov’s In Defence of the Enlightenment (2009), Stephen Bronner’s Reclaiming the Enlightenment (2004), and Robert Louden’s, The World We Want: How and Why the Ideals of the Enlightenment Still Eludes Us (2007), equally neglect the intense interest Enlightenment thinkers showed in the division of humanity into races. They similarly pretend that, insomuch as these thinkers spoke of “reason,” “humanity,” and “equality,” they were thinking outside or above the European experience and intellectual ancestry.

What about Justin Smith, or, since he has not published in this field, the left liberal authors on this topic? There is not that much; the two best known sources are two anthologies of writings on race, namely, Race and the Enlightenment: A Reader (1997), edited by Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze; and The Idea of Race (2000), edited by Robert Bernasconi and Tommy Lott. Eze’s book gathers into a short book the most provocative writings on race by some Enlightenment thinkers (Hume, Linnaeus, Kant, Buffon, Blumenbach, Jefferson and Cuvier). This anthology, valuable as it is, is intended for effect, to show how offensively racist these thinkers were. Eze does not disprove the commonly accepted idea that Enlightenment thinkers were proponents of a universal ethos (although, as we will see below, Eze does offer elsewhere a rather acute analysis of Kant’s racism). Bernasconi’s The Idea of Race is mostly a collection of nineteenth and 20th century writings, with short excerpts from Francois Bernier, Voltaire, Kant, and Blumenbach. The books that Malik mentions (see above) which connect the Enlightenment to racism are also insufficient: George Mosse’s Toward the Final Solution: A History of European Racism (1985) is just another book about European anti-Semitism, which directs culpability to the Enlightenment for carrying classifications and measurements of racial groups. David Goldberg’s Racist Culture (1993) is a study of the normalization of racialized discourses in the modern West in the 20th century.

There are, as we will see later, other publications which address in varying ways this topic, but, on the whole, the Enlightenment is normally seen as the most critical epoch in “mankind’s march” towards universal brotherhood. The leftist discussion of racist statements relies on the universal principles of the Enlightenment. Its goal is to uncover and challenge any idea among 18th century thinkers standing in the way of a future universal civilization. Leftist critics enjoy “exposing” white European males as racists and thereby re-appropriate the Enlightenment as their own from a cultural Marxist perspective. But what if we were to approach the racism and universalism of the Enlightenment from a New Right perspective that acknowledges straightaway the particular origins of the Enlightenment in a continent founded by Indo-European [10] speakers?

This would involve denying the automatic assumption that the ideas of the philosophes were articulated by mankind and commonly true for every culture. How can the ideas of the Enlightenment be seen as universal, representing the essence of humanity, if they were expressed only by European men? The Enlightenment is a product of Europe alone, and this fact alone contradicts its universality. Enlightenment thinkers are themselves to blame for this dilemma expressing their ideas as if “for men of all times and places.” Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803), writing at the same time as Kant, did question the notion of a cosmopolitan world based on generic human values. He saw in the world the greatest possible variety of historical humans in different regions of the earth, in time and space. He formulated arguments against racial rankings not by questioning their scientific merits as much as their reduction of the diversity of humans to one matrix of measurement and judgment. It was illusory to postulate a universal philosophy for humanity in which the national character of peoples would disappear and each human on earth would “love each other and every one . . . being all equally polite, well-mannered and even-tempered . . . all philanthropic citizens of the world.”[1] Contrary to some interpretations, Herder was not rejecting the Enlightenment but subjecting it to critical evaluation from his own cosmopolitan education in the history and customs of the peoples of the earth. “Herder was among the men of the Enlightenment who were critical in their search for self-understanding; in short, he was part of the self-enlightening Enlightenment.”[2] He proposed a different universalism based on the actual variety and unique historical experiences and trajectories of each people (Volk). Every people had their own particular language, religion, songs, gestures, legends and customs. There was no common humanity but a division of peoples into language and ethnic groups. Each people were capable of achieving education and progress in its own way from its own cultural sources.

From this standpoint, the Enlightenment should be seen as an expression of a specific people, Europeans, made up of various nationalities but nevertheless in habitants of a common civilization who were actually conceiving the possibility of becoming good citizens of Europe at large. In the words of Edward Gibbon, Enlightenment philosophers were enlarging their views beyond their respective native countries “to consider Europe as a great republic, whose various inhabitants have attained almost the same level of politeness and cultivation” (in Gay, 13).

Beyond Herder, we also need to acknowledge that the Enlightenment inaugurated the study of race from a rational, empirical, and secular perspective consistent with its own principles. No one has been willing to admit this because this entire debate has been marred by the irrational, anti-Enlightenment dogma that race is a construct and that the postulation of a common humanity amounts to a view of human nature without racial distinctions. Contrary to Roy Porter, there was a party line, or, to be more precise, a consistently racial approach among Enlightenment thinkers. The same philosophes who announced that human nature was uniform everywhere, and united mankind as a subject capable of enlightenment, argued “in text after text . . . in the works of Hume, Diderot, Montesquieu, Kant, and many lesser lights” that men “are not uniform but are divided up into sexes, races, national characters . . . and many other categories” (Garret 2006). But because we have been approaching Enlightenment racism under the tutelage of our current belief that race is “a social myth” and that any division of mankind into races is based on malevolent “presumptions unsupported by available evidence [11],” we have failed to appreciate that this subject was part and parcel of what the philosophes meant by “enlightenment.” Why it is so difficult to accept the possibility that 18th century talk about “human nature” and the “unity of mankind” was less a political program for a universal civilization than a scientific program for the study of man in a way that was systematic in intent and universal in scope? It is quite legitimate, from a scientific point, to treat humans everywhere as uniformly constituted members of the same species while recognizing their racial and cultural variety across the world. Women were considered to be intrinsically different from men at the same time that they were considered to be human.

Not being an expert on the Enlightenment I found recently a book chapter titled “Human Nature” by Aaron Garrett in a two volume work, The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy [12] (2006). There is a section in this chapter dealing with “race and natural character”; it is short, 20 pages in a 1400 page work, but it is nevertheless well researched with close to 80 footnotes of mostly primary sources. One learns from these few pages that “in text after text” Enlightenment thinkers proposed a hierarchical view of the races. Mind you, Garrett is stereotypically liberal and thus writes of “the 18th century’s dubious contributions to the discussion of race,” startled by “the virulent denigrations of blacks . . . found in the works of Franklin, Raynal, Voltaire, Forster, and many others.” He also playacts the racial ideas of these works as if they were inconsistent with the scientific method, and makes the very unscientific error of assuming that there was an “apparent contradiction” with the Enlightenment’s notion of a hierarchy of races and its “vigorous attacks on the slave trade in the name of humanity.”

Just because most Enlightenment thinkers rejected polygenecism and asserted the fundamental (species) equality of humankind, it does not mean that they could not believe consistently in the hierarchical nature of the human races. There were polygenecists like Charles White who argued that blacks formed a race different from whites, and Voltaire who took some pleasure lampooning the vanity of the unity of mankind. But the prevailing view was that all races were members of the same human species, as all humans were capable of creating fertile offspring. Buffon, Cornelius de Pauw, Linnaeus, Blumenbach, Kant and others endorsed this view, and yet they distinctly ranked whites above other races.

Liberals have deliberately employed this view on the species unity of humanity in order to separate, misleadingly, the Enlightenment from any racial connotations. But Linnaeus did rank the races in their behavioral proclivities; and Buffon did argue that all the races descended from an original pair of whites, and that American Indians and Africans were degraded by their respective environmental habitats. De Pauw did say that Africans had been enfeebled in their intelligence and “disfigured” by their environment. Samuel Soemmering did conclude that blacks were intellectually inferior; Peter Camper and John Hunter did rank races in terms of their facial physiognomy. Blumenbach did emphasize the symmetrical balance of Caucasian skull features as the “most perfect.” Nevertheless, in accordance with the evidence collected at the time, all these scholars asserted the fundamental unity of mankind, monogenism, or the idea that all races have a common origin.

Garrett, seemingly unable to accept his own “in text after text” observation, repeats the standard line that Buffon’s and Blumenbach’s view, for example, on “the unity and structural similarity of races” precluded a racial conception. He generally evades racist phrases and arguments from Enlightenment thinkers, such as this one from Blumenbach: “I have allotted the first place to the Caucasian because this stock displays the most beautiful race of men” (Eze, 1997: 79). He makes no mention or almost ignores a number of other racialists [13]: Locke, Georges Cuvier, Johann Winckelmann, Diderot, Maupertuis, and Montesquieu. In the case of Kant, he says it would be “absurd” to take some “isolated remarks” he made about race as if they stood for his whole work. Kant “distinguish between character, temperament, and race in order to avoid biological determinism” for the sake of the “moral potential of the human race as a whole.”

kant-german-philosopher-from.jpgActually, Kant, the greatest thinker of the Enlightenment, “produced the most profound raciological thought of the 18th century.” These words come from Earl W. Count’s book This is Race, cited by Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze in what is a rather good analysis of Kant’s racism showing that it was not marginal but deeply embedded in his philosophy. Eze’s analysis comes in a chapter, “The Color of Reason: The Idea of ‘Race’ in Kant’s Anthropology [14]” (1997). We learn that Kant elaborated his racial thinking in his Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View [15] (1798); he introduced anthropology as a branch of study to the German universities together with the study of geography, and that through his career Kant offered 72 courses in Anthropology and/or Geography, more than in logic, metaphysics and moral philosophy. Although various scholars have shown interest in Kant’s anthropology, they have neglected its relation to Kant’s “pure philosophy.”

For Kant, anthropology and geography were inseparable; geography was the study of the natural conditions of the earth and of man’s physical attributes and location as part of this earth; whereas anthropology was the study of man’s soul, his psychological and moral character, as exhibited in different places on earth. In his geography Kant addressed racial classifications on the basis of physical traits such as skin color; in his anthropology he studied the internal structures of human psychology and the manner in which these internal attributes conditioned humans as moral and rational beings.

Kant believed that human beings were different from other natural beings in their capacity for consciousness and agency. Humans were naturally capable of experiencing themselves as self-reflecting egos capable of acting morally on the basis of their own self-generated norms (beyond the determinism which conditioned all other beings in the universe). It is part of our internal human nature to think and will as persons with moral agency. This uniquely human attribute is what allows humans to transcend the dictates of nature insofar as they are able to articulate norms as commandments for their own actions freed from unconscious physical contingencies and particular customs. As rational beings, humans are capable of creating a realm of ends, and these ends are a priori principles derived not from the study of geography and anthropology but from the internal structures of the mind, transcendental reason. What Kant means by “critical reason” is the ability of humans through the use of their minds to subject everything (bodily desires, empirical reality, and customs) to the judgments of values generated by the mind, such that the mind (reason) is the author of its own moral actions.

However, it was Kant’s estimation that his geographical and anthropological studies gave his moral philosophy an empirical grounding. This grounding consisted in the acquisition of knowledge about human beings “throughout the world,” to use Kant’s words, “from the point of view of the variety of their natural properties and the differences in that feature of the human which is moral in character.”[3] [16] Kant was the first thinker to sketch out a geographical and psychological (or anthropological) classification of humans. He classified humans naturally and racially into white (European), yellow (Asians), black (Africans) and red (American Indians). He also classified them psychologically and morally in terms of the mores, customs and aesthetic feelings held collectively by each of the races. Non-Europeans held unreflective mores and customs devoid of critical examination “because these people,” in the words of Eze, “lack the capacity for development of ‘character,’ and they lack character presumably because they lack adequate self-consciousness and rational will.” Within Kant’s psychological classification, non-Europeans “appear to be incapable of moral maturity because they lack ‘talent,’ which is a ‘gift’ of nature.” Eze quotes Kant: “the difference in natural gifts between various nations cannot be completely explained by means of causal [external, physical, climatic] causes but rather must lie in the [moral] nature of man.” The differences among races are permanent and transcend environmental factors. “The race of the American cannot be educated. It has no motivating force; for it lacks affect and passion . . . They hardly speak, do not caress each other, care about nothing and are lazy.” “The race of the Negroes . . .  is completely the opposite of the Americans; they are full of affect and passion, very lively, talkative and vain. They can be educated but only as servants . . . ” The Hindus “have a strong degree of passivity and all look like philosophers. They thus can be educated to the highest degree but only in the arts and not in the sciences. They can never arise to the level of abstract concepts . . . The Hindus always stay the way they are, they can never advance, although they began their education much earlier.”

Eze then explains that for Kant only “white” Europeans are educable and capable of progress in the arts and sciences. They are the “ideal model of universal humanity.” In other words, only the European exhibits the distinctly human capacity to behave as a rational creature in terms of “what he himself is willing to make himself” through his own ends. He is the only moral character consciously free to choose his own ends over and above the determinism of external nature and of unreflectively held customs. Eze, a Nigerian born academic, obviously criticizes Kant’s racism, citing and analyzing additional passages, including ones in which Kant states that non-Europeans lack “true” aesthetic feelings. He claims that Kant transcendentally hypostasized his concept of race simply on the basis of his belief that skin color by itself stands for the presence or absence of the natural ‘gift’ of talent and moral ‘character’. He says that Kant’s sources of information on non-European customs were travel books and stories he heard in Konigsberg, which was a bustling international seaport. Yet, this does not mean that he was simply “recycling ethnic stereotypes and prejudices.” Kant was, in Eze’s estimation, seriously proposing an anthropological and a geographical knowledge of the world as the empirical presupposition of his critical philosophy.

With the publication of this paper (and others in recent times) it has become ever harder to designate Kant’s thinking on race as marginal. Thomas Hill and Bernard Boxill dedicated a chapter, “Kant and Race [17],” to Eze’s paper in which they not only accepted that Kant expressed racist beliefs, but also that Eze was successful “in showing that Kant saw his racial theory as a serious philosophical project.” But Hill and Boxill counter that Kant’s philosophy should not be seen to be inherently “infected with racism . . . provided it is suitably supplemented with realistic awareness of the facts about racism and purged from association with certain false empirical beliefs.” These two liberals, however, think they have no obligation to provide their readers with one single fact proving that the races are equal. They don’t even mention a source in their favor such as Stephen J. Gould [18]. They take it as a given that no one has seriously challenged the liberal view of race but indeed assume that such a challenge would be racist ipso facto and therefore empirically unacceptable. They then excuse Kant on grounds that the evidence available in his time supported his claims; but that it would be racist today to make his claims for one would be “culpable” of neglecting the evidence that now disproves racial classifications. What evidence [19]?

They then argue that “racist attitudes are incompatible with Kant’s basic principle of respect for humanity in each person,” and in this vein refer to Kant’s denunciation, in his words, of the “wars, famine, insurrection, treachery and the whole litany of evils” which afflicted the peoples of the world who experience the “great injustice of the European powers in their conquests.” But why do liberals always assume that claims about racial differences constitute a call for the conquest and enslavement of non-whites? They forget the 100 million killed in Russia and China, or, conversely, the fact that most Enlightenment racists were opponents of the slave trade. The bottom logic of the Hill-Boxill counterargument is that Kant’s critical philosophy was/is intrinsically incompatible with any racial hierarchies which violate the principles of human freedom and dignity, even if his racism was deeply embedded in his philosophy. But it is not; and may well be the other way around; Kant’s belief in human perfectibility, the complete development of moral agency and rational freedom, may be seen as intrinsically in favor of a hierarchical way of thinking in terms of which race is the standard bearer of the ideal of a free and rational humanity.

It is quite revealing that an expert like Garrett, and the standard interpreters of the Enlightenment generally, including your highness Doctor Habermas, would ignore Kant’s anthropology. A recent essay by Stuart Elden, “Reassessing Kant’s geography [20]” (2009), examines the state of this debate, noting that Kant’s geography and anthropology are still glaringly neglected in most newer works on Kant. One reason for this, Elden believes, “is that philosophers have, by and large, not known what to make of the works.” I would specify that they don’t know what to make of Kant’s racism in light of the widely accepted view that he was a liberal progenitor of human equality and cosmopolitanism. Even Elden does not know what to make of this racism, though he brings attention to some recent efforts to incorporate fully Kant’s anthropology/geography into his overall philosophy, works by Robert Louden, Kant’s Impure Ethics (2000); John Zammito, Kant, Herder, and the Birth of Anthropology (2002), and Holly Wilson, Kant’s Pragmatic Anthropology (2006). Elden pairs off these standard (pro-Enlightenment, pro-Kant) works against the writings of leftist critics who have shown less misgivings designating Kant a racist. All of these works (leftists as well) are tainted by their unenlightened acceptance of human equality and universalism. They cannot come to terms with a Kant who proposed a critical philosophy only for the European race.

There is no space here for details; some of the main points these authors make are: Kant’s anthropology and geography lectures were part of Kant’s critical philosophy, “devoted to trying to enlighten his students more about the people and world around them in order that they might live (pragmatically as well as morally) better lives” (Louden, p. 65). The aim of these lectures, says Wilson, on the cultures and geography of the world was “to civilize young students to become ‘citizens of the world’” (p. 8). Kant was a humane teacher who cared for his students and expected them to become cognizant of the world and in this way acquire prudence and wisdom. “Kant explicitly argues that the anthropology is a type of cosmopolitan philosophy,” writes Wilson, intended to educate students to develop their rational powers so they could think for themselves and thus be free to actualize their full human potentiality (5, 115). This sounds very pleasant yet based on the infantile notion that knowledge of the world and cosmopolitanism, wisdom and prudence, are incompatible with a racial understanding. To the contrary, if Kant’s racial observations were consistent with the available evidence at the time, and if masses of new evidence have accumulated since validating his views, then a critical and worldly philosophy would require us to show understanding towards Kant’s racism, which does not mean one has to accept the subjective impressionistic descriptions Kant uses. Hiding from students the research of Philippe Rushton, Richard Lynn, Charles Murray, Arthur Jensen, among others, would negate their ability to become free enlightened thinkers.

Elden brings the writings of Bernasconi and David Harvey, agreeing with them that Kant played “a crucial role in establishing the term ‘race’ as the currency within which discussions of human variety would be conducted in the 19th century.” He agrees too that Kant’s racism is “deeply problematic” to his cosmopolitanism, and that earlier responses by Kantians to swept aside his racism as “irrelevant” or “not to be taken seriously” are inadequate. Elden thinks however that scholars like Louden and Wilson have risen to the leftist challenge. But what we get from Louden is the same supposition that Kant’s philosophy can be made to meet the requirements of humanitarianism and egalitarianism simply by discarding the racist components. This constitutes a confounding of the actual Enlightenment (and the authentic Kant) with our current cultural Marxist wish to create a progressive global civilization. Louden even makes the rather doleful argument that Kant’s monogenetic view of the races, the idea that all humans originated from a common ancestor, “help us reach our collective destiny.” Kant’s monogenetic view is not an adequate way to show that he believed in a common humanity. The monogenetic view is not only consistent with the eventual differentiation of this common species into unequal races due to migration to different environments, but it is also the case that Kant specifically rejected Buffon’s claim that racial differences could be reversed with the eventual adaptation of “inferior” races to climates and environments that would induce “superior” traits; Kant insisted that the differences among races were fixed and irreversible regardless of future adaptations to different environmental settings. Louden’s additional defense of Kant by noting that he believed that all members of the human species can cultivate, civilize, and moralize themselves does not invalidate Kant’s view that whites are the model of a universal humanity.

So many otherwise intelligent scholars have willfully misled themselves into believing that Enlightenment thinkers were promoters of egalitarianism and a race-less cosmopolitan public sphere. We do live in a time of major deceptions at the highest levels of Western intellectual culture. We are continually reminded that the central idea in Kant’s conception of enlightenment is that of “submitting all claims to authority to the free examination of reason.”[4] [21] Yet the very ideals of the Enlightenment have been misused to preclude anyone from examining freely and rationally the question of race differences even to the point that admirers of the Enlightenment have been engaged in a ubiquitous campaign to hide, twist beyond clarity, and confound what Enlightenment thinkers themselves said about such differences. White nationalists should no longer accept the standard interpretation of the Enlightenment. They should embrace the Enlightenment and Kant as their own.

Notes

[1] Gurutz Jáuregui Bereciartu, Decline of the Nation State (1986), p. 26.

[2] Hans Adler and Ernest Menze, Eds. “Introduction,” in On World History, Johan Gottfried Herder: An Anthology (1997): p. 5

[3] These words are cited in Stuart Elden’s “Reassessing Kant’s geography,” Journal of Historical Geography (2009), a paper I discuss later.

[4] Perpetual Peace. Essays on Kant’s Cosmopolitan Ideal, eds. Johan Bohman and Mathias Lutz Bachman. The MIT Press, 1997.

 


 

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

 

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/05/the-enlightenment-from-a-new-right-perspective/

 

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Kant_Portrait.jpeg

[2] essay: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/why-has-race-survived/

[3] Pandaemonium: http://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/on-the-enlightenments-race-problem/

[4] open door policies on immigration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenan_Malik

[5] The Melting Pot Generation: How Britain became more relaxed about race: http://www.britishfuture.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/The-melting-pot-generation.pdf

[6] welcomed: http://www.britishfuture.org/blog/mixed-britain-will-the-census-results-change-the-way-we-think-and-talk-about-race/

[7] The British Dream: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1843548054/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=1843548054&linkCode=as2&tag=kenanmalikcom-21

[8] The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-british-dream-by-david-goodhart-8578883.html

[9] Enlightenment and Global History: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/04/enlightenment-and-global-history/

[10] Indo-European: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2012/12/where-is-the-historical-west-part-1-of-5/

[11] presumptions unsupported by available evidence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_racism

[12] The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy: http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-History-Eighteenth-Century-Philosophy-Haakonssen/dp/0521418542

[13] other racialists: http://www.quodlibet.net/articles/foutz-racism.shtml

[14] The Color of Reason: The Idea of ‘Race’ in Kant’s Anthropology: http://books.google.ca/books?id=moH_07971gwC&pg=PA200&lpg=PA200&dq=%E2%80%9CThe+Color+of+Reason:+The+Idea+of+%E2%80%98Race%E2%80%99+in+Kant%E2%80%99s+Anthropology%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=Q9-oKv3Wks&sig=QDcpHumNboU6TrfmWYfZCdjPyss&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rHSOUbebCNWz4AP87YCwDA&sqi=2&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9CThe%20Color%20of%20Reason%3A%20The%20Idea%20of%20%E2%80%98Race%E2%80%99%20in%20Kant%E2%80%99s%20Anthropology%E2%80%9D&f=false

[15] Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View: http://books.google.ca/books/about/Kant_Anthropology_from_a_Pragmatic_Point.html?id=MuS6WI_7xeYC&redir_esc=y

[16] [3]: http://www.counter-currents.comfile:///C:/Users/Owner/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.IE5/F9Q4VNXE/The%20Enlightenment%20from%20a%20New%20Right%20Perspective%20(1).rtf#_ftn3

[17] Kant and Race: http://www.faculty.umb.edu/lawrence_blum/courses/465_11/readings/Race_and_Racism.pdf

[18] Stephen J. Gould: http://menghusblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/stephen-jay-gould-myth-and-fraud/

[19] What evidence: http://www.jehsmith.com/philosophy/2008/09/phil-498629-rac.html

[20] Reassessing Kant’s geography: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305748808000613

[21] [4]: http://www.counter-currents.comfile:///C:/Users/Owner/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.IE5/F9Q4VNXE/The%20Enlightenment%20from%20a%20New%20Right%20Perspective%20(1).rtf#_ftn4

 

L’esthétisation du monde

L’esthétisation du monde

La conquête par le Capital


Pierre Le Vigan
Ex: http://metamag.fr/
Nous le savons : le monde moderne hypercapitaliste provoque un enlaidissement du monde, une propension à consommer la planète plutôt qu’à la ménager et à la respecter, une tendance à arraisonner le monde plutôt qu’à se mettre à son écoute. Reste à savoir pourquoi.
 
 
 
Déjà, Bertrand de Jouvenel avait remarqué que le monde moderne joue dans le sens de « la fin des aménités ». Ce n’est pas pour contester cela que Gilles Lipovetsky et Jean Serroy, vieux complices en écriture, ont pris la plume. C’est pour insister sur un effet paradoxal. Oui, le capitalisme consomme et consume le monde. Mais c’est aussi en créant et développant une économie de l’esthétique. En d’autres termes, le capitalisme se nourrit aussi du goût et de l’aspiration à la beauté. Le capitalisme exploite rationnellement « les dimensions esthétiques – imaginaires – émotionnelles à des fins de profits et de conquête des marchés ».
 
L’esthétisation du monde, un nouveau cycle de la conquête du monde par le Capital

Le capitalisme a ainsi ouvert un nouveau cycle de son arraisonnement de la société. Il a mis à son service les aspirations à l’esthétique, à l’émotion, au ressenti. En ce sens, il ne se nie pas lui-même, il devient au contraire plus efficacement lui-même. C’est pourquoi il faut plus parler d’hypermodernité que de postmodernité. Le capitalisme artiste se base toujours plus non sur de nouvelles communautés mais sur les individus. Il est fidèle à sa matrice, l’individualisme possessif. 
 
Styliser le monde pour mieux le commercialiser

Alors que la modernité avait opposé l’utile à l’artistique, l’industriel au beau, l’économie à l’art, l’hypermodernité assume le projet de styliser le monde. Toute la stratégie du capitalisme hypermoderne passe par l’appropriation de l’esthétique. Les jardiniers sont devenus des paysagistes, les industriels deviennent des artistes de l’industrie. Il s’agit de séduire en se référant à ce que Marx appelait « les lois de la beauté ». 
 
Malheureusement, nos auteurs notent que « l’éthique esthétique hypermoderne se montre impuissante à créer une existence réconciliée et harmonieuse : nous la rêvons tournée vers la beauté, elle l’est vers la compétition. (…) C’est un homo aestheticus réflexif, anxieux, schizophrène, qui domine la scène des sociétés hypermodernes. » Le malaise est ainsi dans nos sociétés. 
 
Quel est l’avenir de l’esthétisation du monde par le capitalisme hypermoderne ? Plusieurs voies sont possibles. L’une est la poursuite de la déréalisation du monde. L’autre est le retour au réel et le refus de l’hubris. L’avenir reste ouvert.
 
Gilles Lipovetsky et Jean Serroy, L’esthétisation du monde, vivre à l’âge du capitalisme artiste, Gallimard, 498 pages, 23,50 Euros.

dimanche, 19 mai 2013

MICHEL ONFRAY contre les dogmes freudiens

MICHEL ONFRAY contre les dogmes freudiens


Pierre Le Vigan
Ex: http://metamag.fr/
 
Fidèle à sa méthode Michel Onfray cherche à opposer en tous domaines – ici la psychanalyse – les « autoritaires » d’un côté, les « libertaires-libertins » de l’autre. On peut le dire aussi différemment : les orthodoxes normatifs d’un côté, les hétérodoxes hédonistes de l’autre. On a compris : ceux qui ont précédé et préparé Onfray, et ceux qui ont précédés les ennemis d’Onfray. Pour être un peu sommaire ce clivage est  éclairant. Il met du désordre dans un faux ordre, travail philosophique s’il en est.
 

                                                                                Michel Onfray et Sigmund Freund
 
Dans Le crépuscule d’une idole, Michel Onfray avait produit une critique radicale – et retentissante ! – de Freud. Il avait certes repris les réflexions d’un Pierre Debray-Ritzen (La psychanalyse cette imposture, 1991) et bien entendu du Livre noir de la psychanalyse (2005) mais avec un écho plus grand. 
 
Otto Gross toxicomane et vitaliste 

Il s’attache à autre chose dans Les freudiens hérétiques. Son but est de défendre 3 figures de psychanalystes fâchés avec Freud. Le premier, Otto Gross, fils d’un criminologue conservateur, se veut révolutionnaire. Il se livre à toutes sortes d’expériences limites. Il oppose le « refoulement toxique du dionysisme individuel par l’apollinisme social. » à la nécessaire libération des forces dionysiaques- ce qui n’est pas faux mais renvoie à la structure de toute société. Il politise et socialise ainsi la question de l’inconscient. En termes freudiens, il prêche la mise à l’écart du surmoi au profit du ça.  Les pulsions primitives et vitales sont donc valorisées au détriment des normes sociales. « Otto Gross (…) ne se contente pas d’en appeler à une hétérosexualité libre, il souhaite également en finir avec la division des sexes et l’inscription des corps dans une logique dite aujourd’hui gendrée (ou genrée), avec d’un côté les hommes, de l’autre les femmes. » On voit qu’il ne suffisait pas de s’éloigner de Freud pour ne pas professer des absurdités ! Otto Gross est trouvé mort en 1920. Un infirmier note : « Le docteur en médecine Otto Gross, âgé de 42 ans et de religion mosaïque, est décédé à 5 heures du matin. Il a couché durant la nuit dernière dans un passage inutilisé conduisant à un entrepôt. Une pneumonie, aggravée par la sous-alimentation, ne pouvait plus être traitée ».
 

Otto Gross

Deuxième figure : Wilhelm Reich 
 
Issu d’une famille juive autrichienne très assimilé, proche de Gross quant aux idées, il «inscrit l’inconscient non pas dans un univers purement métapsychologique, mais dans un monde sociologique et politique. » (Michel Onfray). Autre différence, contrairement à Freud, il soigne surtout des pauvres.  
 
 
Sa thèse centrale est qu’ « il n’y a qu’un seul mal chez les névrosés : le manque de satisfaction sexuelle totale répétée. » Selon W. Reich la « mauvaise sexualité » vient du capitalisme. D’où la nécessité d’une révolution/libération sexuelle anticapitaliste. Il croit trouver l’Eden dans la Russie bolchévique, Lénine ayant déclaré que « le communisme ne doit pas apporter l’ascèse mais la joie de vivre, la vigueur et également une vie amoureuse comblée » (ce qui est peut-être beaucoup demander à la politique !).  Comme Rousseau, Wilhelm Reich croit qu’à l’origine des temps historiques l’acte sexuel était simple et sans complexe. Pourquoi ? Parce que dans le communisme primitif tout était la propriété commune de tous. Wilhelm Reich mourra en 1957 dans la cellule d’une prison américaine. Il avait écrit : « La plupart des psychanalystes étaient eux-mêmes des malades souffrants  de troubles sexuels, et cela n’était pas sans influer sur leur évolution. » (La fonction de l’orgasme).
  
Erich Fromm contre le mythe freudien de la pulsion de mort

Erich Fromm, le troisième hétérodoxe d’Onfray est sans doute le plus intéressant des trois - et le moins malade. Juif allemand, passionné par le Talmud, installé aux Etats-Unis à partir de 1934, il critique la société technicienne et cybernétique, refuse la notion de pulsion de mort telle que l’entendait Freud, et récuse l’hermétisme et l’intellectualisme distanciateur de Lacan et des freudiens orthodoxes. Il applique la méthode nietzschéenne de recherche de la généalogie d’une pensée pour la comprendre (La mission de Sigmund Freud). C’est l’application du « D’où parles-tu ? » à Freud.  Il en conclut que la philosophie de Freud n’est rien d’autre que sa confession et son autobiographie. Pour Erich Fromm, Freud a inscrit toute sa vie sous le signe de l’avoir : « l’argent, la réputation, les honneurs, les richesses ». Selon Fromm la psychanalyse est devenue « un produit de remplacement de la religion pour les classes moyennes, ou tant soit peu supérieures, des villes, qui ne souhaitaient pas faire un effort radical plus complet. » Ce qui n’est pas mal vu. 
 
 
Erich Fromm fait l’apologie de la pulsion de vie aussi bien contre les dérèglements psychiques tels dit-il la pornographie ou le sadisme généralisé que contre les dérèglements sociaux tels la folie consumériste, le culte des gadgets, le nihilisme des valeurs. Toutes idées qui ne sont pas sans évoquer Herbert Marcuse ou Yvan Illich. Michel Onfray conclut son livre par un démontage aussi hilarant que convaincant de l’imposture lacanienne. « La chape de plomb du freudo-lacanisme fut une malédiction pour la scène intellectuelle [française]» écrit Michel Onfray. Une lecture roborative.
 
Michel Onfray, Les freudiens hérétiques. Contre histoire de la philosophie 8, 388 p., 20,90 €, Grasset, 2013.

mardi, 07 mai 2013

Relire le Capital au-delà de l’économie

Relire le Capital au-delà de l’économie

Pierre Le Vigan
 
Paul Boccara fut longtemps un des principaux responsables avec Philippe Herzog de la section économique du PCF, des années 1970 aux années 90. Il est resté, contrairement à Philippe Herzog rallié à une vision libérale de l’Europe, attaché à ne pas jeter par-dessus bord l’héritage de la pensée marxiste.
 
Paul Boccara est l’auteur de travaux pertinents à l’époque mais datés sur le capitalisme monopoliste d’Etat (CME). Mais on lui doit aussi des essais regroupés sous le titre Sur la mise en mouvement du ‘’Capital’’ et parus en 1978 (éditions sociales-Terrains). Il y explorait le caractère dynamique et inachevé du Capital de Marx. Il appelait à prolonger Marx dans une réélaboration continue. Il s’attachait aussi à rejeter à la fois l’antihumanisme théorique de Louis Althusser et l’hyper humanisme philosophique de Roger Garaudy (celui des années 70), discutant aussi les conceptions de Maurice Godelier.
 
