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mardi, 12 juin 2012

Recension: le livre de cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre sur la littérature catholique belge dans l’entre-deux-guerres

Recension: le livre de cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre sur la littérature catholique belge dans l’entre-deux-guerres

Script du présentation de l’ouvrage dans les Cercles de Bruxelles, Liège, Louvain, Metz, Lille et Genève

Recension : Cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre, Écrire en Belgique sous le regard de Dieu, éd. Complexe / CEGES, Bruxelles, 2004.

89714410.jpgDans son ouvrage majeur, qui dévoile à la communauté scientifique les thèmes principaux de la littérature catholique belge de l’entre-deux-guerres, Cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre aborde un continent jusqu’ici ignoré des historiens, plutôt refoulé depuis l’immédiat après-guerre, quand le monde catholique n’aimait plus se souvenir de son exigence d’éthique, dans le sillage du Cardinal Mercier ni surtout de ses liens, forts ou ténus, avec le rexisme qui avait choisi le camp des vaincus pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

Pendant plusieurs décennies, la Belgique a vécu dans l’ignorance de ses propres productions littéraires et idéologiques, n’en a plus réactivé le contenu sous des formes actualisées et a, dès lors, sombré dans l’anomie totale et dans la déchéance politique : celle que nous vivons aujourd’hui. Plus aucune éthique ne structure l’action dans la Cité.

Le travail de C. Vanderpelen-Diagre pourrait s’envisager comme l’amorce d’une renaissance, comme une tentative de faire le tri, de rappeler des traditions culturelles oubliées ou refoulées, mais il nous semble qu’aucun optimisme ne soit de mise : le ressort est cassé, le peuple est avachi dans toutes ses composantes (à commencer par la tête...). Son travail risque bien de s’apparenter à celui de Schliemann : n’être qu’une belle œuvre d’archéologue. L’avenir nous dira si son livre réactivera la “virtù” politique, au sens que lui donnaient les Romains de l’antiquité ou celui qui entendait la réactiver, Nicolas Machiavel.

“Une littérature qui a déserté la mémoire collective”

Dès les premiers paragraphes de son livre, C. Vanderpelen-Diagre soulève le problème majeur : si la littérature catholique, qui exigeait un sens élevé de l’éthique entre 1890 et 1945, a cessé de mobiliser les volontés, c’est que ses thèmes “ont déserté la mémoire collective”. Le monde catholique belge (et surtout francophone) d’aujourd’hui s’est réduit comme une peau de chagrin et ce qu’il en reste se vautre dans la fange innommable d’un avatar lointain et dévoyé du maritainisme, d’un festivisme abject et d’un soixante-huitardisme d’une veulerie époustouflante. Aucun citoyen honnête, possédant un “trognon” éthique solide, ne peut se reconnaître dans ce pandémonium. Nous n’échappons pas à la règle : né au sein du pilier catholique parce que nos racines paysannes ne sont pas très loin et plongent, d’une part, dans le sol hesbignon-limbourgeois, et, d’autre part, dans ce bourg d’Aalter à cheval sur la Flandre occidentale et orientale et dans la région d’Ypres, comme d’autres naissent en Belgique dans le pilier socialiste, nous n’avons pas pu adhérer (un vrai “non possumus”), à l’adolescence, aux formes résiduaires et dévoyées du catholicisme des années 70 : c’est sans nul doute pourquoi, en quelque sorte orphelins, nous avons préféré le filon, alors en gestation, de la “nouvelle droite”.

L’époque de gloire du catholicisme belge (francophone) est oubliée, totalement oubliée, au profit du bric-à-brac gauchiste et pseudo-contestataire ou de parisianismes de diverses moutures (dont la “nouvelle droite” procédait, elle aussi, de son côté, nous devons bien en convenir, surtout quand elle a fini par se réduire à son seul gourou parisien et depuis que ses antennes intéressantes en dehors de la capitale française ont été normalisées, ignorées, marginalisées ou exclues). Cet oubli frappe essentiellement une “éthique” solide, reposant certes sur le thomisme, mais un thomisme ouvert à des innovations comme la doctrine de l’action de Maurice Blondel, le personnalisme dans ses aspects les plus positifs (avant les aggiornamenti de Maritain et Mounier), l’idéal de communauté. Cette “éthique” n’a plus pu ressusciter, malgré les efforts d’un Marcel De Corte, dans l’ambiance matérialiste, moderniste et américanisée des années 50, sous les assauts délétères du soixante-huitardisme des années 60 et 70 et, a fortiori, sous les coups du relativisme postmoderne et du néolibéralisme.

L’exigence éthique, pierre angulaire du pilier catholique de 1884 à 1945, n’a donc connu aucune résurgence. On ne la trouvait plus qu’en filigrane dans l’œuvre de Hergé, dans ses graphic novels, dans ses “romans graphiques” comme disent aujourd’hui les Anglais. Ce qui explique sans doute la rage des dévoyés sans éthique — viscéralement hostiles à toute forme d’exigence éthique — pour extirper les idéaux discrètement véhiculés par Tintin.

Les imitations serviles de modèles parisiens (ou anglo-saxons) ne sont finalement d’aucune utilité pour remodeler notre société malade. C. Vanderpelen-Diagre, qui fait œuvre d’historienne et non pas de guide spirituelle, a amorcé un véritable travail de bénédictin. Que nous allons immanquablement devoir poursuivre dans notre créneau, non pour jouer aux historiens mais pour appeler à la restauration d’une éthique, fût-elle inspirée d’autres sources (Mircea Eliade, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Walter Otto, Karl Kerenyi, etc.). Il s’agit désormais d’analyser le contenu intellectuel des revues parues en nos provinces entre 1884 et 1945 au sein de toutes les familles politiques, de décortiquer la complexité idéologique qu’elles recèlent, de trouver en elles les joyaux, aussi modestes fussent-ils, qui relèvent de l’immortalité, de l’impassable, avec lesquels une “reconstruction” lente et tâtonnante sera possible au beau milieu des ruines (dirait Evola), en plein désert axiologique, où qui conforteront l’homme différencié (Evola) ou l’anarque (Jünger) pour (sur)vivre au milieu de l’horreur, dans le Château de Kafka, ou dans labyrinthe de son Procès.

Les travaux de Zeev Sternhell sur la France, surtout son Ni gauche, ni droite, nous induisaient à ne pas juger la complexité idéologique de cette période selon un schéma gauche/droite trop rigide et par là même inopérant. Dans le cadre de la Belgique, et à la suite de C. Vanderpelen-Diagre et de son homologue flamande Eva Schandervyl (cf. infra), c’est un mode de travail à appliquer : il donnera de bons résultats et contribuera à remettre en lumière ce qui, dans ce pays, a été refoulé pendant de trop nombreuses décennies.

La “Jeune Droite” d’Henry Carton de Wiart

de_wia10.jpgPour C. Vanderpelen-Diagre, les origines de la “révolution conservatrice” belge-francophone, essentiellement catholique, plus catholique que ses homologues dans la France républicaine, plus catholique que l’Action Française trop classiciste et pas assez baroque, se trouvent dans la Jeune Droite d’Henry Carton de Wiart (1869-1951), assisté de Paul Renkin et de l’historien arlonnais germanophile Godefroid Kurth, animateur du Deutscher Verein avant 1914 (le déclenchement de la Première Guerre mondiale et le viol de la neutralité belge l’ont forcé, dira-t-il, de « brûler ce qu’il a adoré » ; pour un historien qui s’est penché sur la figure de Clovis, cette parole a du poids...). La date de fondation de la Jeune Droite est 1891, 2 ans avant l’encyclique Rerum Novarum. La Jeune Droite n’est nullement un mouvement réactionnaire sur le plan social : il fait partie intégrante de la Ligue démocratique chrétienne. Il publie 2 revues : L’Avenir social et La Justice sociale. Les 2 publications s’opposent à la politique libéraliste extrême, prélude au néo-libéralisme actuel, préconisée par le ministre catholique Charles Woeste. Elles soutiennent aussi les revendications de l’Abbé Adolf Daens, héros d’un film belge homonyme qui a obtenu de nombreux prix et où l’Abbé, défenseur des pauvres, est incarné par le célèbre acteur flamand Jan Decleir.

Henry Carton de Wiart, alors jeune avocat, réclame une amélioration des conditions de travail, le repos dominical pour les ouvriers, s’insurge contre le travail des enfants, entend imposer une législation contre les accidents de travail. Il préconise également d’imiter les programmes sociaux post-bismarckiens, en versant des allocations familiales et défend l’existence des unions professionnelles. Très social, son programme n’est pourtant pas assimilable à celui des socialistes qui lui sont contemporains : Carton de Wiart ne réclame pas le suffrage universel pur et simple, et lui substitue la notion d’un suffrage proportionnel à partir de 25 ans, dans un système de représentation également proportionnelle.

En parallèle, Henry Carton de Wiart s’associe à d’autres figures oubliées de notre patrimoine littéraire et idéologique, Firmin Van den Bosch (1864-1949) et Maurice Dullaert (1865-1940). Le trio s’intéresse aux avant-gardes et réclame l’avènement, en Belgique, d’une littérature ouverte à la modernité. Deux autres revues serviront pour promouvoir cette politique littéraire : d’abord, en 1884, la jeune équipe tente de coloniser Le Magasin littéraire et artistique, ensuite, en 1894, 3 ans après la fondation de la Jeune Droite et un an après la proclamation de l’encyclique Rerum Novarum, nos 3 hommes fondent la revue Durandal qui paraîtra pendant 20 ans (jusqu’en 1914). Comme nous le verrons, le nom même de la revue fera date dans l’histoire du “mouvement éthique” (appellons-le ainsi...). Parmi les animateurs de cette nouvelle publication, citons, outre Henry Carton de Wiart lui-même, Pol Demade, médecin spécialisé en médecine sociale, et l’Abbé Henri Moeller (1852-1918). Ils seront vite rejoints par une solide équipe de talents : Firmin Van den Bosch, Pierre Nothomb (stagiaire auprès du cabinet d’avocat de Carton de Wiart), Victor Kinon (1873-1953), Maurice Dullaert, Georges Virrès (1869-1946), Arnold Goffin (1863-1934), Franz Ansel (1874-1937), Thomas Braun (1876-1961) et Adolphe Hardy (1868-1954).

Spiritualité et justice sociale

Leur but est de créer un “art pour Dieu” et leurs sources d’inspiration sont les auteurs et les artistes s’inspirant du “symbolisme wagnérien”, à l’instar des Français Léon Bloy, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, Francis Jammes et Joris Karl Huysmans. Pour cette équipe, comme aussi pour Bloy, les catholiques sont une “minorité souffrante”, surtout en France à l’époque où sont édictées et appliquées les lois du “petit Père Combes”. Autres références françaises : les œuvres d’Ernest Psichari et de Paul Claudel. Le wagnérisme et le catholicisme doivent, en fusionnant dans les œuvres, générer une spiritualité offensive qui s’opposera au “matérialisme bourgeois” (dont celui de Woeste). La spiritualité et l’idée de justice sociale doivent donc marcher de concert. Le contexte belge est toutefois différent de celui de la France : les catholiques belges avaient gagné la bataille métapolitique, ils avaient engrangé une victoire électorale en 1884, à l’époque où Firmin Van den Bosch tentait de noyauter Le Magasin littéraire et artistique. Dans la guerre scolaire, les catholiques enregistrent également des victoires partielles : face aux libéraux, aux libéraux de gauche (alliés implicites des socialistes) et aux socialistes, il s’agit, pour la jeune équipe autour de Carton de Wiart et pour la rédaction de Durandal, de « gagner la bataille de la modernité ». À l’avant-garde socialiste (prestigieuse avec un architecte “Art Nouveau” comme Horta), il faut opposer une avant-garde catholique. La modernité ne doit pas être un apanage exclusif des libéraux et des socialistes. La différence entre ces catholiques qui se veulent modernistes (sûrement avec l’appui du Cardinal) et leurs homologues laïques, c’est qu’ils soutiennent la politique coloniale lancée par Léopold II en Afrique centrale. Le Congo est une terre de mission, une aire géographique où l’héroïsme pionnier ou missionnaire pourra donner le meilleur de lui-même.

Quelles valeurs va dès lors défendre Durandal ? Elle va essentiellement défendre ce que ses rédacteurs nommeront le “sentiment patrial”, présent au sein du peuple, toutes classes confondues. On retrouve cette idée dans le principal roman d’Henry Carton de Wiart, La Cité ardente, œuvre épique consacrée à la ville de Liège. La notion de “sentiment patrial”, nous la retrouvons surtout dans les textes annonciateurs de la “révolution conservatrice” dus à la plume de Hugo von Hofmannsthal, où l’écrivain allemand déplore la disparition des “liens” humains sous les assauts de la modernité et du libéralisme, qui brisent les communautés, forcent à l’exode rural, laissent l’individu totalement esseulé dans les nouveaux quartiers et faubourgs des grandes villes industrielles et engendrent des réflexes individualistes délétères dans la société, où les plaisirs hédonistes, furtifs ou constants selon la fortune matérielle, tiennent lieu d’Ersätze à la spiritualité et à la charité. Cette déchéance sociale appelle une “restauration créatrice”. Le sentiment d’Hofmannsthal sera partagé, mutatis mutandis, par des hommes comme Arthur Moeller van den Bruck et Max Hildebert Boehm.

L’idée “patriale” s’inscrit dans le projet du Chanoine Halflants, issu d’une famille tirlemontoise qui avait assuré le recrutement en Hesbaye de nombreux zouaves pontificaux, pour la guerre entre les États du Pape et l’Italie unitaire en gestation sous l’impulsion de Garibaldi. Avant 1910, le Chanoine Halflants préconisera tolérance et ouverture aux innovations littéraires. Après 1918, il prendra des positions plus “réactionnaires”, plus en phase avec la “bien-pensance” de l’époque et plus liées à l’idéal classique. Qu’est ce que cela veut dire ? Que le Chanoine entendait, dans un premier temps, faire figurer les œuvres littéraires modernes dans les anthologies scolaires, ainsi que la littérature belge (catholique qui adoptait de nouveaux canons stylistiques et des thématiques romanesques profanes). Il s’opposait dans ce combat aux Jésuites, qui n’entendaient faire étudier que des auteurs grecs et latins antiques. Halflants gagnera son combat : les Jésuites finiront par accepter l’introduction de nouveaux écrivains dans les curricula scolaires. De ces efforts naîtra une “anthologie des auteurs belges”. L’objectif, une fois de plus, est de ne pas abandonner les formes modernes d’art et de littérature aux forces libérales et socialistes qui, en épousant les formes multiples d’ “Art Nouveau” apparaissaient comme les pionniers d’une culture nouvelle et libératrice.

Bourgeoisie ethétisante et prêtres maurrassiens

Cette agitation de la Jeune Droite et de Durandal repose, mutatis mutandis, sur un clivage bien net, opposant une bourgeoisie industrielle et matérialiste à une bourgeoisie cultivée et esthétique, qui a le sens du Bien et du Beau que transmettent bien évidemment les humanités gréco-latines. La bourgeoisie matérialiste et industrielle est incarnée non seulement par les libéraux sans principes éthiques solides mais aussi par des catholiques qui se laissent séduire par cet esprit mercantile, contraire au “sentiment patrial”. Cette idée d’un clivage entre matérialistes et esthètes, on la retrouve déjà dans l’œuvre laïque et irreligieuse de Camille Lemonnier (édité en Allemagne, dans des éditions superbes, par Eugen Diederichs). La bourgeoisie affairiste provoque une décadence des mœurs que l’esthétisme de ceux de ses enfants, qui sont pieux et contestataires, doit endiguer. Pour enrayer les progrès de la décadence, il faut, selon les directives données antérieurement par Louis de Bonald en France, lutter contre le libéralisme politique.

C’est à partir du moment où certains jeunes catholiques belges, soucieux des questions sociales, entendent suivre les injonctions de Bonald, que la Jeune Droite et Durandal vont s’inspirer de Charles Maurras, en lui empruntant son vocabulaire combatif et opérant. Les catholiques belges de la Jeune Droite et les Français de l’Action française s’opposent donc de concert au libéralisme politique, en le fustigeant allègrement. Dans ce contexte émerge le phénomène des “prêtres maurrassiens”, avec, à Liège, Louis Humblet (1874-1949), à Mons, Valère Honnay (1883-1949) et, à Bruxelles, Ch. De Smet (1833-1911) et J. Deharveng (1867-1929). Ce maurrasisme est seulement stylistique dans une Belgique assez germanophile avant 1914. Les visions géopolitiques et anti-allemandes du filon maurrassien ne s’imposeront en Belgique qu’à partir de 1914. D’autres auteurs français influencent l’idéologie de Durandal, les 4 “B” : Barrès, Bourget, Bordeaux et Bazin.

C’est Bourget qui exerce l’influence la plus importante : il veut, en des termes finalement très peu révolutionnaires, une “humanité non dégradée”, reposant sur la famille, l’honneur conjugal et les fortes convictions (religieuses). Le poids de Bourget sera de longue durée : on verra que cette éthique très pieuse et très conventionnelle influencera le groupe de la “Capelle-aux-Champs” que fréquentera Hergé, le créateur de Tintin, et Franz Weyergans, le père de François Weyergans (qui répondra par un livre aux idéaux paternels, inspirés de Paul Bourget, livre qui lui a valu le “Grand Prix de la langue française” en 1997, ce qui l’amena plus tard à occuper un siège à l’Académie Française ; cf. : Franz et François, Grasset, 1997 ; pour comprendre l’apport de Bourget, tout à la fois à la modernisation du sentiment littéraire des catholiques et à la critique des œuvres contemporaines de Baudelaire, Stendhal, Taine, Renan et Flaubert, lire : Paul Bourget, Essais de psychologie contemporaine, Plon, Paris, 1937).

La Première Guerre mondiale va bouleverser la scène politique et métapolitique d’une Belgique qui, de germanophile, virera à la francophilie, surtout dans les milieux catholiques. La Grande Guerre génère d’abord une littérature inspirée par les souffrances des soldats. Parmi les morts au combat : le jeune Louis Boumal, lecteur puis collaborateur belge de L’Action française. Autour de ce personnage se créera le “mythe de la jeunesse pure sacrifiée”, que Léon Degrelle, plus tard, reprendra à son compte. Mais c’est surtout son camarade de combat Lucien Christophe (1891-1975), qui a perdu son frère Léon pendant la guerre, qui défendra et illustrera la mémoire de Louis Boumal. Celui-ci, tout comme Christophe, était un disciple d’Ernest Psichari, chantre catholique de l’héroïsme et du dévouement guerriers. Les anciens combattants de l’Yser, Christophe en tête, déploreront l’ingratitude du pays à partir de 1918, l’absence de solidarité nationale une fois les hostilités terminées. Christophe et les autres combattants estiment dès lors que les journalistes et les écrivains doivent s’engager dans la Cité. Un écrivain ne peut pas rester dans sa tour d’ivoire. C’est ainsi que les anciens combattants rejettent l’idée d’un art pour l’art et ajoutent à l’idée d’un art pour Dieu, présent dans les rangs de la Jeune Droite avant 1914, celle d’un art social. Le catholicisme militant, social dans le sillage de Daens et de Rerum Novarum, national au nom du sacrifice de Louis Boumal et Léon Christophe, réclame, à l’instar d’autres idéologies, d’autres milieux sociaux ou habitus politiques, l’engagement.

ACJB et Cercle Rerum novarum

Lucien Christophe va donner l’éveil à une génération nouvelle, qui comptera de jeunes plumes dans ses rangs : Luc Hommel (1896-1960), Carlo de Mey (1895-1962), Camille Melloy (de son vrai nom Camille De Paepe, 1891-1941) et Léopold Levaux (1892-1956). C’est au départ de ce groupe, inspiré par Christophe plutôt que par Carton de Wiart, que se forme l’ACJB (Association Catholique de la Jeunesse Belge). Pierre Nothomb, qui entend préserver l’unité du bloc catholique, œuvrera pour que le groupe rassemblé au sein de la revue Durandal fusionne avec l’ACJB. Quant à la Jeune Droite de Carton de Wiart, avec ses aspirations à la justice sociale, elle fusionnera avec le Cercle Rerum Novarum, animé, entre autres personnalités, par Pierre Daye, futur sénateur rexiste en 1936. Daye a des liens avec les Français Marc Sangnier et l’Abbé Lugan, fondateurs d’une Action Catholique, hostile à l’Action française de Maurras et Pujo.

Le Cercle Rerum Novarum poursuivait les mêmes objectifs que ceux de la Jeune Droite de Carton de Wiart, dans la mesure où il s’opposait à toute politique économique libérale outrancière, comme celle d’un Charles Woeste pourtant ponte du parti catholique, entendait ensuite remobiliser les idéaux de l’Abbé Daens. Il n’était pas sur la même longueur d’onde que l’Action française, plus nationaliste que catholique et plus préoccupée de justifier la guerre contre l’Allemagne (même celle de la république laïcarde) que de réaliser en France, et pour les Français, des idéaux de justice sociale. En Belgique, nous constatons donc, avec C. Vanderpelen-Diagre, que les idéaux nationaux (surtout incarnés par Pierre Nothomb) sont intimement liés aux idéaux de justice sociale et que cette fusion demeurera intacte dans toutes les expressions du catholicisme idéologique belge jusqu’en 1945 (même dans des factions hostiles les unes aux autres, surtout après l’émergence du rexisme).

En 1918, Pierre Nothomb et Gaston Barbanson plaident tous deux pour une “Grande Belgique”, en préconisant l’annexion du Grand-Duché du Luxembourg, du Limbourg néerlandais et de la Flandre zélandaise. Ils prennent des positions radicalement anti-allemandes, rompant ainsi définitivement avec la traditionnelle germanophilie belge du XIXe siècle. Ces positions les rapprochent de l’Action française de Maurras et du maurrassisme implicite du Cardinal Mercier, hostile à l’Allemagne prussianisée et protestante comme il est hostile à l’éthique kantienne, pour lui trop subjectiviste, et, par voie de conséquence, hostile au mouvement flamand et à la flamandisation de l’enseignement supérieur, car ce serait là offrir un véhicule à la germanisation rampante de toute la Belgique, provinces romanes comprises.

Les annexionnistes sont en faveur d’une alliance militaire franco-belge, qui sera fait acquis dès 1920 mais que contesteront rapidement et l’aile gauche du parti socialiste et le mouvement flamand (cf. Dr. Guido Provoost, Vlaanderen en het militair-politiek beleid in België tussen de twee wereldoorlogen – Het Frans-Belgisch militair akkoord van 1920, Davidsfonds, Leuven, 1977). En adoptant cette démarche, les adeptes de la “Grande Belgique” quittent l’orbite du “démocratisme chrétien” qui avait été le leur et celui de leurs amis pour fonder une association nationaliste, le Comité de Politique Nationale (CPN), où se retrouvent Pierre Daye (qui n’est plus alors à proprement parler un “rerum-novarumiste” ou un “daensiste”), l’historien Jacques Pirenne (qui renie ses dettes intellectuelles à l’historiographie allemande), Léon Hennebicq, le leader socialiste et interventionniste Jules Destrée, ami des interventionnistes italiens regroupés autour de Mussolini et d’Annunzio, et un autre socialiste, Louis Piérard.

Les annexionnistes germanophobes et hostiles aux Pays-Bas réclament une occupation de l’Allemagne, son morcellement à l’instar de ce que venait de subir la grande masse territoriale de l’Empire austro-hongrois défunt ou l’Empire ottoman au Levant. Ils réclament également l’autonomisation de la Rhénanie et le renforcement de ses liens économiques (qui ont toujours été forts) avec la Belgique. Enfin, ils veulent récupérer le Limbourg devenu officiellement néerlandais en 1839 et la Flandre zélandaise afin de contrôler tout le cours de l’Escaut en aval d’Anvers. Ils veulent les cantons d’Eupen-Malmédy (qu’ils obtiendront) mais aussi 8 autres cantons rhénans qui resteront allemands. Le Roi Albert Ier refuse cette politique pour ne pas se mettre définitivement les Pays-Bas et le Luxembourg à dos et pour ne pas créer l’irréparable avec l’Allemagne. Les annexionnistes du CPN se trouveront ainsi en porte-à-faux par rapport à la personne royale, que leur option autoritariste cherchait à valoriser.

Le ressourcement italien de Pierre Nothomb

nothom10.jpgLe passage du démocratisme de la Jeune Droite au nationalisme du CPN s’accompagne d’un véritable engouement pour l’œuvre de Maurice Barrès. Plus tard, quand l’Action française, et, partant, toutes les formes de nationalisme français hostiles aux anciens empires d’Europe centrale, se retrouvera dans le collimateur du Vatican, le nouveau nationalisme belge de Nothomb et la frange du parti socialiste regroupée autour de Jules Destrée va plaider pour un “ressourcement italien”, suite au succès de la Marche sur Rome de Mussolini, que Destrée avait rencontré en Italie quand il allait, là-bas, soutenir les efforts des interventionnistes italiens avant 1915. Nothomb   [ci-contre] traduira ce nouvel engouement italophile, post-barrèsien et post-maurrassien, en un roman, Le Lion ailé, paru en 1926, la même année où la condamnation de l’Action française est proclamée à Rome. Le Lion ailé, écrit C. Vanderpelen-Diagre, est une ode à la nouvelle Italie fasciste. Celle-ci est posée comme un modèle à imiter : il faut, pense Nothomb, favoriser une “contagion romaine”, ce qui conduira inévitablement à un “rajeunissement national”, par l’émergence d’un “ordre vivant”. Jules Destrée, le leader socialiste séduit par l’Italie, celle de l’interventionnisme et celle de Mussolini, salue la parution de ce roman et en encourage la lecture. La réception d’éléments idéologiques fascistes n’est donc pas le propre d’une droite catholique et nationale : elle a animé également le pilier socialiste dans le chef d’un de ses animateurs les plus emblématiques.

Nothomb avait créé, comme pendant à son CPN, les Jeunesses nationales en 1924. Ce mouvement appelle à un renforcement de l’exécutif, à une organisation corporative de l’État, à l’émergence d’un racisme défensif et d’un anti-maçonnisme, tout en prônant un catholicisme intransigeant (ce qui n’était pas du tout le cas dans l’Italie de l’époque, les Accords du Latran n’ayant pas encore été signés). Le CPN et les Jeunesses nationales entendant, de concert, poser un “compromis entre la raison et l’aventure”. Ce message apparaît trop pauvre pour d’autres groupes en gestation, dont la Jeunesse nouvelle et le groupe royaliste Pour l’autorité. Ces 2 groupes, fidèles en ce sens à la volonté du Roi, refusent le programme de politique étrangère du CPN et des Jeunesses nationales : ils veulent maintenir des rapports normaux avec les Pays-Bas, le Luxembourg et l’Allemagne. Ils insistent aussi sur la nécessité d’imposer une “direction de l’âme et de l’esprit”. En réclamant une telle “direction”, ils enclenchent ce que l’on pourrait appeler, en un langage gramscien, une “bataille métapolitique”, qu’ils qualifiaient, en reprenant certaines paroles du Cardinal Mercier, d’“apostolat par la plume”. Ils s’alignent ainsi sur la volonté de Pie XI de promouvoir un “catholicisme plus intransigeant”, en dépit de l’hostilité du Pontife romain à l’endroit de la francophilie maurrassienne du Primat de Belgique. Enfin, les 2 nouveaux groupes sur l’échiquier politico-métapolitique belge entendent suivre les injonctions de l’encyclique Quas Primas de 1925, proclamant la « royauté du Christ », du « Christus Rex », induisant ainsi le vocable “Rex” dans le vocabulaire politique du pilier catholique, ce qui conduira, après de nombreux avatars, à l’émergence du mouvement rexiste de Léon Degrelle, quand celui-ci rompra les ponts avec ses anciens associés du parti catholique. Le « catholicisme plus intransigeant », réclamé par Pie XI, doit s’imposer aux sociétés par des moyens modernes, par des technologies de communication comme la “TSF” et l’édition de masse (ce à quoi s’emploiera Degrelle, sur ordre de la hiérarchie catholique la plus officielle, au début des années 30).

Beauté, intelligence, moralité

L’appareil de cette offensive métapolitique s’est mis en place, par la volonté du Cardinal Mercier, au moins dès 1921. Celui-ci préside à la fondation de La Revue catholique des idées et des faits (RCIF), revue plus philosophique que théologique, Mercier n’étant pas théologien mais philosophe. Le Cardinal confie la direction de cette publication à l’Abbé René-Gabriel Van den Hout (1886-1969), professeur à l’Institut Saint Louis de Bruxelles et animateur du futur quotidien La Libre Belgique dans la clandestinité pendant la Première Guerre mondiale. L’Abbé Van den Hout avait également servi d’intermédiaire entre Mercier et Maurras. Volontairement le Primat de Belgique et l’Abbé Van den Hout vont user d’un ton et d’une verve polémiques pour fustiger les adversaires de ce renouveau à la fois catholique et national (ton que Degrelle et son caricaturiste Jam pousseront plus tard jusqu’au paroxysme). En 1924, avant la condamnation de Maurras et de l’Action française par le Vatican, les Abbés Van den Hout et Norbert Wallez, flanqués du franciscain Omer Englebert, envisagent de fonder une Action belge (AB), pendant de ses homologues française et espagnole (sur l’Accion Española, cf. Raùl Morodo, Los origenes ideologicos del franquismo : Accion Española, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1985). On a pu parler ainsi du “maurrassisme des trois abbés”. Le programme intellectuel de la RCIF et de l’AB (qui restera finalement en jachère) est de lutter contre les formes de romantisme, mouvement littéraire accusé de véhiculer un “subjectivisme relativiste” (donc un individualisme), ou, comme le décrira Carl Schmitt en Allemagne, un “occasionalisme”. Les abbés et leurs journalistes plaideront pour le classicisme, reposant, lui, à leurs yeux, sur 3 critères : la beauté, l’intelligence et la moralité (le livre de référence pour ce “classicisme” demeure celui d’Adrien de Meeüs, Le coup de force de 1660, Nouvelle Société d’Édition, Bruxelles, 1935 ; à ce propos, voir plus bas notre article « Années 20 et 30 : la droite de l’établissement francophone en Belgique, la littérature flamande et le ‘nationalisme de complémentarité’ »).

Revenons maintenant à l’ACJB. En 1921 également, les abbés Brohée et Picard (celui-là même qui mettra Degrelle en selle 10 ans plus tard) entament, eux aussi, un combat métapolitique. Leur objectif ? “Guider les lectures” par le truchement d’un organe intitulé Revue des auteurs et des livres. Au départ, cet organe se veut avant-gardiste mais proposera finalement des lectures figées, déduites d’une littérature bien-pensante. L’ACJB a donc des objectifs culturels et non pas politiques. C’est cette option métapolitique qui provoque une rupture qui se concrétise par la fondation de la Jeunesse nouvelle, parallèle à l’éparpillement de l’équipe de Durandal, dont les membres ont tous été appelés à de hautes fonctions administratives ou politiques. La Jeunesse nouvelle se donne pour but de “régénérer la Cité”, en y introduisant des ferments d’ordre et d’autorité. Elle vise l’instauration d’une monarchie antiparlementaire et nationaliste. Elle réagit à l’instauration du “suffrage universel pur et simple”, imposé par les socialistes, car celui-ci exprimerait la “déchéance morale et politique” d’une société (sa fragmentation et son émiettement en autant de petites républiques individuelles – la “verkaveling” dit-on en néerlandais ; cf. l’ouvrage humoristique mais intellectuellement fort bien charpenté de Rik Vanwalleghem, België Absurdistan – Op zoek naar de bizarre kant van België, Lannoo, Tielt, 2006, livre qui met en exergue l’effet final et contemporain de l’individualisme et de la disparition de toute éthique). La Jeunesse nouvelle s’oppose aussi au nouveau système belge né des “accords de Lophem” de 1919 où les acteurs sociaux et les partis étaient convenus d’un “deal”, que l’on entendait pérenniser jusqu’à la fin des temps en excluant systématiquement tout challengeur survenu sur la piste par le biais d’élections. Ce “deal” repose sur un canevas politique donné une fois pour toutes, posé comme définitif et indépassable, avec des forces seules autorisées à agir sur l’échiquier politico-parlementaire.

L’organe de la Jeunesse nouvelle, soit La Revue de littérature et d’action devient La Revue d’action dès que l’option purement métapolitique cède à un désir de s’immiscer dans le fonctionnement de la Cité. La revue d’Action devient ainsi, de 1924 à 1934, la porte-paroles du mouvement Pour l’autorité, dont la cheville ouvrière sera un jeune historien en vue de la matière de Bourgogne, Luc Hommel. Pour celui-ci, la revue est un “laboratoire d’idées” visant une réforme de l’État, qui reposera sur un renforcement de l’exécutif, sur le corporatisme et le nationalisme (à références “bourguignonnes”) et sur le suffrage familial, appelé à corriger les effets jugés pervers du “suffrage universel pur et simple”, imposé par les socialistes dès le lendemain de la Première Guerre mondiale. Hommel et ses amis préconisent de rester au sein du Parti Catholique, d’y être un foyer jeune et rénovateur. Les adeptes des thèses de la La Revue d’action ne rejoindront pas Rex. Parmi eux : Etienne de la Vallée-Poussin (qui dirigera un moment Le Vingtième siècle fondé par l’Abbé Wallez), Daniel Ryelandt (qui témoignera contre Léon Degrelle dans le fameux film que lui consacrera Charlier et qui était destiné à l’ORTF mais qui ne passera pas sur antenne après pression diplomatique belge sur les autorités de tutelle françaises), Gaëtan Furquim d’Almeida, Charles d’Aspremont-Lynden, Paul Struye, Charles du Bus de Warnaffe. La revue et le groupe Pour l’autorité cesseront d’exister en 1935, quand Hommel deviendra chef de cabinet de Paul van Zeeland. Plusieurs protagonistes de Pour l’autorité œuvreront ensuite au Centre d’Études pour la Réforme de l’État (CERE), dont Hommel, de la Vallée-Poussin et Ryelandt. Ils s’opposeront farouchement Rex en dépit d’une volonté commune de renforcer l’exécutif autour de la personne du Roi. L’idéal d’un renforcement de l’exécutif est donc partagé entre adeptes et adversaires de Rex.

La “Troisième voie” de Raymond De Becker

raymon10.jpgLa période qui va de 1927 à 1939 est aussi celle d’une recherche fébrile de la “troisième voie”. C’est dans ce contexte qu’émergera une figure que l’on commence seulement à redécouvrir en Belgique, en ce début de deuxième décennie du XXIe siècle : Raymond De Becker. Contrairement à tous les mouvements que nous venons de citer, qui veulent demeurer au sein du pilier catholique, les hommes partis en quête d’une “troisième voie” cherchent à élargir l’horizon de leur engagement à toutes les forces sociales agissant dans la société. Ils ont pour point commun de rejeter le libéralisme (assimilé au “vieux monde”) et entendent valoriser toutes les doctrines exigeant une adhésion qu’ils apparentent à la foi : le catholicisme, le communisme, le fascisme, considérés comme seules forces d’avenir. C’est la démarche de ceux que Jean-Louis Loubet del Bayle nommera, dans son ouvrage de référence, les “non-conformistes des années 30”. Loubet del Bayle n’aborde que le paysage intellectuel français de l’époque. Qu’en est-il en Belgique ? Le cocktail que constituera la “troisième voie” ardemment espérée contiendra, francophonie oblige, bon nombre d’ingrédients français : Blondel (vu ses relations et son influence sur le Cardinal Mercier, sans oublier sa “doctrine de l’action”), Archambault, Mounier (le personnalisme), Gabriel Marcel (la distinction entre l’Être et l’Avoir), Maritain et Daniel-Rops. Après la condamnation de Maurras et de l’Action française par le Vatican, Jacques Maritain, que Paul Sérant classe comme un “dissident de l’Action française”, remplace, dès 1926, Maurras comme gourou de la jeunesse catholique et autoritaire en Belgique. R. de Becker et Henry Bauchau (toujours actif aujourd’hui, et qui nous livre un regard sur cette époque dans son tout récent récit autobiographique, L’enfant rieur, Actes Sud, 2011 ; R. De Becker y apparaît sous le prénom de “Raymond” ; voir surtout les pp. 157 à 166) sont les 2 hommes qui entretiendront une correspondance avec Maritain et participeront aux rencontres de Meudon. Du “nationalisme intégral de Maurras”, que voulait importer Nothomb, on passe à l’“humanisme intégral” de Maritain.

Le passage du maurrassisme au maritainisme implique une acceptation de la démocratie et de ses modes de fonctionnement, ainsi que du pluralisme qui en découle, et constate l’impossibilité de retrouver le pouvoir supratemporel du Saint Empire (vu de France, on peut effectivement affirmer que le Saint Empire, assassiné par Napoléon, ou l’Empire austro-hongrois, assassiné par Poincaré et Clemenceau, est une “forme morte” ; ailleurs, notamment en Autriche et en Hongrie, c’est moins évident... Il suffit d’évoquer les propositions très récentes du ministre hongrois Orban pour “resacraliser” l’État, notamment en le dépouillant du label de “république”). Par voie de conséquence, les maritainistes ne réclameront pas l’avènement d’une “Cité chrétienne”. En ce sens, ils vont plus loin que le Chanoine Jacques Leclercq (cf. infra) en Belgique, dont le souci, tout au long de son itinéraire, sera de maintenir une dose de divin et, subrepticement, un certain contrôle clérical sur la Cité, même aux temps d’après-guerre où le maritainisme débouchera partiellement sur la création et l’animation d’un parti politique “catho-communisant”, l’UDB (auquel adhèrera un William Ugeux, ancien journaliste au Vingtième Siècle et responsable de la “Sûreté de l’État” pour le compte du gouvernement Pierlot revenu de son exil londonien).

La Cité, rêvée par les adeptes d’une “troisième voie” d’inspiration maritainiste, est un “contrat entre fidèles et infidèles”, visant l’unité de la Cité, une unité minimale, certes, mais animée par l’amitié et la fraternité entre les hommes. Cette vision repose évidemment sur la définition “ouverte” que Maritain donne de l’humanisme. D’où la question que lui poseront finalement R. de Becker et Léon Degrelle : “Où sont les points d’appui ?”. En effet, l’idée d’une “humanité ouverte” ne permet pas de construire une Cité, qui, toujours, par la force des choses, aura des limites et/ou des frontières. Le maritainisme ne fera pas l’unité des anciens maurrassiens, des chercheurs de “troisièmes voies” voire des thomistes recyclés, modernisant leur discours, ou des “demanistes” socialistes non hostiles à la religion : le monde catholique se divisera en chapelles antagonistes qui le conduiront à l’implosion, à une sorte de guerre civile entre catholiques (surtout à partir de l’émergence de Rex) et à une sorte d’aggiornamento technocratique (qui, parti du technocratisme à l’américaine de Van Zeeland, donnera à terme la “plomberie” de Dehaene et son basculement dans les fiascos financiers postérieurs à l’automne 2008) ou à un discours assez hystérique et filandreux, évoquant justement le thème de l’humanisme maritainien, avec Joëlle Milquet qui abandonne l’appelation de Parti Social-Chrétien pour prendre celle de CdH (Centre Démocrate et Humaniste).

Marcel De Corte

mdecor10.jpg[En septembre 1975, Marcel De Corte accorde une entretien au Front de la jeunesse publié dans la rubrique "Europe-Jeunesse" du Nouvel Europe magazine (NEM)]

Quelles seront les expressions de l’humanisme intégral de Maritain en Belgique ? Il y aura notamment la Nouvelle équipe d’Yvan Lenain (1907-1965). Lenain est un philosophe thomiste de formation, qui veut “une Cité régénérée par la spiritualité”. Si, au départ, Lenain s’inscrit dans le sillage de Maritain, les évolutions et les aggiornamenti de ce dernier le contraindront à adopter une position thomiste plus traditionnelle. Par ailleurs, l’ouverture aux gens de gauche, les “infidèles” avec lesquels on aurait pu, le cas échéant, conclure un contrat, s’est avérée un échec. Le repli sur un thomisme plus classique est sans doute dû à l’influence d’une figure aujourd’hui oubliée, Marcel De Corte (1905-1994), professeur de philosophie à l’Université de Liège. De Corte, actif partout, notamment dans une revue peu suspecte de “catholicisme”, comme Hermès de Marc. Eemans et René Baert, est beaucoup plus ancré dans le catholicisme traditionnel (et aristotélo-thomiste) que ne l’était Lenain au départ : il rompra d’ailleurs avec Maritain en 1937, comme beaucoup d’autres auteurs belges, qui ne supportaient pas le soutien que l’humaniste intégral français apportait aux républicains espagnols (en Belgique, l’hostilité, y compris à gauche, à la République espagnole vient du fait que l’ambassadeur de Belgique, qui avait fait des locaux de l’ambassade du royaume un centre de la Croix Rouge, fut abattu par la police madrilène en 1936, laquelle vida ensuite le bâtiment de la légation de tous les réfugiés et éclopés qui s’y trouvaient et massacra les blessés dans la foulée). La pensée de De Corte, consignée dans 2 gros volumes parus dans les années 50, reste d’actualité : la notion de “dissociété”, qu’il a contribué à forger, est reprise aujourd’hui, même à gauche de l’échiquier politique français, notamment par le biais de l’ouvrage de Jacques Généreux, intitulé La dissociété (Seuil, 2006 ; pour se référer à De Corte directement, lire : Marcel De Corte, De la dissociété, éd. Remi Perrin, 2002).

Raymond De Becker : électron libre

Entre toutes les chapelles politico-littéraires de la Belgique francophone des années 30, R. De Becker va jouer le rôle d’intermédiaire, tout en demeurant un “électron libre”, comme le qualifie C. Vanderpelen-Diagre. De Becker, bien que catholique à l’époque (après la guerre, il ne le sera plus, lorsqu’il œuvrera, avec Louis Pauwels, dans le réseau Planète), ne plaide jamais pour une orthodoxie catholique : il incarne en effet un mysticisme très personnel, rétif à tout encadrement clérical. Dans ses efforts, il aura toujours l’appui de Maritain (avant la rupture suite aux événements d’Espagne) et du Chanoine Jacques Leclercq, qui fut d’abord un maritainiste plus ou mois conservateur avant de devenir, via les revues et associations qu’il animait, le fondateur du nouveau démocratisme chrétien, à tentations marxistes, de l’après-1945. De Becker va jouer aussi le rôle du relais entre les “non-conformistes” français et leurs homologues belges. En 1935, il se rend ainsi à la fameuse abbaye de Pontigny en Bourgogne, véritable laboratoire d’idées nouvelles où se rencontraient des hommes d’horizons différents soucieux de dépasser les clivages politiques en place. C’est à l’invitation de Paul Desjardins (2), qui organise en 1935 une rencontre sur le thème de l’ascétisme, que De Becker rencontre à Pontigny Nicolas Berdiaev, André Gide et Martin Buber.

Le reproche d’antisémitisme qu’on lui lancera à la tête, surtout dans le milieu assez abject des “tintinophobes” parisiens, ne tient pas, ne fût-ce qu’au regard de cette rencontre ; par ailleurs, les séminaires de Pontigny doivent être mis en parallèle avec leurs équivalents allemands organisés par le groupe de jeunesse Köngener Bund, auxquelles Buber participait également, aux côtés d’exposants communistes et nationaux-socialistes. En étudiant parallèlement de telles initiatives, on apprendra véritablement ce que fut le “non-conformisme” des années 30, dans le sillage de l’esprit de Locarno (sur l’impact intellectuel de Locarno : lire les 2 volumes publiés par le CNRS sous la direction de Hans Manfred Bock, Reinhart Meyer-Kalkus et Michel Trebitsch, Entre Locarno et Vichy – les relations culturelles franco-allemandes dans les années 30, CNRS éditions, 1993 ; cet ouvrage explore dans le détail les idéaux pacifistes, liés à l’idée européenne et au désir de sauvegarder le patrimoine de la civilisation européenne, dans le sillage d’Aristide Briand, du paneuropéisme à connnotations catholiques, de Friedrich Sieburg, des personnalistes de la revue L’Ordre nouveau, de Jean de Pange, des germanistes allemands Ernst Robert Curtius et Leo Spitzer, de la revue Europe, où officiera un Paul Colin, etc.).

De Becker, toujours soucieux de traduire dans les réalités politiques et culturelles belges les idées d’humanisme intégral de Maritain, accepte le constat de son maître-à-penser français : il n’est plus possible de rétablir l’harmonie du corporatisme médiéval dans les sociétés modernes ; il faut donc de nouvelles solutions et pour les promouvoir dans la société, il faut créer des organes : ce sera , d’une part, la Centrale politique de la jeunesse, présidée par André Mussche, dont le secrétaire sera De Becker, et, d’autre part, la revue L’esprit nouveau, où l’on retrouve l’ami de toujours, celui qui ne trahira jamais De Becker et refusera de le vouer aux gémonies, Henry Bauchau. Les objectifs que se fixent Mussche, De Becker et Bauchau sont simples : il faut traduire dans les faits la teneur des encycliques pontificales, en instaurant dans le pays une économie dirigée, anti-capitaliste, ou plus exactement anti-trust, qui garantira la justice sociale. Toujours dans l’esprit de Maritain, De Becker se fait le chantre d’une “nouvelle culture”, personnaliste, populaire et attrayante pour les non-croyants (comme on disait à l’époque). Il appellera cette culture nouvelle, la “culture communautaire”. Lors du Congrès de Malines de 1936, Bauchau se profile comme le théoricien et la cheville ouvrière de ce mouvement “communautaire” ; il est rédacteur depuis 1934 à La Cité chrétienne du Chanoine Leclercq, qui essaie de réimbriquer le christianisme (et, partant, le catholicisme) dans les soubresauts de la vie politique, animée par les totalitarismes souvent victorieux à l’époque, toujours challengeurs. Cette volonté de “ré-imbriquer” passe par des compromissions (qu’on espère passagères) avec l’esprit du temps (ouverture au socialisme voire au communisme).

“Communauté” et “Capelle-aux-Champs”

evany_pv182030.jpgEn 1937, les “communautaires” maritainiens créent l’École supérieure d’humanisme, établie au n°21 de la Rue des Deux Églises à Bruxelles. Cette école prodigue des cours de “formation de la personnalité”, comprenant des leçons de philosophie, d’esthétique et d’histoire de l’art et de la culture. Le corps académique de cette école est prestigieux : on y retrouve notamment le Professeur De Corte. Cette école dispose également de relais, dont l’auberge “Au Bon Larron” de Pepinghem, où l’Abbé Leclercq reçoit ses étudiants et disciples, le cercle “Communauté” à Louvain chez la mère de De Becker, où se rend régulièrement Louis Carette, le futur Félicien Marceau. Enfin, dernier relais à signaler : le groupe de la “Capelle-aux-Champs”, sous la houlette bienveillante du Père Bonaventure Feuillien et du peintre Evany [Eugène van Nijverseel] (ami d’Hergé). Le créateur de Tintin fréquentera ce groupe, qui est nettement moins politisé que les autres et où l’on ne pratique pas la haute voltige philosophique. Quelles autres figures ont-elles fréquenté le groupe de la “Capelle-aux-Champs” ? La “Capelle-aux-Champs” ou Kapelleveld se situe exactement à l’endroit du campus de Louvain-en-Woluwé et de l’hôpital universitaire Saint Luc. C’était avant guerre un lieu idyllique, comme en témoigne la fresque ornant la station de métro “Vandervelde” qui y donne accès aujourd’hui.

C’est donc là, au beau milieu de ce sable et de ces bouleaux, que se retrouvaient Marcel Dehaye (qui écrira dans la presse collaborationniste sous le pseudonyme plaisant de “Jean de la Lune”), Jean Libert (qui sera épuré), Franz Weyergans (le père de François Weyergans) et Jacques Biebuyck. L’idéal qui y règne est l’idéal scout (ce qui attire justement Hergé) ; on n’y cause pas politique, on vise simplement à donner à ses contemporains “un cœur simple et bon”. L’initiative a l’appui de Jacques Leclercq. En dépit de ses connotations catholiques, le groupe se reconnaît dans un refus général de l’esprit clérical et bondieusard (voilà sans doute pourquoi Tintin, héros créé par la presse catholique, n’exprime aucune religion dans ses aventures. Comme bon nombre d’avatars du maritainisme, les amis de la “Capelle-aux-Champs” manifestent une volonté d’ouverture sur l’“ailleurs”. Mais leurs recherches implicites ne sont pas tournées vers une réforme en profondeur de la Cité. Les thèmes sont plutôt moraux, au sens de la bienséance de l’époque : on y réfléchit sur le péché, l’adultère, un peu comme dans l’œuvre de François Mauriac, qui avait appelé à jeter « un regard franc sur un monde dénaturé ».

L’esprit de “Capelle-aux-Champs” est également, dans une certaine mesure, un avatar lointain et original de l’impact de Bourget sur la littérature catholique du début du siècle (pour saisir l’esprit de ce groupe, lire entre autres ouvrages : J. Libert, Capelle aux Champs, Les écrits, Bruxelles, 1941 [5°éd.] et Plénitude, Les écrits, 1941 ; J. Biebuyck, Le rire du cœur, Durandal, Bruxelles, [s. d., probablement après guerre] et Le serpent innocent, Casterman, Tournai, 1971 [préf. de F. Weyergans] ; Franz Weyergans, Enfants de ma patience, éd. Universitaires, Paris, 1964 et Raisons de vivre, Les écrits, 1944 ; cet ouvrage est un hommage de F. Weyergans à son propre père, exactement comme son fils François lui dédiera Franz et François en 1997).

Notons enfin que les éditions “Les Écrits” ont également publié de nombreuses traductions de romans scandinaves, finnois et allemands, comme le firent par ailleurs les fameuses éditions de “La Toison d’Or”, elles carrément collaborationnistes pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, dans le but de dégager l’opinion publique belge de toutes les formes de parisianismes et de l’ouvrir à d’autres mondes. Le traducteur des éditions “Les Écrits” fut-il le même que celui des éditions “La Toison d’Or”, soit l’Israélite estonien Sulev J. Kaja (alias Jacques Baruch, 1919-2002), condamné sévèrement par les tribunaux incultes de l’épuration et sauvé de la misère et de l’oubli par Hergé lors du lancement de l’hebdomadaire Tintin dès 1946 ? Le pays aurait bien besoin de quelques modestes traducteurs performants de la trempe d’un Sulev J. Kaja...) (2).

