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.

mercredi, 09 février 2011

Erdogans Griff nach der Weltmacht - das Ende aller Integrationsträume

Erdogans Griff nach der Weltmacht - das Ende aller Integrationsträume

 

L'eredità falsata di Martin Heidegger

L’eredità falsata di Martin Heidegger

Luca Leonello Rimbotti

Ex: http://www.centrostudilaruna.it/

Che Heidegger, con tutto il suo bagaglio filosofico intatto, sia stato catturato dalle sinistre ormai da qualche decennio e venga tenuto prigioniero nelle bibliografie e nelle monografie democratico-giacobine, è ormai un fatto risaputo. Da quando il marxismo si è dimostrato un ferro vecchio inutilizzabile, abbiamo assistito a un accorrere in folla dalle parti dell’ideologia nazionalpopolare europea, per sottrargli idee, concetti, approcci di pensiero, nomi e cognomi. Sulle orme lasciate da Heidegger, in particolare, hanno pestato in parecchi. E sempre con l’aria di aver fatto una scoperta. Su questa appropriazione indebita, in Italia e all’estero, non pochi ci si sono costruite carriere e cattedre di gran lustro.

Il gioco è semplice: basta far finta che Heidegger non sia mai stato davvero nazionalsocialista… in fondo, dopo appena un anno dette le dimissioni da rettore, sì o no?… rimase iscritto al Partito nazista fino al 1945, d’accordo, non ha mai detto una parola di condanna su Auschwitz… è vero anche questo… ma insomma… basta non dirlo troppo ad alta voce… poi si ripete fino alla nausea che il suo pensiero è stato travisato, ecco, è stato strumentalizzato, ma certo… è così evidente… ma per fortuna che ora ci pensano loro, gli intellettuali di sinistra, a dare la giusta lettura… ed ecco che un filosofo della tradizione, della ferrea identità di popolo, del volontarismo vitalistico, uno schietto pangermanista, uno che nelle lezioni su Nietzsche invocava «un nuovo ordine partendo dalle radici», tracciando una bella linea retta da Eraclito al Führer, ecco che dunque il filosofo della Führung diventa all’istante un santino del “pensiero debole”, dell’esistenzialismo universalista, una specie di curatore d’anime mezzo new age e mezzo dialettico… Si tratta di un gioco di prestigio per virtuosi, soltanto i migliori tra gli intellettuali di sinistra sono in grado di rivoltare Heidegger, ma anche Nietzsche o Schmitt, ma anche Marinetti o Gehlen o Jünger o Eliade… e tirarne fuori ottime figure di giacobini mondialisti…

A smascherare questi procedimenti della manipolazione professionale, nel 1988 giunse improvviso un libro di Victor Farìas intitolato Heidegger e il nazismo, pubblicato in Italia da Bollati Boringhieri. Fu una bomba inattesa. Suscitò sbandamento e panico nel campo della sinistra intelligente: Heidegger, dopo centinaia di pagine di uno studio basato su fonti primarie, veniva riconsegnato di brutto al suo destino di pensatore della reazione anti-modernista europea, dimostrando testi alla mano che si trattava di un filosofo accesamente antisemita, nazionalista, forgiatore di una profonda identità tra uomo europeo del XX secolo e uomo dorico dell’antichità. Insomma, un nazista. Uno studioso che parlava di metafisica greca pensando all’esserci storico dei tedeschi degli anni Venti-Trenta, e che elaborava la moderna filosofia ontologica individuandone una concreta realizzazione nelle SA.

Da allora, Farìas – che è stato allievo di Heidegger e di Fink – è diventato la bestia nera di tutti quei mandarini rossi che intasano università, riviste scientifiche, case editrici, forum e circuiti culturali, ma che per campare si erano inventati un Heidegger quasi-marxista. Se Marcuse si era ridotto a una caricatura, si poteva sempre ricorrere a un Heidegger ben limato… Su questa faccenda l’intellighenzia progressista si è da tempo spaccata in due. Da una parte i devoti di Heidegger, in fuga dalle macerie del marxismo; dall’altra parte i demolitori di Heidegger, custodi di una più intransigente ortodossia antifascista. Per dare un’idea, potremmmo dire: sinistra post-marxista e sinistra liberale ai ferri corti intorno alle spoglie di Heidegger.

In queste faide umilianti, tra l’altro, notiamo il tracollo finale di un modo di fare sub-cultura e di essere alla guida della macchina intellettuale, che si riassume nella bancarotta ormai irreversibile del progressismo. Falsificazione, fanatismo, faziosità, delazione, intimidazione… queste le attitudini scientifiche con cui i “filosofi” post-moderni, come nani confusi di fronte a qualcuno molto più grande di loro, arraffano oppure rigettano le posizioni di quello che è stato definito il maggior intellettuale del Novecento. Qualcuno glielo dica: si stanno occupando di un personaggio che non li riguarda in nessun caso.

Oggi Farìas ne fa un’altra delle sue e scarica nuove bordate di militanza democratica, pubblicando un esplicito L’eredità di Heidegger nel neonazismo, nel neofascismo e nel fondamentalismo islamico (Edizioni Medusa). Si prevedono nuovi travasi di bile tra le truppe intellettuali della sinistra heideggeriana, in fase di crescente spaesamento e comandate con qualche difficoltà, qui da noi, da maestri del pensiero del rango di un Gianni Vattimo.

Il discorso di Farìas, ancora una volta, non potrebbe essere più chiaro: Heidegger era nazista dalla testa ai piedi. Lo era perchè amico delle SA, perchè iscritto alla NSDAP fino all’ultimo giorno, perché pubblico elogiatore di Hitler, perché si identificò nel Terzo Reich e nelle sue guerre, perchè ha relativizzato pesantemente la Shoah, ma anche perchè tutto il suo pensiero, i suoi scritti, le sue lezioni universitarie, i suoi stessi concetti e argomenti sono riconoscibili per nazisti, sia prima che – addirittura – dopo il 1945. Poi Farìas va oltre, vuole strafare e, alla maniera dei persecutori “democratici”, quelli che vogliono imporre con le buone o con le cattive il Pensiero Unico, sui due piedi crea il mostro: Heidegger padre spirituale anche del neonazismo e del fondamentalismo islamico. Heidegger padre di tutti gli incubi dell’era globale. Prende Ernst Nolte – non uno qualsiasi, ma probabilmente il massimo storico vivente… ma col difetto di non appartenere alle cosche di sinistra – e lo diffama come agente neonazista. Direte: è uno scherzo? No, non è uno scherzo. Farìas fa sul serio: «Nolte di fatto apre le porte a un neonazismo che conferma tutti i modelli sociali autoritari… Nolte afferma che Heidegger intendeva il nazismo come “socialismo tedesco”… nel suo sforzo di riabilitare Heidegger utile a riabilitare un neonazismo… nella Repubblica Federale tedesca del 1987, Nolte interpreta le lezioni su Hölderlin (1934-1935) assumendo come evidente e accettabile l’ultranazionalismo dell’esegesi heideggeriana…».

Farìas, che è una punta di diamante della lobby mondialista liberal-libertaria di matrice cattolica, odia Nolte, che è un nazionalconservatore, di un odio da Inquisizione. Non elabora la possibilità che vi sia qualcuno che non la pensa come lui. E ne ha per tutti. Vede un mondo di neonazisti. Dalla “Nuova Destra” tedesca – un tranquillo ambiente di intellettuali alla Stefan George, dove si fa cultura di nicchia – al figlio di Heidegger, Hermann, accusato di voler insinuare un pernicioso “neo-heideggerismo”… fino a certi contatti culturali tra frange della destra e della sinistra tedesche: e, ad esempio, il loro anti-americanismo, attinto da Heidegger, diventa subito un sinistro “nazionalbolscevismo”. Attacca a testa bassa la “Nouvelle Droite” francese e infama de Benoist o Guillaume Faye tacciandoli coi soliti stereotipi di pericolosità neopagana e fascistoide: e sin qui nulla di nuovo. Ma subito li mette in collegamento con certe derive da lui astutamente individuate nel pensiero “corretto”: dice che Lacan o Baudrillart erano vicini a Céline e alla Rivoluzione Conservatrice, rivela che Foucault ammirava la «spiritualità politica» dei khomeinisti iraniani, giudica Steuckers un nocivo teorico “eurocentrista” e stende un verbale delle riviste cui collabora (comprendendoci anche quelle di Marco Tarchi…), poi descrive il nuovo ecologismo (e ci mette dentro anche quello di Eduardo Zarelli…) come un nido di eredi di Klages e del Blut und Boden… e ribatte ancora che l’heideggerismo del GRECE è stato un vaso d’infusione per il peggiore degli abomini, il razzismo: «de Benoist, come Heidegger, basa le gerarchie che fondano la discriminazione non come i razzisti “volgari” e zoologisti, bensì nello “spirito”…». Da questo poderoso concentrato di aria fritta, Farìas trae le sue conclusioni, rivelando al mondo l’esistenza di una perversa congiura metapolitica, al di là della destra e della sinistra: «Così, non sorprende che in Francia il matrimonio – impensabile fino a poco tempo fa – tra il sotterraneo fascismo heideggeriano e il neomarxismo militante sia oggi una realtà».

Subito dopo, Farìas si volge da un’altra parte del suo vasto spettro di nemici e ne individua uno tra i più temibili: l’islamismo heideggeriano. E ci informa che tra un tale Sayyd Qutb morto nel ‘66 e Heidegger esisteva una grande somiglianza di concezioni anti-americane… e che l’iraniano Ahmadinejad non sarebbe altro che «un militante “heideggeriano”». Infine si dice convinto che esista una nazi-connection mondiale che unifica tutti questi ambienti al «neofascismo militarista di Chàvez», dipinto come un Caudillo antisemita, a lungo ammaestrato dal defunto politologo péronista-revisionista Norberto Ceresole, a sua volta heideggeriano di ferro e perno ideologico del complotto neonazista… Insomma, è come leggere I Protocolli dei Savi di Sion… ma all’incontrario… e con l’uguale spessore scientifico pari a zero.

Farìas è uno dei più zelanti poliziotti a difesa del Pensiero Unico. Recita alla perfezione la parte del sacerdote che veglia sull’ortodossia totalitaria e che denuncia l’eretico, indicando la forca sulla quale farlo salire. Farìas lavora come pochi per le ragioni del mondialismo censendo pensieri, parole ed opere di quanti si ostinino ancora a usare la loro testa. Segnala ambienti, rivela retroscena, denuncia frasi che a forza sottolinea come pericolose, addita libri, uomini, associazioni come letali focolai di camuffamento neonazista sub specie heideggeriana. Uno afflitto da una simile sindrome, lo direste uno studioso… o piuttosto un delatore?

Noi imparziali e inattuali vogliamo dire la nostra: Farìas fa bene quando contribuisce a rettificare le cose, tornando a collocare Heidegger in modo documentato nella tradizione di pensiero che gli compete, quella anti-progressista e radicalmente identitaria. Del resto, Farìas è soltanto più rumoroso di altri: infatti, anche prima di lui, svariati studiosi, da Hugo Ott a Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe a Bernd Martin, per citarne solo alcuni, già tra l’87 e l’88, rimisero Heidegger al suo posto, dimostrandone i nessi biografici e filosofici col Nazionalsocialismo, senza per questo mandarne al capestro la memoria. E nessuno di loro intese recitare la parte fanatica del militante antifascista a tutti costi e fuori tempo massimo. Farìas fa infatti cattiva letteratura quando, da propagandista schierato e da terrorista intellettuale, fa sibilare la frusta dell’inquisitore “democratico”, evocando ad ogni passo la reazione in agguato, il neofascismo che dilaga, il Quarto Reich alle porte… e altri simili spropositi.

* * *

Tratto da Linea del 30 gennaio 2009.

Nazi Fashion Wars: The Evolian Revolt Against Aphroditism in the THird Reich

Nazi Fashion Wars:

The Evolian Revolt Against Aphroditism in the Third Reich

Part 1

Amanda Bradley

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

“We would like women to remain women in their nature, in the whole of their lives, in the aim and fulfilment of these lives, just as we likewise wish men to remain men in their nature and in the aim and fulfilment of their nature and their aims.”—Adolf Hitler

girl1.jpgNational Socialism promoted two images of woman: the hardworking peasant mother in traditional dress, and the uniformed woman in service to her people. Both images were an attempt to combat two types of woman that are foreign to Traditional European societies: the Aphrodisian and Amazonian woman.

To understand the implications of these types, we must first outline J. J. Bachofen’s theory of the phases of human development and their relation to the Traditionalism of Julius Evola, who translated Bachofen’s Das Mutterrecht (Mother Right) into Italian and wrote the introduction. Bachofen posited a progressive view of history. The earliest and most primitive civilizations were earth-based, what Bachofen called “hetaerist-aphroditic,” since they were characterized by promiscuity.

As a revolt against the mistreatment of women in these early societies, Bachofen determined, agricultural-based Demetrian societies were developed. This phase of development was matriarchal, and exalted woman in her role of wife and mother, since it viewed woman and the earth as sources of generation.

Next, patriarchy developed, in which the sun and man were seen as the source of life. States of consciousness, correspondingly, went beyond the earth and the moon in solar-oriented societies.

Bachofen also outlined several regressions within his system. The cult of Dionysus was a regression from a Demetrian back into an earth-based cult, as exemplified by its emphasis on the vine (i.e., earth), a drunken dissolution into nature, and the promiscuous maenads who were its followers. Another regression was found in the various examples of Amazonian women in Western history, who did away with the need for a male principle.

Evola said that he integrated Bachofen’s ideas in “a wider and more up-to-date order of ideas.” [1]. He posits the Arctic cycle of the Golden Age as the primordial tradition. Demetrian societies came later, and eventually declined into Amazonian and Aphrodisian cycles. Meanwhile, there were descents into Titanic and Dionysian cycles, with a brief revival of the Northern spirit in the heroic age. Although Evola and Bachofen disagreed about the primacy of the Northern tradition, their interpretations of Aphroditism and other degenerations are similar.

As an earth-based society, the Aphrodisian is entirely focused on the material world. These societies are ruled by “the natural law (ius naturale) of sex motivated by lust, and with no understanding of the relationship of intercourse to conception.” [2] Even the afterlife is viewed not as an ascent to a heaven, but a return to nature. Bachofen describes woman’s status in these cultures as the lowest—she is only a sex object, the property of the tribal chief or any man who wants her. Evola’s interpretation is that in Aphrodisian societies, it is man’s status that is the lowest, since woman is the “sovereign of the man who is merely slave of his senses and sexuality, merely the ‘telluric’ being that finds its rest and its ecstasy only in the woman.” [3] Whether interpreting Aphrodisian societies as degrading to men, women, or both, one aspect is clear: Such a worldview emphasizes the lower aspects of sex, and presents woman as an object of base lust. Contrasted to this are Demetrian societies, in which monogamy and the love of the wife and mother replace mere lust.

Such Aphrodisian cultures are found only in pre-Aryan and anti-Aryan societies. In the history of the West, Evola theorizes that solar-based societies originally were found throughout Europe. In the more southern areas of Europe, in the timeline of recorded history at least, the solar forces did not withstand opposing forces for long. According to Joseph Campbell, these earth and lunar forces migrated to the Mediterranean from the East, as the Oriental principle was found in the “Aphroditic, Demetrian, and Dionysian legacies of the Sabines and Etruscans, Hellenistic Carthage and, finally, Cleopatra’s Hellenistic Egypt.”[4] Thus, much of what we associate with classical Greece cannot be assumed to be European, but must be interpreted in light of the degenerations that developed from its contact with the East. Rome, according to Evola, was able to ward off the influence of the telluric-maternal cult due to its establishment of a firm political organization that was centered on the virile principles of a solar worldview.

In addition to the spheres of love and family, Aphrodisian societies have far-reaching political implications as well. Earth and lunar cults were not necessarily (in fact, rarely) governed by women, yet like gynaecocracy, they foster “the egalitarism of the natural law, universalism and communism.” The idea is that Aphrodisian, earth-based societies viewed all men as children of one earth. Thus, “any inequality is an ‘injustice’, an outrage to the law of nature.” The ancient orgies, Evola writes, “were meant to celebrate the return of men to the state of nature through the momentary obliteration of any social difference and of any hierarchy.”[5] This also explains why in some cultures, the lower castes practiced tellurian or lunar rites, while solar rites were reserved for the aristocracy.

roekk-gross.jpgThese were the Aphrodisian elements that had made their way into the Weimar Republic and Third Reich, and which the National Socialists tried to restrain, along with modern Amazonian woman (the unmarried, childless, career woman in mannish dress). The Aphrodite type was represented by the “movie ‘star’ or some similar fascinating Aphrodisian apparition.”[6] In his introduction to the writings of Bachofen, National Socialist scholar Alfred Baeumler wrote that the modern world has all of the characteristics of a gynaecocratic age. In writing about the European city-woman, he says, “The fascinating female is the idol of our times, and, with painted lips, she walks through the European cities as she once did through Babylon.”[7]

(PICTURE: Hungarian-born singer Marikka Rökk)

The Nazis’ attempts to combat the Aphrodisian type of woman were manifest in various campaigns and in the writings of Nazi leaders. Most prominent was the promotion of the Gretchen type (the Demetrian woman, in her role as mother and wife), and the discouragement of anything that encouraged the fall of woman into a sex toy rather than a partner for men. Primary emphasis was placed on the discouragement of provocative dress, makeup, and unnatural hair, all which have associations with earth-based cults from the East. According to Evola, the Jewish spirit emphasizes the materialist and sensualist sides of life, with the body viewed as a material instrument of pleasure rather than an instrument of the spirit. Thus, ideologies such as cosmopolitanism, egalitarianism, materialism, and feminism are prevalent in a society that has a worldview infused with a Semitic spirit.[8]

Evola categorized the Aryan spirit as solar and virile, and the Jewish spirit as lunar and feminine. Using Bachofen’s classification system, the latter classifies most easily with Aphrodisian and earth-based cultures — where woman-as-sex-object prevails over woman-as-mother. In fact, there were various versions of “royal Asian women with Aphrodisian features, above all in ancient civilizations of Semitic stock.”[9] A review of archaeological evidence of Aryan and Semitic peoples reveals that, indeed, the only records of Aphrodisian culture in the West (as determined by a culture’s molding of woman into a sex object through fashion, makeup, and the idea of unnatural beauty) are the result of Eastern influence.

Aphrodisian Fashion and Cosmetics Are Absent from the History of Northern Europeans, and Found in Mediterranean Cultures as a Result of Eastern Influence

European civilizations unanimously associated unnatural beauty, achieved by cosmetics and dyed hair, with the lowest castes. This is because in Traditional societies, “health” was a symbol of “virtue” — to feign health or beauty was an attempt to mask the Truth.[10] Although cosmetics and jewelry were used ritually in ancient civilizations, their use eventually degenerated into a purely materialistic function.

 

girl4.jpgThe earliest Europeans tended toward simplicity in dress and appearance. Adornments were used solely to signify caste or heroic deeds, or were amulets or talismans. In ancient Greece, jewels were never worn for everyday use, but reserved for special occasions and public appearances. In Rome, also, jewelry was thought to have a spiritual power.[11] Western fashion often was used to display rank, as in Roman patricians’ purple sash and red shoes. The Mediterranean cultures, influenced by the East, were the first to become extravagant in dress and makeup. By the time this influence spread to northern Europe, it had been Christianized, and makeup did not appear again in northern Europe until the fourteenth century, after which followed a long period of its association with immorality.[12]

There is no firm evidence, archeological or narrative, for the use of makeup among the Anglo-Saxons. Only one story exists about its use among the Vikings, that of tenth century A.D. traveler  Ibrahim Al-Tartushi, who suggested that Vikings in Hedeby (in modern northern Germany) used kohl to protect against the evil eye (obviously an import from the East). Instead of makeup (outside of their often-described war paint), early northern Europeans focused on cleanliness and simplicity, as well as plant-based oils and aromatherapy. Archeological evidence reveals grooming tools for keeping hair tidy and teeth clean, and long hair was an essential beauty element for women.[13] Much of the jewelry worn by Vikings was religious, received as a reward for bravery in battle, or used to fasten clothing (such as brooches).[14]

Ancient Greece and Rome started out similar to northern Europe in the realms of fashion and beauty, but were quickly influenced by the East. Cosmetics were introduced to Rome from Egypt, and become associated with prostitutes and slaves. Prostitutes tended to use more makeup and perfume as they got older, practices that were looked down on as attempts to mask the unpleasant sights and odors of the lower classes. In fact, the Latin lenocinium means both “prostitution” and “makeup.” For a long time, cosmetics also were associated with non-white races, particular those from the Orient. As Rome degenerated, however, the use of makeup spread to many classes, with specialized slaves devoting much time to applying face paint to their masters, especially to lighten the skin color.

Although cosmetics became more accepted in Rome, their use was contrary to Roman beliefs and discouraged in their writings. Romans did not believe in “unnatural embellishment,” but only the preservation of natural beauty, for which there were many concoctions. Such unadulterated beauty was associated with chastity and morality. As an example, the Vestal Virgins did not use makeup. One who did, Postumia, was accused of incestum, a broad category that signifies immoral and irreligious acts.

In addition, Roman men found it suspicious when women tried to appear beautiful: the implications of cosmetic use included a lack of natural beauty, lack of chastity, potential for adultery, seductiveness, unnatural aversion to the traditional roles for women, manipulation, and deceitfulness. The poet Juvenal wrote, “a woman buys scents and lotions with adultery in mind.” Seneca believed the use of cosmetics was contributing to the decline in morality in the Rome Empire, and advised virtuous women to avoid them.[15] The only surviving text from Rome that approves of cosmetics, Ovid’s Medicamina Faciei Femineae (Cosmetics for the Female Face), gives natural remedies for whiter skin and blemishes but extols the virtues of good manners and a good disposition as highest of all beauty treatments.

Originally, the simplest hairstyles were prized in Rome, with women wearing their hair long, often with a headband. Younger girls favored a bun at the nape of the neck, or a knot on top of their head. Elaborate hairstyles only came into fashion during the Roman Empire as it degenerated.[16]

In ancient Greece, as well, makeup was the domain of lower-class women, who attempted to emulate the fair skin of the upper classes who stayed indoors. Rouge was sometimes used to give the skin a healthy and energetic glow. This tradition was continued by women in the Middle Ages, who also valued fair skin.