 
Le dernier essai de Paul Boccara prolonge ces travaux. Ce que l’auteur retient de Marx c’est non pas une doctrine figée mais la tentative de saisir la réalité phénoménale du capitalisme. Paul Boccara retient d’abord le projet fondateur de Marx, celui d’une critique de l’économie politique, autrement dit la volonté d’aller au-delà de l’économie, de reconstruire la société sur d’autres bases que les liens économiques entre les hommes. C’est la veine associationniste de Marx qui est mise en valeur ici. 
 
Avec l’idée d’anthroponomie Boccara reprend l’idée de Marx comme quoi le capitalisme représente une révolution anthropologique 
 
Le point de vue de Marx que Paul Boccara reprend particulièrement est le fait que le capitalisme changerait la nature humaine elle-même, constituant une révolution anthropologique, agissant sur les sphères non économiques de la vie humaine, ce que P. Boccara appelle l’anthroponomie, une idée centrale chez Marx. « En même temps que l’homme agit par ce mouvement de la production sur la nature extérieure  et la modifie, il modifie sa propre nature » (Marx, Le Capital, Livre I). Cette hypothèse de la production de l’homme par lui-même est présente chez Marx dès les Manuscrits de 1844. 

 
En outre, dans la lignée du Livre III du Capital, P. Boccara développe une analyse de la suraccumulation/dévalorisation du capital qui l’amène à mettre en cause avant tout le gaspillage capitaliste des êtres humains. C’est donc moins en fonction (ou pas seulement) de l’objectif d’une efficacité économique supérieure que d’un souci d’aller au-delà de l’économie que l’auteur se réfère à Marx, critique radical de l’économisme. De même, l’auteur développe des points de convergence entre analyses néo-marxistes et analyses néo-keynésiennes, Keynes ayant été pionnier en affirmant que « le développement du capital devient le sous-produit de l’activité d’un casino » (Théorie générale).
 
C’est pourquoi sur de nombreux points, Paul Boccara rejoint les propositions du collectif des « Economistes atterrés ». Très justement, Boccara insiste sur le choix par Marx de formes politiques décentralisées, autogestionnaires, au rebours de ses premières tendances, sous l’influence de la Révolution française, à la reprise des thèmes du centralisme révolutionnaire (Auguste Blanqui) et même de l’invention du concept de dictature du prolétariat. 
 
Marx n’était pas léniniste : il était pour l’autonomie ouvrière !
 
Il y a toutefois 3 points faibles dans les analyses de Paul Boccara. Face au capitalisme mondialisé, il ne comprend pas que la démondialisation est désormais la condition non suffisante mais nécessaire du dépassement du capitalisme et pour le dire plus clairement de la sortie du capitalisme car c’est de cela qu’il doit s’agir. La démondialisation est aussi une conséquence inévitable de la crise écologique. En outre, cette démondialisation ou relocalisation est cohérente par rapport à l’objectif marxiste de désaliénation. 

 
En second lieu, Paul Boccara prône une gouvernance mondiale. Faisant cela, il sous-estime, contrairement à Marx, le rôle nécessaire et persistant du politique. Or, si le politique retentit sur le monde, son lieu privilégié n’est pas le monde au sens de « les terriens » mais les peuples. On habite le monde mais on est citoyen d’un peuple, ou d’une communauté de peuples. 
 
Le libéralisme est anticonservateur au plan sociétal
 
Enfin, P. Boccara semble aveugle, contrairement à Jean-Claude Michéa ou Costanzo Preve - et aussi Francis Cousin -, au fait que le libéralisme est fondamentalement anticonservateur au plan sociétal, et que le capitalisme s’alimente d’une nouvelle culture pseudo-libertaire – le « nouvel esprit du capitalisme » étudié par Luc Boltanski et Eve Chiapello -, une culture qui, au nom de l’autonomie et des « droits » de l’individu aboutit à marchandiser tous les hommes et tout dans l’homme. Une élue du Parti socialiste, Christine Meyer, maire adjointe de Nantes, disait récemment : «En tant que femme de gauche, je fais un lien entre le libéralisme économique qui vise à supprimer toute norme ou règle faisant obstacle à la circulation généralisée des marchandises et la libération infinie des désirs qui elle aussi refuse toute norme ou obstacle.» (Marianne, 27 janvier 2013). On peut imaginer la formidable analyse que Marx aurait fait de ce processus. 
 

Machiavelli & the Conservative Revolution

Machiavelli_af.jpg

Machiavelli & the Conservative Revolution

By Dominique Venner

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

Translated by Greg Johnson

Borne along by the French Spring, the Conservative Revolution is in fashion. One of its most brilliant theorists deserves to be remembered, even if his name has long been maligned. Indeed it is scarcely flattering to be described as “Machiavellesque” if not “Machiavellian.” It can be seen as an aspersion of cynicism and deceit. 

And yet what led Niccolò Machiavelli to write the most famous and the most outrageous of his works, The Prince, was love and concern for his fatherland, Italy. It was published in 1513, exactly 500 years ago, just like Albrecht Dürer’s “The Knight, Death, and the Devil [2].” A fertile time! In the early years of the 16th century, Machiavelli was nevertheless the only one to worry about Italy, the “geographical entity,” as Metternich later said. Then, one cared about Naples, Genoa, Rome, Florence, Milan, and Venice, but nobody cared about Italy. This had to wait a good three centuries. This proves that we should never despair. The prophets always preach in the wilderness before their dreams reach the unpredictable waiting crowds. We and some others believe in a Europe that exists only in our creative memory.

Born in Florence in 1469, died in 1527, Niccolò Machiavelli was a high official and diplomat. His missions introduced him to the grand politics of his time. What he learned, and what he suffered for his patriotism, prompted him to reflect on the art of conducting public affairs. Life had enrolled him in the school of great upheavals. He was 23 years old when Lorenzo the Magnificent died in 1492. The same year, the ambitious and voluptuous Alexander VI Borgia became Pope. He swiftly made one of his sons, Cesare (at that time, the popes cared little for chastity), a very young cardinal and then the Duke of Valentinois thanks to the king of France. This Cesare, gripped by a terrible ambition, cared nothing about means. Despite his failures, his ardor fascinated Machiavelli.

But I anticipate. In 1494 came a huge event that would change Italy for a long time. Charles VIII, the ambitious young king of France, made ​​his famous “descent,” i.e., an attempt at conquest that upset the balance of the peninsula. After being well-received in Florence, Rome, and Naples, Charles VIII then met with resistance and was forced to retreat, leaving a terrible chaos. It was not finished. His cousin and successor, Charles XII, came back in 1500, this time for longer, until Francis I became king. Meanwhile, Florence was plunged into civil war, and Italy was devastated by condottieri greedy for loot.

Appalled, Machiavelli observed the damage. He was indignant at the impotence of the Italians. From his reflections arose The Prince in 1513, the famous political treatise written thanks to its author’s disgrace. The argument, with a compelling logic, seeks to convert the reader. The method is historical. It is based on the confrontation between the past and the present. Machiavelli stated his belief that men and things do not change. This is why the Florentine councilor continues to speak to us Europeans.

Following the Ancients–his models–he believes Fortune (chance), represented by a woman balancing on an unstable wheel, rules half of human actions. But she leaves, he says, the other half ruled by the virtues (qualities of manly boldness and energy). Machiavelli calls for men of action and teaches them how to govern well. Symbolized by the lion, force is the primary means to conquer or maintain a state. But one must also have the cunning of the fox. In reality, one must be both lion and fox. “We must be a fox to avoid traps and a lion to frighten wolves” (The Prince, ch. 18). Hence his praise, devoid of any moral prejudice, of Alexander VI Borgia, who “never did anything, and never thought of doing anything, other than deceiving people and always found a way to do so” (The Prince, ch. 18). However, it is in the son of this curious pope, Cesare Borgia, that Machiavelli saw the incarnation of the Prince according to his wishes, able “to win by force or fraud” (The Prince. ch. 7).

Placed on the Index by the Church, accused of impiety and atheism, Machiavelli actually had a complex attitude vis-à-vis religion. Certainly not devout, he nevertheless went along with its practices but without abdicating he critical freedom. In his Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy, drawing lessons from ancient history, he questioned which religion best suits the health of the state: “Our religion has placed the highest good in humility and contempt for human affairs. The other [Roman religion] placed it in the greatness of soul, bodily strength, and all other things that make men strong. If our religion requires that we have strength, it is only to be more capable of suffering heavy things. This way of life seems to have weakened the world, making it easy prey for evil men” (Discourses, Book II, ch. 2). Machiavelli does not risk religious reflection, but only a political reflection on religion, concluding: “I prefer my fatherland to my soul.”

Source: http://www.dominiquevenner.fr/2013/04/machiavel-et-la-revolution-conservatrice/ [3]


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/05/machiavelli-and-the-conservative-revolution/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/machiavellistatue.jpg

[2] The Knight, Death, and the Devil: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Knight,_Death_and_the_Devil

[3] http://www.dominiquevenner.fr/2013/04/machiavel-et-la-revolution-conservatrice/: http://www.dominiquevenner.fr/2013/04/machiavel-et-la-revolution-conservatrice/

lundi, 06 mai 2013

The Moral Hollowness of the Elites

eggs.JPG

The Moral Hollowness of the Elites


Ex: http://www.alternativeright.com/

The Establishment presents itself as moral and opposed to low things like "prejudice," "narrow-mindedness," and "bigotry." This helps create a sense of arrogance that prevents them from questioning whether they have actually created a multiracial utopia or not. They are prejudiced, but against their own people. Furthermore, their unrealistic and irrational policies have brought about the very same situation that the ideology of the last sixty years was designed to prevent.

The dominant ideology since the Second World War has been multiracialism with variants like "anti-racism," enthusiasm for open borders, and other variations which are idealistic and progressive. The zealots for immigration have justified it by lies like "the economy needs it" or blaming working people, who "won't do the dirty jobs"! 

In the 1960s the New Left took over Liberalism. They kept the name but changed the content. For example, and this is profoundly important, individual rights were changed to group rights, which introduced totalitarian thinking, as group rights gave minority ("victim") groups preferential treatment over the host population ("the oppressors"). The watchwords of The New Left were “everything is political,” which reveals their totalitarian approach, and “we must change attitudes,” which uncloaks their social engineering agenda. Liberalism was effectively changed to a form of Marxist totalitarianism.

The New Left were not working-class socialists but Bourgeois-Socialists, with middle-class students serving as the apparatchiks. They eschewed economics for identity politics, which was effectively an inverse of Hitler's racial superiority ideology, as they promoted ethnic minorities, gypsies, and homosexuals - all groups that had the inverse endorsement of Hitler's disdain. These new Left Liberals were authoritarian where Classic Liberals genuinely believed in rights. The New Left took over universities in 1968 and nearly brought the French government down with riots in Paris. The London School of Economics and Berkeley in the US suffered similar occupations. Many leaders of New Left/Trotskyist groups, like Tariq Ali, then went on to become part of the new Establishment.

Up to the 1960s Liberals had undermined Western nations with guilt, but from then on it changed to hatred of their own people. Multiracialism has the same structure as Nazism, except Whites became the target group in place of Jews. It was a reaction to Hitler's attempt to exterminate European Jews and to stop that happening again. The people the Nazis persecuted were almost deified, while Whites became the scapegoats when things went wrong, as they always do now, under the term “racism.”

The New Left project was to destroy existing communities, especially the working-class communities that supported the old moderate Socialists, while using the term "communities" for their new constituency groups, the “Black” and “gay”communities.

The individual subjects of classic Liberalism were transformed into representatives of favoured groups, like “single mothers,” “lesbians,” “gays,” and “alternative life-styles.” Traditional units of organization, like the family and community, were opposed, and in their place personal freedom and sexual emancipation were promoted with little concern for the consequent unhappiness, loneliness, and deprivation. Abstract justification was all; practical consequences nothing. Schools' curricula were feminised and young White men were denied the invigoration of competition and suitable male role models.

The Liberal capitulation

This movement would have got anywhere without the support of major popular musicians of the time, like Bob Dylan and The Beatles. John Lennon donated money to the IRA and Black Panthers.

William Rees-Mogg, editor of The Times, defended Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who were on drugs charges in an infamous and cowardly article, “Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?”  In 1971 the state capitulated to the convicted editors of the counter cultural OZ magazine when the Lord Chief Justice of England, Lord Widgery had them brought from prison and told them that if they agreed to stop working on the magazine their appeal would be certain to succeed, which is exactly what happened, making them "martyrs who had suffered nothing" and effectively mocking the remnants of conservative power in the state.

Classical Liberals believed in rights for ethnic people and homosexuals, but Cultural Marxists instead gave them preferential treatment and started moves to to dispossess and dehumanise Whites.

This shift in the 1960s can be characterized as a change from fighting for racial equality to dehumanising Whites as haters. The term “racist” replaced “racialist.” In a book review for The Salisbury Review of Spring 2003, Sir Alfred Sherman, former speech writer for Mrs Thatcher and leader writer for the Daily Telegraph, recalled the process at work in parts of London:

I was horrified. My natural vague sympathies for the immigrants, strangers in a foreign land, was replaced by strong but hopeless sympathy for the British victims of mass immigration, whose home areas were being occupied. I was made aware of a disquieting evolution in “Establishment” attitudes towards what they called immigration or race relations and I dubbed “colonialisation.” The well-being and rights of immigrants and ethnic minorities had become paramount. The British working classes, hitherto the object of demonstrative solicitude by particularly the New Establishment on the left, but the working classes had acquired new status as the enemy, damned by the all-purpose pejorative “racists."

 

In education Liberals allowed free expression within Liberal parameters. The style of essay writing changed to favour cultural relativism, with students asked to consider the pros and cons of a case, rather than rights and wrongs. Cultural Marxists also proceeded to remove many subjects from the curriculum, especially conventional history, because forgetting our common roots and shared ancestry would make it easier for them to socially engineer us into a new people ready for their utopia. The process of dumbing-down and reducing vocabulary, so that people could only think what the elites want them to, was also favoured.

The Public Abasement of Dissidents

Cultural Marxism derived much from Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, a fashionable item for middle-class students from the 1960s onward. Mentors like Herbert Marcuse and Eric Hobsbawm were open admirers of Stalin. In Marxist China and the Soviet Union dissent was typically dealt with through public show trials, where the victims publicly abased themselves and confessed their crimes. In contemporary Britain this persecution role is now in the hands of the media.

In 2007, Dr. James Watson, the 79-year-old geneticist who, with Francis Crick, discovered the structure of DNA, and who is regarded as one of the great scientists of his time, was persecuted for telling the Sunday Times that he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really." He also said there was a natural desire that all human beings should be equal but "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true." He claimed the genes responsible for creating differences in human intelligence would be found within a decade.

The British establishment's agency of inquisition, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, responded, saying it was studying Dr Watson's remarks "in full." Politicians moved to persecute him: "It is a shame that a man with a record of scientific distinction should see his work overshadowed by his own irrational prejudices," opined David Lammy, the Skills Minister.

The loathsome mayor of London Ken Livingstone said, "Such ignorant comments...are utterly offensive and give succour to the most backward in our society." The Science Museum cancelled a sell-out meeting it had planned to hold to honour Watson on the grounds that his remarks had gone "beyond the point of acceptable debate." Several other centres scheduled to host his talks followed suit. What a scientific argument! His employers, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island suspended him as chancellor. Scientist Richard Dawkins saw the real issue:

What is ethically wrong is the hounding, by what can only be described as an illiberal and intolerant "thought police," of one of the most distinguished scientists of our time, out of the Science Museum, and maybe out of the laboratory that he has devoted much of his life to, building up a world-class reputation.

Around the same time "celebrity" Jade Goody had the "wrong attitude" to Indian film star, Shilpa Shetty, in Celebrity Big Brother, and was accused of racist bullying. The programme is based on getting an assortment of diverse characters into a house and titillating the viewers to keep the viewing figures up, with bullying and personality clashes. This is the whole attraction.

Following the clash Goody was presented as "common" and a "chav,"  a derogatory term for White working class Britons, while Shetty was made into something of a saint. This set the scene for the inevitable public kowtowing and abasement before the gods of multiculturalism. Jade kept apologising, confessing publicly that she was disgusted with herself - the Cultural Marxist rulers version of a Soviet show trial.

She had to be broken in public, made to repent and show abject contrition. Jade had some Afro-Caribbean ancestry. An honest person would look for a cause other than racism, like class envy or bad manners, but there is an ideology at work which imposes the same explanation on different situations – anti-White racism.

The British state is now persecuting a dissident, Emma West. The incident that got West persecuted was a film of her being abusive on a tram against multiracialism in general but to no one in particular. This was 18 months ago and the case has since been delayed, with five scheduled hearings cancelled, not for practical or legal reasons, but because West has not suitably abased herself and maintains a plea of not guilty. West is a danger to the authorities because pleading not guilty raises the threat of the case becoming a public debate and the state wants to maintain the illusion that everyone agrees with mass immigration apart from a few nutters.

The problems we are facing stem from the moral code imposed by the Enlightenment and the replacement of an aristocratic class, based on blood and land, with secular elites united by ideology with membership dependent on thinking and saying the right things - an Ideological Caste - with pretensions to morality based on abstractions. The climatic moment was the French Revolution. Even then, the perceptive French philosopher Joseph De Maistre analysed the problem in Considérations sur la France in 1797:

I will simply point out the error of principle that has provided the foundation of this constitution and that has led the French astray since the first moment of their revolution.
The constitution of 1795, like its predecessors, has been drawn up for Man. Now, there is no such thing in the world as Man. In the course of my life, I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc. I am even aware, thanks to Montesquieu, that one can be a Persian. But, as for Man, I declare that I have never met him in my life. If he exists, I certainly have no knowledge of him.
....This constitution is capable of being applied to all human communities from China to Geneva. But a constitution which is made for all nations is made for none: it is a pure abstraction, a school exercise whose purpose is to exercise the mind in accordance with a hypothetical ideal, and which ought to be addressed to Man, in the imaginary places which he inhabits....
What is a constitution? Is it not the solution to the following problem: to find the laws that are fitting for a particular nation, given its population, its customs, its religion, its geographical situation, its political relations, its wealth, and its good and bad qualities?
Now, this problem is not addressed at all by the Constitution of 1795, which is concerned only with Man.

Restructuring  Peoples' Thinking

In accordance with such abstractions and the moral pretensions of those who enforce them, we are being socially engineered and traditional ways of thinking systematically broken down.  Another example: The television programme Gypsy Wars contrasted a local woman and travellers who had invaded her land. They showed her as a representative of us but then presented the travellers in such a way as to make her attitudes seem mistaken, intolerant, and extreme.

They edited out all the young Gypsy men, because they are aggressive and would garner support for the woman; the life of the village threatened by the travellers was not shown, because that is appealing and viewers would sympathise with the woman. Also, the woman was selected because she is not typical of rural people, but a bit eccentric and someone who could be set up as the aggressor even though she was in fact the victim. When the police had to evict the travellers from Dale Farm in accordance with British law, the media again showed no men. This program was a casebook study of how television restructures people's thoughts to fit them into an anti-British ideology.

How do we counter the dominant ideology?

People follow the dominant elites because they appear strong and successful, and many who agree with us vote for the dominant parties for that reason. A conviction based on the knowledge that they follow in the steps of great national figures would help counter that disadvantage. For this reason it is important to emphasize traditions of opposition to multiculturalism and the fact that most of the great and the good in history have been on our side in one way or another

By linking to traditions, our people link with great historical figures, like Queen Elizabeth I and Lord Palmerston, who are role-models, as are Enoch Powell, the great 5th Marquess of Salisbury, who fought against immigration, and Sir Winston Churchill, who tried to introduce a Bill to control immigration in 1955 and wanted to fight the 1955 general election under the slogan "Keep England White."

In the US they have the precedent of Eisenhower's Operation Wetback. In 1949 the Border Patrol seized nearly 280,000 illegal immigrants. By 1953, the numbers had increased to over than 865,000, and the U.S. government had to do something about it. In 1954, agents found over one million illegal immigrants. 

The ideology of multiracialism was supposedly a reaction to Hitler's attempted extermination of European Jews, and its aim was to ensure that genocide would never happen again. But it is happening again, and it is being caused by the Western elites who pledged to stamp it out. They have been using every form of manipulation, intimidation, corruption, brainwashing, and bullying at their command. But the evils they employ in pursuit of a supposed "good" have become instead evils for the sake of evil.

dimanche, 05 mai 2013

Semitic Monotheism

lap860-03173888w.jpg

S. Gurumurthy:

 

S. Gurumurthy argues that the monotheistic Semitic religions of what he calls "the West" brought intolerance to India. Traditionally, Gurumurthy argues, Indian culture was characterized by a liberal pluralism stemming from the polytheism of Hindu beliefs.

 

In the history of human civilization there have been two distinct ways of life -- the eastern and the Semitic. If we look at the history of India and of its people on the one hand and at the history of Semitic societies on the other, we find a glaring difference. In India the society and individual form the center of gravity, the fulcrum around which the polity revolves, and the state is merely a residuary concept. On the other hand, in the Semitic tradition the state wields all the power and forms the soul and the backbone of the polity. In India, temporal power was located in the lowest units of society, which developed into a highly decentralized social network. This was the very reverse of the centralized power structures that evolved in the Semitic tradition of the West. We had decentralizing institutions, of castes, of localities, of sects belonging to different faiths; of groups of people gathering around a particular deity or around a particular individual. Society was a collection of multitudes of self-contained social molecules, spontaneously linked together by socio spiritual thoughts, symbols, centers of pilgrimage, and sages. In the West the most important, and often the only, link between different institutions of the society was the state.

 

THE RESIDUAL STATE

 

Of course, the state also existed in India in the past, but only as a residual institution. It had a very limited role to perform. Even the origin of the state is said to be in the perceived necessity of an institution to perform the residual supervisory functions that became necessary because a small number of people could not harmonize with the rest in the self- regulating, self-operating and self powered functioning of the society. The state was to look after the spill-over functions that escaped the self-regulating mechanisms of the society. The Mahabharata, in the Santiparva, defines the functions of the state precisely thus. The state was to ensure that the one who strays away from public ethics does not tread on others. There was perhaps no necessity for the state at one point in our social history. The evolution of society to a point where certain individuals came to be at cross purposes with the society because of the erosion of dharmic, or ethical values, introduced the need for a limited arbiter to deal with "outlaws" who would not agree to be bound by dharma. That task was entrusted to the state. This appears to be the origin of the state here. So the society or the group, at whatever level it functioned, was the dominant reality and the state was a residual authority. The society had an identity distinct from the state. Social relations as well as religious and cultural bonds transcended the bounds of the state.

 

DHARMA VS. SOCIAL CONTRACT

 

People in the Semitic society, on the other hand, seem to have burdened themselves with the state the moment they graduated from tribalism and nomadic life to a settled existence. Thus the Semitic society never knew how to live by self-regulation. People never knew how to exist together unless their lives were ordered through the coercive institution of the state. The concept of self-regulation, the concept of dharma, the personal and public norms of action and thought that we have inherited from time immemorial, did not have any chance to evolve. Instead what evolved, for example in the Christian West, was the "social contract" theory of the state. And this became the basis of the nation state that dominated during the era of Western hegemony. But even before that, a mighty state, a nation-less state, had already evolved in the West. It was a state that cut across all nations, all societies, all ethnicities, all faiths, all races. This was the kind of state developed by the Romans. The statecraft of the Romans purveyed power and power alone. Later, after the collapse of the nationless state, tribal nationalism began to be assertive. This nation state, whose power was legitimated according to socio-religious criteria, became the model for the Semitic society. Far from being an arbiter, the state became the initiator, the fulcrum of the society.

 

STATELY RELIGION

 

Western society thus became largely a state construct. Even geography and history began to follow state power. In the scheme of things, the king symbolized total power, the army became crucial to the polity, and the police indispensable. The throne of the king became more important than the Church, and his word more important than the Bible, forcing even the Church to acquire stately attributes and begin competing with the state. That is why the first Church was founded in Rome. Because of the social recognition of state power and the importance that it had acquired, religion had to go to the seat of the state. That is how Rome, and not Bethlehem, became the center of Christian thought. The Church developed as a state-like institution, as an alternative and a competing institution. The Church began to mimic the state, and the Archbishop competed with the King. And finally religion itself became a competitor of the state. Naturally there were conflicts between these two powerful institutions -- between the state and the Church, and between the King and the Archbishop. Both owed allegiance to the same faith, the same book, the same prophet -- and yet they could not agree on who should wield ultimate power. They fought in order to decide who amongst them would be the legitimate representative of the faith. And, in their ^ght, both invoked the same God. The result was a society that was at war with itself; a society in which the stately religion was at war with the religious state. The result also was centralism and exclusivism, not only in thought, but also in the institutional arrangements. Out of such war within itself -- including between Christianity and Islam -- Semitic society evolved its centralist and exclusivist institutions that are now peddled as the panacea for the ills of all societies. As the monotheistic civilization rapidly evolved a theocratic state, it ruled out all plurality in thought. There could not be any doubt, there could not be a second thought competing with the one approved and patronized by the state, and there could not even be a second institution representing the same faith. The possibility of different religions or different attitudes to life evolving in the same society was made minimal. No one could disagree with the established doctrine without inviting terrible retribution. Whenever any semblance of plurality surfaced anywhere, it was subjected to immediate annihilation. The entire social, political and religious power of the Semitic society gravitated toward and became slowly and finally manifest in the unitary state. Thus single-dimensional universality, far more than plurality, is the key feature of Western society. The West, in fact, spawned a power-oriented, power-driven, and power-inspired civilization which sought and enforced thoughts, books, and institutions.

 

GUARDIAN SAGES

 

This unity of the Semitic state and the Semitic society proved to be its strength as a conquering power. But this was also its weakness. The moment the state became weak or collapsed anywhere, the society there also followed the fate of the state. In India, society was supported by institutions other than the state. Not just one, but hundreds and even thousands of institutions flourished within the polity and none of them had or needed to use any coercive power. Indian civilization -- culture, arts, music, and the collective life of the people guardianship of the people and of the public mind was not entrusted to the state. In fact, it was the sages, and not the state, who were seen as the guardians of the public mind. When offending forces, whether Sakas or Huns or any others, came from abroad, this society -- which was not organized as a powerful state and was without a powerful army or arms and ammunition of a kind that could meet such vast brute forces coming from outside -- found its institutions of state severely damaged. But that did not lead to the collapse of the society. The society not only survived when the institutions of the state collapsed, but in the course of time it also assimilated the alien groups and digested them into inseparable parts of the social stream. Later invaders into India were not mere gangs of armed tribes, but highly motivated theocratic war-mongers. The Indian states, which were mere residues of the Indian society, caved in before them too. But the society survived even these crusaders. In contrast, the state-oriented and state-initiated civilizations, societies and cultures of the West invariably were annihilated with the collapse of the state. Whether the Romans, the Greeks or the Christians, or the later followers of Islam, or the modern Marxists -- none of them could survive as a viable civilization once the state they had constructed collapsed. When a Semitic king won and wiped out another, it was not just another state that was wiped out, but all social bearings and moorings of the society -- all its literature, art, music, culture and language. Everything relating to the society was extinguished. In the West of today, there are no remnants of what would have been the products of Western civilization 1500 years ago. The Semitic virtue rejected all new and fresh thought. Consequently, any fresh thought could prevail only by annihilating its predecessor. At one time only one thought could hold sway. There was no scope for a second.

 

EASTERN PLURALISM

 

In the East, more specifically in India, there prevailed a society and a social mind which thrived and happily grew within a multiplicity of thoughts. "Ano bhadrah kratavo yantu visatah" ("let noble thoughts come in from all directions of the universe") went the Rigvedic invocation. We, therefore, welcomed all, whether it was the Parsis who came fleeing from the slaughter of Islamic theocratic marauders and received protection here for their race and their religion, or the Jews who were slaughtered and maimed everywhere else in the world. They all found a secure refuge here along with their culture, civilization, religion and the book. Even the Shia Muslims, fearing annihilation by their coreligionists, sought shelter in Gujarat and constituted the first influx of Muslims into India. Refugee people, refugee religions, refugee cultures and civilizations came here, took root and established a workable, amicable relationship with their neighborhood. They did not -- even now they do not -- find this society alien or foreign. They could grow as constituent parts of an assimilative society and under an umbrella of thought that appreciated their different ways. When first Christianity, and later Islam, came to India as purely religious concerns, they too found the same assimilative openness. The early Christians and Muslims arriving on the west coast of India did not find anything hostile in the social atmosphere here. They found a welcoming and receptive atmosphere in which the Hindus happily offered them temple lands for building a church or a mosque. (Even today in the localities of Tamilnadu temple lands are offered for construction of mosques). It was only the later theocratic incursions by the Mughals and the British that introduced theological and cultural maladjustments, creating conflict between the assimilative and inclusive native ways of the East and the exclusive and annihilative instincts of Islam and even Christianity. Until this occurred, the native society assimilated the new thoughts and fresh inputs, and had no difficulty in keeping intact its social harmony within the plurality of thoughts and faiths. This openness to foreign thoughts, faiths and people did not happen because of legislation, or a secular constitution or the teachings of secular leaders and parties. We did not display this openness because of any civilizing inspiration and wisdom which we happened to have received from the West. Yet, we are somehow made to believe, and we do, that we have become a somewhat civilized people and have come to learn to live together in harmony with others only through the civilization, the language, the statecraft and the societal influence of the West! It is a myth that has become an inseparable component of the intellectual baggage that most of us carry.

 

SURVIVING THE SEMITIC ONSLAUGHT

 

Religious fanaticism, invaded us and extinguished our states and institutions, our society could still survive and preserve its multidimensional life largely intact. Our survival has been accompanied, however, with an extraordinary sense of guilt. In our own eyes, we remain a society yet to be fully civilized. This is because, as the state in India quickly became an instrument in the hands of the invaders and colonizers, we were saddled not just with an unresponsive state, but a state hostile to the nation itself. A state-less society in India would have fared better. Such a paradox has existed nowhere else in the history of the world. When we look at the history of any other country, we find that whenever an overpowering alien state came into being, it wiped out everything that it saw as a native thought or institution. And if the natives insisted on holding on to their thought and institutions, then they were wiped out. But the Indian society survived under an alien and hostile state for hundreds of years, albeit at the price of having today lost almost all initiative and self confidence as a civilization.

 

GIVE ME YOUR PERSECUTED

 

How did the assimilative Hindu cultural convictions fare in practice, not just in theory and in the archives? This is probably best seen by comparing the Iranians of today with the Parsis of India. A few thousand of them who came here and who now number 200,000 have lived in a congenial atmosphere. They have not been subjected to any hostility to convert, or to give up their cultural or even racial distinction. They have had every chance, as much as the natives had, to prosper and evolve. And they did. They have lived and prospered here for 1500 years, more or less the same way as they would have lived and prospered in their own lands, had those lands not been ravaged by Islam. Compare an average Parsi with an average Iranian. Does the Persian society today display any native attributes of the kind that the Parsis, living in the Indian society, have managed to preserve? One can ^nd no trace of those original native attributes in the Iranian society today. That is because not only the native institutions, native faiths and native literature, but also the native mind and all vestiges of native originality were wiped out by Islam. That society was converted and made into a uniform outfit in form, shape and mental condition. On that condition alone would Islam accept it. What Islam did to the natives in Egypt, Afghanistan and Persia, or what Christianity did to the Red Indians in America, or what Christianity and Islam did to each other in Europe, or the Catholics did to Protestants, or the Sunnis did to Shias and the Kurds and the Ahmedias, or what the Shias did to the Bahais, was identical. In every case the annihilation of the other was attempted -- annihilation of other thoughts, other thinkers and other followers. The essential thrust of the Semitic civilizational effort, including the latest effort of Marxist monotheism, has been to enforce uniformity, and failing that, to annihilate. How can the West claim that it taught us how to lead a pluralistic life? If you look at history, you find that they were the ones who could not, and never did, tolerate any kind of plurality, either in the religious or the secular domain. If it has dawned upon them today that they have to live with plurality, it must be because of the violence they have had to commit against themselves and each other. The mass slaughter which the Western society has been subjected to by the adherents of different religious thoughts and by different tyrants is unimaginable, and perhaps they are now sick of this slaughter and violence. But the view we get, and are asked to subscribe to, is that the "civilized" West was a peaceful society, and that we brutes down here never knew how to live at peace with ourselves and our neighbors until liberated by the literate. What a paradox!

 

TEMPORAL POWER

 

The foundation of the Semitic system is laid on temporal power. For acceptance and survival in this system even religion had to marry and stick to temporal authority at the cost of losing its spiritual moorings. It was with this power -- first the state power, which still later was converted into technological power -- that the Christian West was able to establish its dominance. This brute dominance was clothed in the garb of modernity and presented as the civilization of the world. The aggressively organized Western society, through its powerful arm of the state, was able to overcome and subordinate the expressions of the self- governing decentralized society of the East that did not care to have the protection of a centralized state. Our society, unorganized in the physical sense, although it was much more organized in a civilizational sense, had a more evolved mind. But it did not have the muscle; it did not have the fire power. Perhaps because of the Buddhist influence, our society acquired disproportionately high Brahmatejas, Brahminical piety and authority, which eroded the Kshatravirya, the temporal war-making power. So it caved in and ceded temporal authority to the more powerful state and the statecraft that came from outside. The society that caves in is, in terms of the current global rules, a defeated society. This society cannot produce or generate the kind of self-confidence which is required in the modern world.