Revenons aux animateurs du groupe de la Capelle-aux-Champs. Il y a d’abord Marcel Dehaye (1907-1990) qui explore le monde de l’enfance, exalte la pureté et l’innocence et, avec son personnage Bob ou l’enfant nouveau campe un garçonnet « qui ne sera ni banquier ni docteur ni soldat ni député ». Pendant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, Dehaye collabora au Soir et au Nouveau Journal sous le pseudonyme de “Jean de la Lune”, ce qui le sauvera sans nul doute des griffes de l’épuration : il aurait été en effet du plus haut grotesque de lire une manchette dans la presse signalant que « l’auditorat militaire a condamné Jean de la Lune à X années de prison et à l’indignité nationale ».

Jacques Biebuyck (1909-1993) est issu, lui, d’une famille riche, ruinée en 1929. Il a fait un séjour de 3 mois à la Trappe. Il a d’abord été fonctionnaire au ministère de l’intérieur puis journaliste. C’est un ami de Raymond De Becker. Il professe un anti-intellectualisme et prône de se fier à l’instinct. Pour lui, la jeunesse doit demeurer “vierge de toute corruption politique”. Biebuyck rejette la politique, qui se déploie dans un “monde de malhonnêtes”. Il renoue là avec un certain esprit de l’ACJB à ses débuts, où le souci culturel primait l’engagement proprement politique. L’illustrateur des œuvres de Biebuyck, et d’autres protagonistes de la Capelle-aux-Champs fut Pierre Ickx, ami d’Hergé et spécialisé dans les dessins de scouts idéalisés.

Jean Libert (1913-1981), lui, provient d’une famille qui s’était éloignée de la religion, parce qu’elle estimait que celle-ci avait basculé dans le “mercantilisme”. À 16 ans, Libert découvre le mouvement scout (comme Hergé auparavant). Ses options spirituelles partent d’une volonté de suivre les enseignements de Saint François d’Assise, comme le préconisait aussi le Père Bonaventure Feuillien. “Nono”, le héros de J. Libert dans son livre justement intitulé Capelle-aux-Champs (cf. supra), va incarner cette volonté. Il s’agit, pour l’auteur et son héros, de conduire l’homme vers une vie joyeuse et digne, héroïque et féconde. Libert se fait le chantre de l’innocence, de la spontanéité, de la pureté (des sentiments) et de l’instinct.

Jean Libert et la “mystique belge”

En 1938, avec Antoine Allard, Jean Libert opte pour l’attitude pacifiste et neutraliste, induite par le rejet des accords militaires franco-belges et la déclaration subséquente de neutralité qu’avait proclamée le Roi Léopold III en octobre 1936, tout en arguant qu’une conflagration qui embraserait toute l’Europe entraînerait le déclin irrémédiable du Vieux Continent (cf. les idées pacifistes de Maurice Blondel, à la fin de sa vie, consignée dans son ouvrage, Lutte pour la civilisation et philosopohie de la paix, Flammarion, 1939 ; cet ouvrage est rédigé dans le même esprit que le “manifeste neutraliste” et inspire, fort probablement, le discours royal aux belligérants dès septembre 1939). J. Libert signe donc ce fameux manifeste neutraliste des intellectuels, notamment patronné par Robert Poulet.

Parallèlement à cet engagement neutraliste, dépourvu de toute ambigüité, Libert plaide pour l’éclosion d’une “mystique belge” que d’autres, à la suite de l’engouement de Maeterlinck pour Ruusbroec l’Admirable au début du siècle, voudront à leur tour raviver. On pense ici à Marc. Eemans et René Baert, qui, outre Ruusbroec (non considéré comme hérétique par les catholiques sourcilleux car il refusera toujours de dédaigner les “œuvres”), réhabiliteront Sœur Hadewijch, Harphius, Denys le Chartreux et bien d’autres figures médiévales (cf. Marc. Eemans, Anthologie de la Mystique des Pays-Bas, éd. de la Phalange / J. Beernaerts, Bruxelles, s. d. ; il s’agit des textes sur les mystiques des Pays-Bas publiés dans les années 30 dans la revue Hermès). R. De Becker se penchera également sur la figure de Ruusbroec, notamment dans un article du Soir, le 11 mars 1943 (« Quand Ruysbroeck l’Admirable devenait prieur à Groenendael »). Comme dans le cas du mythe bourguignon, inauguré par Luc Hommel (cf. supra) et Paul Colin, le recours à la veine mystique médiévale participe d’une volonté de revenir à des valeurs nées du sol entre Somme et Rhin, pour échapper à toutes les folies idéologiques qui secouaient l’Europe, à commencer par le laïcisme républicain français, dont la nuisance n’a pas encore cessé d’être virulente, notamment par le filtre de la “nouvelle philosophie” d’un marchand de “prêt-à-penser” brutal et sans nuances comme Bernard-Henri Lévy (classé récemment par Pascal Boniface comme « l’intellectuel faussaire », le plus emblématique).

Fidèle à son double engagement neutraliste et mystique, Jean Libert voudra œuvrer au relèvement moral et physique de la jeunesse, en prolongeant l’effet bienfaisant qu’avait le scoutisme sur les adolescents. Au lendemain de la défaite de mai 1940, J. Libert rejoint les Volontaires du Travail, regroupés autour de Henry Bauchau, Théodore d’Oultremont et Conrad van der Bruggen. Ces Volontaires du travail devaient prester des travaux d’utilité publique, de terrassement et de déblaiement, dans tout le pays pour effacer les destructions dues à la campagne des 18 jours de mai 1940. C’était également une manière de soustraire des jeunes aux réquisitions de l’occupant allemand et de maintenir sous bonne influence “nationale” des équipes de jeunes appelés à redresser le pays, une fois la paix revenue. Pendant la guerre, J. Libert collaborera au Nouveau Journal de Robert Poulet, ce qui lui vaudra d’être épuré, au grand scandale d’Hergé qui estimait, à juste titre, que la répression tuait dans l’œuf les idéaux positifs d’innocence, de spontanéité et de pureté (le “cœur pur” de Tintin au Tibet). Jamais le pays n’a pu se redresser moralement, à cause de cette violence “officielle” qui effaçait les ressorts de tout sursaut éthique, à coup de décisions féroces prises par des juristes dépourvus de “Sittlichkeit” et de culture. On voit les résultats après plus de 6 décennies...

Franz Weyergans

Parmi les adeptes du groupe de la “Capelle-aux-Champs”, signalons encore Franz Weyergans (1912-1974), père de François Weyergans. Lui aussi s’inspire de Saint François d’Assise. Il sera d’abord journaliste radiophonique comme Biebuyck. La littérature, pour autant qu’elle ait retenu son nom, se rappellera de lui comme d’un défenseur doux mais intransigeant de la famille nombreuse et du mariage. Weyergans plaide pour une sexualité pure, en des termes qui apparaissent bien désuets aujourd’hui. Il fustige notamment, sans doute dans le cadre d’une campagne de l’Église, l’onanisme.

Franz Weyergans est revenu sous les feux de la rampe lorsque son fils François, publie chez Grasset Franz et François une sorte de dialogue post mortem avec son père. Le livre recevra un prix littéraire, le Grand Prix de la Langue Française (1997). Il constitue un très beau dialogue entre un père vertueux, au sens où l’entendait l’Église avant-guerre dans ses recommandations les plus cagotes à l’usage des tartufes les plus assomants, et un fils qui s’était joyeusement vautré dans une sexualité picaresque et truculente dès les années 50 qui annonçaient déjà la libération sexuelle de la décennie suivante (avec Françoise Sagan not.). Deux époques, deux rapports à la sexualité se télescopent dans Franz et François mais si François règle bien ses comptes avec Franz — et on imagine bien que l’affrontement entre le paternel et le fiston a dû être haut en couleurs dans les décennies passées — le livre est finalement un immense témoignage de tendresse du fils à l’égard de son père défunt.

L’angoisse profonde et terrible qui se saisit d’Hergé dès le moment où il rencontre celle qui deviendra sa seconde épouse, Fanny Vleminck, et lâche progressivement sa première femme Germain Kieckens, l’ancienne secrétaire de l’Abbé Wallez au journal Le Vingtième siècle, ne s’explique que si l’on se souvient du contexte très prude de la “Capelle-aux-Champs” ; de même, son recours à un psychanalyste disciple de Carl Gustav Jung à Zürich ne s’explique que par le tournant jungien qu’opèreront R. De Becker, futur collaborateur de la revue Planète de Louis Pauwels, et Henry Bauchau dès les années 50.

Biebuyck et Weyergans, même si nos contemporains trouveront leurs œuvres surannées, demeurent des écrivains, peut-être mineurs au regard des critères actuels, qui auront voulu, et parfois su, conférer une “dignité à l’ordinaire”, comme le rappelle C. Vanderpelen-Diagre. Jacques Biebuyck et Franz Weyergans, sans doute contrairement à Tintin (du moins dans une certaine mesure), ne visent ni le sublime ni l’épique : ils estiment que “la vie quotidienne est un pèlérinage ascétique”.

De l’ACJB à Rex

Mais dans toute cette effervescence, inégalée depuis lors, quelle a été la genèse de Rex, du mouvement rexiste de Léon Degrelle ? Les 29, 30 et 31 août 1931 se tient le congrès de l’ACJB, présidé par Léopold Levaux, auteur d’un ouvrage apologétique sur Léon Bloy (Léon Bloy, éd. Rex, Louvain, 1931). À la tribune : Monseigneur Ladeuze, Recteur magnifique de l’Université Catholique de Louvain, l’Abbé Jacques Leclercq et Léon Degrelle, alors directeur des Éditions Rex, fondées le 15 janvier 1931. Le futur fondateur du parti rexiste se trouvait donc à la fin de l’été 1931 aux côtés des plus hautes autorités ecclésiastiques du pays et du futur mentor de la démocratie chrétienne, qui finira par se situer très à gauche, très proche des communistes et du résistancialisme qu’ils promouvaient à la fin des années 40. L’organisation de ce congrès visait le couronnement d’une série d’activités apostoliques dans les milieux catholiques et, plus précisément, dans le monde de la presse et de l’édition, ordonnées très tôt, sans doute dès le lendemain de la Première Guerre mondiale, par le cardinal Mercier lui-même. L’année de sa mort, qui est aussi celle de la condamnation de l’Action française par le Vatican (1926), est suivie rapidement par la fameuse “substitution de gourou” dans les milieux catholiques belges : on passe de Maurras à Maritain, du nationalisme intégral à l’humanisme intégral. En cette fin des années 20 et ce début des années 30, Maritain n’a pas encore une connotation de gauche : il ne l’acquiert qu’après son option en faveur de la République espagnole.

C’est une époque où le futur Monseigneur Picard s’active, notamment dans le groupe La nouvelle équipe et dans les Cahiers de la jeunesse catholique. En août 1931, à la veille de la rentrée académique de Louvain, il s’agit de promouvoir les éditions Rex, sous la houlette de Degrelle (c’est pour cela qu’il est hissé sur le podium à côté du Recteur), de Robert du Bois de Vroylande (1907-1944) et de Pierre Nothomb. En 1932, l’équipe, dynamisée par Degrelle, lance l’hebdomadaire Soirées qui parle de littérature, de théâtre, de radio et de cinéma. Les catholiques, auparavant rétifs à toutes les formes de modernité même pratiques, arraisonnent pour la première fois, avec Degrelle, le secteur des loisirs. La forme, elle aussi, est moderne : elle fait usage des procédés typographiques américains, utilise en abondance la photographie, etc. La parution de Soirées, hebdomadaire en apparence profane, apporte une véritable innovation graphique dans le monde de la presse belge. Les éditions Rex ont été fondées “pour que les catholiques lisent”. L’objectif avait donc clairement pour but de lancer une offensive “métapolitique”.

L’équipe s’étoffe : autour de Léon Degrelle et de Robert du Bois de Vroylande, de nouvelles plumes s’ajoutent, dont celle d’Aman Géradin (1910-2000) et de José Streel (1911-1946), auteur de 2 thèses, l’une sur Péguy, l’autre sur Bergson. Plus tard, Pierre Daye, Joseph Mignolet et Henri-Pierre Faffin rejoignent les équipes des éditions Rex. Celles-ci doivent offrir aux masses catholiques des livres à prix réduit, par le truchement d’un système d’abonnement. C’est le pendant francophone du Davidsfonds catholique flamand (qui existe toujours et est devenu une maison d’édition prestigieuse). Cependant, l’épiscopat, autour des ecclésiastiques Picard et Ladeuze, n’a pas mis tous ses œufs dans le même panier. À côté de Rex, il patronne également les Éditions Durandal, sous la direction d’Edouard Ned (1873-1949). Celui-ci bénéficie de la collaboration du Chanoine Halflants, de Firmin Van den Bosch, de Georges Vaxelaire, de Thomas Braun, de Léopold Levaux et de Camille Melloy. L’épiscopat a donc créé une concurrence entre Rex et Durandal, entre Degrelle et Ned. C’était sans doute, de son point de vue, de bonne guerre. Les éditions Durandal, offrant des ouvrages pour la jeunesse, dont nous disposions à la bibliothèque de notre école primaire (vers 1964-67), continueront à publier, après la mort de Ned, jusqu’au début des années 60.

Degrelle rompt l’unité du parti catholique

rex-0410.jpgLéon Degrelle veut faire triompher son équipe jeune (celle de Ned est plus âgée et a fait ses premières armes du temps de la Jeune Droite de Carton de Wiart). Il multiplie les initiatives, ce qui donne une gestion hasardeuse. Les stocks d’invendus sont faramineux et les productions de Rex contiennent déjà, avant même la formation du parti du même nom, des polémiques trop politiques, ce qui, ne l’oublions pas, n’est pas l’objectif de l’ACJB, organisation plus culturelle et métapolitique que proprement politique et à laquelle les éditions Rex sont théoriquement inféodées. Degrelle est désavoué et Robert du Bois de Vroylande quitte le navire, en dénonçant vertement son ancien associé. Meurtri, accusé de malversations, Degrelle se venge par le fameux coup de Courtrai, où, en plein milieu d’un congrès du parti catholique, il fustige les “banksters”, c’est-à-dire les hommes politiques qui ont créé des caisses d’épargne et ont joué avec l’argent que leur avaient confié des petits épargnants pieux qui avaient cru en leurs promesses (comme aujourd’hui pour la BNP et Dexia, sauf que la disparition de toute éthique vivante au sein de la population n’a suscité aucune réaction musclée, comme en Islande ou en Grèce par ex.).

Degrelle, en déboulant avec ses “jeunes plumes” dans le congrès des “vieilles barbes”, a commis l’irréparable aux yeux de tous ceux qui voulaient maintenir l’unité du parti catholique, même si, parfois, ils entendaient l’infléchir vers une “voie italienne” (comme Nothomb avec son “Lion ailé”) ou vers un maritainisme plus à gauche sur l’échiquier politique, ouvert aux socialistes (notamment aux idées planistes de Henri De Man et pour mettre en selle des coalitions catholiques / socialistes) voire carrément aux idées marxistes (pour absorber une éventuelle contestation communiste). De l’équipe des éditions Rex, seuls Daye, Streel, Mignolet et Géradin resteront aux côtés de Degrelle : ils forment un parti concurrent, le parti rexiste qui remporte un formidable succès électoral en 1936, fragilisant du même coup l’épine dorsale de la Belgique d’après 1918, forgée lors des fameux accords de Lophem. Ceux-ci prévoyaient une démocratie réduite à une sorte de circuit fermé sur 3 formations politiques seulement : les catholiques, les libéraux et les socialistes, avec la bénédiction des “acteurs sociaux”, les syndicats et le patronat. Les Accords de Lophem ne prévoyaient aucune mutation politique, aucune irruption de nouveautés organisées dans l’enceinte des Chambres. Et voilà qu’en 1936, 3 partis, non prévus au programme de Lophem, entrent dans l’hémicycle du parlement : les nationalistes flamands du VNV, les rexistes et les communistes.

Toute innovation est assimilée à Rex et à la Collaboration

Les rexistes (en même temps que les nationalistes flamands et les communistes), en gagnant de nombreux sièges lors des élections de 1936, relativisent ipso facto les fameux accords de Lophem et fragilisent l’édifice étatique belge, dont les critères de fonctionnement avaient été définis à Lophem. Depuis lors, toute nouveauté, non prévue par les accords de Lophem, est assimilée à Rex ou au mouvement flamand. Fin des années 60 et lors des élections de 1970, des affiches anonymes, placardées dans tout Bruxelles, ne portaient qu’une seule mention : “FDF = REX”, alors que les préoccupations du parti de Lagasse n’avaient rien de commun avec celles du parti de Degrelle. Ce n’est pas le contenu idéologique qui compte, c’est le fait d’être simplement challengeur des accords de Lophem. Même scénario avec la Volksunie de Schiltz (qui, pour sauver son parti, fera son aggiornamento belgicain, lui permettant de se créer une niche nouvelle dans un scénario de Lophem à peine rénové). Et surtout même scénario dès 1991 avec le Vlaams Blok, assimilé non seulement à Rex mais à la collaboration et, partant, aux pires dérives prêtées au nazisme et au néo-nazisme, surtout par le cinéma américain et les élucubrations des intellectuels en chambre de la place de Paris.

Le choc provoqué par le rexisme entraîne également l’implosion du pilier catholique belge, jadis très puissant. Le voilà disloqué à jamais : une recomposition sur la double base de l’idéal d’action de Blondel (avec exigence éthique rigoureuse) et de l’idéal de justice sociale de Carton de Wiart et de l’Abbé Daens, s’est avérée impossible, en dépit des discours inlassablement répétés sur l’humanisme, le christianisme, les valeurs occidentales, la notion de justice sociale, la volonté d’être au “centre” (entre la gauche socialiste et la droite libérale), etc. Une telle recomposition, s’il elle avait été faite sur base de véritables valeurs et non sur des bricolages idéologiques à base de convictions plus sulpiciennes que chrétiennes, plus pharisiennes que mystiques, aurait permit de souder un bloc contre le libéralisme et contre toutes les formes, plus ou moins édulcorées ou plus ou moins radicales, de marxisme, un bloc qui aurait véritablement constitué un modèle européen et praticable de “Troisième Voie” dès le déclenchement de la guerre froide après le coup de Prague de 1948.

Cet idéal de “Troisième Voie”, avec des ingrédients plus aristotéliciens, grecs et romains, aurait pu épauler avec efficacité les tentatives ultérieures de Pierre Harmel, un ancien de l’ACJB, de rapprocher les petites puissances du Pacte de Varsovie et leurs homologues inféodées à l’OTAN (sur Harmel, lire : Vincent Dujardin, Pierre Harmel, Le Cri, Bruxelles, 2004). L’absence d’un pôle véritablement personnaliste (mais un personnalisme sans les aggiornamenti de Maritain et des personnalistes parisiens affectés d’un tropisme pro-communiste et craignant de subir les foudres du tandem Sartre-De Beauvoir) n’a pas permis de réaliser cette vision harmélienne d’une “Europe Totale” (probablement inspirée de Blondel, cf. supra), qui aurait parfaitement pu anticiper de 20 ans la “perestroïka” et la “glasnost” de Gorbatchev.

Une véritable implosion du bloc catholique

Le pilier catholique de l’après-guerre n’ose plus revendiquer expressis verbis un personnalisme éthique exigeant. Fragmenté, il erre entre plusieurs môles idéologiques contradictoires : celui d’un personnalisme devenu communisant avec l’UDB (où se retrouve un William Ugeux, ex-journaliste du Vingtième Siècle de l’Abbé Wallez, l’admirateur sans faille de Maurras et de Mussolini !), qui, après sa dissolution dans le désintérêt général, va générer toutes les variantes éphémères du “christianisme de gauche”, avec le MOC et en marge du MOC (Mouvement Ouvrier Chrétien) ; celui du technocratisme qui, comme toutes les autres formes de technocratisme, exclut la question des valeurs et de l’éthique de l’orbite politique et laisse libre cours à toutes les dérives du capitalisme et du libéralisme, provoquant à terme le passage de bon nombre d’anciens démocrates chrétiens du PSC, ceux qui confondent erronément “droite” et “libéralisme”, dans les rangs des PLP, PRL et MR libéraux ; le technocratisme fut d’abord importé en Belgique par Paul Van Zeeland, immédiatement dans la foulée de sa victoire contre Rex, lors des élections de 1937, provoquées par Degrelle qui espérait déclencher un nouveau raz-de-marée en faveur de son parti.

Van Zeeland avait besoin d’un justificatif idéologique en apparence neutre pour pouvoir diriger une coalition regroupant l’extrême-gauche communiste, les socialistes, les libéraux et les catholiques. Les avatars multiples du premier technocratisme zeelandien déboucheront, dans les années 90, sur la “plomberie” de Jean-Luc Dehaene, c’est-à-dire sur les bricolages politiciens et institutionnels, sur les expédiants de pure fabrication, menant d’abord à une Belgique sans personnalité aucune (et à une Flandre et à une Wallonie sans personnalité séduisante) puis sur une “absurdie”, un “Absurdistan”, tel que l’a décrit l’écrivain flamand Rik Vanwalleghem (cf. supra). Enfin, on a eu des formes populistes vulgaires dans les années 60 avec les “listes VDB” de Paul Van den Boeynants qui ont débouché au fil du temps dans le vaudeville, le stupre et la corruption. Autre résultat de la mise entre parenthèse des questions axiologiques ou éthiques...

De l’UDB au PSC et du PSC au CdH, l’évacuation de toutes les “valeurs” structurantes a été perpétrée parce que Degrelle avait justifié son “Coup de Courtrai”, son “Opération Balais” et ses éditoriaux au vitriol au nom de l’éthique, une éthique qu’il avait d’abord partagée avec bon nombre d’hommes politiques ou d’écrivains catholiques (qui ne deviendront ni rexistes ni collaborateurs). Toute référence à une éthique (catholique ou maritainiste au sens du premier Maritain) pourrait autoriser, chez les amateurs de théories du complot et les maniaques de l’amalgame, un rapprochement avec Rex, donc avec la collaboration, ce que l’on voulait éviter à tout prix, en même temps que les campagnes de presse diffamatoires, où l’adversaire est toujours, quoi qu’il fasse ou dise, un “fasciste”. Cette éthique pouvait certes indiquer une “proximité” avec Rex, sur le plan philosophique, mais non une identité, vu les différences notoires entre Rex et ses adversaires (catholiques) sur les réformes à promouvoir aux plans politique et institutionnel. Le fait que Degrelle ait justifié ses actions perturbantes de l’ordre établi à Lophem au nom d’une certaine éthique catholique, théorisée notamment par José Streel, qui lui ajoute des connotations populistes tirées de Péguy (“les petites et honnêtes gens”), n’exclut pas qu’un pays doit être structuré par une éthique née de son histoire, comme des auteurs aussi différents que Colin, Hommel, Streel, Libert, De Becker ou Bauchau l’ont réclamé dans les années 30.

En changeant de nom, le PSC devenu CdH (Centre démocrate et humaniste) optait pour un retour à l’universalisme gauchisant du dernier Maritain, s’ôtant par là même tout socle éthique et concret sous prétexte qu’on ne peut exiger de la rigueur au risque de froiser d’autres croyants ou des “incroyants” ; on se privait volontairement d’une éthique capable de redonner vigueur à la vie politique du royaume. L’idéologie vague du CdH, sans plus beaucoup de volonté affichée d’ancrage local en Wallonie et même sans plus aucun ancrage catholique visibilisé, laisse un pan (certes de plus en plus ténu en Wallonie mais qui se fortifie à Bruxelles grâce aux voix des immigrants subsahariens) de l’électorat ouvert à toutes les dérives du festivisme contemporain ou d’un utilitarisme libéral, néo-libéral et sans profondeur : la société marchande, la dictature des banquiers et des financiers, ne rencontre plus aucun obstacle dans l’intériorité même des citoyens. Cette fraction de l’électorat, que l’on juge, à tort, susceptible d’opposer un refus éthique, puisque “religieux” ou “humaniste”, à la dicature médiatique, festiviste et utilitariste dominante, est alors “neutralisé” et ne peut plus contribuer à redonner vigueur à la virtù de machiavélienne mémoire. De cette façon, on navigue de Charybde en Scylla. La spirale du déclin moral, physique et politique est en phase descendante et “catamorphique” sans remède apparent.

La théorie de Pitirim Sorokin pour théoriser la situation

Quel outil théorique pourrait-on utiliser pour saisir toute la problématique du catholicisme belge, où il y a eu d’abord exigence d’éthique dans le sillage du Cardinal Mercier, sous l’impulsion directe de celui-ci, puis déconstruction progressive de cette exigence éthique, après le paroxysme du début des années 30 (avec l’ouvrage de Monseigneur Picard, Le Christ-Roi, éd. Rex, Louvain, 1929). La condamnation de l’Action française par Rome en 1926, le remplacement de l’engouement pour l’Action Française par l’universalisme catholique de Maritain, qui deviendra vite vague et dépourvu de socle, la tentation personnaliste théorisée par Mounier, le choc du rexisme qui fait imploser le bloc catholique sont autant d’étapes dans cette recherche fébrile de nouveauté au cours des années 30 et 40.

Le sociologue russe blanc Pitirim Sorokin (1889-1968), émigré aux États-Unis après la révolution bolchevique, nous offre sans doute, à nos yeux, la meilleure clef interprétative pour comprendre ce double phénomène contradictoire d’exigence éthique, parfois véhémente, et de deconstruction frénétique de toute assise éthique, qui a travaillé le monde politico-culturel catholique de la Belgique entre 1884 et 1945 et même au-delà. P. Sorokin définit 3 types de mentalité à l’œuvre dans le monde, quand il s’agit de façonner les sociétés. Il y a la mentalité “ideational”, la mentalité “sensate” et la mentalité intermédiaire entre “ideational” et “sensate”, l’”idealistic”. Pour Sorokin, les hommes animés par la mentalité “ideational” sont mus par la foi, la mystique et/ou l’intuition. Ils créent les valeurs artistiques, esthétiques, suscitent le Beau par leurs actions. Certains sont ascètes. Ceux qui, en revanche, sont animés par la mentalité “sensate”, entendent dominer le monde matériel en usant d’artifices rationnels. Les “idealistic” détiennent des traits de caractère communs aux 2 types. La dynamique sociale repose sur la confrontation ou la coopération entre ces 3 types d’hommes, sur la disparition et le retour de ces types, selon des fluctuations que l’historien des idées ou de l’art doit repérer.

La civilisation grecque connaît ainsi une première phase “ideational” (quand émerge la “période axiale” selon Karl Jaspers ou Karen Armstrong), suivie d’une phase “idealistic” puis d’une phase de décadence “sensate”. De même, le Moyen Âge ouest-européen commence par une phase “ideational”, qui dure jusqu’au XIIe siècle, suivie d’une phase hybride de type “idealistic” et du commencement d’une nouvelle phase “sensate”, à partir de la fin du XVe siècle. Sorokin estimait que le début du XXe siècle était la phase terminale de la période “sensate” commencée fin du XVe siècle et qu’une nouvelle phase “ideational” était sur le point de faire irruption sur la scène mondiale. La vision du temps selon Sorokin n’est donc pas linéaire ; elle n’est pas davantage cyclique : elle est fluctuante et véhicule des valeurs toujours immortelles, toujours susceptibles de revenir à l’avant-plan, en dépit des retraits provisoires (le “withdrawal-and-return” de Toynbee), qui font croire à leur disparition. Une volonté bien présente dans un groupe d’hommes à la mentalité “ideational” peut faire revenir des valeurs non matérielles à la surface et amorcer ainsi une nouvelle période féconde dans l’histoire d’une civilisation (cf. Prof. Dr. S. Hofstra, « Pitirim Sorokin », in : Hoofdfiguren uit de sociologie, deel 1, Het Spectrum, coll. “Aula”, nr. 527, Utrecht / Antwerpen, 1974, pp. 202-220).

De l’”ideational” au “sensate”

La phase “ideational” est celle qui recèle encore la virtus politique romaine, ou la virtù selon Machiavel. Elle correspond au sentiment religieux de nos auteurs catholiques (rexisants ou non) et à leur volonté d’œuvrer au Beau et au Bien. Face à ceux-ci, les détenteurs de la mentalité “sensate” qui, dans une première phase, sont matérialistes ou technocratistes ; ils ne jugent pas la recherche du profit comme moralement indéfendable ; ils seront suivis par des “sensate” encore plus radicaux dans le sillage de mai 68 et du festivisme qui en découle puis dans la vague néo-libérale qui a conduit l’Europe à la ruine, surtout depuis l’automne 2008. Le bloc catholique en liquéfaction dans le paysage politique belge a d’abord été animé par une frange jeune, nettement perceptible comme “ideational”, une frange au sein de laquelle émergera un conflit virulent, celui qui opposera les adeptes et les adversaires de Rex.

Au départ, ces 2 factions “ideational” partageaient les mêmes aspirations éthiques et les mêmes vues politiques (renforcement de l’exécutif, etc.) : les uns feront des compromis avec les tenants des idéologies “sensate” pour ne pas être marginalisés ; les autres refuseront tout compromis et seront effectivement marginalisés. Les premiers se forceront à oublier leur passé “ideational” pour ne pas être confondus avec les seconds. Ces derniers seront mis au ban de la société après la défaite de l’Allemagne en 1945 et des mesures d’ordre judiciaire les empêcheront de s’exprimer aux tribunes habituelles d’une société démocratique (journalisme, enseignement, etc.). Toute forme d’expression politique de nature “ideational” sera réellement ou potentiellement assimilée à Rex (et à la collaboration). C’est ce que C. Vanderpelen-Diagre veut dire quand elle dit que les valeurs véhiculées par ces auteurs catholiques, les scriptores catholici, « ont déserté la mémoire collective ». On les a plutôt exilé de la mémoire collective...

Sa collègue de l’ULB, Bibiane Fréché, évoque, elle, l’émergence dans l’immédiat après-guerre d’une « littérature sous surveillance », bien encadrée par les institutions étatiques qui procurent subsides (souvent chiches) et sinécures à ceux qui veulent bien s’aligner en « ignorant le présent », « en se détachant des choses qui passent », bref en ne prenant jamais parti pour un mouvement social ou politique. On préconise la naissance d’une nouvelle littérature post-rexiste ou post-collaborationniste, et aussi post-communiste, qui serait détachée des réalités socio-politiques concrètes, des engagements tels qu’ils sont exaltés par les existentialistes français : bref, la littérature ne doit pas aider à créer les conditions d’une contestation des accords de Lophem. Il y a donc bien eu une tentative d’aligner la littérature sur des canons “gérables”, dès la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale (Bibiane Fréché, Littérature et société en Belgique francophone (1944-1960), Le Cri / CIEL-ULB-Ulg, Bruxelles, 2009). L’implosion du bloc catholique suite à la victoire de Rex en 1936 et la volonté de “normaliser” la littérature après 1945 créent une situation particulière, un blocage, qui empêche la restauration du politique au départ de toute initiative métapolitique. Les verrous ont été mis.

Quand un homme comme le Sénateur MR de Bruxelles, Alain Destexhe, entend, dans plusieurs de ses livres, “restaurer le politique” contre la déliquescence politicienne, il exprime un vœu impossible dans le climat actuel, héritier de cet envahissement du “sensate”, de cette inquisition répressive des auditorats militaires de l’après-guerre et de la volonté permanente et vigilante de “normalisation” voulue par les nouveaux pouvoirs : on ne peut restaurer ni le politique (au sens où l’entendaient Carl Schmitt et Julien Freund) ni la force dynamisante de la virtù selon Machiavel, sans recours à l’ “ideational” fondateur de valeurs qui puise ses forces dans le plus lointain passé, celui des périodes axiales de l’histoire (Jaspers, Armstrong). Pour revenir à Sorokin, la transition subie par la Belgique au cours du XXe siècle est celle qui l’a fait passer brutalement d’une période pétrie de valeurs “ideational” à une période entièrement dominée par les non valeurs “sensate”.

La réhabilitation tardive de Raymond De Becker

La récente réhabilitation de R. De Becker par les universités belges, exprimée par un long colloque de 3 jours au début avril 2012 dans les locaux des Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis de Bruxelles, est une chose dont il faut se féliciter car De Becker a d’abord été totalement ostracisé depuis sa condamnation à mort en 1946 suivie de sa grâce, sa longue détention sur la paille humide des cachots et le procès qu’il a intenté à l’État belge en 1954 et qu’il a gagné. Il est incontestablement l’homme qu’il ne fallait plus ni évoquer ni citer pour “chasser de la mémoire collective” une époque dont beaucoup refusaient de se souvenir. La fidélité que lui a conservée Bauchau a sans doute été fort précieuse pour décider le monde académique à réouvrir le dossier de cet homme-orchestre unique en son genre. L’intérêt intellectuel qu’il y avait à réhabiliter complètement De Becker vient justement de sa nature d’”électron libre” et de “passeur” qui allait et venait d’un cénacle à l’autre, correspondait avec d’innombrables homologues et surtout avec Jacques Maritain.

Cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre, dans un ouvrage rédigé avec le Professeur Paul Aron (Vérités et mensonges de la collaboration, éd. Labor, Loverval, 2006 ; sur De Becker, lire les pp. 13-36) souligne bien cette qualité d’homme-orchestre de De Becker et surtout l’importance de son ouvrage Le livre des vivants et des morts, où il retrace son itinéraire intellectuel (jusqu’en 1941). Elle reproche à De Becker, qui n’avait jamais été germanophile avant 1940-41, de s’octroyer dans cet ouvrage une certaine germanophilie dans l’air du temps. Ce reproche est sans nul doute fondé. Mais l’historienne des idées semble oublier que la conversion, somme toute assez superficielle, de De Becker à un certain germanisme (organique et charnel) vient de l’écrivain catholique Gustave Thibon, inspirateur de Jean Giono, qui avait rédigé sa thèse sur le philosophe païen et vitaliste Ludwig Klages, animateur en vue de la Bohème munichoise de Schwabing au début du siècle puis exilé en Suisse sous le national-socialisme mais inspirateur de certains protagonistes du mouvement anti-intellectualiste völkisch (folciste), dont certains s’étaient ralliés au nouveau régime.

Ubiquité de De Becker : personnalisme, socialisme demaniste + “Le Rouge et le Noir”

Vu l’ubiquité de De Becker dans le paysage intellectuel des années 30 en Belgique comme en France, et vu ses sympathies pour le socialisme éthique de Henri De Man, il est impossible de ne pas inclure, dans nos réflexions sur le devenir de notre espace politique, l’histoire des idées socialistes, notamment après analyse de l’ouvrage récent d’Eva Schandevyl, professeur à la VUB, qui vient de consacrer un volume particulièrement dense et bien charpenté sur l’histoire des gauches belges : Tussen revolutie en conformisme – Het engagement en de netwerken van linkse intellectuelen in België, 1918-1956 (ASP, Bruxelles, 2011). Sans omettre non plus l’histoire du mouvement et de la revue Le Rouge et le Noir, organe et tribune anarchiste-humaniste avant-guerre, dont l’un des protagonistes, Gabriel Figeys (alias Mil Zankin), se retrouvera sous l’occupation aux côtés de Louis Carette (le futur Félicien Marceau) à l’Institut National de Radiodiffusion (INR) et dont l’animateur principal, Pierre Fontaine, se retrouvera à la tête du seul hebdomadaire de droite anti-communiste après la guerre, l’Europe-Magazine (avant la reprise de ce titre par Émile Lecerf).

Les aléas du Rouge et Noir sont très bien décrits dans l’ouvrage de Jean-François Füeg (Le Rouge et le Noir : La tribune bruxelloise non-conformiste des années 30, Quorum, Ottignies / Louvain-la-Neuve, 1995). Füeg, professeur à l’ULB, montre très bien comment l’anti-communisme des libertaires non-conformistes, né comme celui d’Orwell dans le sillage de l’affontement entre anarcho-syndicalistes ibériques et communistes à Barcelone pendant la guerre civile espagnole, comment le neutralisme pacifiste des animateurs du Rouge et Noir a fini par accepter la politique royale de rupture de l’alliance privilégiée avec une France posée comme indécrottablement belliciste et première responsable des éventuelles guerres futures (Koestler mentionne cette attitude pour la critiquer dans ses mémoires), ce qui conduira, très logiquement, après l’effondrement de la structure que constituait “le rouge et le noir”, à redessiner, pendant la guerre et dans les années qui l’ont immédiatement suivie, un paysage intellectuel politisé très différent de celui des pays voisins. La lecture de ces itinéraires interdit toute lecture binaire de notre paysage intellectuel tel qu’il s’est déployé au cours du XXe siècle. Ce que nous avions toujours préconisé depuis la toute première conférence de l’EROE sur Henri De Man en septembre 1983, en présence de témoins directs, aujourd’hui tous décédés, tels Léo Moulin, Jean Vermeire (du Vingtième Siècle et puis du Pays Réel) et Edgard Delvo (sur Delvo, lire : Frans Van Campenhout, Edgard Delvo – Van marxist en demanist naar Vlaams-nationalist, chez l’auteur, Dilbeek, 2003 ; l’auteur est un spécialiste du mouvement “daensiste”).

Au-delà du clivage gauche/droite

Nos initiatives ont toujours voulu transcender le clivage gauche/droite, notamment en incluant dans nos réflexions les critiques précoces du néo-libéralisme par les auteurs des éditions “La Découverte” qui préconisaient le “régulationnisme”. C’était Ange Sampieru qui se faisait à l’époque le relais entre notre rédaction et l’éditeur parisien de gauche, tout en essuyant les critiques ineptes et les sabotages irrationnels d’un personnage tout à la fois bouffon et malfaisant, l’inénarrable et narcissique Alain de Benoist, qui s’empressera de se placer, 2 ou 3 ans plus tard, dans le sillage de Sampieru, qu’il ignorera par haine jalouse et complexe d’infériorité et qu’il évincera avant de l’imiter. Le “Pape de la ‘nouvelle droite’” ira flatter de manière ridiculemernt obséquieuse les animateurs du MAUSS (Mouvement Anti-Utilitariste dans les Sciences Sociales), qui publiaient chez “la Découverte”, pour essuyer finalement, sur un ton goguenard, une fin de non recevoir et glâner une “lettre ouverte” moqueuse et bien tournée... Notre lecture de Nietzsche était également tributaire de ce refus, dans la mesure où nous n’avons jamais voulu le lire du seul point de vue de “droite” et que nous avons toujours inclu dans nos réflexions l’histoire de sa réception à gauche des échiquiers politiques, surtout en Allemagne.

Quant au catholicisme politique belge, il s’est suicidé et perpétue son suicide en basculant toujours davantage dans les fanges les plus écœurantes du festivisme (Milquet) ou de la corruption banksterienne (Dehaene), au nom d’une très hypothétique “efficacité politique” ou par veulerie électoraliste. Il est évident qu’il ne nous attirera plus, comme il ne nous a d’ailleurs jamais attiré. Il n’empêche que la Belgique, de même qu’une Flandre éventuellement indépendante et que la Wallonie, est le produit de la reconquête des Pays-Bas par les armées de Farnèse et de la Contre-Réforme, comme le disait déjà avant guerre le Professeur louvaniste Léon van der Essen et que cette reconquête est celle des iconodules pré-baroques qui reprennent le contrôle du pays après les exactions des iconoclastes, qui avaient ravagé le pays en 1566 (3) : un Martin Mosebach, étoile de la littérature allemande contemporaine, dirait qu’il s’agit d’une victoire de la forme sur la “Formlosigkeit”, tout comme l’installation des “sensate” dans les rouages de la politique et de l’État est, au contraire, une victoire de la “Formlosigkeit” sur les formes qu’avaient voulu sauver les “ideational” ou gentiment maintenir les “idealistic”.

Même si la foi a disparu sous les assauts du relativisme postmoderne ou par épuisement, 2 choses demeurent : le territoire sur lequel nous vivons est une part détachée de l’ancien Saint-Empire, dont la référence était catholique, et la philosophie qui doit nous animer est surtout, même chez les adversaires de Philippe II ralliés au Prince d’Orange ou à Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde, celle d’Érasme, très liée à l’antiquité et très marquée par le meilleur des humanismes renaissancistes. Érasme n’a pas rejoint le camp de la Réforme non pas pour des raisons religieuses, mais parce qu’un retour au biblisme le plus littéral, hostile au recours de la Renaissance à l’Antiquité, le révulsait et suscitait ses moqueries : autre volonté sereine de maintenir les formes antiques, née à la période axiale de l’histoire et ravivée sous Auguste, contre la “Formlosigkeit” que constitue les autres formes, importées ou non. Nous devons donc rester, devant cet héritage du XXe siècle et devant les ruines qu’il a laissés, des érasmiens impériaux, bien conscients de la folie des hommes.

► Robert Steuckers (Forest-Flotzenberg, mai 2012).

Notes :

(1) Paul Desjardins inaugure un filon de la pensée qui apaise et fortifie les esprits tout à la fois. Dreyfusard au moment de l’”affaire”, il achète en 1906 l’Abbaye de Pontigny confisquée et vendue suite aux mesures du “P’tit Père Combes”. Dans cette vénérable bâtisse, il crée les Décades de Pontigny, périodes de chaque fois 10 jours de séminaires sur un thème donné. Elles commencent avant la Première Guerre mondiale et reprennent en 1922. Parallèlement à ces activités qui se tenaient dans le département de l’Yonne, P. Desjardins suit les Cours universitaires de Davos, en Suisse, où, de 1928 à 1931, des intellectuels français et allemands, flanqués d’homologues venus d’autres pays, se rencontreront en terrain neutre. En 1929, Heidegger, Gonzague de Reynold, Ernst Cassirer et le théologien catholique et folciste (völkisch) Erich Przywara y participent en tant que conférenciers. Parmi les étudiants invités, il y avait Norbert Elias, Karl Mannheim, Emmanuel Lévinas, Léo Strauss et Rudolf Carnap. L’axe des réflexions des congressistes est l’anti-totalitarisme. En 1930, on y trouve Henri De Man et Alfred Weber (le frère trop peu connu en dehors d’Allemagne de Max Weber, décédé en 1920). En 1931, on y retrouve l’Italien Guido Bartolotto, théoricien de la notion de “peuple jeune”, Marcel Déat, Hans Freyer et Ernst Michel (disciple de Carl Schmitt). On peut comparer mutatis mutandis ces activités intellectuelles de très haut niveau au projet lancé à l’époque par Karl Jaspers, visant à établir l’état intellectuel de la nation (allemande) dans une perspective pluraliste et constructive, initiative que Jürgen Habermas tentera, à sa façon, d’imiter à l’aube des années 80 du XXe siècle. P. Desjardins collabore également à la Revue politique et littéraire, plus connue sous le nom de Revue Bleue, vu la couleur de sa couverture. Sa fille Anne Desjardins, épouse Heurgon, poursuit l’œuvre de son père mais vend l’Abbaye de Pontigny pour acheter des locaux à Cerisy-la-Salle, où se tiendront de nombreux colloques philosophico-politiques.

Plus tard, surgit sur la scène française un auteur, apparemment sans lien de parenté avec P. Desjardins, qui porte le même patronyme, Arnaud Desjardins (1925-2011). Ce disciple de Gurdjieff, comme le sera aussi Louis Pauwels qui s’assurera pour Planète le concours de Raymond De Becker, influence également De Becker (et par le truchement de De Becker, Hergé) et infléchit les réflexions de ses lecteurs en direction du yoga et de la spiritualité indienne, dans le sillage de Swâmi Prâjnanpad. Son ouvrage Chemins de la sagesse influencera un grand nombre d’Occidentaux friands d’un “ailleurs” parce que leur civilisation, sombrant dans le matérialisme et la frénésie acquisitive, ne les satisfaisait plus. A. Desjardins participera à plusieurs expéditions, en minibus Volkswagen, en Afghanistan, dont il rapportera, à l’époque, des reportages cinématographiques époustouflants. Signalons également qu’A. Desjardins fut un animateur en vue du mouvement scout, auquel il voulait insuffler une vigueur nouvelle, plus aventureuse et plus friande de grands voyages, à la façon des Nerother allemands. Le scoutisme d’A. Desjardins participera à la résistance, notamment en facilitant l’évasion de personnes cherchant à fuir l’Europe contrôlée par l’Axe.

Le fils d’Arnaud, Emmanuel Desjardins, prend le relais, œuvre actuellement, et a notamment publié Prendre soin du monde – Survivre à l’effondrement des illusions (éd. Alphée / Jean-Paul Bernard, Monaco, 2009), où il dresse le bilan de la « crise du paradigme du progrès » inaugurant le « règne de l’illusion » suite au « déni du réel » et de la « dénégation du tragique ». Il analyse de manière critique l’”intransigeance idéaliste” (à laquelle un De Becker, par ex., avoue avoir succombé). E. Desjardins tente d’esquisser l’émergence d’un nouveau paradigme, où il faudra avoir le « sens du long terme » et « agir dans la complexité ». Il place ses espoirs dans une écologie politique bien comprise et dans la capacité des êtres de qualité à « se changer eux-mêmes » (par une certaine ascèse). Enfin, E. Desjardins appelle les hommes à « retrouver du sens au cœur du tragique » (donc du réel) en « renonçant au confort idéologique » et en « prenant de la hauteur ».

La trajectoire cohérente des 3 générations Desjardins est peut-être le véritable filon idéologique que cherchaient en tâtonnant, et dans une fébrilité “pré-zen”, ceux de nos rêveurs qui cherchaient une “troisième voie” spiritualisée et politique (qui devait spiritualiser la politique), surtout De Becker et Bauchau, dont les dernières parties du journal, édité par “Actes Sud”, recèlent d’innombrables questionnements mystiques, autour de Maître Eckart notamment. Hergé, très influencé par De Becker en toutes questions spirituelles, surtout le De Becker d’après-guerre, avait reconnu sa dette à l’endroit d’Arnaud Desjardins dans un article intitulé « Mes lectures » et reproduit 23 ans après sa mort dans un numéro spécial du Vif-L’Express et de Lire – Hors-Série, 12 déc. 2006. Hergé insiste surtout sur l’œuvre de Carl Gustav Jung et sur les travaux d’Alan Wilson Watts (1915-1973), ami d’A. Desjardins. Alan Watts est considéré comme le père d’une certaine “contre-culture” des années 50, 60 et 70, qui puise son inspiration dans les philosophies orientales.

(2) Sur Sulev J. Kaja, lire : Michel Fincœur, Sulev J. Kaja, un Estonien de cœur.

(3) Lire : Solange Deyon et Alain Lottin, Les casseurs de l’été 1566 : l’iconoclasme dans le Nord de la France, Hachette, 1981.

mercredi, 09 mai 2012

La Hongrie de Horthy: une monarchie sans roi

 

armoiries_hongrie.jpg

Erich KÖRNER-LAKATOS:

La Hongrie de Horthy: une monarchie sans roi

Miklos Horthy ou un militaire de petite noblesse qui rêvait d’occuper le trône de Saint-Etienne

NAZIPORT0326.jpg“Il est vrai que je n’ai jamais pensé à une dynastie Horthy et je ne peux que déplorer le fait que certains cercles, en Hongrie, affirment qu’une telle pensée aurait pu exister”. Telles sont les paroles qu’a couchées sur le papier le régent du royaume Miklos Horthy dans ses mémoires, où il exprime son point de vue sur l’éventuelle fondation d’une dynastie. Les faits sont pourtant différents. Très tôt, le régent a cultivé l’idée d’assurer dans le futur le pouvoir aux siens, et surtout à son fils Istvan qu’il adulait. Son épouse Magdolna, très ambitieuse, et la camarilla qui l’entourait confortaient le régent dans ses intentions.

Le 1 mars 1920, l’assemblée nationale de Budapest élit l’ancien amiral comme chef d’Etat provisoire. Avant même de prononcer son serment de régent du royaume, il réclame un élargissement de ses prérogatives, ce que le parlement lui accordera pas à pas.

Dès le 19 août 1920, le régent du royaume obtient les droits d’accorder l’amnistie et d’engager la Honved (l’armée) en dehors des frontières en cas de crise. Six ans plus tard, le Parlement, autrement dit la Diète constituée de deux chambres, accorde au Chef de l’Etat provisoire une autre prérogative régalienne: le droit de nommer une partie des membres de la Haute Assemblée. A partir de 1933, Horthy peut ajourner la Diète de l’assemblée populaire “aux calendes grecques”. Quatre ans plus tard, la Diète renonce à son droit de demander des comptes au régent au cas où il enfreindrait les règles constitutionnelles. La personne Horthy est désormais “sacrée et inviolable”.

De cette façon, la Hongrie s’était dotée d’une sorte de “roi de remplacement”, auquel, pourtant, on n’avait pas accordé trois prérogatives: Horthy ne disposait pas du “droit de patronage” sur l’Eglise romaine du pays, ne disposait pas du droit d’annoblir des sujets hongrois et son office n’était pas héréditaire.

Le droit de patronage sur l’Eglise ne semblait pas intéresser le calviniste qu’était Horthy, même si le droit de parole qu’il impliquait en cas de changement de personnel, notamment quand il s’agissait d’accorder des sièges d’évêchés, pouvait procurer un pouvoir appréciable. Ce représentant de la “gentry” hongroise semble avoir été davantage géné par l’interdiction d’annoblir ou d’octroyer des titres plus importants aux nobles qu’il estimait méritants. Le terme “gentry”, que j’utilise ici à dessein, est repris de l’anglais et désigne, au 19ème siècle, la petite noblesse de Hongrie, laquelle, bien qu’appauvrie, tient à conserver son style de vie et considère toute participation triviale à la vie économique comme indigne de son rang.