Cosmetics, dyed hair, and over-accessorizing continued to be associated with loose women as Western society was Christianized. Saint Irenaeus included cosmetics in a list of evils brought to the women who married fallen angels. The early Christian writers Clement of Alexandria, Tatian the Assyrian, and Tertullian also trace the origin of cosmetics to fallen angels.[17]

Dress presents a more difficult area to examine. Although the Nazis associated skimpy dress with foreign elements, this has not always been the case in West. Aryan societies generally did not moralize sex, nor see the body as shameful; women could show a bare breast or wear a short tunic without being viewed as a sex object. In fact, Bachofen reports that more restrictive dress represented a move toward Eastern cultures, which, seeing woman as temptress, insist on extensive covering. According to Plutarch, speaking on the old Dorian spirit:

There was nothing shameful about the nakedness of the virgins, for they were always accompanied by modesty and lechery was banned. Rather, it gave them a taste for simplicity and a care for outward dignity.[18]

Much of these distinctions in beauty treatments can be traced to deeper sources, to the differences in spirit of different peoples. Evola asserts the Roman spirit as the positive side of the Italian people, and the Mediterranean (more influenced by the East) as the negative that needs to be rectified. The first Mediterranean trait is “love for outward appearances and grand gestures”—it is the type that “needs a stage.” In such people, he says, there is a split in the personality: there is “an ‘I’ that plays the role and an ‘I’ that regards his part from the point of view of a possible observer or spectator, more or less as actors do.”

A different kind of split, one that instead supervises one’s conduct to avoid “primitive spontaneity,” is more befitting of the Roman character. The ancient Romans had a model of “sober, austere, active style, free form exhibitionism, measured, endowed with a calm awareness of one’s dignity.” Another negative trait of the Mediterranean type, Evola notes, is individualism, brought about by “the propensity toward outward appearances.” Evola also cites “concern for appearances but with little or no substance” as typical of the Mediterranean type.[19] Such differences in spirit will manifest in the material choices that are inherent to different peoples.

Notes

 

1. Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, trans. Guido Stucco (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 1995), 211, footnote.

2. Joseph Campbell, Introduction, Myth, Religion, and Mother Right, by J. J. Bachofen, trans. Ralph Manheim (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967), xxx–xxxi.

3. Evola, “Do We Live in a Gynaecocratic Society?”

4. Campbell, “Introduction” to Bachofen, xlviii.

5. Evola, “Gynaecocratic.”

6. Evola, “Matriarchy in J.J. Bachofen’s Work.”

7. Alfred Baeumler, quoted in Evola, “Matriarchy.”

8. Michael O’Meara, “Evola’s Anti-Semitism.”

9. Evola, “Gynaecocratic.”

10. Evola, Revolt, 102.

11. “Creationism & the Early Church.”

12. “Cosmetics use resurfaces in Middle Ages.”

13. “In Pursuit of Beauty.”

14. Fiona McDonald,Jewelry And Makeup Through History (Milwaukee, Wis.: Gareth Stevens, 2007), 13.

15. Wikipedia. “Cosmetics in Ancient Rome.”

16. “Roman Hairstyles.”

17. “Creationism & the Early Church.”

18. Plutarch, quoted in Bachofen, 171.

19. Evola, Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist, trans. Guido Stucco (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2002), 260–62.

Nazi Fashion Wars:
The Evolian Revolt Against Aphroditism in the Third Reich, Part 2

girl2.jpgThere is much archeological evidence for cosmetics and other beauty treatments in the East, particularly in Egypt and Asia. In Arab cultures, cosmetic use is traced back to ancient times, and there are no prohibitions in Islamic law against cosmetics. Though a simple use of makeup or hair dye could not be evidence of an Aphrodisian belief system, if such use is intended to limit woman’s role to the sexual realm, then we can assume there are elements of the culture that are earth-based and opposed to the Aryan solar cults.

Judaism is not historically opposed to cosmetics and jewelry, although two stories can be interpreted as negative indictments on cosmetics and too much finery: Esther rejected beauty treatments before her presentation to the Persian king, indicating that the highest beauty is pure and natural; and Jezebel, who dressed in finery and eye makeup before her death, may the root of some associations between makeup and prostitutes.

In most cases, however, Jewish views on cosmetics and jewelry tend to be positive and indicate woman’s role as sexual: “In the rabbinic culture, ornamentation, attractive dress and cosmetics are considered entirely appropriate to the woman in her ordained role of sexual partner.” In addition to daily use, cosmetics also are allowed on holidays on which work (including painting, drawing, and other arts) are forbidden; the idea is that since it is pleasurable for women to fix themselves up, it does not fall into the prohibited category of work.[1]

In addition to the historical distinctions between cultures on cosmetics, jewelry, and fashion, the modern era has demonstrated that certain races enter industries associated with the Aphrodisian worldview more than others. Overwhelmingly, Jews are overrepresented in all of these arenas. Following World War I, the beauty and fashion industries became dominated by huge corporations, many of the Jewish-owned. Of the four cosmetics pioneers — Helena Rubenstein, Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder (née Mentzer), and Charles Revson (founder of Revlon) — only Elizabeth Arden was not Jewish. In addition, more than 50 percent of department stores in America today were started or run by Jews. (Click here for information about Jewish department stores and jewelers, and here for Jewish fashion designers).

Hitler was not the only one who noticed Jewish influence in fashion and thought it harmful. Already in Germany, a belief existed that Jewish women were “prone to excess and extravagance in their clothing.” In addition, Jews were accused of purposefully denigrating women by designing immoral, trashy clothing for German women.[2] There was an economic aspect to the opposition of Jews in fashion, as many Germans thought them responsible for driving smaller, German-owned clothiers out of business. In 1933, an organization was founded to remove Jews from the Germany fashion industry. Adefa “came about not because of any orders emanating from high within the state hierarchy. Rather, it was founded and membered by persons working in the fashion industry.”[3] According to Adefa’s figures, Jewish participation was 35 percent in men’s outerwear, hats, and accessories; 40 percent in underclothing; 55 percent in the fur industry; and 70 percent in women’s outerwear.[4]

Although many Germans disliked the Jewish influence in beauty and fashion, it was recognized that the problem was not so much what particular foreign race was impacting German women, but that any foreign influence was shaping their lives and altering their spirit. The Nazis obviously were aware of the power of dress and beauty regimes to impact the core of woman’s self-image and being. According to Agnes Gerlach, chairwoman for the Association for German Women’s Culture:

Not only is the beauty ideal of another race physically different, but the position of a woman in another country will be different in its inclination. It depends on the race if a woman is respected as a free person or as a kept female. These basic attitudes also influence the clothes of a woman. The southern ‘showtype’ will subordinate her clothes to presentation, the Nordic ‘achievement type’ to activity. The southern ideal is the young lover; the Nordic ideal is the motherly woman. Exhibitionism leads to the deformation of the body, while being active obligates caring for the body. These hints already show what falsifying and degenerating influences emanate from a fashion born of foreign law and a foreign race.[5]

Gerlach’s statements echo descriptions of Aphrodisian cultures entirely: Some cultures view women as a sex object, and elements of promiscuity run through all areas of women’s dress and toilette; Aryan cultures have a broader understanding of the possibilities of the female being and celebrate woman’s natural beauty.

The Introduction of Aphrodisian Elements into Germany and the Beginning of the Fashion Battles

Long before the Third Reich, Germans battled the French on the field of fashion; it was a battle between the Aphrodisian culture that had made its way to France, and the Demetrian placement of woman as a wife and mother. As early as the 1600s, German satirical picture sheets were distributed that showed the “Latin morals, manners, customs, and vanity” of the French as threatening Nordic culture in Germany. In the twentieth century, Paris was the height of high fashion, and as tensions between the two countries increased, the French increased their derogatory characterizations of German women for not being stereotypically Aphrodisian. In 1914, a Parisian comic book presented Germans as “a nation of fat, unrefined, badly dressed clowns.”[6] And in 1917, a French depiction of “Virtuous Germania” shows her as “a fat, large-breasted, mean-looking woman, with a severe scowl on her chubby face.”[7]

Hitler saw the French fashion conglomerate as a manifestation of the Jewish spirit, and it was common to hear that Paris was controlled by Jews. Women were discouraged from wearing foreign modes of dress such as those in the Jewish and Parisian shops: “Sex appeal was considered to be ‘Jewish cosmopolitanism’, whilst slimming cures were frowned upon as counter to the birth drive.”[8] Thus, the Nazis staunch stance against anything French was in part a reaction to the Latin qualities of French culture, which had migrated to the Mediterranean thousands of years earlier, and that set the highest image of woman as something German men did not want: “a frivolous play toy that superficially only thinks about pleasure, adorns herself with trinkets and spangles, and resembles a glittering vessel, the interior of which is hollow and desolate.”[9] Such values had no place in National Socialism, which promoted autarky, frugalness, respect for the earth’s resources, natural beauty, a true religiosity (Christian at first, with the eventual goal to return to paganism), devotion to higher causes (such as to God and the state), service to one’s community, and the role of women as a wife and mother.

Opposition to the Aphrodisian Culture in the Third Reich

Most students of Third Reich history are familiar with the more popular efforts to shape women’s lives: the Lebensborn program for unwed mothers, interest-free loans for marriage and children, and propaganda posters that emphasized health and motherhood. But some of the largest battles in the fight for women occurred almost entirely within the sphere of fashion—in magazines, beauty salons, and women’s organizations.

The Nazis did not discount fashion, only its Aphrodisian manifestations. On the contrary, they understood fashion as a powerful political tool in shaping the mores of generations of women. Fashion and beauty also were recognized as important elements in the cultural revolution that is necessary for lasting political change. German author Stafan Zweig commented on fashion in the 1920s:

Today its dictatorship becomes universal in a heartbeat. No emperor, no khan in the history of the world ever experienced a similar power, no spiritual commandment a similar speed. Christianity and socialism required centuries and decades to win their followings, to enforce their commandments on as many people as a modern Parisian tailor enslaves in eight days.[10]

Thus, Nazi Germany established a fashion bureau and numerous women’s organizations as active forces of cultural hegemony. Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, the national leader of the NS-Frauenschaft (NSF, or National Socialist Women’s League), said the organization’s aim was to show women how their small actions could impact the entire nation.[11] Many of these “small actions” involved daily choices about dress, shopping, health, and hygiene.

The biggest enemies of women, according to the Nazi regime, were those un-German forces that worked to denigrate the German woman. These included Parisian high fashion and cosmetics, Jewish fashion, and the Hollywood image of the heavily made up, cigarette-smoking vamp—the archetype of the Aphrodisian. These forces not only impacted women’s clothing, personal care choices, and activities, but were dangerous since they touched the German woman’s very spirit.

girl5.jpgAlthough the image of the dirndl-wearing woman working the fields was heavily promoted, Hitler was not anti-fashion and realized the value in beautiful dress and that in order to retain women’s support, he could not do away with their luxury items completely. Part of the reason he opposed Joseph Goebbels’ 1944 plans to close fashion houses and beauty parlors was not because he disagreed, but because he was “fearful that this would antagonize German women,” particular those of the middle classes who he relied on for support.[12] Hitler showed his concern for tasteful clothing when he rejected the first design of girls’ uniforms for the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM, League of German Girls) as “old sacks” and said the look should not be “too primitive.”[13] And in a conference with party leaders he said:

Clothing should not now suddenly return to the Stone Age; one should remain where we are now. I am of the opinion that when one wants a coat made, one can allow it to be made handsomely. It doesn’t become more expensive because of that. . . . Is it really something so horrible when [a woman] looks pretty? Let’s be honest, we all like to see it.[14]

Though understanding the need for tasteful and beautiful dress, the Nazis were adamantly against elements foreign to the Nordic spirit. The list included foreign fashion, trousers, provocative clothing, cosmetics, perfumes, hair alterations (such as coloring and permanents), extensive eyebrow plucking, dieting, alcohol, and smoking. In February 1916, the government issued a list of “forbidden luxury items” that included foreign (i.e., French) cosmetics and perfumes.[15] Permanents and hair coloring were strongly discouraged. Although the Nazis were against provocative clothing in everyday dress, they encouraged sportiness and were certainly not prudish about young girls wearing shorts to exercise. A parallel can be seen in the scanty dress worn by Spartan girls during their exercises, a civilization characterized by its Nordic spirit and solar-orientation.

Some have said that Hitler was opposed to cosmetics because of his vegetarian leanings, since cosmetics were made from animal byproducts. More likely, he retained the same views that kept women from wearing makeup for centuries in Western countries—the innate understanding that the Aphrodisian woman is opposed to Aryan culture. Nazi proponents said “red lips and painted cheeks suited the ‘Oriental’ or ‘Southern’ woman, but such artificial means only falsified the true beauty and femininity of the German woman.”[16] Others said that any amount of makeup or jewelry was considered “sluttish.”[17] Magazines in the Third Reich still carried advertisements for perfumes and cosmetics, but articles started advocating minimal, natural-looking makeup, for the truth was that most women were unable to pull off a fresh and healthy image without a little help from cosmetics.

Although jewelry and cosmetics were not banned, many areas of the Third Reich were impossible to enter unless conforming to Nazi ideals. In 1933, “painted” women were banned from Kreisleitung party meetings in Breslau. Women in the Lebensborn program were not allowed to use lipstick, pluck their eyebrows, or paint their nails.[18] When in uniform, women were forbidden to wear conspicuous jewelry, brightly colored gloves, bright purses, and obvious makeup.[19] The BDM also was influential in shaping fashion in the regime, with young girls taking up the use of clever pejoratives to reinforce the regime’s message that unnatural beauty was not Aryan. The Reich Youth Leader said:

The BDM does not subscribe to the untruthful ideal of a painted and external beauty, but rather strives for an honest beauty, which is situated in the harmonious training of the body and in the noble triad of body, soul, and mind. Staunch BDM members whole-heartedly embraced the message, and called those women who cosmetically tried to attain the Aryan female ideal ‘n2 (nordic ninnies)’ or ‘b3 (blue-eyed, blonde blithering idiots).’[20]

The Nazis offered many alternatives to Aphrodisian values: beauty would be derived from good character, exercise outdoors, a good diet, healthy skin free of the harsh chemicals in makeup, comfortable (yet still stylish and flattering) clothing, and from the love for her husband, children, home, and country. The most encouraged hairstyles were in buns or plaits—styles that saved money on trips to the beauty salon and were seen as more wholesome and befitting of the German character. In fact, Tracht (traditional German dress) was viewed as not merely clothing, but also as “the expression of a spiritual demeanor and a feeling of worth . . . Outwardly, it conveys the expression of the steadfastness and solid unity of the rural community.”[21] Foreign clothing designs, according to Gerlach, led to physical and “psychological distortion and damage, and thereby to national and racial deterioration.”[22]

*   *   *

Some people may be inclined to interpret Aphrodisian culture as positive for the sexes—it puts the emphasis for women not on careers but on their existence as sexual beings. Men often encourage such behavior by their dating choices and by complimenting an Aphrodisian “look” in women. But Aphrodisian culture is not only damaging to women, as Bachofen relates, by reducing them to the status of sex slave of multiple men. It also is degrading for men, at the level of personality and at the deepest levels of being. As Evola writes about the degeneration into Aphroditism:

The chthonic and infernal nature penetrates the virile principle and lowers it to a phallic level. The woman now dominates man as he becomes enslaved to the senses and a mere instrument of procreation. Vis-à-vis the Aphrodistic goddess, the divine male is subjected to the magic of the feminine principle and is reduced to the likes of an earthly demon or a god of the fecundating waters—in other words, to an insufficient and dark power.[23]

(PICTURE: Swedish singer Zarah Leander)

Zarah_Leander_DW_Ku_389109g.jpgAphroditism also contributes to the loss of wonder that is essential to a transcendent-based worldview, since many now find it hard to be moved by the ordinary. Josef Pieper discusses the importance of being able to see the divine in the natural:

If someone needs the ‘unusual’ to be moved to astonishment, that person has lost the ability to respond rightly to the wondrous, the mirandum, of being. The hunger for the sensational . . . is an unmistakable sign of the loss of the true power of wonder, for a bourgeois-ized humanity.[24]

A society that promotes so much unnatural beauty will no doubt lose the ability to experience the wondrous in the natural. It is essential that people retain the ability to love and be moved by the pure and natural, in order to once again return to a civilization centered in a Traditional Aryan worldview.

Notes

1. Daniel Boyarin, “Sex,” Jewish Women’s Archive.

2. Irene Guenther, Nazi ‘Chic’?: Fashioning Women in the Third Reich (Oxford: Berg, 2004), 50–51.

3. Guenther, 16.

4. Guenther, 159.

5. Agnes Gerlach,  quoted in Guenther, 146.

6. Guenther, 21–22.

7. Guenther, 26.

8. Matthew Stibbe, “Women and the Nazi state,” History Today, vol. 43, November 1993.

9. Guenther, 93.

10. Stefan  Zweig, quoted in Guenther, 9.

11. Jill Stephenson, Women in Nazi Germany (Essex, UK: Pearson, 2001), 88.

12. Stephenson, 133.

13. Guenther, 120.

14. Adolf Hitler, quoted in Guenther, 141.

15. Guenther, 32.

16. Guenther, 100.

17. Guido Knopp,  Hitler’s Women (New York: Routledge, 2003), 231.

18. Guenther, 99.

19. Guenther, 129.

20. Guenther, 121.

21. Guenther, 111.

22. Gerlach, quoted in Guenther, 145.

23. Evola, Revolt, 223.

24. Josef Pieper,  Leisure: The Basis of Culture, trans. Gerald Malsbary (South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustine’s Press, 1998), 102.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Ernst Jünger - Apostrophes 1981


Ernst Jünger - Apostrophes 1981

mardi, 08 février 2011

Franz von Suppé: cavalerie légère

Franz von Suppé: Cavalerie légère

00:10 Publié dans Musique | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : musique, allemagne, franz von suppé, cavalerie | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

lundi, 07 février 2011

Mircea Eliade über Carl Schmitt und René Guénon

Mircea Eliade über Carl Schmitt und René Guénon

Ex: http://traditionundmetaphgysik.wordpress.com/

Er [Carl Schmitt] sagt mir, er sei ein Optimist in Bezug auf die Zukunft Europas. Nationalismus wie Internationalismus sind gleichermaßen überholte Modelle.
(Eintrag vom Mai 1944, S. 108)

eliadeJP.jpgDie State University of New York Press hat die englische Übersetzung des „portugiesischen Tagebuchs“ (Jurnalul portughez) von Mircea Eliade – er war von 1941-45 rumänischer Botschafter in Lissabon – veröffentlicht:


Mircea Eliade: The Portugal Journal. Translated with a preface and notes by Mac Linscott Ricketts. SUNY Press, 296 Seiten, Hardcover/Paperback, Neu-York 2010.
(Rumänische Ausgaben:

Ernst Jünger hatte in den „Strahlungen“, seinem Kriegstagebuch, Carl Schmitts Bericht von Eliades Besuch in Berlin wiedergegeben (Eintrag vom 15.11.1942, über Jüngers Gespräch mit Schmitt über Eliade wird dieser wiederum am 27.12.1942 informiert, siehe S. 54). In Eliades Tagebuch findet sich nun sein Bericht über die Begegnung, demzufolge Eliade von Schmitts Werk nur „Die romantische Politik“ [recte: Politische Romantik] kenne, die in Rumänien großen Einfluß auf Nae Ionescu und dessen Kreis ausgeübt habe. Aber Schmitt zeigt kein Interesse, das Gespräch in diese Richtung lenken zu lassen, lieber spricht er über die Politik der Regierung Salazars. Allerdings noch mehr lebt Schmitt zu dieser Zeit im symbolischen Gehalt des „Leviathan“ auf (vier Jahre nach Erscheinen des Buches, aber sicher vor allem auch im Hinblick auf die im Jahr 1942 erscheinende weltgeschichtliche Betrachtung „Land und Meer“), erwähnt selbstverständlich „Moby Dick“ und wünscht sich von Eliade entsprechende Literatur über Mythen und Symbolik, insbesondere „Zalmoxis“. Und nun unsere Übersetzung des restlichen Eintrags, der nur auf „Berlin, September [1942]“ datiert ist:

Was mich an Schmitt beeindruckt, ist sein metaphysischer Mut, sein Nonkonformismus, die Weite seiner Sicht. Er bietet uns eine Flasche Rheinwein an und bedauert, daß ich morgen bereits nach Madrid abreise. Er sagt, der interessanteste lebende Mensch ist René Guénon (und er ist erfreut, daß ich ihm zustimme).
(S. 32)


In „Der Leviathan in der Staatslehre des Thomas Hobbes. Sinn und Fehlschlag eines politischen Symbols“ (1938, Nachdruck Köln 1982) erwähnt Schmitt bekanntlich Guénons „La crise de la monde moderne“ aus dem Jahr 1927 in einer Fußnote auf S. 44 mit dessen Feststellung daß

„die Schnelligkeit, mit der die ganze mittelalterliche Zivilisation dem Vorstoß des 17. Jahrhunderts unterlag, unbegreiflich sei, ohne Annahme einer rätselhaften, im Hintergrund bleibenden ‘volonté directrice’ und eine ‘idée préconçue’.“

Die von Schmitt zitierte Stelle lautet in der deutschen Übersetzung „Die Krisis der Neuzeit“ (Köln 1950), S. 33:

Wir wollen uns hier nicht unterfangen, den gewiß sehr verwickelten Beweggründen nachzugehen, die sich zu diesem Wandel vereinigten. So grundstürzend war er, daß schwerlich anzunehmen ist, er habe ganz von selbst eintreten können ohne das Eingreifen einer lenkenden Willensmacht, deren wahres Wesen notwendigerweise rätselhaft genug bleibt. Es gibt da Umstände, die im Hinblick darauf doch recht sonderbar sind: Dinge, die in Wirklichkeit längst bekannt waren, werden zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt der Allgemeinheit zugänglich gemacht und dabei als neu entdeckte hingestellt; bis dahin waren sie um gewisser ihrer Nachteile willen, die ihre Vorteile aufzuheben drohten, in der Öffentlichkeit unbekannt geblieben.