 

DYNAMIC CHRISTIANS, STAGNANT MUSLIMS

 

The nation-state was so powerful, that other countries, like India, could not stand against it. And when the nation-state concept was powered by religious exclusivism it had no equal. When religion acquired the state, the church itself was the first victim of that acquisition. Christianity suffered from the Christian state. It had to struggle not only against Islamic states and Islamic society, but also against itself. As a consequence, it underwent a process of moderation. First, it experienced dissent, then renaissance through arts, music and culture. Thus Christianity was able to overcome the effect of theocratic statecraft by slowly evolving as a society not entirely identified with the state. First the state began to dominate over the Church on the principle of separation between the religious and temporal authorities. The result was the evolution of the secular state. Thus the King wrested the secular power from the Archbishop. Then through democratic movements following the French Revolution, the people wrested power from the King. Later commerce invaded public life as the prime thrust of the Christian West. The theocratic state abdicated in favor of a secular state, the secular state gave way to democracy and later democracy gave way to commerce. Then power shifted from commerce to technology. And now in the Christian West, the state and the society are largely powered by commerce and technology. The Christian West today is even prepared to give up the concept of the nation-state to promote commerce fueled by technological advance. Look at the consolidation that is taking place between Mexico, Canada and the United States of America around trade, and the kind of pyramidal politico economic consolidation that is taking place in Western Europe. All this is oriented towards only one thing West.

 

ISLAM REMAINED UNCHANGED

 

While the Christian West has evolved dynamically over the past few centuries, the story of Islam is one of 1500 years of unmitigated stagnation. There has never been a successful attempt from within Islam to start the flow, so to speak. Anyone who attempted to start even a variant of the mainstream flow -- anyone who merely attempted to reinterpret the same book and the same prophet -- was disposed of with such severity that it set an example and a warning to anyone who would dare to cross the line. Some, who merely said that it was not necessary for the Islamic Kingdom to be ruled by the Prophet's own descendants were wiped out. Some others said that the Prophet himself may come again -- not that somebody else might come, but the Prophet himself may be reborn. They were also wiped out. The Sunnis, the Shias, the Ahmedias, the Bahais -- all of whom trusted the same prophet, revered the same book and were loyal to the same revelation -- were all physically and spiritually maimed. From the earliest times, Islam has proved itself incapable of producing an internal evolution; internally legitimized change has not been possible since all change is instantly regarded as an act of apostasy. Every change was -- and is -- put down with bloodshed. In contrast, the Hindu ethos changed continuously. Though, it was always change with continuity: from ritualistic life, to agnostic Buddhism, to the Ahimsa of Mahavira, to the intellect of Sankara, to the devotion of Ramanuja, and finally to the modern movements of social reform. In India, all these changes have occurred without the shedding of a single drop of blood. Islam, on the other hand retains its changelessness, despite the spilling of so much blood all around. It is the changelessness of Islam -- its equal revulsion towards dissent within and towards non-Islamic thoughts without -- that has made it a problem for the whole world.

 

ISLAM IN INDIA

 

The encounter between the inclusive and assimilative heritage of India and exclusive Islam, which had nothing but theological dislike for the native faiths, was a tussle between two unequals. On the one side there was the inclusive, universal and spiritually powerful -- but temporally unorganized - native Hindu thought. And on the other side there was the temporally organized and powerful -- but spiritually exclusive and isolated -- Islam. Islam subordinated, for some time and in some areas, the Hindu temporal power, but it could not erode Hindu spiritual power. If anything, the Hindu spiritual power incubated the offending faith and delivered a milder form of Islam -- Sufism. However, the physical encounter was one of the bloodiest in human history. We survived this test by fire and sword. But the battle left behind an unassimilated Islamic society within India. The problem has existed since then, to this day.

 

ISLAM, INDIA AND THE CHRISTIAN WEST

 

The Hindu renaissance in India is the Indian contribution to an evolving global attitude that calls for a review of the conservative and extremist Islamic attitudes towards non-Islamic faiths and societies. The whole world is now concerned with the prospect of extremist Islam becoming a problem by sanctifying religious terrorism. So long as the red flag was flying atop the Kremlin, the Christian West tried to project communism as the greatest enemy of world peace. It originally promoted Islam and Islamic fundamentalism against the fanaticism of communism. The West knew it could match communism in the market-place, in technology, in commerce, and even in war, but it had no means of combating communism on the emotive plane. So they structured a green Islamic belt -- from Tunisia to Indonesia -- to serve as a bulwark against Marxist thought. But that has changed now. When communism collapsed, extremist Islam with its terrorist tendencies instantly emerged in the mind of the Christian West as the major threat to the world.

 

HINDUS SURVIVED MUSLIM INVASION

 

We must realize that we have a problem on hand in India, the problem of a stagnant and conservative Islamic society. The secular leaders and parties tell us that the problem on our hands is not Islamic fundamentalism, but the Hindutva ideology. This view is good only for gathering votes. The fact is that we have a fundamentalist Muslim problem, and our problem cannot be divorced from the international Islamic politics and the world's reaction to it. To understand the problem and to undertake the task of solving it successfully, we must know the nature of Hindu society and its encounter with Islam in India. As a nation, we are heckled by the secularist historians and commentators: "You are caste-oriented, you are a country with 900 languages, and most of them with no script," they say. "You can't even communicate in one language, you don't have a common religious book which all may follow. You are not a nation at all. In contrast, look at the unity of Islam and its brotherhood." But the apparently unorganized and diverse Hindu society is perhaps the only society in the world that faced, and then survived, the Islamic theocratic invasion. We, the Hindu nation, have survived because of the very differences that seem to divide us. It is in some ways a mind- boggling phenomenon: For 500 to 600 years we survived the invasion of Islam as no other society did. The whole of Arabia, which had a very evolved civilization, was run over in a matter of just 20 years. Persia collapsed within 50 years. Buddhist Afghans put up a brave resistance for 300 years but, in the end, they also collapsed. In all of these countries today there remains nothing pre- Islamic worth the name save for some broken down architectural monuments from their pre-Islamic past. How did our society survive the Islamic onslaught? We have survived not only physically, but intellectually too. We have preserved our culture. The kind of music that was heard 1500 years ago is heard even today. Much of the literature too remains available along with the original phonetic intonations. So the Indian society continued to function under a hostile occupation even without a protective state. Or rather, we survived because our soul did not reside in an organized state, but in an organized national consciousness, in shared feelings of what constitutes human life in this universe that happens to be such a wonderfully varied manifestation of the divine, of Brahman.

 

HINDUTVA AS INDIA'S ANCHOR

 

The assimilative Hindu cultural and civilizational ethos is the only basis for any durable personal and social interaction between the Muslims and the rest of our countrymen. This societal assimilative realization is the basis for Indian nationalism, and only an inclusive Hindutva can assimilate an exclusive Islam by making the Muslims conscious of their Hindu ancestry and heritage. A national effort is called for to break Islamic exclusivism and enshrine the assimilative Hindutva. This alone constitutes true nationalism and true national integration. This is the only way to protect the plurality of thoughts and institutions in this country. To the extent secularism advances Islamic isolation and exclusivism, it damages Hindu inclusiveness and its assimilative qualities. And in this sense secularism as practiced until now conflicts with Indin nationalism. Inclusive and assimilative Hindutva is the socio-cultural nationalism of India. So long as our national leaders ignore this eternal truth, national integration will keep eluding us.

 

Center for Policy Studies, Madras.
1993.

vendredi, 03 mai 2013

L’Individualismo Assoluto della modernità è qualcosa di anti-umano

L’Individualismo Assoluto della modernità è qualcosa di anti-umano

di Francesco Lamendola

Fonte: Arianna Editrice [scheda fonte]

 

 

Si dice che l’uomo moderno è individualista per eccellenza, e che tutta la società moderna si basa sull’individualismo; ed è sostanzialmente vero. Bisogna però precisare che non si tratta di “un“ individualismo qualsiasi, di un individualismo più o meno “normale”, cioè storicamente dato, ma di un individualismo radicale, quasi di una nuova religione: di un “individualismo assoluto”.

Mai nella storia s’era visto alcunché di simile. Individui portati alla solitudine, all’introspezione, al distacco dai propri simili, probabilmente ve ne sono sempre stati (anche se la cultura moderna favorisce il proliferare di questo tipo umano); ma si trattava pur sempre di un individualismo psicologico, capace di coesistere con la società nel suo insieme e di non recarle danno, semmai di stimolarla in senso positivo, perché fra tali individui vi sono, il più delle volte, quelli maggiormente creativi.

L’individualismo moderno, invece, è un individualismo ideologico, teorizzato da filosofi come Locke e Rousseau e inserito nella costituzione delle democrazie, a partire da quella degli Stati Uniti d’America: un individualismo virulento, intollerante, tanto astratto quanto velleitario, che pretende di dettar legge alla società, anzi, che concepisce la società in funzione di esso, così che quella diviene semplicemente lo sfondo sul quale l’individuo possa agire, mediante la quale egli possa affermarsi, mentre il compito dello Stato e delle leggi si riduce semplicemente quello di limitare, controllare, imbrigliare la società a favore dei “sacri” diritti individuali.

Il modo di produzione capitalistico ha aggiunto a tale individualismo un ulteriore elemento di aggressività brutale e di spietatezza: non ha alcuna importanza se, fuori della porta di casa mia, un povero disgraziato sta morendo di fame o di freddo: l’importante è che la mia casa, la mia fabbrica, i miei beni, siano adeguatamente tutelati contro di lui e contro le pretese dello Stato stesso (che, essendo una creazione sociale, è pur sempre un male, anche se il minor male possibile); e, se non lo sono, ne deriva automaticamente il mio diritto a difenderli da me stesso, armi alla mano, magari sparando e colpendo a morte un poveraccio o un bambino affamato, introdottisi nel mio giardino per rubarvi quattro mele.

L’individualismo assoluto è, dunque, in buona parte il frutto del capitalismo assoluto, nel quale il lavoro diventa una merce come qualsiasi altra e in cui chi possiede tale merce può farne l’uso che crede; o meglio, in cui il lavoro diviene una merce sottoposta non tanto all’arbitrio del singolo capitalista “cattivo”, ma a tutto un sistema di sfruttamento e di alienazione, sostanzialmente impersonale, dominato dalle banche e dalla finanza e alimentato continuamente dal cosiddetto progresso tecnologico (non per nulla, agli esordi della Rivoluzione industriale, il luddismo tentò di contrastare una tecnica messa interamente al servizio del profitto e tale da ridurre il lavoratore in condizioni di assoluta indigenza e disperazione).

Uno degli specchi nei quali tale situazione si riflette con maggiore evidenza è la letteratura, e più precisamente la narrativa di carattere popolare (e diciamo “popolare” non necessariamente in senso spregiativo: così come “popolare”, ad esempio, è «Pinocchio», o come lo fu e volle esserlo «I Promessi Sposi»; altro discorso andrebbe fatto per i vari «Il nome della rosa» o «Il codice Da Vinci», anche se Umberto Eco rifiuta con sdegno, ma secondo noi a torto, l’accostamento al romanzaccio di Dan Brown).

Sono preziose le osservazioni formulate dal critico letterario inglese e storico della letteratura Ian Watt (1917-1999) in un saggio divenuto ormai un classico, anche se, all’inizio, accolto assai poco favorevolmente dalla cultura accademica: «Le origini del romanzo borghese. Studi su Defoe, Richardson e Fielding» (titolo originale: «The Rise o f the Novel», 1957; traduzione dall’inglese di  Luigi Del Grosso Destrieri, Milano, Fabbri, 1976, 1980, pp. 56-57):

 

«L’interesse del romanzo per la vita quotidiana per le persone ordinarie sembra dipendere da due importanti condizioni generali: la società deve valutare ogni singolo individuo abbastanza da considerarlo un soggetto degno di letteratura seria e deve esistere una varietà sufficiente di idee e di azioni tra le persone comuni perché un racconto dettagliato che le riguardi possa interessare persone altrettanto ordinarie, cioè i lettori di romanzi. È probabile che nessuna di queste due condizioni per l’esistenza del romanzo si sia verificata se non abbastanza recentemente perché ambedue dipendono da sorgere di una società caratterizzata da quel vasto complesso di fattori interdipendenti che chiamiamo “individualismo”

Perfino la parola è recente, essendo apparsa verso la metà del diciannovesimo secolo. In tutte le epoche e tutte le società, senza dubbio, alcune persone sono state “individualiste” nel senso di egocentriche, uniche o indipendenti in modo notevole dalle idee o costumi correnti; ma il concetto di individualismo implica assai di più. Implica una intera società retta principalmente dall’dea dell’intrinseca indipendenza di ogni individuo dagli altri individui e da quel complesso di modelli di pensiero e di azione che si denota col termine “tradizione”, una forza che è sempre sociale e non individuale. L’esistenza di una tale società, a sua volta, presuppone uno speciale tipo di organizzazione economica e politica e un’appropriata ideologia. Più specificamente, un’organizzazione economica e politica che permetta ai suoi membri un ampio ventaglio di scelte per le loro azioni e una ideologia basata principalmente, non sul rispetto per la tradizione, ma sull’autonomia dell’individuo, indifferentemente dalla sua condizione sociale e dalle sue capacità personali. Vi è un notevole accordo sul fatto che la società moderna è, per questi aspetti, estremamente individualista e che, delle numerose cause storiche della sua nascita, due sono soprattutto importanti: il sorgere del moderno capitalismo industriale  e la diffusione del protestantesimo, specialmente nelle sue forme calvinista o puritana.

Il capitalismo produsse un grande incremento della specializzazione economica e questo, combinato a una struttura sociale meno rigida e omogenea e a un sistema politico meno assolutistico e più democratico, aumentò enormemente la libertà di scelta dell’individuo. Per coloro che erano pienamente esposti al nuovo ordine economico, l’entità su cui si basavano i vari arrangiamenti sociali non era più la famiglia né la chiesa né la corporazione né la città o qualunque altra entità collettiva, ma l’individuo che, egli solo, era primariamente responsabile dei suoi ruoli economici, speciali, politici e religiosi.

È difficile dire quando questo nuovo orientamento cominciò a influire sull’intera società: probabilmente non prima del diciannovesimo secolo. Ma il movimento era certamente cominciato assai prima. Nel sedicesimo secolo la Riforma e il sorgere degli stati nazionali avevano sfidato la sostanziale omogeneità sociale della cristianità medievale e, nelle famose parole di Maitland, “per la prima volta lo Stato Assoluto fronteggiava l’Individuo Assoluto”. Al di fuori della sfera politica e religiosa, tuttavia, i mutamenti furono lenti ed è improbabile che una struttura sociale e economica a base individualista non apparisse prima dello sviluppo del capitalismo industriale per influenzare una parte considerevole, anche se non ancora la maggioranza, della popolazione.»

 

Ora, è chiaro - o almeno dovrebbe essere chiaro, se vi fossero ancora delle teste pensanti e non una genia di “intellettuali” sistematicamente asserviti al sistema, nel quale trovano la loro mangiatoia e la relativa gratificazione narcisista – che nessuna società potrebbe resistere a lungo, se costruita su tali premesse e se sottoposta in maniera organica e sistematica a una tale logica intrinsecamente distruttiva: la logica dell’individualismo assoluto.

La società nasce per trovare un punto di equilibrio fra i bisogni dell’individuo e quelli della comunità, mentre la società moderna si è andata sempre più configurando come una dittatura del primo sulla seconda. Al tempo stesso, la “logica” democraticista ha diffuso la filosofia dell’individualismo assoluto presso strati sempre più ampi della popolazione, fino a includere, teoricamente, tutti, compresi coloro i quali non appartengono a quella determinata società (e a ciò ha contribuito anche il fenomeno della globalizzazione), con il risultato che l’odierno individualismo assoluto è anche un individualismo di massa, cosa chiaramente contraddittoria in se stessa e foriera di continue, inevitabili tensioni e spinte centrifughe.

La schizofrenia dell’uomo moderno, divaricato fra opposte spinte e tendenze («quel doppio uomo che è in me», dice messer Francesco Petrarca, il primo campione e vessillifero di tale nuovo tipo umano), è, al tempo stesso, causa ed effetto di questa inestricabile contraddizione, di questa radicale impossibilità: la nascita di una società nella quale tutti, ma proprio tutti, si sentono unici e originali, anche se appiattiti sulle mode più effimere e proni al conformismo più banale, anzi, appunto per tale assoggettamento alle mode e per tale abietto conformismo.

È bene sforzarsi di essere molto chiari su questo punto.

L’individualismo psicologico non è affatto un male in sé, almeno in teoria; il male nasce quando si afferma un virulento individualismo ideologico, che pretende di rifare il mondo sulla misura di qualunque imbecille che si crede un genio, di qualunque egoista che si crede una bella persona, di qualunque prepotente che si sente legittimato a calpestare il prossimo: tutti costoro, anzi, son convinti che la scopo della società sia quello di incoraggiare, proteggere e alimentare la stupidità, l’egoismo e la prepotenza del singolo individuo, specialmente se ricco e potente.

La tecnica, questo particolare tipo di tecnica moderna, scaturente dall’individualismo assoluto – automobile, televisione, computer, telefonino cellulare -, non fa che rafforzare tale spirale solipsistica e distruttiva: ciascun individuo non vede che se stesso, i propri timori e le proprie brame; e, intanto, non si accorge di essere decaduto dallo “status” di persona, ossia di soggetto, a quello di oggetto: esattamente il destino che egli contribuisce a creare per i suoi simili (oltre che per gli altri viventi, piante e animali, e per la Terra medesima). Tutto viene ridotto a cosa, tutto viene mercificato, tutto è in vendita e chiunque è pronto a vendersi e a prostituirsi – non solo in senso sessuale, si capisce -, perché la sola, unica, ossessiva parola d’ordine è sempre quella di Luigi Filippo d’Orléans: «Arricchitevi!».

I sentimenti, le passioni, l’affettività e la stessa sessualità soggiacciono interamente a questa logica. Lo si vede bene, ad esempio, in un film come «Nove settimane e mezzo», di Adrian Lyne (un film peraltro mediocre, sotto ogni punto di vista: ed è interessante che una certa critica “progressista” e di sinistra lo abbia accolto, nel non lontanissimo 1986, con un certo favore, scorgendovi chi sa mai quale critica implicita al capitalismo): nemmeno una profonda attrazione fra uomo e donna può resistere alle spinte distruttive dell’individualismo assoluto, perché quest’ultimo tende a ridurre la persona a oggetto, a cosa, cioè a corpo: ed è un gioco che, per quanto possa risultare intrigante all’inizio, almeno per un certo tipo di uomini e donne, alla lunga finisce per stancare e per generare un senso di amara e sconfortata sazietà, una vera sindrome di angoscia.

L’individualismo assoluto, dunque, è profondamente anti-umano: lo si vede anche nel paesaggio, stravolto dalla aberrante logica ultra-economicistica (che Marx, si badi, non ha affatto contestato alla radice): brutte case a schiera, tanto pretenziose quanto banali nel loro conformismo; palazzi e villette disordinati, dominati dal cattivo gusto, gli uni in stridente contrasto con gli altri; campagne devastate e desolate da superstrade e autostrade, il cui scopo è consentire al super-individuo di massa un rapido spostamento nel tempo più breve possibile, costi quello che costi: traforando montagne, abbattendo foreste, decretando la scomparsa di innumerevoli specie vegetali e animali.

L’individualismo assoluto, inoltre, mina alla base - perché la colpisce al cuore -, la società fondamentale, sulla quale si basano tutte le altre società: la famiglia. Esso crea un nuovo tipo umano, in costante competizione e rivalità con il proprio compagno o la propria compagna, con i propri genitori e con i propri figli: una vera e propria guerra di tutti contro tutti. Ma non è questo il volto “normale” della famiglia, come hanno amato dipingerlo scrittori e registi degli anni ruggenti della pseudo-contestazione (che era, in realtà, profondamente funzionale al sistema che essa pretendeva di criticare). È solo il volto di quella micro-società, patologica e intossicata, che è diventata la famiglia moderna, asservita alle logica distruttive dell’Individualismo Assoluto…


Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

mardi, 30 avril 2013

L’impensé de la théorie du genre

L’impensé de la théorie du genre

par Marc Gébelin

Ex: http://www.dedefensa.org/

Avant d’entrer dans le sujet, je précise que je suis historien de formation et que je « cherche sur l’homme », suis anthropologue. Ceci afin non de donner à ma parole une autorité mais pour situer le lieu où je place le débat qui va se révéler choquant pour certains. Je précise en outre que contrairement à l’homo latin qui a donné humus, anthropôn désigne celui « qui voit en haut ». Le Parlement vient d’adopter le mariage homosexuel. Il a pour lointaine origine, il faut le savoir, la théorie du genre. Cette décision est historique.

La théorie du genre est une invention féminine étatsunienne. Elle est, disons-le sans crainte de faire hurler les suppôts, dégénérée. Dégénérée au sens d’une incapacité à générer, à régénérer. L’américanisme étatsunien est un Système en dégénérescence. Sur le modèle pourtant de la réplique célèbre « Sire, pire qu’un crime c’est une faute », plus que dégénérée, elle est irrationnelle et folle. Elle revient à dire que si la femme n’était pas formatée par l’éducation pour être femme elle serait… quoi ? un homme évidemment, pas un ouistiti ! Donnez des voitures rouges, un marteau, des clous, à une petite fille et la barbe lui poussera après 14 ans ! offrez une poupée bleu-virginal au bambin turbulent, il deviendra bon papa, féministe et peut-être homosexuel non-violent! Dans la première hypothèse, notre chirurgie prométhéenne, lui donnera le membre désiré, dans la seconde « la femme sera l’avenir de l’homme ». Au fond, que souhaite cette « gendrie » ? C’est simple, elle veut un monde uniquement masculin car ces femmes là ont leur féminité en horreur. Ces menstrues, ces enfantements, cet allaitement, cet « esclavage millénaire », elles n’en veulent plus! Ce masculin, qu’elles trouvent haïssable quand il est revêtu d’un corps d’homme devient magnifique déguisé en Elles !

Si la théorie gendrique, qui n’est qu’une suite en mal majeur de l’œuvre insipide de madame de Beauvoir, prétend que les filles élevées « comme des femmes » le deviennent (c'est-à-dire ces femmes esclaves de l’homme), elle aura du mal à affirmer que les hommes ne sont pas eux aussi élevés « comme des hommes » et que donc, leur machisme, plus appris qu’inné, ne devrait en aucune façon les rendre capable du moindre féminisme alors que justement notre époque en est pleine de ces hommes dont le parti pris -à l’insu de leur plein gré !- crève les yeux, qu’ils soient sociologues, éducateurs, journalistes, ministres. Ils hantent les médias, les écoles, les services sociaux, les ministères, les tribunaux, la police, et… l’armée!

Inversement, ce qui est contestable dans l’éducation des femmes parce que produisant des « esclaves », peut difficilement faire comprendre qu’elles soient devenues féministes malgré cette éducation et qu’en ce qui concerne les hommes élevés comme des machistes il devrait être impossible qu’ils deviennent des féministes et plus encore de vraies femmes, si l’on pense aux transsexuels recourant eux aussi au bistouri pour se faire ouvrir une fente dans le corps et surtout dans l’esprit. Des hommes féminisés, des hommes désireux d’être femme et se comportant comme elles, il y en a toujours eu et il y en aura toujours et ce de plus en plus, vu la loi Taubira désormais votée par les FLR, les féministes-libéraux-républicains (gauche et droite mêlées) qui veulent nous faire croire (et se faire croire), qu’ils votent pour l’« égalité » alors qu’ils votent pour l’abolition des sexes, confirmant en cela la prédiction de Freud, plutôt humoristique à l’époque, qui désormais tourne au cauchemar.

Un « machiste » par contre, c'est-à-dire un homme éduqué par une mère aimante mais pas possessive et un père droit mais pas dur, est quelqu’un qui ne deviendra ni un "pédé", ni une "tante", termes interdits selon la loi car homophobes, mais qui avaient le mérite, (pour ceux qui ont passé la cinquantaine), de situer l’enjeu avec une bienveillante ironie. Alors bien sûr, dès que vous utilisez ces termes, non seulement vous êtes mis au ban de la bien pensance mais certains psychanalystes féministes déclarés, vous envoient à la figure leur verdict : Vous êtes homophobe, cher monsieur, parce vous refoulez votre homosexualité !... c’est pour ça que vous la repoussez avec horreur !... Refouler, notion psychanalytique devenue une sorte de « chef d’accusation », appréciation psychologique tombant au niveau du juridique.

A contrario, l’homme féministe (outre le fait qu’il a été éduqué par une mère castratrice et un père sans autorité, sans phallus au sens freudien) est un homme qui, si on y réfléchit deux secondes, n’a pas eu beaucoup de peine à le devenir pour la simple raison que, n’ayant pas ce phallus que le père aurait dû lui transmettre, mais possédant quand même un organe percé au bas de son dos, en est préoccupé. Et les psy, d’autres psy, savent aussi que ce « trou-la-la » là (humour qui je l’espère n’hérissera personne), quand on y pense trop, qu’on lui pose comme jadis le sphinx des questions métaphysiques, il finit lui aussi par questionner l’esprit juché au sommet du même dos en lui murmurant : Ne suis-je pas une femme comme tout le monde ? Si cet homme vit avec une féministe, les chances existent qu’il se laisse aller à l’homosexualité et devienne la "tante" déjà mentionnée, qu’il quitte son épouse et aille faire couple avec celui qui le confirmera dans son choix du même. Ça sera souvent celui qui fera de lui la femme qu’il a rêvé d’être, celui que pudiquement on appelle sodomite, terrorisé qu’on est à l’idée de dire avec des mots grossiers, des choses grossières : celui qui l’enc… Le sodomite étant (hormis le héros sadien qui est souvent un fou furieux meurtrier) celui qui, récusant ou craignant l’orifice féminin et le féminin en général, se dévoue pour faire plaisir à celui qui veut être une femme sans en avoir les organes ni les vertus et qui, à ce titre, lève l’interdit, l’angoisse, que tout mâle ressent devant le féminin et qui, pour cette raison, n’hésite pas à souiller son sexe, en l’introduisant - charitablement il est vrai - dans un anus masculin.

« Vous oubliez la fellation », rétorquent les poètes, ces bonnes âmes qui s’efforcent -sans être sûr d’y arriver-, de ne pas porter de jugement, de rester neutres, « scientifiques » ! C’est en effet une autre option de l’homosexualité masculine. L’ampoule rectale – peu ragoûtante, il faut bien le dire, y compris pour ceux qui la préfèrent à d’autres vestibules – est alors évitée ainsi que le risque de contamination que la médecine souligne en invitant aux préservatifs. Le goût de l’impétrant est invité à se convertir à sa propre substance comme jadis Atoum-Rê le dieu primordial. Et je ne fais pas cette escapade dans l’histoire pour distraire, j’essaye de faire image, de faire imaginer ceux qui ont encore un sens métahistorique et artistique. C’est à ces époques révolues – et plus loin encore – qu’il faut faire retour pour saisir ce mystère.

Atoum-Rê, dieu originel égyptien, comme l’est le couple Ouranos-Gaia des Grecs, est une des clés de cette énigme. S’enfantant lui-même il vint au monde, sur la colline primordiale. Ceci fait, il continue et le texte ajoute: « Ayant pris sa semence dans sa bouche, il cracha ou éternua, créant Shou, le dieu de l'air, et Tefnout, la déesse de l'humidité ». Atoum-Rê (son double nom indique sa double capacité comme pour le couple ouranien-chtonien) est donc l’initiateur de la première distinction mâle/femelle, le discriminateur de ce qui avant en lui était uni. On a bien sûr une histoire similaire au début de la Genèse, à laquelle le lecteur se reportera. L’Atoum-Rê d’il y a dix mille ou cent mille ans (nos repères temporels habituels se brouillent), est un briseur de rêve, celui précisément fusionnel du Féminin. Rêve qu’on a le droit ici encore de dire dé-généré puisque nos féministes d’un drôle de genre génèrent du sens avec ce mot genre (genus, generis) qui engendre la confusion puisqu’il sous-tend le physique et la… morale. Curieusement, on retrouve ce genre mentionné dans le traité de l’Union européenne reformulé (1), comme dans la loi taubira à l’issue de laquelle l’état civil ne devrait plus indiquer un père homme et une mère femme, mais un genre désexualisé, appelé parent 1 et parent 2. Pourquoi pas parente d’ailleurs ?! On aurait deux Femen, « qu’elles soient hommes ou femmes » !

L’homosexualité masculine exclusive, permanente, n’est plus une maladie depuis que l’OMS l’a déclassifiée et il serait donc criminel de le prétendre, mais rien ne nous empêche de la dire régressive. Permanente ou intermittente, elle exprime l’angoisse-fascination de l’homme devant la violence d’une sexualité ambivalente et son désir de la nier tout en… l’explorant ! Elle est alors un piment nécessaire aux aventureux pour comprendre par action vécue et non par théories, fussent-elle gendreuses, ce qui s’agite, dans leur subconscient. L’homosexualité féminine par contre, est moins taboue, scandalise moins le commun, car n’invite pas à se nourrir de l’ « étrange substance du dieu ».

Dans l’acte de fellation, ce qui sauve l’être humain-femme, contrairement à l’homme, c’est l’absorption consciente de son principe opposé, le sperme, hostie unique en son genre que seul le masculin peut lui offrir. Absorber le « jus divin », s’en constituer ou s’en reconstituer, se « masculiniser » par lui de façon fantasmatique, peut alors être vu dans la perspective du geste atoumien comme redécouverte par notre Eve moderne de l’instinct divin originel. Pour être Elle, elle s’abouche au Dieu Originel, recule dans l’archaïque, revient au « premier matin du monde », dans le Monde d’Avant qu’Il Fut. Elle visite la colline primordiale, lointain « mont de Vénus » quand Vénus-Aphrodite était vivante et « plongeait dans l’écume » (aphros = écume, dutès = qui plonge).

Pour l’homosexuel homme, dont l’être féminin caché jalouse celle qui seule a ce privilège, les choses s’inversent. S’il s’y livre, ce « retour » fait de lui un ouroboros mimétique, falsifié, où se brise la dynamique de la bisexualité, un Narcisse charnel si insatisfait de l’image de son corps qu’il doit trébucher sur « sa chair identique », sur le corps du presque autrui, être à lui-même et pour l’autre, pierre de scandale, se compromettre en impliquant l’autre, s’acter out sur la scène publique pour y être « puni » une seconde fois après s’être puni lui-même dans le secret brûlant de son manque. Explorer plus avant cette thèse (2) dans ses dimensions historiques, anthropologiques, psychologiques ou médicales, exigerait un développement très long. C’est pour l’instant inenvisageable de la proposer à la plupart des sexués humains aveuglés par la propagande mondialiste uniformisante, sauf à quelques happy few qui ne manifestent pas, n’agitent pas d’arc-en-ciel multicolore, mais portent peut-être sur leur front des « lettres de feu ».

Marc Gébelin

Notes

(1) Initialement, l’article 2 du Traité sur l’Union européenne dispose que “l’Union est fondée sur les valeurs de respect de la dignité humaine, de liberté, de démocratie, d’égalité ...” Or, dans la résolution du 12 décembre 2012 sur la situation des droits fondamentaux dans l’UE, les parlementaires européens ont légèrement reformulé cet article. Ils considèrent que ce dernier “fonde l’Union sur une communauté de valeurs indivisibles et universelles de respect de la dignité humaine, de liberté, de démocratie, d’égalité, de genre“.