Pour cette raison, Horthy crée l’Ordre des Héros (“Vitézi Rend”). Ne peuvent en devenir membres que les anciens combattants décorés qui sont réputés farouches patriotes. Cette nouvelle “noblesse” de remplacement se réparti en trois niveaux: les officiers, les soldats et les postulants. Ces derniers ne sont donc pas des membres à part entière de l’Ordre mais détiennent en quelque sorte un statut d’ “aspirant”. Dans le cadre d’une cérémonie d’allure médiévale, dont la première se déroulera le 22 mai 1921 dans la citadelle royale, le Maître de l’Ordre, Horthy lui-même, confère la dignité de “héros” à ceux qu’il adoube “Chevalier” en leur posant l’épée sur l’épaule. Au début de l’année 1943, il y a déjà 4342 Héros du rang d’officier, 11.189 Héros du rang de soldat et environ 8000 aspirants.

L’appartenance implique plusieurs prérogatives. Le Héros peut, par exemple, faire précéder son patronyme du terme de “Vitéz” (“Héros”). Ensuite, il se voit accorder un patrimoine immobilier héréditaire inaliénable et indivisible, qui ne sera transmis qu’à son seul fils aîné. Les officiers de l’Ordre peuvent donc bénéficier de fermes-châteaux avec terres adjacentes d’une dimension de près de 50 “jougs cadastraux” (le “joug cadastral” hongrois équivalait à 0,5754 ha, soit 5754 m2). Les Soldats de l’Ordre devaient se contenter de dix à quinze “jougs cadastraux”.

Les Héros ne sont toutefois pas considérés comme “pairs” par les anciens aristocrates. La taille des biens immobiliers et des terres accordées ne peut que faire sourire avec condescendance les barons et comtes installés depuis toujours, pour ne pas parler des 200 familles de “magnats” comme les Esterhazy, les Schönborn ou les Cobourg-Gotha, dont les terres sont immenses.

Les idées qui hantent le vieux régent du royaume concernent surtout la question de l’hérédité de sa charge. A la fin de l’automne 1941, le Cardinal Justinian Serédi, archevêque de Gran (Esztergom) et donc primat-prince de Hongrie, remarque suite à une conversation avec Horthy: “J’ai appris des paroles mêmes du Régent du Royaume qu’il souhaiterait, pour sa fonction (celle du “représentant”, du “stathouder” avec droit de transmission héréditaire), que celle-ci soit transmissible à son propre fils Istvan; car il m’a dit, et pas seulement comme s’il évoquait une image ou un exemple, que celui qui possède une maison aime toujours qu’après sa mort celle-ci aille à ses enfants; il a même ajouté qu’il aimerait transmettre sa fonction de régent du Royaume à son fils”.

Miklos Horthy s’est aussi adressé par lettre à son premier ministre Laszlo Bardossy qu’il considérait comme bon que le parlement élise bientôt un “stathouder”, “cum iure successionis” (avec droit de succession).

Le 9 février, le premier ministre dépose un projet de loi. A cause de la résistance de la haute noblesse et de l’église, la clause de succession a été omise dans le texte. Les deux chambres acceptent à l’unanimité le projet de loi et, le 19 février, la Diète élit, sans aucune surprise, Istvan Horthy comme “réprésentant du régent”. L’élection est suivie d’applaudissements généralisés et de cris “Eljen”, “Qu’il vive!”.

Le porteur potentiel de la plus haute fonction de l’Etat doit, selon son père, faire ses preuves au front. Istvan Horthy est un pilote chevronné: il s’engage dans les forces aériennes. Il meurt, victime d’un accident, dans les premières heures du matin du 20 août 1942, sur le terrain d’aviation de la 2ème Armée hongroise à Alexeïevka.

Mais la famille n’abandonne pas le projet caressé par le régent Miklos Horthy. Dans les vitrines des magasins de Budapest, on pouvait voir des photos de la veuve d’Istvan Horthy avec son fils, Istvan junior, à peine âgé de deux ans, flanquées du texte “Mindent a hazaért!”, “Tout pour la patrie!”. Le jeune enfant est au centre des discussions dynastiques. Il faudrait, disent ses partisans, qu’il se convertissent à la foi catholique pour qu’il soit ensuite couronné roi ou prince de Hongrie.

Dans l’ébauche d’une loi sur la pérennisation du souvenir du vice-régent Istvan Horthy, nous trouvons le passage suivant: “Après les familles des Arpad, des Anjou et des Hunyadi, le destin nous a envoyé la famille Horthy...”, ce qui suscite de nouvelles polémiques. Après que le Prince-Primat Serédi ait déclaré au régent du royaume qu’il prendrait position contre ce projet de loi à la Chambre Haute de la Diète et que, par-dessus le marché, il appelerait l’opinion publique à exiger le couronnement d’Otto de Habsbourg, Miklos Horthy abandonne définitivement ses ambitions dynastiques en octobre 1942.

Exactement deux ans plus tard, le vieux régent perd sa fonction. Sous la contrainte, car les Allemands maintiennent en détention son fils cadet Miklos, Horthy signe le soir du 15 octobre 1944, une déclaration de démission rédigée en allemand: “Aux présidents des deux Chambres, par la présente, je déclare avoir pris la décision, en cette heure fatidique de l’histoire hongroise, et dans l’intérêt d’une belligérance optimale, de l’unité intérieure et de la cohésion de la nation hongroise, de me retirer de mon poste de régent du royaume. J’ai chargé Monsieur Ferenc Szalasi de former un nouveau gouvernement d’unité nationale”.

Le 4 novembre 1944 a lieu la cérémonie de la prestation de serment dans la salle de marbre blanc de la citadelle de Buda. Les membres des deux Chambres de la Diète, présents à Budapest, et parmi eux l’ancien régent du royaume, l’archiduc Joseph de Habsbourg, assistent à la cérémonie en tenue d’apparat. Les gardes du corps de Horthy défilent. Alors Ferenc Szalasi prête serment, dans un costume civil usé, avec une chemise verte et une cravate de même couleur, le chapeau à la main, devant la couronne de Saint Etienne. En dehors de la citadelle, l’ambiance est toute différente: dans le lointain, on entend distinctement tonner les canons soviétiques.

Erich KÖRNER-LAKATOS.

(article paru dans “zur Zeit”, Vienne, n°40/2005; trad. franç.: avril 2012; http://www.zurzeit.at/ ).

 

vendredi, 06 avril 2012

«El hombre político», de Arthur Moeller van den Bruck

«El hombre político», de Arthur Moeller van den Bruck

Publicado por edicionesnuevarepublica

 

«El hombre político», de Arthur Moeller van den Bruck

[Prólogo de Ángel Fernández Fernández]

● Colección «Europa Rebelde» / 24

● Barcelona, 2012

● 20×13 cms., 136 págs.

● Cubierta a todo color, con solapas y plastificada brillo

● PVP: 15 euros

Orientaciones

El libro que el lector tiene entre sus manos constituye una nove­dad editorial de primer orden en nuestro país. Se trata de un con­junto de artículos y escritos de variada temática donde se prefigu­ran muchos de los elementos que caracterizarían al movimiento intelectual, florecido durante la decadente república de Weimar, conocido como la “Konservative Revolution”. Si tuviésemos que personalizar los inicios de este movimiento en un autor, éste se­ría, sin duda, Moeller van den Bruck. El compendio de escritos que ofrecemos en esta obra abarcan un periodo que va desde 1916 hasta 1925, fecha en la cual, el autor alemán decidió quitar­se la vida ante el aislamiento ideológico en que se hallaba. Existe otra obra, más conocida y celebrada, titulada Das dritte Reich y publicada en 1923. No obstante, la edición original de la obra que nos ocupa, recogiendo el conjunto de escritos que la componen, no sería publicado hasta el año 1933, fecha en que tiene lugar el acceso de Hitler a la cancillería del Reich. De hecho la secuencia de artículos, y el orden con el que son presentados obedece a la lógica impuesta por Hans Schwarz, el editor, quien trató de estruc­turar de forma secuencial y unitaria el conjunto de textos siguien­do una coherencia en el desarrollo ideológico del autor.

[del prólogo de Ángel Fernández]

Índice

Prólogo, de Ángel Fernández Fernández

Capítulo I – El hombre político

Capítulo II – La generación

Las tres generaciones

El alemán en tierra extranjera

El “outsider” como vía hacia el Führer

Revolución, personalidad, Tercer Reich

Capítulo III – Preparatorios de futuro

Meditando sobre Friedrich List

La vuelta de Nietzsche

El retorno de Federico

Capítulo IV – El despertar de los jóvenes

Las ideas políticas de los jóvenes

El preludio heroico

Concepción económica

Indiferencia de Occidente

Mirando hacia el Oriente

enrpedidos@yahoo.es

Tlf: 682 65 33 56

lundi, 20 février 2012

Le Capitaine Hermann Ehrhardt: ennemi de la République de Weimar et combattant clandestin

Jan ACKERMEIER:
Le Capitaine Hermann Ehrhardt: ennemi de la République de Weimar et combattant clandestin

EhrhartPorrait.jpgLe Capitaine de corvette Hermann Ehrhardt était, au début des années 20, plus connu qu’Adolf Hitler. Il était l’espoir et la figure du chef pour la droite radicale allemande sous la République de Weimar. Il avait participé au putsch de Kapp; il avait combattu dans les Corps Francs; il avait été un “terroriste politique”, avait tiré les ficelles de plusieurs attentats politiques et était propriétaire terrien. A propos de sa personne, on affabulait et on brodait: on l’imaginait en permanence ourdissant des complots. Avec ses compagnons de combat, il était de toutes les conversations sous la République de Weimar, faisait souvent la une des journaux. Par deux fois, ce chef bien connu des Corps Francs a dû prendre la fuite en Autriche poursuivi par les sicaires de la police politique. La seconde fois, il est resté durablement sur le territoire de la république alpine et, en 1948, est devenu citoyen autrichien. Il est mort le 27 septembre 1971 dans son château à Brunn am Walde dans le Waldviertel. Quand il est mort, il y a quarante ans, son nom et son itinéraire politique avaient été oubliés depuis longtemps. Son décès n’a suscité qu’une brève notule dans le “Spiegel” de l’époque. Qui donc était cet homme qui, jusqu’à la fin des années 20, avait été considéré comme l’ennemi le plus dangereux de la jeune République de Weimar?

Hermann Ehrhardt était né le 29 novembre 1881 à la lisière de la Forêt Noire, dans la localité de Diersburg dans le Pays de Bade. En 1899, il s’engage comme cadet de la mer dans la marine impériale allemande et y achève une carrière typique d’officier de marine. En 1904, alors qu’il a acquis le grade de sous-lieutenant (“Leutnant zur See”), il participe, sous les ordres du Lieutenant-Colonel Ludwig von Estorff, aux opérations destinées à mater la révolte des Hereros dans le Sud-Ouest africain, à l’époque colonie allemande. Ehrhardt lui-même décrira cette aventure, ainsi que d’autres épisodes de sa vie mouvementée, dans un livre intitulé “Kapitän Ehrhardt – Abenteuer und Schicksale” (“Capitaine Ehrhardt – Aventures et destinées”) et paru en 1924, alors que sa notoriété était à son zénith ainsi que son influence sur les droites politiques de l’époque de Weimar.

Quand éclate la première guerre mondiale, Ehrhardt était “Kapitänleutnant” et chef d’une demie flotille de torpilleurs. En cette qualité, il avait participé à la bataille du Skagerrak, notamment aux opérations qui avaient conduit à la destruction du destroyer britannique “HMS Nomad” de 1000 tonnes. La demie flotille d’Ehrhardt fut alors envoyée en Flandre en octobre 1916 pour lancer des opérations de reconnaissance et des raids dans la Manche, afin de protéger l’action des sous-marins. En 1917, Ehrhardt est promu “Korvettenkapitän”. En septembre de la même année, il devient le commandant de la IX flotille de torpilleurs, fonction qu’il conserve jusqu’à la fin des hostilités. Après l’armistice, en 1919, il conduit son unité à Scapa Flow, où les équipages font saborber les torpilleurs. Ehrhardt n’a pas assisté lui-même au sabordage de sa flotille car, avec la plupart de ses hommes, il était déjà retourné à Wilhelmshaven.

Le 27 janvier 1919, les communistes proclament la “République des Conseils de Wilhelmshaven”. Réagissant à cette mutinerie des matelots de Wilhelmshaven, Ehrhardt rassemble autour de lui 300 officiers de marine, des hommes de sa propre flotille ainsi que d’autres unités, et donne l’assaut, le soir même de la proclamation de cette “République des Conseils”, au quartier général des révolutionnaires. Le 17 février, il fonde, après une intense campagne de recrutement parmi les marins non communistes, la “Marinebrigade Ehrhardt”, l’un des premiers Corps Francs de l’après-guerre allemand. Elle compte environ 1500 hommes.

Avec ce Corps Francs, l’un des plus connu dans l’espace allemand entre 1918 et 1923, Ehrhardt participe à l’élimination des “républiques des conseils” de Munich et de Braunschweig en avril et en mai 1919. Dans le centre du pays aussi, la Brigade Ehrhardt met un terme à plusieurs foyers insurrectionnels. En août 1919, la Brigade est engagée contre la première insurrection polonaise en Haute-Silésie. A la fin de l’année 1919, la troupe se voit renforcée par des éléments issus des unités ayant opéré dans les Pays Baltes, si bien qu’elle finit par compter 4000 hommes. A la charnière des années 1919 et 1920, Ehrhardt et ses hommes sont au repos et casernés dans le camp d’entraînement de Döberitz près de Berlin, où la dissolution de tous les Corps Francs, y compris la Brigade de Marine d’Ehrhardt, doit avoir lieu, comme l’exigent les vainqueurs.

ehrhardt2.jpgAu début du mois de mars 1920, Ehrhardt entre en rébellion contre l’ordre de dissolution et rejoint le putsch dit de Kapp, mené par un haut fonctionnaire prussien, Wolfgang Kapp, et par un général d’infanterie, Walther von Lüttwitz. La mission de la Brigade Ehrhardt était d’occuper le quartier gouvernemental de la capitale. Au cours de ce putsch, Ehrhardt a fait savoir ce qu’il entendait par “application de la violence” en cas de coup d’Etat: après que les fonctionnaires berlinois aient refusé de travailler pour le gouvernement putschiste, Ehrhardt aurait dit: “Eh bien, nous allons coller au mur les trois premiers fonctionnaires qui refusent de travailler. On verra bien alors si le reste va se mettre à travailler ou non”. Lorsque Kapp refusa d’appliquer cette mesure drastique, Ehrhardt a lâché ce commentaire: “Alors le putsch est fichu!”.

Après l’échec du putsch de Kapp et la dissolution effective de la Brigade, le 31 mai 1920, la tête d’Ehrhardt fut mise à prix en Prusse. Il prit la fuite et se réfugia en Bavière, à Munich, où les nationaux tenaient le pouvoir sous la houlette du premier ministre bavarois, le Chevalier Gustav von Kahr. Celui-ci toléra sa présence sur le sol bavarois et ne le fit pas extrader. Alors qu’une partie de ses anciens soldats et compagnons s’engageaient dans la Reichswehr nouvellement reconstituée, une autre partie choisit la clandestinité: par l’intermédiaire de l’“Organisation Consul”, ils participèrent à l’organisation et à l’exécution de nombreux attentats politiques. Ainsi, Matthias Erzberger, Karl Geis et Walter Rathenau ont été éliminés par d’anciens combattants de la Brigade Ehrhardt. Immédiatement après l’attentat perpétré contre Erzberger, Ehrhardt se réfugia en Hongrie car il craignait d’être arrêté, accusé d’avoir tiré les ficelles du complot fatal. Vu l’état de l’opinion publique après les premiers attentats, la Bavière n’offrait plus un refuge sûr pour le Capitaine.

En novembre 1922, Ehrhardt revient de son exil hongrois. Il est immédiatement arrêté. Mais, en juillet 1923, avec l’aide de ses hommes, Ehrhardt réussit une évasion spectaculaire et se réfugie en Suisse, puis revient à Munich sous une fausse identité. Dans les cercles nationalistes de la capitale bavaroise, il s’oppose de manière véhémente et ferme contre le putsch manigancé par Hitler et Ludendorff, car, à son avis, il avait été préparé de manière fort peu professionnelle.

EHRHARDT1.jpgDès ce moment, les nationaux-socialistes considèreront Ehrhardt comme une personnalité peu fiable. Le Capitaine a perdu aussi beaucoup de son prestige dans les rangs des droites allemandes. En avril 1924, vu l’imminence d’un procès pénal, Hermann Ehrhardt quitte le Reich pour l’Autriche; il revient en octobre 1926 après une amnistie générale décrétée par le Président Paul von Hindenburg. En 1931, Ehrhardt fonde le groupe “Gefolgschaft” (littéralement: la “Suite”), qui, malgré la perte de prestige subie par Ehrhardt, parvient encore à rassembler plus de 2000 de ses adhérants, ainsi que des nationaux-socialistes et des communistes déçus. Ils voulaient empêcher Hitler de prendre le pouvoir et fustigeaient la “mauvaise politique de la NSDAP”. Ehrhardt entretenait des rapports avec Otto Strasser et l’aile socialiste de la NSDAP. En 1933, Ehrhardt s’installe sur les terres du Comte von Bredow à Klessen dans le Westhavelland. En juin 1934, quand Hitler élimine Röhm, Ehrhardt aurait normalement dû faire partie des victimes de la purge. Il a réussi à prendre la fuite à temps devant les SS venus pour l’abattre, en se réfugiant dans la forêt toute proche. Les sicaires ne l’ont que mollement poursuivi car, dit-on, beaucoup de membres de sa Brigade avaient rejoint les SS. Ehrhardt s’est d’abord réfugié en Suisse puis, en 1936, en Autriche, où son épouse, le Princesse Viktoria zu Hohenlohe-Öhringen possédait un château à Brunn im Walde dans le Waldviertel. Ehrhardt n’a plus fait autre chose que gérer ces terres, que participer à des chasses au gibier et que s’adonner à la sylviculture. Il s’est complètement retiré de la politique.

Après l’Anschluss, Hitler fit savoir à Ehrhardt qu’il pouvait vivre en paix dans le Waldviertel à condition qu’il ne s’exprime plus politiquement et renonce à tout activisme. Après la seconde guerre mondiale, Hermann Ehrhardt est devenu citoyen autrichien en 1948. Après sa mort, il a été enterré dans le cimetière de la commune de Lichtenau im Waldviertel. La pierre tombale, sous laquelle reposent Ehrhardt et son épouse (décédée en 1976), est décorée de l’insigne de la Brigade, présentant un drakkar viking.

Jan ACKERMEIER.
(article paru dans “zur Zeit”, Vienne, n°41/2011; http://www.zurzeit.at/ ).

dimanche, 19 février 2012

Massoneria, Paganesimo, Pitagorismo

Massoneria, Paganesimo, Pitagorismo

Roberto Sestito con il suo ‘Figlio del Sole’ sulla scia di Reghini

steno@aryo.it

Roberto Sestito è nato 68 anni fa a Crotone. E’ autore del “Il figlio del Sole. Vita e opere di Arturo Reghini, filosofo e matematico” e della “Storia del Rito Filosofico Italiano e dell’Ordine O. A. e P. di Memphis e Mizraim”. Ha rifondato agli inizi degli anni ’90 la rivista “Ignis” già creata da Arturo Reghini nel 1925 e l’omonima casa editrice. Ha curato per conto della Casa Editrice Ignis l’opera di Arturo Reghini “Dei Numeri Pitagorici – Prologo” e le “Massime di Scienza Iniziatica” di Amedeo Armentano. Agli inizi del 2000, dopo la chiusura della Casa Editrice Ignis, ha dato vita all’Associazione Culturale Ignis (www.associazioneignis.it) , la quale si è occupata della pubblicazione di alcuni testi sulla tradizione italica e pitagorica in Italia. Ha dato vita al giornale pitagorico “Flauto di Pan” presente in rete con un blog.


Vive e lavora all’estero. Ha collaborato con Rinascita.

Pubblichiamo di seguito ampi stralci di un’intervista a Sestito curata da Steno Lamonica.
 
 
Arturo_Reghini.jpgLei è il massimo studioso mondiale del libero muratore Arturo Reghini (photo), Pagano e Pitagorico. Egli dimostrò l’origine italico-pitagorica della massoneria negando che la culla della medesima fosse cristiano-giudaica. Evidenziò anche la decadenza della Massoneria storpiata da innesti inaccettabili. Il Cristianesimo, tramite il peggior volto del Fascismo prostituitosi allo Stato pontificio, e la stessa massoneria hanno, a nostro parere, contrastato l’insigne maestro. Forse aveva ragione il massone Renè Guenon quando affermava che “Non è vero che la Massoneria è nata nel 1717: è morta.”?
 
R. Ho l’onore di aver scritto “Il figlio del Sole” una biografia di Arturo Reghini. Era necessario che la scrivessi, non solo perché un’opera come questa mancava nella bibliografia italiana, ma perché occorreva ristabilire alcune verità storiche e spirituali che erano state ignorate da altri scrittori dell’ area tradizionalista, in parte per la scarsità di documenti, in parte per gravi pregiudizi.
Non v’è alcun dubbio che la decadenza di un’istituzione iniziatica come la massoneria è dovuta in primo luogo alle pesanti infiltrazioni gesuitiche e giudaiche, certamente datate e aventi la finalità di impedire il risorgere in occidente della tradizione italica e pitagorica e con essa della romanità intesa nel senso lato di civiltà pagana e di civiltà italiana.
Se siamo d’accordo sul fatto che la massoneria era già ai tempi di Reghini un’istituzione infiltrata da nemici della via iniziatica e adulterata negli stessi rituali si spiegano gli attacchi di cui fu bersaglio Reghini dentro e fuori l’istituzione massonica.
Chiesa e massoneria hanno sempre agito in parallelo con la tacita intesa di non nuocersi. Quando la massoneria fu messa fuori legge a soffrirne non furono tanto i massoni che furono posti in sonno e si risvegliarono nel 1946, quanto le fratellanze iniziatiche che operavano dentro e fuori la massoneria e i cui capi furono quasi tutti costretti all’esilio o a subire un odioso ostracismo. La persecuzione, ingiustificata, che soffrì una società terapeutica sgradita alla chiesa è un esempio di quanto dico.
I tentativi fatti da Reghini di compiere la “grande opera” di decontaminazione furono quasi tutti sabotati non solo perché si era capito che a Reghini e ai membri della Scuola Italica l’operazione sarebbe stata possibile data la statura morale e spirituale di quegli uomini, ma che se avesse preso forma, i disegni che erano in corso di elaborazione nei sacri palazzi e nei grandi orienti (soprattutto all’estero) in funzione anti-italiana sarebbero andati in fumo.
Gli storici, fatti salvi alcuni rari ed isolati casi, tardano ad ammettere che l’Italia è stata sacrificata sull’altare del clerico-fascismo e che Mussolini in persona si è reso responsabile di questo autentico crimine.
Reghini, e insieme a lui altri personaggi, avendo dimostrato questa verità con prove inconfutabili, fu fortemente combattuto da tutte le parti e da tutte le direzioni e impedito di portare a compimento il lavoro che avrebbe permesso all’Italia e agli italiani di ritrovare l’antica gloria e grandezza.
Per avere una idea corretta di cosa sia la massoneria occorre studiarne i rituali e prendere con le pinze ciò che ne scrivono amici ed avversari in libri e giornali. Si scoprirà che non è stata mai un’associazione monolitica. Nel mondo moderno che soffre di protagonismo e di esibizionismo, il gusto della novità e del “far da se” ha preso un carattere morboso al quale non sfugge nessuno.
Nel consigliare il ritorno alle origini e quindi ai misteri mediterranei Reghini voleva anche dire che attraverso la comparazione tra ciò che era e ciò che è diventato oggi l’esoterismo si può avere un’idea abbastanza precisa della realtà e dello stato di corruzione dell’uomo moderno.
I comportamenti degli affiliati riflettono e nello stesso tempo determinano questa realtà. In poche parole l’essersi allontanati (per non dire di peggio) dalla pratica e dallo spirito “religioso” dei misteri ha portato l’uomo al disordine civile, morale, spirituale, politico, in conclusione all’egoismo e al caos.
 
A nostro parere, il Mondo intero ha subito un infarto con l’avanzare del Cristianesimo. Eppure, nonostante il turpe, scientifico massacro fisico degli ordini pagani, la demolizione dei templi –alcuni trasformati in stalle e case di tolleranza- i ributtanti roghi delle biblioteche, oltraggi e disintegrazione delle statue degli Dei accusati di nascondere, nel proprio interno, satana, la Sapienza Pagana tramite illustri maestri, si è trasmessa fino ai nostri tempi. Vi sono tracce di queste presenze?
 
Una traccia sensibile di queste presenze è riscontrabile in quasi tutti gli scritti di Arturo Reghini. Qualche anno prima che il maestro pitagorico si chiudesse nel suo dignitoso silenzio lasciò più di una traccia evidente del suo grande impegno pagano e pitagorico. Mi riferisco agli scritti sulla “Tradizione Occidentale” apparsi nella rivista UR nel 1928 nei quali un lettore non superficiale è in condizione di trovare perle di vera saggezza ed un sicuro orientamento di scuola.
reghLivre.jpgQuel che è avvenuto alla sapienza pagana negli anni della decadenza dell’impero romano è noto. Molti storici hanno documentato con ricchezza di informazioni gli orrori della religione asiatica. Recentemente è apparso anche un film molto bello su Ipazia che da solo dice molto. E’ inutile però rimpiangere il passato. La nostalgia serve a ben poco. Occorre confrontarsi con la realtà di oggi e definire uno stile di vita e di pensiero che renda possibile una rifioritura dell’albero piantato sulle nostre radici sepolte, un rinascimento vero.
A questo compito si erano votati i nostri maestri e i loro sodalizi. Non è un caso che i primi fuochi di questo secondo rinascimento furono accesi proprio a Firenze. Ma il loro vascello che aveva navigato bene risultando vittorioso negli anni della prima guerra mondiale si incagliò sugli scogli di agguerriti nemici subito dopo. Occorre ripartire e rimettersi in viaggio con nuovi strumenti di navigazione ma avendo sulla plancia la stessa bussola di allora.
 
Molti storici e studiosi tacciono o parlano superficialmente dell’Accademia Romana, splendido tentativo –soffocato coi i soliti metodi evangelici- di riproporre anche politicamente il Paganesimo Ellenico-Romano. Qual’è la Sua opinione? Perché tanto silenzio nelle scuole?...
 
Immagino che Lei si riferisca all’Accademia Romana di Pomponio Leto. “Pomponio Leto – si legge in un documento citato dall’archeologo G.B.De Rossi – era il pontefice massimo della romana accademia, Pantagato ne era il sacerdote; ed ognuno intende, che sotto un siffatto pontefice massimo non si dee pensare a sacerdozio cristiano, ma ad un sacerdozio classico, cioè pagano”.
Pomponio Leto fu accusato di idolatria e di cospirazione contro il prete che a Roma usurpava il sacro nome romano di Pontifex pur sapendo di rappresentare l’apostolo di un giudeo crocifisso.
Non le basta per capire il silenzio nelle scuole della repubblica italiana che espongono nelle aule in forza di legge il simbolo del patibolo asiatico?
 
L’Europa moderna è un arido mercato.. L’ “Imperialismo pagano” cui il maestro Arturo Reghini auspicava per il ritorno alla Romanitas come può essere proposto ad un Europeo imbalsamato nel più tetro aspetto del consumismo? Molti, in Italia, non sanno chi è Dante Alighieri!... Se poi pensiamo all’Europa colonia militare USA-autentico disonore per un popolo- c’è da rabbrividire. Lei cosa propone?
 
Io conosco una sola carta geografica dell’Europa: quella voluta da Cesare e disegnata da Augusto. Aveva per capitale Roma. Nel tempo molte cose sono cambiate. La chiesa ha cercato di sostituirsi all’Impero. La storia ci parla di numerosi imperi che vollero imitare l’impero romano: quello di Bisanzio, l’impero germanico, quello dei francesi, quello degli zar, infine degli Asburgo. Tutti avevano a modello Roma, ma imitavano e in alcuni casi in malo modo l’Impero di Roma.
La realtà ormai supera la più fervida immaginazione. E credo proprio che si sia giunti a un punto di non ritorno.
Se sono riusciti a portare l’Europa all’attuale stato di crisi, vuol dire che le maschere d’Europa non hanno più nulla da temere. L’ondata che avanza sotto la spinta della tecnologia e del denaro è di una tale potenza che travolgerà l’intero continente, da Berlino ad Atene, e spazzerà via quel benessere che gli italiani e gli altri popoli avevano conquistato con il lavoro e con l’ingegno nel secondo dopoguerra.
L’Europa degli europei potrà risorgere? Senza Roma Caput Mundi, senza i miti pagani, senza la romanitas non ci sarà mai una vera unione europea.
Ebbene, facciamo un ulteriore sforzo di fantasia. Immaginiamo l’Italia attraversata da una sorta di epidemia, causata da un unico virus che è sempre lo stesso chiamato di volta in volta con nomi diversi e che ha gli stessi effetti letali: usura, droga, alcool, sesso; colpisce tutti, senza distinzione, grandi, piccoli, intere famiglie. Gli infettati diventano improvvisamente poveri o impazziscono. Quelli che non si impiccano, sopravvivono inebetiti davanti al grande fratello o alle partite di calcio. Non ci sono vaccini. I più fortunati si rifugiano all’estero o si isolano in poche e irraggiungibili fortezze.
L’Europa ha avuto la peste, il colera, la spagnola, le guerre di 30 anni, di 20 anni, ha avuto l’inquisizione, ma alla fine si è liberata di tutti questi flagelli.
Come liberarsi di questo nuovo terribile virus diffuso dalle truppe di occupazione, rimasto in incubazione oltre 40 anni ed improvvisamente esploso sotto la falsa unità di una moneta unica?
Personalmente sono convinto che è una questione di tempo.
Dante non era un visionario. Quando ha parlato del Veltro sapeva quel che diceva. Nel celebre verso dell’Inferno il sommo poeta scrive: “infin che'l veltro verrà, /che la farà morir con doglia./ Questi non ciberà terra né peltro,/ma sapïenza, amore e virtute”. “Quel che verrà” “…è l’uomo divino che, data la costituzione del mondo, deve fatalmente manifestarsi presto o tardi” chiarisce Reghini nel suo scritto sul Veltro.
Nella certezza di questo ritorno si organizzino piccoli gruppi attivi di studio e di lavoro, che pratichino lo stile di vita pitagorico in modo da disintossicarsi del virus che sta uccidendo gli europei, o per chi non è stato infettato, di mantenersi incontaminato, si coordinino tra loro e si componga quella corte che deve servire ad accogliere l’uomo divino che, come i miti ci insegnano, inevitabilmente verrà.
 
C’è il classico assordante silenzio sugli Esoteristi Pagani Italiani in epoca moderna da parte della “cultura” –mi si consentano le virgolette!- attuale. Lei è uno dei pochissimi che ha stracciato questo silenzio, tipico delle “culture” da parrocchia!” Esoterismo uguale Massoneria” è la tesi di “Santa” Madre Chiesa… con gli immancabili “Achtung!” ecclesiastici.
 
L’ accostamento “massoneria=esoterismo” di per se non dice nulla. Prese singolarmente le due parole si prestano a molteplici spiegazioni e interpretazioni. Pronunciate assieme farebbero pensare ad un’istituzione (la massoneria) esoterica. Ebbene: diciamo le cose come stanno, la massoneria non è un’istituzione esoterica e sono per primi i massoni a pensarlo. Se c’è un’istituzione in Italia (e forse nel mondo) che è l’antitesi perfetta di un’organizzazione esoterica è proprio la massoneria. E non dico ciò a causa dei molteplici scandali di cui è stata oggetto la società dei liberi muratori. Senza voler fare paragoni, si potrebbe definire esoterica l’Opus Dei. Le azioni dei massoni sono eloquenti: basti osservare quel che è avvenuto e avviene nel Grande Oriente d’Italia per rendersi conto di non trovarsi in presenza di una società esoterica. Dubito comunque che in occidente esista una qualche società – sottolineo società e non personalità - che possa definirsi tale.
Chiarito ciò, vengo al tema della “cultura”.
Si, ha ragione, le virgolette sono di rigore. Il problema ovviamente non è la Chiesa che ha la sua cultura, la sua dottrina, il problema in Italia è chi avrebbe dovuto creare una “cultura” non dico di opposizione a quella clericale, ma come minimo di “alternativa”. Ma per far questo occorre studiare molto ed avere dei contenuti.
Le faccio un esempio tratto dalla mia esperienza personale. Mi scuso se parlo di me stesso, ma credo che le esperienze mostrino molto di più delle parole.
Quando scrissi i miei libri mi posi il problema della pubblicazione. Mi accorsi subito che avrei incontrato delle difficoltà proponendo testi che parlavano bene di Arturo Reghini e della Scuola Pitagorica.
A destra: Reghini era visto con sospetto perché era stato massone, oltre che pagano, ed era inviso ad Evola e agli evoliani (ovverosia alla maggioranza degli uomini di cultura che si collocano a destra).
A sinistra: peggio che andar di notte! Reghini? L’aristocratico e spiritualista Reghini? Ma scherziamo? Qui di questa gente non ne vogliamo!
La massoneria: non dovrei aver problemi, pensai! Mi diedero tante pacche sulle spalle, ma Atanor, la gloriosa casa editrice fondata proprio da Reghini ignorò i miei manoscritti e altri editori di area massonica fecero orecchie da mercante. Lo stesso gran maestro del GOI che avevo conosciuto da ragazzo quando pubblicava i suoi articoli sui giornali di estrema destra, tanto prodigo nell’elargire soldi a destra e a manca, non ebbe il coraggio di promuovere un’azione culturale basata sul nome e sugli scritti di un grande come Reghini.
Non mi restò che fare da solo, con i miei soldi e all’inizio con l’aiuto di pochissimi amici. Fu così che rifondai prima la Casa Editrice Ignis e successivamente l’Associazione Culturale Ignis.

atanorannate.jpg


 
La “Schola Italica” di Crotone, presso cui insegnava Pitagora, fu la prima Università del mondo: si insegnavano il Culto degli Dei e l’Aristocrazia. Gloria eterna della Calabria. Pitagora fu assassinato dai Democratici, come Socrate. Un bel biglietto da visita storico per chi assicura che “il solo” sistema politico sia la Dymokrateia. La democrazia coincide con il pagano “Kali Yuga” dell’Hinduismo?
 
Nelle “Massime di Scienza Iniziatica” Amedeo Armentano ha scritto: “La democrazia è una parola che non ha significato reale; è un’idea ironica di governo”. Ed anche: “I governi democratici sono formalmente (come dire?) democratici, ma…sostanzialmente sono potenze anonime…” L’espressione “potenze anonime” non le fa venire in mente quella di “società anonime”? Ebbene, i capi dei governi democratici attuali cosa sono, se non un prodotto di “società anonime”?
Non v’è dubbio che siamo in pieno kaly-yuga. Ma i riscontri non vanno cercati solo nella “democrazia”. Per mezzo di un sistema politico che nega esplicitamente ai migliori e ai sapienti il governo degli stati osserviamo l’affermarsi e il dilagare delle peggiori tendenze umane che in un sistema di buon governo verrebbero tenute sotto controllo e disciplinate. Un tale sporco lavoro di “fine ciclo” sembrerebbe che sia stato affidato a certi paesi (quelli che impazziscono per la democrazia) e a certi popoli (quelli che meditano bibliche vendette) . Una ragione in più per organizzare una difesa intelligente ed essere pronti a qualunque evenienza.
 
Alcuni Filosofi e Letterati sostengono che i Libri Sacri degli Indoeuropei sono i Veda, l’Iliade, l’Odissea, l’Eneide, l’Edda e non il Vangelo e la Bibbia. Lei è della medesima opinione?
 
Immaginiamo di passeggiare in una piccola città all’interno del Lazio, della Toscana o anche della Calabria. Osserviamo attentamente le persone che incontriamo, quelle che sono nate in quel posto e che discendono da persone nate e vissute sempre in quel posto, la loro fisionomia soprattutto, il loro sguardo. Parliamo dello zoccolo duro del nostro popolo. Subito dopo, facciamo un salto al vicino museo etrusco o delle antichità italiche o magnogreche. Non è raro scoprire in quei profili di pietra o in quelle pitture vascolari fisionomie a noi familiari.
Per la stessa ragione credo di poter dire che il libro sacro degli italiani sia l’Eneide, Poema sacro che narra le vicende della nostra gente e non i libri che parlano dei profeti della Palestina, degli ebrei erranti e dei teutonici nella foresta nera. Come testi suppletivi aggiungerei l’Iliade e l’Odissea.
Il resto è letteratura altrui.
 
Lei è autore de “Il Figlio del Sole” ( www.associazioneignis.it ) e della “Dtoria del rito filosofico italiano e dell’ordine orientale antico e primitivo di Memphis e Mizraim”. Le tracce del Pitagorismo e della “Schola Italica” del Paganesimo Italico-Romano in quali Società Iniziatiche mostrano il volto del Maestro di Samo?
 
Nel Rito Filosofico Italiano rifondato da Arturo Reghini ed Amedeo Armentano nel 1912 e nell’Associazione Pitagorica fondata da Arturo Reghini nel 1923.
 
“Il segreto di Cagliostro” è un Suo libro. Quando si sente parlare di Cagliostro, si evoca la Magia. Qualcuno, con il Vangelo in mano, non lo gradisce…
 
Cagliostro è odiato dai cattolici, ma anche tra i massoni non gode di molte amicizie.
Vorrei ricordarlo con una breve citazione tratta dal libro di Arturo Reghini, Cagliostro, pubblicato dalla Ignis.
“Quando un inviato di Dio parla della sua patria, della vita, dell’amore, dello spirito che soffia, non appartiene più a un’epoca, e la sua voce, eco del verbo eterno, può a volte vibrare strane sonorità.
Cagliostro parlava e agiva superiormente, in nome del potere che gli fu dato da Dio – lo diceva lui stesso – e i suoi insegnamenti potevano essere più o meno compresi. Egli non si dirigeva all’immaginazione, ma allo spirito; non era la ragione che ripudiava, ma i ragionatori orgogliosi e ignoranti, le cui orecchie sono sistematicamente chiuse a tutto quel che non hanno mai sentito.
Infatti, soltanto questi ultimi dicevano di non capirlo; gli spiriti più aperti, imparziali, anche se non erano suoi discepoli, apprezzavano il suo sapere e si incantavano di fronte alla sua conversazione.”
Ecco chi era Cagliostro: chi non gradisce, sono affari che non mi riguardano.
 
Amedeo Armentano, Pitagorico e Pagano insigne. E’ semplicemente vergognoso che un musicista, esoterista Uomo di Sapienza di questo livello sia praticamente sconosciuto proprio in Italia. Il “Sodalizio pitagorico” con Arturo Reghini ed Amedeo Armentano, iniziato alla Loggia “Lucifero” del Rito Simbolico Italiano. Una apoteosi dell’Imperialismo Pagano. Può parlarcene?
 
Nel 2008 il Comune di Scalea ha ceduto la sala del Palazzo dei Principi per organizzare una mostra di documenti, lettere, oggetti facenti parte dell’Archivio di Amedeo Armentano curata da mia moglie Emirene Armentano. Un avvenimento importante per conoscere da vicino la figura e la vita di questo grande Maestro. Un’ occasione unica per il mondo della cultura, dell’arte e anche per la massoneria, visto il ruolo speciale avuto dal Maestro Armentano nella storia dell’istituzione fiorentina. Ebbene l’evento è stato totalmente ignorato dai cosiddetti “fratelli” nonostante ne fossero al corrente, sia a livello locale che nazionale.
Come interpretare un simile gesto? Menefreghismo, settarismo, paura, cattiva coscienza, dissoluzione dei più elementari valori di solidarietà?
In quell’occasione fu anche lanciato un appello per una Fondazione a nome del Maestro Armentano da stabilire nella Torre Talao che era stata oltre che la sua residenza personale la sede della Scuola Italica . La Fondazione avrebbe dovuto raccogliere e conservare in quel luogo tutti i documenti, le lettere, gli oggetti testimonianze e ricordi di quella straordinaria pagina storica e promuovere iniziative culturali. Era stata inoltre lanciata l’idea di tenere un concerto sulla Torre con le composizioni del Maestro.
L’appello che era rivolto in primo luogo al Comune di Scalea, attuale proprietario della Torre Talao, fu lasciato cadere nel vuoto.
E’ di questi giorni la notizia che il Comune intende costruire intorno alla Torre un porto turistico. Ecco la ragione per cui il Comune ha negato la concessione alla Fondazione. A muovere il comune è un intento commerciale. A loro non interessa se il porticciolo turistico sconvolgerà il territorio, sollevando l’ira e le proteste degli ambientalisti, a loro interessa solo far soldi, tanti soldi, con gli appalti e col resto, della cultura non gliene importa un accidente!
 
 
Ci parli di un fatto inquietante. Il Duce, quando ancora non si era compromesso con il Vaticano, ricevette da alcuni emissari pagani, un Fascio Littorio, dentro il quale vi era un messaggio. Per lui. Fu visto trasalire e divenne inquieto. Cosa accadde, chi erano questi Personaggi?
 
Mussolini era un uomo politico intelligente, colto, abilissimo negli affari di stato, un vero italiano, ma nel preferire il fascio littorio come simbolo del movimento politico da lui fondato nel 1919 non si rese conto che le forze della sacralità romana con quella scelta si sarebbero inevitabilmente risvegliate e manifestate.
Egli vide esclusivamente i vantaggi politici, ma, ingannato sicuramente dalla sua mentalità positivista che si portava dietro dall’esperienza giovanile marxista non si curò degli obblighi sacerdotali, importantissimi, che l’uso di un simbolo così vetusto avrebbe richiesto. A nulla valsero i moniti che da più parti gli vennero rivolti, di non sottomettere l’autorità spirituale dei fasces (simbolo dell’imperium, uno dei pochi veri simboli della tradizione nostra insieme al pentalfa, ha scritto Reghini) ad altri simboli religiosi, specialmente nemici, estranei, esotici e patibolari come quello della croce.
Gli emissari pagani di cui lei parla e dei quali non è necessario fare i nomi (anche perché chi sa leggere negli scritti del tempo non avrà difficoltà a riconoscerli da solo) mostrarono a Mussolini il futuro cui andava incontro se avesse insistito, come capo di un movimento simbolizzato dai fasci, nella politica compromissoria con gli antichi nemici dell’Italia e della romanità.
Quella politica da lui inaugurata subito dopo la promulgazione delle leggi speciali (c’è chi dice anche prima) e i cui effetti sono visibili soprattutto oggi, ben oltre il fascismo, dopo la catastrofe della guerra e la morte del Duce.
 
 Il Suo prossimo libro?
 
In questo periodo mi dedico solo alla lettura.


09 Febbraio 2012 - http://rinascita.eu/index.php?action=news&id=13017

dimanche, 29 janvier 2012

Il percorso ideologico di Otto Strasser

Il percorso ideologico di Otto Strasser

otto.jpgOtto Strasser nasce il 10 settembre 1897 in una famiglia di funzionari bavaresi. Suo fratello Gregor (che sarà uno dei capi del partito nazista ed un serio concorrente di Hitler) è maggiore di cinque anni. L’uno e l’altro beneficiano di solidi antecedenti familiari: il padre Peter, che si interessa di economia politica e di storia, pubblica sotto lo pseudonimo di Paaul Weger un opuscolo intitolato Das neue Wesen, nel quale si pronuncia per un socialismo cristiano e sociale. Secondo Paul Strasser, fratello di Gregor e Otto, “in questo opuscolo si trova già abbozzato l’insieme del programma culturale e politico di Gregor e Otto, cioè un socialismo cristiano sociale, che è indicato come la soluzione alle contraddizioni e alle mancanze nate dalla malattia liberale, capitalista e internazionale dei nostri tempi.” Quando scoppia la Grande Guerra, Otto Strasser interrompe i suoi studi di diritto e di economia per arruolarsi il 2 agosto 1914 (è il più giovane volontario di Baviera). Il suo brillante comportamento al fronte gli varrà la Croce di Ferro di prima classe e la proposta per l’ Ordine Militare di Max-Joseph. Prima della smobilitazione nell’aprile/maggio 1919, partecipa con il fratello Gregor, nel Corpo Franco von Epp, all’assalto contro la Repubblica sovietica di Baviera. Ritornato alla vita civile Otto riprende i suoi studi a Berlino nel 1919 e fonda la “Associazione universitaria dei veterani socialdemocratici”.