Schmitt erwähnt dies im Zusammenhang mit den rosenkreuzerischen Verbindungen des offiziellen Vaters der Neuzeit, René Descartes. Interessanterweise hat Schmitt gerade, wie wir seit Mehrings Biographie wissen, in dem Jahr der Enstehung des „Leviathan“ häufiger Julius Evola getroffen (ebenso Johann von Leers, der eine Besprechung des „Leviathan“ für den „Weltkampf“ verfaßt und ironischerweise in den Fünfziger Jahren – wie Guénon – nach Kairo übersiedeln und sich zum Islam bekennen wird.)

eliade_portugal_journal.jpgEvola hat 1942 „Il filosofo mascherato“, die Besprechung eines Buches von Maxime Leroy über Descartes’ deviantes Rosenkreuzertum und seine Rolle im Rahmen der Gegeninitiation, in „La Vita Italiana“ veröffentlicht. (Deutsche Übersetzung: Der Philosoph mit der Maske, in: Kshatriya-Rundbrief, Nr. 7, 2000) Schmitts „Leviathan“ besprach Evola bereits 1938 in „La Vita Italiana“ (nachgedruckt in zwei weiteren wichtigen italienischen Zeitschriften). Evola kommt im übrigen in Eliades Tagebuch laut Index nicht vor.

Am 17. Februar 1943 trifft Eliade jedenfalls den Pariser Korrespondenten der „Kölnischen Rundschau“, Dr. Mário, der einst für den „Cuvântul“ geschrieben hat und sich als Freund von Nae Ionescu bezeichnet.

Wir sprachen eine lange Zeit. Er ist gerade aus Paris gekommen. Er scheint kein großer Anhänger von Hitler zu sein. Er ist der Überzeugung, daß René Guénon die interessanteste Person unserer Zeit sei. (Ich glaube das nicht immer, tue es aber oft. Obwohl ich Aurobindo Ghose für „verwirklichter“ halte.)
(…) Ich berichte ihm über mein Gespräch mit Carl Schmitt im Sommer vergangenen Jahres. Er ist überrascht, daß Schmitt Guénon schätzt.
(S.37)

Selbstverständlich finden sich in Eliades Tagebuch zahlreiche Eintragungen über Nae Ionescu, Emil Cioran, Constantin Noica, und im Westen weniger bekannte Vertreter dieses Kreises, und auch über den eigenständigen Religionsphilosophen Lucian Blaga (in dessen Raumkonzeption Schmitt interessante Aspekte zu finden hoffte, den er aber in Bukarest nicht treffen konnte, S. 108).

Zum Kontext des Kreises der „Generaţia nouă“ um ihren Lehrer Nae Ionescu und „Cuvântul“ siehe:

Corneliu Codreanu und die „Federn“ des Erzengels
Constantin Noica, der letzte große Metaphysiker

Cristiano Grottanelli hat das Gespräch Eliade/Schmitt über den abwesenden Guénon bereits zum Thema eines Aufsatzes gemacht:

Mircea Eliade, Carl Schmitt, René Guénon, 1942.

Jurnalul portughez si alte scrieri, Bukarest 2006, Jurnalul portughez, Bukarest 2010)

dimanche, 06 février 2011

Ernst Jünger in den Kreidegräben der Champagne

Ernst Jünger in den Kreidegräben der Champagne

samedi, 05 février 2011

De lo politico en el pensamiento de Carl Schmitt

charlemagne.jpg

 

De lo político en el pensamiento de Carl Schmitt

Dick Tonsmann Vásquez



Vamos a comenzar esta parte con la definición de Schmitt de lo político. Como se verá, se trata de un concepto sustancialista asociado al origen de las naciones y a la posibilidad de la guerra. En esta marco, hablaremos del sentido o sinsentido que tendría hablar de una guerra contra la humanidad y, sobre ello, nos referiremos al ‘enemigo absoluto’ desde la distinción entre régimen y Estado. Y esto nos llevará finalmente hacia algunas conclusiones del tipo de la filosofía práctica para los sucesos contemporáneos de la política peruana.

Para comenzar, la definición de Schmitt sobre lo político se basa en el criterio de distinción amigo – enemigo, de la misma forma que la moral requiere de la distinción entre el bien y el mal, y la estética posee el criterio de la distinción entre lo bello y lo feo. Una comparación analógica que no debe significar en ningún caso una equiparación entre lo bueno y el amigo o entre lo malo y el enemigo, de la misma manera que lo bello tampoco puede identificarse ni con lo bueno ni con el amigo. Además, es importante indicar que lo político no se reduce a una identificación con lo estatal, pues en las sociedades democráticas contemporáneas el Estado no tiene el monopolio de lo político sino que ámbitos tales como la religión, la cultura o la economía misma, que son instancias sociales, dejan de ser neutrales y se vuelven potencialmente políticas. Así, el Estado tal y como lo conocemos ya no puede ser considerado como un ámbito distintivo de lo que llamamos precisamente ‘lo político’.

Las razones de un conflicto pueden ser religiosas, culturales o económicas, pero lo que las hace eminentemente políticas es el carácter mismo de conflicto que subyace a la lucha política en cuanto tal. Esto significa que la autonomía de tal criterio no supone necesariamente una independencia en la realidad pero sí supone un diferente modo de ser constitutivo de lo humano. Lo que ocurre es que la manifestación del conflicto en esas otras áreas es sólo la expresión de una naturaleza más originaria del hombre y del Estado. Así, esta concepción esencialista de la política subyace al origen de las naciones cuya naturaleza es entendida desde una perspectiva romántica en tanto que apela a la idea de una especie de sentimientos originarios puros. Desde esta perspectiva es que se afirma que los pueblos se definen en tanto que se agrupan como amigos y por negación de sus enemigos.

Ahora bien, el surgimiento de las nacionalidades y de los Estados – nación es un hecho que, generalmente, tendemos a ubicar en la Reforma Luterana. Sin embargo, el carácter conflictivo de la naturaleza política en su sentido óntico parecería estar inscrito en todo individuo si nos ceñimos a la concepción sustancialista de Schmitt. Por lo tanto, los Estados – nación que conocemos no serían sino una de las últimas expresiones de este concepto de lo político. Estados que, incluso, al ser invadidos por la sociedad civil, como se ha señalado, no suponen ya una identificación simple con el hecho político.

De la misma forma, este carácter esencial de la distinción amigo – enemigo también se puede referir a las diferencias partidarias que se producen en el interior de un Estado. Así, no se entienden como simples discusiones sino que la “lucha partidaria” conlleva necesariamente la idea de “lucha hostil”, entendida ésta como posibilidad eventual siempre presente dada su naturaleza existencial. Por ello, desde esta perspectiva, el nivel máximo de la enemistad encuentra su cumplimiento en la guerra, ya sea como guerra externa o como guerra civil. Esto no hay que entenderlo en el sentido de Clausewitz, para quien la guerra no era sino la continuación de la política por otros medios. Sino que ha de comprenderse en el sentido de que la guerra es el presupuesto de la política en tanto que es una posibilidad real siempre presente a partir de la cual se origina la misma conducta política.

Así, se puede considerar que Schmitt no tiene propiamente un discurso belicista mi militarista pues asume que, incluso, una actuación políticamente correcta en contra de la guerra presupondría la distinción amigo – enemigo. También la neutralidad conlleva la posibilidad de que el Estado neutral pueda aliarse con otro Estado como amigo en contra de otro que considera como enemigo. Esto significa un concepto esencialista de la política pero que no resulta determinante de una realidad concreta sino que permite diversas formas de realización existencial. Aunque la definición de Schmitt de lo político no significa por sí mismo un criterio valorativo, puede permitir pensar de manera valorativa la acción política. Una tal valoración a posteriori no anula la descripción a priori ni viceversa. Tampoco debemos entender el principio sustancial de la relación amistad – enemistad como un principio zoológico a la manera de Hobbes, quien repetía la famosa sentencia homo homini lupus, sino que la determinación existencial sobre quién en concreto es el amigo y quién el enemigo procede invariablemente de la libertad del hombre que le es consustancial. Por lo cual, la sentencia latina antes señalada resulta ser cambiada por la afirmación de que “el hombre es el hombre para el hombre”.

Aunque la definición del enemigo depende del ejercicio de dicha libertad en el marco de las agrupaciones políticas, tal libertad no puede llegar razonablemente al punto en que se pueda pensar en una lucha de la humanidad toda en su conjunto pues, entonces, ¿quién sería el enemigo? Ni siquiera el enemigo deja de ser hombre de modo que no hay aquí ninguna distinción específica”.

Si pensamos en la humanidad como el conjunto de todos los seres humanos es imposible pensar en un enemigo de tal humanidad de forma que toda ella pueda agruparse frente a un enemigo común en el sentido de otra agrupación o pueblo de hombres.

Sería posible pensar en un enemigo de la humanidad en el sentido de alguien que desee exterminar la raza humana por considerarse un ser superior más que humano. Sin embargo, Schmitt podría responder que esta última disquisición no tiene que ver con su criterio teórico en tanto que principio distintivo de carácter óntico, sino que podría explicarse como una retórica política que pretende justificar una guerra apelando a un conjunto de nociones alteradas de la idea propia de humanidad. En ese sentido, también aquellos que actuarían en las guerras posteriores bajo la idea de que están defendiendo tal humanidad, lo que en realidad hacen, por contrapartida, es convertir al enemigo en un ser inhumano por razones morales y proclamar su necesario aniquilamiento. Se trata, en este último caso, de la utilización de un criterio moral en un área distinta de la suya, subsumiendo lo político de tal forma que el enemigo termina siendo degradado a la condición de criminal. Una intromisión de discursos que, en realidad, se podría entender como una manipulación del discurso moral para justificar una agresión de carácter hegemónico o en pro de un imperialismo económico. De esta manera, el concepto de humanidad no sólo se impondría acríticamente eliminando el significado de lo político mismo, sino que, además, se convierte en uno de los tantos conceptos ideológicos antifaz hechos para justificar lo injustificable.

Si pensamos estrictamente en una reducción de lo político a categorías morales tal como lo entiende Schmitt, se ha convertido al enemigo en criminal de guerra. Pero habría que diferenciar si se trata de una ideologización previa (como cuando Bush hablaba de la “libertad infinita”), con lo cual la intromisión de lo moral en lo político resulta ser simplemente tendenciosa e hipócrita; o si se trata de la consecuencia de la violación de los usos de la guerra del Derecho Internacional establecido. Una cosa es un gobierno genocida y otra cosa es una unidad política cuya existencia va más allá de un régimen eventual y pasajero. No era lo mismo combatir a los nazis que luchar contra Alemania ¿o acaso correspondió el holocausto con una forma de ser de la unidad política alemana? Por consiguiente, la criminalización del enemigo no puede significar la criminalización de todo un país o una nación. Una absolutización del concepto de enemigo que sí ha ocurrido en la retórica del caso de Irak con la estigmatización del Islam y, en consecuencia, con la criminalización de tal religión.

Por otro lado, en la obra El concepto de lo político, redactada en el período de entreguerras, se criticaba a la liga existente en aquellos años por confundir lo interestatal con lo internacional. El primero de estos conceptos se refiere a la garantía del status quo de las fronteras nacionales por parte de la Liga. Pero el concepto de internacional, como en el caso de la Internacional Socialista, supone una sociedad universal despolitizada al responder a la tendencia imprecisa de buscar el Estado único como un postulado ideal. Para Schmitt queda claro que sólo un Estado ideal apolítico, es capaz de dar tal paso y convertir el enemigo en un criminal.

Sin embargo, tal Estado es para Schmitt una imposibilidad práctica, aunque se preconice teóricamente. Las tendencias hacia esta situación vienen del lado de un liberalismo individualista que, buscando eliminar todo lo que puede coaccionar su libertad (incluyendo el propio Estado y su correspondiente monopolio organizado de la violencia legítima), termina por entronizar el imperio de lo económico y poniendo el aspecto ético – espiritual en la dinámica de una eterna discusión. Precisamente por el lado de lo económico es que tal Estado único resulta ser tan sólo una ficción pues lo que ocurre, en realidad, es que la economía se vuelve en un hecho político al desarrollar nuevos tipos de oposición que llevarían claramente a la guerra, aunque ésta no deba ser entendida necesariamente en el sentido de la lucha de clases marxista. Lo mismo ocurre bajo la idea de declarar una “guerra contra la guerra”, pues ello haría dividir la humanidad entre dos agrupaciones políticas y el criterio amigo – enemigo seguiría siendo la distinción específica de lo político. Ningún autoproclamado Estado universal podría anular lo que es una naturaleza de carácter óntico. Sólo podrá haber el intento de una agrupación de países de apropiarse del derecho a la guerra estructurando el Derecho Internacional bajo sus propios intereses. Así se entiende a la ley positiva como la búsqueda de la legitimación de una situación en la que los interesados sólo pretenderían encontrar estabilidad para su ventaja económica y poder político aunque lo disfracen de discursos moralistas.

Para Schmitt, a pesar de la voluntad de los juristas internacionales de que esto no sea así, ningún sistema de leyes puede evitar la diferenciación sustancial entre enemigos que presupone la guerra. Esto no significa que no se deba trabajar en beneficio de un nuevo orden que establezca “nuevas líneas de amistad” entre los pueblos, al margen de la eficacia o ineficacia de la actual ONU. Para Schmitt, el error está en que el organismo surgido de la Segunda Guerra Mundial fue una construcción de los vencedores que creyeron que su victoria era la victoria definitiva y ello los incapacitaba para poder plantear nuevas respuestas a los Challenges de la historia. ¿No son los sucesos contemporáneos, además de un nuevo Challenge, una nueva llamada de atención sobre la futilidad de un modelo liberal de carácter monista? Schmitt vislumbró que el orden futuro del mundo se convertiría en un pluralismo multipolar y que, aquello que marcará el desarrollo de los grandes espacios, dependerá de la fuerza en que una agrupación de pueblos o de naciones puede mantener el proceso de desarrollo industrial siendo fieles a sí mismos y no sacrificando su identidad por el carácter tecnológico de dicho desarrollo, “no solamente por la técnica, sino también por la sustancia espiritual de los hombres que colaboraron en su desarrollo, por su religión y su raza, su cultura e idioma y por la fuerza viviente de su herencia nacional”.

En otras palabras, que el orden del globo dependerá de un comunitarismo amplio de mundos de la vida fuertes ante toda racionalización sistémica dominante de la techne y el progreso.

Ahora bien, las consecuencias de esta reflexión para la comprensión de los sucesos políticos contemporáneos que nos impelen directamente deberían ser más que evidentes. Tanto si hablamos de los sucesos de Bagua, como de la situación del VRAE o de las relaciones entre el Perú y los demás Estados en los momentos de una aparente carrera armamentista. Una vez que el Estado peruano ha sido invadido por la Sociedad Civil, se pierde paulatinamente el principio del monopolio de la violencia. ONGs, movimientos políticos de naturaleza anarquista con características delictivas, así como partidos de carácter revanchista que estigmatizan al Estado colaboran para la destrucción de cualquier tipo de unidad sustancial o espiritual nacional que debería personalizar nuestro sistema político. Así se termina haciéndole el juego al liberalismo económico y político internacional cuyo resultado no puede ser otro que la crisis mundial.

El ideal de nuestro Estado ha de ser que las formas políticas expresen nuestra herencia cultural y ello no parece haber ocurrido precisamente a lo largo de nuestra república en todo sentido. El desprecio por comunidades andinas o del oriente peruano de parte de un régimen que, por ejemplo, se dedica principalmente a Tratados de Libre Comercio, significa, a la larga, una destrucción física y moral que justificaría una lucha constante contra este sistema. Ello, por supuesto con las salvedades apropiadas: no se justifica ninguna intervención extranjera ni tampoco el terrorismo indiscriminado porque eso precisamente destruye las comunidades que pretendemos defender.

Por otra parte, así como las Convenciones por sí solas no son suficientes para evaluar la justicia en la Guerra, la terquedad en aferrarse a leyes positivas es una ingenuidad jurídica, además de ser un abandono de las experiencias humanas morales que están a la base de cualquier sistema de Derecho. Las relaciones entre personas son más primigenias que las relaciones jurídicas y esto es algo que se ha olvidado tanto en el ámbito internacional como en el ámbito de nuestro país. Asimismo las políticas de la amistad no pueden ser tan ingenuas como para creer que no va a haber conflicto porque nos sometemos a los Tratados

Es en esta línea en que se debe plantear la cuestión de los Derechos. Tan malo es una imposición jurídica de Derechos entendidos en sentido liberal moderno a la manera norteamericana, como el desprecio por la vida y la libertad. Así, la defensa de la comunidad debe verse como defensa de la riqueza cultural, alimentada por la naturaleza material propia. Ni la salvaguarda de un modelo liberal ni la repetición de rebeliones de países vecinos resulta auténtica.

Bagua, el VRAE o lo que se venga en las relaciones internacionales es y será precisamente el resultado de este conflicto irresoluble sintéticamente entre la globalización y la defensa de la comunidad. Así, hemos asistido, y probablemente seguiremos asistiendo, a conflictos sociales con el peligro de que devengan en cosas mayores; y todo es y será el resultado tanto del eterno y dinosáurico paternalismo económico que, no solo está fuera de nuestras fronteras, sino que está dentro y que, incluso, nos gobierna, así como de la marginación y el caos burocrático. Razón que nos lleva a repetir una vez más, junto con las encíclicas sociales de la Iglesia Católica que “No habrá paz sin una verdadera justicia social”.

 

jeudi, 03 février 2011

Presseschau - Februar 2011 / 01

ZeitungsleserX1.jpg

Presseschau

Februar 2011 / 01

Liebe Angemailte,
na ja, mal eine kleine Presseschau für Januar. Vielleicht interessiert manches den ein oder anderen ja ein kleines bischen.

###

Einige Links der Presseschau spezial. Bei Interesse einfach mal anklicken, ansonsten ignorieren.

###

US-Truppenabbau
Decision on Europe-based brigades expected early this year
http://www.stripes.com/news/decision-on-europe-based-brig...
(man beachte vor allem die Leserkommentare zur zukünftigen US-Truppenstrategie, z.B. von RedLeg6 !)

Kolumne
Obamas Dilemma
http://www.fr-online.de/politik/meinung/obamas-dilemma/-/...

Kauf von Staatsanleihen
China will Spanien aus Schuldenkrise helfen
http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/0,1518,737506,0...

Aigner warnt wegen Preisauftrieb vor Hungerrevolten
http://www.focus.de/politik/schlagzeilen/nid_62654.html

Mexiko
Polizisten quittieren aus Angst vor Drogendealern den Dienst
http://www.focus.de/politik/weitere-meldungen/mexiko-poli...

«Krieg» zwischen Berlusconi und der Justiz
http://newsticker.sueddeutsche.de/list/id/1102945

Ist Silvio Berlusconi der moderne Machiavelli?
http://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article12333071/Ist-Si...

Griechenland: Grenzzaun wird kürzer
http://wienerzeitung.at/default.aspx?tabID=3861&alias...

Griechenland klagt für NS-Entschädigung
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Netanjahu: Deutschland soll schneller zahlen
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Stadtwald von Eger
Die Zeit des Kalten Krieges ist vorbei
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/bayern/stadtwald-von-eger-die-...
http://www.oberpfalznetz.de/zeitung/2590432-100-egerer_st...
(auf Seite 2 weiterklicken)

(auch interessant. Solange es um multinationale Kunstgebilde geht setzen sich Studenten auf einmal für den funktionierenden Staat ein…)
Protestmarsch gegen Regierungskrise
Studenten mobilisieren Zehntausende Belgier
http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/belgien246.html

Ost-Belgien
Dankbarkeit für das, was 66 Jahre danach ist
http://www.st.vith.be/neues/pressespiegel/detailansicht/a...

WikiLeaks: Über das Problem von schmutzigen Wahrheiten
http://www.blauenarzisse.de/index.php/gesichtet/2232-wiki...

BA-Chef Weise glaubt an Vollbeschäftigung
Allerdings gebe es wegen des Fachkräftemangels einen dringenden Zuwanderungsbedarf
http://www.welt.de/print/welt_kompakt/print_wirtschaft/ar...

Siemens: Pierers Erbe
Weniger deutsch, weniger weiß, weniger männlich
http://sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/siemens-weniger-deutsch...
(Die Überschrift ist Programm…)

(Linke gegen Schuldenverbot)
Schuldenbremse
Linke erwägt Klage
http://www.hr-online.de/website/rubriken/nachrichten/inde...

(Schwarze Regierung setzt urgrüne Forderungen durch…)
Merkels Ministerinnen streiten über Frauenquote
http://newsticker.sueddeutsche.de/list/id/1103974

Holocaust
Wulff sieht "ewige" Verantwortung der Deutschen
http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article12361622/Wu...
(die Leserkommentare lesen! Sie sprechen eine eindeutige Sprache…)

Jährliches, Allzujährliches
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Aufstand des Infantilismus
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Stéphane Hessels Pamphlet
Empört euch!
Er kämpfte in der französischen Résistance, war später Diplomat und weiß die republikanischen Ideale hochzuhalten. Und seit kurzem ist Stéphane Hessel auch Autor eines schmalen Bestsellers: Auszüge aus seinem Pamphlet „Empört euch!“, das Frankreich bewegt.
http://www.faz.net/s/Rub117C535CDF414415BB243B181B8B60AE/...

bluthilde blog
Weg vom Patriarchat, hin zum Proletariat! – jetzt auch in kultursensibler Sprache
http://bluthilde.wordpress.com/

Die neue Macht am Rhein
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Forscher sehen Sarrazin-Thesen widerlegt
http://www.swp.de/ulm/nachrichten/politik/Forscher-sehen-...
http://www.neues-deutschland.de/artikel/188131.sarrazin-h...
dazu auch noch:
http://www.achgut.com/dadgdx/index.php/dadgd/article/frau...

Psychologie der Sarrazin-Leser
Auch die Unterschicht kauft Thilo
http://www.taz.de/1/politik/deutschland/artikel/1/auch-di...

Mainz
Proteste gegen Sarrazin
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/n5838U/3811529/Proteste-gegen-...

Demo in Mainz gegen „Volksverhetzer“ Sarrazin (Fotostrecke anschauen)
http://www.abendblatt.de/politik/article1744551/Demo-in-M...

Offenbach: Erfolgreiche antifaschistische Demo
http://de.indymedia.org/2011/01/298412.shtml
http://offenbach.blogsport.de/

Nürnberg
Polizeibeamte mit Feuerwerkskörpern angegriffen
http://www.polizei.bayern.de/mittelfranken/news/presse/ak...

Linke Gewaltwelle in Berlin befürchtet
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....
(eindeutige Leserkommentare…)

Berlin Friedrichshain
Häuserräumung: Haftbefehle gegen drei Randalierer
http://www.abendblatt.de/vermischtes/article1773385/Haeus...