(2) Des ethnologues ont approché le mystère sans lui apporter des explications convaincantes. Reprenant l’accusation que je dénonçais plus haut, serait-il absurde de leur retourner le compliment d’être « aveuglés par leur homosexualité latente » ? ce qui, je m’empresse de le souligner, ne serait pas une condamnation. Maurice Godelier en est un exemple. Ex-marxiste, donc féministe (puisque le marxisme est un féminisme, une philosophie positionnant le non-agir plus haut que l’agir, l’immanent plus authentique que le transcendant, l’existence plus certaine que l’essence, bref un matérialisme), il tente d’éclairer dans son livre "La production des grands hommes", le système des Baruyas de Papouasie qui vivent une homosexualité masculine initiatique adossée à une domination des hommes sur les femmes qui, toutefois, c’est lui qui souligne, est loin d’être totale. Fidèle à son préjugé de départ qu’il mondialise, il tente de générer une théorie globale où l’homme-dominateur-prétentieux-de-la-femme, est le fil rouge. Il a donc approuvé le fameux « mariage-pour-tous » comme Françoise Héritier, ethnologue de renom elle aussi, mais qui a l’« excuse », elle, d’être une femme. Il était piquant de voir au Palais du Luxembourg, cet hiver, ces deux prophètes de la modernité essayant de convaincre les sénateurs du bien fondé d’une « loi » qui déjà, seulement par son intitulé (mariage pour tous et non mariage homosexuel), montre son mensonge et son désir corollaire de tromper. Godelier, incapable de subsumer son marxisme communisant, en une théorie plus haute qui, tout en tenant compte de la mécanique qui entraine les sociétés humaines à leur insu, n’essaye même pas d’y insérer la transcendance comme le font les grands penseurs tels Shakespeare, Borges ou De Retz, cités dans l’article sur le Kairos.

lundi, 29 avril 2013

Slavoj Zizek: Het jaar van het gevaarlijke dromen

Slavoj Zizek: Het jaar van het gevaarlijke dromen

Ex: http://www.solidarisme.be/

SlavojZizekT.jpgHet jaar van het gevaarlijke dromen bestaat grofweg uit twee delen. Eerst maakt Zizek een aantal opmerkingen over de dynamiek van het kapitalisme, waardoor deze ideologie er steeds weer in slaagt zich aan de veranderende omstandigheden aan te passen zonder evenwel haar principes van uitbuiting en onrechtvaardigheid op te geven.

Het is ook een ondoorzichtig systeem dat de economische grondslag van de samenleving weet te verbergen achter culturele tegenstellingen. Feministische, antiracistische of homobewegingen richten hun pijlen op de verkeerde vijand, aldus Zizek. Zij komen op voor tolerantie en een gelijkwaardige plaats binnen de maatschappij. In feite zijn ze systeembevestigend, terwijl de klassenstrijd zijn kapitalistische vijand wil vernietigen en er een ander maatschappijmodel voor in de plaats wil stellen. Die analyse heeft Zizek al eerder gemaakt, maar ze is nog even waar als vroeger.

In een tweede deel gaat Zizek dieper in op de protestbewegingen van 2011, en die stemmen hem niet vrolijk. De Britse rellen hadden volgens socioloog Zygmunt Bauman geen revolutionair elan. Het waren daden van onvolwaardige en gediskwalificeerde consumenten en Zizek sluit zich daarbij aan. De relschoppers waren niet in staat om mee te spelen in het spel van consumentisme en daarom grepen ze gewoon wat ze niet konden kopen. Meer zat er niet achter. Occupy ziet hij dan weer als de reactie van een stel naïevelingen. Een revolte is geen revolutie, merkt Zizek op: “Communisme is geen carnaval van massaprotest waarin een systeem tot stilstand is gebracht; het is een nieuwe organisatievorm, discipline en hard werken.”

Maar wat betekent dat concreet? In het verleden is Zizek daar altijd nogal wazig over geweest. Hier licht hij echter toch een tipje van de sluier. We moeten weg van Marx, zegt hij nogal verrassend. Zijn communisme was immers niet meer of niet minder dan een kapitalisme zonder kapitaal: een uitgebreide zelfreproductie zonder winst of uitbuiting. Nee, Zizek ziet het hegeliaanser en daardoor ook onbepaalder. We moeten de sprong in het ijle durven maken, schrijft hij, omdat zo’n sprong de mogelijkheid van een rechtvaardiger toekomst inhoudt.

Bron: Verplancke, M. (2 april 2013). Sprong in het ijle. De Morgen Boeken, p. 6

00:05 Publié dans Livre, Livre, Philosophie | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : slavoj zizek, slovénie, philosohie, marxisme, gauche, livre | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

samedi, 27 avril 2013

La France, la loi et la légitimité

 assemblee-nationale.jpg

Claude Bourrinet:

La France, la loi et la légitimité

Ex: http://linformationnationaliste.hautetfort.com/

En France, les deux sources de légitimité politique, comme il va de soi, du reste, dans la plupart des nations, a été Dieu et le peuple. L’héritage indo-européen du roi sacré, réactivé par l’apport germanique et la figure vétérotestamentaire de David oint par le Seigneur, a donné à l’Etat la caution divine qui a fondé longtemps sa légitimité. Il en restait quelque bribe dans le rapport parfois mystique qu’entretenait la foule avec la haute figure d’un De Gaulle, que l’on cherchait à « toucher », comme un monarque de droit divin. Le christianisme étant par ailleurs la respublica christiana, le peuple chrétien, il était normal que cette assise populaire fût aussi adoptée, à l’âge moderne, par le technicien de la chose publique, dans un contexte plus sécularisé. Néanmoins, la désacralisation du rapport vertical entre la tête et le corps de la société ne fut jamais totale. Une mystique de l’onction populaire est à la base de la conception démocratique du pouvoir, la notion de « démocratie » s’entendant au sens littéral, qui n’équivaut pas au légalisme électoraliste des régimes libéraux contemporains, mais à un lien profond entre le démos et l’Etat. On peut concevoir le rituel du vote comme un cérémonial qui délivre cycliquement à l’Etat un influx prenant sa source plus dans la foi ou la confiance, que dans la rationalité.


La conjonction entre les deux voies de légitimité politique, qui, d’une façon ou d’un autre, se réclamaient de la vox populi, a donné le ton de tout engagement public, qu’il fût au sommet ou à la base de la société. Jusqu’à ce qu’on s’avisât, depuis quelque temps, que la gestion d’un pays relevait plutôt de la « gouvernance », et qu’il n’y avait guère de différence entre la maîtrise des hommes et celle des choses. C’est ce que signifia, de manière abrupte, Margaret Thatcher, lorsqu’elle affirma que la société n’existait pas, mais seulement des impératifs économiques qui motivaient entreprises et individus.

La « dame de fer », bien qu’ayant inspiré le néoconservatisme politique, qui, sous son appellation de reaganisme, allait révolutionner la conception politique de la droite occidentale, n’avait pas tout à fait adhéré, en apparence, aux principes du postmodernisme, qui, d’une certaine façon, considère que tout n’est que société. Ou plutôt, devrait-on dire, que tout est sociétal. Ce qui n’enlève rien aux soubassements libéraux d’une telle assertion, puisque la société a vocation, in fine, à être marchandisée, comme le reste du réel existant.
La postmodernité se définit par sa logique déterritorialisante : elle arrache toute vie à son terreau naturel pour en faire un produit charrié par le flux illimité du commerce.


Ce que les mots veulent dire


Confucius conférait aux mots un pouvoir que d’aucuns jugeraient exorbitant. Ou plutôt, il considérait que l’accord sur la bonne définition de ceux-ci permettait de bien gouverner les hommes.


Or, ce qui s’est dilué avec la liquéfaction générale des choses et des liens, c’est bien le sens des mots. Les transgressions multidimensionnelles, et la métamorphose des réalités humaines traditionnelles en réseaux pulsionnels, ont vaporisé le dictionnaire vernaculaire. Tout sceptique en serait ravi, qui verrait dans notre monde l’incapacité à dire, à transmettre et à recevoir. Le cours du monde, du reste, s’accélérant, et se détachant du sol de son Histoire, le vocable n’est plus guère susceptible d’invoquer quoi que ce soit de permanent, et le lexique n’est plus qu’un vain fantôme que l’on exhibe, dans cette fête foraine qu’est devenu la politique, un croquemitaine, parfois, tout juste bon à faire comme si nous étions effrayés. Ainsi des étiquettes comme « fascisme », « communisme », « révolution » etc.
Et même « peuple ».


Il est d’actualité de s’y référer à l’occasion des « manifs pour tous » ou autres sautes d’humeur. Caroline Fourest a nié que les réfractaires au mariage pour tous fussent du « peuple ». Elle a regardé leurs chaussures, et a conclu que c’étaient des bourgeois. Pour un peu, elle se serait référée à la Commune, comme Taubira chantonnant le Temps des cerises. La canaille, eh bien j’en suis !

C’est à mourir de rire, bien sûr. Qui ne sait que les porteurs de Rolex et autres bobos homos sont sans doute bien plus à l’aise dans la société de consommation made in California qu’un catho tradi, qui a, au moins, en sa faveur une répugnance pour Mammon, ce qui est désormais loin d’être le cas dans la Gauche caviar et décomplexée.
De fait, le « peuple », soit il s’abstient, soit il vote pour le Front national.


Le destin national


Si l’on prend le temps et la distance de considérer le destin français, voilà ce que l’on constate : des peuples disparates ont occupé notre sol au fil des âges, et des strates de civilisations se sont superposées, et ont plus ou moins fusionné sans abdiquer leur singularité. Si bien que l’Histoire de France peut être considérée comme blanche, chrétienne, et d’héritage celte, grec et latin. Et comme la société d’autrefois, longtemps, est restée paysanne, c’est-à-dire vouée à la permanence des structures et des mentalités, tout ce qui sourdait de ce substrat lui était consubstantiel. Même les villes, au dam de Descartes, en étaient des excroissances naturelles, bien que leur logique les eût portées vers d’autres horizons. Les corporations étaient le reflet urbain de l’enracinement paysan.

 
L’Etat, en France, fut toujours, comme tout Etat, mais à un degré extrême, le fruit de la volonté. Néanmoins, et quoiqu’il imposât sa dure étreinte sur le corps d’une Nation qu’il modelait à sa guise, il n’attenta que peu à la réalité des patries charnelles. Un Français était sujet du Roi, mais aussi picard ou auvergnat. La France était ainsi une petite Europe, car elle cultivait la diversité. Mais elle réalisait aussi ce qui manquait à l’Europe, l’unité.


Faut-il traduire l’arrachement civilisationnel qui suivit l’avènement de la modernité, dès la Renaissance, comme une fatalité nécessairement réduite à donner ce que nous avons sous les yeux, un monde déréglé, délimité, déstructuré, déraciné, dénaturé et déshumanisé ? L’urbanisation universelle, l’industrialisation, la marchandisation mondiale, les idéologies humanitaristes et internationalistes, et d’autres facteurs, en ont été les déclinaisons, que certains estiment être des progrès, d’autres des catastrophes et les vecteurs véritables du déclin. Comment les peuples peuvent-ils perdre leur mémoire, leur vocation, leur être ?
Le gaullisme fut à plus d’un titre une divine surprise. Un peuple en décadence, dont les gouvernements, depuis la Grande Guerre, capitulaient devant la force des choses, ou bien se couvraient de ridicule, semblait reprendre le chemin de l’honneur, et se réapproprier son avenir. L’Etat, soudain, redevenait ce levier indispensable pour soulever le monde. Et l’Archimède de cette « révolution » était un homme doté d’une volonté de fer, assez lucide et machiavélique pour manier les hommes, et assez idéaliste pour être guidé par une haute idée de notre destinée. La lecture répétée du livre talentueux d’Alain Peyrefitte, « C’était de Gaulle », s’impose à celui qui veut retrouver une France qui était encore à la hauteur de sa vocation, une France indépendante, orgueilleuse, hardie, optimiste. On y puise à la source des idées riches et encore d’actualité. Car ce qui est frappant dans cet ouvrage admirablement écrit, c’est sa fraîcheur, son intelligence, et les rudes leçons qu’il nous prodigue. Un véritable programme, si l’on veut. A mettre entre toutes les mains, surtout des jeunes.

Le Général, certes, était entouré d’hommes qui avaient de la trempe, et qui étaient animés d’un enthousiasme qui nous fait envie maintenant. Cependant, bien que les résultats de notre économie, dirigée par un Etat fort, fussent superbes, que le chômage fût quasi inexistant, on sentait, au fil des témoignages, des anecdotes et des comptes rendus, que de Gaulle était loin d’être accepté par tous. Sa forte personnalité en imposait, mais certains n’attendaient qu’une occasion pour le trahir. Pompidou et Giscard, ces hommes de la finance, de la banque, adeptes de l’ouverture des marchés et de l’entrée de la Grande Bretagne dans l’Europe des six, n’attendaient que le bon moment pour agir. De Gaulle n’avait pas de mots assez durs pour critiquer une bourgeoisie, pour lui artificielle, appâtée par le gain, qui lisait à droite le Figaro, et à gauche l’Immonde (le mot est de lui). Il vilipendait aussi la caste des journalistes, partagée entre communistes et américanistes. Il condamnait un libéralisme coupable d’accroître l’injustice et de favoriser les tricheurs. Pour lui, seul comptait le lien mystérieux mais réel entre l’Etat, incarné par un homme, et un peuple se souvenant, comme tout bon aristocrate, de ce qu’il est, de son sang, de son patrimoine, de son passé. Et le plus miraculeux, c’est qu’on eut l’impression, au grand désappointement des Judas qui patientaient impatiemment, que le fil tenait, entre l’instinct populaire et la volonté d’un homme.


Une série de trahisons


L’effondrement de la fin des années soixante apparaît dès lors, soit comme une anomalie, soit comme l’expression nationale d’une fatalité mondiale. Le Général pressentait cet achèvement pitoyable. Il essayait de contrer l’américanisation des mœurs, du langage, des esprits, par une politique éducative forte. Mais comment affronter ce ras de marée ?
Le « mariage pour tous » est l’une de ces vagues lointaines de ces années là, un de ces déferlantes destructrices que nous envoie la civilisation matérialiste américaine. Depuis la mort du Général, le trop plein de palinodies, de rétractations, de cynisme et de trahisons a infesté l’élite nationale. Ce fut comme un débordement d’épandage. D’abord la droite se découvrit mondialiste, reaganienne, libérale, libre-échangiste, et fut convertie au grand marché européen, qui prit la place de cette belle idée, partagée par de Gaulle, d’une Europe puissance dont le noyau aurait été le couple franco-allemand; dans le même temps, la gauche se convertit au marché, à l’entreprise, au fric et au luxe, ouvertement, et tint pour une grande conquête de l’humanité le métissage généralisé, que la droite avait préparé par une politique d’immigration suicidaire. Puis vint le moment où on s’aperçut qu’il n’existait plus guère de France, ni de société française, ni même de français, et que l’Histoire de notre patrie n’était qu’un point de vue fallacieux, et que seul subsistait comme horizon le grand Océan du commerce, remué par les pulsions libératrice d’un individu enfin acteur de sa machine désirante.


Face à ce naufrage, quelle attitude faut-il avoir ?


Tout patriote encore attaché à la mémoire de son sang (j’appelle sang l’amour que l’on porte à son histoire nationale) est placé devant un dilemme : ou bien il considère que tout est foutu, que la décadence est irréversible, que la logique du monde doit aboutir infailliblement au désert actuel, et à l’oubli définitif de notre destin commun ; ou bien il pense que le sursaut national des années soixante, comme celui, jadis, incarné par la Geste de Jeanne, est une donnée itérative de notre caractère, que notre peuple, pour ainsi dire en dormition, doit se réveiller, et renouer avec sa vocation.

Les deux options, malgré leur nature antithétique, sont nobles. La première invite au retrait, à une réflexion profonde, à un ressourcement personnel, et à un espoir un peu désespéré d’un retournement lointain de la logique mortelle des choses. La deuxième convie à l’action, à une foi dans l’imminence de la victoire, car il serait impensable que le peuple français se renie à ce point.


Selon ce dernier point de vue, nous sommes un peu comme en juin 40. La défaite semble irrémédiable, et les collaborateurs s’en donnent à cœur joie. Les dirigeants de l’UMPS ont choisi de considérer que la victoire de l’Amérique allait de soi, et ils la souhaitent même. Ils ont méthodiquement, sournoisement, agressivement, comme des gens qui ont toujours haï notre nation, déconstruit tout notre dispositif de protection, anéanti nos bataillons industriels, livré notre culture à nos ennemis mortels, donné notre armée à l’état-major US, confié les guides du gouvernement à une entité technocratique supranationale, aboli les frontières et les repères, supprimé notre Histoire dans les classes, déshonoré nos ancêtres, discrédité l’autorité de l’Etat… Autrement dit, l’instrument étatique peut marcher, la police peut réprimer, l’autorité législative légiférer, le pouvoir exécutif exécuter, etc., tous ces rouages en mouvement ne produisent que du vide, ou ne servent qu’à démolir encore plus notre nation, notre identité et nos intérêts.


Dans cette optique, la loi et ce qui s’ensuit n’est plus légitime. Comme disent les Chinois, les gouvernements qui se sont succédés depuis une trentaine d’années, voire plus, ont perdu le mandat du Ciel. De Gaulle, avec l’Appel du 18 juin, a eu la prétention extravagante d’incarner la France. Pas celle que pourrait représenter tel gouvernement, mais la France éternelle, celle qui ne peut, comme il le dira plaisamment, fondre comme une châtaigne dans la purée. Et ce pari fut le bon.


« Ce sur quoi il ne faut jamais céder, c’est la légitimité, voyez-vous, c’est l’intérêt supérieur de la nation, c’est sa souveraineté. Primum omnium salus patriae. (Avant tout, le salut de la patrie).

La Nation est un tout. Ce n’est pas en manifestant, main dans la main, de façon pitoyable, contre le mariage homo, en criant, du reste, qu’on aime les homos, qu’on se refera une virginité. Boutin, Mariton, Collard et tutti quanti, badigeonnés en rose ou ceints d’une écharpe tricolore qui ne leur va pas du tout (ils devraient plutôt porter la bannière étoilée), ont beau jeu de berner le naïf, qui croit voir en eux des champions des « valeurs ». On sait très bien que l’UMP au pouvoir ne reviendra pas sur cette loi scélérate. La constitution d’un « thé party » à la française ne procède que d’une tactique électoraliste. Il n’y a que l’épaisseur d’un papier à joint entre l’agité friqué de « droite » et le bobo « cool » de « gauche ». Copé « moral » ? Quelle rigolade ! Hollande "socialiste" ? C'est une blague de très mauvais goût, et même une manifestation flagrante de débilité, de ramollissement du cerveau. Hollande et ses acolytes haïssent le socialisme, comme des bourgeois vulgaires.

Que l’on commence par interdire la conversion des élus en avocats d’affaires, et les conférences gratifiantes des chefs d’Etat, qui semblent par là recevoir le prix de leur salaire. Il est pour le moins étrange que les émoluments d’un Sarkozy, à la suite de ces traîtres que furent Gorbatchev ou Aznar, reçus par des organismes tels que Goldman Sachs, telle banque brésilienne ou telle université américaine, ne suscitent guère que des sourires un peu jaloux. Assurément, c’est un cas de haute trahison, l’indice infaillible d’un comportement qui est loin d’avoir été clair lorsque le pouvoir était en jeu. Imaginez-vous de Gaulle donner une conférence à 200 000 € à la bourse de Nouillorque ?

Claude Bourrinet 

http://www.voxnr.com

mercredi, 24 avril 2013

Politieke correctheid en taalepuratie

Politieke correctheid en taalepuratie: het mysterie van de verdwenen allochtoon

Tot een van de bloedigste regimes sinds de tweede wereldoorlog kan dat van de Rode Khmer gerekend worden, de militaire tak van de Communistische Partij van Democratisch Kampuchea (nu Cambodja). Hun bezieler en leider, Pol Pot, had het plan opgevat om de stedelijke beschaving, en eigenlijk de beschaving tout court, af te schaffen via massale deportaties naar het platteland. Men schat dat tussen 1975 en 1979 2 à 3 miljoen Cambodjanen (op een totaal van 7 miljoen) zijn omgekomen.

Behalve in wreedheid overtrof Pol Pot zijn leermeesters Stalin en Mao ook inzake de totale beslaglegging op het sociale verkeer en het privé-leven. Slapen, ontlasting, eten en drinken: het moest allemaal collectief gebeuren. Alles wat naar cultuur, expressie en individualiteit verwees, werd verboden, op straffe van executie: eigendom (uiteraard), naast kleding en uiting van persoonlijke smaak (iedereen liep in het zwart), boeken (behalve dan de reguliere communistische literatuur), het dragen van een bril (te intellectueel!), kennis van een vreemde taal (gevaar voor imperialistische smetten), maar ook vriendschappen en familiale banden die konden leiden tot groepsvorming buiten de cellulaire staatsstructuur. Allemaal fout, weg ermee.

Opmerkelijk is ook het belang dat de Khmers in hun ijver hechtten aan een juist taalgebruik. Daartoe moest er grote schoonmaak gehouden worden, niet alleen in de politieke terminologie. Woorden als vader of moeder waren taboe wegens niet conform de communistische gemeenschapszin, naast een hele resem andere vervuilde woorden uit de omgangstaal. Deze opkuis vereenvoudigde het leven aanzienlijk, en zou leiden tot de ideale maatschappij, zo meenden de Khmers oprecht: hun insteek was, hoe schandalig we dat nu ook vinden, idealistisch, op het maakbaarheidsprincipe gebaseerd, en, tja, in die zin zelfs politiek-correct.

Uiteindelijk werden de Khmers verjaagd door de Vietnamezen, die hen ook eerst in het zadel hadden geholpen. Waarna de indoctrinatie gewoon doorging. Tot daar de recente geschiedenis.

Newspeak

De verhouding tussen politieke macht en taalcontrole was het stokpaardje van de Engelse schrijver-filosoof George Orwell. Al in 1945 publiceerde hij zijn legendarisch geworden Animal Farm, een grotesk-satirische allegorie over een boerderij waar de varkens het hebben overgenomen en een welzijnsstaat creëerden volgens hoger beschreven Stalinistische principes. Maar de wreedheid is nagenoeg afwezig: de propaganda en de indoctrinatie hebben de vrijheidsberoving en de fysieke liquidatie grotendeels overbodig gemaakt. Iedereen is gelukkig omdat… het woord ongeluk gewoon is afgeschaft, meer moet dat niet zijn!

Orwell had vooral de Stalin-dictatuur voor ogen –in die zin was hij zelfs een pleitbezorger van de Koude Oorlog-, maar de eigenlijke visionaire dimensie van zijn distopische roman reikte verder: hij zag al de “perfecte democratie” opdoemen, waar macht en controle over het discours, in al zijn aspecten, samenvalt. Daartoe is dus geen dictatuur nodig, integendeel: hoe groter het gepalaver, hoe groter de verwarring, des te beter voor het systeem.

De moderne macht is niet meer repressief, ze grijpt in op het niveau van de taal, de betekenissen, de tekst. Ze organiseert de democratie en de publieke opinie op zo’n manier, dat de free speech alleen nog een variatie is op de legitieme thema’s, in een vast verbaal stramien.  Alles wat daar buiten valt, wordt gekwalificeerd als ongeoorloofd, nefast, grof, extreem.

Het systeem dat vandaag spreekwoordelijk als “Orwelliaans” wordt gekarakteriseerd, drijft daarom voornamelijk op taalmanipulatie en massapsychologie, met de communicatiewetenschap als sleuteldiscipline. Zowel de simplifiërende on-liner als het omgekeerde, de quasi-onbegrijpelijke woordenbrij, behoren tot het retorisch arsenaal van de macht.

De moderne macht is niet meer repressief, ze grijpt in op het niveau van de taal, de betekenissen, de tekst.

Het ingrijpen in de woordenschat is daarvan een essentieel aspect: termen worden gedumpt, andere worden uitgevonden. De nieuwe termen zijn nooit helder of éénduidig,- ze zijn veeleer wollig en mistig, om de contradicties van het systeem zelf toe te dekken. In een weinig bekend essay van 1946, getiteld “Politics an the English Language”, doet George Orwell die newspeak haarfijn uit de doeken. Macht berust op verwarring en ondoorzichtigheid, en daartoe moeten er verbale mistgordijnen geschapen worden. Dat gebeurt op alle niveau’s. We kennen allemaal het fenomeen van de informaticatechneut die u om de oren slaat met vakjargon, en zo zijn autoriteit bevestigt: het is jammer genoeg schering en inslag.

Zowel systemen als individuen ontlenen hun autoriteit aan een complex taalgebruik, een groteske overdaad aan woorden, frasen, alinea’s en voetnoten, die op de duur alleen nog naar elkaar verwijzen. Het euvel komt voor bij wetenschappers, technici, kunstenaars, en zeker ook politici. Er ontstaan dan kasten van specialisten die elkaar afschermen via een jargon dat zogezegd noodzakelijk is om ingewikkelde knopen te ontwarren, terwijl ze de knopen juist nog dikker maken. (→ meer hierover: “Eilanden van gezond verstand”).

Op het politieke vlak wordt de verloren gegane legitimiteit (“wie gelooft die mensen nog?”) ruimschoots gecompenseerd door de professionele inbreng van spindoctors en communicatiestrategen allerhande. Woorden worden gecreëerd, gecombineerd, gedumpt, helemaal conform hun inwerking op de publieke opinie. Met de media uiteraard als noodzakelijke sluis, en het academisch-cultureel establishment als aangever.

Allo-wat?

Ik moest dan ook voortdurend aan Orwell denken, toen steden zoals Amsterdam en Gent aankondigden dat ze het woord “allochtoon” zouden schrappen.

Het woord werd ons ooit opgedrongen als hallucinant staaltje newspeak (omdat men niet over vreemdelingen, migranten of mensen-van-buitenlandse-origine mocht spreken), en nu wordt het dus door diezelfde taalpolitie weer afgevoerd. Verre van dit met het Rode Khmer-regime te willen vergelijken, stelt men toch vast dat hier een gelijkaardig politiek-correct voluntarisme aan het werk is: het idee dat problemen zich oplossen door de taal te fatsoeneren. Terwijl het net andersom is: de taal is een weerspiegeling van de sociale realiteit, die niet homogeen is, maar heterogeen en conflictueus.

De ontkenningsstrategie die erachter schuilt is perfide en lachwekkend tegelijk. Ooit stelde Steve Stevaert, nu actief als havenbaas in Vietnam, voor om de term “Vlaams Belang” niet meer uit te spreken, en enkel nog de afkorting “VB” te gebruiken (wat dan evengoed op “Vuile Bruinzakken” of “Vunzige Bastaards” kon slaan, kies zelf maar). Daarmee zou het probleem volgens hem wel van de baan geraken. Het was ook de tijd dat de zo slimme professor Etienne Vermeersch in de media elke vraag over die verboden partij beantwoordde met een lakoniek “Wie?”, in dezelfde optimistische veronderstelling dat het probleem zo zichzelf zou oplossen.

In het kader van een permanente goed-nieuws-show wordt de realiteit geregisseerd en verbaal uitgefilterd,- iets waar de media overigens voluit aan meedoen.

Dit taalkundig proberen te overrulen van de realiteit is typerend voor een maakbaarheidsideologie die au fond niet geïnteresseerd is in het werkelijke maatschappelijke spanningsveld: in het kader van een permanente goed-nieuws-show wordt de realiteit geregisseerd en uitgefilterd,- iets waar de media overigens voluit aan meedoen. De quasi-ethische omlijsting van het woordverbod (“onzuiver taalgebruik” wordt meteen ook “immoreel taalgebruik”) is kenmerkend voor een bovenbouw die wanhopig op zoek is naar legitimatie: Gent en Amsterdam, redders van het correcte Nederlands, en hoeders van de beschaving!

Op zich totaal betekenisloos geworden stoplappen als “racistisch” en “(on-) democratisch” fungeren als sleutelwoorden in deze epuratie, die ver voorbij de strikt politieke sfeer gaat. De manier bv. hoe kreupelen, steeds vanuit de bemoeizucht van de sociale sector, invaliden werden, dan gehandicapten, daarna mindervaliden, nog later andersvaliden, om voorlopig te eindigen als personen-met-een-beperking,- is tekenend voor de fascinatie van de socio-politieke sector voor labelling en semantische inkapseling.

We denken ook aan de systematische kruistocht van de reguliere media die afgeven op het “racistische”, “vunzige”, “barbaarse” taalgebruik op het internet, en de filters die worden toegepast op de eigen publieksfora.  Op die manier proberen de elites taalkundig greep te krijgen op de massa, via een progressief-ethisch alibi, met zelfs esthetische parfums van “goede smaak”. De missionarishouding dus. Het is nog maar een kwestie van tijd, voor ze bij de UNESCO er achter komen wat de term “voil Janet” precies betekent, en dan krijgt het Aalsters carnaval zijn genadeslag…

Tentensletje

Conclusie? De overheid moet zich niet moeien met taalkundige epuratie. Als ze de treinen op tijd laat rijden en sneeuw ruimt ben ik al heel tevreden. Taal is iets levend, en baart constant nieuw materiaal dat van onderuit ontstaat, als vulkanische lava. Elk jaar neemt de Dikke Van Dale zo’n 1500 woorden op die tot de omgangstaal zijn gaan behoren. Het zijn woorden die soms door individuen worden verzonnen, schrijvers of journalisten, maar dikwijls ook uit de volksverbeelding zelf voortkomen. Vooral de jeugd- en jongerentaal is een vruchtbare bron, denk aan het tentensletje van de editie 2010.

In essentie loopt het woordenboek dus steeds de feiten achterna. Dat kan ook niet anders: de officiële taal, het AN, is maar een schaduw van de levende taal. Maar de Orwelliaanse krachten in het bestel willen op de feiten vooroplopen en de maatschappij kneden via het plichtlexicon, het Groene of het Rode boekje, het geadministreerde discours.

Toen een brave academische borst recent meende dat het woord “makak” moest geschrapt worden, wees Peter de Roover er fijntjes op dat dit woord vrijwel enkel nog gebruikt wordt… als scheldwoord door Marokkaanse allochtonen onderling. Ook het woord “neger” is in onbruik geraakt, niet bij decreet maar spontaan. Het woord boerka maakt in de volksmond dan weer opgang als vuilzak voor gemengd huishoudelijk afval. De etymologie is dikwijls complex en verrassend, het gebruik onorthodox. Zo is het woord “bougnoul” van oorsprong een Arabische term die… “neger” betekent.  Verbieden dan maar?

De enige autonomie die mensen nog rest, en waar ze fanatiek aan moeten houden, is de vrijheid om hun woorden te kiezen, vanuit de onderbuik, niet alleen vanuit het hoofd.

Het verzet tegen de standaard- en plichttaal is fundamenteel, en gelukkig springlevend. Om die reden maak ik me, zoals de lezer al heeft kunnen vaststellen, ook niet al te druk over de spellingregels, uitgedokterd door een clubje taalgeleerden ergens in den Haag. Nog veel minder maak ik me bezorgd over de door puristen zo gehate chat- en SMS-taal, of andere idiomen en tussentalen. Integendeel, ze vormen een vitaal tegengewicht voor de opgelegde new speak, de bureaucratische sluiers en het abrakadabra van de systeemtechnici.

Deze stille –en soms luidruchtige- strijd tussen spontane idiomen en cultuurtaal is, is veel belangrijker dan de immer verwaterende politieke tegenstelling. Het is dé nieuwe conflictzone van de postmoderne democratie, waar alles draait rond retoriek, taalspelen, demagogie en massamanipulatie.

De enige autonomie die mensen nog rest, en waar ze fanatiek aan moeten houden, is de vrijheid om hun woorden te kiezen, vanuit de onderbuik, niet alleen vanuit het hoofd. En er desnoods nieuwe te verzinnen als het vocabularium niet volstaat.

De schutting- en straattaal, samen met het kernproza dat op het internet floreert, is geen verbale restfractie maar vormt, integendeel, de stamcellen van het spraakweefsel. In ons geval het Nederlands. Als containerbegrip, niet als standaard. De vitale kern van een taal bestaat uit schimpscheuten en krachttermen, niet uit blabla.

Daar kan de Gentse burgemeester Termont, goede leerling van Stevaert, niets aan veranderen. Gelukkig maar, dedju.

Sorel y el Sindicalismo Nacional

Georges_Sorel.jpg

Sorel y el Sindicalismo Nacional

 Gustavo Morales

Ex: http://alternativaeuropeaasociasioncultural.wordpress.com/

Si alguien se atreve a levantar su voz contra las ilusiones del racionalismo en el acto es considerado como un enemigo de la democracia

Georges Sorel (1847-1922) era un ingeniero francés, padre del revisionismo revolucionario que supera el carácter materialista del marxismo y llegará a ser básico para la génesis del fascismo. El ambiente intelectual de Sorel se enmarca en el Barrio Latino de París, muy lejos de las frías escuelas teoréticas de Viena.
Marxista confeso, Sorel pretende, originalmente, completar el pensamiento de su maestro. A principios del siglo XX el pensamiento socialista debe enfrentarse a una serie de problemas nuevos, difícilmente explicables mediante el análisis marxista ortodoxo. Sorel se desmarca de las estructuras racionalistas y destaca que el marxismo es la construcción de un mito revolucionario para ilusionar a las masas, negando su valor como explicación racional de la realidad.
Sorel niega el valor del racionalismo, al que acusa de corruptor. Antepone a Pascal y a Bergson frente a Descartes y a Sócrates. Sorel sustituye los fundamentos racionalistas y hegelianos del marxismo por:
1.- La nueva visión de la naturaleza humana que predica Le Bon, quien aconseja que "para vencer a las masas hay que tener previamente en cuenta los sentimientos que las animan, simular que se participa de ellos e intentar luego modificarlos provocando, mediante asociaciones rudimentarias, ciertas imágenes sugestivas; saber rectificar si es necesario y, sobre todo, adivinar en cada instante los sentimientos que se hacen brotar". Resume Le Bon que "la razón crea la ciencia, los sentimientos dirigen la historia".
2.- Por el anticartesianismo de Bergson. Las enseñanzas de Bergson permiten sustituir el contenido racionalista, es decir, utópico, del marxismo por los mitos revolucionarios. Sorel afirma que todo gran movimiento viene motivado por mitos. El método psicológico toma el relevo al enfoque mecanicista tradicional (1899), frente al método científico, el recurso a una teoría de los mitos sociales. Sorel no repudia el marxismo, incluso llega a defenderlo contra algunos socialistas democráticos. Se debe a que considera que no existe ninguna relación entre la verdad de una doctrina y su valor operativo en tanto que instrumento de combate. Sorel desplaza el mito de la esfera del intelecto y lo instala en la de la afectividad y la actividad. Una mentalidad religiosa contra la mentalidad racionalista. Sorel recuerda que Bergson nos ha enseñado que la religión no ocupa en exclusiva la región de la conciencia profunda, la ocupan también, por las mismas razones, los mitos revolucionarios. Con ello, Sorel rechaza el presunto carácter científico del marxismo y niega la posibilidad de la explicación social en términos cuasi matemáticos.
3.- Por la rebelión de Nietzsche.. La única actitud coherente del revolucionario es la negación de los valores imperantes y la afirmación de otros nuevos y rebeldes. En Reflexiones sobre la violencia, Sorel afirma: Los mitos no son descripciones de cosas, sino expresiones de voluntad... conjuntos de imágenes capaces de evocar en bloque y exclusivamente a través de la intuición, previamente a cualquier tipo de análisis reflexivo, la masa de los sentimientos que corresponden a las diversas manifestaciones de la guerra librada por el socialismo en contra de la sociedad moderna. Sorel identifica mito y convicciones, entendiendo éstas en términos de las ideas y creencias de Ortega. Sorel distingue entre la ética del guerrero, que apoya, y la del intelectual, que condena: Ya no hubo soldados ni marinos, sólo hubo tenderos escépticos.