Nel 1920, alla testa di tre “centurie proletarie” resiste nel quartiere operaio berlinese di Steglitz al putsch Kapp (putsch d’estrema destra). Lascia poco dopo la SPD (Partito social-democratico) quando questa rifiuta di rispettare l’accordo di Bielefeld concluso con gli operai della Ruhr (questo accordo prevedeva il non-intervento dell’esercito nella Ruhr, la repressione degli elementi contro-rivoluzionari e l’allontanamento di questi dall’apparato dello Stato, nonché la nazionalizzazione delle grandi imprese), spostandosi dunque a sinistra dell’SPD. Tornato in Baviera, Otto Strasser incontra Hitler e il generale Ludendorff presso il fratello, che lo invita a legarsi al nazionalsocialismo, ma Otto rifiuta. Corrispondente della stampa svizzera e olandese, Otto si occupa, il 12 ottobre 1920, del congresso dell’USPD (Partito social-democratico indipendente) ad Halle, dove incontra Zinovev. Scrive su “Das Gewissen”, la rivista di Moeller van den Bruck e Heinrich von Gleichen, un lungo articolo sul suo incontro con Zinovev. E’ così che fa la conoscenza di Moeller van den Bruck che lo farà avvicinare alle proprie idee. Otto Strasser entrerà poco dopo nel ministero per gli approvvigionamenti, prima di lavorare, a partire dalla primavera del 1923, in un consorzio di alcolici. Tra il 1920 e il 1925 si attua nello spirito di Strasser una lenta maturazione ideologica data da esperienze personali (esperienza del fronte e della guerra civile, incontro con Zinovev e Moeller, esperienza della burocrazia e del capitalismo privato) e di diverse influenze ideologiche. Dopo il mancato putsch del 1923, l’imprigionamento di Hitler e l’interdizione del NSDAP che l’hanno seguito, Gregor Strasser si è ritrovato nel 1924 con il generale Ludendorff e il politico völkisch von Graefe alla testa del ricostituito partito nazista. Appena uscito di prigione Hitler riorganizza il NSDAP (febbraio 1925) e incarica Gregor Strasser della direzione del partito nel Nord della Germania. Otto allora raggiunge il fratello che l’ha chiamato. Otto sarà l’ideologo, Gregor l’organizzatore del nazismo in Germania settentrionale. Nel 1925 è fondato un “Comitato di lavoro dei distretti settentrionali e occidentali tedeschi del NSDAP” sotto la direzione di Gregor Strasser; questi distretti manifestano così la loro volontà d’autonomia (e di democrazia interna) nei confronti di Monaco. Inoltre il NSDAP settentrionale prende un orientamento nettamente gauchiste sotto l’influenza di Otto Strasser e di Jospeh Goebbels che espongono le loro idee in un quindicinale destinato ai quadri del partito, il “National-sozialistische Briefe”. Dall’ottobre 1925 Otto dà al NSDAP del Nord un programma radicale. Hitler reagisce dichiarando inalterabili i venticinque punti del programma nazista del 1920 e concentrando nelle sue mani tutti i poteri decisionali del Partito. Richiama Goebbels nel 1926, convince Gregor Strasser proponendogli il posto di capo della propaganda, poi quello di capo dell’organizzazione del Partito, espelle infine un certo numero di gauchistes (segnatamente i Gauleiter della Slesia, Pomerania e Sassonia). Otto Strasser, isolato e in totale opposizione con la politica sempre più apertamente conservatrice e capitalista di Hitler, si decide finalmente a lasciare il NSDAP il 4 luglio 1930. Fonda subito la KGRNS, “Comunità di lotta nazional-socialista rivoluzionaria”. Ma poco dopo la scissione strasseriana, due avvenimenti portarono alla marginalizzazione della KGRNS: anzitutto la “dichiarazione-programma per la liberazione nazionale e sociale del popolo tedesco” adottata dal Partito Comunista tedesco. Questo programma esercita sugli elementi nazionalisti anti-hitleriani una considerevole attrazione che li distoglierà dallo strasserismo ( peraltro già nell’autunno 1930 una prima crisi “nazional-bolscevica” aveva provocato l’uscita dalla KGRNS verso il Partito Comunista di tre responsabili: Korn, Rehm e Lorf); in seguito, anche il successo elettorale del Partito Nazista alle elezioni legislative del 14 settembre convinse molti naziona-socialisti della fondata validità della strategia hitleriana. La KGRNS è inoltre minata da dissensi interni che oppongono gli elementi più radicali (nazional-bolscevichi) alla direzione più moderata (Otto Strasser, Herbert Blank e il maggiore Buchrucker). Otto Strasser cerca di far uscire la KGRNS dall’isolamento avvicinando nel 1931 le SA del Nord della Germania che, sotto la guida di Walter Stennes, sono entrate in aperta ribellione contro Hitler (ma questo riavvicinamento, condotto sotto gli auspici del capitano Ehrhardt, le cui inclinazioni reazionarie sono conosciute, provoca l’uscita dei nazional-bolscevichi dalla KGRNS). Nell’ottobre 1931 Otto Strasser fonda il “Fronte Nero”, destinato a raggruppare attorno alla KGRNS un certo numero di organizzazioni vicine, quali il gruppo paramilitare “Wehrwolf”, i “Gruppi Oberland”, le ex-SA di Stennes, una parte del Movimento Contadino, il circolo costituito attorno alla rivista “Die Tat” etc. Nel 1933, decimata dalla repressione hitleriana, la KGRNS si sposta in Austria poi, nel 1934, in Cecoslovacchia. In Germania, gruppi strasseriani clandestini sopravvivono fino al 1937, data in cui vengono smantellati e i loro membri imprigionati o deportati (uno di questi, Karl-Ernst Naske, dirige oggi gli “Strasser-Archiv”). Le idee di Otto Strasser traspaiono dai programmi che ha elaborato, gli articoli, i libri e gli opuscoli che i suoi amici e lui stesso hanno scritto. Tra questi testi, i più importanti sono il programma del 1925, destinato a completare il programma del 1920 del Partito Nazista, la proclamazione del 4 luglio 1930 (“I socialisti lasciano il NSDAP”), le “Quattordici tesi della Rivoluzione tedesca”, adottate al primo congresso della KGRNS nell’ottobre 1930, il manifesto del “Fronte Nero” adottato al secondo congresso della KGRNS nell’ottobre 1931, e il libro Costruzione del socialismo tedesco, la cui prima edizione è del 1932. Da questi testi si trae un’ideologia coerente, composta di tre elementi strettamente legati tra loro: il nazionalismo, l’”idealismo völkisch” e il “socialismo tedesco”. 1) Il nazionalismo. Otto Strasser propone la costituzione di uno Stato pan-tedesco (federale e democratico) “da Memel a Strasburgo, da Eupen a Vienna” e la liberazione della nazione tedesca dal Trattato di Versailles e dal Piano Young. Auspica una guerra di liberazione contro l’Occidente (“Salutiamo la Nuova Guerra”), l’alleanza con l’Unione Sovietica ed una solidarietà internazionale anti-imperialista tra tutte le Nazioni oppresse. Otto Strasser se la prende vigorosamente anche con gli ebrei, la Massoneria e L’Ultramontanismo (questa denuncia delle “potenze internazionali” sembra ispirarsi ai violenti pamphlets del gruppo Ludendorff). Ma le posizioni di Otto Strasser si evolvono. Durante il suo esilio in Cecoslovacchia appaiono due nuovi punti: un certo filosemitismo (Otto Strasser propone che sia conferito al popolo ebraico uno statuto protettore delle minoranze nazionali in Europa e sostiene il progetto sionista – Patrick Moreau pensa che questo filosemitismo sia puramente tattico: Strasser cerca l’appoggio delle potenti organizzazioni anti-naziste americane) e un progetto di federalismo europeo che permetterebbe di evitare una nuova guerra. L’anti-occidentalismo e il filo-sovietismo di Strasser sfumano. 2) Al materialismo borghese e marxista Otto Strasser oppone un “idealismo völkisch” a fondamento religioso. Alla base di questo “idealismo völkisch” si trova il Volk concepito come un organismo di origine divina dalle caratteristiche fisiche (razziali), spirituali e mentali. La “Rivoluzione tedesca” deve, secondo Strasser, ri-creare le “forme” appropriate alla natura del popolo nel campo politico o economico così come in quello culturale. Queste forme sarebbero, in campo economico, il feudo (Erblehen); nel campo politico, l’auto-amministrazione del popolo tramite gli “Stande”, cioè degli stati – stato operaio, stato contadino etc – e nel campo “culturale, una religiosità tedesca. Principale espressione dell’ “idealismo völkisch”, un principio d’amore in seno al Volk – riconoscendo ognuno negli altri le proprie caratteristiche razziali e culturali – che deve marcare ogni atto dell’individuo e dello Stato. Questo idealismo völkisch comporta il rifiuto da parte di Otto Strasser dell’idea di lotta di classe in seno al Volk a profitto d’una “rivoluzione popolare” degli operai-contadini senza classi medie (solo una piccola minoranza di oppressori saranno eliminati), la condanna dello scontro politico tra tedeschi: Otto Strasser propone un Fronte unito della base dei partiti estremisti e dei sindacati contro le loro gerarchie e contro il sistema. Questo idealismo völkisch sottintende lo spirito di “socialismo tedesco” decantato da Strasser e ispira il programma socialista strasseriano. Questo programma comporta i seguenti punti: parziale nazionalizzazione delle terre e dei mezzi di produzione, partecipazione operaia, il piano, l’autarchia e il monopolio dello Stato sul commercio esterno. Il “socialismo tedesco” pretende di opporsi al liberalismo come al marxismo. L’opinione di strasser sul marxismo è pertanto sfumata: “Il marxismo non aveva per Strasser alcun carattere “ebraico” specifico come per Hitler, non era l’ “invenzione dell’ebreo Marx”, ma l’elaborazione di un metodo d’analisi delle contraddizioni sociali ed economiche della sua epoca (il periodo del capitalismo selvaggio) messo a punto da un filosofo dotato. Strasser riconosceva al pensiero marxista come all’analisi dell’imperialismo di Lenin, una verità oggettiva certa. Si allontanava dalla Weltanschauung marxista a livello di implicazioni filosofiche ed utopiche. Il marxismo era il prodotto dell’era del liberalismo e testimoniava nel suo metodo analitico e nelle sue stesse strutture una mentalità la cui tradizione liberale risaliva al contratto sociale di Rousseau. L’errore di Marx e dei marxisti-leninisti stava, secondo Strasser, nel fatto che questi credevano di poter spiegare lo sviluppo storico tramite i concetti di rapporto di produzione e di lotta di classe allorquando questi apparivano validi limitatamente al periodo del capitalismo. La dittatura del proletariato, l’internazionalismo, il comunismo utopico non erano più conformi ad una Germania nella quale era cominciato un processo di totale trasformazione delle strutture spirituali, sociali ed economiche, che portava alla sostituzione del capitalismo con il socialismo, della lotta di classe con le comunità di popolo e dell’internazionalismo con il nazionalismo. La teoria economica marxista rimaneva uno strumento necessario alla comprensione della storia. Il marxismo filosofico e il bolscevismo di partito, perdono significato nello stesso momento in cui il liberalismo entra in agonia”. 3) Il “socialismo tedesco” rifiuta il modello proletario così come il modello borghese e propone di conciliare le responsabilità, l’indipendenza e la creatività personali con il sentimento dell’appartenenza comunitaria ad una società di lavoratori di classi medie e, più particolarmente, di contadini. “Strasser, come Junger, sogna un nuovo “Lavoratore”, ma di un tipo particolare, il tipo “contadino”, che sia operaio-contadino, intellettuale-contadino, soldato-contadino, altrettante facce di uno sconvolgimento sociale realizzato con la dislocazione della società industriale, lo smantellamento delle fabbriche, la riduzione delle popolazioni urbane e il trasferimento forzato dei cittadini verso il lavoro rigeneratore della terra. Per rendere in immagini contemporanee la volontà di rottura sociale della tendenza Strasser, si può pensare oggi alla Rivoluzione Culturale cinese o all’azione dei Khmer rossi in Cambogia”. Otto Strasser vuole riorganizzare la società tedesca attorno al tipo contadino. Per fare questo, preconizza la spartizione delle terre, la colonizzazione delle regioni agricole dell’Est poco popolato e la dispersione dei grandi complessi industriali in piccole unità in tutto il paese – nascerebbe così un tipo misto operaio-contadino. Patrick Moreau non esita a qualificare Otto Strasser come “conservatore agrario estremista”. Le conseguenze di questa riorganizzazione della Germania (e della socializzazione dell’economia che deve accompagnarla) sarebbero: una considerevole riduzione della produzione dei beni di consumo per il fatto dell’ “adozione di un modo di vita spartano, in cui il consumo è ridotto alla soddisfazione quasi autarchica, a livello locale, dei bisogni primi”, e “l’istituzione nazionale, poi internazionale, di una sorta di economia di baratto”. Il socialismo tedesco rifiuta infine la burocrazia e il e il capitalismo privato (Strasser conosce i misfatti dei due sistemi) e propone la nazionalizzazione dei mezzi di produzione e della terra che saranno in seguito ri-distribuite a degli imprenditori sotto forma di feudi. Questa soluzione unirebbe, secondo Strasser, i vantaggi del possesso individuale e della proprietà collettiva.

Thierry Mudry

asslimes.com

lundi, 16 janvier 2012

Die Artamanenbewegung als Beispiel alternativer Lebensgestaltung

Ex: http://www.hier-und-jetzt-magazin.de/

Rückkehr

Die Artamanenbewegung als Beispiel alternativer Lebensgestaltung

von Stephan Jurisch

 

dieartamanen.jpgWer träumt nicht davon, wieder Herr auf eigener Scholle zu sein und anstelle eines „jobs“ in der Dienstleistungsgesellschaft seiner Berufung nach einem ehrlichen Handwerk nachzugehen? Auch das Bewußtsein, sich nicht nur gesund ernähren, sondern selbst ernähren zu wollen, aus eigener Ernte, steigt. Wenn auch noch unmerklich, so schwindet doch die Identifikation lebensbewußter Menschen mit dem entwertenden Begriff Verbraucher. Alle sind heute nur noch Verbraucher, Verbraucher zunehmend nebulös produzierter Erzeugnisse. Lebensmittel sind zum anonymen Verbrauchsgut anonymer Verbraucher verkommen, denn es ist schwer geworden zu beurteilen, was wir essen und woher es kommt. Die Unkontrollierbarkeit des globalen Warenverschleppungssystems wird immer Lebensmittelskandale provozieren, insofern sie überhaupt öffentlich werden. Für diejenigen, die dies als befremdend und als eine nicht unumstößliche Gegebenheit empfinden, ist der eigene Garten je nach Größe längst zu einer partiellen Alternative geworden. Wer dort nicht stehen bleiben will, lebt in Hofgemeinschaften in der Landwirtschaft. Dafür müssen diese Stätten aber ein Hort der Arbeit und nicht nur der gemeinsamen Freizeitgestaltung sein. Auf der Grundlage der gestaltgebenden und schöpferischen Kraft einer gemeinsamen Weltanschauung wären Gemeinschaften möglich, die es auch und gerade im Heute zu einer alternativen Lebensführung und Lebensform schaffen können, deren Leistungen über die eigene Versorgung mit Lebensmitteln hinausgehen. Es geht um den Gedanken der Siedlung.

 

Siedeln, das ist weniger Romantik als vielmehr harte Arbeit und Existenzkampf. Doch es ist Arbeit für die Gemeinschaft, die dieser und der eigenen Seele Freiheit verleihen. Vor allem aber ist es die Tat um einer Sache selbst wegen, der es heute – neben dem Geschwätz stets besser Wissender, neben dem wehleidigen Beklagen – der Armut an Luxusgütern mangelt. Mag sein, daß erst echte Armut wieder den Blick für die Selbstlosigkeit und die unmittelbare Notwendigkeit zu dieser freizumachen vermag. In den Notzeiten der Weimarer Republik finden wir das Beispiel der deutschen Jugendbewegung und hier genauer der Artamanenbewegung. Denn wenn es um Jugend, Landwirtschaft und Siedlung geht, können wir diese einmalige geschichtliche Erscheinung einer aus Idealismus arbeitenden Tatgemeinschaft nicht außer Acht lassen.

 

Die Abkehr vom Bürgertum

 

Die deutsche Jugendbewegung als geistig-kulturelle Erneuerungsbestrebung entwickelte sich maßgeblich im ersten Drittel des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts und empfand sich als geistige Avantgarde der Gesellschaft. Ihre Mitstreiter sahen sich als einen Teil einer Bewegung und fanden in ihr eine tiefere und weitergehende Bindung als wir sie in heutigen Jugendorganisationen – oder besser gesagt Zusammenrottungen – antreffen. Naturerleben in ausgedehnten Fahrten abseits städtischen Lärms und moderner Zivilisation, Brauchtumspflege und starke Belebung von Volkstanz, -lied und Laienspiel standen in der Erlebniswelt der Jugendbewegten im Vordergrund, die sich gesellschaftskritisch als Jugendgemeinschaft konträr der Massengesellschaft der Erwachsenenwelt verstanden. Die in einer Vielzahl entstandenen Bünde gaben ihnen neue Bindungen, eine neue soziale Heimat außerhalb der Familie. Der Jugendbund war der selbstgeschaffene Ort der Gemeinschaft und Verbundenheit und unterschied sich strukturell völlig von den Gebundenheiten der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. Um ihrer Haltung gerecht zu werden und zu bezeugen, daß ihre Vorstellungen auch Gestaltungskraft besaßen, genügte sich die Jugendbewegung nicht mit einer Protesthaltung und mahnenden Zeigefingern. Aus dem Strom der sich vom Bürgertum Abgewandten sollten Schaffende werden. Die Durchführung von Bildungs- und Arbeitslagern, die Gründung eigener Landheime und schließlich eigener Siedlungen charakterisierte das nach innen gerichtete soziale Anliegen der Bünde. Erste Siedlungsunternehmungen, die aus der Ideenwelt der Jugendbewegung heraus geboren waren, sind schon mit der Jahrhundertwende zum zwanzigsten Jahrhundert mit der „Vegetarischen Obstbaukolonie Eden“ in Oranienburg oder der Siedlung Klingenberg zu benennen.

 

Die Republik der Nachkriegszeit des ersten Weltkrieges verstrickte sich in außen- und innenpolitische Verwirrungen, die Bürgerkrieg, brennende Grenzen, anhaltende Inflation und Hunger hervorbrachte. Das Rettende in der alle Lebensbereiche umflutenden Gefahr aber wuchs im Gedanken der Siedlung, dessen Umsetzung in die Tat eine große Anziehungskraft in der Jugendbewegung zu entfalten vermochte. Ein mannigfaches Bild von Einrichtungen, Stätten, Siedlungen, Höfen und Klausen schaffte sich Raum aus diesem Gedanken, dem es zum Bestehen in der wirtschaftlichen Krisenzeit der Weimarer Republik jedoch noch an der gestalt- und richtungsweisenden Form einer Siedlungsbewegung mangelte. Die Isolierung von der Gesellschaft und vor allem die Isolierung untereinander führten bald schon zum Scheitern des Großteils der vorwiegend allein romantisch-idealisierten Unternehmungen.

 

Die Artamanenbewegung

 

Der im Dezember 1915 entstandene Greifenbund und spätere Jungdeutsche Bund hatte sich bereits die Sammlung Siedlungswilliger aus der Jugendbewegung auf die Fahne geschrieben. Dünn besiedelte Gebiete in Ostdeutschland zu beleben und in diesem Zuge die polnischen Erntehelfer zu verdrängen, sollten die Aufgaben des Bundes sein, der jedoch nach nur kurzem Bestand zerfiel, nachdem dessen Führer Ottger Gräf 1918 gefallen war. Die Zielsetzungen aber überdauerten und fanden sich 1923/24 in zwei Aufrufen zur Bildung von Artamanenschaften wieder, für die sich vor allem Bruno Tanzmann, Wilhelm Kotzde und Dr. Willibald Hentschel verantwortlich zeichneten und die heute als das Gründungsmoment der Artamanenbewegung gelten.

 

Bruno Tanzmann und die völkische Bewegung in Dresden

 

Ein besonderes Augenmerk soll an dieser Stelle Bruno Tanzmann gelten, ohne dabei seine geschichtliche Rolle überbetonen oder den Rang der anderen Gründungsväter der Artamanen schmälern zu wollen. Interessant sind nicht nur seine vielseitigen Verbindungen, sondern vor allem wird anschaulich, welche Impulse für die völkische Bewegung dereinst von Dresden ausgingen.

 

Nicht nur die theoretische Konzeption und Publikation allein, auch die konkrete Umsetzung der Artamanen-Idee kam dem in der Gartenstadt Hellerau eifrig schaffenden Bruno Tanzmann zu. Der im November 1878 bei Zittau geborene Tanzmann ist gelernter Landwirt. 1910 zieht es ihn in die ein Jahr zuvor von Lebensreformern gegründete Gartenstadtsiedlung Hellerau von wo aus er zunächst einen völkischen Lesering und die Wanderschriften-Zentrale gründet, die völkischen Jugendbewegten zugedacht war. Seine vorwiegend publizistische Arbeit führt ihn bald mit Ernst Emanuel Krauss alias Georg Stammler zusammen. Der Buchhändler und Schriftsteller siedelte ebenfalls in Hellerau. Wesentlich beeinflußt wurde Tanzmann von dem völkischen Literaturhistoriker Adolf Bartels aus Weimar.
Zu Tanzmanns Bekanntenkreis zählten ferner der Mühlhäuser Verleger Erich Röth, Kurt Gerlach, Heinrich Pudor als auch der Dresdner Expressionist und Autor des allseits bekannten Romans „Widukind“ Heinar Schilling. 1917 erscheint Tanzmanns „Denkschrift zur Begründung einer deutschen Volkshochschule“. Durch diese bedeutende Proklamation der völkischen Bildungsbewegung, die in seiner Wanderschriften-Zentrale erschien, gilt er bis heute als Vorkämpfer der Volkshochschul- und vor allem Bauern-Volkshochschulbewegung, aus welcher letztlich sechs Bauernhochschulen in Deutschland hervorgingen, die für völkische Jugendbewegte politisch und kulturell eine essentielle Prägung zu entwickeln vermochten. Schließlich erscheinen auch die Aufrufe zur Bildung von Artamanenschaften in der von ihm verlegten Zeitschrift „Deutsche Bauernhochschule – Zeitschrift für das geistige Bauerntum und die Volkshochschulbewegung“.

 

Im November 1923 veröffentlichte Willibald Hentschel den Aufruf „Was soll nun aus uns werden?“ Und so, wie ihn Hentschel formulierte, stand der Satz fragend vor den Gesichtern der Jugendbünde. So, als hätte diese Frage noch nicht den Raum im Bewußtsein der Agrarromantiker und ausgesprochenen Feinde des von Menschenhand geschaffenen Stadtmolochs eingenommen, den sie zur Überwindung der vorherrschenden Kritikhaltung gegenüber Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft hin zur eigenen Tat benötigte. Hentschels Antwort war der Aufruf an die „ehrliebende Jugend“. Er erteilte dem politischen Hader und den Barrikadenkämpfen seiner Zeit eine klare Absage und forderte die Jugend statt dessen zur Bildung von freiwilligen Werkgemeinschaften, zum Aufbau von Artamanengruppen auf: „Es kommt heute wahrlich nicht mehr auf kleines politisches Gezänk an und auf Soldatenspielerei – mögen es die anderen unter sich und gegen uns fortsetzen! – und mögen sie sehen, wie weit sie damit kommen – wir haben anderes zu tun. Es geht jetzt auch nicht mehr um Reparationskosten und ähnliche Bagatellen. (…) Es geht um Sein oder Nichtsein, nicht um Sanktionen, sondern um die endliche Heiligung des Lebens. Abermals soll ein Heer aufgestellt werden, aber nicht gegen Frankreich oder England, sondern gegen die Hölle die uns bedroht: Raff- und Genußgier, Mammonismus und geheimes Behagen.“ Auf den riesigen Gütern des Ostens wurden in zunehmendem Ausmaß polnische Schnitterkolonnen beschäftigt, die in der Folge mehr und mehr in der Lage waren, ganze Siedlungen für Deutschland strittig und zum Gegenstand polnischer Expansionsgelüste zu machen. Auf den Gütern der preußischen Ostprovinzen, den „Einfallstoren der Fremden“, wie Hentschel sie nannte, sollten alle laufenden landwirtschaftlichen und technischen Arbeiten, die auch noch so schlecht bezahlt wurden, fortan von Artamanen übernommen werden.

 

Selbiger Gedanken beseelt, warb Tanzmann zusammen mit Wilhelm Kotzde, dem Bundesführer der „Adler und Falken“, in einem erneuten Aufruf, gerichtet an „die gesamte völkische Jugendbewegung“, für die Artamanen-Idee. Der bereits offene Türen aufstoßende Appell hieß den sich aus den Jugend- und Wehrbünden meldenden Artamanen, eine Bewegung zu schaffen. Eine Bewegung, die aus gereiften Thesen- und Theoriepapieren unter dem drängenden Zwang der Notwendigkeiten nun mit praktischen Lösungen in die rauhe Wirklichkeit der Weimarer Verhältnisse trat. In Dresden, einem dazumal bedeutsamen Zentrum völkischer Avantgardisten und einer Heimstätte des sittlich-kulturellen Aufschwungs des Bauerntums, gingen, von Bruno Tanzmanns Verlag in Hellerau aus organisiert, die ersten Artamanenschaften zur Tat über. Nicht wenige von ihnen kamen aus den ehemaligen Grenzschutzformationen und Freikorps, die sich aus den Wirren des deutschen Nachkriegs erhoben hatten und im März 1920 unter dem Druck der Reichsregierung offiziell aufgelöst und bis 1923 endgültig entwaffnet werden mußten. Es kamen Tatmenschen, Freiwillige. Über 30.000 Artamanen soll es im Laufe des Bestehens der Bewegung gegeben haben. Die Lebensform der Artamanenbewegung wurde im Wesentlichen von den Angehörigen der Jugendbewegung bestimmt, die den Befehl ihres Gewissens vor jegliches militärische Kommando stellten. Die Verschiedenheit und Vielzahl der Bünde, aus denen sich die Artamanen zusammensetzten, schuf mit der Artamanenbewegung einen überbündischen Bund. Die Artamanen, die Hüter der Scholle, setzten sich zum Ziel: die Zurückdrängung der polnischen Wanderarbeiter und das Ausfüllen der leeren Räume der Grenzprovinzen, die Einleitung der notwendigen Umschaltung der Menschenmassen der Stadt aufs Land, Hebung der Nahrungsmittelproduktion und schließlich die Einleitung einer Siedlungsbewegung, die Schaffung eines Grenzlandbauerntums mit Hilfe besitzlosen süd- und westdeutschen Bauerntums.

 

Die Artamanenschaften und ihr Aufbauwerk im Osten

 

Vielgestaltig war auch die Herkunft der Artamanen, denn unter ihnen waren Jungbauern, Arbeiter, Angestellte und Studenten bis hin zu Adelssöhnen zu finden. Ein zu damaliger Zeit neues Lebensgefühl der Überwindung von Klassenschranken entstand. Fast die Hälfte hatte einen kaufmännischen Beruf erlernt und nur jeder Fünfte war gelernter Landwirt oder Ingenieur. Die „Ferienartamanen“, also Studenten und Oberschüler, arbeiteten dem Namen nach ausschließlich während ihrer Ferienzeit und waren die einzigen Artamanen ohne eine abgeschlossene Berufsausbildung. In einer Ausgabe der Leipziger Neuesten Nachrichten vom Juli 1926 heißt es: „Unter den Artamanen finden sich Menschen im Alter von 18 bis 26 Jahren aus allen Volksschichten und Berufen. Vorwiegend sind heute – der wirtschaftlichen Lage entsprechend – Studenten, Junglehrer und Handwerker und nicht zuletzt Bauernsöhne vertreten.“ Die meisten Artamanen stammten aus der Stadt. In den einzelnen Gruppen bestand darum ein ziemlich hoher Bedarf an Artamanen mit landwirtschaftlichen Vorkenntnissen. Sie kamen aus nahezu dem gesamten deutschen Sprachraum, arbeiteten ihrer Ausrichtung nach aber verstärkt in den preußischen Provinzen, deren Güter zuvor von vielen polnischen Saisonarbeitern bewirtschaftet wurden.

 

„Junge, gut veranlagte Menschen fallen der Irreführung und Verhetzung gewisser Kreise zum Opfer. In den Jahren, die zur Berufsausbildung dienen müssen, arbeiten sie im Sommerhalbjahr bei den Großgrundbesitzern und fallen im Winterhalbjahr der Verelendung anheim“, verlästerten 1926 die Sozialdemokraten, nicht ohne Neid, jedoch mit unhaltbaren Vorwürfen, den Idealismus der Jugend, den sie offenbar nicht im Stande waren zu begreifen. Aus der Not, der von der SPD wesentlich mitzuverantwortenden Jugendarbeitslosigkeit in der Weimarer Republik, machten die Artamanen eine Tugend, nämlich nicht zuletzt die, ihren Landsleuten zu verdeutlichen, daß es unwürdig und bedenklich ist, eine notwendige, aber schwere und geringgeachtete Arbeit lieber „Gastarbeitern“ zu überlassen.

 

Ebenso wichtig waren den Artamanen das Gemeinschaftsleben und ihr kultureller Auftrag. Nach Tanzmann bildet „jede Schar eine geschlossene Gemeinschaft und stellt sich in den Dienst des ganzen Volkes. Dadurch hat die Schar die Freiheit, ihr eigenes geistiges Leben zu führen. In ihrer Freizeit kann sie der Verstädterung des Landlebens durch Volkslied, Volkstanz, Laienspiel, Leseabende, Kleidung und gute Sitte entgegenarbeiten und sich selbst ein stolzes Erobererglück verschaffen.“ Die Volksgutpflege, die die kulturelle Eigenständigkeit des ländlichen Raumes zu stärken und zu erhalten suchte, ging mit dem Gemeinschaftsleben der Artamanen einher, denn das bäuerliche Kulturgut wirkt stärker gemeinschafts- und bewußtseinsbildend als beispielsweise die Tanz- und Musikkultur von heute.
Von Seiten des Staates erhielten die Artamanen keine Unterstützung oder Zuwendungen. Finanzielle Hilfe, insbesondere für die landwirtschaftlichen Schulungen des Bundes, brachte die 1926 gegründete Gesellschaft der Freunde der Artamanenbewegung e. V. mittels Spendengeldern. Die Schulungen fanden vorrangig im Winterhalbjahr statt, wo die Artamanen Landwirtschaftsschulen besuchten und auf Universitätsgütern eine Spezialausbildung in Ackerbau und Pflanzenzucht, Tierzucht und Landarbeitslehre absolvierten. Zwischen 1924 und 1929 entstanden insgesamt über 700 Artamanenschaften mit mehr als 6.000 Artamanen, die in der Landarbeit auf einem Gebiet verteilt schafften, das weitaus größer war als die Republik, die heute auf deutschem Boden existiert. Ihre Haupteinsatzgebiete lagen in Ostpreußen, Brandenburg, Provinz und Freistaat Sachsen und in Mecklenburg. 1928 trennte sich der zwei Jahre zuvor eingetragene Verein Bund Artam von seinen Gründungsvätern Tanzmann und Kotzde wegen Meinungsverschiedenheiten und der als zu stark empfundenen versuchten Einflußnahme auf die Geschicke des Bundes.

 

Spaltung und Auflösung

 

Der Entvölkerung der östlichen Landstriche konnte mit zeitlich begrenzter Landarbeit allein freilich kein Einhalt geboten werden. Als mit der Gründung des Bund Artam der Siedlungsgedanke deutlicher in den Vordergrund treten sollte, bildeten sich in dieser Frage auch zwei Meinungen heraus, die den Bund letztendlich zur Spaltung führten. Die Bundesführung hielt es für geboten, den Bund weiter auszubauen und einen Arbeitsdienst als breite Organisation zu schaffen. Zahlreiche Artamführer aus den Einsatzgebieten sahen mit der Vermassung und Breitenöffnung des Bundes aber eine Verflachung der Artam-Idee kommen. Es sollten hingegen Gemeinschaftssiedlungen geschaffen werden, nach dem Konzept, daß überschuldete Güter zu recht günstigen Preisen vom Bund aufgekauft und nach dem gemeinsamen Aufbau an Siedlungswillige übergeben werden konnten. Als Folge der Weltwirtschaftskrise 1929 und dem damit einhergehenden Fall der Preise für landwirtschaftliche Produkte, mußte der Bund Artam 1931 den Konkurs anmelden. Es gründeten sich neu Die Artamanen – Bündische Gemeinden für Landarbeit und Siedlung und als selbständiger Bund in Mecklenburg der Bund der Artamanen. 1934 wurde nach über einjähriger Verhandlungszeit mit der HJ letzterer in den Landdienst der HJ eingegliedert. Die Bündischen Gemeinden für Landarbeit und Siedlung verdoppelten bis zum Frühjahr 1931 die Mitgliederzahl des vormaligen Bund Artam. Ende 1933 erfolgte die Rückbenennung in Bund Artam. Die Artamanen schufen sich mit dem Kauf eines alten Lehngutes das Bundesgut Koritten mit 150 ha, welches nach fünf Jahren vollends ausgebaut und mit stetig steigenden Erträgen bewirtschaftet werden konnte. Mehre hundert Artamanen wurden auf diesem Gut zu Landwirten und Siedlern ausgebildet. Bis 1935 entstanden annähernd 50 Gemeinschaftssiedlungen und über 100 Einzelbauernstellen. Weitere 50 Artamanen heirateten sich in bestehende Höfe oder Güter ein. Schließlich beugte sich auch der Bund Artam der politischen Vereinheitlichung und löste sich 1935 auf Anraten des Reichsnährstandes auf. Die Artamanen gingen teilweise im Landdienst als Gebietsreferenten oder Landdienstführer, im Reichsarbeitsdienst oder in anderen Berufen auf.

 

Und heute?

 

Die einstigen Haupteinsatzgebiete in den preußischen Provinzen sind unter Fremdherrschaft gestellt, die Deutschen überwiegend vertrieben. Auf dem Gebiet der ehemaligen DDR wird noch heute die intensive Großraumlandwirtschaft betrieben, wobei nun auch im Westen die Tendenz zu Großbetrieben steigt. Landwirtschaft hat mit Bauerntum immer weniger gemein. Weltmarktpreise, Gewinnmaximierung, Ertragssteigerung, kurzum das reine Profitdenken wandelt Pflanzen und Tiere zu starrem Gold und Bauernhöfe zu Fabriken. Landtechnik-, Düngemittel- und Saatgutindustrie bejubeln in schillernden Umsatzstatistiken ihre Innovationen und heften sich gern das Verdienst des Wachstums der landwirtschaftlichen Betriebe mit intensiver Großraumlandwirtschaft an die Brust. Von Fortschritt ist die Rede, von Produktivität und Rentabilität, von weltweiter Konkurrenz und vor allem von den Milliarden Mäulern, die in den kommenden Jahrzehnten von den Industrienationen gestopft werden sollen. Der Markt der Biokraftstoffe greift mit finanzstarken Händen nach Anbauflächen für die nachwachsenden Rohstoffe. Bald schon wird es an Flächen für den Anbau von Nahrungsmitteln mangeln. Von der Resignation und der bitteren Aufgabe von Familienbetrieben, ja vom stetigen Sterben der Kleinbauern wird lediglich im Zusammenhang des anhaltenden Strukturwandels als notwendigem Umstand gesprochen. Jährlich gehen in Deutschland über 10.000 landwirtschaftliche Betriebe mit einer Nutzfläche von unter tausend Hektar an dem Prozeß des Wachsens oder Weichens zugrunde. Immer weniger Betriebe bewirtschaften immer größere Flächen.

 

Mehr als dreiviertel der landwirtschaftlichen Nutzfläche in Deutschland werden von Haupterwerbsbetrieben bewirtschaftet. Dennoch wird gut die Hälfte aller landwirtschaftlichen Betriebe im Nebenerwerb geführt, wo also die Haupteinkommensquelle außerhalb der Landwirtschaft liegt. In strukturschwachen und für die intensive Großraumlandwirtschaft ungünstigen Gebieten und Mittelgebirgslagen tragen diese Betriebe im Wesentlichen zur Pflege und Erhaltung der Kulturlandschaft bei. Sie halten die Landbewirtschaftung aufrecht und sichern die natürlichen Lebensgrundlagen.

 

Nebenerwerbsbetriebe erhalten wie Haupt­erwerbsbetriebe ebenfalls finanzielle Zuschüsse und Prämien, die hier aber nur genannt werden sollen. Maßgeblich sind die Betriebsprämien aus EU-Direktzahlungen. Hinzu kommen Beihilfen für verschiedene Pflanzen sowie eine vom Bundeshaushalt finanzierte Agrardieselvergütung. In strukturschwachen Regionen gibt es eine sogenannte Ausgleichszulage. Umweltgerechte Produktionsweisen werden durch länderspezifische Programme besonders gefördert. Bei den Erträgen der landwirtschaftlichen Betriebe stellen diese Zahlungen einen bedeutenden Anteil dar. Wer sich also für den Schritt zu einer bäuerlichen Siedlung entschließt, sollte dies im Rahmen eines Nebenerwerbs verwirklichen, der von vornherein kein finanzielles Desaster bedeutet, wie gemeinhin vielleicht angenommen wird.

 

Die notwendigen Fertigkeiten können in landwirtschaftlichen Lehranstalten, Fach- und Bildungszentren, in Form von Praktika auf Betrieben oder gar durch eine Ausbildung oder ein Studium erworben werden. Das Vorbild der Artamanen zeigt unter anderem aber auch, daß es möglich ist, sich diesbezüglich auf eigene Beine zu stellen und einen Austausch mit bestehenden Siedlungen zu ermöglichen.

 

Viele Bauernhöfe in Mitteldeutschland stehen längst zum Verkauf. Nicht wenige Kleinbetriebe finden innerhalb der Familie keinen Nachfolger. Abwanderung und Geburtenschwund haben dem Land zwischen Erzgebirge und Ostsee bereits das Schicksal der Entvölkerung aufgedrückt. Doch halten wir uns vor Augen, daß die scheinbare Perspektivlosigkeit und Resignation keine Gegebenheiten höherer Gewalten sind. Allein, wir brauchen ein Bewußtsein, andere Verhältnisse aus eigener Kraft schaffen zu können. Sehen wir es einmal von der anderen Seite: die Abwanderung hat Raum geschaffen! Mit einem ersten Schritt, den viele schon getan haben, gilt es zu beginnen. Doch dieser erste Schritt liegt nicht in der großen Politik, in Straßensprüchen und öffentlichen Wehklagen, in Bittstellungen nach besseren Zeiten! Er liegt in unumstößlich kleinen Gemeinschaften der bäuerlichen Siedlung in Mitteldeutschland.

 

Freilich bedeutet das nicht, sich von politischen Fragen loszusagen und in einem Einsiedlerdasein zu verkriechen. Es sind nicht die Schlechtesten, die sich gegen die befremdende Zivilisation wehren und trotzig und voller Zuversicht an ihrem Traum werken, wieder eigener Herr auf eigener Scholle zu sein. Vergeblich wird es nur sein, wenn es weiterhin an einer Bewegung mangelt, die das Ganze stärkt und formt.

vendredi, 11 novembre 2011

Ernst von Salomons Bestseller der Konservativen Revolution- Die Geächteten - endlich wieder erhältlich!





Ernst von Salomons Bestseller der Konservativen Revolution- Die Geächteten - endlich wieder erhältlich!

Geschrieben von: Georg Schäfer   


Ex: http://www.blauenarzisse.de

 

Deutschland, November 1918. In hilflosem Zorn muss ein 16jähriger Kadett mit ansehen, wie der revolutionäre Mob einen jungen Soldanten misshandelt und ihm die Achselstücke herunterreißt. Sein Ehrgefühl verbietet dem Kadetten, der Konfrontation mit den Demonstranten auszuweichen, und so wird auch er von der Menge geschlagen, angespien und zu Boden gezwungen. „Einer trat mich, viele traten und hieben, ich lag und stieß mit dem Fuß, schlug um mich und wußte, es war umsonst, aber ich war Kadett und die Achselklappen hatten sie nicht.“ Den ganzen Roman hindurch wird der Name des in Ich-Form berichtenden Erzählers nicht genannt, doch es steht außer Frage, dass Ernst von Salomon in Die Geächteten seine eigenen Erlebnisse während der Kämpfe nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg in literarische Form gebracht hat.

Vom Freikorpskämpfer zum verurteilten Verbrecher

Der Erste Abschnitt des Buches, „Die Versprengten“, erzählt von den Freikorpskämpfen nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg. Der Kadett will die Demütigung Deutschlands nicht hinnehmen und tritt alsbald einem der vielen Freikorps bei. Die Heeresleitung und die SPD-geführte Reichsregierung bedienen sich dieser militärischen Verbände zum Kampf gegen die revolutionären Linken, die ein Rätesystem schaffen wollen. So beteiligt er sich zunächst an der Niederschlagung des Aufstandes der Spartakisten in Berlin. Es folgt die Schilderung der Gefechte gegen die Rote Armee im Baltikum.

Im zweiten Großkapitel „Die Verschwörer“ verlagert sich der Kampf mehr und mehr in den Untergrund. Zunächst geht es gegen die französischen Besatzer, dann schlagen die Freikorps die polnischen Freischärler in Oberschlesien zurück, die mit französischer Hilfe dieses Gebiet vom Reich abtrennen wollen. Doch Unterstützung durch die deutsche Regierung bleibt aus, diese übt sich vielmehr in Verzichts- und Erfüllungspolitik gegenüber den Siegermächten. So wenden sich die ehemaligen Freikorpskämpfer gegen die republikanische Regierung. Es entsteht ein Netzwerk von Verschwörern, das unter dem Namen „Organisation Consul“ (O.C.) die Bürger in Furcht versetzt.

Wegen Beihilfe an der Ermordung des Außenministers Walther Rathenau im Juni 1922 wird von Salomon schließlich zu fünf Jahren Haft verurteilt. Seinen Erlebnissen im Zuchthaus ist das letzte Großkapitel mit dem Titel „Die Verbrecher“ gewidmet.

Sprachliche Kraft und erzählerisches Können

Von Salomon kann packend erzählen und er vermag das Erzählte durch kühne Bilder anschaulich zu machen. Eine Beschreibung von Berliner Elendsquartieren gelingt ihm ebenso wie die Darstellung seelischer Vorgänge. Besonders die Schilderungen des Kampfgeschehens sind von einer wilden und unbarmherzigen Schönheit, einer Sprachgewalt im Wortsinne, wie sie wohl nur die Perspektive des Schlachtenteilnehmers hervorbringen kann:

„Was wir wollten, wußten wir nicht, und was wir wußten, wollten wir nicht. Krieg und Abenteuer, Aufruhr und Zerstörung und ein unbekannter, quälender, aus allen Winkeln unseres Herzens peitschender Drang! Aufstoßen ein Tor durch die umklammernde Mauer der Welt, marschieren über glühende Felder, stampfen über Schutt und stiebende Asche, jagen durch wirren Wald, über wehende Heide, sich hineinfressen, stoßen, siegen nach Osten, in das weiße, heiße, dunkle, kalte Land, das sich zwischen uns und Asien spannte – wollten wir das?“

Kritik und Verspottung der bürgerlichen Rechten

Obwohl der Autor – nicht zuletzt aufgrund solcher Stellen – oft einer Verherrlichung des Soldatentums geziehen wird, so entgeht er doch der Landser-Romantik ebenso wie der Selbstglorifizierung. Denn von Salomon berichtet auch über für das „Ich“ des Romans peinliche oder unrühmliche Situationen. Während er und seine Kameraden als Schergen des Reichswehrministers Noske (SPD) eine Haussuchung in einer ärmlichen Mietskaserne durchführen, werden sie von einem jungen Mädchen auf das heftigste geschmäht: „Habt ihr noch nicht genug gemordet? […] Ihr dringt hier ein in dieses Haus wie die Henkersknechte. Seid ihr ohne Scham? […] Man möge es euch in eure dumpfen Schädel hämmern. Ihr schützt dieselbe Klasse von Verruchten, die dieses Elend geschaffen haben!“

Mit grimmigen Spott bedenkt er das „altteutsche“ Gehabe der Völkischen und die bramarbasierenden, bierseligen Pseudopatrioten, die salbungsvolle Reden schwingen, aber die offene Auseinandersetzung mit dem Gegner vermeiden. Da „wuchsen die Blümeleien redseliger Rauschebärte“ und „der Grundakkord sehr lauten Mannestums ward in Weihe übertönt von Schillerzitaten und Deutschlandlied; dazwischen grollte Runengeraune und Rassegerassel.“ Würde sich doch die heute übliche linkskonformistische Verspottung der Deutschtümelei einmal auf solch ein literarisches Niveau erheben!

Von Salomon als Nationalrevolutionär

Während er also die „feigen Bürgerlichen“ verachtet, gilt den eisenharten kommunistischen Kämpfern seiner Zeit von Salomons Respekt. Denn er steht ihnen in mancher Hinsicht nahe, wie die immer wieder eingestreuten philosophischen Reflexionen und Dialoge zeigen. Denn wie viele Nationalrevolutionäre strebt von Salomon eine antikapitalistische Ordnung und eine Hinwendung zum Osten an, aber auf eben nationaler Grundlage. Anders als die marxistischen Revolutionäre verfügt jedoch der Nationalrevolutionär nicht über eine vorgefertigte Weltanschauung, sondern was Deutschland sein soll, entsteht erst im notwendigen Kampf um die Neuschaffung der Nation. Dieser für das Werk zentrale Gedanke macht zugleich deutlich, dass von Salomon die beschränkte politische Wirkungskraft des Nur-Soldatentums in den Freikorps erkannt hatte.

Wert für den heutigen Leser

So lernt der Leser das Denken der nationalrevolutionären Aktivisten zu begreifen. Als der Autor aber auf die Organisation Consul zu sprechen kommt, ist der Mitverschwörer von Salomon wenig luzide. Er erweckt vielmehr den Eindruck, als sei dieser konspirative Bund mehr Gerücht als Realität gewesen, um so durch eine Verschwörungspsychose die Republik zu destabilisieren. Ansonsten sind aber von Salomons Schilderungen eingängiger als jedes Geschichtsbuch. Bei der Lektüre erhält man tiefe Einblicke in das konkrete Geschehen. So wird klar, warum die Soldatenräte scheiterten, oder welche strategischen Interessen im Baltikum oder in Oberschlesien aufeinander stießen. Wer also fernab von staatsbürgerkundlichen Klischees und volkspädagogischer Mahnliteratur die politischen Kämpfe des Nachkriegs verstehen will, wird zu Die Geächteten greifen.

Zugleich wirkt dieses Buch erfrischend und provokativ auf den heutigen, in einer biederen BRD lebenden Leser, wo Revolution in Lifestyle und gefahrloser Demonstrations-Folklore zu bestehen scheint, und Politik auf die Suche nach dem praktikablen Kompromiss reduziert ist.

Ernst von Salomon: Die Geächteten. Unitall Verlag 2011. Nachdruck der Originalausgabe von 1930. 416 Seiten. 14,90 Euro.

lundi, 10 octobre 2011

Karl Otto PAETEL: Von neuer Bruderschaft

 


Karl Otto PAETEL: Von neuer Bruderschaft

Aus: Karl O. Paetel – Ernst Jünger. Weg und Wirkung. Eine Einführung, Stuttgart: Klett 1949   

 

Ex: http://www.fahentraeger.com/

Nur Fragende, nur Haderer mit der eigenen Lehre können heute Lehrer und Führer sein. Das heißt nicht, dass Renegaten der plumpen oder sublimen Art nach einem Jahrzehnt des Liebäugelns mit der Macht sich uns wieder anschließen sollen. Ihnen gilt das alte Wort von denen, die ihr Pfund verwuchert haben. Es heißt, dass nicht einfach die grauen und gesichtslosen Gestalten der saturierten konservativen Bürgerlichkeit, die nie einen Juden vergast, nie einen Russen geschlagen haben, aber auch nie angstvoll von der Zukunft ihres Landes geträumt haben, als sich die nationalsozialistische Hybris über Europa emporreckte, nie an die Würde des Menschen gedacht haben, als man in ihrer Gegenwart polnische Arbeiter an Meistbietende feilbot, sich heute an die konservative Renaissance anhängen dürfen.

 

Wer „unerschüttert“ durch die letzten zwanzig Jahre ging, hat nichts mit uns zu schaffen. Es geht um die, denen die Realität dieser Zeit das Angesicht des Göttlichen so verdunkelte, dass sie die Unzulänglichkeit der alten Wortlehren stark genug empfanden, um an die Grenze des Nihilismus zu gelangen. Die Nihilisten von gestern werden die Boten des neuen Konservativismus sein.

 

Wer nicht gespürt hat, dass in der Zeit der bombastischen Heilslehren das Fragezeichen zum Kennwort der neuen Bruderschaft werden musste, hat nicht verstanden, dass wir an einem Abschnitt der deutschen Geschichte stehen, an dem alle alten Tafeln neu geschrieben werden müssen.

 

Man gestatte mir, diese – ein wenig veränderten – Sätze aus einem kleinen an anderer Stelle veröffentlichten Aufsatz von mir noch einmal zu wiederholen. Sie mögen verdeutlichen, weshalb mir heute gerade ein Hinweis auf das Schaffen Ernst Jüngers notwendig, mehr, weshalb mir ein Ja zu diesem Werk ein Gebot der Redlichkeit zu sein scheint.

 

Wenn irgendjemand, hat Ernst Jünger heute den um einen neuen geistigen Standort Ringenden gerade deshalb etwas zu sagen, weil er die Erschütterungen der Zeit, die Inflation der Ideen, die Tiefen, in die der Mensch fallen oder in die er sich bewusst stürzen kann, nicht nur als Beobachter, als Analyst mit eisesklarer Logik auf ihre Zwangsläufigkeiten zu untersuchen unternahm, sondern stets in sich selber die damit verbundenen Visionen aus Zerstörung und Kampf sich ergebender neuer Welten erlebte: Beobachter, Kritiker – aber auch Träumer – und träumender Täter. Arthur O´Shaughnessys Ode an die Träumer der Welt gibt etwas von dem wieder, was hier gemeint ist. (…)

 

Nur wenn man die Jüngerschen „Visionen“ sowohl der „Herrschaft des Arbeiters“ wie des nachhitlerischen „Friedens“ – alle exakte Beobachtung und Berichterstattung damit einschließend – als Selbstaussagen eines solchen an einer im „Träumen“ vorweggenommenen und doch ganz realen Welt bauenden Geistes begreift, versteht man, dass Jünger selbst mit ein wenig Verwunderung dem zuschaut, dass man ihn immer wieder mit aus dem Zusammenhang gerissenen Zitaten in die Karteibegriffe tagespolitischer Pro- und Contra-Stellungnahmen einzuordnen trachtet.

 

„Träume“ dieser Art erweisen sich als existent im sichtbaren Bereich, wenn man nur deutlich genug hinschaut. Hat E.G. Winkler nicht recht gehabt, wenn er z.B. die „Herrschaft des Arbeiters“, einfach aus der täglichen Realität ablesend, dahin kommentiert: „Er herrscht gerade durch die Vollständigkeit, mit der es sich unterwirft. Jeder Vorbehalt würde sein Maß an Herrschaft vermindern. In dem, der bis zum letzten sich opfert, findet die Herrschaft ihr stärkstes Bewusstsein. Das Ganze regiert. Aber das Ganze, die ‚Gestalt‘, kann nicht darum wissen. Es ist nicht ein jemand, der herrscht, es wird geherrscht, am stärksten, am mächtigsten, wenn alle aufs Äußerste dienen.“ Vielleicht muss man in Amerika leben, dem Land, in dem wirklich die „Gestalt des Arbeiters“ alle soziologischen Definitionen in Wirklichkeit längst völlig weggesprengt hat, um zu sehen, wie „Labor“, die Arbeitswelt, als ursprüngliche Ganzheit, bei aller „Beherrschtheit“ des einzelnen Werktätigen, souverän herrscht, Literatur und Kunst, Religion und Ethos, menschliche Beziehungen und staatliche Aktionen nach ihren Notwendigkeiten entscheidend mitformt und dirigiert.

 

Jünger selbst hat sehr früh gesehen: „Überall wo der Mensch in den Bannkreis der Technik gerät…macht man sich nicht nur zum Subjekt der technischen Vorgänge, sondern gleichzeitig zu ihrem Objekt. Die Anwendung der technischen Mittel zieht einen ganz bestimmten Lebensstil nach sich, der sich sowohl auf die großen wie auf die kleinen Dinge des Lebens erstreckt.“

 

Nur sind Träume dieser Art nichts Statisches. Sie ähneln mehr als der Photographie dem Film: unablässig wandeln sich die Bilder. Was gestern fruchtbar schien, wirkt heute tödlich; was gestern bereicherte, beraubt heute. Jede Antwort birgt in sich neue Fragen. In der deutschen Nachhitlerliteratur und –publizistik kommt das Ausrufezeichen viel zu häufig vor.

 

Jeder hat einen Plan bei der Hand, ein Rezept, eine schlüssige Antwort auf die Nöte der Zeit. Parteien, Konfessionen, Gruppen aller Art – sie alle wissen nur zu genau, was zu tun und zu denken ist.

 

Ernst Jünger gehört zu denen, die sachlich, wenn auch mit innerster Anteilnahme, von den Dingen reden, die Realität sind.  Die Tatsache der internationalen „Totalen Mobilmachung“, die heute im Zeitalter des Atoms hinter allen politischen Konferenzen steht und manche idealistische Lösung wohlmeinender Weltverbesserer leicht komisch erscheinen lässt, hat er als einer der ersten in knappen Strichen gezeichnet. Man hat ihn daraufhin als einen Prediger des teuflischen Technizismus denunziert. Heute spricht er von der Substanz einer christlich-abendländischen Ordnung, die als eine objektiv feststellbare Kraft eine Garantie des neuen Völkerfriedens sein könnte. Die Naivlinge machen daraus, dass er zum Katholizismus „konvertierte“, die Erben der Aufklärung zeichnen ihn als einen modernen Verfolger der wissenschaftlichen Forschung und beschuldigen ihn, der kämpfenden Kirche die Vesten des freien geistigen Lebens auszuliefern, wie sie vorher Zeitkritik mit Aufrufen gleichsetzten.

 

Welch Missverständnis! In den Zeiten der Bereitung auf die große weltpolitische Auseinandersetzung sah er – viel klarer als die dazu „beruflich“ Berufenen – neben dem Kampf der Armeen die Mittel der totalen Kriegführung des technisierten Jahrhunderts. Heute, wo es nicht nur um die Gewinnung des äußeren Friedens in der Welt geht, sondern auch und vor allem um die Wiedergewinnung eines europäisch-deutschen Bewusstseins, sieht er mit gleicher Deutlichkeit die seelischen Kräfte, die mobilisiert werden können, um allgemein-menschliche Gefühls- und Glaubenswerte als Schutzwälle wirksam zu machen gegen die den Kontinent durchrasenden modernen apokalyptischen Reiter: Not, Verzweiflung, Hoffnungslosigkeit und neue Tyrannis. Und wieder tritt er dabei nicht als Propagandist auf.

 

Er wirbt nicht. Er stellt Fragen. Zeigt Fragestellungen.