(Deutschlandhasser auf Millionärskurs…)
SLIME: Gitarrist bei "Wer wird Millionär"
http://www.in-your-face.de/news/2011-20425/slime-gitarris...

Der Punk mit der Beamtenvariante
http://www.abendblatt.de/hamburg/article1763704/Der-Punk-...
(seine 16.000 Euro hat er bekommen, mehr aber auch nicht)

(und wieder einmal offenbart sich das linke Antifantentum als reines postpubertäres Dekadenzphänomen problembeladener Bürschchen, das sich auflöst, sobald das große Geld lockt)
Jan Delay in der Offenbacher Stadthalle
http://www.op-online.de/nachrichten/kultur/jan-delay-stad...

(ein guter Kommentar zu Jan Delay…)
Kommentar: Schnösel Jan Delay zieht über Offenbach her
http://www.op-online.de/nachrichten/kultur/kommentar-jan-...

(Hervorragender Kommentar…)
Überall Verschwörungen
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Bundesverfassungsgericht: „Ein im Rahmen der Führungsaufsicht für die Dauer von fünf Jahren  erteiltes allgemeines Publikationsverbot für die „Verbreitung
rechtsextremistischen oder nationalsozialistischen Gedankenguts“
ist verfassungswidrig“
http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/pressemitteilungen...

Thomas Brehl gestorben
http://axelreitz.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/thomas-brehl-is...
http://npd-blog.info/2011/01/01/neonazi-thomas-brehl-vers...

Zum Tode des Autoren von “Blutzeugen”, André Busch
http://de.altermedia.info/general/zum-tode-des-autoren-vo...

Pedro Varela in Haft und Martin Humer unter Anklage
http://www.globalfire.tv/nj/11de/verfolgungen/pedro_humer...

Linken-Vorsitzende Lötzsch trifft RAF-Terroristin
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Rosa-Luxemburg-Konferenz: Kritik an Linkspartei-Chefin Lötzsch wächst
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Linksextremisten greifen Opfer des Stalinismus an
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt gegen RAF-Terroristin Viett
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Politischer Eklat in Wiesbaden
Linke als Antisemiten angegriffen
http://www.fr-online.de/rhein-main/linke-als-antisemiten-...
Die Dokumentation:
http://www.petertauber.de/index.php?ka=1&ska=1&id...

Gewalt gegen Burschenschaften
Ein Fall für den Verfassungsschutz
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Ein "taz"-Mitbegründer soll Schüler missbraucht haben
http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2011-01/ode...

Christoph Butterwegge…
Rückwärts immer, vorwärts nimmer
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Linken-Chef Klaus Ernst
Wege zum Kapitalismus
http://www.fr-online.de/politik/wege-zum-kapitalismus/-/1...

Junge Union Thüringen fordert Verbot der Linksjugend
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Thierse ruft zur Blockade des „Trauermarschs“ in Dresden auf
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Fördergelder: Schröder setzt Gruppierungen der Linkspartei auf den Index
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Grüne Alternative Freiburg fordert Beseitigung des Siegesdenkmals
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Ort in Sachsen-Anhalt will Thälmann-Denkmal wieder aufstellen
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Sportverbände, Innen- und Familienministerium planen neue Initiative gegen Rechts / Claudia Roth: „Tarnung ist brandgefährlich!“
http://www.blauenarzisse.de/index.php/aktuelles/2236-spor...

Willfährige Presseartikel zur neuen „Gegen Rechts“-Kampagne, eine Auswahl:
http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/rechtsextreme-bra...
http://newsticker.sueddeutsche.de/list/id/1097850
http://www.rp-online.de/politik/deutschland/Neonazis-unte...
http://www.fr-online.de/sport/das-scheitern-von-politik-u...
eher skeptisch…
http://www.zeit.de/sport/2011-01/rassismus-sport-zwanzige...

(Diese Seite wird nach eigenen Angaben gefördert im Rahmen des Bundesprogramms “Vielfalt tut gut. Jugend für Vielfalt, Toleranz und Demokratie“…)
Rechte Publizisten
http://www.koelnganzrechts.de/weitere/publizisten.html

Kapitalismuskritik, die keine ist: Justus Wertmüller, der Nichtraucherschutz und das Verhältnis zum Volk
http://www.blauenarzisse.de/index.php/anstoss/2247-kapita...

Grünen-Politikerin fordert Abschaffung des Begriffs „Integration“
http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm....

Nekla Celec – Frankfurt wird islamisch
http://apokalypsenow.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/nekla-celec...

Mit typisch „grünen“ Methoden
Eine Analyse der Reaktion Eskandari-Grünbergs auf die Kritik von Necla Kelek
http://www.freie-waehler-im-roemer.de/index.php?id=44&...

(mit den 25.000 Euro wäre der Afghane zu Hause ein gemachter Mann…)
Straßburg: Richter rügen EU-Asylpolitik
http://www.topnews.de/strassburg-richter-ruegen-eu-asylpo...

Frankfurt am Main
Streit mit Mitarbeiterin
Personaldezernent gegen Burka im Bürgeramt
http://www.faz.net/s/RubFAE83B7DDEFD4F2882ED5B3C15AC43E2/...

Die Frankfurter Burka-Frau im Bürgeramt: Römer-Parteien, besorgt euch Schamtücher!
Die Realität blamiert erneut das "Konzept" des Magistrats
http://www.freie-waehler-im-roemer.de/index.php?id=44&...

Silvester: Polnische Schlägerbande „bereichert“ Görlitz
http://www.nno-tv.de/?p=2950

Wiesbaden
Plädoyers im Messermörderprozess
http://www.welt.de/print/welt_kompakt/vermischtes/article...

Dreieich
Freigelassener Serien-Räuber
Opfer fordern: „Sperrt ihn endlich weg!“
http://www.bild.de/BILD/regional/frankfurt/aktuell/2011/0...

Überfall auf Spielothek in Offenbach
http://www.op-online.de/nachrichten/offenbach/ueberfall-o...

Festnahme nach Überfall auf Goldhändler in Offenbach
http://www.op-online.de/nachrichten/offenbach/goldhaendle...

Streetart
Kulturaktivismus für Anfänger
http://www.blauenarzisse.de/index.php/gesichtet/2213-kult...

Das Internet-Jahr 2010 in Zahlen
107.000.000.000.000 E-Mails, fast alle Spam
http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/web/0,1518,740121,00.html

Facebooks lascher Datenschutz
Etappensieg gegen Social Network Facebook
http://www.wallstreet-online.de/nachricht/3088201-faceboo...

Pinkel-Polizistin empört Dresden
http://www.20min.ch/news/kreuz_und_quer/story/Pinkel-Poli...
http://www.bild.de/BILD/regional/dresden/aktuell/2011/01/...

„Die Deutschen sind Ferkel“
Eine Putzfrau aus Polen schreibt in einem Buch, was sie „unter deutschen Betten“ fand.
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/ausland/europa/Die-Deutschen-...

älter, aber noch aktuell…
NSDAP-Mitglieder in der Ruhmeshalle des Sports
http://www.welt.de/sport/article1966989/NSDAP_Mitglieder_...

Das Frankfurter Städel arbeitet mit einem Buch seine Rolle in der NS-Zeit auf
http://www.welt.de/print/welt_kompakt/kultur/article12124...

Raubkunst
Das Städel im Nationalsozialismus
http://www.hr-online.de/website/rubriken/kultur/index.jsp...

Zweikaiserdenkmal Guben
http://www.stadtkirchegubin.de/00000198640aab305/03236299...
(Der Leser von heute vernimmt mit Betroffenheit die Töne von Deutschtümelei und Nationalismus, wie sie im Jahr 1914 und nach 1933 in verhängnisvoller Weise das Schicksal des deutschen Volkes bestimmen sollten…)

Humboldtforum
Stadtschloss bekommt Kuppel – wenn Geld da ist
http://www.morgenpost.de/berlin-aktuell/article1500143/St...

Leipzig, neue Hauptstadt der Gründerzeit
http://www.welt.de/print/wams/wirtschaft/article12385980/...

Steuergeldverschwendung in Münster…
Münsters un(v)erkennbare Platzgestaltung
Der Picasso-Platz zeigt Picassos Gesicht - doch leider ist das nur von weit oben zu sehen.
http://www.steuerzahler-nrw.de/Muensters-unverkennbare-Pl...

Gefahr Energetische Sanierung
Altes Stadtbild verschwindet hinter Styropor
http://www.newsclick.de/index.jsp/menuid/2048/artid/13495...

Planungsverfahren
Großprojekte sollen schneller genehmigt werden
http://www.faz.net/s/Rub0E9EEF84AC1E4A389A8DC6C23161FE44/...

Abrissgefahr…
Denkmalschutz in Wien
"Dann müsste auch der Stephansdom abgerissen werden"
http://derstandard.at/1293370410397/Denkmalschutz-in-Wien...

Initiative Denkmalschutz: Wiener Stadtbildpflege am Abstellgleis?
Die vernachlässigte Schutzzonenpolitik fordert zwei weitere Opfer
http://www.initiative-denkmalschutz.at/index.php/meldunge...

Denkmalschutz stimmt zu – Bau einer Elektrotankstelle geplant
Fachwerkhaus muss weichen
http://www.hna.de/nachrichten/kreis-kassel/kaufungen/fach...

Ruinen in Detroit - eine amerikanische Industriestadt im Sterben
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/0...

Detroit: Downsizing einer Großstadt
http://diepresse.com/home/wirtschaft/international/625624...

Leerstand, Verfall und Abrisswahn in Chemnitz
http://www.repage4.de/member/schmalfuss/home.html

Denkmal für „Gustloff“-Versenker Alexander Marinesko in Kaliningrad
http://de.academic.ru/dic.nsf/dewiki/51479

Hadayatullah Hübsch ist gestorben
http://www.welt.de/print/welt_kompakt/kultur/article11997...
http://www.fr-online.de/frankfurt/ein-poet-und-muslim/-/1...

Auch er war unser. 
Von Uve Schmidt
Zum Tode von Hadayatullah Hübsch
http://www.glanzundelend.de/Artikel/abc/h/huebsch.htm

Schneegemälde:
Rembrandts Bildergrüße aus der Eiszeit
http://www.handelsblatt.com/magazin/kultur-lifestyle/schn...

Japanische Forscher wollen Mammut klonen
http://www.handelsblatt.com/technologie/forschung/medienb...

Die Unglaublichen
USA: Selbsternannte Superhelden im Superheldenkostüm machen die Straßen (un)sicher
http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/33/33983/1.html

Porträt des Facebook-Gründers
Wie Mark Zuckerberg wurde, was er ist
http://www.tagesspiegel.de/medien/wie-mark-zuckerberg-wur...

Mit dem Computer in den Hosentasche entsteht ein neuer öffentlicher Zwischenraum
http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/33/33977/1.html

Datensammler-Debatte
Kuschelkapitalismus aus dem Netz
http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/0,1518,739027,...

Piloten fordern Verbot von Laserpointern
Luftsicherheit: Piloten werden immer öfter geblendet - Gefahr ist kaum abzuschätzen
http://www.echo-online.de/region/rhein-main/Piloten-forde...

älter, aber man sollte der Sache juristisch nachgehen…
Muss Belgien Vennbahn-Teilstück abtreten?
http://www.rundschau-online.de/html/artikel/1195834768551...

Langhans im Dschungelcamp
Warum diese Verachtung?
KOLUMNE VON JUTTA WINKELMANN
http://www.taz.de/1/debatte/kolumnen/artikel/1/warum-dies...

Langhans im Dschungelcamp
Politik der Ekstase
http://taz.de/1/debatte/kolumnen/artikel/1/politik-der-ek...

(sehr guter Kommentar…)
Harald Martenstein
Von Lust und Ekel
Das Dschungelcamp ist humaner als Fußball, findet unser Kolumnist
http://www.zeit.de/2009/07/Martenstein-07

Dschungelcamp: Sarah-Ära beendet, Langhans fliegt
http://www.abendblatt.de/vermischtes/article1767861/Dschu...

"Tal der Wölfe - Palästina":
Filmstart trotz Antisemitismus-Vorwürfen
http://www.stern.de/kultur/film/tal-der-woelfe-palaestina...

BgA fordert von Cinestar Absetzung des Film "Tal der Wölfe"
http://www.nordhessische.de/news.php?id=1786&c=2

Politik und „Gangsta-Rap“: Über den Sohnemann von Bayerns Innenminister
http://www.blauenarzisse.de/index.php/gesichtet/2230-poli...

SPREU & WEIZEN - Deutsche Passion (Videoclip)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tshn0nt-mkE&feature=pl...

Frei.Wild verabreicht eine Dosis „Gegengift“ für Mainstream-Gelangweilte
http://www.blauenarzisse.de/index.php/rezension/2218-frei...
--

Une passion pour Wagner

 Tetralogie-a-Richard-Wagner-et-Guy-Cassiers.jpg

Une passion pour Wagner...

wagner-adler.jpgPar Jean-Gilles Malliarakis

Ex: http://www.insolent.fr

Ce 14 janvier à 6 heures du matin, une queue deux fois plus longue que d'habitude, en dépit du froid, rassemblait les passionnés de musique. L'opéra Bastille ouvrait les dernières réservations de la saison pour Siegfried et pour le Crépuscule des Dieux. Le chef-d’œuvre final de la Tétralogie n’avait pas été représenté à Paris depuis plus d'un demi-siècle.

Il semble juste aux connaisseurs de sortir le maître de Bayreuth de son injuste ostracisme, au moment où, en revanche, notre franco-tunisien ministre de la Culture décide d'y maintenir le cuirassier Destouches dit Louis-Ferdinand Céline.

Comparons donc le grand génie musical à son contemporain, dont la mémoire demeure impunie, Karl Marx, autre révolutionnaire. On se doit ainsi d'évoquer la question, scabreuse par excellence, du lourd traité antisémite de Marx intitulé "la Question juive". Insupportable aujourd'hui, à la vérité. À l'époque, la plupart des socialistes succombent à la mythologie anti-Rothschild. Wagner, hélas, malgré l'humanisme profond qui se dégage de ses livrets d'opéra, n'échappe pas entièrement aux préjugés anticapitalistes de son temps. Auteur de quelques pages regrettables dans ce registre, alors très banal, on lui doit reconnaître le mérite de s'en être tenu à la musique, croyant régler son compte à Mendelsohn. La plupart des musiciens juifs semblent lui avoir pardonné depuis, qui ont fourni d'admirables interprétations.

Tout cela pour dire que ni à la vérité Marx, ni donc encore moins Wagner, décédés l'un comme l'autre en 1883, ne sauraient, ni l'un ni l'autre, être tenus pour responsables de la noirceur du XXe siècle. Un peu moins vrai pour Karl Marx, cependant, et pour son ami Engels, qui eussent pris quelque plaisir, semble-t-il, à l'idée de trucider les bourgeois, et les démocrates. "Avoir compté Staline au nombre de ses admirateurs ne rend pas Marx responsable du Goulag", voilà sans doute ce que professera en ronchonnant un Pierre Bergé, nouvel actionnaire du "Monde" et président, par ailleurs, des "Amis", très parisiens, politiquement si corrects, "du Ring" wagnérien.

Pendant une trop longue période, l'œuvre de Wagner avait été proscrite du répertoire sur les rives de la Seine. Puis on a consenti à nouveau à la présenter au public. On a pris bien soin, pendant de trop longues années, d'en discréditer la dimension scénique. Nous avons subi de la sorte pendant des décennies des Lohengrin de carton-pâte, des Parsifal en fausses chemises brunes façon "cabaret cuir" de Hambourg. Le sommet fut atteint à l'époque du règne fâcheux de M. Mortier, où nous vîmes représenter un Tristan et Iseut de gay pride et/ou de télé réalité. Les deux héros passaient à l'acte sur scène, cependant que l'on nous révélait une "affaire" entre le jeune homme et le roi. Bill Clinton était enfoncé : sa Monika devenait un garçon.

Heureusement la bave de tous les crapauds n'a jamais réussi à enfermer le fleuve immense du génie musical et poétique wagnérien dans la misère de tels pastiches réducteurs et profanateurs.

En comparaison de tant de souvenirs, plutôt pénibles, les fautes de goût, bien réelles, de la dernière production de "l'Or du Rhin" en 2009 nous auront ont paru presque vénielles. Mieux vaut par conséquent ne pas même en énumérer la liste. Évoquons plutôt un vrai bonheur lyrique, une très belle direction d'orchestre, quelques voix de haute école, une Erda inoubliable, un Alberich très convaincant et des Filles du Rhin de grand talent, malgré des costumes fâcheux. Quelques semaines plus tard, la "Walkyrie", interprétée triomphalement et pratiquement sans faute, revenait sur les lieux du crime.

Que retenir dès lors, de cette introduction à la fresque dramatique et sacrée de l'Anneau du Nibelung ?

Osons le dire, d'abord : même en temps que révolutionnaire, Wagner se révèle supérieur à Marx, son contemporain presque exact. Concordance des dates. 1813-1883 pour le compositeur et dramaturge de génie ; 1818-1883 pour le chancre du British Museum. Le "Manifeste" est écrit en 1848 ; "l'Art dans la Révolution" date de 1849.

À la différence de son cadet, le beau Richard prend part aux événements de l'insurrection qui se voulait libératrice et que l'État prussien écrasera pour empêcher une unification démocratique de l'Allemagne.

On me saura gré, j'imagine, de ne pas chercher à tirer argument de ce que Marx a inspiré, mais non breveté, les systèmes totalitaires de Staline et de Mao Tsé-toung.

Richard Wagner fait le coup de feu sur les barricades. Karl Marx s'enferme dans sa bibliothèque.

En 1867 Das Kapital. En 1869 Rheingold à Munich.

Ce qui les sépare ne s'appelle pas seulement poésie, action, amour. Sur ce dernier terrain, les passions successives du musicien le brûlent comme un feu, le ténia du socialisme les amalgames chez lui, sa maîtresse vivant à domicile, dans son impudique pot-au-feu.

Il s'agit donc aussi, et d'abord, de deux vues du monde. À balles réelles pour l'un ; par procuration pour l'autre.

L'un comme l'autre expriment, dira-t-on, le même dégoût de ce qu'on appelle l'argent-roi. Mais de l'argent d'un roi, le poète saura construire à Bayreuth le temple du sublime.

Il reste encore à le découvrir, dans sa vérité. (1)

Note

(1)  cf. Richard Wagner, sa vie, ses idées, son oeuvre par Guido Adler, aux  Editions du Trident (cliquez ici)

11:47

00:10 Publié dans Musique | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : musique, allemagne, richard wagner, 19ème siècle, opéra | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

Hildegard von Bingen - O vis aeternitatis

Hildegard von Bingen

O vis aeternitatis

00:05 Publié dans Musique | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : hildegard von bingen, musique, moyen âge, allemagne | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

mercredi, 02 février 2011

Bernhard Schaub - Fazit der Bildungsmisere

Bernhard Schaub

Fazit der Bildungsmisere

 

Die Westfälischen Nachtigallen

Die Westfälischen Nachtigallen

Hoch auf dem gelben Wagen

 

Eine Kutsche voller Mädels

Amboss Polka

lundi, 31 janvier 2011

Dr. Rolf Kosiek - Mai 68 und die Frankfurter Schule

Dr. Rolf Kosiek

Mai 68 und die Frankfurter Schule

 

dimanche, 30 janvier 2011

Lale Andersen - Wo die Nordseewellen...

Lale Andersen

Wo die Nordseewellen...

samedi, 29 janvier 2011

Götz Kubitschek - Konservative Subversive Aktion (KSA)

Götz Kubitschek

Konservative Subversive Aktion

KSA

 

Alexander Slavros - Portrait of Ernst Jünger

Portrait of Ernst Jünger by Alexander Slavros
 
 

vendredi, 28 janvier 2011

Udo Ulfkotte - Kommt der Bürgerkrieg?

Udo Ulfkotte

Kommt der Bürgerkrieg?

jeudi, 27 janvier 2011

Udo Ulfkotte - Wie die Medien lügen

Udo Ulfkotte

Wie die Medien lügen

 

mardi, 25 janvier 2011

Dominique Venner présente: "Histoire de l'armée allemande 1939-1945" de Philippe Masson


Dominique Venner présente:

Histoire de l'armée allemande 1939-1945 de Philippe Masson

lundi, 24 janvier 2011

Erst Glasnost, dann Perestroika - Sarrazins nächstes Buch

Thilo-Sarrazin_full_600.jpg

Erst Glasnost, dann Perestroika – Sarrazins nächstes Buch

Götz KUBITSCHEK

Ex.: http://www.sezession.de/

Als Thilo Sarrazin am vergangenen Donnerstag in Dresden vor 2500 Hörern vortrug, deutete er an, daß er ein neues Buch plane. Es werde die Meinungsfreiheit zum Thema haben, und überhaupt sei seine Aufgabe die Herbeiführung von Glasnost und Perestroika in Deutschland.

Ich habe diese Äußerungen gut nutzen können für meine grundsätzliche Situationsanalyse des „Falls Sarrazin“ bei der gestrigen Podiumsdiskussion in München.

Glasnost ist mit „Transparenz“, Perestroika mit „Umgestaltung“ oder „Reform“ ganz gut übersetzt. Der Journalist Alexander Kissler, der mit mir auf dem Podium saß, hat zurecht gesagt, daß ihn die Unbescheidenheit Sarrazins doch verblüffe: Schließlich handelte es sich bei diesen beiden Wörtern um welthistorische Begriffe, um zunächst systemstützende Reformvokabeln, die letztlich eine revolutionäre, systemstürzende Dynamik ausgelöst hätten. Er sehe zum einen nicht, woran Sarrazin eine ähnliche Wirkung seines Buches ablesen wolle; und zum anderen hoffe er sehr, daß eine systemstürzende Dynamik diesmal ausbleibe. Er käme ganz gut noch viele Jahre mit der in keiner Weise totalitären Bundesrepublik zurecht.

Ich meine (und sagte das gestern auch), daß wir die Wirkung von Deutschland schafft sich ab noch nicht abschätzen können, und ich halte Spekulationen und Prognosen über das, was stehen und was stürzen wird, für interessant, aber nicht vor vordringlich. Wichtig ist derzeit doch etwas anderes: Sarrazin hat in den vergangenen Monaten festgestellt, daß er den zweiten Schritt vor dem ersten gemacht hat, oder, um es mit den beiden welthistorischen Begriffen zu sagen: Er hat Glasnost (Transparenz) als etwas der Demokratie Innewohnendes ganz selbstverständlich vorausgesetzt und wollte gleich zur Perestroika (Umgestaltung, Reform) übergehen.