Fases del pensamiento soreliano

Socialismo marxista

En una primera fase, los sorelianos metamorfosean el marxismo, construyen una nueva ideología revolucionaria, desechando las teorías marxistas de plusvalor y de clase. Sorel vacía el marxismo de hedonismo y de materialismo, haciéndolo pasar de ser una máquina intelectual esclerotizada a una fuerza movilizadora en pos de la destrucción de lo que existe, el mundo materialista burgués. La teoría de los mitos se vuelve el motor de la revolución y la violencia su instrumento: La violencia proletaria, no sólo puede garantizar la revolución futura, sino que, además, parece ser el único medio de que disponen las naciones europeas, embrutecidas por el humanismo, para recobrar su antigua energía. Para Sorel, sólo los hombres que viven en estado de tensión permanente pueden alcanzar lo sublime. En esa vía, Sorel reivindica el cristianismo primitivo y el sindicalismo de combate de su tiempo. No nos molestaremos en demostrar que la idea de violencia revolucionaria no se ciñe al derramamiento de sangre ni a la brutalidad, que son inherentes a la explotación del trabajador, camuflada bajo la cortina de humo del sufragio partitocrático. Por esa vía, también la crítica del sociólogo Pareto al marxismo, base de su teoría de las élites, se acerca a la de Sorel.
 

Sindicalismo nacional

En una segunda fase, a partir de que Sorel abandona el socialismo (1909), el mito nacional sustituye al mito exclusivamente proletario, ya desalentado en la lucha contra la decadencia democrática y racionalista. La enseñanza obligatoria, la alfabetización en las zonas rurales, el acceso lento pero continuo de la clase obrera a la cultura, no favorecen la conciencia de clase del proletariado, sino más bien una nueva toma de conciencia de la identidad nacional. Los sorelianos ven la organización de la sociedad en términos sindicalistas. Sorel cree que el sindicalismo, en su lucha contra la dictadura de la burguesía y la dictadura del proletariado, ambas materialistas, posee un alto valor civilizatorio. La influencia de Sorel se refleja en el parlamento de productores defendido por José Antonio, así como en la afirmación: Concebimos a España como un gigantesco sindicato de productores. Ledesma asumirá, además, el término de sindicalismo nacional que se extiende entre los sorelianos franceses e italianos. A la postre, lo nacional vira hacia formas de sindicalismo al igual que los sindicalistas varían hacia diferentes escuelas de nacionalismo. Asumen, también, de Sorel que la disciplina, la autoridad, la solidaridad social, el sentido del deber y del sacrificio, los valores heroicos, son otras tantas condiciones necesarias para la supervivencia de la nación. El mito nacional releva al mito meramente social como motor revolucionario. Para ello, es preciso que la convicción se apodere absolutamente de la conciencia y actúe antes que los cálculos de la reflexión hayan tenido tiempo de aparecer en el espíritu. Es decir, opta por la opción de la nueva civilización que nace de la acción directa antes de la reflexión teórica. Aquí Ledesma recibe una mayor influencia soreliana que José Antonio, que a pesar de su renuncia a la torre de marfil de los intelectuales siente una cierta nostalgia por ella, visible en su Elogio y reproche a Ortega y Gasset.
La vanguardia cultural de la primera década del siglo XX, los futuristas, reciben con entusiasmo las ideas sorelianas prefascistas: Los elementos esenciales de nuestra poesía serán el coraje, la audacia y la rebelión.. Queremos derribar los museos, las bibliotecas, atacar el moralismo (...) Ensalzamos las resacas multicolores y polifónicas de las revoluciones. En pie en la cumbre del mundo, lanzamos una vez más el desafío a las estrellas. (Marinetti, 1909).
Un hecho crucial en la opinión pública occidental está en 1920. Cuando, respaldados por numerosas huelgas parciales y ocupaciones de fábricas en el norte de Italia, los nacionalsindicalistas italianos presenten su propuesta de autogestión de la industria al ministro de Trabajo, Arturo Labriola. El primer ministro Giolitti reconoce el derecho de participación de los trabajadores en las empresas. El nacionalsindicalismo italiano obtiene así una victoria épica.
Con todo ello, los sorelianos abren la tercera vía entre las dos concepciones totales del hombre y la sociedad que son el liberalismo y el marxismo, ideologías presas del racionalismo donde se prescinde de la intuición y del sentimiento en favor de un imposible concepción matemática de las ciencias sociales. El discurso de Sorel se hace transversal, basado fundamentalmente en el poder de los sindicatos pero repudiando el carácter meramente reivindicativo de éstos, es decir, su domesticación en brazos del socialismo parlamentario. Sorel repudia los pactos y acuerdos con la burguesía, así como el sistema de dominio del liberalismo democratizado: el parlamentarismo. Sorel odió tanto a la burguesía y la democracia liberal que recibió con expresiones de júbilo la revolución rusa, a pesar de haber criticado enérgicamente el leninismo de los revolucionarios profesionales. Sorel ve en Lenin la revancha del genio creador del jefe contra la vulgaridad democrática. Aconsejaba a los sindicatos alejarse del mundo corrupto de los políticos y de los intelectuales burgueses, distinguiendo entre conspiración y revolución. Sólo la segunda da vida a una nueva moral. Sólo los trabajadores más militantes -dice Sorel- son sindicalistas: El obrero de la gran industria sustituirá al guerrero de la ciudad heroica. Por tanto, los valores de ambos son comunes y el ascetismo y la eliminación del individualismo suponen características compartidas por el soldado-monje y por el obrero-combatiente. Podemos encontrar coincidencias entre el desarrollo de Sorel y el de Spengler.
 

Fascismo

Sorel no desacreditó el uso que los fascistas hacían de su nombre. De hecho, el fascismo nace de la crítica sindicalista, con un fuerte componente soreliano, al marxismo racionalista ortodoxo. El fascismo se revela contra la deshumanización introducida por la modernización en las relaciones humanas, pero, al contrario que el tradicionalismo, desea conservar celosamente los logros del progreso. La revolución fascista busca transformar la naturaleza de las relaciones entre el individuo y la comunidad sin que por ello sea necesario desbaratar el motor de la actividad económica moderna. Los sorelianos son los primeros revolucionarios surgidos de la izquierda que se niegan a cuestionar la propiedad privada. Consideran que atacarla supone confundir al enemigo real: la concepción burguesa y materialista de la existencia, que también encarnan el jacobino y el socialdemócrata.
 
sorel9788496266957.jpg
Los sorelianos se mantienen fieles a la idea de que todo progreso depende, y dependerá, de una economía de mercado, al igual que hoy defiende el economista joseantoniano Velarde Fuertes, distintas de los planteamientos estatistas de Dionisio Ridruejo. En este punto del debate, los nacionalsindicalistas se escinden, la mayoría pasa a apoyar directamente al fascismo, incluso cuando éste modera su aspecto de transformación económica de la sociedad. Otro pequeño sector, el ala izquierda, rompe con el fascismo y recupera el viejo axioma del sindicalismo revolucionario: la sociedad de trabajadores libres.
El paso de uno a otro es visible en José Antonio en la comparativa del Discurso de la Comedia de 1933 al Discurso de la revolución Española de 1935, en el que enumera cuatro tipos de propiedad: la personal, la familiar, la comunal y la sindical. Están ausentes la estatal y la correspondiente a sociedades anónimas.
En cualquier caso, con la síntesis fascista, la estética revolucionaria y heroica se convierte en parte integrante de la política y de la economía.
 

Conclusión

Sorel, en los artículos reunidos en las Ilusiones del Progreso, denuncia a Descartes, dado que sus ideas lo son de la clase dominante. Desecha el racionalismo que deviene en optimismo al entender el mundo como un inmenso almacén donde todos pueden satisfacer sus necesidades materiales. Sorel pide que el socialismo se transforme en una filosofía de comportamiento moral, donde las relaciones de los trabajadores generen una nueva ética, absolutamente distinta de la moral burguesa, el enemigo real de Sorel.
Sorel abandona el proletarismo cuando comprueba que la violencia obrera, sustentada en las reivindicaciones materiales, no eleva al proletariado al nivel de una fuerza histórica susceptible de engendrar una nueva civilización. Sorel anuncia que el sindicalismo se separa del socialismo racionalista y repudia, finalmente, a Marx y a Hegel. Sorel asume la frase de Croce y afirma: El socialismo ha muerto, cuando descubre, con amargura, que las ideas, preocupaciones, fines y comportamientos del trabajador no difieren de aquellas de los burgueses. El carácter pactista del parlamentarismo liberal ha seducido a los partidos socialistas europeos occidentales y los sindicatos, animados por la acción directa y el mito de la huelga revolucionaria, o se amoldan o se separan radicalmente del socialismo parlamentario.
Sorel se desentiende de las construcciones teóricas que anteceden a la acción. Él es un enamorado del hecho revolucionario, lo que ayuda a comprender su paso del marxismo de combate, que abandona cuando la socialdemocracia se domestica en los parlamentos, y da su posterior adhesión a los procesos de revolución nacional que sacuden Europa.
Cuando el 23 de marzo de 1919, en la plaza San Sepolcro de Milán, Mussolini funda el fascismo italiano, entre los presentes se encuentran muchos sindicalistas sorelianos, hastiados de la connivencia de la burguesía con el Partido Socialista Italiano del que también procede el futuro Duce.
En resumen, el fascismo no nace de la burguesía sino que es una escisión de la izquierda socialista, la fracción de aquellos que abominan del liberalismo parlamentario y consideran que la misión histórica del proletariado no es imponer una dictadura sino crear una civilización.
A la postre el fascismo pierde su empuje revolucionario, es decir, cuando inicia su política de pactos con la burguesía industrial, los partidos nacionales del resto de Europa rompen con él y buscan un nuevo engarce de la revolución nacional con el brío puro y antipolítico de las masas anarcosindicalistas. El mejor ejemplo lo tenemos en Ramiro Ledesma y La Conquista del Estado. Ledesma no opta por el fascismo, a pesar de su viva la Italia de Mussolini o viva la Germania de Hitler, ni por el bolchevismo, también a pesar de su viva la Rusia de Stalin, sino por algo consustancial a todos ellos, el fin de la democracia liberal, ese régimen basado en palabras del soreliano Berth, en el voto secreto...el símbolo perfecto de la democracia. Ved a ese ciudadano, ese miembro de lo soberano, que temblorosamente va a ejercer su soberanía, se esconde, elude las miradas, ninguna papeleta será lo suficientemente opaca para ocultar a las miradas indiscretas su pensamiento....
Ledesma, como Sorel y José Antonio, entienden que el trabajador está llamado a recuperar el sentimiento heroico de la existencia, antaño en manos del guerrero.
Sorel es la superación del mecanicismo marxista.. José Antonio da un paso más, superando el fascismo corporativista y enlazando la cuestión social y la nacional con el compromiso humano y utópico.
En resumen, el fascismo es un revisión del socialismo. El nacionalsindicalismo, al final, supone una superación del carácter material y pactista de ambos, entroncando con el sindicalismo revolucionario y la nacionalización del proletariado, construyendo una sociedad vertebrada sin estatismo.

lundi, 22 avril 2013

Enlightenment & Global History

Enlightenment & Global History

Posted By Domitius Corbulo

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

The history of Europe is undergoing a massive re-interpretation in the name of a World History for Us All [2]. Europe and Asia are now regularly portrayed as “surprisingly similar [3]” in their markets, standard of living, and scientific knowhow as late as 1750/1800. Jack Goldstone has even argued that there “were no cultural or institutional dynamics leading to a materially superior civilization in the West” before 1850,[1] except for the appearance in Britain, “due to a host of locally contingent [4] factors,” of an “engineering culture.” 

Academics are instructing their students that Europeans don’t inhabit a continental homeland independently of Asia and Africa. Their history has to be seen in the context of “reciprocal connections” with the globe. “The exceptional interconnectedness of Afroeurasia [5] shaped the history of this world zone in profound ways.” The only thing that stands out about Europeans was the “windfall” profits they obtained from the Americas, the “lucky” presence of coal in England, and the blood-stained manner they went about creating a new form of international slavery [6] combined with “scientific [7]” racism. Only a handful of soon-to-retire admirers of the West [8] remain.

The Enlightenment, always viewed as a European phenomenon, and respected in academia for its call upon “humanity” to subject all authority to critical reflection, is now enduring a fundamental revision as a movement that was global in origins and character. This is the view expressed in a recent article, “Enlightenment in Global History: A Historiographical Critique,” authored by Sebastian Conrad, who holds the Chair of Modern History at Freie University, Berlin. This is not an isolated paper, but a “historiographical” assessment based on current trends in the global history of the Enlightenment. The article was published in The American Historical Review, the official publication of the American Historical Association [9], and since 1895 a preeminent journal for the historical profession in the United States.

Conrad calls upon historians to move “beyond the obsession” and the “European mythology” that the Enlightenment was original to Europe:

The assumption that the Enlightenment was a specifically European phenomenon remains one of the foundational premises of Western modernity. . . . The Enlightenment appears as an original and autonomous product of Europe, deeply embedded in the cultural traditions of the Occident. . . . This interpretation is no longer tenable.

Conrad’s “critique” is vaporous, absurd, and unscholarly; a demonstration of the irrational lengths otherwise intelligent Europeans will go in their efforts to promote egalitarianism and affirmative action on a global scale. It is important for defenders of the West to see with clear eyes the extremely weak scholarship standing behind the prestigious titles and “first class” journals of many professors today. Conrad’s claims could have been taken seriously only within an academic environment bordering on pathological wishful thinking. (He is grateful to nine established academic readers plus “the anonymous reviewers” working for the AHR). The intended goal of Conrad’s paper is not truth but the dissolution of Europe’s intellectual identity within a mishmash of intercultural connections.

It should be noted that Conrad is a product of his time. The ploy to rob Europeans of their heritage has been in the making for some decades. It is no longer an affair restricted to squabbling academics looking for promotion, but has become an established reality across every high school and college in the West. This can be partly ascertained from a reading of the 2011 AP World History Standard [10], as mandated by The College Board, which was created in 1900 to expand access to higher education, with a current membership of 5,900 of the world’s leading educational institutions. This Board is very clear in its mandate that the courses developed for advanced placement in world history (for students to pursue college level studies while in high school) should “allow students to make crucial connections . . . across geographical regions.” The overwhelming emphasis of the “curriculum framework” is on “interactions,” “connected hemispheres,” “exchange and communication networks,” “interconnection of the Eastern and Western hemispheres,” and so on. For all the seemingly neutral talk about regional connections, the salient feature of this mandate is on how developments inside Europe were necessarily shaped by developments occurring in neighboring regions or even the whole world. One rarely encounters an emphasis on how developments in Asia were determined by developments in Europe – unless, of course, they point to the destructive effects of European aggression.

Thus, the Board continually mandates the teaching of topics such as: how “the European colonization of the Americas led to the spread of diseases,” how “the introduction of European settlements practices in the Americas often affected the physical environment through deforestation and soil depletion,” how “the creation of European empires in the Americas quickly fostered a new Atlantic trade system that included the trans-Atlantic slave trade,” and so on. The curriculum is thoroughly Marxist in its accent on class relations, coerced labor, “modes of production,” economic change, imperialism, gender, race relations, demographic changes, and rebellions. Europe’s contribution to painting, architecture, history writing, philosophy and science is never highlighted except when they can be interpreted as “ideologies” of the ruling (European) classes. It is not that the curriculum ignores the obvious formation of non-Western empires, but the weight is always on how, for example, the rise of “new racial ideologies, especially Social Darwinism, facilitated and justified imperialism.” Even the overwhelming reality of Europe’s contribution to science and technology in the nineteenth and twentieth century is framed as a global phenomenon in which all the regions were equal participants.[2]

A similar curriculum can be found across all the Social Sciences and Humanities in Western academia. This has been well-documented by various organizations [11] and publications. Suffice it to add that this globalist curriculum has long been promoted through countless university programs, organizations and journals, including the World History Association [12] (1982), the Journal of World History [13] (1990), the online journal World History Connected [14] (2003), and the H-World network [15]. Every single world history textbook, as far as I know, written in the last three decades or so, views Europe as an interconnected region with no special identity.[3]

Meanwhile, the Western Civilization history course, virtually a standard curriculum offering 30 years ago, disappeared from American colleges; today, only two percent [16] of colleges offer western civilization as a course requirement. No wonder the authors of recent Western Civ texts, pleading for survival, have been adopting a globalist approach; Brian Levack et al. thus writes in The West, Encounters & Transformations (2007): “we examine the West as a product of a series of cultural encounters both outside the West and within it” (xxx). They claim that one of the prominent religious features of the West was Islam. Clifford Backman, in his just released textbook, The Cultures of the West (2013), traces the origins of the West to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel; and then goes on to tell students that his book is different from previous texts in treating Islam as “essentially a Western religion” and examining “jointly” the history of Europe and the Middle Eastern world (xxii).[4]

Conrad’s article came out of this background. His article seeks to show that recent research has proven false the “standard” Eurocentric interpretation of the Enlightenment. Conrad views this standard interpretation as the “master” narrative today, which continues to exist in the face of mounting evidence against it. It is true that the Enlightenment is still viewed as uniquely European by a number of well-respected scholars such as Margaret Jacob, Gertrude Himmelfarb, and Roy Porter. It is, actually, the most-often referred Western legacy used by right wing liberals (or neoconservatives) against the multicultural emphasis on the equality of cultures. These days, defending the West has come down to defending the “universal” values of the Enlightenment – gender equality, freedom of thought, and individual rights – against the “intolerant” particularism of other cultures. The late Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Niall Ferguson, Pascal Bruckner [17] are some of the most notorious advocates of these values as universal norms that represent all human aspirations. The immigration of non-Europeans in the West poses no menace to them as long as they are transformed into happy consuming liberals. I have no interest celebrating the West from this cosmopolitan standpoint. It is commonly believe (including by members of the New Right) that the global interpretation Conrad delineates against a European-centered Enlightenment is itself rooted in the philosophes exaltation of “mankind.” Conrad knows this; in the last two paragraphs he justifies his postmodern reading of history by arguing that the Enlightenment “language of universal claim and worldwide validity” requires that its origins not be “restricted” to Europe. The Enlightenment, if it is to fulfill its universal promises, must be seen as the actual child of peoples across the world.

This is the more reason why Conrad’s arguments must be exposed, not only are they historically false, but they provide us with an opportunity to suggest (and argue further in a future paper) that the values of the Enlightenment are peculiarly European, rooted in this continent’s history, and not universally true and applicable to humanity. These values, for one, are inconsistent with Conrad’s style of research. Honest reflection based on reason and open inquiry shows that the Enlightenment was exclusively European. The great thinkers of the Enlightenment were aristocratic representatives of their people with a sense of rooted history and lineage. They did not believe (except for a rare few) that all the peoples of the earth were members of a race-less humanity in equal possession of reason. When they wrote of “mankind” they meant “European-kind.” When they wrote about equality they meant that Europeans have an innate a priori capacity to reason. When they said that “only a true cosmopolitan can be a good citizen,” they meant that European nationals should enlarge their focus and consider Europe “as a great republic.”

What concerns Conrad, however; and what will be the focus of this essay, is the promotion of a history in which the diverse cultures of the world can be seen as equal participants in the making of the Enlightenment. Conrad wants to carry to its logical conclusion the allegedly “universal” ideals of the Enlightenment, hoping to persuade Westerners that the equality and the brotherhood of mankind require the promotion of a Global Enlightenment.

Conrad blunders right from the opening when he references Toby Huff’s book, Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution, as an example of the “no longer tenable” “standard reading” of the Enlightenment. First, this book is about the uniquely “modern scientific mentality” witnessed in seventeenth century Europe, not about the eighteenth century Enlightenment. It is also a study written, as the subtitle says, from “a Global Perspective.” Rather than brushing off this book in one sentence, Conrad should have addressed its main argument, published in 2010 and based on the latest research, showing that European efforts to encourage interest in the telescope in China, the Ottoman Empire, and Mughal India “did not bear much fruit.” “The telescope that set Europeans on fire with enthusiasm and curiosity, failed to ignite the same spark elsewhere. That led to a great divergence that was to last all the way to the end of the twentieth century” (5). The diffusion of the microscope met the same lack of curiosity. Why would Asia experience an Enlightenment culture together with Europe if it only started to embrace modern science with advanced research centres in the twentieth century? This simple question does not cross Conrad’s mind; he merely cites an innocuous sentence from Huff’s book which contains the word “Enlightenment” and then, without challenging Huff’s argument, concludes that “this interpretation is no longer tenable.”

Conrad then repeats phrases to the effect that the Enlightenment needs to be seen originally as “the work of historical actors around the world.” But as he cannot come up with a single Enlightenment thinker from the eighteenth century outside Europe, he immediately introduces postmodernist lingo about “how malleable the concept” of Enlightenment was from its inception, from which point he calls for a more flexible and inclusive definition, so that he can designate as part of the Enlightenment any name or idea he encounters in the world which carries some semblance of learning. He also calls for an extension of the period of Enlightenment beyond the eighteenth century all the way into the twentieth century. The earlier “narrow definitions of the term” must be replaced by open-minded and tolerant definitions which reflect the “ambivalences and the multiplicity of Enlightenment views” across the world.

From this vantage point, he attacks the “fixed” standard view of the Enlightenment. Early on, besides Huff’s book, Conrad footnotes Peter Gay’s The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, 2 vols. (1966-1969), Dorinda Outram’s, The Enlightenment (1995), Hugh Trevor-Roper’s, History and the Enlightenment (2010), as well as The Blackwell Companion to the Enlightenment (1992). Of these, I would say that Gay is the only author who can be said to have offered a synthesis that came to be widely held, but only from about the mid-60s to the mid-70s. In the first page of his book, Gay distinctly states that “the Enlightenment was united on a vastly ambitious program, a program of secularism, humanity, cosmopolitanism, and freedom” (1966: 3). In the case of Outram’s book, it is quite odd why Conrad would include it as a standard account since the back cover alone says it will view the Enlightenment “as a global phenomenon” characterized by contradictory trends. The book’s focus is on the role of coffee houses, religion, science, gender, and government from a cross-cultural perspective. In fact, a few footnotes later, Conrad cites this same book as part of new research pointing to the “heterogeneity” and “fragmented” character of the Enlightenment. However, the book makes not claims that the Enlightenment originated in multiple places in the world, and this is clearly the reason Conrad has labeled it as part of the “standard” view.

The truth is that Conrad has no sources to back his claim that there is currently a “dominant” and uniform view. Gay, Outram, Trevor-Roper, [5] including other sources he cites later (to be addressed below), are not part of a dominant view, but evince instead what Outram noticed in her book (first published in 1995): “the Enlightenment has been interpreted in many different ways” (8). This is why Conrad soon admits that “at present, only a small – if vociferous – minority of historians maintain the unity of the Enlightenment project.” Since Gay died in 2006, Conrad then comes up with two names, Jonathan Israel and John Robertson, as scholars who apparently hold today a unified view – yet, he then concedes, in a footnote, that these two authors have “a very different Enlightenment view: for Israel the ‘real’ Enlightenment is over by the 1740s, while for Robertson it only begins then.” In other words, on the question of timing, they have diametrically different views.

“Historiographical” studies are meant to clarify the state of the literature in a given historical subject, the trends, schools of thought, and competing interpretations. Conrad instead misreads, confounds and muddles up authors and books. The reason Conrad relies on Outram, and other authors, both as “dominant” and as pleasingly diverse, is that European scholars have been long recognizing the complexity and conflicting currents within the Enlightenment at the same time that they have continued to view it as “European” with certain common themes. We thus find Outram showing appreciation for the multiplicity and variety of views espoused during the Enlightenment while recognizing certain unifying themes such as the importance of reason, “non-traditional ways of defining and legitimating power,” natural law, and cosmopolitanism (140).

Conrad needs to use the proponents of Enlightenment heterogeneity to make his case that the historiography on this subject has been moving in the non-Western direction he wishes to nudge his readers into believing. But he knows that current experts on the European Enlightenment have not identified an Enlightenment movement across the globe from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, so he must also designate them (if through insinuation) as members of a still dominant Eurocentric group.

In the end, the sources Conrad relies on to advance his globalist view are not experts of the European Enlightenment but world historians (or actually, historians of India, China, or Middle East) determined to unseat Europe from its privileged intellectual position. Right after stating that there are hardly any current proponents of the dominant view, and that “most authors stress its plural and contested character,” Conrad reverts back to the claim that there is a standard view insomuch as most scholars still see the “birth of the Enlightenment” as “entirely and exclusively a European affair” which “only when it was fully fledged was it then diffused around the globe.” Here Conrad finally footnotes a number of books which can be said to exhibit an old fashion admiration for the Enlightenment as a movement characterized by certain common concerns, though he never explains why these books are mistaken in delimiting the Enlightenment to Europe. One thing is certain, these works go beyond Gay’s thesis. Gertrude Himmelfarb’s The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments (2004), challenges the older focus on France, its anti-clericalism, and radical rejection of traditional ways, by arguing that there were English as well as American “Enlightenments” that were quite moderate in their assessments of what human reason could do to improve the human condition, respectful of age-old customs, prejudices, and religious beliefs. John Headley’s The Europeanization of the World (2008) is not about the Enlightenment but the long Renaissance. Tzvetan Todorov’s In Defence of the Enlightenment (2009), with its argument against current “adversaries of the Enlightenment, obscurantism, arbitrary authority and fanaticism,” can be effectively used against Conrad’s own unfounded and capricious efforts. The same is true of Stephen Bronner’s Reclaiming the Enlightenment (2004), with its criticism of activists on the Left for spreading confusion and for attacking the Enlightenment as a form of cultural imperialism. These two books are a summons to the Left not to abandon the critical principles inherent in the Enlightenment. Robert Louden’s, The World We Want: How and Why the Ideals of the Enlightenment Still Eludes Us (2007), ascertains the degree to which the ideals of the Enlightenment have been successfully actualized in the world, both in Europe and outside, by examining the spread of education, tolerance, rule of law, free trade, international justice and democratic rights. His conclusion, as the title indicates, is that the Enlightenment remains more an ideal than a fulfilled program.

What Conrad might have asked of these works is: why they took for granted the universal validity of ideals rooted in the soils of particular European nations? Why they all ignored the intense interest Enlightenment thinkers showed in the division of humanity into races? Why did all these books, actually, abandon the Enlightenment call for uninhibited critical thinking by ignoring the vivid preoccupation of Enlightenment thinkers with the differences, racial and cultural, between the peoples of the earth? Why did they accept (without question) the notion that the same Kant [18] who observed that (i) “so fundamental is the difference between these two races of man [black and white] . . . as great in regard to mental capacities as in color,” was thinking (ii) about “mankind” rather than European kind when he defined the Enlightenment as “mankind’s exit from its self-incurred immaturity” through the courage to use [one’s own understanding] without the guidance of another”? Contrary to what defenders of the “emancipatory project of the Enlightenment” would have us believe, these observations were not incidental but reflections expressed in multiple publications and debated heavily; what were the differences among the peoples of different climes and regions? The general consensus among Enlightenment thinkers (in response to this question) was that animals as well as humans could be arranged in systematic hierarchies. Carl Linnaeus, for example, considered Europeans, Asians, American Indians, and Africans different varieties of humanity.[6]

However, my purpose here is to assess Conrad’s global approach, not to invalidate the generally accepted view of the Enlightenment as a project for “humanity.” It is the case that Conrad wants to universalize the Enlightenment even more by seeing it as a movement emerging in different regions of the earth. The implicit message is that the ideals of this movement can become actualize if only we imagine its origins to have been global. But since none of the experts will grant him this favor, as they continue to believe it “originated only in Europe,” notwithstanding the variety and tension they have detected within this European movement, Conrad decides to designate these scholars, past and present, as members of a “dominant” or “master” narrative. He plays around with the language of postcolonial critiques — the “brutal diffusion” of Western values, “highly asymmetrical relations of power,” “paternalistic civilizing mission” — the more to condemn the Enlightenment for its unfulfilled promises, and then criticizes these scholars, too, for taking “the Enlightenment’s European origins for granted.”

Who, then, are the “many authors” who have discovered that the Enlightenment was a worldwide creation? This is the motivating question behind Conrad’s historiographical essay. He writes: “in recent years, however, the European claim to originality, to exclusive authorship of the Enlightenment, has been called into question.” He starts with a number of sources which have challenged “the image of non-Western societies as stagnating and immobile”; publications by Peter Gran on Egypt’s eighteenth century “cultural revival,” by Mark Elvin on China’s eighteenth century “trend towards seeing fewer dragons and miracles, not unlike the disenchantment that began to spread across Europe during the Enlightenment,” and by Joel Mokyr’s observation that “some developments that we associate with Europe’s Enlightenment resemble events in China remarkably.”

This is pure chicanery. First, Gran’s book, Islamic Roots of Capitalism: Egypt, 1760–1840 (1979) has little to do with Enlightenment, and much to do with the bare beginnings of modernization in Egypt, that is, the spread of monetary relations, the gradual appearance of “modern products,” the adoption of European naval and military technology, the cultivation of a bit of modern science and medicine, the introduction (finally) of Aristotelian inductive and deductive login into Islamic jurisprudence. Gran’s thesis is simply that Egyptians were not “passive” assimilators of Western ways, but did so within the framework of Egyptian beliefs and institutions (178–188). Mokyr’s essay “The Great Synergy: The European Enlightenment as a Factor in Modern Economic Growth,” argues the exact opposite as the cited phrase by Conrad would have us believe. Mokyr’s contribution to the rise of the West debate has been precisely that there was an “Industrial” Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, which should be seen as the “missing link” between the seventeenth century world of Galileo, Bacon, and Newton and the nineteenth century world of steam engines and factories. He emphasizes the rise of numerous societies in England, the creation of information networks between engineers, natural philosophers, and businessmen, the opening of artillery schools, mining schools, informal scientific societies, numerous micro-inventions that turned scientific insights into successful business propositions, including a wide range of institutional changes that affected economic behavior, resource allocation, savings, and investment. There was no such Enlightenment in China where an industrial revolution only started in the mid-twentieth century.

His citation of Elvin’s observation that the Chinese were seeing fewer dragons in the eighteenth century cannot be taken seriously, and neither can vague phrases about “strange parallels” between widely separated areas of the world. Without much analysis but through constant repetition of globalist phrases, Conrad cites works by Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Arif Dirlik, Victor Lieberman, and Jack Goody. None of these works have anything to say about the Enlightenment. Some of them simply argue that capitalist development was occurring in Asia prior to European colonization. Conrad deliberately confounds the Enlightenment with capitalism, globalization, or modernization. He makes reference to a section in Jack Goody’s book, The Theft of History (2006: 122), with the subheading “Cultural similarities in east and west,” but this section is about (broad) similarities in family patterns, culinary practices, culture of flowers, and commodity exchanges in the major post-Bronze Age societies of Eurasia. There is not a single word about the Enlightenment! He cites Dirlik’s book, Global Modernity in the Age of Global Capitalism (2009), but this book is about globalization and not the Enlightenment.

Conrad’s historiographical study is a travesty intended to dissolve European specificity by way of sophomoric use of sources. He says that the Enlightenment was “the work of many authors in different parts of the world.” What he offers instead are incessant strings of similarly worded phrases in every paragraph about the “global context,” “the conditions of globality,” “cross-border circulations,” “structurally embedded in larger global contexts.” To be sure, these are required phrases in academic grant applications assessed by adjudicators who can’t distinguish enlightening thoughts from madrasa learning based on drill repetition and chanting.