 

Nie, wenn er hinter den Fakten Hintergründe andeutete, hat er damit gesagt, dass er das Notwendige auch als ein persönliches Glück empfindet oder als Heilmittel anpreist. Aber er hat stets seine Stimme in den Dienst der kompromisslosen Wahrheitssuche gestellt – ob er als Analytiker die zivilisatorischen Gegebenheiten in ihren Bewegungsgesetzen bloßlegte oder als „Metaphysiker“ im Grunde Kierkegaards Vision neu vor die sich wandelnde Welt stellt: „Es geht um eine neue Gesinnung. Europa ist gekleidet in blutbefleckte Lumpen…Der Umsturz der Gewalten und Sitten, von dem die nächsten Generationen Europas leben und in Krämpfen des Hasses und des Zornes und des Neides beben werden, ist nur zu verhindern durch den Umsturz der Gesinnung. Dann könnte vieles bleiben, weil alles neu würde.“

 

So entsteht, fasst man das Werk Ernst Jüngers in einem Kennwort zusammen, eine Art Theologie der Unruhe, ein Brevier des heiligen Fragezeichens. „Kommt es doch nicht darauf an, dass die Lösung, sondern dass das Rätsel gesehen wird.“ Und darin, nicht in den schiefen und tagespolitisch bestimmten Auseinandersetzungen um die „Kriegsschuld“ Jüngers, liegt auch die Erklärung dafür, dass Werk und Persönlichkeit gerade dieses Schriftstellers heute allerorten aufgeschlossene und suchende Menschen nicht loslassen und zur Stellungnahme zwingen.

 

Schaut man genauer hin, erkennt man, dass es in Wirklichkeit gar nicht um die Einzelfigur geht, sondern um die Herausforderung, die die Neueinführung des Fragezeichens in die geistige Selbstverständigung ganz allgemein bedeutet. In allen Völkern erheben sich die gleichen Stimmen. Überall ist eine heimliche Bruderschaft der Ewig-Unruhigen am Werk, sinnlos gewordene Tabus zu zerstören, mit bohrender Intensität die Fragwürdigkeit von Scheinwerten zu entlarven und hinter der Welt der Ideologien nach einem neuen, persönlich erfahrbaren Lebenssinn zu suchen, Der Italiener Ignazio Silone, der Franzose André Maulraux, der Ungar Arthur Koestler, der Amerikaner Dwight Macdonald und viel andere erheben die gleiche Frage: Kann man noch auskommen mit dem Erbe des 19. Jahrhunderts?

 

Bezeichnend dabei ist, dass in der praktischen Politik die Männer der anscheinend gleichen Fragestellungen an sehr verschiedenen Orten der „Parlamentsgeographie“ stehen. Silone, in seiner Jugend ein kommunistischer Jugendführer, später sozialistischer Redakteur, hat z.B., nachdem er im Exil sich in manchen Formulierungen sehr weit von einer im eigentlichen Sinne „linken“ Position entfernt hatte, nach seiner Rückkehr nach Italien wieder im Rahmen der sich neu bildenden sozialistischen Arbeiterbewegung zu wirken versucht. Wenn man indirekten Berichten glauben darf, nicht ohne ein zweites Mal vom Apparat in seiner persönlichen Unbedingtheit enttäuscht worden zu sein. André Malraux, Kommunist der alten Garde, ernüchtert und enttäuscht von der Borodinschen Politik in China, Verfasser des großartigen, als „trotzkistisch“ gekennzeichneten Buches „Man´s Fate“, ist, nachdem er im spanischen Bürgerkrieg als Flieger in den Reihen der Loyalisten Dienst getan hat, heute einer der nächsten Berater von General de Gaulle. Trieb Silone das Gefühl der theoretischen Mitverantwortlichkeit zurück in die Reihen der Organisation, so bewog Malraux der nie zum Schweigen gekommene Drang zur Tat, sich wieder am realpolitischen Kräftespiel zu beteiligen. Arthur Koestler, gleichfalls einst in der „roten Front“ stehend, hat, aus der Todeszelle Francos entlassen, in Kontakt mit allen „links“ von den Kommunisten stehenden Tendenzen, sich zeitweise trotz vieler Vorbehalte doch für die Sache der „halben Wahrheit gegen die ganze Lüge“ während des Zweiten Weltkrieges eingesetzt, hat, für viele völlig unerwartet, sich zugunsten der militanten jüdischen Freiheitsbewegung Irgun erklärt und vor kurzem in überfüllten Versammlungen in den USA die amerikanischen Liberalen beschworen, von der grundsätzlichen Gegenüberstellung „frei oder unfrei“ abzusehen und im Kampf gegen den Stalinismus sich für das „kleinere Übel“ der westlichen Welt zu entscheiden.

 

Der italienische Sozialist, der französische Patriot, der ungardeutsche antikommunistische Liberal-Dissident: was haben sie eigentlich gemeinsam? Und was haben sie gemeinsam mit dem ehemaligen deutschen Nationalisten und heutigen Europäer Ernst Jünger?

 

Unter anderem die im politischen Tageskampf auffällige Reaktion, dass niemand, selbst unter ihren fanatischsten parteipolitischen Gegner, ihnen jemals den Vorwand gemacht hat (d.h. hat machen können!), dass sie von irgendeiner Institution in ihren Entscheidungen „gekauft“ worden seien.

 

Die Angriffe liefen im Grunde immer auf das gleiche hinaus: ein hoffnungsloser Außenseiter nimmt persönliche Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse über Gebühr wichtig und ordnet seinen politischen Standort danach an. Anders ausgedrückt heißt das nichts anderes, als dass individuelle Gewissensentscheidungen im Zeitalter der Massenmobilisierung verdächtig, unbequem und gefährlich erscheinen. Die Bruderschaft der Fragenden, der Beunruhigten aber, die nicht das geringste zu tun hat mit irgendwie etwa parallel zu organisierenden Stellungnahmen zu tagespolitischen Ereignissen, geht aus von der den Menschen unserer Zeit als einziges souveränes Recht gelassenen Wiederholung des sturen Lutherwortes: „Hier steh ich. Ich kann nicht anders!“

 

Ein paar Dutzend Männer in aller Welt, allen Völkern und Rassen zugehörig, in den verschiedensten Konfessionen beheimatet und mannigfachsten philosophischen Systemen folgend, sprechen das heute aus. Ernst Jünger ist nur einer von ihnen. Der Spanier Ortega y Gasset hat eine Begriffsbestimmung der hier zugrunde liegenden geistigen Situation gegeben: „Das sind die einzigen wahren Gedanken, die Gedanken der Schiffbrüchigen. Alles andere ist Rhetorik, Maske, inwendige Heuchelei. Wer sich nicht in Wahrheit verloren fühlt, verliert sie ohne Gnade, d.h. er findet sich niemals, er stößt niemals auf die eigentliche Wahrheit.“

 

Schiffbrüchig aber konnte nur jemand werden, der teilhatte am Geschehen. Sie alle, die am Brevier der Unruhe unbewusst mitarbeiteten: Jünger, Silone, Malraux, A. de Saint-Exupéry, Koestler und manche andere, sie waren (oder sind teilweise noch) dabei, die Welt zu verändern, und mitten im Handeln legt sich dann plötzlich die Frage des „Wozu?“ wie ein Mehltau auf die Aktionsbereitschaft.

 

Ein relativ unbekanntes Buch Malraux´s schließt mit den folgenden Zeilen: „‘Es gibt…keinen Tod. Es gibt – nur mich.‘ Ein Finger berührte den Schenkel. ‚Mich…der stirbt!‘ In einem Ansturm von Hass erinnerte sich Claude an ein Gebet aus seiner Kindheit. ‚Oh Gott, sei bei uns in unserem letzten Todeskampf…‘ Ach, wenn er nur durch einen Blick oder eine Bewegung, wenn schon nicht mit Worten, die verzweifelte Bruderschaft zum Ausdruck bringen könnte, die ihn aus dem Selbst herausriss. Er legte seinen Arm um Perkens Schulter. Perken sah ihn an, als ob er ein Fremder wäre, ein Eindringling aus einer anderen Welt.“

 

Der antifaschistische Dichter Silone, um „für ein Vorhandensein Zeugnis abzulegen, das vielleicht nur ein Fortbestehen ist, einen Willen zur Treue zu bekunden, den Willen nicht Verrat zu üben, was auch geschehen mag“, schließt seine Rede an den Pen-Klub 1947 mit den Worten: „Es geht nicht um die Denkart der Intellektuellen, es geht um ihre Art zu führen und zu leben. Das Heil liegt nicht in irgendwelchen Begriffen oder Theorien, denn die Dekadenz hat sich auf Wortführer der verschiedensten und widersprechendsten Lehren erstreckt. Und auch unter den unanfechtbaren Anständigen sind Männer, die die verschiedensten Philosophien und Meinungen über die Gesellschaft und den Staat vertreten. Das Heil liegt ausschließlich in einer ehrlichen, geraden, unmittelbaren, beständigen Treue zur tragischen Wirklichkeit, die die menschliche Existenz im Grunde ist. Das archetypische Bild dieser Wirklichkeit ist für den Christen das Kreuz. Im persönlichen Leben ist es die Unruhe des Menschenherzens, die kein Fortschritt, keine politische und soziale Veränderung je stillen kann. Auf der Ebene der Geschichte ist es das Leiden der Armen…“

 

Und der „Nationalist“ Jünger formuliert in der Friedensschrift: „Der Mensch darf nie vergessen, dass die Bilder, die ihn jetzt schrecken, das Abbild seines Innern sind. Die Feuerwelt, die ausgebrannten Häuser und die Ruinenstädte, die Spuren der Zerstörung gleichen dem Aussatz, dessen Keime lang im Innern sich vermehrten, ehe er an die Oberfläche schlug. So hat es seit langem in den Köpfen und in den Herzen ausgesehen.“

 

Die Gleichsinnigkeit der hier angedeuteten Positionen ist nicht zu übersehen. Die tagespolitischen Bezeichnungen „rechts“ und „links“ haben in diesem Bereich jeden Sinn verloren.

 

Die Wiedereinführung des Elements der persönlichen Verantwortlichkeit in die Betrachtung historischer Ereignisse – das ist etwas sehr anderes als das immer geforderte „Schuldbekenntnis“! – ist hier offensichtlich.

 

So weit auseinander dabei auch die Ausgangspunkte der Erwähnten sind, eins ist offenbar: Die Abwendung von vorgefassten, dogmatischen Gedankengängen, die Unruhe der Herzen, führt keineswegs, wie die Fetischisten der Organisation stets den „Außenseitern“ vorwerfen, zur Verachtung des sozialen Lebens, sondern im Gegenteil: Die Vereinzelung brachte eine vertiefte, verantwortungsvolle Hinwendung zum brüderlichen Geist mit sich. Diese Front quer durch die alten ideologischen Aufspaltungen ist keine Angelegenheit der Organisation. Nicht einmal der Kontakte untereinander. Die Zusammengehörigkeit scheint teilweise dem Beobachter klarer zu sein als den Beteiligten. So erscheinen etwa Silone und Koestler, gelinde gesagt, ein wenig uninformiert über Jüngers Position zu sein, wenn der erste z.B. in einem Aufsatz über den Nihilismus sich darauf beschränkt, den von Jünger erhofften Menschentyp als einen lebendigen Robot zu zeichnen, dessen Freiheit darin bestände, sich in kommenden Kriegen und Bürgerkriegen mechanisch einzusetzen, oder der zweite lapidar ihm die von Gregor Strasser stammende Formulierung von der „antikapitalistischen Sehnsucht der Massen“ in den Mund legt.

 

Wenn wir von einer inneren Verwandtschaft dieser Autoren als Ausdruck einer die nationalen und Parteigrenzen sprengenden neuen Bruderschaft sprechen, so meinen wir weniger eine solche der Formulierungen und der gegenseitigen Zustimmung als eine solche der gleichen Haltung. Wir meinen die Hinwendung zu einer kompromisslosen Unbedingtheit im Geistigen und die Abwendung von einem gruppenmäßig bestimmten dogmatischen Fanatismus, einen Unterschied, den Friedrich Georg Jünger einmal sehr treffend dahin umschreibt; „Der Fanatismus verrät immer eine unvornehme Denkweise, einen pöbelhaften und zügellosen Instinkt, der sich selbst nicht mehr in der Gewalt hat. Er entwürdigt und beschmutzt den Menschen und zeigt wenig Männlichkeit, denn man ist nicht mehr Mann, wenn man den Kopf verliert. Die Unduldsamkeit aber ist gerade die Frucht einer urteilskräftigen Einsicht. In allen Dingen, auf die es ankommt, ist Toleranz nicht möglich, denn die Dinge gehen lassen, heißt sich selber gehen lassen.“ Wir meinen darüber hinaus die gemeinsame Bereitschaft, als Einzelner auszusprechen, was ist, auch auf die Gefahr hin, dafür selbst von den politischen Anrainern mit Steinen beworfen zu werden. Silones und Koestlers Aufhellungen der sozialistischen Realitäten haben ihnen die gleichen Vorwürfe des „das eigene Nest Beschmutzens“ eingebracht wie Jünger die der Dekadenz der westlichen Welt und des sich historisch überholenden Nationalstaatsgedankens. Bürger und Marxisten reagierten hier ähnlich. Und Jüngers sarkastische Bemerkung: „Nach dem Erdbeben schlägt man auf die Seismographen ein. Man kann jedoch die Barometer nicht für die Taifune büßen lassen, wenn man nicht zu den Primitiven zählen will“, trifft nicht nur auf die landesübliche Jüngerkritik, sondern auf fast alle Auseinandersetzungen zu, die den – verständlichen – Versuch machen, unbequeme Kommentatoren der Entzauberung von Aktion, Politik und Ideologie empört zur Ordnung zu rufen.

 

Sie gilt sogar, paradoxerweise, nicht nur da, wo hämische Verfälschung das ganze Gespräch immer wieder auf die Ebene der intellektuellen Denunziation führt und nach dem Richter für „Vorbereitung“ oder „Weiterführung“ des Nazismus ruft, sondern auch da, wo ein überdurchschnittlich gebildeter, aufgeschlossener Betrachter Jünger – und damit natürlich der ganzen Tendenz der neuen „Fragezeichen-Theologie“ – am Schlusse bescheinigt, dass, so reizvoll, anregend und aufschlussreich – bei aller Gegnerschaft im einzelnen – die frühere desillusionierende, rebellische, die Brüchigkeit der bürgerlichen Ordnung aufzeigende Position Jüngers war, die neue, die abendländisch-christliche Wertlehren wieder in die Selbstverständigung einführende Blickrichtung doch nur enttäuschend „banal“ und unfruchtbar sei. Louis Clair fasst sein Urteil über die „Wandlung“ dahingehend zusammen, dass trotz eines menschlich bewegenden, aber im Grunde doch nur moralisierenden Appells an die schöpferischen Kräfte des Einzelnen die Unterwerfung unter die eisernen Gesetze der technologischen Notwendigkeiten nur ersetzt worden sei durch die Unterwerfung unter religiöse Aspekte. Und das, steht zwischen den Zeilen, hat der moderne Mensch ja schließlich längst überwunden.

 

In Wirklichkeit hat weder Ernst Jünger noch irgendeiner der anderen heute überall auf neue Fragestellungen hinweisenden „Verräter am Geist“ das getan, was Louis Clair behauptet, nämlich noch einmal sich zu der Machtlosigkeit des Menschen bekannt, sein eigenes Schicksal zu gestalten und sich deshalb der Religion zugewandt. Das gerade Gegenteil ist der Fall.

 

Berechtigterweise warnt z.B. die „Rheinische Zeitung“ vor einer Kanonisierung der „abendländisch-christlichen Wendung“ Jüngers, soweit man sie etwa als eine neue kulturoptimistische Haltung verstehen möchte. Dazu ist Jünger denn doch zu weit in die Schächte des voraussetzungslosen Denkens eingedrungen. Heinz Weniger sagt: „Es besteht…sogar die Gefahr, dass Jünger dieser vorschnellen Wendung zu christlich-abendländischem Kulturoptimismus mit seiner weitverbreiteten Schrift über den ‚Frieden‘ Vorschub leistet. Er ist seiner Zeit immer um einige Nasenlängen voraus, aber eben gesinnungsmäßig, doch auch nicht mehr. Seine gestrige Kulturkritik zugunsten der Zivilisation als Schicksal lag seit Spengler in der Luft. Was nun seine neueste Wendung zum Christentum und zur Bejahung der abendländischen westlichen Kultur betrifft, die heute bereits jeder Spatz ohne Risiko bis zur Ermüdung von allen Dächern pfeift, so ist ihm zugute zu halten, dass er diese Wendung bereits vor 1945 vollzog, als sie noch originell und ein Wagnis war…Auf die Gefahr hin, dass damit manchem der soeben erhoffte Zugang zu Jüngers Denken verbaut wird, möchten wir aus unserer Kenntnis Jüngerschen Wesens vermuten, dass seine Wendung zum Christentum und zur abendländischen Kulturbejahung kaum im Sinne dieses Neu-Positivismus, der heute überall grassiert, gemeint ist. Das würde u.E. gar zu sehr gegen seine bisherige Denkentwicklung sprechen. Es würde sie gerade desavouieren. Es ist wohl der erfreulichste Zug von Jüngers geistigem Charakter, dass er niemals wie ein Fettauge im Strom der Zeit zu schwimmen pflegt. Auch scheint uns seine Wendung zum Christentum ganz und gar un-paulinisch und ohne geistiges Damaskus vor sich gegangen zu sein. Wir möchten sogar vermuten, dass er diese allgemein kulturoptimistische Wendung bereits längst hinter sich gelassen hat. Sollte es jedoch ein echtes Damaskus sein, so wird es genau so wenig im Zuge der Zeit schwimmen wie Kierkegaards ‚Bekehrung‘ damals…“

 

Eigenartigerweise hat sich der jungkonservative Preis um die Pechelsche „Deutsche Rundschau“ Jünger gegenüber stets recht kritisch verhalten. Pechel selbst hat in seinem Buch „Deutscher Widerstand“ Ernst Jünger ausdrücklich abgelehnt, während er F.G. Jünger lobend erwähnt. Auch kürzlich hat die „Deutsche Rundschau“ noch einmal „das Problem Ernst Jünger“ angefasst. Es heißt dort u.a. über den „Frieden“: „Wir halten diese Schrift für eine nicht unbedeutende Gefahr. Sie bietet eine verlockend einleuchtende Möglichkeit des Ausweichens. Die Unerbittlichkeit, mit der die historische Konsequenz und ihr Erleben, mit der unser Gewissen und die Fragwürdigkeit unseres Lebens uns heute zur Nachdenklichkeit zwingen wollen, wird durch ein derartiges Werk abgeschwächt. Das einzig Fruchtbare des großen Leidens unserer Tage ist die ständige Aufforderung zum Wesentlichen aus dem Zwang der Erinnerung und dem Stachel des Gewissens. Diese Nötigung ist die ganze Kostbarkeit unserer so erschütternd armen Existenz. Die Spannung, in die wir als Folge unseres Tuns gegen unseren Willen hineingeraten sind, findet nun in solchen Gedankengängen wie denen Jüngers ein Loch, durch das sie zu einer seichten Pfütze abfließen kann. Es ist ein trostvolles und ermutigendes Zeichen, dass der Instinkt für die Erbärmlichkeit und Sinnwidrigkeit solchen Ausweichens heute in Deutschland lebendig ist. Immerhin ist ja dieser Aufsatz nirgends gedruckt worden. Er würde auch sicher von der weitaus überwiegenden Zahl der Leser entschieden abgelehnt werden. Aber andererseits hat er seine Gemeinde, und schlechte Beispiele verderben bekanntlich gute Sitten.“

 

Hermann Rauschning hat seinerzeit in seinem klügsten und wichtigsten Buch eine ganze Reihe richtiger Dinge über die deutschen Generationen gesagt, für die Ernst Jünger zeitweise eine Art Sprecher wurde. Er sah sehr deutlich, dass zwischen dem in der NSDAP verkörperten Nationalsozialismus und der doktrinlosen Elite- und Arbeitsvorstellung der von Jünger beeinflussten nachdrängenden Schichten ein unüberbrückbarer Gegensatz bestand. Aber er machte in seiner Analyse einen wesentlichen Fehler, der ihn dazu führte, die nichtaktivistische, zeitkritische Seite der Jüngerschen Position völlig zu übersehen; er sah in ihm nur en Theoretiker der „zweiten Welle“ der deutschen nihilistischen Revolution, in seinen Freunden die Träger einer zweiten Revolution: „Beide, Jünger wie Niekisch, haben einen sehr beträchtlichen Wirkungskreis, der sich jedoch weniger zahlenmäßig als durch die Intensität ihrer Ausstrahlung erfassen ließ. Das Bedeutende ihrer Gedanken liegt darin, dass sie der vorweggenommene Ausdruck für reale Ordnungsvorgänge sind, die sich in der heraufkommenden zweiten Phase der neuen Revolution und nicht nur im Deutschen Reich immer stärker durchsetzt.“ Diese Prophezeiung hat sich als irrig erwiesen.

 

Die politischen Kräfte, die mit Jüngers Position verbunden schienen, sind seinerzeit in dem Prozess gegen Ernst Niekisch mühelos ausgeschaltet worden. Ihr Einfluss in der NSDAP selbst, insbesondere innerhalb der SS, die Rauschning in diesem Zusammenhang immer erwähnt, hat sich damals als nicht bestehend erwiesen. Was wichtiger ist, Ernst Jünger hat nach dem Machtantritt des Nationalsozialismus keine Zeile mehr geschrieben, um eine politische Gefolgschaft zu verstärken, sondern hat sich abseits gestellt; die Verbindungslinien, die von der Friedensschrift später zur Gruppe des 20. Juli liefen, sind, wie er selbst ausdrücklich hervorhebt, im Grundsätzlichen in bewusster Distanzierung angeknüpft worden.

 

Der Weg seiner letzten Bücher führt nicht zur zweiten nihilistischen Revolution, sondern zur Rückbesinnung auf die Substanz, zur Wiederentdeckung des Freiheitsbegriffes, zur „jungkonservativen“ Wiedergewinnung eines christlich-abendländischen Bewusstseins, zum Widerstand der Herzen, nicht zur Aktion. Auch nicht zur „sozialistischen“ Entscheidung. Den Weg des aus der Zuchthaushaft von den Russen befreiten Freundes Ernst Niekisch zur neuen ostwärts gerichteten Arbeiterbewegung geht er nicht mit. Allerdings haben selbst Freunde Jüngers jahrelang seine Position ähnlich wie Rauschning eingeschätzt, nur dass dabei das, was bei dem konservativen Rauschning seinerzeit als Bedrohung der westlichen Tradition, als gegnerisch gesehen wurde, dort als eine Art Verheißung erschien.

 

Im Jahre 1934 erschien in Deutschland eine kleine Jüngerbiographie von einem enthusiastischen Gefolgsmann Jüngers, dem inzwischen im Zweiten Weltkrieg gefallenen Wulf Dieter Müller. In diesem Büchlein, in dem weder das Wort Nationalsozialismus noch der Name Hitler ein einziges Mal erwähnt werden, wird zu Beginn des „Dritten Reiches“ die Position der antibürgerlichen und antiideologischen Revolutionierung Deutschlands so stark unterstrichen, so in Gegensatz gestellt zu unzulänglichen „musealen“ Kennworten wie „Blut und Boden“, dass der Gesamteindruck der gleiche ist, den Rauschning hat: Hinter Jünger formieren sich die kalt-sachlich und antiidealistisch eingestellten Jugendschichten zum Kampf um die Macht.

 

Inzwischen hat sich herausgestellt, dass sowohl der Danziger Senatspräsident wie der junge Nationalrevolutionär nicht nur die deutsche Realität, sondern auch die Persönlichkeit Jüngers missverstanden. Sie haben Analysen für Appelle, den Beobachterstand für einen Befehlsstand gehalten und Jüngers Versuch, die Welt zu erklären, mit der marxistischen Umkehrung, sie mit Hilfe von Organisationen zu verändern, verwechselt. Man hatte den Blick für sehr einfache Tatbestände verloren:

 

Das Zeitalter der Wehrpflicht, die Einführung der Massenheere, hat den Einzelnen seines göttlichen Rechts: der Freiwilligkeit, beraubt.

 

Das Zeitalter der Klassenkämpfe maß ihm nur den Wert bei, den er im Strom der vorwärtsdrängenden sozialen Kraft zum „allgemeinen Nutzen“ beisteuerte.

 

Die Periode des rassistischen Faschismus versuchte, ihn fatalistisch zu binden an ein Erbgesetz, das der Rasse.

 

Bereitschaft zum Werk, Liebe zur Heimat, Gehorsam zum Staat waren nicht mehr Ausfluss eines männlichen Ja als Antwort auf den Appell des sich aus Einzelnen zusammensetzenden nationalen Organismus. Sie waren vorherbestimmt durch soziale, konfessionelle und ethnologische Größen, die die Entscheidungen vorwegnahmen.

 

Heute gilt es, wieder Abstand zu einem derartigen Mythos der Gemeinschaft zu gewinnen. Nicht etwa, dass individualistische Ablehnung verpflichtender überpersönlicher Gebilde zum konservativen Denken gehörten. Im Gegenteil. Nur der konservative Mensch hat wirklich eine Beziehung zum überpersönlichen, doch auch jenseits der Gruppen stehenden Wir. Aber die Selbstverständlichkeit dieser Verwurzelung wurde durch den Einbruch liberalistischer Ideen mitten im Konservatismus zerstört. In dem Moment, in dem Männer wie Othmar Spann den scheinbar so „zeitgemäßen“ Versuch begannen, der marxistischen Klassentheorie die der „ständischen“ Aufgliederung entgegenzustellen, gab man das wirkliche unteilbare Element in der Ich-Wir-Beziehung preis. Hier wie im Marxismus schaltete sich eine – naturnotwendigerweise interessengebundene – Gruppe ein in die Beziehungen des Einzelnen zum jahrtausendealten Volks- und Kulturzusammenhang und entleerte ihn seiner eigentlichen Substanz.

 

Der Nationalsozialismus mit seiner These „Die Partei befiehlt dem Staat“ hat diese Ersetzung des echten Gemeinschaftsbegriffes Volk durch den partiellen Begriff der avantgardistischen Bewegung nur zu Ende geführt. Und er hat hier – ohne es zu wissen? – im Grunde gutes, altes, marxistisches Gedankengut in die Praxis umgesetzt.

 

Das alles wirft neue Fragen für die nachfaschistische Periode auf. Der junge Konservativismus – wenn es jemals ihn als eine geistige Realität wieder geben sollte  - muss entschlossen sein, ihnen zu begegnen. Er darf nicht nur Kritik an Liberalismus und Marxismus üben, sondern muss sich der Erkenntnis stellen, dass mitten im eigenen Lager die unlebendigen und eigensüchtigen Kräfte aus dem, was einst eine schlichte Lebensmacht war, aus deren Sicherheit Menschen aller Klassen in Deutschland lebten, eine zweckbetonte „realpolitische“ Ideologie gemacht haben, mit deren Hilfe daran interessierte Gruppen düstere Geschäfte machten.

 

Die Rückbesinnung auf die konservative Substanz, die die deutsche Bruderschaft der Fragenden fordert, benötigt mehr als die Zurückweisung überalterter liberalistischer Wunschträume: die Reinigung des eigenen Hauses. Der Hauptfeind eines neuen konservativen Bewusstseins ist das Kleben an alten Vorstellungen. Nur wenn eine wirkliche Scheidung von der „Reaktion“ erfolgt, kann das geschehen. Und das meint nicht nur kastengebundene politische Zirkel, die mit Junkertum, Industriellen und Bankiers die Vorstandssitze aller konservativen Gruppen übernahmen, sondern vor allem die Denkweise, die meist noch zynischer als Liberalismus und Marxismus die „Ideologie“ als „Überschau“ für recht reale Machtkämpfe benutzte.

 

Die konservative Substanz ist nur wiederzugewinnen, wenn man Ernst macht mit der Ausschaltung der Gruppe zwischen Ich und Wir. Nicht die Kirchen stehen zwischen Gott und dem Einzelnen; nicht der Stand oder die Klasse zwischen dem Individuum und seinem Volk. Wenn das geschieht, werden eine Reihe – nicht alle – der angedeuteten Probleme sich fast von selbst erledigen. Familie, Volk, Ehe, Religion, Tradition und Geschichtsbewusstsein und manches andere werden aus dieser neuen Standortbestimmung einen neuen Akzent bekommen. Möglicherweise vorerst nur in der Fragestellung, nicht in einer verbindlichen Antwort. Aber: es sich nicht zu leicht zu machen, sollte vielleicht der erste Vorsatz ein, den der Einzelne fasst, der auf die Suche nach der verlorengegangenen konservativen Substanz geht.

 

samedi, 13 août 2011

Towards a New World Order: Carl Schmitt's "The LandAppropriation of a New World"

 

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Towards a New World Order: Carl Schmitt's "The Land Appropriation of a New World"

Gary Ulmen

Ex: http://freespeechproject.com/

 

The end of the Cold War and of the bipolar division of the world has posed again the question of a viable international law grounded in a new world order. This question was already urgent before WWI, given the decline of the ius publicum Europaeum at the end of the 19th century. It resurfaced again after WWII with the defeat of the Third Reich. If the 20th century is defined politically as the period beginning with the "Great War" in 1914 and ending with the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989, it may be seen as a long interval during which the question of a new world order was suspended primarily because of the confrontation and resulting stalemate between Wilsonianism and Leninism. Far from defining that period, as claimed by the last defenders of Left ideology now reconstituted as "anti-fascism," and despite their devastating impact at the time, within such a context fascism and Nazism end up automatically redimensioned primarily as epiphenomenal reactions of no lasting historical significance. In retrospect, they appear more and more as violent geopolitical answers to Wilsonianism's (and, to a lesser extent, Leninism's) failure to establish a new world order.

Both the League of Nations and the United Nations have sought to reconstitute international law and the nomos of the earth, but neither succeeded. What has passed for international law throughout the 20th century has been largely a transitory semblance rather than a true system of universally accepted rules governing international behavior. The geopolitical paralysis resulting from the unresolved conflict between the two superpowers created a balance of terror that provided the functional equivalent of a stable world order. But this state of affairs merely postponed coming to terms with the consequences of the collapse of the ius publicum Europaeum and the need to constitute a new world order. What is most significant about the end of the Cold War is not so much that it brought about a premature closure of the 20th century or a return to the geopolitical predicament obtaining before WWI, but that it has signaled the end of the modern age--evident in the eclipse of the nation state, the search for new political forms, the explosion of new types of conflicts, and radical changes in the nature of war. Given this state of affairs, today it may be easier to develop a new world order than at any time since the end of the last century.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Ernest Nys wrote that the discovery of the New World was historically unprecedented since it not only added an immense area to what Europeans thought the world was but unified the whole globe.(n1) It also resulted in the European equilibrium of land and sea that made possible the ius publicum Europaeum and a viable world order. In his "Introduction" to The Nomos of the Earth, Carl Schmitt observes that another event of this kind, such as the discovery of some new inhabitable planet able to trigger the creation of a new world order, is highly unlikely, which is why thinking "must once again be directed to the elemental orders of concrete terrestrial existence."(n2) Despite all the spatial exploration and the popular obsession with extra-terrestrial life, today there is no event in sight comparable to the discovery of a New World. Moreover, the end of the Cold War has paved the way for the further expansion of capitalism, economic globalization, and massive advances in communication technologies. Yet the imagination of those most concerned with these developments has failed so far to find any new alternatives to the prevailing thinking of the past decades.



Beyond the Cold War


The two most prominent recent attempts to prefigure a new world order adequate to contemporary political realities have been made by Francis Fukuyama and Samuel P. Huntington.(n3) Fukuyama thinks the West has not only won the Cold War but also brought about the end of history, while Huntington retreats to a kind of "bunker mentality" in view of an alleged decline of the West.(n4) While the one suffers from excessive optimism and the other from excessive pessimism, both fail primarily because they do not deal with the "elemental orders of concrete terrestrial existence" and troth remain trapped in an updated version of Wilsonianism assuming liberal democracy to be the highest achievement of Western culture. While Fukuyama wants to universalize liberal democracy in the global marketplace, If Huntington identifies liberalism with Western civilization. But Huntington is somewhat more realistic than Fukuyama. He not only acknowledges the impossibility of universalizing liberalism but exposes its particularistic nature. Thus he opts for a defense of Western civilization within an international helium omnium contra omnes. In the process, however, he invents an "American national identity" and extrapolates from the decline of liberal democracy to the decline of the West.

Fukuyama's thesis is derived from Alexandre Kojeve's Heideggerian reading of Hegel and supports the dubious notion that the last stage in human history will be a universal and homogeneous state of affairs satisfying all human needs. This prospect is predicated on the arbitrary assumption of the primacy of thymos--the desire for recognition--which both Kojeve and Fukuyama regard as the most fundamental human longing. Ultimately, according to Fukuyama, "Kojeve's claim that we are at the end of history . . . stands or falls on the strength of the assertion that the recognition provided by the contemporary liberal democratic state adequately satisfies the human desire for recognition."(n5) Fukuyama's own claim thus stands or falls on his assumption that at the end of history "there are no serious ideological competitors to liberal democracy."(n6) This conclusion is based on a whole series of highly dubious ideological assumptions, such as that "the logic of modern natural science would seem to dictate a universal evolution in the direction of capitalism"(n7) and that the desire for recognition "is the missing link between liberal economics and liberal politics."(n8)

According to Fukuyama, the 20th century has turned everyone into "historical pessimists."(n9) To reverse this state of affairs, he challenges "the pessimistic view of international relations . . . that goes variously under the titles 'realism,' realpolitik, or 'power politics'."(n10) He is apparently unaware of the difference between a pessimistic view of human nature, on which political realism is based, and a pessimistic view of international relations, never held by political realists such as Niccolo Machiavelli or Hans Morgenthau--two thinkers Fukuyama "analyzes" in order to "understand the impact of spreading democracy on international politics." As a "prescriptive doctrine," he finds the realist perspective on international relations still relevant. As a "descriptive model," however, it leaves much to be desired because: "There was no 'objective' national interest that provided a common thread to the behavior of states in different times and places, but a plurality of national interests defined by the principle of legitimacy in play and the individuals who interpreted it." This betrays a misunderstanding of political realism or, more plausibly, a deliberate attempt to misrepresent it in order to appear original. Although he draws different and even antithetical conclusions, Fukuyama's claim is not inconsistent with political realism.(n11)

Following this ploy, Fukuyama reiterates his main argument that: "Peace will arise instead out of the specific nature of democratic legitimacy, and its ability to satisfy the human longings for recognition."(n12) He is apparently unaware of the distinction between legality and legitimacy, and of the tendency within liberal democracies for legality to become its own mode of legitimation.(n13) Even in countries in which legality remains determined independently by a democratic legislative body, there is no reason to believe it will be concerned primarily or at all with satisfying any "human longing for recognition"; rather, it will pursue whatever goals the predominant culture deems desirable. Consequently, it does not necessarily follow that, were democratic legitimacy to become universalized with the end of the Cold War, international conflict would also end and history along with it. Even Fukuyama admits that: "For the foreseeable future, the world will be divided between a post-historical part, and a part that is still stuck in history. Within the post-historical part, the chief axis of interaction between states would be economic, and the old rules of power politics would have decreasing relevance."(n14)

This is nothing more than the reconfiguration of a standard liberal argument in a new metaphysical guise: the old historical world determined by politics will be displaced by the new post-historical world determined by economics. Schmitt rejected this argument in the 1920s: according to liberals, the "concept of the state should be determined by political means, the concept of society (in essence nonpolitical) by economic means," but this distinction is prejudiced by the liberal aversion to politics understood as a domain of domination and corruption resulting in the privileging of economics understood as "reciprocity of production and consumption, therefore mutuality, equality, justice, and freedom, and finally, nothing less than the spiritual union of fellowship, brotherhood, and justice."(n15) In effect, Fukuyama is simply recycling traditional liberal efforts to eliminate the political(n16)--a maneuver essential for his thesis of the arrival of "the end of history" with the end of the Cold War. Accordingly: "The United States and other liberal democracies will have to come to grips with the fact that, with the collapse of the communist world, the world in which they live is less and less the old one of geopolitics, and that the rules and methods of the historical world are not appropriate to life in the post-historical one. For the latter, the major issues will be economic."(n17) Responding to Walter Rathenau's claim in the 1920s that the destiny then was not politics but economics, Schmitt said "what has occurred is that economics has become political and thereby the destiny."(n18)

For Fukuyama, the old historical world is none other than the European world: "Imperialism and war were historically the product of aristocratic societies. If liberal democracy abolished the class distinction between masters and slaves by making the slaves their own masters, then it too should eventually abolish imperialism."(n19) This inference is based on a faulty analogy between social and international relations. Not surprisingly, Fukuyama really believes that "international law is merely domestic law writ large."(n20) Compounded with an uncritical belief in the theory of progress and teleological history, this leads him to generalize his own and Kojeve's questionable interpretation of the master-slave dialectic (understood as the logic of all social relations) to include international relations: "If the advent of the universal and homogeneous state means the establishment of rational recognition on the level of individuals living within one society, and the abolition of the relationship of lordship and bondage between them, then the spread of that type of state throughout the international system of states should imply the end of relationships of lordship and bondage between nations as well--i.e., the end of imperialism, and with it, a decrease in the likelihood of wars based on imperialism."(n21) Even if a "universal and homogeneous state" were possible today, in an age when all nation-states are becoming ethnically, racially, linguistically and culturally heterogeneous, it is unclear why domestic and international relations should be isomorphic. Rather, the opposite may very well be the case: increasing domestic heterogeneity is matched by an increasingly heterogeneous international scene where "the other" is not regarded as an equal but as "a paper tiger," "the Great Satan," "religious fanatics," etc.

At any rate, imperialism for Fukuyama is not a particular historical phenomenon which came about because of the discovery of the New World at the beginning of the age of exploration by the European powers. Rather, it is seen as the result of some metaphysical ahistorical "struggle for recognition among states."(n22) It "arises directly out of the aristocratic master's desire to be recognized as superior--his megalothymia."(n23) Ergo: "The persistence of imperialism and war after the great bourgeois revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is therefore due not only to the survival of an atavistic warrior ethos, but also to the fact that the master's megalothymia was incompletely sublimated into economic activity."(n24) Thus the formal market relation between buyer and seller, both reduced to the level of the hyper-rational and calculating homo oeconomicus, comes to displace the master-slave dialectic whereby, miraculously, the interaction between these economic abstractions generates as much recognition as anyone would want, rendering conflict obsolete and putting an end to history.

In terms of Fukuyama's own formulation, the real end of history, as he understands it, is not even close. In his scenario, since there are still a lot of unresolved conflicts between the historical and the post-historical worlds, there will be a whole series of "world order" problems and "many post-historical countries will formulate an abstract interest in preventing the spread of certain technologies to the historical world, on the grounds that world will be most prone to conflict and violence."(n25) Although the failure of the League of Nations and the UN has led to the general discrediting of "Kantian internationalism and international law," in the final analysis, despite his Heideggerian Hegelianism, Fukuyama does not find the answer to the end of history in Hegel, Nietzsche or even Kojeve,(n26) but rather in Kant, who argued that the gains realized when man moved from the state of nature to civilization were largely nullified by wars between nations. According to Fukuyama, what has not been understood is that "the actual incarnations of the Kantian idea have been seriously flawed from the start by not following Kant's own precepts," by which he means that states based on republican principles are less likely than despotisms to accept the costs of war and that an international federation is only viable if it is based on liberal principles.

Although Huntington has a much better grasp of international relations than Fukuyama, his decline of the West scenario is equally unconvincing. The central theme of his book is that "culture and cultural identities, which at the broadest level are civilization identities, are shaping the patterns of cohesion, disintegration, and conflict in the post-Cold War world."(n27) But whereas Fukuyama couches his thesis in terms of a universal desire for recognition, Huntington couches his thesis in terms of a global search for identity: "Peoples and nations are attempting to answer the most basic question humans can face: Who are we?"(n28) The result is a "multipolar and multi-civilizational" world within which the West should abandon its presumed universalism and defend its own particular identity: "In the clash of civilizations, Europe and America will hang together or hang separately. In the greater clash, the global 'real clash,' between Civilization and barbarism, the worlds great civilizations . . . will also hang together or hang separately. In the emerging era, clashes of civilizations are the greatest threat to world peace, and an international order based on civilizations is the surest safeguard against world war."(n29)

In Huntington's new world, "societies sharing civilizational affinities cooperate with each other."(n30) Leaving aside his cavalier blurring of the differences between cultures, civilizations and societies, what does Huntington regard as the essence of Western particularism? Here he is ambiguous: he first mentions Christianity, then some secular residues of Christianity, but when he adds up the civilizational core of the West it turns out to be none other than liberalism. As Stephen Holmes points out, it is "the same old ideology, plucked inexplicably from the waste-bin of history that once united the West against Soviet Communism."(n31) But Huntington also claims that the West had a distinct identity long before it was modern (since he insists that modernization is distinct from Westernization, so that non-Western societies can modernize without Westernizing, thus retaining their civilizational distinctiveness). In this case, however, the West cannot really be identified with liberalism, nor can its heritage be equated sic et nunc with "American national identity." While liberalism may very well be declining, this need not translate into a decline of the West as such. Similarly, if "American national identity" is threatened by "multiculturalism,"(n32) it need not signal the arrival of barbarians at the gates but may only mark another stage in the statist involution of liberalism. Huntington's fears of a decline of the West at a time when it is actually at the acme of its power and vigor is the result of the unwarranted identification of Western civilization with liberalism and what he understands by "American national identity." Today liberalism has degenerated into an opportunistic statist program of "a small but influential number of intellectuals and publicists," and "American national identity" into a fiction invented as part of a failed project after the War between the States to reconfigure the American federation into a nation-state.(n33)

According to Huntington? the assumption of the universality of Western culture is: false, because others civilizations have other ideals and norms; immoral, because "imperialism is the logical result of universalism"; and dangerous, because it could lead to major civilizational wars.(n34) His equation of universalism and imperialism, however, misses the point of both it misunderstands the philosophical foundations of Western culture and the historical roots of Western imperialism. Other civilizations do have their own ideals and norms, but only Western civilization has an outlook broad enough to embrace all other cultures, which explains why it can readily sponsor and accommodate even confused and counterproductive projects such as "multiculturalism." Of course, Europeans set forth on their journeys of discovery and conquest not only in order to bring Christianity and "civilization" to the world but also to plunder whatever riches they could find. But whatever the reasons, Europeans were the ones who opened the world to global consciousness and what Schmitt called "awakened occidental rationalism."

Until recently, largely because of American cultural hegemony and technological supremacy, the goal of the rest of the world has been "Westernization," which has come to be regarded as synonymous with modernization. In Huntington's "realist" view, however: "A universal civilization requires universal power. Roman power created a near universal civilization within the limited confines of the Classical world. Western power in the form of European colonialism in the nineteenth century and American hegemony in the twentieth century extended Western culture throughout much of the contemporary world. European colonialism is over; American hegemony is receding."(n35) The real question is whether continued American world hegemony is primarily a function of the persistence of colonialism. Despite his emphasis on culture and civilization, Huntington does not appreciate the importance of cultural hegemony.? Had he not restricted the Western tradition to late 20th century liberalism, he may have appreciated the extent to which the rest of the world is becoming increasingly more, rather than less dependent on the US--in communication technologies, financial matters and even aesthetic forms. Today the Internet is potentially a more formidable agency of cultural domination and control than was the British Navy at the peak of the Empire. Here McNeill is right: Huntington's gloomy perception of the decline of the West may merely mistake growing pains for death throes.

If Huntington's salon Spenglerianism were not bad enough, he also adopts a kind of simplistic Schmittianism (without ever mentioning Schmitt). Complementing his "birds of a feather flock together" concept of civilizations --with "core states" assuming a dominant position in relation to "fault line" states--he pictures an "us versus them" type of friend/enemy relations based on ethnic and religious identities. But Schmitt's friend/enemy antithesis is concerned with relations between political groups: first and foremost, states. Accordingly, any organized group that can distinguish between friends and enemies in an existential sense becomes thereby political. Unlike Huntington (or Kojeve, who also explicitly drew geopolitical lines primarily along religious lines(n36), Schmitt did not think in terms of ethnic or religious categories but rather territorial and geopolitical concepts. For Schmitt, the state was the greatest achievement of Western civilization because, as the main agency of secularization, it ended the religious civil wars of the Middle Ages by limiting war to a conflict between states.(n37) In view of the decline of the state, Schmitt analyzed political realities and provided a prognosis of possible future territorial aggregations and new types of political forms.

Huntington finds the "realist" school of international affairs "a highly useful starting point," but then proceeds to criticize a straw man version of it, according to which "all states perceive their interests in the same way and act in the same way." Against it, not only power but also "values, culture, and institutions pervasively influence how states define their interests.... In the post-Cold War world, states increasingly define their interests in civilizational terms."(n38) Had Huntington paid more careful attention to hans Morgenthau, George Kennan or other reputable political realists, he would have concluded that their concept of power is not as limited as his caricature of it. In particular, had he read Schmitt more closely he would not have claimed that nation-states "are and will remain the most important actors in world affairs"(n39)--at a time when economic globalization has severely eroded their former sovereignty and they are practically everywhere threatened with internal disintegration and new geopolitical organizations. At any rate, political realism has been concerned primarily with the behavior of states because they were the main subjects of political life for the past three centuries.(n40) If and when they are displaced by other political forms, political realism then shifts its focus accordingly.

Huntington attempts to think beyond the Cold War. But since he cannot think beyond the nation-state, he cannot conceive of new political forms. When he writes that cultural commonality "legitimates the leadership and order-imposing role of the core state for both member states and for the external powers and institutions,"(n41) he seems to have in mind something akin to the concept of GroBraum.(n42) But Schmitt's model was the American Monroe Doctrine excluding European meddling in the Western Hemisphere. At that time (and well into the 20th century), the US was not a nation-state in the European sense, although it assumed some of these trappings thereafter. Thus it generally followed George Washington's policy--because of the "detached and distant situation" of the US, it should avoid entangling alliances with foreign (primarily European) powers. The Monroe Doctrine simply expanded on the reality and advantages of this situation. Schmitt rightly saw the global line of the Western Hemisphere drawn by the Monroe Doctrine as the first major challenge to the international law of the ius publicum Europaeum.

Given the current understanding of national sovereignty, it is difficult to see what Huntington means by "core state." Despite the title of his book, he has no concept of international law or of world order. Not only does he abandon hope for global regulations governing the behavior of states and civilizations, but he reverts to a kind of anthropological primitivism: "Civilizations are the ultimate human tribes, and the clash of civilizations is tribal conflict on a global scale."(n43) All he can suggest for avoiding major inter-civilizational wars is the "abstention rule" (core states abstain from conflicts in other civilizations), and the "mediation rule" (core states negotiate with each other to halt fault line wars).(n44) Huntington's vision is thus surprisingly conformist--it merely cautions the US from becoming embroiled in the Realpolitik of countries belonging to other civilizational blocs while defending a contrived liberal notion of"Western" civilization.

Anti-Colonialism and Appropriation
The anti-colonialism of both Fukuyama and Huntington is consistent with the predominant 20th century ideology directed primarily against Europe. Anti-colonialism is more historically significant than either anti-fascism and anti-communism. As Schmitt pointed out in 1962: "Both in theory and practice, anti-colonialism has an ideological objective. Above all, it is propaganda--more specifically, anti-European propaganda. Most of the history of propaganda consists of propaganda campaigns which, unfortunately, began as internal European squabbles. First there was France's and England's anti-Spanish propaganda--the leyenda negra of the 15th and 16th centuries. Then this propaganda became generalized during the 18th century. Finally, in the historical view of Arnold Toynbee, a UN consultant, the whole of Europe is indicted as a world aggressor."(n45) Thus it is not surprising that the 500th anniversary of the "discovery" of America was greeted with more condemnation than celebration.(n46)

Anti-colonialism is primarily anti-European propaganda because it unduly castigates the European powers for having sponsored colonialism.(n47) Given that there was no international law forbidding the appropriation of the newly discovered lands--in fact, European international and ecclesiastical law made it legal and established rules for doing so--the moral and legal basis for this judgment is unclear. On closer analysis, however, it turns out to be none other than the West's own universalistic pretenses. Only by ontologizing their particular Western humanist morality--various versions of secularized Christianity--as universally valid for all times and all places can Western intellectuals indict colonialism after the fact as an international "crime." Worse yet, this indictment eventually turns into a wholesale condemnation of Western culture (branded as "Eurocentrism") from an abstract, deterritorialized and deracinated humanist perspective hypostatized to the level of a universally binding absolute morality. Thus the original impulse to vindicate the particularity and otherness of the victims of colonialism turns full circle by subsuming all within a foreign Western frame-work, thereby obliterating the otherness of the original victims. The ideology of anti-colonialism is thus not only anti-European propaganda but an invention of Europeans themselves, although it has been appropriated wholesale and politically customized by the rest of the world.

As for world order, this propaganda has even more fundamental roots: "The odium of colonialism, which today confronts all Europeans, is the odium of appropriation,"(n48) since now everything understood as nomos is allegedly concerned only with distribution and production, even though appropriation remains one of its fundamental, if not the most fundamental, attributes. As Schmitt notes: "World history is a history of progress in the means and methods of appropriation: from land appropriations of nomadic and agricultural-feudal times, to sea appropriations of the 16th and 17th centuries, to the industrial appropriations of the industrial-technical age and its distinction between developed and undeveloped areas, to the present day appropriations of air and space."(n49) More to the point, however, is that "until now, things have somehow been appropriated, distributed and produced. Prior to every legal, economic and social order, prior to every legal, economic or social theory, there is the simple question: Where and how was it appropriated? Where and how was it divided? Where and how was it produced ? But the sequence of these processes is the major problem. It has often changed in accordance with how appropriation, distribution and production are emphasized and evaluated practically and morally in human consciousness. The sequence and evaluation follow changes in historical situations and general world history, methods of production and manufacture--even the image human beings have of themselves, of their world and of their historical situation."(n50) Thus the odium of appropriation exemplified by the rise of anti-colonialism is symptomatic of a changed world situation and changed attitudes. But this state of affairs should not prevent our understanding of what occurred in the past or what is occurring in the present.