Mittlerweile hat er erlebt und begriffen, daß er in Deutschland mitnichten das Selbstverständliche voraussetzen kann. Er ist nur knapp und aufgrund einer Mischung zuträglicher Umstände dem Schicksal der politischen und sozialen Abdrängung in die Nische derjenigen entgangen, die  anscheinend „wenig hilfreichen“ für diese Gesellschaft sind. Er hat die Hintergründe für diesen Versuch einer innerstaatlichen Abschiebung genau studiert und die Analysen gelesen, mit denen Kommunikationswissenschaftler wie Hans Mathias Kepplinger ihm in derselben nüchternen Art zur Seite traten, die ihn selbst auszeichnet.

Wer nachlesen möchte, wie weit Sarrazins Desillusionierung fortgeschritten ist, muß seinen vorweihnachtlichen Beitrag für die FAZ lesen. Er macht darin aus seiner Verachtung für die politische Klasse keine Hehl, und wer dabei im Hinterkopf behält, daß Sarrazin an seinem nächsten Buch arbeitet, kann den Artikel wie ein Exposé, wie eine Grobgliederung studieren.

Sarrazin wird also wohl über die Meinungsfreiheit schreiben. Er hat das bis vor kurzem nicht für notwendig gehalten, aber mittlerweile weiß er, daß es nicht reicht, auf das grundgesetzlich garantierte Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung zu pochen. Er wird sich längst in die Schweigespirale von Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann ebenso eingearbeitet haben wie in den Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit von Jürgen Habermas.

Die Demoskopin Noelle-Neumann spricht in der Schweigespirale von einem „doppelten Meinungsklima“ und bezeichnet damit das Auseinanderklaffen der Ansichten tonangebender Kreise auf der einen und einer mit demoskopischem Instrumentarium erfaßbaren, nicht öffentlich artikulierten Mehrheitsmeinung auf der anderen Seite. Ihr Buch ist ein Standardwerk.

Ebenso als Standardwerk gilt Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit. Karlheinz Weißmann hat in seinem Beitrag für unser Sonderheft Sarrazin lesen darauf hingewiesen, daß Habermas die Demoskopie stets als Feindwissenschaft begriffen habe. Dennoch sei dessen abstraktem Buch die nützliche Unterscheidung dreier Meinungsformen zu entnehmen: Die nicht-öffentliche (Privat-)Meinung ist leicht zu unterscheiden von der öffentlichen Meinung im eigentlichen Sinne. Hinzu kommt jedoch die dritte, schwerer erkennbare Form – die „quasi-öffentliche Meinung“. Sie ist in etwa das, was der bereits erwähnte Hans Mathias Kepplinger in einem Aufsatz über die gescheiterte Skandalisierung Sarrazins so ausdrückt:

In modernen, liberalen Demokratien gehen die Gefahren für die Meinungsfreiheit nicht nur von der Politik aus, sondern auch von den Medien. Die Gründe hierfür liegen vor allem in den Meinungen im Journalismus, die erheblich von jenen in der Bevölkerung abweichen, gegen die sie sich normalerweise effektiv in Szene setzen; in der wechselseitigen Orientierung der Journalisten aneinander und den damit einhergehenden Selbstgewißheiten der Meinungsführer.

Die „quasi-öffentliche Meinung“ gefährdet also die Meinungsfreiheit, weil es sich (diesmal in den Worten von Habermas) um Meinungen handelt,

die in einem verhältnismäßig engen Kreislauf über die Masse der Bevölkerung hinweg zwischen der großen politischen Presse, der räsonierenden Publizistik überhaupt, und den beratenden, beeinflussenden, beschließenden Organen mit politischen oder politisch relevanten Kompetenzen zirkulieren.

Was beutet Glasnost vor solchen ziemlich simplen, ziemlich offenkundigen Mechanismen der Meinungsbesetzung, Deutungsverteidigung und Debattenverhinderung? Glasnost bedeutet, diese Vorgänge transparent zu machen, und zwar auf eine so machtvolle Weise, daß diejenigen, die die trüben Scheiben polieren, nicht als „Quartalsirre“ oder paranoide Verschwörungstheoretiker stigmatisiert und ins Abseits geschoben werden können.

Für die Veranstaltung, die wir gestern im Gasteig in München – also an zentralem, öffentlichem Ort – über Sarrazin abhielten, hatten wir rund zehn mögliche linke oder eher linke Podiumsteilnehmer um Teilnahme angefragt. Keiner sagte zu. Ich bin überzeugt, daß die Absagen aus zweierlei Gründen erfolgten: Zum einen hält man das Schneiden, Abdrängen und Beschweigen unserer Positionen noch immer für die beste Methode der jahrelang wie geschmiert laufenden Verteidigung des linken Selbstbildes; zum andern – und das wiegt schwerer – wissen die möglichen Kontrahenten, daß sie auf einem Feld anzutreten hätten, auf dem wir jedes Argument kennen und auf dem Sarrazin tatsächlich den finalen Beweis dafür erbracht hat, daß unsere Bestandsaufnahmen stimmen: Debattenverhinderung ist nichts anderes als die fortgesetzte „Verschleierung eigener Fehler und Versäumnisse“ (abermals Kepplinger).

Im Aprilheft der Sezession vom vergangenen Jahr habe ich einen Briefwechsel abgedruckt, den ich mit dem Schriftsteller Richard Wagner führte. In diesem Briefwechsel ist die Problematik der Meinungsfreiheit in Deutschland ausgeführt und mit Schlüsselbegriffen abgesteckt. Von dem Briefwechsel ist hier ein Teil nachzulesen, die Druckausgabe (Heft 35) mit dem vollständigen Text ist hier verfügbar. Wir sandten das Heft Thilo Sarrazin seinerzeit zu, weil auch über ihn ein Beitrag darin handelte („Sarrazin und seine Gegner“). Er bedankte sich und schrieb, daß er aus dem Briefwechsel mit Richard Wagner Aufschlußreiches über ein wichtiges Thema gelesen habe.

Es scheint, als würde dieses Thema nun zu seinem Thema, weil vor der Perestroika zunächst Glasnost von Nöten ist.

dimanche, 23 janvier 2011

Werner Herzog - Finding ecstatic truth

Werner-Herzog-001.jpg

Werner Herzog — Finding ecstatic truth in the most extreme circumstances, embracing the world that is both brutal and chaotic

Werner Her­zog, Con­quest of the Use­less: Reflec­tions from the Mak­ing of Fitz­car­raldo, Trans. By Krishna Win­ston (Ecco, 2009)

by Lawrence Levi

 Ex: http://www.new-antaios.net/

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most revered film­mak­ers of our time, Werner Her­zog wrote this diary dur­ing the mak­ing of Fitz­car­raldo, the lav­ish 1982 film that tells the story of a would-be rub­ber baron who pulls a steamship over a hill in order to access a rich rub­ber ter­ri­tory. Later, Her­zog spoke of his dif­fi­cul­ties when mak­ing the film, includ­ing cast­ing prob­lems, reshoots, lan­guage bar­ri­ers, epic clashes with the star, and the logis­tics of mov­ing a 320-ton steamship over a hill with­out the use of spe­cial effects.”

Orig­i­nally pub­lished in the noted director’s native Ger­many in 2004, Herzog’s diary, more prose poetry than jour­nal entries, will appeal even to those unfa­mil­iar with the extrav­a­gant 1982 film. From June 1979 to Novem­ber 1981, Her­zog recounted not only the par­tic­u­lars of shoot­ing the dif­fi­cult film about a fic­tional rub­ber baron—which included the famous sequence of a steamer ship being maneu­vered over a hill from one river to another—but also the dream­like qual­ity of life in the Ama­zon. Famous faces swim in and out of focus, notably Mick Jag­ger, in a part that ended up on the cut­ting room floor, and the eccen­tric actor Klaus Kin­ski, who con­stantly berated the direc­tor after step­ping into the title role that Jason Robards had quit. Fas­ci­nated by the wildlife that sur­rounded him in the iso­lated Peru­vian jun­gle, Her­zog details every­thing from the omnipresent insect life to pira­nhas that could bite off a man’s toe. Those who haven’t encoun­tered Her­zog on screen will undoubt­edly be drawn in by the director’s lyri­cism, while cinephiles will rel­ish the oppor­tu­nity to retrace the steps of one of the medium’s mas­ters.” — Pub­lish­ers Weekly

“As the book makes abun­dantly clear, this isn’t the jun­gle pro­moted by orga­niz­ers of eco-tours: It’s a place of absur­dity, cru­elty and squalor; of incom­pe­tence and grotes­query; of poi­so­nous snakes and insects from a fever dream; of Indi­ans armed with poi­soned arrows and Indi­ans who craftily use the media. Haz­ards abound: greedy offi­cials, deranged actors and drunken helpers… What tran­spires in the jun­gle, com­bined with his native astrin­gency, moves [Her­zog] to a cur­dled poetry, to ecstasies of loathing and dis­gust… Much of Herzog’s focus here is intensely phys­i­cal, but he is also an imag­i­na­tive cul­tural observer.” — San Fran­cisco Chronicle

…the befogged inter­nal swirl of Herzog’s mind becomes an improb­a­bly apt van­tage point from which to view the his­tory of Fitz­car­raldo. For all his mad­den­ing opacity…Herzog ren­ders a vivid por­trait of him­self as an artist hyp­no­tized by his own deter­mined imag­i­na­tion.” — Mark Har­ris

fitzcarraldo.jpgThe jour­nal entries that make up this dis­arm­ingly poetic mem­oir were penned over the course of the two and a half years it took Her­zog to make his film Fitz­car­raldo, for which he won the best direc­tor award at Cannes in 1982. Herzog’s earthy and atmos­pheric descrip­tions of the Ama­zon jun­gle and the Natives who live there among wild and domes­ti­cated ani­mals in heavy, humid weather con­jure a civ­i­liza­tion indif­fer­ent to the rhythms of moder­nity. The impos­si­ble odds that con­spired to stop pro­duc­tion of the film and the sheer obsti­nacy it took to attempt it in the rain for­est instead of a stu­dio par­al­lel the plot of the film itself: with the help of local Natives, Fitz­car­raldo pulls a steamship over a steep hill to access rub­ber so he can earn enough money to build an opera house in the jun­gle. Her­zog has made over 50 films dur­ing his pro­lific career.” — Donna L. Davey

The acclaimed director’s diary of his time mak­ing Fitz­car­raldo (1982). From the begin­ning, the film faced more chal­lenges and uncer­tain­ties than most of Herzog’s other movies, and he com­posed a lengthy list that ended with the grim fore­cast that it could “be added to indef­i­nitely.” Film­ing had to start anew after Jason Robards, the orig­i­nal lead and an actor Her­zog came to scorn, aban­doned the project halfway through due to ill­ness, and Mick Jag­ger, set to play the lead character’s assis­tant, had to drop out to go on tour. When film­ing restarted, it was with Ger­man actor Klaus Kin­ski, a rav­ing, unhinged pres­ence in these journals-his volatil­ity so alarmed the locals that they qui­etly asked the direc­tor if he wanted Kin­ski killed. Then there were the night­mar­ish logis­tics of the famous scene where a steamship is dragged over a small hill in the jun­gle, from one river to another. Her­zog insisted that, as the cen­tral metaphor of the film, the event must be recorded with­out any com­pro­mise. (Much of the behind-the-scenes drama is recorded in Les Blank’s doc­u­men­tary Bur­den of Dreams.) Herzog’s jour­nals effec­tively map the director’s dis­lo­ca­tion and lone­li­ness, but they also high­light his unique imag­i­na­tion and the pro­found effect the remote Peru­vian loca­tion had on him. The writ­ing is haunted by what Her­zog came to see as the mis­ery of the jun­gle, a place where “all the pro­por­tions are off.” He slept fit­fully, when at all, and there is a hal­lu­ci­na­tory qual­ity to the journals-the line between what is real and what is imag­ined becomes nearly invis­i­ble. Recorded daily, with occa­sional gaps and frag­ments, Herzog’s reflec­tions are dis­qui­et­ing but also urgent and compelling-as he notes, “it’s onlythrough writ­ing that I come to my senses.“A valu­able his­tor­i­cal record and a strangely styl­ish, hyp­notic lit­er­ary work.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The film­ing of Werner Herzog’s 1982 epic, Fitz­car­raldo, in the Ama­zon­ian depths of Peru seemed myth­i­cally doomed from its incep­tion, some­thing chron­i­cled that same year in the doc­u­men­tary Bur­den of Dreams. The tit­u­lar char­ac­ter, fueled by the vol­canic ego of Klaus Kin­ski, wants to build an opera house in the wilds of Iqui­tos but first must get a 300-ton steam­boat over a moun­tain. The Ger­man director’s per­sonal jour­nal from the marathon two-year shoot offers another angle, and it’s no sur­prise his entries are exquis­itely detailed. Most of his films toe the same fine line – obses­sion and insan­ity – so nat­u­rally, he car­ried Fitzcarraldo’s bur­den.
It’s not explicit if, years later when he decided to trans­late and pub­lish this, Her­zog took a revisionist’s scalpel to his time in Peru. In the pref­ace, he states it wasn’t a day-to-day diary of film­ing but rather “inner land­scapes, born of the delir­ium of the jun­gle.” Through­out Con­quest, Her­zog is repeat­edly dis­gusted by the jungle’s per­ver­sity and silent, seething “mal­ice,” yet strangely amused by its dirty jokes.
Those highs and lows coil as one. For his dry reflec­tions (“When you shoot an ele­phant, it stays on its feet for 10 days before it falls over”) and pangs of jun­gle hatred, there are equally beau­ti­ful scenes, as when Her­zog thinks he feels an earth­quake: “For a moment the coun­try­side quiv­ered and shook, and my ham­mock began to sway gen­tly.” Her­zog and Kinski’s tumul­tuous friend­ship is touched on, but not as deeply as in the great 1999 doc­u­men­tary My Best Fiend. Her­zog mostly ignores the actor’s pro­jec­tile inso­lence on set, though he does move him to a hotel when per­turbed natives offer to kill him.
Else­where, a man chops off his own foot after a snakebite; a Peru­vian gen­eral snaps and declares war on Ecuador; Her­zog slaps an albino turkey; birds “scream” rather than sing, and insects look pre­his­toric; planes crash and limbs are split open. He sounds amaz­ingly calm within these fevered inner land­scapes – per­haps writ­ing was ther­apy – but knows pre­serv­ing his­tory is impor­tant to myth. The crew, vic­to­ri­ous, finally gets the boat over the moun­tain, and Her­zog gets in one last joke. “All that is to be reported is this: I took part.” — Audra Schroeder

“A crazed epic about a rub­ber baron who drags a steamship across an Ama­zon­ian moun­tain range, Werner Herzog’s Fitz­car­raldo (1981) set the bar absurdly high for cin­e­matic real­ism. (There would be no spe­cial effects used.) Per­haps even more hair-raising were the sto­ries that emerged from that shoot, includ­ing Peru­vian bor­der dis­putes, manic rages from actor Klaus Kin­ski and an unfor­tu­nate cin­e­matog­ra­pher for­got­ten overnight on a roar­ing rapids. Les Blank’s doc­u­men­tary of the mak­ing of the film, Bur­den of Dreams, is arguably supe­rior to Fitz­car­raldo itself.
Now comes a third nar­ra­tive, direc­tor Herzog’s pri­vate jour­nals, first pub­lished in Ger­many in 2004 and finally arriv­ing state­side. Con­quest of the Use­less (from a line of dia­logue in the film) adds sig­nif­i­cant details to the big­ger pic­ture, but also stands alone as a com­pellingly gonzo piece of reportage. Shrewdly omit­ting the better-known mis­ad­ven­tures, Her­zog focuses on his own deter­mi­na­tion and lone­li­ness. And why not? It’s a diary. We start in the cush sur­round­ings of Fran­cis Coppola’s San Fran­cisco man­sion, circa the release of Apoc­a­lypse Now. Her­zog toils on his script in the guest room while Sofia plays in the pool. A month later, he’s in Iqui­tos, Peru, observ­ing ani­mals as they eat each other.
As a read, Con­quest flies along—but not because it’s espe­cially plotty. Rather, it gath­ers its kick from the spec­ta­cle of a celebrity direc­tor escap­ing the late-’70s famescape into his own obses­sions. Meet­ings with Mick Jag­ger are far less wild than Herzog’s mor­dant curios­ity at the steamy rain for­est and his vivid descent into what he calls the “great abyss of night.” When a local Peru­vian fears the camera’s theft of his soul, Her­zog tells him there’s no need to worry, but pri­vately admits he’s lying.” — Joshua Rothkopf

Werner_Herzog_Fitzcarraldo_2.jpg

“I am fas­ci­nated by Werner Herzog’s philo­soph­i­cal approach to life, and what he refers to as ecsta­tic truth. His early film­mak­ing roughly cor­re­sponds to the New Ger­man Cin­ema, a move­ment which sought to acti­vate new ways to rep­re­sent and dis­cuss cul­ture and real­ity. Ecsta­tic truth, as an idea, remains true to this bold and pro­gres­sive ambi­tion, hop­ing to cap­ture a sense of real­ity that goes beyond straight­for­ward empir­i­cal facts, or the con­tem­po­rary con­ven­tions of Euro­pean cin­ema.
Instead, ecsta­tic truth is a kind of spir­i­tual affir­ma­tion that exists between the lines, or behind the super­fi­cial gloss of the on-screen images; and yet it is not spir­i­tual in any the­o­log­i­cal sense, nor does it adhere to any cul­tural set of beliefs. To bor­row a phrase from the title of Alan Yentob’s BBC doc­u­men­tary on Her­zog, it is a truth ‘beyond rea­son’: highly sub­jec­tive and deeply per­sonal.
For me, what is most inter­est­ing about Herzog’s work is that he seeks to find a sense of ecsta­tic truth in the most extreme cir­cum­stances. Per­haps this is the only place it can be found, if it is to exist at all. His films are often struc­tured around char­ac­ters who are in some way at odds with the world, strangers in a uni­verse divested of mean­ing and sur­rounded by ‘chaos, hos­til­ity and mur­der’. It sounds like a very fatal­is­tic, Ger­manic philo­soph­i­cal approach, but I think that to dis­miss it as neg­a­tive or nihilis­tic is to miss Herzog’s point.
The con­cept of ecsta­tic truth ties into a loose cul­tural idea of spir­i­tual enlight­en­ment and indi­vid­ual empow­er­ment, but it is with­out sen­ti­ment or naive ide­al­ism. It is a way of look­ing at the world as both bru­tal and chaotic, but embrac­ing those qual­i­ties in nature for what they are. It accepts that humankind can­not dom­i­nate or con­trol nature as such, but is enthu­si­as­tic about the engage­ment. On the set of Fitz­car­raldo, deep in the jun­gle, Her­zog speaks of the ‘obscen­ity of the jun­gle’, stat­ing that even ‘the stars look like a mess’, and yet, in spite of this, he con­tin­ues to love and admire the nature that sur­rounds him — per­haps ‘against [his] bet­ter judg­ment’.
Ecsta­tic truth does not imply secu­rity or sta­bil­ity, there are no great dis­cov­er­ies and no guar­an­tees of empir­i­cal knowl­edge: in this sense it is a nec­es­sary con­quest of the use­less, a jour­ney with no sign­posts or des­ti­na­tions. It is a con­tin­ual task, under­taken not for the ben­e­fit of mankind but for the ben­e­fit of one­self. And I think that there is some­thing per­versely roman­tic and aspi­ra­tional about Herzog’s approach; in many ways it feels rem­i­nis­cent of Niet­zsche roam­ing the wild moun­tains and find­ing peace in the wilder­ness.
To seek one’s indi­vid­ual sense of truth among the ele­ments is surely as noble a project as any, and many of Werner Herzog’s films seem to be pur­su­ing exactly that kind of philo­soph­i­cal aim: it is an attempt to cre­ate one’s place in the uni­verse, or, as Her­zog puts it, to con­tin­u­ally search for ‘a deeper stra­tum of truth’ about one­self and the wider world.” — Rhys Tran­ter

The 64-year-old Ger­man film­maker Werner Her­zog has long been as famous for his state­ments about film and cul­ture as he has been for his actual movies. In speech and in writ­ing, he inclines to apho­rism rather than argu­ment, issu­ing dicta with a her­metic self-containment bor­der­ing on the inscrutable. The 300-page Her­zog on Her­zog (2002) reads this way, as does his 12-point “Min­nesota Dec­la­ra­tion”, an impromptu man­i­festo deliv­ered at the Walker Arts Cen­ter in Min­neapo­lis in 1999. Herzog’s apho­risms teeter between the vision­ary and the bizarre, as these two points of the “Dec­la­ra­tion” attest:

5. There are deeper strata of truth in cin­ema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecsta­tic truth. It is mys­te­ri­ous and elu­sive, and can be reached only through fab­ri­ca­tion and imag­i­na­tion and styl­iza­tion.
10. The moon is dull. Mother Nature doesn’t call, doesn’t speak to you, although a glac­ier even­tu­ally farts. And don’t you lis­ten to the Song of Life.‘