A claim that there were similar Enlightenments around the world needs to come up with some authors and books comparable in their novelty and themes. The number of Enlightenment works during the eighteenth century numbered, roughly speaking, about one thousand five hundred.[7] Conrad does not come up with a single book from the rest of the world for the same period. Half way through his 20+ page paper he finally mentions a name from India, Tipu Sultan (1750–1799), the ruler of Mysore “who fashioned himself an enlightened monarch.” Conrad has very little to say about his thoughts. From Wikipedia one gets the impression that he was a reasonably good leader, who introduced a new calendar, new coinage, and seven new government departments, and made military innovations in the use of rocketry. But he was an imitator of the Europeans; as a young man he was instructed in military tactics by French officers in the employment of his father. This should be designated as dissemination, not invention.

Then Conrad mentions the slave revolt in Haiti led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, as an example of the “hybridization” of the Enlightenment. He says that Toussaint had been influenced by European critiques of colonialism, and that his “source of inspiration” also came from slaves who had “been born in Africa and came from diverse political, social and religious backgrounds.” Haitian slaves were presumably comparable to such enlightenment thinkers as Burke, Helvetius, D’Alembert, Galiani, Lessing, Burke, Gibbon, and Laplace. But no, the point is that Haitians made their own original contributions; they employed “religious practices such as voodoo [19] for the formation of revolutionary communities.” Strange parallels indeed!

He extends the period of the Enlightenment into the 1930s and 1940s hoping to find “vibrant and heated contestations of Enlightenment in the rest of the world.” He includes names from Japan, China, India, and the Ottoman Empire, but what all of them did was to simply introduce elements of the Enlightenment into their countries. He rehearses the view that these countries offered their own versions of modernity. Then he cites the following words from Liang Qichao, the most influential Chinese thinker at the beginning of the twentieth century, reflecting on his encounter with Western literature: “Books like I have never seen before dazzle my eyes. Ideas like I have never encountered before baffle my brain. It is like seeing the sun after being confined in a dark room.” Without noticing that these words refute his argument that Asians we co-participants of the Enlightenment, Conrad recklessly takes these words as proof that “the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century was not the intellectual monopoly of Europeans.” It does not occur to him that after the eighteenth century Europe moved beyond the Enlightenment exhibiting a dizzying display of intellectual, artistic, and scientific movements: romanticism, impressionism, surrealism, positivism, Marxism, existentialism, relativism, phenomenology, nationalism, fascism, feminism, realism, and countless other isms.

In the last paragraphs, as if aware that his argument was a charade, Conrad writes that “an assessment of the Enlightenment in global history should not be concerned with origins, either geographically or temporarily.” The study of origins, one of the central concerns of the historical profession, is thusly dismissed in one sentence. Perhaps he means that the “capitalist integration of the globe in an age of imperialism” precludes seeing any autonomous origins in any area of the world. World historians, apparently, have solved the problem of origins across all epochs and regions: it always the global context. But why it is that Europe almost always happens to be the progenitor of cultural novelties? One unfortunate result of this effort to see Enlightenments everywhere is the devaluation of the actual Enlightenment. If there were Enlightenment everywhere why should students pay any special attention to Europe’s great thinkers? It should come as no surprise that students are coming out with PhDs incapable of making distinctions between high and average achievements.

Alan Macfarlane, Professor Emeritus of King’s College, Cambridge, and longtime proponent of the idea that it was in western Europe between the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries that the “Nuclear Family based on Romantic Love, the Renaissance, Capitalism, the Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution complex emerged,” has recently [20] observed that current efforts to explain Western uniqueness in global terms should be seen as responses to the rise of East Asia and its challenge to Western hegemony. The rise of the West, in light of this momentous rearrangement in geopolitical power, no longer seems so unusual, a “miracle,” but a phenomenon of short duration copied by other nations set to become the new hegemons. Macfarlane thinks it is important to reveal this background condition, and thereby disallow it from interfering with the actual historical record. Asia is rising today, but the West did so first in a very distinctive way.

This perspective strikes me as overtly academic and soft in its assessment of the underlying intentions driving the globalist historians. Macfarlane is a learned man who came of age in an England [21] long gone and suffering a huge ethnic alteration. The way this alteration was imposed, who and for what purposes, should be the background from which to evaluate this global perspective. The originality of the Enlightenment stands like an irritating thorn in the march towards equality and European nations inhabited by rootless cosmopolitan citizens without ethnic and nationalist roots. The achievements of Europeans must be erased from memory, replaced by a new history in which every racial group feels equally validated inside the Western world. In the meantime, the rise of Asians as Asians continues unabated and celebrated in Western academia.

Notes

1. “Capitalist Origins, the Advent of Modernity, and Coherent Explanation,” Canadian Journal of Sociology, 33, 1 (2008).

2. When I asked an American history teacher about The College Board, he replied: “The Board has a monopoly on the entire AP curriculum all across America and Canada and the rest of the world that buys into the program, i.e., ‘American schools’ anywhere and everywhere. And yes it is totally Marxist and it sickens me whenever the students have to regurgitate this totally one-sided perspective on the tests. Because the AP tests are based on the official curriculum, each AP World teacher must submit their syllabus to the board for approval. If the board does not approve, the school does not have the right to offer the test and the class is nullified. They have a tight grip on everything that goes on in the classroom, therefore. The trainings are something out of one of those university diversity trainings: anti-Western to the tilt. When they talk about European accomplishments, they do it tongue-in-cheek.”

3. For a thorough assessment of the pedagogical character of recent world history texts, which also covers world or universal historians from ancient times, see the 800-page survey by David Tamm, Universal History and the Telos of Human Progress (University of Antarctica Press, 2012). Tamm is an MA graduate aware that pursuing a PhD is virtually impossible if one rejects multiculturalism and mass immigration. He has founded his own virtual university in Antarctica with a publishing house.

A Wisconsin Policy Institute Research Report published in 2002, “Evaluating World History Texts in Wisconsin Public High Schools,” by Paul Kengor, made the following observations: “they avoid ethnocentrism, Euro-centrism, and so-called “Ameri-centrism;” “there are also multicultural excesses at the expense of the West;” “they include no section on the United States…Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Hamilton, and Lincoln are not mentioned even once;” “the most commonly named individuals in the texts are Mohammed, Gandhi, and Gorbachev;” “nearly all note the aggressive actions of Christianity in the distant past.” See: http://www.wpri.org/Reports/Volume15/Vol15no4.pdf [22]

4. Writing about Western Civ texts from a globalist approach has been building up since the 1990s; in this article published in 1998, Michael Doyle [23] asks teachers of Western Civ “to continue to incorporate a more inclusive approach to all cultures with which it [the West] came into contact.” “Certainly Western Civ students should read parts of the Qur’an and understand the attitudes that produced Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth.” He refers to Eric Hobsbawm’s [24] widely read books on European history as a model to be followed.

5. Designating Trevor-Roper’s History and the Enlightenment as a “standard” account seems out of place. Trevor-Roper died in 2003; and when his book was published, which consisted mainly of old essays, reviewers seemed more interested in Trevor-Roper the person than the authority on the Enlightenment. The New Republic [25] (March 2011) review barely touches is views on the Enlightenment, concentrating on Trevor-Roper’s life-time achievements as a historian and a man of letters. The Washington Post [26] (June 2010) correctly notes that Trevor-Roper was an “essayist by inclination,” interested in the details and idiosyncrasies of the characters he wrote about, without postulating a unified vision. The Blackwell Companion to the Enlightenment is a reference source encompassing many subjects from philosophy to art history, from science to music, with numerous topics (not demonstrative of a unifying/dominant view) ranging from absolutism to universities and witchcraft, publishing, language, art, music and the theater, including several hundred biographical entries of diverse personalities. Better examples of a dominant discourse would have been Ernest Cassirer’s The Philosophy of the Enlightenment or Norman Hampson’s, The Enlightenment. Mind you, Cassirer’s book was published in the 1930s and Hampson’s survey in 1968, and neither one is now seen as “dominant.”

6. Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze, ed., Race and the Enlightenment: A Reader (1997).

7. This is an approximate number I came up after counting the compilation of primary works cited in The Cambridge History of Eighteenth Century Philosophy, Volume II, Ed. Knud Haakonssen, (2006), pp. 1237–93.

 


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/04/enlightenment-and-global-history/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/prometheus.jpg

[2] World History for Us All: http://worldhistoryforusall.sdsu.edu/

[3] surprisingly similar: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/6823.html

[4] locally contingent: http://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/11/04/jack-goldstone/how-an-engineering-culture-launched-modernity/

[5] Afroeurasia: http://worldhistoryconnected.press.illinois.edu/5.2/christian.html

[6] slavery: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/30/king-cottons-long-shadow/?ref=opinion

[7] scientific: http://www.amazon.com/Eastern-Origins-Western-Civilisation/dp/0521547245

[8] admirers of the West: http://www.arktos.com/christmas-sale/roger-scruton-west-and-rest-globalisation-terrorism-threat.html

[9] American Historical Association: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVaQIOPwFcA

[10] AP World History Standard: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/AP_WorldHistoryCED_Effective_Fall_2011.pdf

[11] organizations: http://www.campusreform.org/

[12] World History Association: http://www.thewha.org/

[13] Journal of World History: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journal_of_World_History

[14] World History Connected: http://worldhistoryconnected.press.illinois.edu/

[15] H-World network: http://www.h-net.org/~world/

[16] two percent: http://www.nas.org/images/documents/TheVanishingWest.pdf

[17] Pascal Bruckner: http://www.signandsight.com/features/1146.html

[18] same Kant: http://www.public.asu.edu/~jacquies/kant-observations.htm

[19] voodoo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KsVMHbLv5M

[20] recently: http://www.socanth.cam.ac.uk/2012/12/the-huxley-memorial-lecture-professor-alan-macfarlane-at-the-rai/

[21] England: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3HpaC7mKEA

[22] http://www.wpri.org/Reports/Volume15/Vol15no4.pdf: http://www.wpri.org/Reports/Volume15/Vol15no4.pdf

[23] Michael Doyle: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/1998/9805/9805TEC.CFM

[24] Eric Hobsbawm’s: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2211961/Eric-Hobsbawm-He-hated-Britain-excused-Stalins-genocide-But-traitor-too.html

[25] The New Republic: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/84508/hugh-trevor-roper-oxford-review

[26] Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/23/AR2010062305093.html

vendredi, 19 avril 2013

Écrire contre la modernité

 
 modernity.jpg
Entretien avec Pierre Le Vigan
Plusieurs lecteurs m’ont posé des questions à propos de mon dernier livre Écrire contre la modernité, oralement ou par écrit. J’ai regroupé ces questions (ou remarques) sous  un nom collectif : les lecteurs curieux (ou L.L.C.).
L.L.C. : Dans votre dernier livre, vous relativisez la continuité entre les Lumières et la Révolution française. Vous êtes ainsi au rebours d’une analyse qui, généralement située à droite, souligne la continuité entre les deux. Cela mérite quelques explications.
Pierre Le Vigan : Je souligne effectivement que les hommes des Lumières qui étaient encore vivants en 1789 ont été généralement hostiles à la Révolution, à l’exception de Condorcet, qui en sera toutefois victime comme Girondin. La plupart des hommes des Lumières encore vivants ont été hostiles non seulement au moment 1793 – 94 de la Révolution mais aussi dès 1789. Dès ce moment, la violence est le moteur de la Révolution, ce qu’ils refusent, qu’il s’agisse de la « prise de la Bastille » qui fut en fait le massacre de ses défenseurs (malgré la parole donnée), ou des journées des 5 et 6 octobre 89, où le roi est ramené de force à Paris. En ce sens, la Révolution est un bloc comme le disait Clémenceau. Or, l’esprit des Lumières ne se reconnaît pas dans cette rupture avec l’ordre ancien alors qu’il aspire de son côté à un bien s’instaurant progressivement, à une sorte d’ordre naturel fondé sur la raison qui déploierait son harmonie, ce qui est incompatible avec les soubresauts sanglants qui constituent le rythme de la Révolution française.
En réalité, le principal lien qui existe entre la Révolution française et les Lumières se fait à travers Rousseau. Mais on le sait : Rousseau occupe une place à part dans les Lumières. C’est l’un des sujets que j’aborde dans le livre. L’idéologie sommaire dite des Lumières n’a pas grand-chose à voir avec la réalité complexe et multiforme de penseurs trop importants pour être réductibles à un courant idéologique comme Rousseau, Diderot ou  Voltaire.
S’il y a continuité entre un homme rattaché aux Lumières et la Révolution, c’est donc de Rousseau qu’il s’agit. La continuité existe dans la mesure où Rousseau ne croît pas à la possibilité d’un mouvement continu de progrès mais croît dans le constructivisme. En ce sens, sans préjuger de l’attitude qui aurait été la sienne, il est en phase avec l’esprit de la Révolution qui prétend tout reconstruire, et là, il y a continuité entre 1789 et 1794, les  principales différences entre la phase 1789 et la phase robespierriste de 1794 étant le passage d’une Terreur spontanée et « populaire » (au pire sens du terme, c’est-à-dire populacier) à une Terreur d’État, mais aussi le passage de la  souveraineté nationale au projet d’une souveraineté populaire. L’autre lien très fort entre Rousseau et la Révolution française est l’exaltation de l’esprit antique et tout particulièrement de la notion de vertu civique. La Révolution française se veut exemplaire et romaine. Ici, il y a continuité entre l’« antiquo-futurisme » de Rousseau et la Révolution française.
La continuité s’établit donc pour des raisons que l’on peut trouver « sympathiques » telles l’esprit civique et le culte du citoyens et pour des raisons très contestables à savoir l’aspiration non seulement à une société bonne mais à une société totalement bonne, absolument bonne, ce qui conduit inévitablement au totalitarisme, comme tous les rêves d’absolu. En ce sens, Marcel Déat n’avait sans doute pas complètement tort de voir une continuité entre Rousseau, la Révolution française, Robespierre (qu’il admirait et approuvait), et le national-socialisme allemand (dont Déat voyait bien les aspects modernistes – la « Révolution brune » – mais sous-estimait sans doute les aspects réactionnaires, eux aussi présents). Il aurait pu ajouter le bolchevisme. Rousseau est donc l’exception qui confirme la règle : il est le seul penseur des Lumières en continuité d’idées avec la Révolution française. Mais il l’est en partie pour des raisons contestables comme la volonté d’une table rase et d’un retour artificiel  à un passé antique mythifié. À ce sujet, il faut noter qu’il serait difficile de défendre Rousseau et de voir avec sympathie les mouvements localistes et anticentralistes comme la Fronde ou la révolte vendéenne.
L.L.C. : À vous lire, vous paraissez beaucoup plus proche des auteurs républicains tels Alain Finkielkraut et Éric Zemmour que des révolutionnaires-conservateurs de la « Nouvelle Droite ». Vous paraissez éloigné des communautariens et proche des assimilationnistes. En d’autres termes, vous semblez un défenseur de l’idée stato-nationale. Qu’en est-il ?
P.L.V. : Dans la notion d’État-nation, c’est la nation qui doit être essentielle. L’État doit être un outil au service de la nation. Je ne crois pas que l’on puisse se passer de l’État. Attention : moins d’État, ce peut être plus de bureaucratie. C’est justement d’ailleurs ce qui se passe où nous souffrons d’une impuissance de l’État sur les grandes questions, impuissance mêlée à une omniprésence des pouvoirs publics dans nombre de domaines où ils ne devraient pas être présents tel la sécurité routière où s’impose une réglementation tatillonne attentatoire aux libertés les plus élémentaires. Dans la construction européenne d’aujourd’hui, la nation est la grande perdante car le lien entre l’État et la nation est perdu. Pseudo-régionalisme de féodalités locales d’une part, bureaucratie bruxelloise de l’autre, la nation s’affaisse au milieu de cela. L’État français n’est plus apte qu’à appliquer des réglementations européennes.
Il est tout à fait exact que je suis hostile à la déconstruction des nations. Qu’il y ait des identités locales, en Catalogne, en Bretagne, ailleurs, cela ne doit pas se traduire par un monolinguisme régional, ni même par l’obligation administrative d’un bilinguisme. Le niveau national est le moyen de peser plus lourd dans la mondialisation que le niveau régional. Il faut préserver ce « niveau » (le terme n’est pas élégant mais a le mérite d’être clair) national.  En ce sens, je salue le grand travail unificateur de la République, à la fois la Ire République et la IIIe République, ou celui réalisé en Turquie par Mustapha Kemal. Ce n’est d’ailleurs pas l’école républicaine de Jules Ferry qui a fait disparaître les particularismes locaux, c’est la modernité technicienne et c’est pourquoi les particularismes n’ont vraiment disparu qu’après 1945. Il faut lire sur ce sujet Jean-Pierre Le Goff, La fin du village. Une histoire française (Gallimard, 2012). De même, dans les pays de l’Est de l’Europe, la modernité capitaliste a plus détruit les cultures locales en vingt ans que ne l’a fait le communisme, pourtant dévastateur et meurtrier, en quarante-cinq ans.
Si je défends la nation, c’est aussi parce que c’est encore le cadre le mieux adapté à l’exercice de la démocratie. C’est pourquoi je rends hommage à  des figures républicaines classiques bien qu’oubliées tel Jean Prévost. Pour ses positions politiques tout comme pour ses qualités littéraires. « Il ne faut pas considérer l’auteur des Frères Bouquinquant, écrivait justement Roger Nimier, comme un écrivain mort trop jeune, qui n’a pas trouvé toute son audience, mais comme un prix Nobel en puissance et le maître d’une génération. » Je crois d’ailleurs beaucoup à la valeur d’exemplarité des esprits que l’on pourrait appeler « fermement modérés », dont Montaigne ou Jean Prévost sont  des exemples.
La modernité est pernicieuse : c’est le refus des limites du réel, et c’est en même temps le rêve d’une fin de l’histoire. La modernité refuse la dialectique de l’histoire. Cela peut prendre la forme du rêve d’une société sans classes, ou d’une société sans races. Au fond, le projet du communisme et celui du libéralisme ont des points communs, à ceci près que dans l’homogénéisation du monde, le libéralisme est plus efficace que le communisme. Du reste, le communisme n’a eu qu’un temps, tandis que le libéralisme se porte bien. En outre, compte tenu de sa dimension idéologique, le communisme est (était) en effet obligé de faire des pauses, tandis que le libéralisme peut mener son projet sans obstacles, avec pragmatisme, en jouant à la fois des aspirations à l’égalité et des aspirations à cultiver les différences. Il s’agit bien entendu toujours de petites différences anecdotiques compatibles avec le grand marché mondial. Ainsi, le libéralisme est à la fois égalitaire – il n’accepte pas les reproductions de castes fermées – et communautariste – il souhaite des niches de consommateurs pourvu que celles-ci ne soient pas fondées sur des valeurs durables.
Ce qui fait le caractère déraisonnable de la modernité, c’est donc la croyance au Progrès, et non simplement à des progrès. De là vient aussi l’idée qu’il n’y a pas de nature de l’homme, que l’on peut donc tout faire de l’homme et avec l’homme, que l’homme est totalement malléable. Cette idée est très dangereuse et nie tout ce que nous apprend l’éthologie humaine. L’homme n’est pas un animal, mais il reste un animal. Tout n’est pas possible avec l’homme, sauf à le rendre fou et malheureux. « Nous n’avons pas envie de légitimer des sociétés qui font n’importe quoi avec l’homme » écrit justement Chantal Delsol.
L.L.C. : Y a-t-il des auteurs que vous regrettez de ne pas avoir évoqué ?
P.L.V. : À chaque jour devrait suffire sa peine. Vieille sagesse que nous avons souvent du mal – moi le premier – à accepter. On rêve toujours d’un livre meilleur, plus complet, mieux équilibré, plus abouti. Les ouvrages totalement réussis sont rares. Sur le seul plan des auteurs dont je n’ai pas parlé, il y a bien entendu des manques qui – si je puis dire – me manquent. Il est ainsi bien évident que Hannah Arendt me paraît un auteur contre-moderne fondamental, qu’Heidegger est très présent dans la problématique moderne/contre-moderne sans qu’il fasse l’objet d’un de mes chapitres, que Günther Anders lui aussi me paraît important, et est en outre très attachant – il faut le dire car nous sommes tous aussi des êtres de subjectivité. J’apprends aussi toujours beaucoup à la lecture de Massimo Cacciari. Je sais bien aussi que Drieu la Rochelle, sans être philosophe, était passionné par les questions de la modernité, et que sous divers angles, il les a abordées, non sans cruauté (d’abord avec lui-même). Je ne méconnais pas que Frédéric Schiffter est à l’origine d’une critique absolument radicale des arrières-mondes – et l’idéologie du progrès en fait partie, tout comme Clément Rosset (sur lequel j’ai écrit dans Éléments) a pu démontrer – ou tout simplement rappeler – que Platon avait inventé le moyen de penser à autre chose qu’au réel. Bref, la contre-modernité est vivante et ne cesse de s’alimenter de nouvelles figures. Car au vrai elle relève de l’insurrection de la vie contre le machinal. De la chair contre l’intellect, de l’âme contre l’esprit. C’est dire aussi que la contre-modernité ne se débarrassera jamais de la modernité.

Tradition Betrayed: The False Prophets of Modernism

Tradition Betrayed: The False Prophets of Modernism

00:05 Publié dans Philosophie | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : philosophie, tradition, traditionalisme, modernité | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

jeudi, 18 avril 2013

Systemverbesserung oder Systemüberwindung?

Ob schwarz oder rot, Politiker seien immer das gleiche Gesindel, soll Thomas Bernhard gemeint haben. Dieser Meinung scheinen sich, und zwar nicht allein auf die beiden Erwähnten bezogen, immer mehr aufgeklärte Bürger angeschlossen zu haben.                

Fest steht, den traditionellen Parteien steht das Wasser unterschiedlich bis zum Hals, und ob sie auf ihrer bisherigen Erfolgswelle weiter schwimmen können, wird schon der nächste Herbst zeigen, darf aber stark bezweifelt werden.

Die Gunst der Stunde nützen daher immer mehr Initiativen und Neugründungen, über deren Chancen zumindest in zwei Fällen, dem des Team Stronach in Österreich und dem der Alternative für Deutschland, (ADL) sich schon Zuverlässigeres über deren Chancen sagen ließe. Interessanterweise läßt sich bei beiden Neugründungen neben Demokratiefreundlichkeit und rechtsstaatlicher Reformbereitschaft eine nicht unwesentliche ökonomielastige Orientierung und Motivation erkennen.

Wie weit nun diese beiden und andere Mitbewerber auch wieder nur Partikularinteressen vertreten, könnte sich noch in aller Klarheit zeigen. Aber unabhängig davon ist natürlich jede Neubelebung des politischen Lagers zu begrüßen. Die traditionellen Parteien haben ausgedient, sind ermattet und orientierungslos. Schlimmer noch: sie sind in ihrem weltanschaulichen Kern derart geschwächt, so daß ihnen der Antriebsstoff im Inneren abhanden gekommen ist.

Nun scheint es aber so zu sein, daß der eine oder andere Neo-Parteiführer alles andere als ein erfahrenre politischer Kämpe ist, schon gar nicht ein solcher, der gesamtgesellschaftliche Anstöße im Sinne einer  neuen weltanschaulichen Richtung vorgeben möchte oder könnte.

Wie gesagt, scheint es so. Dazu wäre außerdem, wie zuletzt zwei Beispiele in Österreich gezeigt haben, eine höhere  Kunst der Integrationsleistung erforderlich., was Geld oder Großsprech allein auf Dauer gewiß nicht schaffen können.

Ob es außerdem, wie in einem Fall, genügt, zur Balance und Bündelung einige selbstverständliche moralische oder sonstige Werte als strategischen Punkt voranzustellen? Daß es zwei oder drei entscheidenden Botschaften bedarf, um eine Partei nach vorne zu bringen, ist schon klar. Sind diese aber stark genug um bruchsichere parteiinterne Integration und anhaltende Bindungen zu schaffen? Und wenn, mit welchem gesamtgesellschaftlichem Ziel?

Die Zielfrage des politischen Einsatzes hat jedenfalls mehr zu sein als den EURO in Frage zu stellen oder abzulehnen, hat sogar mehr zu sein als dem Nationalstaat wieder mehr Kompetenzen zu verschaffen. Beides ist wichtig, sogar sehr wichtig, es könnte sich aber an einem entscheidenden Punkt als nicht genügend genug erweisen, dem der Systemfrage. Diese in inhaltlicher wie auch organisatorischer Hinsicht.

Das ist nämlich des Pudels Kern: Wenn, wie Frank Stronach meint, und ich denke bei der ADL wird es ähnlich sein, es nur darum geht „zu einer Systemverbesserung beizutragen“, dann wird eben am Ende gerade jenes System effizienter gemacht und am Leben erhalten, daß uns als Volk und Gesellschaft an den Rand des Abgrundes geführt hat. Also gewissermaßen nicht Systemüberwindung, sondern Systemrettung als Ziel?

Wer aber in der Sackgasse steckt, dem nützt eine Kurskorrektur nicht, er muß umkehren. Er muß die Ursachen einer ganz allgemeinen Fehlentwicklung aufspüren und beseitigen versuchen, die Probleme an der Wurzel anpacken und dazu natürlich  in größeren Zusammenhängen und Zeiträumen denken können.                                         

Spektakuläre Einzelmaßnahmen und spezielle politische Dienstleistungen im Interesse der Verursacher der Krise, die ja in Wirklichkeit total ist,  hielt ich für wenig sinnvoll und noch weniger wünschenswert.

Am Ende des Tages harrt die eine Frage einer Beantwortung: Welches Österreich? Welches Deutschland? Schlaraffenland für Spekulanten, Abzocker, Kriminelle und Scheinasylanten? Spielwiese der Globalisierer? Multikulti-Paradies nach Geschmack rot-grüner oder liberaler Weltverbesserer? Oder souveräner Nationalstaat als Wahrer und Garant kultureller wie nationaler Identität, von am Gemeinwohl orientierter ökosozialer Volkswirtschaft, nicht zuletzt von Rede- und Meinungsfreiheit?                                                                                                                              

Ein solcher, freier und unabhängiger Staat, der bereit ist, in der Besinnung auf die Wurzeln und geschichtlichen Grundlagen der eigenen wie auch der anderen nationalen Kulturen Europas alle geistigen und menschlichen Kräfte für eine wahre europäische Gemeinschaft in einem revolutionärem Ruck  zu mobilisieren, ist gefragt. Von den Neuen auch erwünscht?  Wer den schaffen will, der sollte es laut und deutlich sagen.  Der Glaubwürdigkeit wegen.

Oswald Spengler. The decline of the West.

Oswald Spengler. The decline of the West.

Part 6 of 6 (other parts included)

mercredi, 17 avril 2013

Guy Debord als Gesellschaftskritiker

debordxxx.jpg

Guy Debord als Gesellschaftskritiker

von Stephan Grigat

Ex: http://www.contextxxi.at/

 
Guy Debords Kunst- und Medienkritik kann nur vor dem Hintergrund seiner allgemeinen Kritik bürgerlicher Vergesellschaftung begriffen werden.

Guy Debord und die Situationistische Internationale erfahren in den letzten Jahren auch im deutschsprachigen Raum vermehrte Aufmerksamkeit. Zum einen wurde Debords Hauptwerk, "Die Gesellschaft des Spektakels", erneut aufgelegt. Zum anderen wurde das Augenmerk einer größeren Öffentlichkeit durch Ausstellungen wie beispielsweise jene in Wien Anfang 1998 auf die Aktivitäten der Situationisten gelenkt. In der Regel ging diese verstärkte Rezeption mit einer Reduzierung der Anliegen Debords und anderer Situationisten auf kunst-, kultur- oder auch medientheoretische Fragestellungen einher. Was Greil Marcus bereits für den Anfang der achtziger Jahre konstatiert, trifft um so mehr auf die leise Rennaissance der situationistischen Schriften Ende der neunziger Jahre zu: Das Spektakel ist "zu einer modischen Platitüde der Kritik geworden, zu einem unscharfen, inhaltsleeren Begriff. Er bedeutet nur, daß das Bild einer Sache die Sache selbst überlagerte. Kritiker benutzten dieses Klischee nicht, um nachzudenken oder sich etwas vorzustellen, sondern um sich zu beklagen."1 Je größer die Begeisterung und das Interesse für die kunst- und kulturkritischen Schriften Debords wird, desto weniger Beachtung findet die radikale Gesellschaftskritik, die Debords Kunst- und Kulturkritik zugrunde liegt. Debord selbst hat darauf hingewiesen, daß die Ersetzung seines Begriffs "Spektakel" durch weitläufige Betrachtungen zum Mediensektor seinen Intentionen nicht mehr entspricht, da dadurch die eigentliche Grundlage des Spektakels, die kapitalistische Warenproduktion, affirmiert wird.

Mit wenigen Ausnahmen wird heute versucht, den Kritiker des modernen Warenspektakels selbst zum kritischen Bestandteil des Spektakels zu machen. Exemplarisch für solch eine Art der Beschäftigung mit Debord sei hier nur Sebastian Reinfeld genannt, der über die Lektüre von Louis Althusser und Nicos Poulantzas zielsicher bei den Grünen gelandet ist und sich heute für die "wunderschönen Texte" der Situationisten begeistert,2 ohne den in ihnen propagierten radikalen Bruch mit der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft ernst zu nehmen.

Debords Kritik sträubt sich weitgehend gegen Vereinnahmungen. In der Linken machte er sich vor allem dadurch unbeliebt, daß er sich entgegen aller Moden weigerte, positiv auf irgendein existierendes staatssozialistisches Modell Bezug zu nehmen, gleichzeitig aber auch sämtliche Kritiker und Kritikerinnen der Staatssozialismen auf’s Korn nahm, sobald diese dem realen Sozialismus einen idealen als Identitätsersatz entgegensetzten. Debord gehörte schon früh zu den wenigen, die es schafften, sich sowohl gegen Stalin als auch gegen Trotzki und Lenin zu wenden. Er kritisierte früh das maoistische China wie auch die europäischen Maoisten und Maoistinnen. Aber auch am Anarchismus oder dem Strukturalismus hatte er genügend auszusetzen. Auch jene Theoretiker, auf die er sich mitunter bezieht, und deren Einfluß auf sein Denken in seinen Schriften recht deutlich wird, sind, wie beispielsweise Georg Lukács, Gegenstand kritischer Auseinandersetzung. So zeigte sich dann auch die deutschsprachige Linke weitgehend desinteressiert an der Kritik und den praktischen Experimenten der Gruppe von situationistischen Theoretikern und Antipolitikern, "die keine der zahlreichen linken Ikonen anerkannte, die Revolution neu erfinden wollte und jede populistische Verwässerung ihrer Kritik zurückwies."3

Bei den universitären Theorieverwaltern und -verwalterinnen machte er sich durch seine konsequente Kritik an der akademischen Wissensproduktion nachhaltig unbeliebt. So wie Marx seine Kritik schon früh von der interesselosen Wissenschaft klar abgegrenzt hat, indem er postulierte, daß die Kritik in ihrem Gegenstand ihren Feind erblickt, den sie "nicht widerlegen, sondern vernichten will",4 so war sich Debord, der sich nachdrücklich gegen die Einteilung des Denkens in Wissenschaftsdisziplinen aussprach, über die zwangsläufige Unwissenschaftlichkeit seines beabsichtigten praktischen Unterfangens im klaren: "Das Projekt, die Wirtschaft zu überwinden, von der Geschichte Besitz zu ergreifen, kann nicht selbst wissenschaftlich sein, auch wenn es die Wissenschaft der Gesellschaft kennen — und zu sich zurückführen — muß."5 Die modernen Sozialwissenschaften betreiben nur mehr eine "spektakuläre Kritik des Spektakels". (168) Das akademische Denken des Spektakels hat sich dadurch zu einer "allgemeinen Wissenschaft des falschen Bewußtseins" (167) herausgebildet. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser Akademismus- und Wissenschaftskritik gelangt Debord zu einem Wahrheitsbegriff, der im eklatanten Widerspruch zu jedem übergesellschaftlichen und überhistorischen Wahrheits- und Erkenntnisbegriff steht: "Die Wahrheit dieser Gesellschaft ist nichts anderes als die Negation dieser Gesellschaft." (178) Diese Kritik am bürgerlichen Wahrheits- und Rationalitätsbegriff findet sich auch bei Autoren aus dem Umfeld der Situationisten wieder. Emile Marenssin wendet sich in seiner Schrift aus dem Jahr 1972 nachdrücklich gegen einen Vernunftbegriff, der losgelöst von der eigenen kritisch-praktischen Intention existiert: "Vom Standpunkt des Kapitals aus betrachtet, wird der Kommunismus die Gesellschaft des Irrationalen sein, die Gesellschaft der Verrückten. (...) Die Rationalität des Kommunismus wird die Irrationalität des Kapitalismus sein."6

Setzt sich das Feuilleton oder die Sozialwissenschaft heute mit Debord auseinander, wird er vor allem als weitsichtiger Kritiker des Medienzeitalters rezipiert. Dagegen soll der Vordenker der Situationisten hier als früher Fetischkritiker präsentiert werden, der sich explizit auf die Kategorien der Marxschen Werttheorie bezogen hat.7

 

Henri Lefebvre als Stichwortgeber

Debords Thesen zum Zustand der Warengesellschaft im Jahre 1967 sind nicht im luftleeren Raum entstanden. Zum einen sind sie vor dem Hintergrund der sich bereits ankündigenden Ereignisse des Jahres 1968 zu verstehen. Zum anderen stehen sie in einer bestimmten Theorietradition, die von Debord selbst deutlich dokumentiert wurde. Stark geprägt wurde er sowohl durch die Lektüre von Lukács als auch durch die Schriften Henri Lefebvres. Anfänglich standen die Situationisten in engem Kontakt mit Lefebvre. Später wurde er Ziel wüster Polemiken von Debord und von anderen Mitgliedern der Situationistischen Internationale. Lefebvre orientierte sich stark an den "Ökonomisch-philosophischen Manuskripten" von Marx. Dementsprechend hat er in seinem Hauptwerk den Entfremdungsbegriff ins Zentrum seiner Überlegungen gestellt. Lefebvre versucht aber, die Entfremdung immer wieder auf den Fetischismus zu beziehen. Bei Lefebvre finden sich Ansätze, die Kritik des Fetischismus über die Analyse des Waren-, Geld- und Kapitalfetischs auszudehnen. So spricht er beispielsweise vom "Fetischismus des Staates".8 Er führt aus, daß gewisse "menschliche Produkte gegenüber der menschlichen Wirklichkeit als eine undurchdringliche, nicht beherrschte Natur (funktionieren), die von außen auf sein Bewußtsein und seinen Willen wirkt." Das sei in der Regel zwar nur scheinbar so, aber dieser Schein ist zugleich immer auch Realität. Nicht nur die Ware, das Geld und das Kapital, sondern auch "der Staat, die Rechtsinstitutionen, die ökonomischen und politischen Apparate, die Ideologien, (...) funktionieren als Wirklichkeiten, die außerhalb des Menschen sind."9 Sie stehen den Menschen als eigengesetzliche Wirklichkeiten gegenüber, obwohl sie nur Produkte der Menschen sind.