In order to dispel the "fog of this anti-European ideology," Schmitt recalls that "everything that can be called international law has for centuries been European international law. . . [and that] all the classical concepts of existing international law are those of European international law, the ius publicum Europaeum. In particular, these are the concepts of war and peace. as well as two fundamental conceptual distinctions: first, the distinction between war and peace, i.e., the exclusion of an in-between situation of neither war nor peace so characteristic of the Cold War; and second, the conceptual distinction between enemy and criminal, i.e. exclusion of the discrimination and criminalization of the opponent so characteristic of revolutionary war--a war closely tied to the Cold War."(n51) But Schmitt was more concerned with the "spatial" aspect of the phenomenon: "What remains of the classical ideas of international law has its roots in a purely Eurocentric spatial order. Anti-colonialism is a phenomenon related to its destruction.... Aside from ... the criminalization of European nations, it has not generated one single idea about a new order. Still rooted, if only negatively, in a spatial idea, it cannot positively propose even the beginning of a new spatial order."(n52)

Having discovered the world as a globe, Europeans also developed the Law of Nations. Hugo Grotius is usually credited with establishing this new discipline with his De lure belli ac pacts (Paris: 1625), since he was the first to deal with the subject as a whole (although various European scholars had dealt at length with themes such as the justice of war, the right of plunder, the treatment of captives, etc.). Nys writes: ". . . from the I 1th to the 1 2th century the genius of Europe developed an association of republics, principalities and kingdoms, which was the beginning of the society of nations. Undoubtedly, some elements of it had been borrowed from Greek and Roman antiquity, from Byzantine institutions, from the Arabo-Berber sultanates on the coast of Africa and from the Moorish kingdoms of Spain. But at the time new sentiments developed, longing for political liberty. The members of this association were united by religious bonds; they had the same faith; they were not widely separated by speech and, at any rate, they had access to Latin, the language of the Church; they admitted a certain equality or at least none of them claimed the right to dominate and rule over the others. A formula came into use to describe this state of affairs: respublica a Christiana, res Christina."(n53)

Steeped in Roman law, 1 3th and 1 4th century jurists opposed any "Law of Nations" recognizing political distinctions between different peoples. In the Roman system, different peoples were only "parts of the Roman Empire." Thus, in a wider sense, ius gentium extended to all civilized peoples and included both public and private law. In a narrower sense, however, it also dealt with the rules governing relations between Romans and foreigners. Understood in this narrower sense, ius gentium promoted the constitution of distinct peoples and consequently kingdoms, intercourse and conflicts between different political communities, and ultimately wars. For this reason, those who still believed in the viability of the Holy Roman Empire thought that this interpretation of ius gentium led to disintegration. This is why the Law of Nations--European public law and international law--did not become a distinct "science" until the Middle Ages.

Spanish theologians first articulated the theoretical and practical problems of ius gentium understood as the Law of Nations. Chief among them was Francisco de Vitoria, whose Relectiones theologicae on the Indians and the right of a "just war" have become classics.(n54) In his lectures, Vitoria invokes the Law of Nations--the ius gentium. At the beginning of the third section of his account of the Spaniards' relations with the aborigines in the New World, he treats them as one people among others, and therefore subject to ius gentium: "The Spaniards have a right to travel into the lands in question and to sojourn there, provided they do no harm to the natives, and the natives may not prevent them. Proof of this may in the first place be derived from the law of nations (ius gentium), which either is natural law or is derived from natural law."(n55) That he understands peoples in the sense of "nations" becomes even more clear when he speaks about gentes nationes. He distinguishes between the political community--the respublica--and the private individual. The latter may defend his person and his property, but he may not avenge wrongs or retake goods after the passage of time. This is the respublica's prerogative--it alone has authority to defend itself and its members. Here Vitoria identifies the prince's authority with that of the state: "The prince is the issue of the election made by the respublica.... The state, properly so called, is a perfect community, that is to say, a community which forms a whole in itself, which, in other words, is not a part of another community, but which possesses its own laws, its own council, its own magistrates."(n56)

Clearly, what developed in Europe from antiquity to the respublica Christiana, from the origin of the sovereign state and ius publicum Europaeum to the Enlightenment and beyond, was as unique and significant as the discovery of the "New World." Yet, given today's predominant ideology, European culture has almost become the truth that dare not speak its name. Not only is Columbus demonized, but the whole Age of Discovery and all of European (Western) culture is dismissed as "imperialistic," "racist?" "sexist," etc. The Nomos of the Earth is a much needed antidote to this anti-European propaganda, which is only a symptom of the crisis of European identity and consciousness.(n57) All the major themes of Schmitt's book are either implicit or explicit in "The Land Appropriation of a New World": the origin and significance of the European and Eurocentric epoch of world history; the discovery of the New World and the American challenge to the European order; the search for a new nomos of the earth; the critique of the discriminatory concept of war; the critique of universalism and the danger of total relativism.

The Conquest of America and the Concept of a "Just War"


In the 20th century, the ideology of anti-colonialism was articulated most prominently by Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin, signaling the end of European domination in world history. Now, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of communism, some American intellectuals have turned this anti-European propaganda against the US, seemingly unaware that their critique is possible only within the orbit of the European culture they otherwise castigate and dismiss. To attack European culture is tantamount to attacking American culture as well, since the latter is but a special case of the former, which is precisely why it has been able to accept and absorb peoples and influences not only from the Western hemisphere but from all over the world. American universalism is but an extension of that same Christian universalism which for centuries has defined European identity. As Schmitt emphasized, the European equilibrium of the ius publicum Europaeum presupposed a seemingly homogeneous Christian Europe, which lasted well into the 19th century. The American project has always been a fundamentally heterogeneous undertaking and Americans have always come from the most diverse ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic backgrounds. But if there had not been some homogeneous culture to unity this diversity, there would have been no distinct American culture which, unfortunately, today many educated Europeans and Americans no longer understand and therefore have come to despise.

A paradigmatic example of this general anti-European syndrome is Tzvetan Todorov's The Conquest of America. In an effort to vindicate the particularity of "the other," the author ends up castigating West European culture as a whole by deploying a secularized version of Christian universalism. Openly acknowledging the moralistic objectives and "mythological" character of his account,(n58) Todorov develops a "politically correct" postmodern interpretation of the Spanish conquista not to understand its historical significance but to show how it has shaped today's Western imperialist identity--one allegedly still unable to come to terms with "the other" and therefore inherently racist, ethnocentric, etc. The book closes with a discussion of "Las Casas' Prophesy" concerning the wrath that "God will vent" not only upon Spain but all of Western Europe because of its "impious, criminal and ignominious deeds perpetrated so unjustly, tyrannically and barbarously."(n59)

Todorov overlooks not only the generally religious framework of Las Casas' prophesy, but also the idiosyncratically Western concept of justice the Dominican bishop deployed. Having ontologized a humanism derived from the Western axiological patrimony, he does not realize the extent to which his postmodernism has already reduced "the other" to "the same," precisely in his effort to vindicate its particularity.(n60) Worse yet, inhibited by his "politically correct" moralism, he not only provides a ridiculous, if academically fashionable, explanation for the Spaniards' success,(n61) but he manages to subvert his own arguments with the very evidence he adduces to support them. He claims that the "present" is more important to him than the past, but in defining genocide he makes no reference whatsoever to either the Armenians or the Holocaust as reference points. Consequently, his claim that "the sixteenth century perpetuated the greatest genocide in human history"(n62) remains not only unsubstantiated but falsified. By his own account, most of the victims died of diseases and other indirect causes: "The Spaniards did not undertake a direct extermination of these millions of Indians, nor could they have done so." The main causes were three, and "the Spaniards responsibility is inversely proportional to the number of victims deriving from each of them: 1. By direct murder, during wars or outside them: a high number, nonetheless relatively small; direct responsibility. 2. By consequence of bad treatment: a high number; a (barely) less direct responsibility. 3. By diseases, by `microbe shock': the majority of the population; an indirect and diffused responsibility."(n63)

Todorov does acknowledge that Columbus was motivated by the "universal victory of Christianity" and that it was Columbus' medieval mentality that led him "to discover America and inaugurate the modern era."(n64) His greatest infraction, however, was that he conquered land rather than people, i.e., he was more interested in nature than in the Indians, which he is treated as "the other", "Columbus summary perception of the Indians [is] a mixture of authoritarianism and condescension . . . In Columus' hermeneutics human beings have no particular place."(n65) Had Todorov set aside his abstract moralizing, he may have realized that the conquest of the New World was primarily a land appropriation. It is not surprising, therefore, that the conquerors thought they were bringing "civilization" to those they conquered--something probably also true of the Mongols who invaded and colonized China, Russia and a few other which, by contrast, had higher than thier own.

The ideological slant of The Conquest of America is by no means unusual. Long before, Schmitt noted that non-European peoples who have undertaken conquest, land appropriations, etc. were not being tarred with the same brush as Europeans.(n66) Unlike Todorov's moralistic tirade, The Nomos of the Earth is dressed to historians and jurists. In no ways does Schmitt excuse the atrocities committed by the Spanish, but rather explains how they were possible in the given circumstances. "The Land Appropriation of a New World" begins with a discussion of the lines drawn by the European powers to divide the world. In this connection, Schmitt discusses the meaning of "beyond the line," which meant beyondn the reach of European law: " At this`line' Europe ended and `New World' began. At any rate, European law -- `European public law' -- ended. Consequently, so did the bracketing of war achieved by the former European international law, meaning the struggle for land appropriations knew no bounds. Beyond the line was an `overseas' zone in which, for want of any legal limits to war, only, the law of the stronger applied."n(67) For Todorov, it is a much simpler explanation: "Far from central government, far from royal law, all prohibitions give way, the social link, already loosened, snaps, revealing not a primitive nature, the beast sleeping in each of us, but a modern being? one with a great future in fact, restrained by no morality and inflicting death because and when he pleases."(n68) The Spaniards are simply racist, ethno-centric, ruthless exploiters, etc., i.e., modern -- they already exhibited traits Todorov claims are characteristic of Western identity.

Of particular interest here are Todorov's comments on Vitoria and the concept of a "just war," since most of Schmitt's chapter is devoted to these subjects. By his own admission, Todorov mixes (in fact, confuses) medieval and modern categories. This is particularly true in the case of Vitoria. Todorov observes that: "Vitoria demolishes the contemporary justifications of the wars waged in America, but nonetheless conceives that `just wars' are possible."(n69) More to the point: "We are accustomed to seeing Vitoria as a defender of the Indians; but if we question, not the subject's intentions, hut the impact of his discourses, it is clear that . . . under the cover of an international law based on reciprocity, he in reality supplies a legal basis to the wars of colonization which had hitherto had none (none which, in any case, might withstand serious consideration)."(n70) But there was no "international law based on reciprocity." Here Todorov is simply transposing modern categories to medieval matters for his own ideological purposes.

Unlike Todorov, Schmitt places the problem in perspective: "For 400 years, from the 16th to the 20th century, the structure of European international law was determined by a fundamental course of events the conquest of the New World. Then, as later, there were numerous positions taken with respect to the justice or injustice of the conquista. Nevertheless, the fundamental problem the justification of European land appropriations as a whole -- was seldom addressed in any systematic way outside moral and legal questions. In fact, only one monograph deals with this problem systematically and confronts it squarely in terms of international law.... It is the famous relectiones of Francisco de Vitoria."(n71) Vitoria rejected the contrary opinions of other theologians and treated Christians and non-Christians alike. He did not even accept discovery, which was the recognized basis of legal title from the 1 6th to the 1 8th century, as legitimate. More to the point, he considered global lines beyond which the distinction between justice and injustice was suspended not only a sin but an appalling crime. However: "Vitoria's view of the conquista was ultimately altogether positive. Most significant for him was the fait accompli of Christianization. . . . The positive conclusion is reached only by means of general concepts and with the aid of objective arguments in support of a just war.... If barbarians opposed the right of free passage and free missions, of liberum commercium and free propaganda, then they would violate the existing rights of the Spanish according to ius gentium; if the peaceful treaties of the Spanish were of no avail, then they had grounds for a just war."(n72)

The papal missionary mandate was the legal foundation of the conquista. This was not only the pope's position but also that of the Catholic rulers of Spain. Vitoria's arguments were entirely consistent with the spatial order and the international law of the respublica Christiana. One cannot apply modern categories to a medieval context without distorting both: "In the Middle Ages, a just war could he a just war of aggression. Clearly, the formal structure of the two concepts of justice are completely different. As far as the substance of medieval justice is concerned, however, it should be remembered that Vitoria's doctrine of a just war is argued on the basis of a missionary mandate issued by a potestas spiritualis that was not only institutionally stable but intellectually self-evident. The right of liberum commercium as well as the ius peregrinandi are to facilitate the work of Christian missions and the execution of the papal missionary mandate.... Here we are interested only in the justification of land appropriation--a question Vitoria reduced to the general problem of a just war. All significant questions of an order based on international law ultimately meet in the concept of a just war."(n73)

 

 

The Question of a New Nomos of the Earth


Following chapters on "The Land Appropriation of a New World" and "The Ius Publicum Europaeum," Schmitt concludes his book with a chapter titled "The Question of a New Nomos of the Earth, which is concerned primarily with the transformation of the concept of war. Clearly, this problem was uppermost in Schmitt's mind following Germany's total defeat in WWII and the final destruction of the European system of states. But he had already devoted a treatise to the development of a discriminatory concept of war following WWI,(n74) and in 1945 he wrote a legal opinion on the criminality of aggressive war.(n75) Despite whatever self-serving motives he may have had in writing these works,(n76) they are consistent with the historical and juridical structure of international law during the respublica Christiana, the ius publicum Europaeum, and what remains of international law today.

This progression can be put into perspective by following Schmitt's discussion of Vitoria's legacy: "Vitoria was in no sense one of the `forerunners of modern lawyers dealing with constitutional questions.'. . . Abstracted entirely from spatial viewpoints, Vitoria's ahistorical method generalizes many European historical concepts specific to the ius gentium of the Middle Ages (such as yolk prince and war) and thereby strips them of their historical particularity."(n77) In this context, Schmitt mentions the works of Ernest Nys, which paved the way for the popularization of Vitoria's ideas after WWI but who, because of his belief in humanitarian progress, also contributed to the criminalization of aggressive war. This was also true of James Brown Scott, the leading American expert on international law, who blatantly instrumentalized Vitoria's doctrines concerning free trade (liberum commercium, the freedom of propaganda, and a just war) to justify American economic imperialism. Schmitt sums up Sctott's argument as follows: "War should cease to be simply a legally recognized matter or only one of legal indifference; rather, it should again become a just war in which the aggressor as such is declared a felon in the full criminal sense of the word. The former right to neutrality, grounded in the international law of the ius publicum Europaeum and based on the equivalence of just and unjust war, should also and accordingly be eliminated."(n78)

Here then is the crux of the matter. Vitoria's thinking is based on the international law obtaining during the Christian Middle Ages rather than on the international law between states established with the ius publicum Europaeum. Moreover, as Schmitt points out, Vitoria was not a jurist but a theologian: "Based on relations between states, post-medieval international law from the 1 6th to the 20th century sought to repress the iusta causa. The formal reference point for the determination of a just war was no longer the authority of the Church in international law but rather the equal sovereignty of states. Instead of iusta causa, the order of international law between states was based on iustus hostis; any war between states, between equal sovereigns, was legitimate. On the basis of this juridical formalization, a rationalization and humanization--a bracketing--of war was achieved for 200 years." The turn to "the modern age in the history of international law was accomplished by a dual division of two lines of thought that were inseparable in the Middle Ages -- the definitive separation of moral-theological from juridical-political arguments and the equally important separation of the question of iusta causa, grounded in moral arguments and natural law," from the juridical question of iustus hostis, distinguished from the criminal, i.e., from object of punitive action."(n79)

With the end of the ius publicum Europaeum, the concept of war changed once again: moralistic (rather than theologically-based) arguments became confused with political arguments, and the iusta causa displaced the just enemy (iustus hostis). Accordingly, war became a crime and the aggressor a criminal, which means that the current distinction between just and unjust war lacks any relation to Vitoria and does not even attempt to determine the iusta causa.(n80) According to Schmitt: "If today some formulas of the doctrine of a just war rooted in the concrete order of the medieval respublica Christiana are utilized in modern and global formulas, this does not signify a return to, but rather a fundamental transformation of concepts of enemy, war, concrete order and justice presupposed in medieval doctrine."(n81) This transformation is crucial to any consideration of a new nomos of the earth because these concepts must be rooted in a concrete order. Lacking such an order or nomos, these free-floating concepts do not constitute institutional standards but have only the value of ideological slogans.

Unimpressed with the duration of the Cold War and its mixture of neither war nor peace, Schmitt speculated on the possibility of the eventual development of what he called GroBetaraume(n82) -- larger spatial entities, similar to but not synonymous with federations or blocs --displacing states and constituting a new nomos.(n83) Since his death in 1985 and the subsequent collapse of communism, the likelihood of his diagnosis and prognosis has increased. While the international situation remains confused and leading intellectuals such as Fukuyama and Huntington, unable to think behind predominant liberal democratic categories, can only recycle new versions of the old Wilsonianism, Schmitt's vision of a world of GroBetaraume as a new geopolitical configuration may well be in the process of being realized.

vendredi, 12 août 2011

Carl Schmitt's Decisionism

Carl Schmitt's Decisionism

Paul Hirst

Ex: http://freespeechproject.com/

 

politik.gifSince 1945 Western nations have witnessed a dramatic reduction in the variety of positions in political theory and jurisprudence. Political argument has been virtually reduced to contests within liberal-democratic theory. Even radicals now take representative democracy as their unquestioned point of departure. There are, of course, some benefits following from this restriction of political debate. Fascist, Nazi and Stalinist political ideologies are now beyond the pale. But the hegemony of liberal-democratic political agreement tends to obscure the fact that we are thinking in terms which were already obsolete at the end of the nineteenth century.

Nazism and Stalinism frightened Western politicians into a strict adherence to liberal democracy. Political discussion remains excessively rigid, even though the liberal-democratic view of politics is grossly at odds with our political condition. Conservative theorists like Hayek try to re-create idealized political conditions of the mid nineteenth century. In so doing, they lend themselves to some of the most unsavoury interests of the late twentieth century - those determined to exploit the present undemocratic political condition. Social-democratic theorists also avoid the central question of how to ensure public accountability of big government. Many radicals see liberal democracy as a means to reform, rather than as what needs to be reformed. They attempt to extend governmental action, without devising new means of controlling governmental agencies. New Right thinkers have reinforced the situation by pitting classical liberalism against democracy, individual rights against an interventionist state. There are no challenges to representative democracy, only attempts to restrict its functions. The democratic state continues to be seen as a sovereign public power able to assure public peace.

The terms of debate have not always been so restricted. In the first three decades of this century, liberal-democratic theory and the notion of popular sovereignty through representative government were widely challenged by many groups. Much of this challenge, of course, was demagogic rhetoric presented on behalf of absurd doctrines of social reorganization. The anti-liberal criticism of Sorel, Maurras or Mussolini may be occassionally intriguing, but their alternatives are poisonous and fortunately, no longer have a place in contemporary political discussion. The same can be said of much of the ultra-leftist and communist political theory of this period.

Other arguments are dismissed only at a cost. The one I will consider here - Carl Schmitt's 'decisionism' - challenges the liberal-democratic theory of sovereignty in a way that throws considerable light on contemporary political conditions. His political theory before the Nazi seizure of power shared some assumptions with fascist political doctrine and he did attempt to become the 'crown jurist' of the new Nazi state. Nevertheless, Schmitt's work asks hard questions and points to aspects of political life too uncomfortable to ignore. Because his thinking about concrete political situations is not governed by any dogmatic political alternative, it exhibits a peculiar objectivity.

Schmitt's situational judgement stems from his view of politics or, more correctly, from his view of the political as 'friend-enemy' relations, which explains how he could change suddenly from contempt for Hitler to endorsing Nazism. If it is nihilistic to lack substantial ethical standards beyond politics, then Schmitt is a nihilist. In this, however, he is in the company of many modern political thinkers. What led him to collaborate with the Nazis from March 1933 to December 1936 was not, however, ethical nihilism, but above all concern with order. Along with many German conservatives, Schmitt saw the choice as either Hitler or chaos. As it turned out, he saved his life but lost his reputation. He lived in disrepute in the later years of the Third Reich, and died in ignominy in the Federal Republic. But political thought should not be evaluated on the basis of the authors' personal political judgements. Thus the value of Schmitt's work is not diminished by the choices he made.

Schmitt's main targets are the liberal-constitutional theory of the state and the parliamentarist conception of politics. In the former, the state is subordinated to law; it becomes the executor of purposes determined by a representative legislative assembly. In the latter, politics is dominated by 'discussion,' by the free deliberation of representatives in the assembly. Schmitt considers nineteenth-century liberal democracy anti-political and rendered impotent by a rule-bound legalism, a rationalistic concept of political debate, and the desire that individual citizens enjoy a legally guaranteed 'private' sphere protected from the state. The political is none of these things. Its essence is struggle.

In The Concept of the Political Schmitt argues that the differentia specifica of the political, which separates it from other spheres of life, such as religion or economics, is friend-enemy relations. The political comes into being when groups are placed in a relation of emnity, where each comes to perceive the other as an irreconcilable adversary to be fought and, if possible, defeated. Such relations exhibit an existential logic which overrides the motives which may have brought groups to this point. Each group now faces an opponent, and must take account of that fact: 'Every religious, moral, economic, ethical, or other antithesis transforms itself into a political one if it is sufficiently strong to group human beings effectively according to friends and enemy.' The political consists not in war or armed conflict as such, but precisely in the relation of emnity: not competition but confrontation. It is bound by no law: it is prior to no law.

For Schmitt: 'The concept of the state presupposes the concept of the political.' States arise as a means of continuing, organizing and channeling political struggle. It is political struggle which gives rise to political order. Any entity involved in friend-enemy relations is by definition political, whatever its origin or the origin of the differences leading to emnity: 'A religious community which wages wars against members of others religious communities or engages in other wars is already more than a religious community; it is a political entity.' The political condition arises from the struggle of groups; internal order is imposed to pursue external conflict. To view the state as the settled and orderly administration of a territory, concerned with the organization of its affairs according to law, is to see only the stabilized results of conflict. It is also to ignore the fact that the state stands in a relation of emnity to other states, that it holds its territory by means of armed force and that, on this basis of a monopoly of force, it can make claims to be the lawful government of that territory. The peaceful, legalistic, liberal bourgeoisie is sitting on a volcano and ignoring the fact. Their world depends on a relative stabilization of conflict within the state, and on the state's ability to keep at bay other potentially hostile states.

For Hobbes, the political state arises from a contract to submit to a sovereign who will put an end to the war of all against all which must otherwise prevail in a state of nature - an exchange of obediance for protection. Schmitt starts where Hobbes leaves off - with the natural condition between organized and competing groups or states. No amount of discussion, compromise or exhortation can settle issues between enemies. There can be no genuine agreement, because in the end there is nothing to agree about. Dominated as it is by the friend-enemy alternative, the political requires not discussion but decision. No amount of reflection can change an issue which is so existentially primitive that it precludes it. Speeches and motions in assemblies should not be contraposed to blood and iron but with the moral force of the decision, because vacillating parliamentarians can also cause considerable bloodshed.

In Schmitt's view, parliamentarism and liberalism existed in a particular historical epoch between the 'absolute' state of the seventeenth century and the 'total state' of the twentieth century. Parliamentary discussion and a liberal 'private sphere' presupposed the depoliticization of a large area of social, economic and cultural life. The state provided a legally codified order within which social customs, economic competition, religious beliefs, and so on, could be pursued without becoming 'political.' 'Politics' as such ceases to be exclusively the atter of the state when 'state and society penetrate each other.' The modern 'total state' breaks down the depoliticization on which such a narrow view of politics could rest:

 

Heretofore ostensibly neutral domains - religion, culture, education, the economy - then cease to be neutral. . . Against such neutralizations and depoliticizations of important domains appears the total state, which potentially embraces every domain. This results in the identity of the state and society. In such a state. . . everything is at least potentially political, and in referring to the state it is no longer possible to assert for it a specifically political characteristic.

 



Democracy and liberalism are fundamentally antagonistic. Democracy does away with the depoliticizations characteristic of rule by a narrow bourgeois stratum insulated from popular demands. Mass politics means a broadening of the agenda to include the affairs of all society - everything is potentially political. Mass politics also threatens existing forms of legal order. The politicization of all domains increases pressure on the state by multiplying the competing interests demanding action; at the same time, the function of the liberal legal framework - the regulating of the 'private sphere' - become inadequate. Once all social affairs become political, the existing constitutional framework threatens the social order: politics becomes a contest of organized parties seeking to prevail rather than to acheive reconciliation. The result is a state bound by law to allow every party an 'equal chance' for power: a weak state threatened with dissolution.

Schmitt may be an authoritarian conservative. But his diagnosis of the defects of parliamentarism and liberalism is an objective analysis rather than a mere restatement of value preferences. His concept of 'sovereignty' is challenging because it forces us to think very carefully about the conjuring trick which is 'law.' Liberalism tries to make the state subject to law. Laws are lawful if properly enacted according to set procedures; hence the 'rule of law.' In much liberal-democratic constitutional doctrine the legislature is held to be 'sovereign': it derives its law-making power from the will of the people expressed through their 'representatives.' Liberalism relies on a constituting political moment in order that the 'sovereignty' implied in democratic legislatures be unable to modify at will not only specific laws but also law-making processes. It is therefore threatened by a condition of politics which converts the 'rule of law' into a merely formal doctrine. If this 'rule of law' is simply the people's will expressed through their representatives, then it has no determinate content and the state is no longer substantially bound by law in its actions.

Classical liberalism implies a highly conservative version of the rule of law and a sovereignty limited by a constitutive political act beyond the reach of normal politics. Democracy threatens the parliamentary-constitutional regime with a boundless sovereign power claimed in the name of the 'people.' This reveals that all legal orders have an 'outside'; they rest on a political condition which is prior to and not bound by the law. A constitution can survive only if the constituting political act is upheld by some political power. The 'people' exist only in the claims of that tiny minority (their 'representatives') which functions as a 'majority' in the legislative assembly. 'Sovereignty' is thus not a matter of formal constitutional doctrine or essentially hypocritical references to the 'people'; it is a matter of determining which particular agency has the capacity - outside of law - to impose an order which, because it is political, can become legal.

Schmitt's analysis cuts through three hundred years of political theory and public law doctrine to define sovereignty in a way that renders irrelevant the endless debates about principles of political organization or the formal constitutional powers of different bodies.

 

From a practical or theoretical perspective, it really does not matter whether an abstract scheme advanced to define sovereignty (namely, that sovereignty is the highest power, not a derived power) is acceptable. About an abstract concept there will be no argument. . . What is argued about is the concrete application, and that means who decides in a situation of conflict what constitutes the public interest or interest of the state, public safety and order, le salut public, and so on. The exception, which is not codified in the existing legal order, can at best be characterized as a case of extreme peril, a danger to the existence of the state, or the like, but it cannot be circumscribed factually and made to conform to a preformed law.

 



Brutally put: ' Sovereign is he who decides on the exception.' The sovereign is a definite agency capable of making a decision, not a legitimating category (the 'people') or a purely formal definition (plentitude of power, etc.). Sovereignty is outside the law, since the actions of the sovereign in the state of exception cannot be bound by laws since laws presuppose a normal situation. To claim that this is anti-legal is to ignore the fact that all laws have an outside, that they exist because of a substantiated claim on the part of some agency to be the dominant source of binding rules within a territory. The sovereign determines the possibility of the 'rule of law' by deciding on the exception: 'For a legal order to make sense, a normal situation must exist, and he is sovereign who definitely decides whether this normal situation actually exists.'

Schmitt's concept of the exception is neither nihilistic nor anarchistic, it is concerned with the preservation of the state and the defence of legitimately constituted government and the stable institutions of society. He argues that ' the exception is different from anarchy and chaos.' It is an attempt to restore order in a political sense. While the state of exception can know no norms, the actions of the sovereign within the state must be governed by what is prudent to restore order. Barbaric excess and pure arbitrary power are not Schmitt's objecty. power is limited by a prudent concern for the social order; in the exception, 'order in the juristic sense still prevails, even if it is not of the ordinary kind.' Schmitt may be a relativist with regard to ultimate values in politics. But he is certainly a conservative concerned with defending a political framework in which the 'concrete orders' of society can be preserved, which distinguishes his thinking from both fascism and Nazism in their subordination of all social institutions to such idealized entities as the Leader and the People. For Schmitt, the exception is never the rule, as it is with fascism and Nazism. If he persists in demonstrating how law depends on politics, the norm on the exception, stability on struggle, he points up the contrary illusions of fascism and Nazism. In fact, Schmitt's work can be used as a critique of both. The ruthless logic in his analsysis of the political, the nature of soveriegnty, and the exception demonstrates the irrationality of fascism and Nazism. The exception cannot be made the rule in the 'total state' without reducing society to such a disorder through the political actions of the mass party that the very survival of the state is threatened. The Nazi state sought war as the highest goal in politics, but conducted its affairs in such a chaotic way that its war-making capacity was undermined and its war aims became fatally overextended. Schmitt's friend-enemy thesis is concerned with avoiding the danger that the logic of the political will reach its conclusion in unlimited war.

Schmitt modernizes the absolutist doctrines of Bodin and Hobbes. His jurisprudence restores - in the exception rather than the norm - the sovereign as uncommanded commander. For Hobbes, lawas are orders given by those with authority - authoritas non veritas facit legem. Confronted with complex systems of procedural limitation in public law and with the formalization of law into a system, laws become far more complex than orders. Modern legal positivism could point to a normal liberal-parliamentary legal order which did and still does appear to contradict Hobbes. Even in the somewhat modernized form of John Austin, the Hobbesian view of sovereignty is rejected on all sides. Schmitt shared neither the simplistic view of Hobbes that this implies, nor the indifference of modern legal positivism to the political foundation of law. He founded his jurisprudence neither on the normal workings of the legal order nor on the formal niceties of constitutional doctrine, but on a condition quite alien to them. 'Normalcy' rests not on legal or constitutional conditions but on a certain balance of political forces, a certain capacity of the state to impose order by force should the need arise. This is especially true of liberal-parliamentary regimes, whose public law requires stablization of political conflicts and considerable police and war powers even to begin to have the slightest chance of functioning at all. Law cannot itself form a completely rational and lawful system; the analysis of the state must make reference to those agencies which have the capacity to decide on the state of exception and not merely a formal plentitude of power.

In Political Theology Schmitt claims that the concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts. This is obvious in the case of the concept of sovereignty, wherein the omnipotent lawgiver is a mundane version of an all-powerful God. He argues that liberalism and parliamentarism correspond to deist views of God's action through constant and general natural laws. His own view is a form of fundamentalism in which the exception plays the same role in relation to the state as the miracles of Jesus do in confirming the Gospel. The exception reveals the legally unlimited capacity of whoever is sovereign within the state. In conventional, liberal-democratic doctrine the people are sovereign; their will is expressed through representatives. Schmitt argues that modern democracy is a form of populism in that the people are mobilized by propaganda and organized interests. Such a democracy bases legitimacy on the people's will. Thus parliament exists on the sufferance of political parties, propaganda agencies and organized interest which compete for popular 'consent.' When parliamentary forms and the rule of 'law' become inadequate to the political situation, they will be dispensed with in the name of the people: 'No other constitutional institution can withstand the sole criterion of the people's will, however it is expressed.'

Schmitt thus accepts the logic of Weber's view of plebiscitarian democracy and the rise of bureaucratic mass parties, which utterly destroy the old parliamentary notables. He uses the nineteenth-century conservatives Juan Donoso Cortes to set the essential dilemma in Political Theology: either a boundless democracy of plebiscitarian populism which will carry us wherever it will (i.e. to Marxist or fascist domination) or a dictatorship. Schmitt advocates a very specific form of dictatorship in a state of exception - a "commissarial' dictatorship, which acts to restore social stability, to preserve the concrete orders of society and restore the constitution. The dictator has a constitutional office. He acts in the name of the constitution, but takes such measures as are necessary to preserve order. these measures are not bound by law; they are extralegal.

Schmitt's doctrine thus involves a paradox. For all its stress on friend-enemy relations, on decisive political action, its core, its aim, is the maintenance of stability and order. It is founded on a political non-law, but not in the interest of lawlessness. Schmitt insists that the constitution must be capable of meeting the challenge of the exception, and of allowing those measures necessary to preserve order. He is anti-liberal because he claims that liberalism cannot cope with the reality of the political; it can only insist on a legal formalism which is useless in the exceptional case. He argues that only those parties which are bound to uphold the constitution should be allowed an 'equal chance' to struggle for power. Parties which threaten the existing order and use constitutional means to challenge the constitution should be subject to rigorous control.

Schmitt's relentless attack on 'discussion' makes most democrats and radicals extremely hostile to his views. He is a determined critic of the Enlightenment. Habermas's 'ideal speech situation', in which we communicate without distortion to discover a common 'emancipatory interest', would appear to Schmitt as a trivial philosophical restatement of Guizot's view that in representative government, ' through discussion the powers-that-be are obliged to seek truth in common." Schmitt is probably right. Enemies have nothing to discuss and we can never attain a situation in which the friend-enemy distinction is abolished. Liberalism does tend to ignore the exception and the more resolute forms of political struggle.

jeudi, 11 août 2011

Carl Schmitt: The Conservative Revolutionary Habitus and the Aesthetics of Horror

Carl Schmitt: The Conservative Revolutionary Habitus and the Aesthetics of Horror

Richard Wolin

Ex: http://freespeechproject.com/

 

"Carl Schmitt's polemical discussion of political Romanticism conceals the aestheticizing oscillations of his own political thought. In this respect, too, a kinship of spirit with the fascist intelligentsia reveals itself."
—Jürgen Habermas, "The Horrors of Autonomy: Carl Schmitt in English"

"The pinnacle of great politics is the moment in which the enemy comes into view in concrete clarity as the enemy."
—Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political (1927)

carl_schmitt.jpg

Only months after Hitler's accession to power, the eminently citable political philosopher and jurist Carl Schmitt, in the ominously titled work, Staat, Bewegung, Volk, delivered one of his better known dicta. On January 30, 1933, observes Schmitt, "one can say that 'Hegel died.'" In the vast literature on Schmitt's role in the National Socialist conquest of power, one can find many glosses on this one remark, which indeed speaks volumes. But let us at the outset be sure to catch Schmitt's meaning, for Schmitt quickly reminds us what he does not intend by this pronouncement: he does not mean to impugn the hallowed tradition of German étatistme, that is, of German "philosophies of state," among which Schmitt would like to number his own contributions to the annals of political thought. Instead, it is Hegel qua philosopher of the "bureaucratic class" or Beamtenstaat that has been definitely surpassed with Hitler's triumph. For "bureaucracy" (cf. Max Weber's characterization of "legal-bureaucratic domination") is, according to its essence, a bourgeois form of rule. As such, this class of civil servants—which Hegel in the Rechtsphilosophie deems the "universal class"—represents an impermissable drag on the sovereignty of executive authority. For Schmitt, its characteristic mode of functioning, which is based on rules and procedures that are fixed, preestablished, calculable, qualifies it as the very embodiment of bourgeois normalcy—a form of life that Schmitt strove to destroy and transcend in virtually everything he thought and wrote during the 1920s, for the very essence of the bureaucratic conduct of business is reverence for the norm, a standpoint that could not exist in great tension with the doctrines of Carl Schmitt himself, whom we know to be a philosopher of the state of emergency—of the Auhsnamhezustand (literally, the "state of exception"). Thus, in the eyes of Schmitt, Hegel had set an ignominious precedent by according this putative universal class a position of preeminence in his political thought, insofar as the primacy of the bureaucracy tends to diminish or supplant the perogative of sovereign authority.

But behind the critique of Hegel and the provocative claim that Hitler's rise coincides with Hegel's metaphorical death (a claim, that while true, should have offered, pace Schmitt, little cause for celebration) lies a further indictment, for in the remarks cited, Hegel is simultaneously perceived as an advocate of the Rechtsstaat, of "constitutionalism" and "rule of law." Therefore, in the history of German political thought, the doctrines of this very German philosopher prove to be something of a Trojan horse: they represent a primary avenue via which alien bourgeois forms of political life have infiltrated healthy and autochthonous German traditions, one of whose distinguishing features is an rejection of "constitutionalism" and all it implies. The political thought of Hegel thus represents a threat—and now we encounter another one of Schmitt's key terms from the 1920s—to German homogeneity.

Schmitt's poignant observations concerning the relationship between Hegel and Hitler expresses the idea that one tradition in German cultural life—the tradition of German idealism—has come to an end and a new set of principles—based in effect on the category of völkish homogeneity (and all it implies for Germany's political future)—has arisen to take its place. Or, to express the same thought in other terms: a tradition based on the concept of Vernuft or "reason" has given way to a political system whose new raison d'être was the principle of authoritarian decision—whose consummate embodiment was the Führerprinzep, one of the ideological cornerstones of the post-Hegelian state. To be sure, Schmitt's insight remains a source of fascination owing to its uncanny prescience: in a statement of a few words, he manages to express the quintessence of some 100 years of German historical development. At the same time, this remark also remains worthy insofar as it serves as a prism through which the vagaries of Schmitt's own intellectual biography come into unique focues: it represents an unambiguous declaration of his satiety of Germany's prior experiments with constitutional government and of his longing for a total- or Führerstaat in which the ambivalences of the parliamentary system would be abolished once and for all. Above all, however, it suggest how readily Schmitt personally made the transition from intellectual antagonist of Weimar democracy to whole-hearted supporter of National Socialist revolution. Herein lies what one may refer to as the paradox of Carl Schmitt: a man who, in the words of Hannah Arendt, was a "convinced Nazi," yet "whose very ingenious theories about the end of democracy and legal government still make arresting reading."

The focal point of our inquiry will be the distinctive intellectual "habitus" (Bourdieu) that facilitated Schmitt's alacritous transformation from respected Weimar jurist and academician to "crown jurist of the Third Reich." To understand the intellectual basis of Schmitt's political views, one must appreciate his elective affinities with that generation of so-called conservative revolutionary thinkers whose worldview was so decisive in turning the tide of public opinion against the fledgling Weimar republic. As the political theorist Kurt Sontheimer has noted: "It is hardly a matter of controversy today that certain ideological predispositions in German thought generally, but particularly in the intellectual climate of the Weimar Republic, induced a large number of German electors under the Weimar Republic to consider the National Socialist movement as less problematic than it turned out to be." And even though the nationalsocialists and the conservative revolutionaries failed to see eye to eye on many points, their respective plans for a new Germany were sufficiently close that a comparison between them is able to "throw light on the intellectual atmosphere in which, when National Socialism arose, it could seem to be a more or less presentable doctrine." Hence "National Socialism . . . derived considerable profit from thinkers like Oswald Spengler, Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, and Ernst Jünger," despite their later parting of the ways. One could without much exaggeration label this intellectual movement protofascistic, insofar as its general ideological effect consisted in providing a type of ideological-spiritual preparation for the National Socialist triumph.

 

Schmitt himself was never an active member of the conservative revolutionary movement, whose best known representatives—Spengler, Jünger, and van den Bruck—have been named by Sontheimer (though one might add Hans Zehrer and Othmar Spann). It would be fair to say that the major differences between Schmitt and his like-minded, influential group of right-wing intellectuals concerned a matter of form rather than substance: unlike Schmitt, most of whose writings appeared in scholarly and professional journals, the conservative revolutionaries were, to a man, nonacademics who made names for themselves as Publizisten—that is, as political writers in that same kaleidoscope and febrile world of Weimar Offentlichkeit that was the object of so much scorn in their work. But Schmitt's status as a fellow traveler in relation to the movement's main journals (such as Zehrer's influential Die Tat, activities, and circles notwithstanding, his profound intellectual affinities with this group of convinced antirepublicans are impossible to deny. In fact, in the secondary literature, it has become more common than not simply to include him as a bona fide member of the group.

The intellectual habitus shared by Schmitt and the conservative revolutionaries is in no small measure of Nietzschean derivation. Both subscribed to the immoderate verdict registered by Nietzsche on the totality of inherited Western values: those values were essentially nihilistic. Liberalism, democracy, utlitarianism, individualism, and Enlightenment rationalism were the characteristic belief structures of the decadent capitalist West; they were manifestations of a superficial Zivilisation, which failed to measure up to the sublimity of German Kultur. In opposition to a bourgeois society viewed as being in an advanced state of decomposition, Schmitt and the conservative revolutionaries counterposed the Nietzschean rites of "active nihilism." In Nietzsche's view, whatever is falling should be given a final push. Thus one of the patented conceptual oppositions proper to the conservative revolutionary habitus was that between the "hero" (or "soldier") and the "bourgeois." Whereas the hero thrives on risk, danger, and uncertainity, the life of bourgeois is devoted to petty calculations of utility and security. This conceptual opposition would occupy center stage in what was perhaps the most influential conservative revolutionary publication of the entire Weimar period, Ernst Jünger's 1932 work, Der Arbeiter (the worker), where it assumes the form of a contrast between "the worker-soldier" and "the bourgeois." If one turns, for example, to what is arguably Schmitt's major work of the 1920s, The Concept of the Political (1927), where the famous "friend-enemy" distinction is codified as the raison d'être of politics, it is difficult to ignore the profound conservative revolutionary resonances of Schmitt's argument. Indeed, it would seem that such resonances permeate, Schmitt's attempt to justify politics primarily in martial terms; that is, in light of the ultimate instance of (or to use Schmitt's own terminology) Ernstfall of battle (Kampf) or war.

Once the conservative revolutionary dimension of Schmitt's thought is brought to light, it will become clear that the continuities in his pre- and post-1933 political philosophy and stronger than the discontinuities. Yet Schmitt's own path of development from arch foe of Weimar democracy to "convinced Nazi" (Arendt) is mediated by a successive series of intellectual transformations that attest to his growing political radicalisation during the 1920s and early 1930s. He follows a route that is both predictable and sui generis: predictable insomuch as it was a route traveled by an entire generation of like-minded German conservative and nationalist intellectuals during the interwar period; sui generis, insofar as there remains an irreducible originality and perspicacity to the various Zeitdiagnosen proffered by Schmitt during the 1920s, in comparison with the at times hackneyed and familar formulations of his conservative revolutionary contemporaries.

The oxymoronic designation "conservative revolutionary" is meant to distinguish the radical turn taken during the interwar period by right-of-center German intellectuals from the stance of their "traditional conservative" counterparts, who longed for a restoration of the imagined glories of earlier German Reichs and generally stressed the desirability of a return to premodern forms of social order (e.g., Tönnies Gemeinschaft) based on aristocratic considerations of rank and privilege. As opposed to the traditional conservatives, the conservative revolutionaries (and this is true of Jünger, van den Bruck, and Schmitt), in their reflections of the German defeat in the Great War, concluded that if Germany were to be successful in the next major European conflagaration, premodern or traditional solutions would not suffice. Instead, what was necessary was "modernization," yet a form of modernization that was at the same time compatible with the (albeit mythologized) traditional German values of heroism, "will" (as opposed to "reason"), Kultur, and hierarchy. In sum, what was desired was a modern community. As Jeffrey Herf has stressed in his informative book on the subject, when one searches for the ideological origins of National Socialism, it is not so much Germany's rejection of modernity that is at issue as its selective embrace of modernity. Thus
National Socialist's triumph, far from being characterized by a disdain of modernity simpliciter, was marked simultaneously by an assimilation of technical modernity and a repudiation of Western political modernity: of the values of political liberalism as they emerge from the democratic revolutions of the eighteenth century. This describes the essence of the German "third way" or Sonderweg: Germany's special path to modernity that is neither Western in the sense of England and France nor Eastern in the sense of Russia or pan-slavism.

Schmitt began his in the 1910s as a traditonal conservative, namely, as a Catholic philosopher of state. As such, his early writings revolved around a version of political authoritarianism in which the idea of a strong state was defended at all costs against the threat of liberal encroachments. In his most significant work of the decade, The Value of the State and the Significance of the Individual (1914), the balance between the two central concepts, state and individual, is struck one-sidely in favour of the former term. For Schmitt, the state, in executing its law-promulgating perogatives, cannot countenance any opposition. The uncompromising, antiliberal conclusion he draws from this observation is that "no individual can have full autonomy within the state." Or, as Schmitt unambiguously expresses a similar thought elsewhere in the same work: "the individual" is merely "a means to the essence, the state is what is important." Thus, although Schmitt displayed little inclination for the brand of jingoistic nationalism so prevalent among his German academic mandarin brethern during the war years, as Joseph Bendersky has observed, "it was precisely on the point of authoritarianism vs. liberal individualism that the views of many Catholics [such as Schmitt] and those of non-Catholic conservatives coincided."

But like other German conservatives, it was Schmitt's antipathy to liberal democratic forms of government, coupled with the political turmoil of the Weimar republic, that facilitated his transformation from a traditional conservative to a conservative revolutionary. To be sure, a full account of the intricacies of Schmitt's conservative revolutionary "conversion" would necessitate a year by year account of his political thought during the Weimar period, during which Schmitt's intellectual output was nothing if prolific, (he published virtually a book a year). Instead, for the sake of concision and the sake of fidelity to the leitmotif of the "conservative revolutionary habitus," I have elected to concentrate on three key aspects of Schmitt's intellectual transformation during this period: first, his sympathies with the vitalist (lebensphilosophisch) critique of modern rationalism; second, his philosophy of history during these years; and third, his protofascistic of the conservative revolutionary doctrine of the "total state." All three aspects, moreover, are integrally interrelated.

II.


The vitalist critique of Enlightenment rationalism is of Nietzschean provenance. In opposition to the traditional philosophical image of "man" qua animal rationalis, Nietzsche counterposes his vision of "life [as] will to power." In the course of this "transvaluation of all values," the heretofore marginalized forces of life, will, affect, and passion should reclaim the position of primacy they once enjoyed before the triumph of "Socratism." It is in precisely this spirit that Nietzsche recommends that in the future, we philosophize with our affects instead of with concepts, for in the culture of European nihilism that has triumphed with the Enlightenment, "the essence of life, its will to power, is ignored," argues Nietzsche; "one overlooks the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions."

It would be difficult to overestimate the power and influence this Nietzschean critique exerted over an entire generation of antidemocratic German intellectuals during the 1920s. The anticivilizational ethos that pervades Spengler's Decline of the West—the defence of "blood and tradition" against the much lamented forces of societal rationalisation—would be unthinkable without that dimension of vitalistic Kulturkritik to which Nietzsche's work gave consummate expression. Nor would it seem that the doctrines of Klages, Geist als Widersacher der Seele (Intellect as the Antagonist of the Soul; 1929-31), would have captured the mood of the times as well as they did had it not been for the irrevocable precedent set by Nietzsche's work, for the central opposition between "life" and "intellect," as articulated by Klages and so many other German "anti-intellectual intellectuals" during the interwar period, represents an unmistakably Nietzschean inheritance.

While the conservative revolutionary components of Schmitt's worldview have been frequently noted, the paramount role played by the "philosophy of life"—above all, by the concept of cultural criticism proper to Lebensphilosophie—on his political thought has escaped the attention of most critics. However, a full understanding of Schmitt's status as a radical conservative intellectual is inseparable from an appreciation of an hitherto neglected aspect of his work.

In point of fact, determinate influences of "philosophy of life"—a movement that would feed directly into the Existenzphilosophie craze of the 1920s (Heidegger, Jaspers, and others)—are really discernable in Schmitt's pre-Weimar writings. Thus, in one of his first published works, Law and Judgment (1912), Schmitt is concerned with demonstrating the impossibility of understanding the legal order in exclusively rationalist terms, that is, as a self-sufficient, complete system of legal norms after the fashion of legal positivism. It is on this basis that Schmitt argues in a particular case, a correct decision cannot be reached solely via a process of deducation or generalisation from existing legal precedents or norms. Instead, he contends, there is always a moment of irreducible particularity to each case that defies subsumption under general principles. It is precisely this aspect of legal judgment that Schmitt finds most interesting and significant. He goes on to coin a phrase for this "extralegal" dimension that proves an inescapable aspect of all legal decision making proper: the moment of "concrete indifference," the dimension of adjudication that transcends the previously established legal norm. In essence, the moment of "concrete indifference" represents for Schmitt a type of vital substrate, an element of "pure life," that forever stands opposed to the formalism of laws as such. Thus at the heart of bourgeois society—its legal system—one finds an element of existential particularity that defies the coherence of rationalist syllogizing or formal reason.

The foregoing account of concrete indifference is a matter of more than passing or academic interest insofar as it proves a crucial harbinger of Schmitt's later decisionistic theory of sovereignty, for its its devaluation of existing legal norms as a basis for judicial decision making, the category of concrete indifference points towards the imperative nature of judicial decision itself as a self-sufficient and irreducible basis of adjudication. The vitalist dimension of Schmitt's early philosophy of law betrays itself in his thoroughgoing denigration of legal normativism—for norms are a product of arid intellectualism (Intelligenz) and, as such, hostile to life (lebensfeindlick)—and the concomitant belief that the decision alone is capable of bridging the gap between the abstractness of law and the fullness of life.

The inchoate vitalist sympathies of Schmitt's early work become full blown in his writings of the 1920s. Here, the key text is Political Theology (1922), in which Schmitt formulates his decisionist theory of politics, or, as he remarks in the work's often cited first sentance: "Sovereign is he who decides the state of exception [Ausnahmezustand]."

It would be tempting to claim from this initial, terse yet lapidry definition of sovereignty, one may deduce the totality of Schmitt's mature political thought, for it contains what we know to the be the two keywords of his political philosophy during these years: decision and the exception. Both in Schmitt's lexicon are far from value-neutral or merely descriptive concepts. Instead, they are both accorded unambiguously positive value in the economy of his thought. Thus one of the hallmarks of Schmitt's political philosophy during the Weimar years will be a privileging of Ausnahmezustand, or state of exception, vis-à-vis political normalcy.

It is my claim that Schmitt's celebration of the state of exception over conditions of political normalcy—which he essentially equates with legal positivism and "parliamentarianism"—has its basis in the vitalist critique of Enlightenment rationalism. In his initial justification of the Ausnahmezustand in Political Theology, Schmitt leaves no doubt concerning the historical pedigree of such concepts. Thus following the well-known definition of sovereignty cited earlier, he immediantly underscores its status as a "borderline concept"—a Grenzbegriff, a concept "pertaining to the outermost sphere." It is precisely this fascination with extreme or "boundry situations" (Grenzsituationen—K. Jaspers—those unique moments of existential peril that become a proving ground of individual "authenticity"—that characterizes Lebensphilosophie's sweeping critique of bourgeois "everydayness." Hence in the Grenzsituationen, Dasein glimpses transcendence and is thereby transformed from possible to real Existenz." In parallel fashion, Schmitt, by according primacy to the "state of exception" as opposed to political normalcy, tries to invest the emergency situation with a higher, existential significance and meaning.