Her­zog has become an object of cin­e­matic fas­ci­na­tion in his own right. Direc­tor Les Blank has made two doc­u­men­taries star­ring his col­league: Bur­den of Dreams (1982) fol­lows the mak­ing of Herzog’s Fitz­car­raldo, and Werner Her­zog Eats His Shoe (1980) fea­tures Her­zog cook­ing and devour­ing a leather boot while deliv­er­ing pro­nounce­ments on the near-extinction of imag­i­na­tion, the need for artis­tic dar­ing, and the dif­fer­ence between fact and truth. The col­lec­tive word count of Herzog’s pro­nounce­ments about art and cul­ture prob­a­bly exceeds the words spo­ken by his char­ac­ters onscreen (despite a pro­lific 55-film career). A mas­ter of ele­gant strange­ness, Her­zog has prof­ited by this canny abil­ity to expound and prac­tice an artis­tic phi­los­o­phy.
Once again, Her­zog has man­aged to have his shoe and eat it, too. In Con­quest of the Use­less: Reflec­tions from the Mak­ing of Fitz­car­raldo, Her­zog pub­lishes the diary he kept from 1979 to 1981 while shoot­ing (or, more often, wait­ing to shoot) his acclaimed film about a bom­bas­tic anti-hero in the Brazil­ian jun­gle. Thanks to Les Blank’s Bur­den of Dreams, the plagued his­tory of Fitz­car­raldo already holds a noto­ri­ous place in film­mak­ing mythol­ogy: assis­tants died; actors became injured and ill; some of the local extras plot­ted to kill hot-blooded star Klaus Kin­ski. Typ­i­cally, Her­zog took these inci­dents as cos­mic por­tents, telling Blank: “The trees here are in mis­ery. The birds here are in mis­ery – I don’t think they sing; they just screech in pain.” The essence of the jun­gle is “for­ni­ca­tion and asphyx­i­a­tion and chok­ing and fight­ing for sur­vival and grow­ing and just rot­ting away”.
A dar­ling of cineasts and prize com­mit­tees, Werner Her­zog is savvier than the humor­less neu­rotic he some­times plays on-screen and in his jour­nals. He is fully aware of the car­toon­ish­ness of his morose Weltan­schau­ung, but seems to rel­ish sit­u­at­ing him­self at the junc­ture of com­edy, melo­drama, and nihilism. Of Con­quest of the Useless’s 320 pages, this sort of vague cos­mo­log­i­cal pes­simism prob­a­bly accounts for some 50. The book finally shifts from being very funny (though we are never sure whether Her­zog is an accom­plice or an object of our laugh­ter) to slightly dull.
That said, Con­quest of the Use­less is a sin­gu­lar book, so strong at many points that it could be read and appre­ci­ated by some­one who had never seen a sin­gle Her­zog film. In Werner Her­zog Eats His Shoe, Her­zog says: “Our civ­i­liza­tion doesn’t have ade­quate images… That’s what I’m work­ing on: a new gram­mar of images.” With­out them, he says, we are doomed to “die out like dinosaurs.”
In con­trast with this “new gram­mar of images”, Her­zog sets the false images offered by tele­vi­sion and adver­tise­ments. These “kill us” and “kill our lan­guage” because they lull instead of pro­voke, work­ing within a famil­iar spec­trum of won­der, desire, and repul­sion. Herzog’s films can be inter­preted as anti­dotes to this dead­en­ing com­pla­cency, and the count­less strange moments in Con­quest of the Use­less as yet another cura­tive, this time through the medium of lan­guage.
The book’s images of grotesque sur­re­al­ism arrive abruptly amidst more mun­dane descrip­tions of weather or squab­bling actors. In a sud­den, pecu­liar flash they sug­gest whole worlds abut­ting Herzog’s, yet with utterly dif­fer­ent codes of behav­ior, stores of knowl­edge, and inter­pre­ta­tions of real­ity. In “Iqui­tos” a tiny boy named Modus Vivendi earns a liv­ing play­ing the vio­lin at funer­als. Chil­dren steal a bit of sound tape from Herzog’s crew and tie it between two trees, so tight that the wind makes it “hum and sing.” At fes­ti­vals men shoot each other with bows and arrows, the recip­i­ent catch­ing the shaft midair before it hits its mark. A large moth sits on Herzog’s dirty laun­dry and “feasts on the salt from [his] sweat.” In the crew’s ship­ment of pro­vi­sions they order kilos of arrow-tip poi­son, which serves as local cur­rency. “For a spoon­ful of this black sticky mass, you can get your­self a woman to marry, I was told in a respect­ful whis­per by a boat­man as he cleaned his toes with a screw­driver.” Such sur­prises exem­plify the new­ness to Herzog’s “gram­mar of images”, a new­ness that is not sim­ply indica­tive of their shock value but illus­tra­tive of a vora­cious curios­ity about how other beings sur­vive, and some­times enjoy, their pas­sage through the world.
In Con­quest of the Use­less, Her­zog may have stum­bled across the genre to which his writ­ing is best suited. The jour­nal form pro­vides an inher­ent struc­ture, in which sea­sons change, per­son­al­i­ties clash and rec­on­cile and clash again, and bud­gets dwin­dle. All Her­zog has to do from time to time is log the cur­rent con­di­tions of all these fac­tors, and the drama writes itself. This sin­gle lin­ear struc­ture is steady and com­pre­hen­si­ble enough to accom­mo­date a great deal of eccen­tric­ity and diva­ga­tion, and the reader never feels mired in the wash of sur­real imagery and quasi-philosophic mus­ing. With entries aver­ag­ing three or four para­graphs, few feel over­stuffed with detail.
When Her­zog sim­ply shows what’s there, the result is breath­tak­ing, and even a reader unac­quainted with Herzog’s work could imag­ine why Fran­cois Truf­faut called him “the great­est film direc­tor alive”. What spoils some of these images, how­ever, is Herzog’s occa­sional habit of gloss­ing or inter­pret­ing them for us. This can result in cringe-worthy pur­ple prose: “In its all-encompassing, mas­sive mis­ery, of which it has no knowl­edge and no hint of a notion, the mighty jun­gle stood com­pletely still for another night, which, how­ever, true to its inner­most nature, it didn’t allow to go unused for incred­i­ble destruc­tion, incred­i­ble butch­ery.”
Fit­ting this “gram­mar of images” into an argu­ment or phi­los­o­phy is often mis­guided. Herzog’s attempts at artic­u­lat­ing a con­vinc­ing credo fail, but his ren­der­ing of the world’s strange par­tic­u­lars achieves the “ecsta­tic truth” which for him is both the aim and the con­tent of art. Her­zog schol­ars will per­haps read Con­quest of the Use­less with the goal of sup­ple­ment­ing their under­stand­ing of his aston­ish­ing films. Doing so risks over­look­ing the value of Con­quest as a work of art itself. The plea­sures of the word are dif­fer­ent from the plea­sures of the cam­era. Herzog’s strange and orig­i­nal voice, by medi­at­ing a place and mood through lan­guage rather than footage, pro­vides yet another new gram­mar by which imag­i­na­tion speaks.” — Laura Kolbe
“This is what “a beau­ti­ful, fresh, sunny morn­ing” was like for Werner Her­zog dur­ing the Sisyphean mis­eries that plagued the shoot­ing of his Ama­zon­ian epic “Fitz­car­raldo” (1982): one of two newly hatched chicks drowned in a saucer con­tain­ing only a few mil­lime­ters of water. The other lost a leg and a piece of its stom­ach to a mur­der­ous rab­bit. And Mr. Her­zog real­ized, for the umpteenth time, that “a sense of des­o­la­tion was tear­ing me up inside, like ter­mites in a fallen tree trunk.”
These and other good times have been immor­tal­ized in “Con­quest of the Use­less,” Mr. Herzog’s jour­nal about his best-known film­mak­ing night­mare. Already pub­lished in Ger­man as the evoca­tively titled “Eroberung des Nut­zlosen” in 2004, this book, trans­lated by Krishna Win­ston, seem­ingly reca­pit­u­lates some of Les Blank’s film “Bur­den of Dreams,” the 1982 doc­u­men­tary that cap­tured the “Fitz­car­raldo” shoot in all of its mag­nif­i­cent, doomy glory. When he spoke to Mr. Blank, Mr. Her­zog used the phrase “chal­lenge of the impos­si­ble” to describe his heroic, arguably unhinged strug­gle to com­plete his film.
But “Bur­den of Dreams” never pen­e­trated Mr. Herzog’s rogue thoughts, at least not in the way his own mes­mer­iz­ingly bizarre account does. That’s under­stand­able: Mr. Blank could con­cen­trate on such exter­nal diver­sions as haul­ing a steamship over a hill in the Ama­zon rain for­est, which was the pièce de résis­tance of Mr. Herzog’s “Fitz­car­raldo” sce­nario.
The obser­va­tions to be found in “Con­quest of the Use­less” are much more pri­vate and piti­less, as Mr. Her­zog finds evi­dence of an indif­fer­ent uni­verse wher­ever he turns. With the same bleak elo­quence that he brings to nar­rat­ing his non­fic­tion films (and what voice can match Mr. Herzog’s for mourn­fully con­tem­pla­tive beauty?) this book describes the exot­ica of the jun­gle. Obsessed with the bird, ani­mal and insect worlds as a way of avoid­ing the human one, Mr. Her­zog keeps a steady record of the per­verse spec­ta­cles he encoun­ters.
It’s always per­sonal: fire ants rain down upon him spite­fully. Hens treat him dif­fi­dently. A cobra stares him down. Amaz­ingly Mr. Her­zog becomes so emo­tion­ally involved with a “vain” albino turkey that in a moment of pique he slaps the bird “left-right with the casual ele­gance of the arro­gant cav­a­liers I had seen in French Mus­ke­teer films.” Per­haps that offers some mea­sure of just how intensely and anthro­po­mor­phi­cally Mr. Her­zog can inter­act with his sur­round­ings.
Even inan­i­mate objects (“has any­one heard rocks sigh?”) become part of the drama rec­ol­lected in these pages. So a broom “is lying on the ground as if felled by an assas­sin.” A book leaves Mr. Her­zog feel­ing so lonely that he buries it. No event from day­break (“the birds were plead­ing for the con­tin­ued exis­tence of the Cre­ation”) to night­fall (“the universe’s light sim­ply burns out, and then it is gone”) is any­thing but fraught. In this con­text one man’s plan to haul a steamship over­land between two rivers becomes as rea­son­able as any­thing else.
As “Con­quest of the Use­less” reveals, Mr. Her­zog is as canny about the film world as he is about the nat­ural one. And he knows that he needs both to sus­tain him. Still, he sounds hap­pi­est while liv­ing in self-imposed exile from those who con­trol his film’s finan­cial des­tiny. And he is scathing about any col­lab­o­ra­tors who do not share his love of risk-taking.
Jason Robards, orig­i­nally cast in the title role, becomes an object of scorch­ing deri­sion because he seems fear­ful of the jun­gle. To Mr. Her­zog, cow­ardice is a par­tic­u­larly despi­ca­ble sin.
The book speaks bit­terly about the “appalling inner empti­ness” of Mr. Robards in ways that make it no sur­prise that Mr. Her­zog soon replaces him. And “Fitz­car­raldo” also loses Mick Jag­ger, for whom Mr. Her­zog has far higher regard, once it becomes clear that mak­ing this film will take years. In a diary that spans two and a half years and details assorted calami­ties, Mr. Her­zog even­tu­ally becomes more com­fort­able when his old neme­sis, the tantrum-throwing mad­man Klaus Kin­ski (who starred in Mr. Herzog’s “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”) steps in.
Although “Con­quest of the Use­less” pro­vides a hyp­notic chron­i­cle of the film crew’s daily progress, it inevitably heats up when Mr. Kin­ski arrives. No malev­o­lent taran­tula in the rain for­est can match this vol­cani­cally hot-tempered actor for enter­tain­ment value. And the Kin­ski pres­ence brings out the best in Mr. Herzog’s invec­tive. Com­plain­ing con­stantly about his star’s diva­like behav­ior — Mr. Her­zog pre­dicts there will be trou­ble when the steamship becomes more impor­tant to the film than its lead­ing man is, and of course he’s right — Mr. Her­zog is nonethe­less invig­o­rated by col­lab­o­ra­tive con­flict.
Still, he per­fectly under­stands a dis­creet ques­tion asked by some of the local Indi­ans: Does Mr. Her­zog want this rav­ing, scream­ing, fit-pitching actor taken off his hands? In other words, should the Indi­ans kill him? By this point in “Con­quest of the Use­less” that inquiry seems plau­si­ble: Mr. Her­zog has described the con­stant deadly peril of jun­gle life, at one point cit­ing the deaths of two Indi­ans within three pages. And the loss of one shriek­ing blond Euro­pean might not be such an aber­ra­tion.
But Mr. Her­zog would, as ever, pre­fer a sur­pris­ing obser­va­tion to an obvi­ous one. He decides that the Indi­ans must find the Her­zog tenac­ity much scarier than the Kin­ski oper­at­ics.
Any book by Mr. Her­zog (like “Of Walk­ing in Ice,” his slen­der vol­ume about a 1974 walk from Munich to Paris) turns his devo­tees into cryp­tog­ra­phers. It is ever tempt­ing to try to fathom his rest­less spirit and his deter­mi­na­tion to chal­lenge fate. Among the oddly reveal­ing details in “Con­quest of the Use­less” is Mr. Herzog’s descrip­tion of the gift from him that most delighted his mother: sand, which she liked to use for scrub­bing. As he suf­fers through the tra­vails described in this book, he is very much his mother’s son.” — Janet Maslin

“Werner Her­zog is famous for his cin­e­matic depic­tions of obses­sives and out­siders, from the El Dorado-seeking Spaniard played by Klaus Kin­ski in his 1972 inter­na­tional break­through, “Aguirre: The Wrath of God,” to Tim­o­thy Tread­well, the doomed bear-worshiper of his 2005 doc­u­men­tary, “Griz­zly Man.” Herzog’s own rep­u­ta­tion as an obses­sive, not to men­tion dare­devil and doom­sayer, was solid­i­fied by “Bur­den of Dreams,” a doc­u­men­tary chron­i­cling Herzog’s tri­als while film­ing “Fitz­car­raldo” in the Peru­vian jun­gle in 1981.
“Con­quest of the Use­less: Reflec­tions From the Mak­ing of ‘Fitz­car­raldo’ ” com­prises Herzog’s diaries from the three ardu­ous years he worked on that movie, which earned him a best direc­tor award at Cannes in 1982 yet nearly derailed his career. It reveals him to be witty, com­pas­sion­ate, micro­scop­i­cally obser­vant and — your call — either mani­a­cally deter­mined or admirably per­se­ver­ing.
A vision had seized hold of me…”, he writes in the book’s pro­logue. “It was the vision of a large steamship scal­ing a hill under its own steam, work­ing its way up a steep slope in the jun­gle, while above this nat­ural land­scape, which shat­ters the weak and the strong with equal feroc­ity, soars the voice of Caruso.“
Around this vision Her­zog fash­ioned a script about an aspir­ing rub­ber baron who yearns to bring opera to the Ama­zon, a dream requir­ing him to haul a steamship over a moun­tain from one river to another to gain access to the rub­ber. When Her­zog meets with 20th Cen­tury Fox exec­u­tives to dis­cuss his plan, he says they envi­sion that “a plas­tic model ship will be pulled over a ridge in a stu­dio, or pos­si­bly in a botan­i­cal gar­den.“

“I told them the unques­tioned assump­tion had to be a real steamship being hauled over a real moun­tain, though not for the sake of real­ism but for the styl­iza­tion char­ac­ter­is­tic of grand opera,” he writes, adding, “The pleas­antries we exchanged from then on wore a thin coat­ing of frost.“
As “Bur­den of Dreams” made clear, “Fitz­car­raldo” turned into a metaphor for itself: Her­zog and his pro­tag­o­nist shared the same impos­si­ble goal. The jun­gle shoot became famous for its calami­ties, includ­ing Herzog’s arrest by local author­i­ties; the depar­ture of the orig­i­nal star, Jason Robards, after he fell ill with dysen­tery; a bor­der war between Peru and Ecuador; plane crashes; injuries; prob­lem­atic weather; and an increas­ingly dejected crew.
“Con­quest of the Use­less” fills in the gaps of that account and shows what makes Her­zog so com­pelling as an artist, par­tic­u­larly in his non­fic­tion films: his acute fas­ci­na­tion with peo­ple and nature.
In the city of Iqui­tos, he writes: “Every evening, at exactly the same minute, sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand golon­dri­nas, a kind of swal­low, come to roost for the night in the trees on the Plaza de Armas. They form black lines on the cor­nices of build­ings. The entire square is filled with their excited flut­ter­ing and twit­ter­ing. Arriv­ing from all dif­fer­ent direc­tions, the swarms of birds meet in the air above the square, cir­cling like tor­na­dos in dizzy­ing spi­rals. Then, as if a whirl­wind were sweep­ing through, they sud­denly descend onto the square, dark­en­ing the sky. The young ladies put up umbrel­las to shield them­selves from drop­pings.“
The book is also filled with ter­rif­i­cally funny and pre­cise ren­der­ings of the crea­tures that inhabit the film crew’s two jun­gle camps — ants, bats, taran­tu­las, mos­qui­toes, snakes, alli­ga­tors, mon­keys, rats, vul­tures, an albino turkey and an underwear-shredding ocelot. “For days a dead roach has been lying in our lit­tle shower stall, which is sup­plied with water from a gaso­line drum on the roof,” Her­zog writes in an entry dated “11 July 1979.” “The roach is so enor­mous in its mon­stros­ity that it is like some­thing that stepped out of a hor­ror movie. It lies there all spongy, belly-up, and is so dis­gust­ing that none of us has had the nerve to get rid of it.“
He can spend a full page describ­ing a day­long rain­storm and its after­math, pro­vid­ing sim­ple, telling details: “The trop­i­cal humid­ity is so intense that if you leave envelopes lying around they seal them­selves.” He offers mem­o­ries from his unusual early life (he grew up in a remote Bavar­ian moun­tain vil­lage) and engross­ing recaps of weird sto­ries peo­ple tell him. The effect is spell­bind­ing.
He can be scathing — the “peo­ple in Satipo were like vomit — ugly, mean-spirited, unkempt, as if a town in the high­lands had expelled its most degen­er­ate ele­ments and pushed them off into the jun­gle” — and sen­si­tive, as when cin­e­matog­ra­pher Thomas Mauch tears open his hand and under­goes surgery with­out anes­the­sia: “I held his head and pressed it against me, and a silent wall of faces sur­rounded us. Mauch said he could not take any more, he was going to faint, and I told him to go ahead.” (What Her­zog does next to soothe Mauch is both hilar­i­ous and mov­ing.)
Her­zog replaced Robards with Kin­ski, his lead from three pre­vi­ous films, who pre­sented a new set of prob­lems. As Her­zog showed in his extra­or­di­nary 1999 film about Kin­ski, “My Best Fiend,” the guy was intol­er­a­ble. Her­zog is stoic in the face of Kinski’s hours of “unin­ter­rupted rant­ing and rav­ing,” call­ing him an “absolute pest” in an “Yves St. Lau­rent bush out­fit.” Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Indi­ans who serve as extras matter-of-factly offer to kill him.
Her­zog, of course, isn’t exactly easy­go­ing. He comes across as impa­tient and wants to do every­thing him­self, right now. And his admi­ra­tion for nature is over­shad­owed by his non­stop dec­la­ra­tions about its malev­o­lence — the sun is “mur­der­ous,” mists are “angry,” the jun­gle has “silent killing in its depths.” (In “Griz­zly Man,” he says that “the com­mon char­ac­ter of the uni­verse is not har­mony but hos­til­ity, chaos and mur­der,” so we know his sen­ti­ments haven’t changed.)
As the months in the jun­gle pass, delir­ium sets in. “There are widely diver­gent views as to what day of the month it is,” Her­zog writes. The engi­neer hired to help guide the ship over the ridge quits. But Her­zog car­ries on, and the tone of the diaries shifts from dreamy to night­mar­ish: “No one’s on my side any­more, not one per­son, not one sin­gle per­son. In the midst of hun­dreds of Indian extras, dozens of woods­men, boat­men, kitchen per­son­nel, the tech­ni­cal team, and the actors, soli­tude flailed at me like a huge enraged ani­mal.“
For decades Her­zog has declared his resis­tance to intro­spec­tion; he claims not to know the color of his eyes, since he detests look­ing into mir­rors, and is out­spo­ken about his con­tempt for psy­cho­analy­sis. So his vul­ner­a­bil­ity here is note­wor­thy. “At night I’m even lone­lier than dur­ing the day,” he writes. “I lis­tened intently to the silence, pierced by tor­mented insects and tor­mented ani­mals. Even the motors of our boats have some­thing tor­mented about them.“
It’s hard to know how to read such hyper­bolic sen­ti­ments, espe­cially given his dry wit. When, after months of try­ing, he finally gets the ship over the ridge, bring­ing “Fitz­car­raldo” near com­ple­tion, how does he feel? The book’s sar­donic title says it all.”

00:20 Publié dans Cinéma | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : cinéma, werner herzog, klaus kinski, allemagne, film, 7ème art | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

samedi, 22 janvier 2011

Adam Fergusson's "When Money Dies"

Adam Fergusson’s When Money Dies

Alex KURTAGIC

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

Adam Fergusson
When Money Dies: The Nightmare of Deficit Spending, Devaluation, and Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany
Old Street Publishing, 2010

Warren Buffett recommendations notwithstanding, it says something about the state of our economy when someone decides it is time to resurrect a 35-year-old account of the Weimar-era hyperinflation.

Written during the stagflationary 1970s, Adam Fergusson’s When Money Dies: The Nightmare of the Weimar Hyperinflation contains much to titillate our morbid curiosity, besides an instructive illustration of what we can expect should the Austrian economists’ gloomiest prophecies ever come true.  (The book, long out of print, was fetching close to $700 on eBay this summer, and has now been made available in electronic format.)

Defined in the present text as occurring when the rate of inflation exceeds 50 percent per month, hyperinflation is caused by an uncontrolled increase in the money supply and a loss of confidence in the currency. Because of the absence of a tendency towards equilibrium, fear of the rapid and continuous loss of value makes people unwilling to hold on to the money for any longer than is necessary to convert it into tangible goods or services. Hyperinflation is therefore characterized by very rapid depreciation and a dramatic increase in the velocity of the circulation of money.

Although the most famous (because it was the first to have been systematically observed and because it was deemed to have made Hitler possible), the hyperinflation of Weimar-era Germany, where Papiermark-denominated prices came to double every 3.7 days, takes “only” fourth place in the hyperinflationary hall of fame. The first place belongs to post-World War II Hungary, where in July 1946 pengő-denominated prices doubled every 15 hours. The second place belongs to Mugabe-era Zimbabwe, where in November 2008 Zimbabwean dollar-denominated prices doubled every 24.7 hours. And the third place belongs to Balkans War-era Yugoslavia, where in January 1994 Yugoslav dinar-denominated prices doubled every 1.4 days.