Durch die zentrale Stellung, die die Begriffe Entfremdung und Fetischismus in Lefebvres "Kritik des Alltagslebens" einnehmen, kann der nach dem 2. Weltkrieg aus der französischen KP ausgeschlossene Philosophieprofessor als einer der wichtigsten Stichwortgeber von Debord gelten. Seine Orientierung am jungen Marx, seine teilweise widersprüchliche Begriffsverwendung wie auch seine Betonung der Unerlässlichkeit der Kategorie der Totalität, dürften Debord nachhaltig beeinflußt haben.

Auch Lefebvres Hauptanliegen, die Orientierung auf den Alltag, wird von Debord fortgesetzt. Beide betrachten den konkreten Alltag als jene Sphäre, in der die Veränderung ansetzen muß. In der Alltäglichkeit des Lebens der Menschen in der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft materialisiert sich der Fetischismus der objektiven Gedankenformen aus der Ökonomie. Daher soll er auch dort, im Alltagsleben der bürgerlichen Subjekte, nach Lefebvre und Debord durchbrochen werden.

Vollendeter Fetischismus

debord.jpgDebords Beschreibung der Totalität des Fetischismus und der Ware beginnt in unmittelbarer Anlehnung an das Marxsche "Kapital", dessen ersten Satz er paraphrasiert: "Das ganze Leben der Gesellschaften, in welchen die modernen Produktionsbedingungen herrschen, erscheint als eine ungeheure Sammlung von Spektakeln." (13) Eine explizit feststehende Definition des Begriffs Spektakel gibt Debord in seiner Schrift von 1967 nicht. Er umkreist ihn vielmehr und beschreibt ihn in seinen realen Erscheinungen und ex negativo. Im Begriff des Spektakels ist bei Debord der Begriff des Kapitals, wenn auch gegenüber der Marxschen Herleitung in vereinfachter Form, und der des Fetischismus aufgehoben: "Das Spektakel ist das Kapital in einem solchen Grad der Akkumulation, daß es zum Bild wird." (27) Er begreift das Spektakel als gesteigerte Form des Fetischismus: "Das Prinzip des Warenfetischismus ist es, (...), das sich absolut im Spektakel vollendet, wo die sinnliche Welt durch eine über ihr schwebende Auswahl von Bildern ersetzt wird, welche sich zugleich als das Sinnliche schlechthin hat anerkennen lassen." (31f.) Marx hat die Verwandlung menschlicher Beziehungen in die Beziehungen von Dingen beschrieben. Debord greift dies auf und beschreibt die Verwandlung der menschlichen Beziehungen in die Beziehung zwischen Bildern,10 die den Menschen noch äußerlicher erscheinen als die Dinge. Anders als in einigen postmodernen Diskursen hingegen, die dazu tendieren, alles in Bilder aufgelöst zu sehen, und die daher keine Realität mehr kennen, die in ihrer Gesamtheit kritisiert werden könnte, bleibt das Bild bei Debord auf die gesellschaftliche fetischistische Totalität, auf die materielle Realität rückbezogen.

Eine Formulierung, die als zusammenfassende Definition des modernen Spektakels gelesen werden kann, findet sich erst in Debords Text "Kommentare zur Gesellschaft des Spektakels", der aus dem Jahr 1988 stammt, also 21 Jahre nach der Erstveröffentlichung von "Die Gesellschaft des Spektakels" erschienen ist und in die deutsche Neuauflage von Debords Hauptwerk übernommen wurde. Dort faßt Debord zusammen, was unter dem Begriff des Spektakels zu verstehen sei: "Die Selbstherrschaft der zu einem Status unverantwortlicher Souveränität gelangten Warenwirtschaft und die Gesamtheit der neuen Regierungstechniken, die mit dieser Herrschaft einhergehen." (194) Ein Grundmoment des Marxschen Warenfetischs, die Substituierung menschlicher Beziehungen durch die reale wie scheinhafte Beziehung von Dingen, ist bei Debord, auch wenn er die diffizile Marxsche Analyse dieser Substituierung weder referiert noch explizit reflektiert, konstitutiver Bestandteil des Spektakels: "Der fetischistische Schein reiner Objektivität in den spektakulären Beziehungen verbirgt deren Charakter als Beziehung zwischen Menschen und zwischen Klassen: eine zweite Natur scheint unsere Umwelt mit ihren unvermeidlichen Gesetzen zu beherrschen." (22) So wie Georg Lukács die rein kontemplative, die nur betrachtende, anschauende Sichtweise des bürgerlichen Denkens beschrieben und kritisiert hat, sieht Debord die Menschen im Spektakel auf die Rolle von Zuschauern reduziert.

Debords Orientierung an den Marxschen Kategorien ist eindeutig. Das Kapital ist bei Debord nicht primär als selbstbewußte Macht, sondern als automatisches Subjekt gegenwärtig, als "sich selbst bewegende Wirtschaft". (27) Im Spektakel ist die selbe irre machende Gleichzeitigkeit von Wirklichkeit und verkehrtem Schein gegenwärtig, wie sie Marx bereits in der einfachen Warenform aufgezeigt hat: "Das Spektakel, das das Wirkliche verkehrt, wird wirklich erzeugt." (16) Die Parallele zur Realabstraktion des Werts ist hier offensichtlich. Anselm Jappe hat zu recht darauf hingewiesen, daß bei Debord das Spektakel "nicht nur eine Folge der Denkabstraktion, sondern vor allem der ‘Realabstraktion’ ist, auch wenn Debord diesen Unterschied nicht ausdrücklich macht."11 Während im Wert von jeder Gesellschaftlichkeit abstrahiert wird, obwohl er nichts anderes als Ausdruck bestimmter gesellschaftlicher Verhältnisse ist, abstrahieren die Bilder des Spektakels von allem Lebendigen, das Debord als positiven Gegenpol zur spektakulären Herrschaft betrachtet. Dadurch, daß im Lebendigen der positive Gegenpol zur toten, unmenschlichen Abstraktion gesehen wird, droht Debord allerdings — ähnlich wie andere Situationisten, insbesondere Raoul Vaneigem12 — zeitweise in Vitalismus, Anthropologie und Lebensphilosophie abzugleiten.13

Debord konstatiert, daß "in der wirklich verkehrten Welt das Wahre ein Moment des Falschen (ist)." (16) Basiert die Gesellschaft auf einem falschen, weil verkehrenden Prinzip, und ist dieses Prinzip in dem Sinne total, daß es alle Bereiche der Gesellschaft tendenziell durchdringt und strukturiert, so ist jede positiv gefaßte Aussage über diese Gesellschaft insofern immer falsch, als ihr die Affirmation des falschen, verkehrenden Grundprinzips der Wertform zugrundeliegt. Selbst der emanzipative Impuls verkehrt sich dadurch, ist er sich über die gesellschaftliche Struktur, von der es sich gilt zu emanzipieren, nicht bewußt, in Affirmation: "Als Revolutionär war Debord Mathematiker; er bestand darauf, daß sich im Spektakel alle Dinge in ihr Gegenteil verkehrten".14

Das Spektakel ist die materielle Wiederkehr des Vorgängers des Warenfetischs, der "materielle Wiederaufbau der religiösen Illusion." (28) Mit seinen selbstgeschaffenen Verfahrensformen ist es ein "Pseudo-Heiliges". (23) Debord konstatiert Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen Religion und Warenfetischismus, tendiert dabei aber dazu, den Warenfetischismus nicht mehr im streng Marxschen Sinne zu verstehen, sondern zu einem Begriff zu machen, in dem sich vor allem die fast libidinöse Beziehung von Menschen zu den in Warenform existierenden Dingen zeigt: "Wie bei dem krampfhaften Taumeln oder den Wunderheilungen der Schwärmer des alten religiösen Fetischismus gelangt auch der Warenfetischismus zu Momenten schwärmerischer Erregung." (54)

Das keynesianische Akkumulationsmodell mit seiner Bindung an den Massenkonsum fungiert bei Debord als Grundlage für die Ausdehnung der fetischistischen Warenherrschaft von der Produktion in die Sphäre der Konsumtion. Anders als große Teile der kommunistischen und sozialistischen Linken in Frankreich und auch in anderen Ländern, sah Debord im keynesianischen Wohlfahrtsstaat nichts zu Verteidigendes. In der sozialstaatlichen Alimentierung des Proletariats sah er vielmehr einen integralen Bestandteil des modernen Spektakels. Neben die Entfremdung in der Produktion trete "der entfremdete Konsum" als "eine zusätzliche Pflicht für die Massen." (35) Der produzierte Überschuß an Waren erfordert von den ihn Produzierenden "einen Überschuß an Kollaboration." (36)

Bei Debord lassen sich Hinweise darauf finden, wie eine Forschung, welche die Fetischisierung einzelner Waren untersucht, in Verbindung gebracht werden kann mit einer allgemeinen Kritik des Fetischismus. In der Regel führt die Kritik an der Überbewertung einer bestimmten Ware zur Affirmation des Warendaseins der Dinge überhaupt. Die Rede vom "Fetisch Auto" etwa rührt in keiner Weise an den Produktionsbedingungen, unter denen Autos als Waren hergestellt und dadurch mit Radiergummis, Eisbechern und Topfpflanzen vergleichbar werden. Wenn Debord hingegen vom "Spektakel der Automobile" (53) spricht, zeigt er anhand einer bestimmten, in der kapitalistischen Gesellschaft zumindest in der zweiten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts ausgesprochen wichtigen Ware, die zerstörerische Kraft von Warenherrschaft im allgemeinen auf.

Aber auch wenn Debord die Kritik an einzelnen Waren und dem jeweiligen Verlangen nach ihnen immer in eine allgemeine Kritik an der Warenförmigkeit der Dinge bettet, bleibt seine Selbstverständlichkeit, mit der er von der "Künstlichkeit" (37) bestimmter Bedürfnisse spricht, problematisch. Mit seiner Abqualifizierung von "Pseudobedürfnissen" (40) suggeriert er, die eigentliche Bedürfnisstruktur menschlicher Individuen zu kennen. Mit der Kritik angeblich falscher Bedürfnisse geht eine unkritische Bezugnahme auf den Gebrauchswert einher. Debord sieht den Gebrauchswert mit der fortschreitenden Entwicklung der Warengesellschaft zusehendes verkümmern. Dem "tendenziellen Fall des Gebrauchswerts" (38) auf der einen Seite, von dem auch Marenssin mehrfach spricht, stehen bei Debord die bereits vorhandenen Bedingungen für die autonome Herrschaft des Tauschwerts gegenüber, der nur zu seiner Durchsetzung des Gebrauchswerts bedarft habe. Der Gebrauchswert als immer schon und immer noch konstituierender Bestandteil der Ware gerät bei Debord aus dem Blick.

In einem merkwürdigen Widerspruch zu Debords Ausführungen zum Spektakel als nochmals gesteigerter Form der Mystifikation, als potenzierten oder vollendeten Fetischismus, der die Menschen zu Zuschauern degradiert, steht seine Bezugnahme auf die Marxschen Ausführungen aus dem "Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei". Debord schreibt, eine Formulierung aus dem "Manifest" direkt übernehmend: "Indem sie in die Geschichte geworfen sind, indem sie an der Arbeit und an den Kämpfen, aus denen diese Geschichte besteht, teilnehmen müssen, sind die Menschen gezwungen, ihre gegenseitigen Beziehungen mit nüchternen Augen anzusehen." (61) Gleichzeitigt beschreibt er ausführlich und eindrucksvoll, wie die Augen der Menschen nur mehr auf das sich scheinbar völlig unabhängig von ihnen abspielende Spektakel gerichtet sind. Während bei Marx die Formulierungen des "Manifests" bezüglich der angeblichen Klarsichtigkeit der Menschen in der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft daraus erklärbar sind, daß er zu dieser Zeit seine Werttheorie und die in ihr enthaltene Kritik des Fetischismus noch nicht entwickelt hatte, bedient sich Debord, der die Fetischkritik aus dem "Kapital" kennt, je nach Erfordernis beim frühen oder beim späten Marx — was an sich noch nicht zu kritisieren wäre, aber dann problematisch wird, wenn sich die jeweiligen Textstellen inhaltlich widersprechen.

Spektakel und Staat

Debord denkt die Darstellung der Totalität der fetischistischen Warenwelt im Spektakel immer im Zusammenhang mit der politischen Gewalt, mit dem staatlichen Souverän: "Die verallgemeinerte Entzweiung des Spektakels ist untrennbar vom modernen Staat". (22) Debord konstatiert zwar eine Verselbständigung der Ökonomie vom bewußten Handeln der Menschen, aber eben keine Verselbständigung der Wirtschaft vom Staat in dem Sinne, daß der Staat wieder als positiv eingreifender Regulator angerufen werden könnte. Die spektakuläre Gesellschaft basiert zwar auf Verselbständigungen, aber gerade über diese Verselbständigungen konstituiert sie ihre Einheit. Debord reflektiert die notwendige Trennung der politischen Gewalt von der Ökonomie, die sie zu garantieren hat, ohne diese Gewalt positiv aufzuladen oder für völlig autonom zu erklären: "Wie die moderne Gesellschaft ist das Spektakel zugleich geeint und geteilt. Wie sie baut es seine Einheit auf der Zerrissenheit auf." Gegen das im staatsfetischistischen Marxismus gängige Ausspielen vom freien Markt gegen den Staat richtet sich Debord mit dem Verweis auf die gegenseitige Abhängigkeit der beiden, die gesellschaftliche Totalität in der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft konstituierenden Instanzen: "Von jeder der beiden läßt sich sagen, daß sie die andere in der Gewalt hat. Sie einander gegenüberzustellen, zu unterscheiden, worin sie vernünftig und worin sie unvernünftig sind, ist absurd." (284)

Debords Staatskritik geht einher mit einer Kritik der Politik. Politik müßte sich auf Widersprüche in der spektakulären Gesellschaft beziehen. Debord leugnet auch nicht, daß diese Widersprüche existieren, aber er desavouiert den Glauben an die systemtransformierende Kraft dieser Widersprüche: "Aber wenn der Widerspruch im Spektakel auftaucht, wird ihm seinerseits durch eine Umkehrung seines Sinnes widersprochen." (45) Die Totalität ist bei Debord zwar widersprüchlich, aber die Widersprüche sind der Totalität immanent. Daher ist auch die Politik, die der Widersprüche bedarf, selbst dem Spektakel immanent und weist nicht über es hinaus.

Das Proletariat im Spektakel

affiche.jpgDie Praxis des Proletariats als revolutionäre Klasse kann für Debord "nicht weniger sein als das geschichtliche Bewußtsein, das auf die Totalität seiner Welt wirkt." (64) Damit ist aber noch nichts darüber gesagt, ob das Proletariat als real existierende und zunächst nicht besonders revolutionäre Klasse dieses geschichtliche Bewußtsein auch hat. Dennoch bleibt für Debord — zumindest noch in "Die Gesellschaft des Spektakels" — das Proletariat jene Menschengruppe, die als Klasse die Emanzipation zu verwirklichen, den Fetischismus zu durchbrechen und aufzuheben hat. Subjektiv sei das Proletariat "noch von seinem praktischen Klassenbewußtsein entfernt (...)." (102) Wenn aber das Proletariat entdeckt, "daß seine geäußerte eigene Kraft zur fortwährenden Verstärkung der kapitalistischen Gesellschaft beiträgt, (...) entdeckt es auch durch die konkrete geschichtliche Erfahrung, daß es die Klasse ist, die jeder erstarrten Äußerung und jeder Spezialisierung der Macht total feind ist." (102f.) Debord ist Ende der 60er Jahre kritisch gegenüber dem gegenwärtigen Proletariat, aber durchaus zuversichtlich für die Zukunft. Die Emanzipation wird bei ihm noch mit dem Selbstbewußtsein des Proletariats zusammengedacht. Das Proletariat erschien Debord kurz vor den Ereignissen des Pariser Mai von 1968 als "einzige(r) Bewerber um das geschichtliche Leben". (72) Erst später, in den 90er Jahren, erkannte er, auch wenn er sich von der Vorstellung vom Proletariat als Vollender der Emanzipation nicht gänzlich verabschiedete, daß die Klassenherrschaft, wie er in der Vorrede zur dritten französischen Ausgabe von "Die Gesellschaft des Spektakels" formuliert, "mit einer Versöhnung geendet hat" (8), daß also das Proletariat, statt die Feindschaft zu Staat und Kapital zu entwickeln, auf die volle Integration in das fetischistische Warenspektakel gesetzt hat und die falsche Totalität der Gesellschaft nunmehr ohne Negation, ohne Einspruch existiert. In den "Kommentaren" ist jener kritische Pessimismus, der auch die Texte anderer Gesellschaftskritiker seit dem Nationalsozialismus prägte, in potenzierter Form und mit den in solchen Zusammenhängen offensichtlich obligatorischen Übertreibungen anwesend: "Zum ersten Mal im modernen Europa versucht keine Partei oder Splittergruppe auch bloß vorzugeben, sie wolle es wagen, etwas von Belang zu ändern. (...) Es ist ein für alle Mal geschehen um jene beunruhigende Konzeption, die mehr als zweihundert Jahre vorgeherrscht hat und derzufolge man eine Gesellschaft kritisieren oder ändern, sie reformieren oder revolutionieren kann." (213)

Die Vorstellung Debords, wie das Proletariat zu einem systemtransformierenden Bewußtsein gelangen kann, war aber schon in den 60er Jahren beachtlich. So sehr er ein Freund der Spontanität war, so sehr war ihm doch bewußt, daß ein unmittelbar und unreflektiert artikuliertes Unbehagen keineswegs von sich aus über das Spektakel hinausweist. Er war sich im klaren darüber, "daß die Unzufriedenheit selbst zu einer Ware geworden ist." (48) Debord war seiner Zeit einerseits verhaftet, da er sich die Emanzipation nur als proletarische Revolution vorstellen konnte. Andererseits war er seiner Zeit voraus, da er die einzige Möglichkeit, daß die Revolution doch einmal Wirklichkeit werden könnte, in der massenhaften Aneignung kritischer Gesellschaftstheorie sah: "Die proletarische Revolution hängt gänzlich von der Notwendigkeit ab, daß die Massen zum ersten Mal die Theorie als Verständnis der menschlichen Praxis anerkennen und erleben müssen. Sie fordert, daß die Arbeiter zu Dialektikern werden und daß sie in die Praxis ihr Denken einschreiben". (107)

Noch wenige Jahre zuvor war die Begeisterung für spontane Protest- und Widerstandsaktionen bei den Situationisten sehr viel ausgeprägter. Nach der ordnungsapologetischen und staatsfetischistischen Kritik fast aller linken Strömungen an den Krawallen in Watts 1965 schwang sich die Situationistische Internationale in der zehnten Nummer ihrer gleichnamigen Zeitschrift zu einer vehementen Verteidigung der Riots auf. Sie nahm die Aufständischen aber nicht nur einfach gegen die Angriffe der reformistischen und mit der Herrschaft fraternisierenden Linken in Schutz, sondern deklarierte die ganze Angelegenheit zu einer "Revolte gegen die Ware" und bescheinigte den Plündernden, daß sie den "Tauschwert und die Warenwirklichkeit"15 ablehnen. Den scheinbaren Subjektstatus der Ware sahen sie im Riot aufgehoben: "Der Mensch, der die Waren zerstört, zeigt dadurch seine Überlegenheit gegenüber den Waren."16 Diebstahl erscheint den Situationisten als antikapitalistischer, den Fetischismus der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft aufhebender Akt: "Sobald die Warenproduktion nicht mehr gekauft wird, wird sie kritisierbar (...). Nur wenn sie mit Geld (...) bezahlt wird, wird sie wie ein bewundernswerter Fetisch respektiert."17 Die Problematik und die Ambivalenzen, die in jedem spontanen Widerstand gegen die fetischistische Warenherrschaft, der sich über Struktur und Funktionsweise von Ökonomie und Politik nicht bewußt ist, enthalten sind, wird nicht thematisiert. Die richtige Verteidigung der Respektlosigkeit gegenüber den Eigentumsverhältnissen wird hier zur falschen Annahme, diese Respektlosigkeit impliziere von sich aus eine Kritik am Eigentum überhaupt. Der Dieb kritisiert aber nicht die Ware, sondern eignet sie sich an — eine Erkenntnis, die in den siebziger Jahren auch im Umfeld der Situationisten zu vernehmen war: "Der Diebstahl, auch wenn ihm die Verteilung folgt, stellt den Kapitalismus überhaupt nicht in Frage; er ist im Gegenteil eine seiner Ausdrucksformen."18

Verschwörung statt subjektloser Herrschaft

 

In den neunziger Jahren sah Debord nochmals eine Steigerung der Mystifikation. Aber gerade in seinen späteren Texten bleibt es stets merkwürdig unklar, ob der Mystizismus und Fetischismus der Warengesellschaft, ob die spektakuläre Gewalt nun in erster Linie einer subjektlosen Herrschaft geschuldet ist, oder permanent durch bewußte Manipulation hergestellt wird. In den "Kommentaren" wird immer unklarer, was mit dem "generalisierte(n) Geheimnis" (204), das hinter dem Spektakel steht, genau gemeint ist. Es scheint zunehmend so, als ob in den "Kommentaren" mit dem Geheimnis des Spektakels nicht mehr ein Geheimnis im Sinne des Fetischcharakters der Ware gemeint ist, sondern ein von Geheimdiensten gehütetes spezielles Herrschaftswissen. Debord droht in seinen späteren Texten von seiner aktualisierten, die Transformationen der Gesellschaft im 20. Jahrhundert zumindest partiell reflektierenden Fetischkritik aus der "Gesellschaft des Spektakels" zunehmend in Verschwörungstheorien abzugleiten: "Die Kritik der gesellschaftlichen Totalität des modernen Kapitalismus tritt zugunsten einer traditionellen Manipulationstheorie in den Hintergrund."19 Diese Manipulations- und Verschwörungstheorie läßt sich auch nicht dadurch rechtfertigen, daß es selbstverständlich Manipulation und Verschwörung real gibt. Es käme gerade darauf an, diese in Beziehung zur fetischistischen Grundlage der Gesellschaft zu analysieren, was Debord nur noch in Ansätzen versucht.

 

Der größte Mangel von Debord jedoch besteht — neben seiner unkritischen Bezugnahme auf das Marxsche Frühwerk bei gleichzeitiger weitgehender Ausblendung der Implikationen der Marxschen Wertformanalyse und ihrer Implikationen für einen Begriff des Kapitals — in seiner Ignoranz gegenüber dem Nationalsozialismus und seinem spezifischen Vernichtungsantisemitismus. Er erörtert zwar in knappen Worten den Beitrag des Faschismus zur Herausbildung des modernen Spektakels, kann ihn aber nur mit einem totalitarismustheoretisches Vokabular beschreiben. Die gleichzeitige Kritik an faschistischer und stalinistischer Herrschaft zeigt zwar eine Parallele beispielsweise zu Theodor W. Adorno und Max Horkheimer auf, aber die Ausblendung des spezifisch nationalsozialistischen Antisemitismus markiert in diesem Zusammenhang eine der deutlichsten Differenzen der Situationisten zur Kritischen Theorie. In Debords Hauptwerk, das "immerhin das Wesen der Gegenwart auf den Begriff zu bringen verspricht, findet sich kein Wort über Antisemitismus, Nazismus, Massenvernichtung."20

 

Dennoch: Debord hat mit seinem Versuch, die Marxsche Kritik des Fetischismus und an ihr orientierter Theorien aufzugreifen, weiterzuentwickeln und zu einer zeitgemäßen Kritik fetischistischer, sich spektakulär darstellender Warenherrschaft zu verdichten neben der Kritischen Theorie eine der wichtigsten Kritiken der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft im 20. Jahrhundert geliefert und in Frankreich früh eine fetischkritische Tradition begründet, die heute beispielsweise von Gruppen wie "Encyclopédie des Nuisances"21 fortzuführen versucht wird.

1 Marcus, Greil: Lipstick traces. Von dada bis Punk. Eine geheime Kulturgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Reinbek 1996, S. 102

2 Planet, Nr.4, 1998, S. 14

3 Benl, Andreas: Eine Situation schaffen, die jede Umkehr unmöglich macht. Guy Debord und die Situationistische Internationale. in: jour-fixe-initiative berlin (Hg.): Kritische Theorie und Poststrukturalismus. Theoretische Lockerungsübungen. Berlin — Hamburg 1999, S. 63. Zur Rezeption der Situationisten in der westdeutschen Linken vgl. auch Orth, Roberto: Das 20. Jahrhundert verlassen. in: Der Beginn einer Epoche. Texte der Situationisten. Hamburg 1995, S. 7 ff.

4 Marx, Karl: Zur Kritik der Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie. Einleitung. in: Marx-Engels-Werke, Bd. 1, Berlin 1988 (1844), S. 380, Herv. i. Orig.

5 Debord, Guy: Die Gesellschaft des Spektakels. Berlin 1996 (1967), S. 67, Herv. i. Orig. Die Seitenangaben im Text beziehen sich auf diese Ausgabe. Alle Hervorhebungen im Original.

6 Marenssin, Emile: Stadtguerilla und soziale Revolution. Über den bewaffneten Kampf und die Rote Armee Fraktion. Freiburg i. Br. 1998 (1972), S. 110

7 Zur Fetischkritik bei Marx vgl. Grigat, Stephan: Zur Kritik des Fetischismus. in: Streifzüge, Nr. 4/1997, S. 1 ff.

8 Lefebvre, Henri: Kritik des Alltagslebens. Grundrisse einer Soziologie der Alltäglichkeit. Frankfurt/m 1987 (1947), S. 441

9 Ebd., S. 173

10 Vgl. Jappe, Anselm: Sic transit gloria artis. Theorien über das Ende der Kunst bei Theodor W. Adorno und Guy Debord. in: Krisis, Nr. 15, 1995, S. 146

11 Jappe, Anselm: Politik des Spektakels — Spektakel der Politik. Zur Aktualität der Theorie von Guy Debord. in: Krisis, Nr. 20, 1998, S. 109

12 Vgl. Vaneigem, Raoul: An die Lebenden! Eine Streitschrift gegen die Welt der Ökonomie. Hamburg 1997

13 Vgl. dazu Bruhn, Joachim: Der Untergang der Roten Armee Fraktion. Eine Erinnerung für die Revolution. in: Marenssin, a. a. O., S. 25. Auch Jappe weist auf die "existenzialistisch-vitalistischen Einschläge" bei Debord hin. Jappe: Politik des Spektakels, a. a. O., S. 120

14 Marcus, a. a. O., S. 135

15 Niedergang und Fall der spektakulären Warenökonomie. in: Der Beginn einer Epoche. Texte der Situationisten. Hamburg 1995, S. 176. Herv. i. Orig.

16 Ebd., S. 177

17 Ebd.

18 Marenssin, a. a. O., S. 132

19 Benl, a. a. O., S. 75

20 Bruhn, a. a. O., S. 24. Vgl. auch Benl, a. a. O., S. 73 ff.

21 Vgl. Encyclopédie des Nuisances: Bemerkungen über die Lähmung vom Dezember 1995. in: Bahamas, Nr. 22, 1997, S. 10 ff.

mardi, 16 avril 2013

Léon Bloy: le porte-foudre

 

Léon Bloy

 

Léon Bloy :

Le porte-foudre

 


« Au commencement était Léon Bloy. »

Évangile selon Saint Jean – Prologue

 

En cherchant un temple qui ne disparût jamais, les Muses trouvèrent un jour l’encrier de Léon Bloy. Bercées par le flux et le reflux dans l’immensité de cet océan de vocables, elles y laissèrent perler des cristaux de ciel. De ce flot d’encre nacrée ne pouvait éclore qu’un géant. Un artisan virtuose nourri au sein d’Amalthée. Un joaillier de malédiction condamné à marquer les Lettres françaises du sceau des constellations.

C’est en 1846, au crépuscule de la monarchie de Juillet, que naquit Léon Bloy. Enfant de famille nombreuse, il fut le fils d’un père fonctionnaire des Ponts et Chaussées et d’une mère catholique aimante. Au cours d’une enfance errante et d’une scolarité médiocre, il voua ses premiers loisirs à la peinture et à l’écriture : les deux rives d’un même fleuve pour le Léviathan de poésie qui sommeillait déjà dans ses labyrinthes intérieurs.

Il rencontra Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly en 1868. Par l’amitié naissante tapie dans leurs discussions tardives, ce dernier ralluma la flamme du catholicisme dans le cœur de ce jeune disciple qui devint son secrétaire bénévole. Royaliste influencé par Joseph de Maistre, Louis de Bonald et Antoine Blanc de Saint-Bonnet, le « Connétable des lettres » rapprocha Bloy des courants traditionnalistes. Des convictions, gravées depuis la forge de Vulcain, qui restèrent en filigrane derrière chacune de ses lettres, tapissant son œuvre à la manière d’une luxuriante végétation.

Après le drame que fut la perte de ses parents, il croisa la route d’une jeune prostituée dont il s’éprit et qu’il convertit à sa foi en 1878. Anne-Marie Roulé devint une porte ouverte sur l’infini pour cette âme d’ancêtre à la recherche d’un dieu. Il retraça cette relation dans son premier roman partiellement autobiographique Le Désespéré, publié en 1887. Atteignant des strates empyréennes à chaque déversement d’humeurs, Léon Bloy ne mit au monde que des aérolithes littéraires ciselés d’une main d’orfèvre. Romans, nouvelles, articles, pamphlets, tous ses écrits transpiraient d’harmonie, de force contenue, de vitalité conquise. Agencement de phrases dans une langue barbelée de mots rares, comme autant de flèches trempées dans l’ambroisie. Sa plume, gonflée au curare, pris coutume d’éjaculer sur les contreforts du ciel avec une aisance à consterner les plus lactescents aèdes.

« N’oubliez pas une chose, la vraie inspiratrice c’est la mort. Si vous ne mettez pas votre peau sur la table, vous n’avez rien. Il faut payer », dira des années plus tard Louis-Ferdinand Céline, un de ses héritiers, en montrant du doigt la vacuité et la prétention d’une armée de verbeux frigides s’auto-promouvant grands chambellans de l’universel. Sans nul doute Léon Bloy paya. Bien souvent il sentit les doigts décharnés des Goules de son temps compresser son cœur fracturé par les incompréhensions et les assauts de l’injustice.

 
Rejeté de la vie littéraire et des cercles mondains pour ses provocations et son refus toujours renouvelé de se vautrer dans les conformismes primaires, il vécut une grande partie de sa vie dans la misère. Misère qui, si elle le rapprochait du Christ – ce guide qui s’était fait pauvre parmi les hommes – coûta la vie à deux de ses enfants et lui fit écrire ses lignes : « En présence de la mort d’un enfant, l’Art et la Poésie ressemblent vraiment à de très grandes misères. Les gémissements des mères, et, plus encore, la houle silencieuse de la poitrine des pères ont une bien autre puissance que les mots et les couleurs, tellement la peine de l’homme appartient au monde invisible. »


Rien cependant ne vint troubler sa détermination à exécrer la fin de son siècle et le nouveau naissant. Assistant écœuré à la pendaison des traditions, il contempla la montée au pinacle d’une déchéance spirituelle aussi abjecte qu’assumée par la « porcine congrégation des sycophantes de la libre pensée ».