According to the inner logic of this conceptual scheme, the "state of exception" becomes the basis for a politics of authenticity. In contrast to conditions of political normalcy, which represent the unexalted reign of the "average, the "medicore," and the "everyday," the state of exception proves capable of reincorporating a dimension of heroism and greatness that is sorely lacking in routinized, bourgeois conduct of political life.

Consequently, the superiority of the state as the ultimate, decisionistic arbiter over the emergency situation is a matter that, in Schmitt's eyes, need not be argued for, for according to Schmitt, "every rationalist interpretation falsifies the immediacy of life." Instead, in his view, the state represents a fundamental, irrefragable, existential verity, as does the category of "life" in Nietzsche's philosophy, or, as Schmitt remarks with a characteristic pith in Political Theology, "The existence of the state is undoubted proof of its superiority over the validity of the legal norm." Thus "the decision [on the state of exception] becomes instantly independent of argumentative substantiation and receives autonomous value."

But as Franz Neumann observes in Behemoth, given the lack of coherence of National Socialist ideology, the rationales provided for totalitarian practice were often couched specifically in vitalist or existential terms. In Neumann's words,

 

[Given the incoherence of National Socialist ideology], what is left as justification for the [Grossdeutsche] Reich? Not racism, not the idea of the Holy Roman Empire, and certainly not some democratic nonsense like popular sovereignty or self-determination. Only the Reich itself remains. It is its own justification. The philosophical roots of the argument are to be found in the existential philosophy of Heidegger. Transferred to the realm of politics, exisentialism argues that power and might are true: power is a sufficient theoretical basis for more power.

 


[Excerpts from The Seduction of Unreason: The Intellectual Romance with Fascism from Nietzsche to Postmodernism (2004).]

Keith Preston: Understanding Carl Schmitt

 

Keith Preston: Understanding Carl Schmitt

dimanche, 31 juillet 2011

The NewDark Age: The Frankfurt School and "Political Correctness"

The New Dark Age: The Frankfurt School and 'Political Correctness'

Michael Minnicino

Ex: http://www.wermodandwermod.com/

The people of North America and Western Europe now accept a level of ugliness in their daily lives which is almost without precedent in the history of Western civilization. Most of us have become so inured, that the death of millions from starvation and disease draws from us no more than a sigh, or a murmur of protest. Our own city streets, home to legions of the homeless, are ruled by Dope, Inc., the largest industry in the world, and on those streets Americans now murder each other at a rate not seen since the Dark Ages.

At the same time, a thousand smaller horrors are so commonplace as to go unnoticed. Our children spend as much time sitting in front of television sets as they do in school, watching with glee, scenes of torture and death which might have shocked an audience in the Roman Coliseum. Music is everywhere, almost unavoidable—but it does not uplift, nor even tranquilize—it claws at the ears, sometimes spitting out an obscenity. Our plastic arts are ugly, our architecture is ugly, our clothes are ugly. There have certainly been periods in history where mankind has lived through similar kinds of brutishness, but our time is crucially different. Our post-World War II era is the first in history in which these horrors are completely avoidable. Our time is the first to have the technology and resources to feed, house, educate, and humanely employ every person on earth, no matter what the growth of population. Yet, when shown the ideas and proven technologies that can solve the most horrendous problems, most people retreat into implacable passivity. We have become not only ugly, but impotent.

Nonetheless, there is no reason why our current moral-cultural situation had to lawfully or naturally turn out as it has; and there is no reason why this tyranny of ugliness should continue one instant longer.

Consider the situation just one hundred years ago, in the early 1890's. In music, Claude Debussy was completing his Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and Arnold Schönberg was beginning to experiment with atonalism; at the same time, Dvorak was working on his Ninth Symphony, while Brahms and Verdi still lived. Edvard Munch was showing The Scream, and Paul Gauguin his Self-Portrait with Halo, but in America, Thomas Eakins was still painting and teaching. Mechanists like Helmholtz and Mach held major university chairs of science, alongside the students of Riemann and Cantor. Pope Leo XIII's De Rerum Novarum was being promulgated, even as sections of the Socialist Second International were turning terrorist, and preparing for class war.

The optimistic belief that one could compose music like Beethoven, paint like Rembrandt, study the universe like Plato and Nicolaus of Cusa, and change world society without violence, was alive in the 1890's—admittedly, it was weak, and under siege, but it was hardly dead. Yet, within twenty short years, these Classical traditions of human civilization had been all but swept away, and the West had committed itself to a series of wars of inconceivable carnage.

What started about a hundred years ago, was what might be called a counter-Renaissance. The Renaissance of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was a religious celebration of the human soul and mankind's potential for growth. Beauty in art could not be conceived of as anything less than the expression of the most-advanced scientific principles, as demonstrated by the geometry upon which Leonardo's perspective and Brunelleschi's great Dome of Florence Cathedral are based. The finest minds of the day turned their thoughts to the heavens and the mighty waters, and mapped the solar system and the route to the New World, planning great projects to turn the course of rivers for the betterment of mankind. About a hundred years ago, it was as though a long checklist had been drawn up, with all of the wonderful achievements of the Renaissance itemized—each to be reversed. As part of this "New Age" movement, as it was then called, the concept of the human soul was undermined by the most vociferous intellectual campaign in history; art was forcibly separated from science, and science itself was made the object of deep suspicion. Art was made ugly because, it was said, life had become ugly.

The cultural shift away from the Renaissance ideas that built the modern world, was due to a kind of freemasonry of ugliness. In the beginning, it was a formal political conspiracy to popularize theories that were specifically designed to weaken the soul of Judeo-Christian civilization in such a way as to make people believe that creativity was not possible, that adherence to universal truth was evidence of authoritarianism, and that reason itself was suspect. This conspiracy was decisive in planning and developing, as means of social manipulation, the vast new sister industries of radio, television, film, recorded music, advertising, and public opinion polling. The pervasive psychological hold of the media was purposely fostered to create the passivity and pessimism which afflict our populations today. So successful was this conspiracy, that it has become embedded in our culture; it no longer needs to be a "conspiracy," for it has taken on a life of its own. Its successes are not debatable—you need only turn on the radio or television. Even the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice is deformed into an erotic soap opera, with the audience rooting from the sidelines for their favorite character.

Our universities, the cradle of our technological and intellectual future, have become overwhelmed by Comintern-style New Age "Political Correctness." With the collapse of the Soviet Union, our campuses now represent the largest concentration of Marxist dogma in the world. The irrational adolescent outbursts of the 1960's have become institutionalized into a "permanent revolution." Our professors glance over their shoulders, hoping the current mode will blow over before a student's denunciation obliterates a life's work; some audio-tape their lectures, fearing accusations of "insensitivity" by some enraged "Red Guard." Students at the University of Virginia recently petitioned successfully to drop the requirement to read Homer, Chaucer, and other DEMS ("Dead European Males") because such writings are considered ethnocentric, phallocentric, and generally inferior to the "more relevant" Third World, female, or homosexual authors.

This is not the academy of a republic; this is Hitler's Gestapo and Stalin's NKVD rooting out "deviationists," and banning books—the only thing missing is the public bonfire.

We will have to face the fact that the ugliness we see around us has been consciously fostered and organized in such a way, that a majority of the population is losing the cognitive ability to transmit to the next generation, the ideas and methods upon which our civilization was built. The loss of that ability is the primary indicator of a Dark Age. And, a new Dark Age is exactly what we are in. In such situations, the record of history is unequivocal: either we create a Renaissance—a rebirth of the fundamental principles upon which civilization originated—or, our civilization dies.

I. The Frankfurt School: Bolshevik Intelligentsia

The single, most important organizational component of this conspiracy was a Communist thinktank called the Institute for Social Research (I.S.R.), but popularly known as the Frankfurt School.

In the heady days immediately after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, it was widely believed that proletarian revolution would momentarily sweep out of the Urals into Europe and, ultimately, North America. It did not; the only two attempts at workers' government in the West— in Munich and Budapest—lasted only months. The Communist International (Comintern) therefore began several operations to determine why this was so. One such was headed by Georg Lukacs, a Hungarian aristocrat, son of one of the Hapsburg Empire's leading bankers. Trained in Germany and already an important literary theorist, Lukacs became a Communist during World War I, writing as he joined the party, "Who will save us from Western civilization?" Lukacs was well-suited to the Comintern task: he had been one of the Commissars of Culture during the short-lived Hungarian Soviet in Budapest in 1919; in fact, modern historians link the shortness of the Budapest experiment to Lukacs' orders mandating sex education in the schools, easy access to contraception, and the loosening of divorce laws—all of which revulsed Hungary's Roman Catholic population.

Fleeing to the Soviet Union after the counter-revolution, Lukacs was secreted into Germany in 1922, where he chaired a meeting of Communist-oriented sociologists and intellectuals. This meeting founded the Institute for Social Research. Over the next decade, the Institute worked out what was to become the Comintern's most successful psychological warfare operation against the capitalist West.

Lukacs identified that any political movement capable of bringing Bolshevism to the West would have to be, in his words, "demonic"; it would have to "possess the religious power which is capable of filling the entire soul; a power that characterized primitive Christianity." However, Lukacs suggested, such a "messianic" political movement could only succeed when the individual believes that his or her actions are determined by "not a personal destiny, but the destiny of the community" in a world "that has been abandoned by God [emphasis added-MJM]." Bolshevism worked in Russia because that nation was dominated by a peculiar gnostic form of Christianty typified by the writings of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. "The model for the new man is Alyosha Karamazov," said Lukacs, referring to the Dostoyevsky character who willingly gave over his personal identity to a holy man, and thus ceased to be "unique, pure, and therefore abstract."

This abandonment of the soul's uniqueness also solves the problem of "the diabolic forces lurking in all violence" which must be unleashed in order to create a revolution. In this context, Lukacs cited the Grand Inquisitor section of Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, noting that the Inquisitor who is interrogating Jesus, has resolved the issue of good and evil: once man has understood his alienation from God, then any act in the service of the "destiny of the community" is justified; such an act can be "neither crime nor madness.... For crime and madness are objectifications of transcendental homelessness."

According to an eyewitness, during meetings of the Hungarian Soviet leadership in 1919 to draw up lists for the firing squad, Lukacs would often quote the Grand Inquisitor: "And we who, for their happiness, have taken their sins upon ourselves, we stand before you and say, 'Judge us if you can and if you dare.' "

The Problem of Genesis

What differentiated the West from Russia, Lukacs identified, was a Judeo-Christian cultural matrix which emphasized exactly the uniqueness and sacredness of the individual which Lukacs abjured. At its core, the dominant Western ideology maintained that the individual, through the exercise of his or her reason, could discern the Divine Will in an unmediated relationship. What was worse, from Lukacs' standpoint: this reasonable relationship necessarily implied that the individual could and should change the physical universe in pursuit of the Good; that Man should have dominion over Nature, as stated in the Biblical injunction in Genesis. The problem was, that as long as the individual had the belief—or even the hope of the belief—that his or her divine spark of reason could solve the problems facing society, then that society would never reach the state of hopelessness and alienation which Lukacs recognized as the necessary prerequisite for socialist revolution.

The task of the Frankfurt School, then, was first, to undermine the Judeo-Christian legacy through an "abolition of culture" (Aufhebung der Kultur in Lukacs' German); and, second, to determine new cultural forms which would increase the alienation of the population, thus creating a "new barbarism." To this task, there gathered in and around the Frankfurt School an incredible assortment of not only Communists, but also non-party socialists, radical phenomenologists, Zionists, renegade Freudians, and at least a few members of a self-identified "cult of Astarte." The variegated membership reflected, to a certain extent, the sponsorship: although the Institute for Social Research started with Comintern support, over the next three decades its sources of funds included various German and American universities, the Rockefeller Foundation, Columbia Broadcasting System, the American Jewish Committee, several American intelligence services, the Office of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, the International Labour Organization, and the Hacker Institute, a posh psychiatric clinic in Beverly Hills.

Similarly, the Institute's political allegiances: although top personnel maintained what might be called a sentimental relationship to the Soviet Union (and there is evidence that some of them worked for Soviet intelligence into the 1960's), the Institute saw its goals as higher than that of Russian foreign policy. Stalin, who was horrified at the undisciplined, "cosmopolitan" operation set up by his predecessors, cut the Institute off in the late 1920's, forcing Lukacs into "self-criticism," and briefly jailing him as a German sympathizer during World War II.

Lukacs survived to briefly take up his old post as Minister of Culture during the anti-Stalinist Imre Nagy regime in Hungary. Of the other top Institute figures, the political perambulations of Herbert Marcuse are typical. He started as a Communist; became a protégé of philosopher Martin Heidegger even as the latter was joining the Nazi Party; coming to America, he worked for the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and later became the U.S. State Department's top analyst of Soviet policy during the height of the McCarthy period; in the 1960's, he turned again, to become the most important guru of the New Left; and he ended his days helping to found the environmentalist extremist Green Party in West Germany.

In all this seeming incoherence of shifting positions and contradictory funding, there is no ideological conflict. The invariant is the desire of all parties to answer Lukacs' original question: "Who will save us from Western civilization?"

Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin

Perhaps the most important, if least-known, of the Frankfurt School's successes was the shaping of the electronic media of radio and television into the powerful instruments of social control which they represent today. This grew out of the work originally done by two men who came to the Institute in the late 1920's, Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin.

After completing studies at the University of Frankfurt, Walter Benjamin planned to emigrate to Palestine in 1924 with his friend Gershom Scholem (who later became one of Israel's most famous philosophers, as well as Judaism's leading gnostic), but was prevented by a love affair with Asja Lacis, a Latvian actress and Comintern stringer. Lacis whisked him off to the Italian island of Capri, a cult center from the time of the Emperor Tiberius, then used as a Comintern training base; the heretofore apolitical Benjamin wrote Scholem from Capri, that he had found "an existential liberation and an intensive insight into the actuality of radical communism."

Lacis later took Benjamin to Moscow for further indoctrination, where he met playwright Bertolt Brecht, with whom he would begin a long collaboration; soon thereafter, while working on the first German translation of the drug-enthusiast French poet Baudelaire, Benjamin began serious experimentation with hallucinogens. In 1927, he was in Berlin as part of a group led by Adorno, studying the works of Lukacs; other members of the study group included Brecht and his composer-partner Kurt Weill; Hans Eisler, another composer who would later become a Hollywood film score composer and co-author with Adorno of the textbook Composition for the Film; the avant-garde photographer Imre Moholy-Nagy; and the conductor Otto Klemperer.

From 1928 to 1932, Adorno and Benjamin had an intensive collaboration, at the end of which they began publishing articles in the Institute's journal, the Zeitschrift fär Sozialforschung. Benjamin was kept on the margins of the Institute, largely due to Adorno, who would later appropriate much of his work. As Hitler came to power, the Institute's staff fled, but, whereas most were quickly spirited away to new deployments in the U.S. and England, there were no job offers for Benjamin, probably due to the animus of Adorno. He went to France, and, after the German invasion, fled to the Spanish border; expecting momentary arrest by the Gestapo, he despaired and died in a dingy hotel room of self-administered drug overdose.

Benjamin's work remained almost completely unknown until 1955, when Scholem and Adorno published an edition of his material in Germany. The full revival occurred in 1968, when Hannah Arendt, Heidegger's former mistress and a collaborator of the Institute in America, published a major article on Benjamin in the New Yorker magazine, followed in the same year by the first English translations of his work. Today, every university bookstore in the country boasts a full shelf devoted to translations of every scrap Benjamin wrote, plus exegesis, all with 1980's copyright dates.

Adorno was younger than Benjamin, and as aggressive as the older man was passive. Born Teodoro Wiesengrund-Adorno to a Corsican family, he was taught the piano at an early age by an aunt who lived with the family and had been the concert accompanist to the international opera star Adelina Patti. It was generally thought that Theodor would become a professional musician, and he studied with Bernard Sekles, Paul Hindemith's teacher. However, in 1918, while still a gymnasium student, Adorno met Siegfried Kracauer. Kracauer was part of a Kantian-Zionist salon which met at the house of Rabbi Nehemiah Nobel in Frankfurt; other members of the Nobel circle included philosopher Martin Buber, writer Franz Rosenzweig, and two students, Leo Lowenthal and Erich Fromm. Kracauer, Lowenthal, and Fromm would join the I.S.R. two decades later. Adorno engaged Kracauer to tutor him in the philosophy of Kant; Kracauer also introduced him to the writings of Lukacs and to Walter Benjamin, who was around the Nobel clique.

In 1924, Adorno moved to Vienna, to study with the atonalist composers Alban Berg and Arnold Schönberg, and became connected to the avant-garde and occult circle around the old Marxist Karl Kraus. Here, he not only met his future collaborator, Hans Eisler, but also came into contact with the theories of Freudian extremist Otto Gross. Gross, a long-time cocaine addict, had died in a Berlin gutter in 1920, while on his way to help the revolution in Budapest; he had developed the theory that mental health could only be achieved through the revival of the ancient cult of Astarte, which would sweep away monotheism and the "bourgeois family."

Saving Marxist Aesthetics

By 1928, Adorno and Benjamin had satisfied their intellectual wanderlust, and settled down at the I.S.R. in Germany to do some work. As subject, they chose an aspect of the problem posed by Lukacs: how to give aesthetics a firmly materialistic basis. It was a question of some importance, at the time. Official Soviet discussions of art and culture, with their wild gyrations into "socialist realism" and "proletkult," were idiotic, and only served to discredit Marxism's claim to philosophy among intellectuals. Karl Marx's own writings on the subject were sketchy and banal, at best.

In essence, Adorno and Benjamin's problem was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Leibniz had once again obliterated the centuries-old gnostic dualism dividing mind and body, by demonstrating that matter does not think. A creative act in art or science apprehends the truth of the physical universe, but it is not determined by that physical universe. By self-consciously concentrating the past in the present to effect the future, the creative act, properly defined, is as immortal as the soul which envisions the act. This has fatal philosophical implications for Marxism, which rests entirely on the hypothesis that mental activity is determined by the social relations excreted by mankind's production of its physical existence.

Marx sidestepped the problem of Leibniz, as did Adorno and Benjamin, although the latter did it with a lot more panache. It is wrong, said Benjamin in his first articles on the subject, to start with the reasonable, hypothesizing mind as the basis of the development of civilization; this is an unfortunate legacy of Socrates. As an alternative, Benjamin posed an Aristotelian fable in interpretation of Genesis: Assume that Eden were given to Adam as the primordial physical state. The origin of science and philosophy does not lie in the investigation and mastery of nature, but in the naming of the objects of nature; in the primordial state, to name a thing was to say all there was to say about that thing. In support of this, Benjamin cynically recalled the opening lines of the Gospel according to St. John, carefully avoiding the philosophically-broader Greek, and preferring the Vulgate (so that, in the phrase "In the beginning was the Word," the connotations of the original Greek word logos—speech, reason, ratiocination, translated as "Word"—are replaced by the narrower meaning of the Latin word verbum). After the expulsion from Eden and God's requirement that Adam eat his bread earned by the sweat of his face (Benjamin's Marxist metaphor for the development of economies), and God's further curse of Babel on Nimrod (that is, the development of nation-states with distinct languages, which Benjamin and Marx viewed as a negative process away from the "primitive communism" of Eden), humanity became "estranged" from the physical world.

Thus, Benjamin continued, objects still give off an "aura" of their primordial form, but the truth is now hopelessly elusive. In fact, speech, written language, art, creativity itself—that by which we master physicality—merely furthers the estrangement by attempting, in Marxist jargon, to incorporate objects of nature into the social relations determined by the class structure dominant at that point in history. The creative artist or scientist, therefore, is a vessel, like Ion the rhapsode as he described himself to Socrates, or like a modern "chaos theory" advocate: the creative act springs out of the hodgepodge of culture as if by magic. The more that bourgeois man tries to convey what he intends about an object, the less truthful he becomes; or, in one of Benjamin's most oft-quoted statements, "Truth is the death of intention."

This philosophical sleight-of-hand allows one to do several destructive things. By making creativity historically-specific, you rob it of both immortality and morality. One cannot hypothesize universal truth, or natural law, for truth is completely relative to historical development. By discarding the idea of truth and error, you also may throw out the "obsolete" concept of good and evil; you are, in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, "beyond good and evil." Benjamin is able, for instance, to defend what he calls the "Satanism" of the French Symbolists and their Surrealist successors, for at the core of this Satanism "one finds the cult of evil as a political device ... to disinfect and isolate against all moralizing dilettantism" of the bourgeoisie. To condemn the Satanism of Rimbaud as evil, is as incorrect as to extol a Beethoven quartet or a Schiller poem as good; for both judgments are blind to the historical forces working unconsciously on the artist.

Thus, we are told, the late Beethoven's chord structure was striving to be atonal, but Beethoven could not bring himself consciously to break with the structured world of Congress of Vienna Europe (Adorno's thesis); similarly, Schiller really wanted to state that creativity was the liberation of the erotic, but as a true child of the Enlightenment and Immanuel Kant, he could not make the requisite renunciation of reason (Marcuse's thesis). Epistemology becomes a poor relation of public opinion, since the artist does not consciously create works in order to uplift society, but instead unconsciously transmits the ideological assumptions of the culture into which he was born. The issue is no longer what is universally true, but what can be plausibly interpreted by the self-appointed guardians of the Zeitgeist.

"The Bad New Days"

Thus, for the Frankfort School, the goal of a cultural elite in the modern, "capitalist" era must be to strip away the belief that art derives from the self-conscious emulation of God the Creator; "religious illumination," says Benjamin, must be shown to "reside in a profane illumination, a materialistic, anthropological inspiration, to which hashish, opium, or whatever else can give an introductory lesson." At the same time, new cultural forms must be found to increase the alienation of the population, in order for it to understand how truly alienated it is to live without socialism. "Do not build on the good old days, but on the bad new ones," said Benjamin.

The proper direction in painting, therefore, is that taken by the late Van Gogh, who began to paint objects in disintegration, with the equivalent of a hashish-smoker's eye that "loosens and entices things out of their familiar world." In music, "it is not suggested that one can compose better today" than Mozart or Beethoven, said Adorno, but one must compose atonally, for atonalism is sick, and "the sickness, dialectically, is at the same time the cure....The extraordinarily violent reaction protest which such music confronts in the present society ... appears nonetheless to suggest that the dialectical function of this music can already be felt ... negatively, as 'destruction.' "

The purpose of modern art, literature, and music must be to destroy the uplifting—therefore, bourgeois — potential of art, literature, and music, so that man, bereft of his connection to the divine, sees his only creative option to be political revolt. "To organize pessimism means nothing other than to expel the moral metaphor from politics and to discover in political action a sphere reserved one hundred percent for images." Thus, Benjamin collaborated with Brecht to work these theories into practical form, and their joint effort culminated in the Verfremdungseffekt ("estrangement effect"), Brecht's attempt to write his plays so as to make the audience leave the theatre demoralized and aimlessly angry.

Political Correctness

The Adorno-Benjamin analysis represents almost the entire theoretical basis of all the politically correct aesthetic trends which now plague our universities. The Poststructuralism of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida, the Semiotics of Umberto Eco, the Deconstructionism of Paul DeMan, all openly cite Benjamin as the source of their work. The Italian terrorist Eco's best-selling novel, The Name of the Rose, is little more than a paean to Benjamin; DeMan, the former Nazi collaborator in Belgium who became a prestigious Yale professor, began his career translating Benjamin; Barthes' infamous 1968 statement that "[t]he author is dead," is meant as an elaboration of Benjamin's dictum on intention. Benjamin has actually been called the heir of Leibniz and of Wilhelm von Humboldt, the philologist collaborator of Schiller whose educational reforms engendered the tremendous development of Germany in the nineteenth century. Even as recently as September 1991, the Washington Post referred to Benjamin as "the finest German literary theorist of the century (and many would have left off that qualifying German)."

Readers have undoubtedly heard one or another horror story about how an African-American Studies Department has procured a ban on Othello, because it is "racist," or how a radical feminist professor lectured a Modern Language Association meeting on the witches as the "true heroines" of Macbeth. These atrocities occur because the perpetrators are able to plausibly demonstrate, in the tradition of Benjamin and Adorno, that Shakespeare's intent is irrelevant; what is important, is the racist or phallocentric "subtext" of which Shakespeare was unconscious when he wrote.

When the local Women's Studies or Third World Studies Department organizes students to abandon classics in favor of modern Black and feminist authors, the reasons given are pure Benjamin. It is not that these modern writers are better, but they are somehow more truthful because their alienated prose reflects the modern social problems of which the older authors were ignorant! Students are being taught that language itself is, as Benjamin said, merely a conglomeration of false "names" foisted upon society by its oppressors, and are warned against "logocentrism," the bourgeois over-reliance on words.

If these campus antics appear "retarded" (in the words of Adorno), that is because they are designed to be. The Frankfurt School's most important breakthrough consists in the realization that their monstrous theories could become dominant in the culture, as a result of the changes in society brought about by what Benjamin called "the age of mechanical reproduction of art."

II. The Establishment Goes Bolshevik:
"Entertainment" Replaces Art

Before the twentieth century, the distinction between art and "entertainment" was much more pronounced. One could be entertained by art, certainly, but the experience was active, not passive. On the first level, one had to make a conscious choice to go to a concert, to view a certain art exhibit, to buy a book or piece of sheet music. It was unlikely that any more than an infinitesimal fraction of the population would have the opportunity to see King Lear or hear Beethoven's Ninth Symphony more than once or twice in a lifetime. Art demanded that one bring one's full powers of concentration and knowledge of the subject to bear on each experience, or else the experience were considered wasted. These were the days when memorization of poetry and whole plays, and the gathering of friends and family for a "parlor concert," were the norm, even in rural households. These were also the days before "music appreciation"; when one studied music, as many did, they learned to play it, not appreciate it.

However, the new technologies of radio, film, and recorded music represented, to use the appropriate Marxist buzz-word, a dialectical potential. On the one hand, these technologies held out the possibility of bringing the greatest works of art to millions of people who would otherwise not have access to them. On the other, the fact that the experience was infinitely reproducible could tend to disengage the audience's mind, making the experience less sacred, thus increasing alienation. Adorno called this process, "demythologizing." This new passivity, Adorno hypothesized in a crucial article published in 1938, could fracture a musical composition into the "entertaining" parts which would be "fetishized" in the memory of the listener, and the difficult parts, which would be forgotten. Adorno continues,

 

The counterpart to the fetishism is a regression of listening. This does not mean a relapse of the individual listener into an earlier phase of his own development, nor a decline in the collective general level, since the millions who are reached musically for the first time by today's mass communications cannot be compared with the audiences of the past. Rather, it is the contemporary listening which has regressed, arrested at the infantile stage. Not only do the listening subjects lose, along with the freedom of choice and responsibility, the capacity for the conscious perception of music .... [t]hey fluctuate between comprehensive forgetting and sudden dives into recognition. They listen atomistically and dissociate what they hear, but precisely in this dissociation they develop certain capacities which accord less with the traditional concepts of aesthetics than with those of football or motoring. They are not childlike ... but they are childish; their primitivism is not that of the undeveloped, but that of the forcibly retarded. [emphasis aded]

This conceptual retardation and preconditioning caused by listening, suggested that programming could determine preference. The very act of putting, say, a Benny Goodman number next to a Mozart sonata on the radio, would tend to amalgamate both into entertaining "music-on-the-radio" in the mind of the listener. This meant that even new and unpalatable ideas could become popular by "re-naming" them through the universal homogenizer of the culture industry. As Benjamin puts it,

 

Mechanical reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses toward art. The reactionary attitude toward a Picasso painting changes into a progressive reaction toward a Chaplin movie. The progressive reaction is characterized by the direct, intimate fusion of visual and emotional enjoyment with the orientation of the expert.... With regard to the screen, the critical and receptive attitudes of the public coincide. The decisive reason for this is that the individual reactions are predetermined by the mass audience response they are about to produce, and this is nowhere more pronounced than in the film.

At the same time, the magic power of the media could be used to re-define previous ideas. "Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Beethoven will all make films," concluded Benjamin, quoting the French film pioneer Abel Gance, "... all legends, all mythologies, all myths, all founders of religions, and the very religions themselves ... await their exposed resurrection."

Social Control: The "Radio Project"

Here, then, were some potent theories of social control. The great possibilities of this Frankfurt School media work were probably the major contributing factor in the support given the I.S.R. by the bastions of the Establishment, after the Institute transferred its operations to America in 1934.

In 1937, the Rockefeller Foundation began funding research into the social effects of new forms of mass media, particularly radio. Before World War I, radio had been a hobbyist's toy, with only 125,000 receiving sets in the entire U.S.; twenty years later, it had become the primary mode of entertainment in the country; out of 32 million American families in 1937, 27.5 million had radios — a larger percentage than had telephones, automobiles, plumbing, or electricity! Yet, almost no systematic research had been done up to this point. The Rockefeller Foundation enlisted several universities, and headquartered this network at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Named the Office of Radio Research, it was popularly known as "the Radio Project."

The director of the Project was Paul Lazersfeld, the foster son of Austrian Marxist economist Rudolph Hilferding, and a long-time collaborator of the I.S.R. from the early 1930's. Under Lazersfeld was Frank Stanton, a recent Ph.D. in industrial psychology from Ohio State, who had just been made research director of Columbia Broadcasting System—a grand title but a lowly position. After World War II, Stanton became president of the CBS News Division, and ultimately president of CBS at the height of the TV network's power; he also became Chairman of the Board of the RAND Corporation, and a member of President Lyndon Johnson's "kitchen cabinet." Among the Project's researchers were Herta Herzog, who married Lazersfeld and became the first director of research for the Voice of America; and Hazel Gaudet, who became one of the nation's leading political pollsters. Theodor Adorno was named chief of the Project's music section.

Despite the official gloss, the activities of the Radio Project make it clear that its purpose was to test empirically the Adorno-Benjamin thesis that the net effect of the mass media could be to atomize and increase lability—what people would later call "brainwashing."

Soap Operas and the Invasion from Mars

The first studies were promising. Herta Herzog produced "On Borrowed Experiences," the first comprehensive research on soap operas. The "serial radio drama" format was first used in 1929, on the inspiration of the old, cliff-hanger "Perils of Pauline" film serial. Because these little radio plays were highly melodramatic, they became popularly identified with Italian grand opera; because they were often sponsored by soap manufacturers, they ended up with the generic name, "soap opera."

Until Herzog's work, it was thought that the immense popularity of this format was largely with women of the lowest socioeconomic status who, in the restricted circumstances of their lives, needed a helpful escape to exotic places and romantic situations. A typical article from that period by two University of Chicago psychologists, "The Radio Day-Time Serial: Symbol Analysis" published in the Genetic Psychology Monographs, solemnly emphasized the positive, claiming that the soaps "function very much like the folk tale, expressing the hopes and fears of its female audience, and on the whole contribute to the integration of their lives into the world in which they live."

Herzog found that there was, in fact, no correlation to socioeconomic status. What is more, there was surprisingly little correlation to content. The key factor — as Adorno and Benjamin's theories suggested it would be — was the form itself of the serial; women were being effectively addicted to the format, not so much to be entertained or to escape, but to "find out what happens next week." In fact, Herzog found, you could almost double the listenership of a radio play by dividing it into segments.

Modern readers will immediately recognize that this was not a lesson lost on the entertainment industry. Nowadays, the serial format has spread to children's programming and high-budget prime time shows. The most widely watched shows in the history of television, remain the "Who Killed JR?" installment of Dallas, and the final episode of M*A*S*H, both of which were premised on a "what happens next?" format. Even feature films, like the Star Wars and Back to the Future trilogies, are now produced as serials, in order to lock in a viewership for the later installments. The humble daytime soap also retains its addictive qualities in the current age: 70% of all American women over eighteen now watch at least two of these shows each day, and there is a fast-growing viewership among men and college students of both sexes.

The Radio Project's next major study was an investigation into the effects of Orson Welles' Halloween 1938 radioplay based on H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Six million people heard the broadcast realistically describing a Martian invasion force landing in rural New Jersey. Despite repeated and clear statements that the show was fictional, approximately 25% of the listeners thought it was real, some panicking outright. The Radio Project researchers found that a majority of the people who panicked did not think that men from Mars had invaded; they actually thought that the Germans had invaded.

It happened this way. The listeners had been psychologically pre-conditioned by radio reports from the Munich crisis earlier that year. During that crisis, CBS's man in Europe, Edward R. Murrow, hit upon the idea of breaking into regular programming to present short news bulletins. For the first time in broadcasting, news was presented not in longer analytical pieces, but in short clips—what we now call "audio bites." At the height of the crisis, these flashes got so numerous, that, in the words of Murrow's producer Fred Friendly, "news bulletins were interrupting news bulletins." As the listeners thought that the world was moving to the brink of war, CBS ratings rose dramatically. When Welles did his fictional broadcast later, after the crisis had receded, he used this news bulletin technique to give things verisimilitude: he started the broadcast by faking a standard dance-music program, which kept getting interrupted by increasingly terrifying "on the scene reports" from New Jersey. Listeners who panicked, reacted not to content, but to format; they heard "We interrupt this program for an emergency bulletin," and "invasion," and immediately concluded that Hitler had invaded. The soap opera technique, transposed to the news, had worked on a vast and unexpected scale.

Little Annie and the "Wagnerian Dream" of TV

In 1939, one of the numbers of the quarterly Journal of Applied Psychology was handed over to Adorno and the Radio Project to publish some of their findings. Their conclusion was that Americans had, over the last twenty years, become "radio-minded," and that their listening had become so fragmented that repetition of format was the key to popularity. The play list determined the "hits"—a truth well known to organized crime, both then and now—and repetition could make any form of music or any performer, even a classical music performer, a "star." As long as a familiar form or context was retained, almost any content would become acceptable. "Not only are hit songs, stars, and soap operas cyclically recurrent and rigidly invariable types," said Adorno, summarizing this material a few years later, "but the specific content of the entertainment itself is derived from them and only appears to change. The details are interchangeable."

The crowning achievement of the Radio Project was "Little Annie," officially titled the Stanton-Lazersfeld Program Analyzer. Radio Project research had shown that all previous methods of preview polling were ineffectual. Up to that point, a preview audience listened to a show or watched a film, and then was asked general questions: did you like the show? what did you think of so-and-so's performance? The Radio Project realized that this method did not take into account the test audience's atomized perception of the subject, and demanded that they make a rational analysis of what was intended to be an irrational experience. So, the Project created a device in which each test audience member was supplied with a type of rheostat on which he could register the intensity of his likes or dislikes on a moment-to-moment basis. By comparing the individual graphs produced by the device, the operators could determine, not if the audience liked the whole show — which was irrelevant—but, which situations or characters produced a positive, if momentary, feeling state.

Little Annie transformed radio, film, and ultimately television programming. CBS still maintains program analyzer facilities in Hollywood and New York; it is said that results correlate 85% to ratings. Other networks and film studios have similar operations. This kind of analysis is responsible for the uncanny feeling you get when, seeing a new film or TV show, you think you have seen it all before. You have, many times. If a program analyzer indicates that, for instance, audiences were particularly titilated by a short scene in a World War II drama showing a certain type of actor kissing a certain type of actress, then that scene format will be worked into dozens of screenplays—transposed to the Middle Ages, to outer space, etc., etc.

The Radio Project also realized that television had the potential to intensify all of the effects that they had studied. TV technology had been around for some years, and had been exhibited at the 1936 World's Fair in New York, but the only person to attempt serious utilization of the medium had been Adolf Hitler. The Nazis broadcast events from the 1936 Olympic Games "live" to communal viewing rooms around Germany; they were trying to expand on their great success in using radio to Nazify all aspects of German culture. Further plans for German TV development were sidetracked by war preparations.

Adorno understood this potential perfectly, writing in 1944:

Television aims at the synthesis of radio and film, and is held up only because the interested parties have not yet reached agreement, but its consequences will be quite enormous and promise to intensify the impoverishment of aesthetic matter so drastically, that by tomorrow the thinly veiled identity of all industrial culture products can come triumphantly out in the open, derisively fulfilling the Wagnerian dream of the Gesamtkunstwerk—the fusion of all the arts in one work.

The obvious point is this: the profoundly irrational forms of modern entertainment—the stupid and eroticized content of most TV and films, the fact that your local Classical music radio station programs Stravinsky next to Mozart—don't have to be that way. They were designed to be that way. The design was so successful, that today, no one even questions the reasons or the origins.

III. Creating "Public Opinion": The "Authoritarian Personality" Bogeyman and the OSS

The efforts of the Radio Project conspirators to manipulate the population, spawned the modern pseudoscience of public opinion polling, in order to gain greater control over the methods they were developing.

Today, public opinion polls, like the television news, have been completely integrated into our society. A "scientific survey" of what people are said to think about an issue can be produced in less than twenty-four hours. Some campaigns for high political office are completely shaped by polls; in fact, many politicians try to create issues which are themselves meaningless, but which they know will look good in the polls, purely for the purpose of enhancing their image as "popular." Important policy decisions are made, even before the actual vote of the citizenry or the legislature, by poll results. Newspapers will occasionally write pious editorials calling on people to think for themselves, even as the newspaper's business agent sends a check to the local polling organization.

The idea of "public opinion" is not new, of course. Plato spoke against it in his Republic over two millenia ago; Alexis de Tocqueville wrote at length of its influence over America in the early nineteenth century. But, nobody thought to measure public opinion before the twentieth century, and nobody before the 1930's thought to use those measurements for decision-making.

It is useful to pause and reflect on the whole concept. The belief that public opinion can be a determinant of truth is philosophically insane. It precludes the idea of the rational individual mind. Every individual mind contains the divine spark of reason, and is thus capable of scientific discovery, and understanding the discoveries of others. The individual mind is one of the few things that cannot, therefore, be "averaged." Consider: at the moment of creative discovery, it is possible, if not probable, that the scientist making the discovery is the only person to hold that opinion about nature, whereas everyone else has a different opinion, or no opinion. One can only imagine what a "scientifically-conducted survey" on Kepler's model of the solar system would have been, shortly after he published the Harmony of the World: 2% for, 48% against, 50% no opinion.

These psychoanalytic survey techniques became standard, not only for the Frankfurt School, but also throughout American social science departments, particularly after the I.S.R. arrived in the United States. The methodology was the basis of the research piece for which the Frankfurt School is most well known, the "authoritarian personality" project. In 1942, I.S.R. director Max Horkheimer made contact with the American Jewish Committee, which asked him to set up a Department of Scientific Research within its organization. The American Jewish Committee also provided a large grant to study anti-Semitism in the American population. "Our aim," wrote Horkheimer in the introduction to the study, "is not merely to describe prejudice, but to explain it in order to help in its eradication.... Eradication means reeducation scientifically planned on the basis of understanding scientifically arrived at."

The A-S Scale

Ultimately, five volumes were produced for this study over the course of the late 1940's; the most important was the last, The Authoritarian Personality, by Adorno, with the help of three Berkeley, California social psychologists.

In the 1930's Erich Fromm had devised a questionnaire to be used to analyze German workers pychoanalytically as "authoritarian," "revolutionary" or "ambivalent." The heart of Adorno's study was, once again, Fromm's psychoanalytic scale, but with the positive end changed from a "revolutionary personality," to a "democratic personality," in order to make things more palatable for a postwar audience.

Nine personality traits were tested and measured, including:

  • conventionalism—rigid adherence to conventional, middle-class values
  • authoritarian aggression—the tendency to be on the look-out for, to condemn, reject and punish, people who violate conventional values
  • projectivity—the disposition to believethat wild and dangerous things go on in the world
  • sex—exaggerated concern with sexual goings-on.

From these measurements were constructed several scales: the E Scale (ethnocentrism), the PEC Scale (poltical and economic conservatism), the A-S Scale (anti-Semitism), and the F Scale (fascism). Using Rensis Lickerts's methodology of weighting results, the authors were able to tease together an empirical definition of what Adorno called "a new anthropological type," the authoritarian personality. The legerdemain here, as in all psychoanalytic survey work, is the assumption of a Weberian "type." Once the type has been statistically determined, all behavior can be explained; if an anti-Semitic personality does not act in an anti-Semitic way, then he or she has an ulterior motive for the act, or is being discontinuous. The idea that a human mind is capable of transformation, is ignored.

The results of this very study can be interpreted in diametrically different ways. One could say that the study proved that the population of the U.S. was generally conservative, did not want to abandon a capitalist economy, believed in a strong family and that sexual promiscuity should be punished, thought that the postwar world was a dangerous place, and was still suspicious of Jews (and Blacks, Roman Catholics, Orientals, etc. — unfortunately true, but correctable in a social context of economic growth and cultural optimism). On the other hand, one could take the same results and prove that anti-Jewish pogroms and Nuremburg rallies were simmering just under the surface, waiting for a new Hitler to ignite them. Which of the two interpretations you accept is a political, not a scientific, decision. Horkheimer and Adorno firmly believed that all religions, Judaism included, were "the opiate of the masses." Their goal was not the protection of Jews from prejudice, but the creation of a definition of authoritarianism and anti-Semitism which could be exploited to force the "scientifically planned reeducation" of Americans and Europeans away from the principles of Judeo-Christian civilization, which the Frankfurt School despised. In their theoretical writings of this period, Horkheimer and Adorno pushed the thesis to its most paranoid: just as capitalism was inherently fascistic, the philosophy of Christianity itself is the source of anti-Semitism. As Horkheimer and Adorno jointly wrote in their 1947 "Elements of Anti-Semitism":

 

Christ, the spirit become flesh, is the deified sorcerer. Man's self-reflection in the absolute, the humanization of God by Christ, is the proton pseudos [original falsehood]. Progress beyond Judaism is coupled with the assumption that the man Jesus has become God. The reflective aspect of Christianity, the intellectualization of magic, is the root of evil.

At the same time, Horkheimer could write in a more-popularized article titled "Anti-Semitism: A Social Disease," that "at present, the only country where there does not seem to be any kind of anti-Semitism is Russia"[!].

This self-serving attempt to maximize paranoia was further aided by Hannah Arendt, who popularized the authoritarian personality research in her widely-read Origins of Totalitarianism. Arendt also added the famous rhetorical flourish about the "banality of evil" in her later Eichmann in Jerusalem: even a simple, shopkeeper-type like Eichmann can turn into a Nazi beast under the right psychological circumstances—every Gentile is suspect, psychoanalytically.

It is Arendt's extreme version of the authoritarian personality thesis which is the operant philosophy of today's Cult Awareness Network (CAN), a group which works with the U.S. Justice Department and the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith, among others. Using standard Frankfurt School method, CAN identifies political and religious groups which are its political enemies, then re-labels them as a "cult," in order to justify operations against them.

The Public Opinion Explosion

Despite its unprovable central thesis of "psychoanalytic types," the interpretive survey methodology of the Frankfurt School became dominant in the social sciences, and essentially remains so today. In fact, the adoption of these new, supposedly scientific techniques in the 1930's brought about an explosion in public-opinion survey use, much of it funded by Madison Avenue. The major pollsters of today—A.C. Neilsen, George Gallup, Elmo Roper—started in the mid-1930's, and began using the I.S.R. methods, especially given the success of the Stanton-Lazersfeld Program Analyzer. By 1936, polling activity had become sufficiently widespread to justify a trade association, the American Academy of Public Opinion Research at Princeton, headed by Lazersfeld; at the same time, the University of Chicago created the National Opinion Research Center. In 1940, the Office of Radio Research was turned into the Bureau of Applied Social Research, a division of Columbia University, with the indefatigable Lazersfeld as director.

After World War II, Lazersfeld especially pioneered the use of surveys to psychoanalyze American voting behavior, and by the 1952 Presidential election, Madison Avenue advertising agencies were firmly in control of Dwight Eisenhower's campaign, utilizing Lazersfeld's work. Nineteen fifty-two was also the first election under the influence of television, which, as Adorno had predicted eight years earlier, had grown to incredible influence in a very short time. Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne — the fabled "BBD&O" ad agency—designed Ike's campaign appearances entirely for the TV cameras, and as carefully as Hitler's Nuremberg rallies; one-minute "spot" advertisements were pioneered to cater to the survey-determined needs of the voters.

This snowball has not stopped rolling since. The entire development of television and advertising in the 1950's and 1960's was pioneered by men and women who were trained in the Frankfurt School's techniques of mass alienation. Frank Stanton went directly from the Radio Project to become the single most-important leader of modern television. Stanton's chief rival in the formative period of TV was NBC's Sylvester "Pat" Weaver; after a Ph.D. in "listening behavior," Weaver worked with the Program Analyzer in the late 1930's, before becoming a Young & Rubicam vice-president, then NBC's director of programming, and ultimately the network's president. Stanton and Weaver's stories are typical.

Today, the men and women who run the networks, the ad agencies, and the polling organizations, even if they have never heard of Theodor Adorno, firmly believe in Adorno's theory that the media can, and should, turn all they touch into "football." Coverage of the 1991 Gulf War should make that clear.

The technique of mass media and advertising developed by the Frankfurt School now effectively controls American political campaigning. Campaigns are no longer based on political programs, but actually on alienation. Petty gripes and irrational fears are identified by psychoanalytic survey, to be transmogrified into "issues" to be catered to; the "Willy Horton" ads of the 1988 Presidential campaign, and the "flag-burning amendment," are but two recent examples. Issues that will determine the future of our civilization, are scrupulously reduced to photo opportunities and audio bites—like Ed Murrow's original 1930's radio reports—where the dramatic effect is maximized, and the idea content is zero.

Who Is the Enemy?

Part of the influence of the authoritarian personality hoax in our own day also derives from the fact that, incredibly, the Frankfurt School and its theories were officially accepted by the U.S. government during World War II, and these Cominternists were responsible for determining who were America's wartime, and postwar, enemies. In 1942, the Office of Strategic Services, America's hastily-constructed espionage and covert operations unit, asked former Harvard president James Baxter to form a Research and Analysis (R&A) Branch under the group's Intelligence Division. By 1944, the R&A Branch had collected such a large and prestigeous group of emigré scholars that H. Stuart Hughes, then a young Ph.D., said that working for it was "a second graduate education" at government expense. The Central European Section was headed by historian Carl Schorske; under him, in the all-important Germany/Austria Section, was Franz Neumann, as section chief, with Herbert Marcuse, Paul Baran, and Otto Kirchheimer, all I.S.R. veterans. Leo Lowenthal headed the German-language section of the Office of War Information; Sophie Marcuse, Marcuse's wife, worked at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Also at the R&A Branch were: Siegfried Kracauer, Adorno's old Kant instructor, now a film theorist; Norman O. Brown, who would become famous in the 1960's by combining Marcuse's hedonism theory with Wilhelm Reich's orgone therapy to popularize "polymorphous perversity"; Barrington Moore, Jr., later a philosophy professor who would co-author a book with Marcuse; Gregory Bateson, the husband of anthropologist Margaret Mead (who wrote for the Frankfurt School's journal), and Arthur Schlesinger, the historian who joined the Kennedy Administration. Marcuse's first assignment was to head a team to identify both those who would be tried as war criminals after the war, and also those who were potential leaders of postwar Germany. In 1944, Marcuse, Neumann, and Kirchheimer wrote the Denazification Guide, which was later issued to officers of the U.S. Armed Forces occupying Germany, to help them identify and suppress pro-Nazi behaviors. After the armistice, the R&A Branch sent representatives to work as intelligence liaisons with the various occupying powers; Marcuse was assigned the U.S. Zone, Kirchheimer the French, and Barrington Moore the Soviet. In the summer of 1945, Neumann left to become chief of research for the Nuremburg Tribunal. Marcuse remained in and around U.S. intelligence into the early 1950's, rising to the chief of the Central European Branch of the State Department's Office of Intelligence Research, an office formally charged with "planning and implementing a program of positive-intelligence research ... to meet the intelligence requirements of the Central Intelligence Agency and other authorized agencies." During his tenure as a U.S. government official, Marcuse supported the division of Germany into East and West, noting that this would prevent an alliance between the newly liberated left-wing parties and the old, conservative industrial and business layers. In 1949, he produced a 532-page report, "The Potentials of World Communism" (declassified only in 1978), which suggested that the Marshall Plan economic stabilization of Europe would limit the recruitment potential of Western Europe's Communist Parties to acceptable levels, causing a period of hostile co-existence with the Soviet Union, marked by confrontation only in faraway places like Latin America and Indochina—in all, a surprisingly accurate forecast. Marcuse left the State Department with a Rockefeller Foundation grant to work with the various Soviet Studies departments which were set up at many of America's top universities after the war, largely by R&A Branch veterans.

At the same time, Max Horkheimer was doing even greater damage. As part of the denazification of Germany suggested by the R&A Branch, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany John J. McCloy, using personal discretionary funds, brought Horkheimer back to Germany to reform the German university system. In fact, McCloy asked President Truman and Congress to pass a bill granting Horkheimer, who had become a naturalized American, dual citizenship; thus, for a brief period, Horkheimer was the only person in the world to hold both German and U.S. citizenship. In Germany, Horkheimer began the spadework for the full-blown revival of the Frankfurt School in that nation in the late 1950's, including the training of a whole new generation of anti-Western civilization scholars like Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jürgen Habermas, who would have such destructive influence in 1960's Germany. In a period of American history when some individuals were being hounded into unemployment and suicide for the faintest aroma of leftism, Frankfurt School veterans—all with superb Comintern credentials — led what can only be called charmed lives. America had, to an incredible extent, handed the determination of who were the nation's enemies, over to the nation's own worst enemies.

IV. The Aristotelian Eros: Marcuse and the CIA's Drug Counterculture

In 1989, Hans-Georg Gadamer, a protégé of Martin Heidegger and the last of the original Frankfurt School generation, was asked to provide an appreciation of his own work for the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He wrote,

 

One has to conceive of Aristotle's ethics as a true fulfillment of the Socratic challenge, which Plato had placed at the center of his dialogues on the Socratic question of the good.... Plato described the idea of the good ... as the ultimate and highest idea, which is supposedly the highest principle of being for the universe, the state, and the human soul. Against this Aristotle opposed a decisive critique, under the famous formula, "Plato is my friend, but the truth is my friend even more." He denied that one could consider the idea of the good as a universal principle of being, which is supposed to hold in the same way for theoretical knowledge as for practical knowledge and human activity.