In Germany the inflationary cycle had already begun during World War I, when the paper mark went from 20 to the pound (at the time worth around 4 dollars) to 43 to the pound by war’s end. Although the paper mark continued tumbling downward, spiking momentarily in the first quarter of 1920, it recovered somewhat afterwards and remained more or less stable until the first half of 1921. The London Ultimatum, however, which demanded war reparations to be paid in gold marks to the tune of 2,000,000,000 per annum, plus 26 per cent of the value of German exports, triggered a new leg of rapid depreciation. The French policy towards Germany, backed by the British, was virulently vengeful, and imposed an onerous burden on Germany’s economy: in fact, the amount demanded was in excess of Germany’s total holding of gold or foreign exchange. The deficit in the budget, of which reparations contributed a third, was made up by discounting government Treasury bills and printing money.

Despite a momentary respite during the first half of 1922, during which international reparations conferences caused the paper mark to stabilize at around 320 to the dollar, the lack of an agreement triggered a new crisis, resulting in a phase of hyperinflation. Fuelled by the German government’s policy of passive resistance to French occupation of the Ruhr, which from January 1923 meant subsidizing through money-printing an anti-occupation strike by German workers, said hyperinflation escalated exponentially until November that year, when the introduction of the Rentenmark finally stopped the economic rot. By that time the German currency had fallen to 4,200,000,000,000 paper marks to the dollar.

Fergusson attributed the extraordinary self-inflicted destruction of Germany’s monetary system to a failure on the part of its government and the Reichsbank to link currency depreciation to money printing. Depreciation was initially believed to have been the result of the Entente powers forcing up foreign exchange through market manipulations. The German public appeared equally ignorant, believing that prices were going up as opposed to the value of their currency going down. Anti-Semitic explanations, not refuted by visible examples of vulgar Jewish ostentation, financial acrobatics, and profiteering, were also popular. The consequent misery and economic chaos showed the weaknesses of the chartalist monetary standard.

Combining a clear exposition with contemporary private diary entries, When Money Dies offers a harrowing narrative. The Weimar inflation obliterated savings, devoured wages, and caused assets to be distributed in the most unfair ways imaginable. As the wealthy had the means to protect themselves and even take advantage of the situation, and as the working class was organized and able to secure wage increases through frequent strikes and union demands, the main victims were the middle class — professionals, civil servants, the rentier class, and those on fixed incomes, who were reduced to penury and destitution. Landlords were also affected as a result of government-imposed rent controls.

The industrialist class, on the other hand, was not unhappy with the inflation, as they benefited from it. Indeed, some industrialists and profiteers made fortunes at everyone’s expense. Individual industrialists were able to acquire assets (usually fixed assets and raw materials) for minuscule amounts by securing large bank loans that became virtually worthless within weeks because of the low interest rates. Said industrialists also welcomed the virtual destruction of fiscal burdens: high inflation also made tax assessments worthless by the time taxes were due.

One of the effects of inflation was to turn everyone into a speculator — in the stock market, in foreign exchange, in commodities, and in assets, which offered protection from depreciation as well as profit opportunities. Foreign visitors in Germany were also able to take advantage of a notable differential between the official rate of foreign exchange and prices in real terms within Germany, where in relation to solid currencies like the dollar and the pound goods and services were available at bargain prices.

For most of the inflationary period Germany enjoyed full employment, but the incentive to work hard and save was progressively eroded by the increasing fugacity of purchasing power. The main concern was somehow keeping ahead of the mark’s accelerating depreciation, so as to be able to still obtain the necessities of life. Payday had to come with increasing frequency, and finally daily in order to keep up with prices, which rose with increasing rapidity until they changed by the hour. Part of the rise was due to the need to factor in depreciation occurring between the time the money was paid to the merchant and the time the merchant was able to dispose of it. It became the norm to spend money as quickly as it was obtained and for shops to sell out in a single day. Coffees were ordered two at a time, to avoid having to pay more for any second cup. Barter, bribes, and corruption also became universal.

Despite the prodigious nominal amounts, people’s main problem during this period was a chronic scarcity of money. Dozens of paper mills and printing firms and thousands of printing machines working night and day could not keep up with prices, causing the total amount of money in circulation constantly to decrease in real terms. Obviously, the more furious the money printing, the more acute the rate of depreciation, but his was something apparently not understood by Rudolf Havenstein, the president of the Reichsbank (German central bank), whose main preoccupation was ensuring there was enough money available to meet economic needs. Depreciation accelerated to such a degree that it eventually made more sense directly to burn money in the stove than first use it to purchase wood.

The scarcity of money was reflected in the government’s budget, which dwindled to paltry amounts in real terms, further aided by the breakdown of the taxation system and the ridiculously low price of stamps and railway fares. By the end of the hyperinflationary cycle, the government’s income was a fraction of 1 percent of its outgoings.

Food became progressively scarce as a result of hoarding and the refusal by farmers to sell their produce against worthless paper. Farmers were, in fact, relatively well off until almost the end, as they were able to produce their own food. City-dwellers were forced to sell their possessions in exchange for comestibles, and those visiting friends or relatives witnessed the latter’s flats gradually emptying of furniture, paintings, and any movable asset of value. Once these were gone, looting and farm raids was the next step for some. For others it was starvation and death.

The highest denomination note, issued towards the end of 1923, was 100,000,000,000,000 marks (compare with Hungary’s 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengő note in 1946). By this time, Dr. Havenstein had the equivalent of 300 ten-tonne train wagons of unissued bank notes awaiting distribution for the day. The mark, however, had become not only worthless but largely shunned in favour of foreign currencies and tangible assets. Also in circulation were not only the official Papiermark issued by the central bank but also emergency money issued by municipalities, local banks, and even private firms in the effort to make up for money shortages. Such an environment had made it impossible to ascertain with precision the value of anything, as sellers used their own indexes and asked whatever they thought they could get people to pay for their goods or services. The chaos and economic breakdown was so complete that Germany by late 1923 was on the verge dismemberment, with the republic having long been under siege from both Communists and the Far Right. Hitler, who attempted his Beer Hall Putsch in November that year, was among the agitators.

The death of Dr. Havenstein and the appointment of Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, marked the end of Weimar hyperinflation. This occurred under the auspices of a military dictatorship, comprised of Hans von Streisser, Otto von Lossow, and Gustav von Kahr, appointed by Prime Minister Eugen von Knilling, who, following a period of political violence an assassinations had declared martial law in September 1923. The discounting of Treasury bills was stopped and the Rentenmark — a temporary currency — was introduced at the rate of 1,000,000,000,000 Papiermark to 1 Rentenmark; also, debts were largely rescinded, unfairly to the detriment of many. Somehow, the confidence trick worked and a semblance of normality returned. Unfortunately, however, the price of stopping hyperinflation was steep and known in advance: mass unemployment, a sharp economic slowdown, and bankruptcies. The hyperinflation was allowed to carry on as long as it did partly because of an absence of political will to swallow the necessary bitter medicine.

Among the casualties were some of the industrialists and profiteers who were caught out in the hyperinflationary game of musical chairs once the currency reform was enacted. Those who survived and had benefited from the economic conditions were forced to adjust to the dull world of hard work, thrift, small profits, and taxes. Some, like the Jewish-Lithuanian Barmat brothers, still managed to exploit the situation to their advantage: they converted their assets into the new, strong mark and issued loans at extortionate rates of interest (of up to 100 percent) while credit was nearly impossible to find elsewhere. Hyperinflation had bred universal corruption, however — a world of dog-eat-dog rapacity, opportunism, and pauperized billionaires, where the worst human instincts flourished and became a matter of survival.

The post-hyperinflationary credit crunch was, not surprisingly followed by a credit boom: starved of money and basic necessities for so long (do not forget the hyperinflation had come directly after defeat in The Great War), many funded lavish lifestyles through borrowing during the second half of the 1920s. We know how that ended, of course: in The Great Depression, which eventually saw the end of the Weimar Republic and the beginning of the National Socialist era.

From the vantage-point of 2010, we see glimpses in Fergusson’s account of the way events might play out in the United States and possibly Western Europe in the coming years, absent any political will to tackle the mountain of public and private debt, the enormous budget deficits, and the stupendous above-growth monetary expansion of the past decade. The crises are likely to be similar in kind, but follow a different order. The credit boom of the 2000s has been followed by the credit crunch of the late 2000s. Analysts of the Austrian school deem us to be in the initial stages of a Second Great Depression, and vaticinate much worse to come.

Personally, I sometimes get tired of the unrelenting pessimism coming from some Austrian-influenced quarters, and wonder whether there is not a morbid curiosity there — untempered by personal experience — to witness a catastrophic collapse; but, all the same, I am not going to take chances and risk losing the little I have because I was bored by the truculent fantasies of some cleverer-than-thou commentators. When Money Dies is well worth reading if you are searching for a real-life overview of the sequence of weird phenomena that emerge during a inflationary cycle. Those who can would be well advised to use it and related texts to design in advance coping strategies in the event of monetary failure.

PS: For a fictional preview of what a hyperinflationary blowout might look like in Europe and the United States in 2022, see my novel Mister (Iron Sky Publishing, 2009).

Source: http://www.wermodandwermod.com/newsitems/news130120111511.html

jeudi, 20 janvier 2011

Duitsland: een model voor België?

Duitsland een model voor België?
De geschiedenis van Duitsland is er een van kleine staten die onder een zwakke koepel, eerst van een Rijk, later van een Duitse Bond, met elkaar wedijveren. Federalisme avant la lettre als het ware. Na de ineenstorting van het centralistisch bestuurde Derde Rijk in 1945 was er overeenstemming tussen de geallieerden en de Duitse politieke klasse om weer aan te knopen bij de oude traditie van zichzelf besturende staten die met elkaar verbonden waren.

Grondwet

Tijdens de besprekingen in 1948 voor een nieuwe Duitse grondwet verdedigde Beieren, een gewezen koninkrijk overigens, een verregaande scheiding tussen zo een ‘Bond’ en ‘Länder’ (deelstaten) om voldoende zelfstandigheid te behouden. De Parlementaire Raad, voorloper van de Bondsdag (het parlement van de in 1949 gestichte Bondsrepubliek) verkoos een federale staat waarin de federale overheid – der Bund – ruimere bevoegdheden zou genieten, ook om in de moeilijke naoorlogse periode meer samenhang tot stand te brengen op sociaal en economisch vlak.

Die ‘strijd’ leeft vandaag nog altijd voort. De grondwet legt het nastreven van ‘gelijkwaardigheid van levensomstandigheden’ vast; een Zuid-Duitse deelstaat als Beieren hamert regelmatig op meer zelfstandigheid. Het toeval wil nu dat Beieren net zoals zijn buur Baden-Württemberg een rijke deelstaat is. Wanneer het vraagtekens plaatst bij de financiële transfers die kenmerkend zijn voor een federale staat, wekt het dus de indruk dat zijn verlangen naar meer ‘macht’ ingegeven is door financieel eigenbelang. Geld is natuurlijk een belangrijk motief, maar dat is ook de drang om zich te onderscheiden, concreet bijvoorbeeld om zijn sterk onderwijssysteem te kunnen behouden.

Solidariteit

Wat wij in België solidariteit noemen, heet in Duitsland dus ‘gelijkwaardigheid van levensomstandigheden’. Er mogen geen al te grote verschillen bestaan tussen de deelstaten. De zwakke broertjes onder de Länder moeten opgetild worden tot een niveau waarbij hun financiële kracht het gemiddelde van alle deelstaten, tussen 97% en 98 %, bereikt.

Dat gebeurt door een verdeling van de inkomsten uit de BTW, toewijzingen door de federale overheid, en door de zogeheten ‘Länderfinanzausgleich’, waarbij de rijke deelstaten een gedeelte van hun inkomsten afstaan aan de armere.

In de oude Bondsrepubliek (van voor 1990) waren het al een klein aantal deelstaten die de last van de ‘Länderfinanzausgleich’ moesten dragen (West-Berlijn kreeg direct steun van de federale overheid); met de eenmaking vervoegden vijf arme Oost-Duitse deelstaten en Berlijn – nu een deelstaat zoals alle andere – het rijtje van de ‘Nehmerländer’ of ontvangers. Tussen de Duitse deelstaten wordt 6,9 miljard € herverdeeld. Daarvan neemt Beieren bijna de helft voor zijn rekening, een bedrag dat overeenkomt met meer dan 10 % van de belastinginkomsten van de Beierse staatskas. Zoals Guy Tegenbos in De Standaard van 12 januari 2011 aantoont, is de solidariteit van Vlaanderen naar Wallonië relatief gezien wel anderhalve maal zwaarder dan die tussen de rijke en arme Duitse deelstaten.

Dynamiek

De bedoeling is dat de deelstaten qua financiële kracht naar elkaar toegroeien in het kader van een sterk uitgeruste bondsstaat. De institutionele prijs die ze daarvoor betalen, is die van een beperkte zelfstandigheid met veel gemengde en weinig exclusieve bevoegdheden (bijvoorbeeld onderwijs). Dat wordt daardoor gecompenseerd dat ze een stem in het kapittel hebben via een vaste vertegenwoordiging in de Bondsraad, de deelstatenkamer van het parlement.

Naargelang van hun grootte hebben de deelstaten elk drie tot zes van de in totaal 69 zetels in de Bondsraad. Die heeft inspraakrecht in de federale wetgeving waar deze de belangen van de deelstaten raakt. De politieke consequenties kunnen heel groot zijn. Duitsland kent geen samenvallende verkiezingen. De Länder worden vaak door andere meerderheden geregeerd dan de federale staat.

De partijen die in de Bondsdag in de oppositie zitten, halen vaak hun slag thuis doordat ze daar gestemde wetten kunnen blokkeren in de Bondsraad. De federale regering vindt dat uiteraard niet leuk. Het kan verlammend werken, maar ook een grote dynamiek verlenen. De debatcultuur is erg uitgesproken, er zijn tegengewichten en er ontstaat zo ook veel ruimte voor experimenteren.

Al van in de jaren ’90 dringt Beieren op een hervorming van het federale systeem met het oog op meer ‘Wettbewerb’ of innovatie versterkende concurrentie tussen de deelstaten. Het prijst zichzelf graag als voorbeeld aan onder het motto ‘Laptop und Lederhose’, als regio die traditie en technologische innovatie aan elkaar koppelt. Het klopt dat we vroeger ook steun genoten (van 1950 tot 1986), zeggen de Beieren, maar die is tenminste niet in een bodemloos vat gevloeid: we hebben ons als enige ontvanger opgewerkt tot gever.

Klacht

Nu denken Beieren, Baden-Württemberg en Hessen eraan een klacht tegen het systeem in te spannen bij het Grondwettelijk Hof indien er geen onderhandelde oplossing met de ontvangers uit de bus komt. De rijke Länder vinden dat de ‘Länderfinanzausgleich’ de arme ‘vadsig’ maakt en te weinig aanspoort tot sparen.

Volgens het grondwettelijk vastgelegde principe van de schuldenafremming mogen de Länder vanaf 2020 geen nieuwe schulden meer maken. Hoe moet dat lukken met de begrotingstekorten in de arme Länder? Zelf zeggen de politici van de rijke Länder het niet uitgelegd te krijgen aan de burgers dat hun universiteiten inschrijvingsgeld vragen van de studenten terwijl het onderwijs in sommige arme Länder gratis is.

Staatsbedreigend?

De discussie in Duitsland is echter minder ‘staatsbedreigend’ dan in België omdat een eventuele spanning niet geaccentueerd wordt door het toebehoren van de verschillende blokken tot een andere cultuur- of taalgemeenschap. Regionale verschillen wegen niet zwaar genoeg door om het homogene karakter van Duitsland op de helling te zetten.

Zelfs als de “Länderfinanzausgleich’ grondig hervormd wordt, zullen de inwoners van de verschillende deelstaten zich nog altijd als Duits staatsburger voelen. Zelfs een verandering van de grenzen van de deelstaten of het samenvoegen van deelstaten zou – als ze met succes bekroond werd – ietwat wrok te weeg kunnen brengen, maar aan de overkoepelende identiteit van de mensen als Duitser verandert er niets.

Ook in Duitsland bestaat er geen federale kieskring. Als remedie kan het niet eens van pas komen. Maar de Duitsers hebben wel unitaire partijen voor heel het land, met uitzondering van Beieren dat een eigen christendemocratische partij heeft. Misschien geen toeval dat net vanuit Beieren signalen uitgezonden worden om het federale systeem aan te passen?

Dirk Rochtus doceert Duitse geschiedenis en internationale politiek aan Lessius Antwerpen.

samedi, 15 janvier 2011

Gli ultimi trionfi del denaro e della macchina nella filosofia della storia di Oswald Spengler

Gli ultimi trionfi del denaro e della macchina nella filosofia della storia di Oswald Spengler

Francesco Lamendola

Ex: http://www.centrostudilaruna.it/

Nato a Blankenburg, nel Magdeburgo, nel 1880 e morto a Monaco nel 1936 – in buon punto per evitare le conseguenze del suo rifiuto di approvare il violento antisemitismo del regime hitleriano -, Oswald Spengler è stato uno dei filosofi più discussi e controversi del XX secolo, suscitando fervidi entusiasmi e ripulse totali e irrevocabili. Per alcuni egli è stato il teorico del nazionalsocialismo, nella misura in cui – pur non aderendo formalmente ad esso – aveva sostenuto la necessità di instaurare un forte potere militare e affermato la superiorità della razza «bianca» e della preponderanza della Germania nel quadro politico mondiale. Altri hanno visto in lui il maggiore erede di Nietzsche, della sua fedeltà alla terra e della volontà di potenza, oltre che un continuatore del relativismo storicistico di Dilthey e, quindi, il legittimo continuatore della tradizione filosofica tedesca di fine Ottocento.

La sua concezione organicistica delle civiltà, secondo la quale ogni civiltà è equiparabile a un essere vivente che nasce, si sviluppa, decade (nella fase della «civilizzazione») e, da ultimo, muore, apparve – ed era – una tipica forma di biologismo sociale, dominata com’era da una darwiniana strength for life, ove le civiltà vecchie e deboli devono cedere il passo a quelle giovani e forti. Concezione che a molti non piacque, e che tuttavia appariva fondata su cospicui elementi di realtà oggettiva, e che tanto più difficile sembrava smentire quanto più l’Autore dispiegava, per sostenerla, una immensa congerie di osservazioni tratte dalla musica, dall’architettura, dalla storia delle religioni e da quella dell’economia e della tecnica.

Piacque, soprattutto ai Tedeschi, l’implicito machiavellismo sotteso a tutta l’opera: per cui, nelle convulsioni della disfatta al termine della prima guerra mondiale (Il tramonto dell’Occidente venne pubblicato tra il 1918 e il 1922, ossia negli anni più bui mai vissuti sino ad allora dalla Germania), era possibile intravedere una ripresa e, forse, persino una futura rivincita, a patto di sapere accettare il proprio destino e di percorrere sino in fondo la strada tracciata dalle presenti forze storiche, materiali non meno che spirituali.

Otto, secondo Spengler, sono le civiltà che si sono succedute, dall’origine ad oggi, nel panorama della storia mondiale, sviluppando quei «cicli di cultura» i quali tendono a ripetersi con caratteristiche sostanzialmente analoghe, pur nella diversità delle situazioni specifiche. Esse sono state la babilonese, l’egiziana, la indiana, la cinese, la greco-romana (o «apollinea»), l’araba (o «magica»), quella dei Maya e, infine, l’occidentale (che Spengler definisce «faustiana»). Si sono avvicendante secondo una cadenza di circa mille anni, soggiacendo a leggi in tutto e per tutto simili a quelle degli organismi viventi e finendo per estinguersi e scomparire completamente – tranne la nostra, che è destinata, però, a concludersi come le altre.

Si suole affermare che qualcosa di una civiltà continua a permanere anche al di là di essa, ma è un errore. Ogni civiltà è destinata a una fine totale, che trascina con sé anche i valori da essa emanati; nessun valore può sopravvivere al di là della civiltà che lo ha prodotto. I valori sono deperibili, proprio come le civiltà; possono, semmai, essere sostituiti da altri valori, frutto di altre civiltà. Non esistono valori assoluti, così come non esistono verità assolute; ogni verità è relativa al contesto della civiltà che la pone e, esauritasi quest’ultima, anche il concetto di verità si sbriciola, si frantuma. La stessa idea di progresso, non è altro che una illusione.

Quanto alla civiltà occidentale, essa è ormai quasi giunta al termine del proprio ciclo vitale e, quindi, alla successiva, inevitabile estinzione: non resta che prenderne atto e seguire il destino che ci si prepara, rinunciando alla chimera di poter tramandare valori imperituri o di poter mutare il corso della storia, bensì sfruttando l’ultimo guizzo di luce prima del crepuscolo.

Ma già si fa avanti la prossima civiltà, che prenderà il posto di quella occidentale: la civiltà russa, che dominerà a sua volta la scena della storia mondiale, finché non avrà esaurito il suo ciclo e scomparirà a sua volta.

La civiltà occidentale, dunque, non ha nulla di speciale, in se stessa, perché si debba pensare che possa sfuggire al destino di tutte le altre civiltà. Anzi, essa è già entrata, e da tempo, nella fase della civilizzazione, caratterizzata dal gigantismo delle sue creazioni esteriori e dal progressivo esaurimento del suo spirito vitale, della sua «anima».

D’altra parte, negli ultimi secoli della sua vicenda millenaria si è prodotto un evento finora sconosciuto alla storia dell’umanità: il sopravvento della tecnica, della macchina, sulla natura e sull’uomo stesso, che ne è divenuto lo schiavo. È nata una figura nuova, quella dell’ingegnere; che, molto più importante dell’imprenditore o dell’operaio dell’industria, tiene in mano i futuri sviluppi della civiltà occidentale. Ma il tempo di quest’ultima è ormai quasi compiuto; la fine è imminente. Si tratta soltanto di vedere se l’uomo occidentale saprà assecondare il movimento della storia, creando una nuova forma di potenza – quella del signore, che non si cura dei profitti personali come fa il mercante e che, a differenza di lui, mira ad instaurare una società basata sull’armonia generale e non sul vantaggio egoistico di pochi capitalisti.