Éloigné des plumitifs ratés ithyphalliques qui passaient moins de temps à produire un œuvre qu’à se tailler des pipes dans les arcanes de l’autopromotion, Bloy rédigea ses élans mystiques avec le scalpel de Vésale. Avançant seul dans la nuit de ses convictions, il assassina son époque d’une verve sanguinolente. Une époque qui déféquait avec morgue sur les astres assoupis en brandissant les valeurs bourgeoises comme des oriflammes aurifiées. Personne ne vomit jamais de si célestes crachats sur la classe dominante. Lancer des graviers à la face conspuée de ces gras possédants fut sa quête la plus ardente. Son « Exégèse des Lieux communs » restera pour jamais un parangon de pamphlet que saluera vivement Roland Barthes et qui fera écrire à Jorge Luis Borges : « Léon Bloy, collectionneur de haines, dans son musée bien rempli, n’a pas exclu la bourgeoisie française ». Non satisfait de ne pas l’en exclure, Bloy en fit une cible de prédilection sur laquelle il compissa avec une ferveur à la fois dévorante et lumineuse. Personne n’échappa au jugement foudroyant de ce catholique des catacombes à la véhémence imputrescible, pas même l’Église qu’il contemna bien souvent pour ses dévoiements, elle qui s’était détournée de sa mission en laissant l’entrejambe de la modernité courtiser ses remparts.

Pour autant, qui a lu Léon Bloy sait qu’il fut bien autre chose qu’un pamphlétaire haineux. « Surtout je ne veux pas être le pamphlétaire à perpétuité (…) mais quand je le fus, c’était par indignation et par amour, et mes cris, je les poussais, dans mon désespoir, sur mon Idéal saccagé ! » se défendait-il dans Le Mendiant Ingrat. Ses romans et ses nouvelles furent autant de poèmes en prose ayant nourri ses contemporains et les auteurs suivants d’Alfred Jarry à Georges Bernanos. Il se fit un sacerdoce de présenter un sourire boueux à tous les implacables damnés hermétiques aux effluves de l’Art et laissa aux assoiffés d’émotion un boulevard ouvert sur la beauté langagière.

Face aux charges répétées de cet ouvrier de la grande plume, les rivaux de cette fin de siècle décadente laissèrent tomber leurs feuilles, tels des arbres plaintifs. Comme tous les grands poètes, Léon Bloy n’eut, en somme, d’autre rôle que celui d’annoncer l’automne.

Maxime Le Nagard

 

Othmar Spann: Vom klerikalfaschistischen Ständestaat und seinen Kontinuitäten

  |

Othmar Spann: Vom klerikalfaschistischen Ständestaat und seinen Kontinuitäten

von Heide Hammer

Ex: http://www.contextxxi.at/

spann3464600893.jpgEiner wollte den Führer führen. Nein: Einige wollten den Führer führen und wirkten so im Zeichen des Führers. Ob Heidegger, Rosenberg oder Spann, die Qualität ihrer Beiträge bleibt in diesem Kontext sekundär, wenn auch im Sinne der üblichen Vorwegnahme bei Spann die Betonung auf der philosophischen Stupidität liegen kann. Ihm gelang jedoch die Formierung eines Kreises, der mehr als sechzig Jahre nach seiner eigenen Entfernung von der Universität, der heutigen WU-Wien, das Gewäsch von Ganzheit wiederholt und daneben peinlich bemüht wirkt, keinen runden Geburtstag des Meisters oder seines ersten Schülers, manchmal auch des zweiten oder folgender, zu vergessen und zumeist mit einem Presseartikel, besser mit einem Jubiläumsband zu bedenken.

Othmar Spann inthronisierte sich in einem hierarchischen Ständemodell - an der Spitze - und war als Lehrer geistiges Zentrum der von ihm Erwählten. In seinem 1921 erstmals veröffentlichten Werk Der wahre Staat. Vorlesungen über Abbruch und Neubau der Gesellschaft ordnet er "Stände nach ihren geistigen Grundlagen"1 und ficht gegen Demokratie, Liberalismus und vor allem marxistischen Sozialismus. Ordnendes Prinzip sei: "daß jeder niedere Stand geistig vom jeweils höheren geführt wird (im Original gesperrt), nach dem geistigen Lebensgesetz aller Gemeinschaft und Gemeinschaftsverbindung 'Unterordnung des Niedern unter das Höhere'" (Der wahre Staat, S.176).
Seine zusammenfassende "Übersicht der Stände nach ihren geistigen Grundlagen": "1. die Handarbeiter (verankert im sinnlich-vitalen Leben); 2. die höheren Arbeiter, zerfallend in Kunstwerker und darstellende Geistesarbeiter (verankert nicht mehr allein in dem sinnlich-vitalen, sondern auch in einem höheren geistigen Leben, in diesem aber nur, im wesentlichen, teilnehmend); 3. die Wirtschaftsführer, die in wirtschaftlich-organisatorischer Hinsicht selbständig, schöpferisch wirken, im übrigen aber mehr im Sinnlich-Vitalen oder höchstens noch teilnehmend im Geistesleben verankert sind; 4. die Staatsführer, schöpferisch in sittlich-organisatorischer Hinsicht, im wesentlichen nur teilnehmend im höheren Geistesleben; eine Sondergruppe der Staatsführer bilden die höheren selbständig wirkenden Krieger und Priester; 5. endlich die Weisen oder der schöpferisch höhere Lehrstand (im Original gesperrt), der nur uneigentlich ein Stand ist und dessen Schöpfungen zuerst ein vermittelnder geistiger Stand (5 a) weitergibt." (Ebd., S. 175)

Die Figur des Kreises

Auch er hatte zumindest einen Koch dabei - um "Vollstand" also "handelnd" (Ebd., S. 176) zu werden - diese sind durchaus zahlreich, er führt seine Schüler in Privatseminaren (Sonntag Vormittag bei sich zuhause) in die Grundlagen seiner Gesellschaftslehre ein.2 Primus wird - mit überaus langem Atem in seinem Wirken - Walter Heinrich. Er promoviert 1925 bei Spann, wird 1927 sein Assistent, habilitiert sich 1928 und erhält 1933 an der Wiener Hochschule für Welthandel einen Lehrstuhl für Nationalökonomie. Viele Jahre später zeichnet er in der Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsforschung ein Bild wunderbarer Harmonie dieser Lehrer-Schüler-Beziehung, ein Arbeitszusammenhang, der sehr auf politischen Einfluss zielte, hingegen in der Erinnerung jeweils von der konkreten historischen Situation abstrahiert und metaphysische Distanz beansprucht. Der Meister einer elitären Verbindung provoziert den Terminus "Genie", Kritik wird folglich zu einer inadäquaten Form der Auseinandersetzung, lediglich Analogien zu genialen Personen auf anderen Gebieten (Mozart) erleichtern die Übersetzung jener "Größe", die nunmehr in der Erzählung wirkt:3 "Eine ... tiefer schürfende Erklärung für seine [Spanns] Wirksamkeit liegt sicherlich in der geschlossenen Einheit von Leben und Lehre, von Persönlichkeit und geistigem Werk. Hier war das Eroshafte und das Logoshafte, freundschaftliche Nähe und Geisteskraft in seltener Einheit zusammengewachsen und haben vermöge dieser schöpferischen Verbindung einen Gründungsakt eingeleitet, der weiterwirkt. Vom ersten Geistesblitz der Gründung bis zur Entfaltung des Werkes ... der Wurzelgrund der Lehre wurde niemals verlassen. Dieser Wurzelgrund ... ist der Befund, daß Geist nur am anderen Geist werden kann, also gliedhaft; und die Erkenntnis: wo Glied, da Ganzheit. Damit ist eine neue Eroslehre begründet, eine neue Gemeinschaftslehre, eine neue Gesellschaftslehre."

J. Hanns Pichler, ein später Apologet und heute Vorstand des Instituts für Volkswirtschaftstheorie und -politik an der WU-Wien, übernimmt u.a. die Aufgabe, in gegebenen Abständen auch an den Schüler zu erinnern, an Geburtstagen, später posthum4 oder die Erinnerung an Spann und Heinrich zu verbinden3. Daneben oder danach protegiert Spann Jakob Baxa, der Rechtswissenschaften studiert hatte; von Spann zum Dank für seine intensive und wertvolle Auseinandersetzung mit der Romantik im Fach Gesellschaftslehre habilitiert (Siegfried, S. 72). Wilhelm Andrae wechselt ebenso unter dem Einfluss Spanns von der klassischen Philologie, mit der er an der Berliner Universität nicht reüssieren konnte, zur Nationalökonomie; er erhält 1927 in Graz einen Lehrstuhl für Politische Ökonomie (Ebd.). Seine Übersetzung von Platons Staat, woran Spann gerne seine Überlegungen knüpft, wird hier als Habilitationsschrift anerkannt. Hans Riehl promoviert 1923 bei Spann, die Habilitation 1928 kann bereits bei seinem Freund Wilhelm Andrae in Graz erfolgen (Ebd., S. 73).

Ernst von Salomon5, selbst in jenem Kräftefeld aktiv, das in der Weimarer Republik von Konservativen Revolutionären gebildet wird (u.a. an der Ermordung von Außenminister Walter Rathenau am 24. Juni 1922 beteiligt und verurteilt), hielt sich auf Einladung Spanns in Wien auf und beschreibt in seinem Bestseller, Der Fragebogen6 das alltägliche politische Verhalten der Spann-Schüler (Zit. nach Siegfried, S. 71): "Die 'Spannianer' bildeten auf der Universität eine besondere Gruppe, die größte Gruppe von allen, und, wie ich wohl behaupten darf, auch die geistig lebendigste. In jeder Verschwörerenklave auf den Gängen, in den Hallen und vor den Toren waren Spannianer, mit dem Ziel einer kleinen Extraverschwörung, wie ich vermute, - die beiden Spannsöhne vermochten schon gar nicht anders durch die Universität zu schlendern, wo sie gar nichts zu suchen hatten, ohne ununterbrochen nach allen Seiten vertrauensvoll zu blinzeln. Jeder einzelne von den Spannschülern mußte das Bewußtsein haben, an etwas selber mitzuarbeiten, was mit seiner Wahrheit mächtig genug war, die Welt zu erfüllen, jedes Vakuum auszugleichen, an einem System, so rund, so glatt, so kristallinisch in seinem inneren Aufbau, daß jedermann hoffen durfte, in gar nicht allzulanger Zeit den fertigen Stein der Weisen in der Hand zu haben."7
Weiter oben im Text zeigt von Salomon Interesse an der Tätigkeit Adalbert und Rafael Spanns und legt ihnen die Worte in den Mund: "Schau, das verstehst du net - wir packeln halt" (Zit. nach Siegfried, S. 238). Der Autor versucht in der nachgeordneten Darstellung die ideologischen Wendungen der Akteure zu analysieren, schwankt dabei von Gefasel über "jahrhundertelang[en] ... Verkehr mit fremden Völkerschaften und widerstrebenden Mächten" - die k. u. k. Monarchie wiedermal - und methodischen Aspekten des Verfahrens männerbündischer Dominanz: "Nichts schien so bedeutend, nichts aber auch so unbedeutend, daß es außer acht gelassen werden könnte." (Ebd.)

Die Protagonisten dieser Art Universalismus richten ihre Aktivitäten nach verschiedenen Polen, um in der zeitweiligen Konkurrenz von Nationalsozialismus, Faschismus und Ständestaat ebenso ein Netz zu bilden, wie in den Kontinuitäten der 2. Republik. Ein Blick auf die umfangreiche Publikationsliste J. Hanns Pichlers, des nunmehrigen Vorstands der Gesellschaft für Ganzheitsforschung, dokumentiert eine der Traditionslinien. Sein Bemühen gilt den Klein- und Mittelbetrieben, dem Kleinbürgertum, eine mögliche ideologische Parallele zu Othmar Spann, und - entsprechend seiner Funktion - den Anwendungsgebieten des ganzheitlichen Denkens.8 Dass er im gegebenen politischen Kräftefeld die Publikationsmöglichkeit im Organ der Freiheitlichen Akademie, Freiheit und Verantwortung wahrnimmt, verwundert kaum.9 Gerne bespricht er in der von ihm herausgegebenen Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsforschung Übersetzungen oder Neuauflagen der Schriften Julius Evolas10, jenes faschistischen Philosophen und Mystikers, der Mussolini von seiner Philosophie überzeugen wollte, die SS liebte und heute Inspiration vieler rechter AktivistInnen ist. Evolas 'Cavalcare la tigre' (Den Tiger reiten) sieht Pichler "ungemein aufrüttelnd und zeitgemäß zugleich", der beliebte Plot 'Untergang des Abendlandes' wird diesmal durch die "Auflösung im Bereich des Gemeinschaftslebens" gegeben und Pichler konkretisiert, "von Staat und Parteien, einer weithin endemisch gewordenen Krise des Patriotismus, von Ehe und Familie bis hin zu den Beziehungen der Geschlechter untereinander" (Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsforschung 4 (1999), S. 209). Denn, so die Diagnose Pichlers in einer Rezension des von Caspar von Schrenck-Notzing herausgegebenen Lexikon des Konservativismus (Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsforschung 2 (1998), S. 93), "in einer pluralistisch zerrissenen und 'unkonservativen' Zeit" dürfen dahingehend mutige Leistungen (das vorliegende Lexikon) nicht geschmälert werden - obgleich er die "notorische und offenbar nicht auszumerzende[!] Fehlinterpretation" der inneren Ordnung der Werke Spanns bedauert -, den Wirren der Zeit werden der ganzheitlichen "Geistestradition verpflichtete Autoren" vor- und gegenübergestellt, allen voran immer wieder Spann.

Fragen der politischen Funktion, der Adressaten und Verbündeten der universalistischen Staatslehre werden insoweit unterschiedlich beantwortet, als AutorInnen wie Meyer11, Schneller12 oder Resele13 einen Zusammenhang des ideologischen KSpanns und der sozialen Interessen der kleinbürgerlichen Mittelschicht betonen, während Siegfried darauf beharrt, dass sich dahingehend keine eindeutige Beziehung feststellen ließe, die konkreten Bündnispartner (Heimwehr, Stahlhelm) vielmehr Oberklassen repräsentierten (Vgl. Siegfried, S. 14). Spann wirkt im Zeichen eines "dritten Weges", ein Motiv, das im Kontext der Konservativen Revolution14 an unterschiedlichen Positionen deutlich wird und später gerne von VertreterInnen einer vermeintlich "Neuen Rechten" (Nouvelle Droite)15 affirmiert wird. Das Ständestaatskonzept bietet in seinem Kampf gegen den Historischen Materialismus und die politische Organisation der ArbeiterInnenbewegung eine vorgeblich konsensuale Alternative, die als Wirtschaftsordnung "... jeden, Arbeiter wie Unternehmer, aus seiner Vereinzelung herausreißt und ihm jene Eingliederung in eine Ganzheit gewährt, welche Aufgehobenheit und Beruhigung bedeutet statt vernichtenden Wettbewerb, statt der hastigen Unruhe und Erregung der kapitalistischen Wirtschaftsordnung" (Der wahre Staat, S. 234). In Anlehnung an die Gesellschafts- und Staatslehre der politischen Romantik (Adam Müller) war Spann bemüht, soziale Antagonismen, Phänomene des Klassenkampfes in einem geistigen Gesamtzusammenhang aufzulösen (Vgl. Siegfried, S. 32-34) und das Glück der Unterordnung, der freudigen Hingabe an die subalterne Funktion im hierarchischen Gefüge in unglaublichen Variationen und Auflagen zu verbreiten.

In den Anfängen seiner akademischen Karriere, Spann habilitiert sich 1907 an der Deutschen Technischen Hochschule in Brünn, positioniert er sich in den nationalistischen Auseinandersetzungen der Germanisierungspolitik in der österreichischen Monarchie (Zit. nach Siegfried, S. 43):
"Der Begriff des passiven Mitgliedes ist theoretisch wichtig zur Beurteilung der Bedeutung der Rasse und praktisch für die Frage der Eindeutschung der slawischen Massen. Nehmen wir an, eine bestimmte nationale Gemeinschaft unterwerfe sich eine fremdrassige, minderbefähigte Nachbarnation, entnationalisiere sie und füge sie damit in ihre eigene Gemeinschaft ein. Wie wirkt dies auf den Körper der Nation? Wenn die neuen Mitglieder rassemäßig zur aktiven Teilnahme an der nationalen Kultur wenig befähigt sind, so können sie als passive Mitglieder doch sehr wertvoll werden." (Othmar Spann: Kurzgefaßtes System der Gesellschaftslehre, S. 203)
Derartige Tiraden bedingen nach dem Zusammenbruch der Monarchie die Notwendigkeit seiner Rückkehr nach Wien, wo er von 1919-1938 als Ordinarius für Gesellschafts- und Nationalökonomie an der rechts- und staatswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Wien wirkt. Die kaum dreiwöchige Felderfahrung Spanns im 1. Weltkrieg, er wurde am 21. August 1914 in der Schlacht bei Kraspe verwundet, verhindert vorläufig die wichtige Dekoration durch eine militärische Auszeichnung (Siegfried, S. 48). Er beantragt daher selbst die Verleihung eines militärischen Ordens, u.a. da seine Vorgesetzten "teils verwundet, teils verschollen" waren und so sein "Verhalten vor dem Feinde durch die Ungunst der Verhältnisse nicht anerkannt wurde" (Zit. nach Siegfried, S. 232, Fußnote 154). Sein Ansehen als Hochschullehrer und engagierter Nationalist sollte dadurch nicht geschmälert werden.

Heimwehrkontakte

Als nach dem Eingreifen der Polizei 86 Tote die Empörung der ArbeiterInnen - kumuliert im Brand des Justizpalastes - kennzeichnen, erzwingt die Heimwehr den Abbruch der sozialdemokratischen Kampfmaßnahmen und erfreut sich daraufhin der Zuwendung heterogener reaktionärer Kräfte, die Heimwehr wird (besonders bäuerliche) Massenbewegung (Siegfried, S. 81). In dieser zweiten Legislaturperiode der Regierung Seipel dominiert Spanns universalistische Lehre die Wiener Universität, sein Kreis hatte sich kontinuierlich vergrößert, nun kommt es zu intensiven Kontakten zwischen dem Führer der Christlichsozialen Partei, der Heimwehr-Führung und Mitgliedern des Spann-Kreises. Im Sommer 1929 wird Walter Heinrich Generalsekretär der Bundesführung des österreichischen Heimatschutzes, im Oktober übernimmt Hans Riehl die Leitung der Propagandaabteilung der Selbstschutzverbände (Siegfried, S. 84). Die Spannungen innerhalb der Heimwehren, unterschiedlicher Flügel, wie sie z.T. für die ÖVP charakteristisch sind, sollten durch ein Gelöbnis (Korneuburger Eid, 18. Mai 1930) beseitigt werden, dessen Text wesentlich von Walter Heinrich formuliert wurde. Der Versuch der Beschwörung der Einheit misslingt, Aristokraten siegen über kleinbürgerliche Repräsentanten der Heimwehren und beenden die Tätigkeit des Spann-Kreises in der Organisation (Siegfried, S. 100).

Versuche in Italien

Seit 1929 wenden sich Vertreter der universalistischen Lehre dem Faschismus zu, die italienische Regierung bedachte im übrigen die Heimwehren mit bedeutenden Geld- und Waffenlieferungen, den Mangel eines konkreten politischen Programms will Spann kompensieren (Zit. nach Siegfried, S. 102):
"... Das Fehlen des Gedankens vor der Tat ist ein Widerspruch... Zwischen der Szylla und Charybdis des Kommunismus und des Kapitalismus durch die kühne Tat eines einzigen Steuermannes hindurchzuschiffen, das konnte eben noch gelingen. Aber danach kann der Faschismus entweder auf das offene Meer der Abenteuer hinausfahren, wie Odysseus, oder er muß sich über Weg und Ziel aufs klarste bewußt werden, er muß eine theoretische Grundlage (im Original gesperrt) erlangen ... Der politischen Tat, so dünkt uns, muß nunmehr die geistige Arbeit folgen. War das vergangene Dezennium der Gründung und dem ersten politischen Aufbau gewidmet, so muß das kommende Dezennium der Herausarbeitung der geistigen Grundlagen und der theoretischen Vertiefung gehören. Nicht hoch genug kann u. E. diese Aufgabe angeschlagen werden. Denn die jahrhundertelange Arbeit der individualistischen und sozialistischen Theoretiker läßt sich nicht durch die politische Tat allein überwinden, es muß ihr ein tiefdurchdachtes und wohlausgebildetes Gedankengebäude auf allen Gebieten des Lebens, insbesondere des Staates, des Rechtes, der Wirtschaft, der ganzen Gesellschaft entgegengestellt werden." (Othmar Spann: Instinkt und Bewußtsein, S. 11)
Bedeutende Differenzen, besonders in Fragen des organisatorischen Aufbaus der Interessenvertretungen, trennen Spanns Konzeption von der faschistischen Syndikatsordnung, in der sich Unternehmer und Arbeiter getrennt gegenüberstehen. Das Ständemodell betont die Vorzüge gemeinsamer Zwangsverbände und die Vermittlerfunktion einer staatlichen Instanz, die selbst in der korporativen Phase des Faschismus durch die beherrschende Funktion mächtiger Monopolgruppen der italienischen Wirtschaft im Staat konträr beschrieben werden kann [Siegfried, S. 177ff). Zwar gibt es persönliche Kontakte zu führenden Funktionären des faschistischen Systems, doch die Wirkung der universalistischen Lehre bleibt gering.

Austrofaschismus

In Österreich war die Transformation der parlamentarischen Demokratie zu einem klerikalfaschistischen Ständestaat durch die Ausschaltung von Parlament und Verfassungsgerichtshof gelungen. Spann verweist auf seine "organisch universalistische Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftslehre" und betont deren Unvereinbarkeit mit demokratischen Formen der Repräsentation (Zit. nach Siegfried, S. 139):
"Die Forderung einer ständischen Ordnung hat nur Sinn, wenn ein grundsätzlicher Bruch mit allem Individualismus, Liberalismus, Kapitalismus erfolgt und auch in der praktischen Politik der Bruch mit Demokratie und Parteienstaat eingeleitet wird. Denn im organisch-ständischen Gedanken liegt, daß alle großen Lebenskreise der Gesellschaft zu arteigenen Gebilden mit arteigener (im Original gesperrt) Herrschergewalt ('Souveränität') werden. Nicht nur die Wirtschaft würde zu einem Gesamtstande, welcher in einem organisch aufgebauten System von Berufsständen (im Original gesperrt) sich selbst verwaltet und diese Selbstverwaltungsangelegenheiten dem heutigen zentralistischen Parlamente und dem heutigen, omnipotenten Staat entzieht. Auch der Staat (beziehungsweise seine politische Führung), dessen Stärke eine Lebensfrage ist, wird dadurch ein Stand." (Othmar Spann: Die politisch-wirtschaftliche Schicksalsstunde der deutschen Katholiken. In: Schönere Zukunft 7 (1931/32), S. 567)

Spanns Ausführungen gelten der Ablehnung liberaldemokratischer Verfassungen, seine Argumentation richtet sich gegen das zentrale Element der Forderung nach Gleichheit. Diese sei "die Herrschaft der Mittleren, Schlechteren, der den Schwächsten zu sich herauf, den Stärkeren herabzieht. Sofern dabei durchgängig die große Menge die Höheren herabzieht und beherrscht, in der großen Menge jedoch abermals der Abschaum zur Herrschaft drängt, drängt Gleichheit zuletzt gar auf Herrschaft des Lumpenproletariats hin" (Der wahre Staat, S. 44). In der weiteren Illustration der Modi des allgemeinen Wahlrechts muss das "politisch gänzlich unbelehrte ländliche Dienstmädchen" die männliche Qualität der "politisch wenigstens teilweise unterrichteten Staatsbürger", Handwerker oder "gehobene Arbeiter" zwangsläufig mindern, "die Stimme des akademisch Gebildeten, des politischen Führers,..." wird entwertet (ebd.).

Nationalsozialismus

1929 beginnt Spann Kontakte zu nationalsozialistischen Organisationen zu pflegen, er unterstützt die von Alfred Rosenberg 1927 gegründete Nationalsozialistische Gesellschaft für deutsche Kultur, deren Aufgabe die Begeisterung akademisch Gebildeter für die Bewegung sein soll (Siegfried, S. 153). Spann gilt in der Analyse der Arbeiterzeitung bereits 1925 als der intellektuelle Führer des Hakenkreuzlertums an der Wiener Universität, er tritt der NSDAP bei und erhält eine geheime, nicht nummerierte Mitgliedskarte (ebd.). Die Schulungsabende des Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Studentenbundes finden in den Räumen seines Seminars statt, der Unterricht wird vom Spann-Schüler Franz Seuchter gestaltet (Siegfried, S. 153f.). In einem 1933 veröffentlichten Aufsatz bietet Spann nun dem Nationalsozialismus seine universalistische Gesellschaftslehre als ideologische Grundlage des notwendigen ständischen Aufbaus dar (Zit. nach Siegfried, S. 156f.):
"Soll die politische Wendung, die sich im Reiche vollzog, eine grundsätzliche und nicht zum Zwischenspiel, ja zum grausen Wegbereiter des Bolschewismus werden, dann muß sie sich ihrer geistigen Grundlage deutlich bewußt sein. Sie heißt: Idealismus und Universalismus. Unter dem Drucke geschichtlicher Notwendigkeit kann der erste Ansturm, die erste Tat rein instinktiv erfolgen. Je mehr es zu bestimmten Aufgaben kommt, um so mehr muß der klare Gedanke die Tat bestimmen. Was nun folgen muß, ist eine Umbildung des Staates und der Wirtschaft, eine Umbildung, wie sie der idealistische und universalistische Gedanke verlangt - im ständischen Sinn. (Othmar Spann: Die politische Wendung ist da - was nun? In: Ständisches Leben 3 (1933), S. 67)

Sein Bemühen wird von Repräsentanten der Schwerindustrie, besonders Thyssen, honoriert, der die Idee die Vertretungen der ArbeiterInnen in die Industrieverbände einzugliedern reizvoll findet und für die dahingehende Überzeugungsarbeit die Gründung eines Instituts für Ständewesen (in Düsseldorf) unterstützt. Die wissenschaftliche Leitung des am 23. Juni 1933 feierlich eröffneten Instituts übernimmt Walter Heinrich, weitere Vertreter des Spann-Kreises (Andrae, Riehl, Paul Karrenbrock) werden aktiv (Siegfried, S. 175f). Der wiederholte Ruf nach "ständischer Selbstverwaltung" läuft den Interessen und Machtpositionen der Stahlindustriellen zuwider, Unterstützungen für die Zeitschrift Ständisches Leben werden 1935 eingestellt, eine Kontroverse mit der Führung der Deutschen Arbeitsfront (DAF) führt 1936 zum Ende der Propagandatätigkeit des Spann-Kreises am Institut für Ständewesen (Siegfried, S. 186f. und 195). Spanns Ablehnung der NS-Rassentheorie trug neben seinen politischen Fehleinschätzungen zu den Disharmonien bei. Der Begriff der Nation wird in der universalistischen Gesellschaftslehre kulturell definiert, eine "geistige Gemeinschaft", die antisemitische Diskriminierung ermöglicht, nicht erfordert (Siegfried, S. 201f). Ab 1935 werden die Antagonismen der beiden faschistischen Konzeptionen in zahlreichen Zeitungsbeiträgen offensiv ausgetragen, nach der Annexion Österreichs werden Othmar Spann, Rafael Spann und Walter Heinrich verhaftet. Das daraus gebildete Konstrukt einer vorzeitigen Abkehr konservativer Kräfte vom Nationalsozialismus ohne jegliche Reflexion ihrer Funktion in der Phase der Konstituierung eröffnet rechten Parteien und Einzelpersonen die Verherrlichung bewunderter und geliebter Meister und in diesem Sinne die Relativierung des Nazisystems. Die Lehre von der Ganzheit diente der Zerschlagung demokratisch verfasster Gesellschaften, dass sie zum Dienst und nicht zur Herrschaft gelangte, liegt an den realen Kräfteverhältnissen und auch am dürftigen Angebot, das Zufriedenheit in Unterdrückungsverhältnissen fordert im Tausch gegen "Beruhigung". Die perpetuierte Distribution des Modells liegt gleichsam am Puls der Zeit, ebenso wie ein Dollfußportrait im Parlamentsbüro Khols, Wirtschafts- und Arbeitsminister Bartenstein, die ÖVP Frauenpolitik und Schwester Herbert.

 

1 Spann, Othmar [1931]: Der wahre Staat. Vorlesungen über Abbruch und Neubau der Gesellschaft. Jena: Fischer, S. 175. → zurück
2 Vgl., Siegfried, Klaus-Jörg [1974]: Universalismus und Faschismus. Das Gesellschaftsbild Othmar Spanns. Wien: Europa Verlag, S. 72. → zurück
3 Zit. nach Pichler, J. H. (Hrsg.)[1988]: Othmar Spann oder die Welt als Ganzes. Wien/Köln/Graz: Böhlau, S. 26ff. Dieses Werk ist Walter Heinrich posthum zugeeignet. → zurück
4 Vgl., Pichler, J. H. [1992]: Betrachtungen zum Vaterunser. Im Gedenken des 90. Geburtstages von Walter Heinrich. Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsforschung, 36. Jg., IV/1992. → zurück
5 http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/text/x29/xm2933.html → zurück
6 Roman in autobiographischer Form, in welchem er die 131 Fragen der Entnazifizierungsbehörden dokumentieren und ad absurdum führen möchte. 1951 publiziert wurde das 800 Seiten Werk zum ersten Bestseller der BRD. → zurück
7 von Salomon, Ernst [1969]: Der Fragebogen. Reinbek bei Hamburg, S. 172. → zurück
8 Vgl. Pichler, J. Hanns [1990]: Woran könnte der Osten sich halten? Ganzheitliche Staatsidee und Wirtschaftsordnung als ein Programm der Mitte. Wiss. Arbeitskreis, Institut für Gewerbeforschung, Wien (Vortrag). ders., [1993]: Ganzheitliches Verfahren in seinem universalistisch überhöhenden Anspruch. In: Klein, H. D./Reikersdorfer, J. (Hrsg.): Philosophia perennis. Erich Heintel zum 80. Geburtstag, Teil 1, Frankfurt/Main, Berlin, Bern, New-York, Wien. → zurück
9 ders., [1999]: Europa und das Europäische. Auf der Suchen nach seiner 'Begrifflichkeit' von der Antike bis zur Neuzeit. In: Berchthold, J./Simhandl, F. (Hrsg.) [1999]: Freiheit und Verantwortung. Europa an der Jahrtausendwende. Jahrbuch für politische Erneuerung. Wien: Freiheitliche Akademie. → zurück
10 Vgl. http://www.trend.partisan.net/trd1298/t351298.html → zurück
11 Vgl. Meyer, Thomas [1997]: Stand und Klasse. Kontinuitätsgeschichte korporativer Staatskonzeptionen im deutschen Konservativismus. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag. → zurück
12 Vgl. Schneller, Martin [1970]: Zwischen Romantik und Faschismus. Der Beitrag Othmar Spanns zum Konservativismus in der Weimarer Republik. Stuttgart: Klett. → zurück
13 Resele, Gertraud [2001]: Othmar Spanns Ständestaatskonzeption und politisches Wirken. Wien (Diplomarbeit). → zurück
14 Vgl. Fischer, Kurt R./Wimmer, Franz M. (Hrsg.) [1993]: Der geistige Anschluß. Philosophie und Politik an der Universität Wien 1930-1950. Wien: WUV. Heiß, Gernot/Mattl, Siegfried/Meissl, Sebastian/Sauer, Edith, Stuhlpfarrer, Karl (Hrsg.Innen) [1989]: Willfährige Wissenschaft. Die Universität Wien 1938-1945. Wien: Verlag für Gesellschaftskritik. → zurück
15 Einer der deutschsprachigen Epigonen ist der eifrige Rezensent der Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsforschung Gerd-Klaus Kaltenbrunner, der ebenso im rechtsextremen Criticon (hrsg. von Caspar von Schrenck-Notzing), Sieg oder Aula, Publikation der "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Freiheitlicher Akademikerverbände Österreichs" publiziert. Ein weiterer regelmäßiger Autor der Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsforschung ist der katholische Antisemit Friedrich Romig, früher Europa-Beauftragter Kurt Krenns (Vgl. www.doew.at Neues von ganz rechts - April 2000), der seine antidemokratische Überzeugung gerne hinter ökologischen Bedenken verbirgt (Vgl. Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsforschung 2 (1997), S. 71-86). → zurück