Questa posizione spiega l’atteggiamento di cauto interesse nei confronti del socialismo, inteso come principio etico più che come concreto movimento storico; e coniugato, d’altronde, con un forte elemento di tipo nazionalistico, sì da far pensare più al nazionalsocialismo che al comunismo sovietico. Ma forse, dopotutto, Spengler aveva la vista più lunga di quanto non sembrasse ai suoi detrattori e aveva intuito che, dietro le grandi differenze esteriori, nazismo e stalinismo avevano più cose in comune di quante non fossero disposti ad ammettere sia l’uno che l’altro. Per cui la sua profezia, che alla fine l’idea del denaro si sarebbe scontrata con l’idea del sangue; ossia che i valori mercantili sarebbero venuti a una resa dei conti con i valori aristocratici, conteneva elementi tutt’altro che peregrini; tanto è vero che molti intellettuali europei di destra – a cominciare da Julius Evola, traduttore dal tedesco de Il tramonto dell’Occidente nella nostra lingua – avrebbero visto nella seconda guerra mondiale, a torto o a ragione, precisamente questo tipo di scontro finale. E così la vide anche Berto Ricci, andato volontario a combattere (e a morire) in Libia contro gli Inglesi, lui sposato e padre di famiglia, nella speranza di vedere – come scrisse in una delle sue ultime lettere – il sorgere di un mondo un po’ meno ingiusto, un po’ meno ladro di quello allora esistente.

Scriveva, dunque, Oswald Spengler nelle pagine conclusive de Il tramonto dell’Occidente (titolo originale: Der Untergang des Abendlandes, traduzione italiana di Julius Evola, Longanesi &C., Milano, 1957, 1978, vol. 2, pp. 1.390-98):

…contemporaneamente al razionalismo, si giunge alla scoperta della macchina a vapore che sovverte tutto e trasforma dai fondamenti l’immagine dell’economia. Fino a allora la natura aveva avuto la parte di una coadiutrice; ora la si riduce a una schiava e il suo lavoro, quasi per scherno, lo si calcola secondo cavalli-vapore. Dalla forza muscolare del negro sfruttata nelle aziende organizzate, si passò alle riserve organiche della scorza terrestre dove l’energia vitale di millenni è immagazzinata sotto specie di carbone, e infine lo sguardo si è portato sulla natura inorganica, le cui forze idrauliche sono state già arruolate ad integrare quelle del carbone. Coi milioni e miliardi di cavalli-vapore la densità di popolazione raggiunge un livello che nessun’altra civiltà avrebbe mai ritenuto possibile. Questo aumento è conseguenza della macchina, la quale vuol essere servita e diretta, in cambio centuplicando le forze di ogni individuo. È con riferimento alla macchina che la vita umana va ora a rappresentare un valore. Il lavoro diviene la grande parola d’ordine del pensiero etico. Già nel diciottesimo secolo esso in tutte le lingue aveva perduto il suo significato negativo originario. La macchina lavora e costringe l’uomo a lavorare insieme ad essa. Tutta la civiltà è giunta ad un tale grado di attivismo, che sotto di esso la terra trema.

E ciò che si è svolto nel corso di appena un secolo è uno spettacolo di una tale potenza, che l’uomo di una futura civiltà, di una civiltà con una anima diversa e con diverse passioni, avrà il sentimento che la stessa natura ne doveva esser stata scossa nel suo equilibrio. Anche in altri tempi la politica passò sopra città e popoli e l’economia umana incise profondamente sui destini del regno animale e vegetale; ma tutto ciò sfiorò appena la vita e di nuovo sparì. Invece questa tecnica lascerà le sue tracce anche quando tutto sarà dimenticato e sepolto. Questa passione faustiana ha trasformato l’imagine della superficie terrestre.

Qui ha agito un impulso della vita a trascendere e ad innalzarsi che, intimamente affine a quello del gotico, al tempo dell’infanzia della macchina a vapore trovò espressione nel monologo del Faust di Goethe. L’anima ebbra vuol portarsi di là da spazio e tempo. Una indicibile nostalgia la attira verso lontananze sconfinate. Ci si vorrebbe staccare dalla terra, ci si vorrebbe perdere nell’infinito, si vorrebbero sciogliere i vincoli del corpo ed errare nello spazio cosmico fra le stelle. Ciò che all’inizio fu cercato dal fervido empito ascensionale di un San Bernardo, ciò che Grünewald e Rembrandt evocarono negli sfondi dei loro quadri e Beethoven negli accordi trasfigurati dei suoi ultimi quartetti, torna di nuovo nell’ebbrezza spirituale donde procede questa fitta serie di invenzioni. È così che si è formato un sistema fantastico di mezzi di comunicazione che ci fa attraversare interi continenti in pochi giorni, e ci porta con città galleggianti di là da ogni oceano, che trafora montagne e lancia convogli a velocità pazze nei labirinti delle ferrovie sotterranee; e dalla veccia macchina a vapore, da tempo esaurita nelle sue possibilità, si è passati ai motori a gas per infine staccarsi dalle vie e dalle rotaie ed elevarsi negli spazi. Così la parola parlata in un attimo può esser inviata oltre ogni mare; prorompe il piacere per records di ogni specie e per le dimensioni inaudite, ambienti giganteschi vengono costruiti per macchine titaniche, navi enormi e ponti ad incredibile gettata, costruzioni pazzesche che raggiungono le nubi, forze meravigliose incatenate in un punto in modo tale che basta la mano di un bambino per metterle in movimento, opere di cristallo e di acciaio che vibrano nel frastuono di ogni specie di meccanismi nelle quali, questo essere minuscolo, si muove come un signore assoluto sentendo finalmente sotto di sé la natura.

E queste macchine nella loro forma sono sempre più disumanizzate, sempre più ascetiche, mistiche, esoteriche. Esse avvolgono la terra con una rete infinita di forze sottili, di correnti e di tensioni. Il loro coro si fa sempre più spirituale, sempre più chiuso. Queste ruote, questi cilindri, queste leve non parlano più. Ciò che in esse è più importante si ritira all’interno. La macchina è stata sentita come qualcosa di diabolico, e non a torto. Agli occhi del credente essa rappresenta la detronizzazione di Dio. Essa pone la causalità sacra nelle mani dell’uomo e questi la mette silenziosamente, irresistibilmente in moto con una specie di preveggente onnisapienza.

Mai come oggi un microcosmo si è sentito superiore al macrocosmo. Oggi vediamo piccoli esseri viventi che con la loro forza spirituale hanno ridotto il non vivente a dipendere da loro. Nulla sembra eguagliare un simile trionfo che è riuscito ad un’unica civiltà e forse solo per la durata di qualche secolo.

Ma proprio per tal via l’uomo faustiano è divenuto schiavo della sua creazione. Nelle sue mosse così come nelle sue abitudini di vita egli sarà spinto dalla macchina in una direzione sulla quale non vi sarà più né sosta, né possibilità di tornare indietro. Il contadino, l’artigiano, perfino il commerciante appaiono d’un tratto insignificanti di fronte a tre figure cui lo sviluppo della macchina ha dato forma: l’imprenditore, l’ingegnere e l’operaio industriale. In questa civiltà, e in nessun’altra al di fuori di essa, da un piccolo ramo dell’artigianato, cioè dall’economia dei manufatti, si è sviluppato il possente albero che oscura ogni altra professione: il mondo economico dell’industria meccanica. E questo mondo costringe sia l’imprenditore che l’operaio industriale ad obbedirgli. Entrambi sono gli schiavi, non i signori della macchina che ora comincia a manifestare il suo occulto potere demonico. Ma se le attuali teorie socialistiche hanno solo voluto vedere il rendimento dell’operaio non avanzando che per il lavoro di questi le loro rivendicazioni, un tale lavoro è tuttavia reso possibile esclusivamente dall’attività decisiva e sovrana dell’imprenditore. Il famoso detto del braccio possente che fa arrestare tutte le ruote è un errore. Per fermarle, non c’è bisogno di essere operai. Ma per tenerle in moto, non basta essere operai. È l’organizzazione, è il dirigente che costituisce il centro di tutto questo regno artificiale e complesso della macchina. Il pensiero, non il braccio, tiene insieme un tale regno. Ma proprio per questo, per mantenere in piedi siffatto edificio perennemente pericolante, una figura è ancor più importante della stessa energia di nature dominatrici in veste di imprenditori che fa scaturire da suolo intere città e che sa trasformare l’immagine del paesaggio – una figura, che nelle lotte politiche si è soliti dimenticare: l’ingegnere, sapiente sacerdote della macchina. Non sol il livello ma la stessa esistenza dell’industria dipendono dall’esistenza di centinaia di migliaia di menti qualificate e ben addestrate che dominano e fanno progredire incessantemente la tecnica.

L’ingegnere è propriamente il silenzioso dominatore e il destino dell’industria meccanica. Il suo pensiero è come possibilità quel che la macchina è come realtà. Si è temuto, materialisticamente, l’esaurirsi dei giacimenti di carbone. Ma finché esisteranno degli scopritori di sentieri di un rango superiore pericoli di tal genere saranno inesistenti. Solo quando questo esercito di inventori, il cui lavoro intellettuale forma una interna unità con quello della macchina, non avrà più una posterità, l’industria, malgrado la presenza di imprenditori e di operai si spegnerà. Anche se la salute dell’anima dei migliori delle future generazioni venisse considerata più importante di tutta la potenza della terra e se per influenza di quella mistica e di quella metafisica che oggi stano soppiantando il razionalismo il sentimento del satanismo della macchina guadagnasse terreno in una élite spirituale sollecita di quella salute – sarebbe l’equivalente del passaggio da Ruggero Bacone a Bernardo di Chiaravalle – anche in questo caso nulla arresterà la conclusione di questo grande dramma dello spirito nel quale le forze materiali hanno solo una parte secondaria.

L’industria occidentale ha sostato le vie già seguite dal commercio delle altre civiltà. Le correnti della vita economica si portano verso le sedi del «re carbone» e le aree ricche di materie prime; la natura viene saccheggiata, tutta la terra viene offerta in olocausto al pensiero faustiano sotto specie di energia. La terra che lavora è l’essenza della visione faustiana; nel contemplarla, muore il Faust della seconda parte. Del poema, nella quale il lavoro dell’imprenditore ha avuto la sua suprema trasfigurazione. È la suprema antitesi all’esistenza statica e sazia del periodo imperiale antico. L’ingegnere è il tipo più lontano dal pensiero giuridico romano ed egli otterrà che la sua economia abbia un proprio diritto: un diritto nel quale le forze e le opere prenderanno il posto delle persone e delle cose.

Ma non è meno titanico l’assalto sferrato dal danaro contro questa potenza spirituale. Anche l’industria è legata alla terra – come l’elemento contadino. Essa ha le sue sedi, i suoi impianti, le sue sorgenti di energia vincolate al suolo. Solo l’alta finanza è completamente libera, completamente inafferrabile. A partire dal 1789 le banche e quindi le Borse si sono sviluppate come una potenza autonoma grazie al bisogno di credito determinato dall’enorme incremento dell’industria e, come il danaro in tutte le civilizzazioni, questa potenza ora vuol essere l’unica potenza. L’antichissima lotta fra economia di produzione e economia di conquista prende ora le proporzioni di una lotta gigantesca e silenziosa di spiriti svolgentesi sul suolo delle città cosmopolite.

È la lotta disperata del pensiero tecnico, il quale difende la sua libertà contro il pensiero in funzione di danaro.

La dittatura del danari si consolida e si avvicina ad un apice naturale – ciò sta accadendo oggi nella civilizzazione faustiana come già è accaduto in ogni altra civilizzazione. Ed ora interviene qualcosa che può esser compreso solo da chi ha penetrato il significato essenziale del danaro faustiano. Se il danaro faustiano fosse qualcosa di tangibile, di concreto, la sua esistenza sarebbe eterna; ma poiché esso è una forma del pensiero, esso scomparirà non appena il mondo dell’economia sarà stato pensato a fondo: scomparirà per l’esaurirsi della materia che gli fa da substrato. Quel pensiero è già penetrato nella vita della campagna mobilitando il suolo; esso ha trasformato in senso affaristico ogni specie di mestiere; oggi esso penetra vittoriosamente nell’industria per mettere le mani sullo stesso lavoro produttivo dell’imprenditore, dell’ingegnere e dell’operaio. La macchina col suo seguito umano, la macchina, questa vera sovrana del secolo, è in procinto di soggiacere ad una più forte potenza. Ma questa sarà l’ultima delle vittorie che il danaro può riportare; dopo, comincerà l’ultima lotta, la lotta con la quale la civilizzazione conseguirà la sua forma conclusiva: la lotta tra danaro e sangue.

L’avvento del cesarismo spezzerà la dittatura del danaro e della sua arma politica, la democrazia. Dopo un lungo trionfo dell’economia cosmopolita e dei suoi interessi sulla forza politica creatrice, l’aspetto politico della vita dimostrerà di essere, malgrado tutto, il più forte. La spada trionferà sul danaro, la volontà da signore piegherà di nuovo la volontà da predatore. Se designiamo come capitalismo le potenze del danaro e se per socialismo s’intende invece la volontà di dar vita a un forte ordinamento politico-economico di là da ogni interesse di classe, ad un sistema compenetrato da una preoccupazione aristocratica e da un sentimento di dovere che mantengano il tutto in una salda forma in vista della lotta decisiva della storia – allora lo scontro tra capitalismo e socialismo potrà significare anche quello fra danaro e diritto. Le potenze private dell’economia vogliono avere mani libere perla conquista delle grandi fortune. Non intendono che nessuna legge sbarri loro la via. Vogliono leggi che vadano nel loro interesse e per questo si servono dello strumento che esse stesse si sono create, della democrazia e dei partiti pagati. Per far fronte ad un tale assalto il diritto ha bisogno di una tradizione aristocratica, dell’ambizione di forti schiatte capaci di trovare la loro soddisfazione non nell’accumulazione delle ricchezze bensì nei compiti propri ad un’autentica razza di capi di là da ogni vantaggio procurato dal danaro. Una potenza può esser rovesciata solo da un’altra potenza, non da un principio; ma al di fuori della potenza del danaro non ve ne è un’altra, oltre a quella ora detta. Il danaro potrà essere spodestato e dominato soltanto dal sangue. La vita è la prima e l’ultima delle correnti cosmiche in forma microcosmica. Essa costituisce la realtà per eccellenza nel mondo considerato come storia. Di fronte all’irresistibile ritmo agente nella successione delle generazioni alla fine scompare tutto ciò che l’essere desto ha costruito nei suoi mondi dello spirito. Nella storia l’essenziale è sempre e soltanto la vita, la razza, il trionfo della volontà di potenza, non il trionfo delle verità, delle invenzioni o del danaro. La storia mondiale è il tribunale del mondo ed essa ha sempre riconosciuto il diritto della vita più forte, più piena, più sicura di sé: il suo diritto all’esistenza, non curandosi se ciò venga riconosciuto giusto o ingiusto dall’essere desto. La storia ha sempre sacrificato la verità e la giustizia alla potenza, alla razza, condannando a morte gli uomini e i popoli per i quali la verità è stata più importante dell’azione e la giustizia più essenziale della potenza. Così lo spettacolo offerto da una civiltà superiore, da questo meraviglioso mondo di divinità, di arti, di idee, di battaglie, di città, si chiude di nuovo con i fatti elementari del sangue eterno, che fa tutt’uno con l’onda cosmica in perenne circolazione. Come già il periodo imperiale cinese e quello romano ce l insegnano, l’essere desto con tutta la sua ricchezza delle sue forme è destinato a tornare silenziosamente al servizio dell’essere, della vita; il tempo trionferà dello spazio ed è esso che col suo corso inesorabile incanalerà col suo corso fuggevole, che sul nostro pianeta rappresenta la civiltà, in quell’altro accidente, che è l’uomo: forma nella quale l’accidente «vita» scorre per un certo periodo, mentre nel mondo illuminato che si apre al nostro sguardo appaiono, dietro a tutto ciò, gli orizzonti in moto della storia della terra e di quella degli astri.

Ma per noi, posti da un destino in questa civiltà e in questo punto del suo divenire in cui il danaro celebra i suoi ultimi trionfi e in cui il suo erede, il cesarismo, ormai avanza silenziosamente e irresistibilmente, è strettamente definita la direzione di quel che possiamo volere e che dobbiamo volere, a che valga la pena di vivere. A noi non è data la libertà di realizzare una cosa anziché l’altra. Noi ci troviamo invece di fronte all’alternativa di fare il necessario o di non poter fare nulla. Un compito posto dalla necessità storia sarà in ogni caso realizzato: o col concorso dei singoli o ad onta di essi.

Ducunt fata volentem, nolentem trahunt.

Come ha osservato Domenico Conte (in Introduzione a Spengler, Laterza Editori, Bari, 1997, p. 30 sgg.), sono almeno tre le prospettive dalle quali Spengler osserva il movimento della storia universale.

La prima è una dimensione “popolare”, che vede la contrapposizione pura e semplice fra mondo della natura e mondo della storia (ciò che riecheggia la distinzione diltheyana fra scienze della natura e scienze dello spirito: cfr. F. Lamendola, Essenza della filosofia e coscienza della sua storicità nel pensiero di Wilhelm Dilthey). Il mondo della natura è statico, quello della storia è dinamico; il mondo della natura è sottoposto a leggi regolari e costanti, quello della storia è unico e irripetibile.

La seconda dimensione è, propriamente, quella della filosofia della storia, basata sulla concezione organicistica delle civiltà, che egli assimila a degli organismi viventi. È questo l’aspetto più noto della sua concezione filosofica, quello che ha destato maggiori consensi ma anche le critiche più pesanti, da parte di coloro i quali hanno evidenziato l’arbitrarietà di una analogia in senso stretto fra la vita degli organismi e la «vita» delle civiltà umane.

La terza prospettiva, che potremmo definire metafisica, è quella che ruota intorno al concetto spengleriano di «anima» delle civiltà. È qui che il pensatore tedesco ha sviluppato la parte più originale delle sue riflessioni, istituendo complessi e vorticosi parallelismi fra gli elementi formali delle singole civiltà e spaziando, con tono ispirato e quasi da veggente, attraverso i campi più svariati dell’arte, della scienza e della tecnica. Ed è qui che ha dispiegato quel suo stile turgido e solenne, drammatico e affascinante, che gli ha conquistato la simpatia di tante schiere di lettori ma anche, inevitabilmente, la diffidenza o il disdegno di molti filosofi di più austera concezione, ivi compresi gli idealisti ideali e, segnatamente, Benedetto Croce.

Quanto a noi, quello che più ci colpisce nella concezione della storia di Spengler è la brutalità, per così dire, ovvero la crudezza del suo vitalismo biologico. Unendo la volontà di Schopenhauer con la selezione naturale di Darwin, l’autore de Il tramonto dell’Occidente delinea un mondo della storia dominato da inesorabili leggi biologiche, ove tutto ciò che resta della libertà umana non è altro che la libertà di “scegliere” un destino tra segnato dalle forze della storia stessa, oppure di precipitare nell’impotenza più completa.

Spengler, come si è visto, è estremamente esplicito a questo riguardo: nella storia l’essenziale è sempre e soltanto la vita, la razza, il trionfo della volontà di potenza, non il trionfo delle verità, delle invenzioni o del danaro. La storia mondiale è il tribunale del mondo ed essa ha sempre riconosciuto il diritto della vita più forte, più piena, più sicura di sé: il suo diritto all’esistenza, non curandosi se ciò venga riconosciuto giusto o ingiusto dall’essere desto. La storia ha sempre sacrificato la verità e la giustizia alla potenza, alla razza, condannando a morte gli uomini e i popoli per i quali la verità è stata più importante dell’azione e la giustizia più essenziale della potenza.

Questo è il dramma di una concezione della storia chiusa in sé stessa, opera di un essere umano gettato a caso nel mondo e destinato a sparire, come già sono scomparse tante altre forme di vita prima di lui. Solo quando si dà per scontata la assoluta insignificanza dell’uomo in quanto persona unica e irripetibile, nonché la radicale immanenza della storia, si può giungere a proclamare, senza ombra di turbamento “sentimentale”, che la verità non ha alcuna importanza e che quello che conta è solo la potenza.

Peggio ancora, Spengler afferma – senza batter ciglio – che la storia è il tribunale del mondo, il che equivale ad innalzare la realtà effettuale al di sopra di tutto e implica, come logica conseguenza, l’adorazione dell’esistente, visto come l’affermazione, attraverso la lotta, di ciò che è migliore, nel senso di più forte. Si tratta di un tribunale che non riconosce valori o principi, ma solo dati di fatto; e che si inchina solo davanti a quelle forze storiche che sanno imporre, nietzscheanamente, una vita più piena e più sicura di sé, non una vita più giusta o più buona.

Nel clima di generale disorientamento intellettuale e morale dei primi decenni del Novecento, milioni di persone hanno fatto propria una tale filosofia della forza e si sono lasciate trascinare da capi politici che l’avevano adottato come loro credo incondizionato.

Negli ultimi giorni della sua vita, quando i carri armati sovietici irrompevano già per le vie di una Berlino distrutta dai bombardamenti aerei, Hitler ebbe a riconoscere – assai a denti stretti – che i Russi, alla fine, si erano dimostrati più forti dei Tedeschi e che, quindi, meritavano di divenire i nuovi signori dell’Europa. Anche Mussolini, negli ultimi tempi della sua vita, si era più volte lamentato del fatto che gli Italiani non erano stati all’altezza del grande destino offertosi a portata delle loro possibilità e che, pertanto, avevano meritato pienamente la sconfitta.

Ma se la storia non è altro che un tribunale del mondo fondato sul diritto del più forte, bisogna sempre aspettarsi che la forza di oggi ceda, domani, davanti a una forza più grande o semplicemente più spregiudicata; il che equivale a fare della storia umana una giungla insanguinata, popolata di zanne e di artigli sempre protesi a ghermire la preda, lacerarla e massacrarla. Il tribunale assomiglia pericolosamente a un mattatoio, da cui si levano incessantemente muggiti di terrore e grida di dolore; un tribunale che sanziona il diritto della forza in luogo della forza del diritto.

Se così fosse, vorrebbe dire che nessun progresso è stato compiuto dai tempi degli eroi omerici, trascinati in una spirale infinita di violenza per acquisire la gloria, che richiede sempre nuova violenza per conservare ed accrescere la gloria stessa: e ciò in un mondo ove tutti mirano allo stesso obiettivo, e ridotto, quindi, a un eterno, sanguinoso campo di battaglia di ciascuno contro tutti. Spengler, nemico dell’idea di progresso, non aveva alcuna difficoltà ad ammetterlo; ma noi, che pure non adoriamo l’idea (illuministica) del progresso, possiamo ammettere che la civiltà cui apparteniamo non abbia saputo minimamente elaborare l’insegnamento di quelle che l’hanno preceduta, per instaurare non già un mondo concreto di giustizia e armonia, ma almeno l’idea di una superiore giustizia e di una necessaria armonia?