This statement not only succinctly states the underlying philosophy of the Frankfurt School, it also suggests an inflection point around which we can order much of the philosophical combat of the last two millenia. In the simplest terms, the Aristotelian correction of Plato sunders physics from metaphysics, relegating the Good to a mere object of speculation about which "our knowledge remains only a hypothesis," in the words of Wilhelm Dilthey, the Frankfurt School's favorite philosopher. Our knowledge of the "real world," as Dilthey, Nietzsche, and other precursors of the Frankfurt School were wont to emphasize, becomes erotic, in the broadest sense of that term, as object fixation. The universe becomes a collection of things which each operate on the basis of their own natures (that is, genetically), and through interaction between themselves (that is, mechanistically). Science becomes the deduction of the appropriate categories of these natures and interactions. Since the human mind is merely a sensorium, waiting for the Newtonian apple to jar it into deduction, humanity's relationship to the world (and vice versa) becomes an erotic attachment to objects. The comprehension of the universal—the mind's seeking to be the living image of the living God—is therefore illusory. That universal either does not exist, or it exists incomprehensibly as a deus ex machina; that is, the Divine exists as a superaddition to the physical universe — God is really Zeus, flinging thunderbolts into the world from some outside location. (Or, perhaps more appropriately: God is really Cupid, letting loose golden arrows to make objects attract, and leaden arrows to make objects repel.) The key to the entire Frankfurt School program, from originator Lukacs on, is the "liberation" of Aristotelian eros, to make individual feeling states psychologically primary. When the I.S.R. leaders arrived in the United States in the mid-1930's, they exulted that here was a place which had no adequate philosophical defenses against their brand of Kulturpessimismus [cultural pessimism]. However, although the Frankfurt School made major inroads in American intellectual life before World War II, that influence was largely confined to academia and to radio; and radio, although important, did not yet have the overwhelming influence on social life that it would acquire during the war. Furthermore, America's mobilization for the war, and the victory against fascism, sidetracked the Frankfurt School schedule; America in 1945 was almost sublimely optimistic, with a population firmly convinced that a mobilized republic, backed by science and technology, could do just about anything. The fifteen years after the war, however, saw the domination of family life by the radio and television shaped by the Frankfurt School, in a period of political erosion in which the great positive potential of America degenerated to a purely negative posture against the real and, oftentimes manipulated, threat of the Soviet Union. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of the young generation—the so-called baby boomers—were entering college and being exposed to the Frankfurt School's poison, either directly or indirectly. It is illustrative, that by 1960, sociology had become the most popular course of study in American universities. Indeed, when one looks at the first stirrings of the student rebellion at the beginning of the 1960's, like the speeches of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement or the Port Huron Statement which founded the Students for a Democratic Society, one is struck with how devoid of actual content these discussions were. There is much anxiety about being made to conform to the system—"I am a human being; do not fold, spindle, or mutilate" went an early Berkeley slogan—but it is clear that the "problems" cited derive much more from required sociology textbooks, than from the real needs of the society.

The CIA's Psychedelic Revolution

The simmering unrest on campus in 1960 might well too have passed or had a positive outcome, were it not for the traumatic decapitation of the nation through the Kennedy assassination, plus the simultaneous introduction of widespread drug use. Drugs had always been an "analytical tool" of the nineteenth century Romantics, like the French Symbolists, and were popular among the European and American Bohemian fringe well into the post-World War II period. But, in the second half of the 1950's, the CIA and allied intelligence services began extensive experimentation with the hallucinogen LSD to investigate its potential for social control. It has now been documented that millions of doses of the chemical were produced and disseminated under the aegis of the CIA's Operation MK-Ultra. LSD became the drug of choice within the agency itself, and was passed out freely to friends of the family, including a substantial number of OSS veterans. For instance, it was OSS Research and Analysis Branch veteran Gregory Bateson who "turned on" the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg to a U.S. Navy LSD experiment in Palo Alto, California. Not only Ginsberg, but novelist Ken Kesey and the original members of the Grateful Dead rock group opened the doors of perception courtesy of the Navy. The guru of the "psychedelic revolution," Timothy Leary, first heard about hallucinogens in 1957 from Life magazine (whose publisher, Henry Luce, was often given government acid, like many other opinion shapers), and began his career as a CIA contract employee; at a 1977 "reunion" of acid pioneers, Leary openly admitted, "everything I am, I owe to the foresight of the CIA." Hallucinogens have the singular effect of making the victim asocial, totally self-centered, and concerned with objects. Even the most banal objects take on the "aura" which Benjamin had talked about, and become timeless and delusionarily profound. In other words, hallucinogens instantaneously achieve a state of mind identical to that prescribed by the Frankfurt School theories. And, the popularization of these chemicals created a vast psychological lability for bringing those theories into practice. Thus, the situation at the beginning of the 1960's represented a brilliant re-entry point for the Frankfurt School, and it was fully exploited. One of the crowning ironies of the "Now Generation" of 1964 on, is that, for all its protestations of utter modernity, none of its ideas or artifacts was less than thirty years old. The political theory came completely from the Frankfurt School; Lucien Goldmann, a French radical who was a visiting professor at Columbia in 1968, was absolutely correct when he said of Herbert Marcuse in 1969 that "the student movements ... found in his works and ultimately in his works alone the theoretical formulation of their problems and aspirations [emphasis in original]." The long hair and sandals, the free love communes, the macrobiotic food, the liberated lifestyles, had been designed at the turn of the century, and thoroughly field-tested by various, Frankfurt School-connected New Age social experiments like the Ascona commune before 1920. (See box.) Even Tom Hayden's defiant "Never trust anyone over thirty," was merely a less-urbane version of Rupert Brooke's 1905, "Nobody over thirty is worth talking to." The social planners who shaped the 1960's simply relied on already-available materials.

Eros and Civilization

The founding document of the 1960's counterculture, and that which brought the Frankfurt School's "revolutionary messianism" of the 1920's into the 1960's, was Marcuse's Eros and Civilization, originally published in 1955 and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. The document masterfully sums up the Frankfurt School ideology of Kulturpessimismus in the concept of "dimensionality." In one of the most bizarre perversions of philosophy, Marcuse claims to derive this concept from Friedrich Schiller. Schiller, whom Marcuse purposefully misidentifies as the heir of Immanuel Kant, discerned two dimensions in humanity: a sensuous instinct and an impulse toward form. Schiller advocated the harmonization of these two instincts in man in the form of a creative play instinct. For Marcuse, on the other hand, the only hope to escape the one-dimensionality of modern industrial society was to liberate the erotic side of man, the sensuous instinct, in rebellion against "technological rationality." As Marcuse would say later (1964) in his One-Dimensional Man, "A comfortable, smooth, reasonable, democratic unfreedom prevails in advanced industrial civilization, a token of technical progress." This erotic liberation he misidentifies with Schiller's "play instinct," which, rather than being erotic, is an expression of charity, the higher concept of love associated with true creativity. Marcuse's contrary theory of erotic liberation is something implicit in Sigmund Freud, but not explicitly emphasized, except for some Freudian renegades like Wilhelm Reich and, to a certain extent, Carl Jung. Every aspect of culture in the West, including reason itself, says Marcuse, acts to repress this: "The totalitarian universe of technological rationality is the latest transmutation of the idea of reason." Or: "Auschwitz continues to haunt, not the memory but the accomplishments of man—the space flights, the rockets and missiles, the pretty electronics plants...."

This erotic liberation should take the form of the "Great Refusal," a total rejection of the "capitalist" monster and all his works, including "technological" reason, and "ritual-authoritarian language." As part of the Great Refusal, mankind should develop an "aesthetic ethos," turning life into an aesthetic ritual, a "life-style" (a nonsense phrase which came into the language in the 1960's under Marcuse's influence). With Marcuse representing the point of the wedge, the 1960's were filled with obtuse intellectual justifications of contentless adolescent sexual rebellion. Eros and Civilization was reissued as an inexpensive paperback in 1961, and ran through several editions; in the preface to the 1966 edition, Marcuse added that the new slogan, "Make Love, Not War," was exactly what he was talking about: "The fight for eros is a political fight [emphasis in original]." In 1969, he noted that even the New Left's obsessive use of obscenities in its manifestoes was part of the Great Refusal, calling it "a systematic linguistic rebellion, which smashes the ideological context in which the words are employed and defined." Marcuse was aided by psychoanalyst Norman O. Brown, his OSS protege, who contributed Life Against Death in 1959, and Love's Body in 1966—calling for man to shed his reasonable, "armored" ego, and replace it with a "Dionysian body ego," that would embrace the instinctual reality of polymorphous perversity, and bring man back into "union with nature." The books of Reich, who had claimed that Nazism was caused by monogamy, were re-issued. Reich had died in an American prison, jailed for taking money on the claim that cancer could be cured by rechanneling "orgone energy." Primary education became dominated by Reich's leading follower, A.S. Neill, a Theosophical cult member of the 1930's and militant atheist, whose educational theories demanded that students be taught to rebel against teachers who are, by nature, authoritarian. Neill's book Summerhill sold 24,000 copies in 1960, rising to 100,000 in 1968, and 2 million in 1970; by 1970, it was required reading in 600 university courses, making it one of the most influential education texts of the period, and still a benchmark for recent writers on the subject. Marcuse led the way for the complete revival of the rest of the Frankfurt School theorists, re-introducing the long-forgotten Lukacs to America. Marcuse himself became the lightning rod for attacks on the counterculture, and was regularly attacked by such sources as the Soviet daily Pravda, and then-California Governor Ronald Reagan. The only critique of any merit at the time, however, was one by Pope Paul VI, who in 1969 named Marcuse (an extraordinary step, as the Vatican usually refrains from formal denunciations of living individuals), along with Freud, for their justification of "disgusting and unbridled expressions of eroticism"; and called Marcuse's theory of liberation, "the theory which opens the way for license cloaked as liberty ... an aberration of instinct." The eroticism of the counterculture meant much more than free love and a violent attack on the nuclear family. It also meant the legitimization of philosophical eros. People were trained to see themselves as objects, determined by their "natures." The importance of the individual as a person gifted with the divine spark of creativity, and capable of acting upon all human civilization, was replaced by the idea that the person is important because he or she is black, or a woman, or feels homosexual impulses. This explains the deformation of the civil rights movement into a "black power" movement, and the transformation of the legitimate issue of civil rights for women into feminism. Discussion of women's civil rights was forced into being just another "liberation cult," complete with bra-burning and other, sometimes openly Astarte-style, rituals; a review of Kate Millet's Sexual Politics (1970) and Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch (1971), demonstrates their complete reliance on Marcuse, Fromm, Reich, and other Freudian extremists.

The Bad Trip

This popularization of life as an erotic, pessimistic ritual did not abate, but in fact deepened over the twenty years leading to today; it is the basis of the horror we see around us. The heirs of Marcuse and Adorno completely dominate the universities, teaching their own students to replace reason with "Politically Correct" ritual exercises. There are very few theoretical books on arts, letters, or language published today in the United States or Europe which do not openly acknowledge their debt to the Frankfort School.

The witchhunt on today's campuses is merely the implementation of Marcuse's concept of "repressive toleration"—"tolerance for movements from the left, but intolerance for movements from the right"—enforced by the students of the Frankfurt School, now become the professors of women's studies and Afro-American studies. The most erudite spokesman for Afro-American studies, for instance, Professor Cornell West of Princeton, publicly states that his theories are derived from Georg Lukacs. At the same time, the ugliness so carefully nurtured by the Frankfurt School pessimists, has corrupted our highest cultural endeavors. One can hardly find a performance of a Mozart opera, which has not been utterly deformed by a director who, following Benjamin and the I.S.R., wants to "liberate the erotic subtext." You cannot ask an orchestra to perform Schönberg and Beethoven on the same program, and maintain its integrity for the latter. And, when our highest culture becomes impotent, popular culture becomes openly bestial. One final image: American and European children daily watch films like Nightmare on Elm Street and Total Recall, or television shows comparable to them. A typical scene in one of these will have a figure emerge from a television set; the skin of his face will realistically peel away to reveal a hideously deformed man with razor-blade fingers, fingers which start growing to several feet in length, and—suddenly—the victim is slashed to bloody ribbons. This is not entertainment. This is the deeply paranoid hallucination of the LSD acid head. The worst of what happened in the 1960's is now daily fare. Owing to the Frankfurt School and its co-conspirators, the West is on a "bad trip" from which it is not being allowed to come down.

The principles through which Western Judeo-Christian civilization was built, are now no longer dominant in our society; they exist only as a kind of underground resistance movement. If that resistance is ultimately submerged, then the civilization will not survive—and, in our era of incurable pandemic disease and nuclear weapons, the collapse of Western civilization will very likely take the rest of the world with it to Hell.

The way out is to create a Renaissance. If that sounds grandiose, it is nonetheless what is needed. A renaissance means, to start again; to discard the evil, and inhuman, and just plain stupid, and to go back, hundreds or thousands of years, to the ideas which allow humanity to grow in freedom and goodness. Once we have identified those core beliefs, we can start to rebuild civilization.

Ultimately, a new Renaissance will rely on scientists, artists, and composers, but in the first moment, it depends on seemingly ordinary people who will defend the divine spark of reason in themselves, and tolerate no less in others. Given the successes of the Frankfurt School and its New Dark Age sponsors, these ordinary individuals, with their belief in reason and the difference between right and wrong, will be "unpopular." But, no really good idea was ever popular, in the beginning.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/lkbrg6

lundi, 25 juillet 2011

Storia della cultura fascista

Storia della cultura fascista

di Luca Leonello Rimbotti


Fonte: mirorenzaglia [scheda fonte]

image.jpgÈ appena uscito un libro eccellente sul Fascismo e la sua importanza come moderno movimento rivoluzionario: non esitiamo a considerarlo un vero e proprio manuale di base, in grado di rompere gli steccati del conformismo vetero-ideologico e di porsi come strumento di contro-cultura di qualità: su di esso può essere ricostruita pezzo a pezzo tutta la storiografia del nuovo Millennio sul Fascismo. E con esso si può finalmente buttarsi alle spalle la lunga e avvilente stagione in cui a dominare la scena erano gli intellettuali codardi e opportunisti, i gestori della menzogna storica, i grandi camaleonti allevati in gioventù dal Regime, da questo messi in pista e poi, alla prova dei fatti, rivoltatiglisi contro come un groviglio di serpi rancorose, subito asservite ai nuovi padroni del dopoguerra. L’eccezionale uscita editoriale si chiama Storia della cultura fascista (il Mulino) di Alessandra Tarquini, una giovane ricercatrice di scuola defeliciana che già conoscevamo come ottima storica di Gentile e del gentilianesimo. Di questo libro bisogna parlare alto e forte. Deve essere da tutti conosciuto, studiato, divulgato. Non foss’altro per quella compostezza ed equanimità che, a distanza di quasi settant’anni dalla fine del Fascismo, è il minimo che si possa richiedere ad uno studioso di oggi.

Fatti i conti con i vecchi rottami della faida ideologica, appartenenti a una stagione ingloriosamente trapassata, la Tarquini passa in rassegna tutte le componenti che hanno costituito l’anima del movimento e del Regime fascisti: l’uno e l’altro sono da lei giudicati essenzialmente come soggetti politici rivoluzionari portatori di modernità e di cultura innovatrice. Viene così rovesciato l’assunto propagandistico di quanti avevano per decenni irriso il Fascismo, dicendolo privo di una sua originale ideologia, di una sua peculiare cultura, di una sua spinta modernizzatrice. La studiosa – in questa che è propriamente una storia della storiografia sul Fascismo – precisa che, per la verità, negli ultimi decenni già si erano avuti i sintomi di un generale ripensamento degli storici in materia. I tempi dei Quazza, dei Bobbio, dei Santarelli, dei Tranfaglia e compagni, una volta crollato il comunismo sovietico e prontamente liquidata la sbornia marxista che aveva dettato legge soprattutto negli anni Settanta, ha lasciato campo a posizionamenti più seri. Le boutade sul Fascismo reazionario e sul Mussolini pagato dai padroni capitalisti, le pedestri generalizzazioni sugli incolti picchiatori, tutte cose che comunque rimangono a testimonianza di un’atmosfera italiana popolata da studiosi sovente di rara bassezza qualitativa, vengono sostituite con l’analisi che oggi «gli storici hanno capovolto i loro giudizi e sono passati dal negare l’esistenza della cultura fascista al ricostruire i suoi diversi e molteplici aspetti considerandoli non solo importanti, ma addirittura decisivi per capire il fascismo».

Quando, negli anni Sessanta, uscirono gli studi capitali di Mosse e De Felice, la canèa antifascista fece di tutto per spingerli ai margini. Poi, mano a mano, si aprivano spiragli, si notavano marce indietro. Poterono così aversi i libri, per dire, di Isnenghi, Turi, Zunino, che, pur non rinunciando alla polemica ideologica anche fuori posto, tuttavia dimostravano che la repubblica delle lettere si stava rendendo conto che il Fascismo era stato un fenomeno ben più complesso che non “l’orda degli Hyksos” immaginata da Croce e sulla cui traccia si era gettata la muta degli storici marxisti o di scuola azionista. Poi, soprattutto dall’estero, arrivarono in successione un Gregor, uno Sternhell, un Cannistraro, ma specialmente poi un Griffin, e su questa scia si è potuta avere in Italia la densa produzione soprattutto di Emilio Gentile, ma anche di tutta una serie di nuovi storici, che nell’insieme hanno prodotto con risultati notevoli indagini anche minute sul Fascismo come combinazione di mito e organizzazione, di totalitarismo e modernità.

Intendiamoci, il rigurgito passatista è sempre dietro l’angolo: e ogni tanto ancora escono libri che sembrano scritti, e male, quarant’anni fa, e pur sempre i vecchi Tasca o Salvatorelli continuano qua e là a far pessima scuola. Ma, in generale, le nebbie si stanno diradando e il Fascismo comincia a vedersi riconosciuti alcuni tratti fondamentali. Che, come la Tarquini ben precisa, furono essenzialmente la modernità, la centralità del popolo e la cultura. Il tutto, incardinato sul principio del primato della politica, dette vita ad una autentica rivoluzione. Anzi, come la storica puntualizza, si trattò proprio di una sorta di rivoluzione conservatrice, che se da un lato proteggeva quanto di buono vi era nel tessuto sociale tradizionale, dall’altro si presentava con un massimo di proiezione sul futuro. Ciò che la Tarquini, riferendosi ad esempio a Sternhell, ha sottolineato nel senso che il Fascismo fu un fenomeno politico «dotato di una propria ideologia rivoluzionaria non meno coerente del liberalismo e del marxismo, che aveva espresso la volontà di creare una nuova civiltà e un uomo nuovo». Fu infatti anche una rivoluzione antropologica, un tentativo di rifare l’uomo accentuandone le disposizioni alla socialità e al solidarismo, infrangendo così sia l’individualismo liberale che la massificazione collettivista marxista.

La Tarquini riassume gli ambienti che erano alla base della concezione politica fascista: i “revisionisti” (guidati da Bottai, con elementi di spicco come Pellizzi);  gli “intransigenti” (con Soffici, Maccari, Ricci come punte di lancia); e i “gentiliani” (Cantimori, Spirito, Carlini, Volpicelli, Saitta fra gli altri). Tra queste posizioni si muovevano uomini ai limiti dell’una o dell’altra cerchia e talvolta si avevano passaggi non contraddittori, trasversali, come ad es. un Malaparte o un Longanesi, vicini sia a “Strapaese” che a “900″ di Bontempelli.

Grazie a questi gruppi venne assicurata la centralità del popolo nella visione del mondo fascista, il popolo come “pura forza”, cioè «un soggetto depositario di valori positivi», per il quale, come scrive la Tarquini, gli scrittori politici «si impegnavano nella società del loro tempo sostenendo la costruzione di un nuovo Stato nazionale e popolare». Qualcosa che accendeva la modernità. Le veloci pagine della studiosa ricordano che il Fascismo fu cultura, e anzi alta cultura, sin dagli inizi del Regime vero e proprio, con il “Manifesto degli intellettuali fascisti” voluto da Gentile nel 1925 e che vedeva schierati alcuni pesi massimi della cultura italiana del Novecento, fra i quali Pirandello, Volpe, Codignola, Ungaretti, Soffici, che si andavano ad affiancare ai D’Annunzio, il “primo Duce del Fascismo”, ai Marinetti, ai Cardarelli, ai Papini, etc. E siamo in attesa di qualcuno che ci dica quale altro regime si sia mai avvalso di una così potente schiera di aperti sostenitori.

Ma la Tarquini è anche originale, laddove traccia percorsi nuovi: ricordando l’influenza che il filosofo Giuseppe Rensi (in anni recenti al centro di un processo di rivalutazione, dopo un lungo oblìo) ebbe sul Fascismo e sulla sua idea di autorità; oppure sulla figura di Emilio Bodrero, storico della filosofia e docente alla Scuola di Mistica Fascista, secondo il quale, sin dal 1921, il Fascismo doveva «mobilitarsi come forza rivoluzionaria, per conquistare il potere e dare vita a un nuovo ordine politico».

La Tarquini ricorda anche l’avanguardismo giovanile, fulcro incandescente di elaborazione ideologica e di spinta rivoluzionaria il cui programma, sin dagli esordi del 1920, esprimeva un massimo di moderna socialità, dato che proponeva di «adeguare i programmi scolastici alle esigenze professionali dei ragazzi» e di «abolire il voto in condotta, di sostenere gli studenti più poveri e di rendere obbligatorio l’insegnamento dell’educazione fisica». E poi c’erano le donne. E che donne…da Ada Negri (prima donna nominata all’Accademia d’Italia, nel 1940), alla Deledda (che partecipò alla stesura del testo unico per le scuole medie), fino alla Sarfatti, regina incontrastata del modernismo fascista in politica, in letteratura e nelle arti.

E, a proposito dell’arte e della sostanza del Fascismo come «politicizzazione dell’estetica» e volontà di «socializzazione degli intellettuali» (e in campo artistico basti ricordare la passione fascista di un Sironi, di un Severini, di un Primo Conti, di un Piacentini, di un Terragni, etc.), l’autrice rammenta la presenza massiccia di artisti e letterati di primo piano nello squadrismo (Rosai, Maccari, Malaparte-Suckert, ma potremmo aggiungere lo stesso Marinetti, oppure Lorenzo Viani, Gallian, etc.), così come non manca di scrivere che l’enorme fermento ideologico e culturale messo in moto e catalizzato dal Fascismo si presentò, come avevano già indicato i vari Nolte, Mosse e Del Noce, come «un fenomeno politico figlio della modernità», così da «esprimere una forte spinta alla modernizzazione dell’economia, della società e della cultura». Il senso della missione dei giovani, il progetto di un destino comune, l’esaltante prospettiva di un popolo unito e socialmente avanzato furono il cuore dello sforzo culturale messo in campo dal Fascismo, che poté usufruire di un vero e proprio esercito di intellettuali d’alto e non di rado altissimo livello: ad un impietoso confronto, l’odierna incolta e rozza liberaldemocrazia mondiale – priva di intellettuali che superino il quarto d’ora di celebrità mediatica – ne esce distrutta.



Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

samedi, 23 juillet 2011

Carl Schmitt: Total Enemy, Total State & Total War

Total Enemy, Total State, & Total War

Carl SCHMITT

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

 Translated by Simona Draghici

Editor’s Note:

The following translation from Carl Schmitt appears online for the first time in commemoration of Schmitt’s birth on July 11, 1888. The translation originally appeared in Carl Schmitt, Four Essays, 1931–1938, ed. and trans. Simona Draghici (Washington, D.C.: Plutarch Press, 1999).

I

cs.jpgIn a certain sense, there have been total wars at all times; a theory of the total war, however, presumably dates only from the time of Clausewitz who would talk of “abstract” and “absolute” wars.”[1] Later on, under the impact of the experiences of the last Great War, the formula of total war has acquired a specific meaning and a particular effectiveness. Since 1920, it has become the prevailing catchword. It was first brought out in sharp relief in the French literature, in book titles like La guerre totale. Afterwards, between 1926 and 1928, it found its way into the language of the proceedings of the disarmament committee at Geneva. In concepts such as “war potential” (potentiel de guerre), “moral disarmament” (désarmement moral) and “total disarmament” (désarmement total). The fascist doctrine of the “total state” came to it by way of the state; the association yielded the conceptual pair: total state, total war. In Germany, the publication of the Concept of the Political has since 1927 expanded the pair of totalities to a set of three: total enemy, total war, total state. Ernst Jünger’s book of 1930 Total Mobilization made the formula part of the general consciousness. Nonetheless, it was only Ludendorff’s 1936 booklet entitled Der Totale Krieg (The Total War) that lent it an irresistible force and caused its dissemination beyond all bounds.

The formula is omnipresent; it forces into view a truth whose horrors the general consciousness would rather shun. Such formulas, however, are always in danger of becoming widespread nationally and internationally and of being degraded to summary slogans, to mere gramophone records of the publicity mill. Hence some clarifications may be appropriate.

(a) A war may be total in the sense of summoning up one’s strength to the limit, and of the commitment of everything to the last reserves.[2] It may also be called total in the sense of the unsparing use of war means of annihilation. When the well-known English author J. F. C. Fuller writes in a recent article, entitled “The First of the League Wars, Its Lessons and Omens,” that the Italian campaign in Abyssinia was a modern total war, he only refers to the use of efficacious weapons (airplanes and gas), whereas looked at from another vantage point, Abyssinia in fact was not capable of waging a modern total war nor did Italy use its reserves to the limit, reach the highest intensity, and lead to an oil blockade or to the closing of the Suez Canal, because of the pressure exerted through the sanctions imposed by the League of Nations.

(b) A war may be total either on both sides or on one side only. It may also be deliberately limited, rationed and measured out, because of the geographical situation, the war technique in use, and also the predominant political principles of both sides. The typical 18th-century war, the so-called “cabinet war,” was essentially and deliberately a partial war. It rested on the clear segregation of the soldiers participating in the war from the non-participant inhabitants and non-combatants. Nevertheless, the Seven Years War of Frederick the Great was relatively total, on Prussia’s side, when compared with the other powers’ mobilization of forces. A situation, typical of Germany, showed itself readily in that case: the adversity of geographical conditions and the foreign coalitions compelled a German state to mobilize its forces to a higher degree than its more affluent and fortunate bigger neighbors.[3]

(c) The character of the war may change during the belligerent showdown. The will to fight may grow limp or it may intensify, as it happened in the 1914–1918 world war, when the war trend on the German side towards the mobilization of all the economic and industrial reserves soon forced the English side to introduce general conscription.

(d) Finally, some other methods of confrontation and trial of strength, which are not total, always develop within the totality of war. Thus for a time, everyone seeks to avoid a total war which naturally carries a total risk. In this way, after the world war, there were the so-called military reprisals (the 1923 Corfu Conflict, Japan-China in 1932), followed by the attempts at non-military, economic sanctions, according to Article 16 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (against Italy, autumn 1935), and finally, certain methods of power testing on foreign soil (Spain 1936–1937) emerged in a way that could be correctly interpreted only in close connection with the total character of modern warfare. They are intermediate and transitional forms between open war and true peace; they derive their meaning from the fact that total war looms large in the background as a possibility, and an understandable caution recommends itself in the delineation of the conflictual spaces. Likewise, it is only from this point of view that they can be grasped by the science of international law.

II

The core of the matter lies in warfare. From the nature of the total war one may grasp the character and the whole aspect of state totality; from the special character of the decisive weapons one may deduce the peculiar character and aspect of the totality of war. But it is the total enemy that gives the total war its meaning.[4]

The different services and types of warfare, land warfare, sea warfare, air warfare, they each experience the totality of war in a particular way. A corresponding world of notions and ideas piles on each of these types of warfare. The traditional notions of “levée en masse” (levy), “nation armée” (nation in arms), and “Volk in Waffen” (the people in arms) belong to land warfare.[5] Out of these notions emerged the continental doctrine of total war, essentially as a doctrine of land warfare, and that thanks mainly to Clausewitz. Sea warfare, on the other hand, has its own strategic and tactical methods and criteria; moreover, until recently, it has been first and foremost a war against the opponent’s trade and economy, whence a war against non-combatants, an economic war, which by its laws of blockade, contraband, and prizes, drew neutral trade into the hostilities, as well. Air warfare has not so far built up a similar fully-fledged and independent system of its own. There is no doctrine of air warfare yet that would correspond to the world of notions and concepts accumulated with regard to land and sea warfare. Nonetheless, as a consequence of air warfare, the overall configuration sways in the main towards a three-dimensional total war.

The “if” of a total war is beyond any doubt today. The “how” may vary. The totality is perceptible from opposite vantage points. Hence the standard type of guide and leader in a total war is necessarily different. It would be too simple an equation to accept that the soldier will step into the centre of this totality as the prevailing type in a total war to the same extent as in other kinds of wars previously.[6] If, as it has been said, total mobilization abolishes the separation of the soldier from the civilian, it may very well happen that the soldier changes into a civilian as the civilian changes into a soldier, or both may change into something new, a third alternative. In reality, it all depends on the general character of the war. A real war of religion turns the soldiers into the tools of priests or preachers. A total war that is waged on behalf of the economy becomes the tool of economic power groups. There are other forms in which the soldier himself is the typical model and the ascending expression of the character of the people. Geographical conditions, racial and social peculiarities of all kinds, are factors that determine the type of warfare waged by great nations. Even today it is unlikely that a nation could engage in all the three kinds of warfare to a degree equal to the three-dimensional total war. It is probable that the centre of gravity in the deployment of forces will always rest with one or the other of the three kinds of warfare and the doctrine of total war will draw on it.[7]

Until now the history of the European peoples has been dominated by the contrast of the English sea warfare with the Continental land warfare. It is not a matter of “traders and heroes” or that sort of thing, but rather the recognition that any of the various kinds of warfare may become total, and out of its own characteristics generate a special world of notions and ideals as its own doctrine and also relevant to international and constitutional law, particularly in the assessment of the soldier’s worth and of his position in the general body of the people. It would be a mistake to regard the English sea warfare of the last three centuries in the light of the total land warfare of Clausewitz’s theory, essentially as mere trade and economic but not total warfare, and to misinterpret it as unconnected with and markedly different from totality. It is the English sea warfare that generated the kernel of a total world view.[8]

The English sea warfare is total in its capacity for total enmity. It knows how to mobilize religious, ideological, spiritual, and moral forces as only few of the great wars in world history have done. The English sea warfare against Spain was a world-wide combat of the Germanic and Romance peoples, between Protestantism and Catholicism, Calvinism and Jesuitism, and there are few instances of such outbursts of enmity as intense and final as Cromwell’s against the Spaniards. The English war against Napoleon likewise changed from a sea war into a “crusade.” In the war against Germany between 1914 and 1918, the world-wide English propaganda knew how to whip up enormous moral and spiritual energies in the name of civilization and humanity, of democracy and freedom, against the Prussian-German “militarism.” The English mind had also proved its ability to interpret the industrial-technical upsurge of the 19th century in the terms of the English worldview. Herbert Spencer drew an extremely effective picture of history that was disseminated all over the world, in countless works of popularization, the propagandistic force of which proved its worth in the 1914–1918 World War. It was the philosophy of mankind’s progress, presented as an evolution from feudalism to trade and industry, from the political to the economic, from soldiers to industrialists, from war to peace. It portrayed the soldier essentially as Prussian-German, eo ipso “feudal reactionary,” a “medieval” figure standing in the way of progress and peace. Moreover, out of its specificity, the English sea warfare evolved a full, self-contained system of international law. It asserted itself and its own concepts held on their own against the corresponding concepts of Continental international law throughout the 19th century. There is an Anglo-Saxon concept of enemy, which in essence rejects the differentiation between combatants and non-combatants, and an Anglo-Saxon conception of war that incorporates the so-called economic war. In short, the fundamental concepts and norms of this English international law are total as such and certainly indicative of an ideology in itself total.

Finally, the English constitutional regulations turned the subordination of the soldiers to the civilians into an ideological principle and imposed it upon the Continent during the liberal 19th century. By those standards, civilization lies in the rule of the bourgeois, civilian ideal which is essentially unsoldierly. Accordingly, the constitution is always but a civil-bourgeois system in which, as Clemenceau put it, the soldier’s only raison d’être is to defend the civilian bourgeois society, while basically he is subject to civilian command. The Prussian soldier state carried on a century-long political struggle on the home front against this bourgeois constitutional ideal. It succumbed to it in the Autumn of 1918. The history of Prussian Germany’s home politics from 1848 to 1918 was a ceaseless conflict between the army and parliament, an uninterrupted battle which the government had to fight with the parliament over the structure of the army, and the army budget necessary to make ready for an unavoidable war, that were determined not by the necessities of foreign policy but rather by compromises regarding internal policy. The dictate of Versailles, which stipulated the army’s organization and its equipment to the smallest detail, in an agreement of foreign policy, was preceded by half a century of periodical agreements of internal policy between the Prussian-German soldier state and its internal policy opponents, in which all the details of the organization and the equipment of the army had been decided by the internal policy. The conflict between bourgeois society and the Prussian soldier state led to an unnatural isolation of the War Office from the power of command and to many other separations, consistently rooted in the opposition between a bourgeois constitutional ideal imported from England either directly or through France and Belgium, on the one hand, and the older constitutional ideal of the German soldiery, on the other.[9]

Today Germany has surmounted that division and achieved a close integration of its soldier force.[10] Indeed, attempts will not fail to be made to describe it as militarism, in the manner of earlier propaganda methods, and to hold Germany guilty of the advent of total war. Such questions of guilt too belong to the totality of the ideological wrangles. Le combat spirituel est aussi brutal que la bataille d’hommes (spiritual combat is as brutal as the battles of men). Nonetheless, before nations stagger into a total war once more, one must raise the question whether a total enmity truly exists among the European nations nowadays. War and enmity belong to the history of nations. But the worst misfortune only occurs wherever the enmity is generated by the war itself, as in the 1914–1918 war, and not as it would be right and sensible, namely that an older, unswayed enmity, true and total to the Day of Judgment, should led to a total war.

Translator’s Notes

Originally published in Völkerbund und Völkerrecht, vol. 4, 1937, this essay was reproduced in Posirionen und Begriffe im Kampf mit Weimar-Gent-Versailles, 1929–1939, (Hamburg, 1940), pp. 235–239.

1. General Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831) is best known for his book Vom Kriege, never finished and published posthumously, which incidentally has been translated into English under the title On War. There are numerous versions available in print.

2. Carl Schmitt’s own political principles of “will” and “energy,” components of his qualitative concept of total state, derive from this characteristic feature of “total war”: collective determination to assume a cause considered worthwhile and unreserved commitment to its fulfillment. As a generalized rallying around and enthusiasm for a cause and a particular course of action, it is a frequent phenomenon of social psychology, yet its usually ephemeral character makes it unfit as a durable basis of any social structure. I remember the enthusiasm with which in 1982, to a man, the Argentines, for instance, rallied to the idea of going to war to free the Maldives and hurried to put it into practice, and the accompanying hatred which grew against the British. The enthusiasm cooled off quickly, but not the hatred, which lingered on. To perpetuate the enthusiasm, a plethora of other factors have to be brought in, of which, in the case of Germany at the beginning of the ’thirties, Carl Schmitt actually had not a clue.

3. The “lesson” is in keeping with the Hitlerite Frederician cult and legitimating tradition and does not claim to be historically accurate. Although a digression that seems out of place, it has a certain significance for the time it was made. In the autumn of 1936, Hitler circulated a memorandum revealing his expansionist intentions. Then in 1937, the organization of the nation to serve those intentions began, a process which coincided with the rise of the SS state. In November of the same year the German media were ordered to keep silent about the preparations for a “total war.” Bearing all that in mind, Schmitt’s short digression reads more as a warning of danger than a point of military strategy.

4 . What is interesting here is his insistence on the existential essence of the phenomenon, which is consonant with his earlier definition of the political and at the same time renders the distinction between the professional soldier and the civilian meaningless. Moreover, total enmity with its implicit elimination of the adversary excludes any prospect of a peace treaty, as the war is to go on until one of the belligerents is annihilated.

5. Das Volk in Waffen (The Nation in Arms) happens to be the title of a work on total war by Colmar von der Goltz (1843–1916), published in 1883, and which is an important stepping stone in the reflection on modern warfare that led to Ludendorff’s book.

6. At the beginning of February 1938, Adolf Hitler became commander in chief of the German armed forces, appointing General Keitel his assistant at the head of the High Command of the Armed Forces, as the War Ministry was dissolved.

7. Eventually only the Soviet Union came closest to Carl Schmitt’s expectations, while the United States waged a fully-fledged three-dimensional war, dictated by its geographical position and sustained by its vast economic and technical resources most of which remained outside the battle zone.

8. For a broader treatment of the subject-matter see Carl Schmitt’s Land und Meer, which as Land and Sea is available in an English translation (Washington, D.C.: Plutarch Press, 1997).

9. The conflict between the civil society and the military in Germany was the subject-matter of a longer essay by Carl Schmitt, published in Hamburg in 1934 under the title Staatsgefüge und Zusammenbruch des Zweites Reiches. Der Sieg des Burgers über den Soldaten (The State Structure and the Collapse of the Second Reich. The Burghers’ Victory Over the Soldiers).

 

10. Röhm, the ideological soldier, had been eliminated in 1934, at the same time as the political soldiers, the Generals von Schleicher and von Bredow. Furthermore, as already mentioned in note 6 above, the War Ministry ceased to exist at the beginning of 1938, while the Commander in Chief, Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg was removed from his post for having compromised himself by marrying a “lady with a past,” and his prospective successor, General von Fritsch was forced to resign on a trumped-up Charge of homosexuality. At the same time, sixteen other generals were retired and forty-four were transferred. Göring who had been very active in carrying out this “integration” got for it only the title of field marshal, as Hitler kept for himself the supreme military command.

 


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

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/07/total-enemy-total-state-and-total-war/

vendredi, 03 juin 2011

Urkultur 15: Moeller van den Bruck, conservadurismo revolucionario

URKULTUR Nº 15. MOELLER VAN DEN BRUCK: CONSERVADURISMO REVOLUCIONARIO

Ex: http://urkultur-imperium-europa.blogspot.com/ 

 

URKULTUR Nº 15.

MOELLER VAN DEN BRUCK:
CONSERVADURISMO REVOLUCIONARIO.

REVISTA ELECTRÓNICA:
Enlace con issuu.com

SUMARIO.

Editorial.
Arthur Moeller van den Bruck y la Nouvelle Droite
Sebastian J. Lorenz

Moeller van den Bruck: un rebelde conservador
Luca Leonello Rimbotti

Moeller van den Bruck: ¿un “precursor póstumo”?
Denis Goedel

Moeller y Dostoievski
Robert Steuckers

Moeller y la Kulturpessimismus de Weimar
Ferran Gallego

Moeller y los Jungkonservativen
Erik Norling

Moeller y Spengler
Ernesto Milá

Moeller y la Konservative Revolution
Keith Bullivant

Moeller van den Bruck
Alain de Benoist
 

dimanche, 29 mai 2011

Remembering Isadora Duncan, Pagan Priestess of Dance

Isadora_Duncan_1.jpg

Remembering Isadora Duncan:
Pagan Priestess of Dance

By Amanda BRADLEY

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

“In those far-off days which we are pleased to call Pagan, every emotion had its corresponding movement. Soul, body, mind worked together in perfect harmony.”—Isadora Duncan

The life of Isadora Duncan was marked by opposition to every aspect of bourgeois modernity. Born on May 27, 1878, she was devoted to creating a form of dance, religious in nature, worthy of interpreting Greek tragedies and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (1). Today she often is celebrated as the creator of “modern dance”; such a description is a misnomer, at best, as her entire life was a conscious revolt against the modern world. Sometimes she turned to the world of Tradition; other times, her revolt was in the wrong direction—toward Communism, for example—but these ideological jaunts are understandable in light of her naivety and idealism.

A ‘Renaissance of Religion’ Through Dance

isadora-duncan-head.jpgIsadora danced not solely as an art; she aspired to create a “dance which might be the divine expression of the human spirit through the medium of the body’s movement.” Ballet teaches that the central spring of movement is the base of the spine, from which all limbs move. But Isadora thought this produced  “artificial mechanical movement not worthy of the soul,” much like an “articulated puppet” (2). After hours standing in meditation, she discovered the true central spring of movement in the solar plexus:

I . . . sought the source of the spiritual expression to flow into the channels of the body filling it with vibrating light—the centrifugal force reflecting the spirit’s vision. After many months, when I had learned to concentrate all my force to this one Centre I found that thereafter when I listened to music the rays and vibrations of the music streamed to this one fount of light within me—there they reflected themselves in Spiritual Vision not the brain’s mirror, but the soul’s, and from this vision I could express them in Dance. (3)

Isadora had trouble explaining this to adults, even artists, but even the youngest child could understand how to listen to music with the soul. She taught her students to let the inner self awaken within them, and from then on, “even in walking and in all their movements, they possess a spiritual power and grace which do not exist in any movement born from the physical frame, or created from the brain” (4). Her dance was as focused on inward movement as outward. Such children were able to captivate audiences that even great artists could not.

Raised in America, Isadora moved to Europe as a young adult “to bring about a great renaissance of religion through the Dance” (5). Though inspired by the Greeks’ religiosity, she called her style the “Dance of the Future.” Art that is not religious is not art, she said, but mere merchandise.

Isadora’s interest in paganism coalesced when she, her siblings, and mother moved to Greece in 1903. They started wearing Greek tunics and sandals, a tradition Isadora continued for the rest of her life. She briefly had dresses made by Paul Poiret, but later described it as a fall from a sacred to a profane art. She said that a flower in the hands of a woman was more beautiful than if she held all the world’s diamonds and pearls.

The family bought a piece of land with a view of the Acropolis and started to build a temple based on the Palace of Agamemnon. They planned to rise at dawn and greet the sun with song and dance; spend the mornings teaching the local villagers song and dance and converting them to Greek paganism; meditate in the afternoons; hold pagan celebrations in the evenings; and be vegetarians. They soon realized the impossibility of building such a grand house and of finding water on their land. Instead, they held competitions for the most authentic Greek songs and formed a chorus of boys to create an original Greek chorus (6). They determined to make a pilgrimage after reading the Eleusinian Mysteries and, to propitiate the gods, danced rather than walked the 13-and-a-half-mile trip to Eleusina.

But the same thing happened in Greece that Isadora experienced her entire life: She ran out of money and abandoned her vision. Fiscal responsibility was unknown to this family of artists; large sums were made from successful tours or generous donors, but quickly spent in extravagance, and the subsequent poverty derailed many plans. Isadora’s success also was interwoven with harsh critiques of her work. The Berlin Morgen Post, for example, ran a Q&A with dance masters titled “Can Miss Duncan Dance?” Isadora’s letter in reply posed the question of whether a dancing maenad whose sculpture was in the Berlin Museum could dance, never having danced en pointe (7).

Isadora’s life was marked by a variety of ventures, which often ended if she had to compromise her art. One started when Cosima Wagner called on Isadora to discuss her late husband’s distaste for ballet and his “dream for the Bacchanal and the Flower Maidens.” And so Isadora went enthusiastically to Bayreuth to create a dance for the Bacchanal in Tannhäuser in 1904. Isadora insisted on dancing in a transparent tunic, despite Cosima’s pleadings. She maintained that women’s bodies were beautiful, and that even in her risqué tunics, her costumes were less vulgar than those of chorus girls. She said she would rather dance nude than walk down the streets in “half-clothed suggestiveness” like American women. One day she couldn’t resist sharing her revelation that “Musik-Drama kann nie sein,” and her tenure at Bayreuth ended when she said the Wagner’s errors were as great as his genius.

Isadora’s first school of dance was started in Grunewald, Germany, and held up the young girls of ancient Sparta as “the future ideal.” She maintained her spiritual vision when founding her second school, in Paris, housed in a temple of dance called the Dionysion. Her vision for the school was inspired by the “Seminary of Dancing Priests of Rome” (the Salii), who “danced before the people for the purification of those who beheld them. . . . with such happy ardour and purity, that their dance influenced and elevated their audience as medicine for sick souls” (8). She planned to build a theatre in which her students would dance the chorus to Greek tragedies:

I pictured a day when the children would wend their way down the hill like Pan Athene, would embark on the river and, landing at the Invalides, continue their sacred Procession to the Panthéon and there celebrate the memory of some great statesman or hero. (9)

Her school was intended to be the start of a global crusade: Her young adepts would inspire others and eventually change the world. She said once that when rich, she would rebuild the Temple of Paestum and found a college of priestesses of the dance.

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Isadora had two children, a girl by theatre designer Gordon Craig and a boy by Paris Singer, heir to the sewing machine fortune. Like all women, Isadora was more a mother at heart than an artist, and anything else she could do in life paled next to the joy of her children. In describing her daughter’s birth, she said, “Oh, women, what is the good of us learning to become lawyers, painters or sculptors, when this miracle exists? Now I know this tremendous love, surpassing the love of man . . . What did I care for Art! I felt I was a God, superior to any artist” (10). Though her art was often at odds with her romantic relationships and society, her children became her best students. Both were killed in an automobile accident, drowning in the Seine in 1913. Her longing for another child was so immense that she begged a stranger, the sculptor Romano Romanelli, to impregnate her. She gave birth with the drums of World War I pounding outside. The baby died shortly after childbirth and her school was turned into a hospital.

During the war, Isadora moved her school to New York, at the peak of the jazz age. There she found that men and women of the best society spent their time “dancing the fox trot to the barbarous yaps and cries of the Negro orchestra” (11). She became completely disillusioned with the spirit of her home country, stating that the jazz rhythm expresses “the primitive savage” and referring to the “tottering, ape-like convulsions of the Charleston [5].” She wanted a dance for America, one springing from Walt Whitman and that had “nothing in it of the inane coquetry of the ballet, or the sensual convulsion of the Negro.” She did not like Henry Ford’s suggestion that the young people dance the waltz or minuet, as the minuet was servile and the waltz an expression of “sickly sentimentality” (12).

Although she has been called a racist and xenophobe, and the book Hitler’s Dancers refers to her national feminism as excluding all people of color and who don’t match the eugenic claims of the nation, Isadora’s racial tendencies were not at the heart of her philosophy of dance. She said she believed that all people were her brothers and sisters, and in the great love for humanity shared by Christ and the Buddha.

Her sister Elizabeth, however, took a different path when she took over the school founded in Germany. Elizabeth’s husband was a “fanatical” Nazi who spoke out against Jewish influence in modern dance productions, and “racial hygiene” was part of the curriculum. Isadora’s Greek paganism was combined with Germanic myth and Nordic rites to turn the female dance into “creative prayer” (13). The prologue to Leni Riefenstahl’s Fest der Völker (Festival of Nations) has been called a fulfillment of Isadora’s “vision of a dance of Beauty and Strength” (14). (Riefenstahl was herself a dancer in a style similar to that of Isadora prior to a knee injury.)

After her disillusionment with America, Isadora became equally disgusted with bourgeois Europe and believed that through communism, Plato’s ideal state might be created on earth. She went to Moscow after the Russian Revolution when invited by the government to found a school there in 1921. She said the American rich were not remnants of any true aristocracy (of which she spoke positively); they had no appreciation for true art but only “money, money, money.” Russia held promise that all children would be able to experience the dance and opera.

When she returned to America for a tour, Isadora was labeled a “Bolshevik hussy” and deprived of her American citizenship. Shortly before she left the country for the final time, she published an article in Hearst’s American Weekly that criticized the U.S. for its Puritanism, commercialism, and marriage laws. She had her own brand of feminist eugenics: When the communist State provided for children, mothers would be free to experiment with the best fathers for fit children in the same way botanists experiment with the best fertilizers for fit seed (15).

isadora-duncandancing.jpgAfter several years in Moscow, she found the regime did not allow for full expression of her art and most of the money for her school was withdrawn. The remainder of her life was spent with tours, a short marriage to the poet Sergei Yesenin that was marked by widely publicized domestic rows, romantic relationships, and financial difficulties. She died on September 14, 1927, at the age of 50, when her long scarf got tangled in a rear wheel and axel of an Amilcar, either strangling her or throwing her from the vehicle.

The Far Right is filled with converts from the Far Left. Had Isadora lived longer, it’s easy to imagine her finding a philosophical home with her sister Elizabeth and her husband, in the pagan strains of National Socialism, especially in its glorification of the peasant classes and motherhood (though her dance may have been labeled degenerate). Had she lived but a year longer, she may have been inspired by the anti-Christian, pagan revolution described in Julius Evola’s Pagan Imperialism. Or, despite her friend Eleanora Duse’s dramatic break-up with Gabriele d’Annunzio, she may have taken her Dance of the Future to Fascist Italy.

Upbringing, Education, and Feminism for Future Mothers

Isadora was successful in teaching her style of dance to young children, enabling them to connect with their inner selves and develop a natural grace. When they grew older, however, “the counteracting influences of our materialistic civilization took this force from them—and they lost their inspiration” (16). Isadora felt that she was able to withstand the materialistic forces of the modern world because of her unusual upbringing.

 

Isadora was the youngest and most willful of four artistic children. Her mother was an accomplished pianist and devout Catholic, who divorced when Isadora was young and promptly became an atheist. Her father made and lost several fortunes over his lifetime and was largely absent from their life.

The Duncan children had a highly unconventional upbringing in San Francisco. They were free to wonder about town, had no strict bedtimes, and were never disciplined. They moved frequently since they often were unable to pay rent, but their poverty made their life an experiment in asceticism. “My mother cared nothing for material things and she taught us a fine scorn and contempt for all such possessions as houses, furniture, belongings of all kinds,” wrote Isadora. “It was owing to her that I never wore a jewel in my life. She taught us that such things were trammels” (17). Isadora bargained for free food and extended credit at the butcher’s and baker’s, and peddled her mother’s knitting door-to-door. She was always grateful for their poverty and credited her hardships with a Nietzschean master-creating power:

When I hear fathers of families saying they are working to leave a lot of money for their children, I wonder if they realize that by so doing they are taking all the spirit of adventure from the lives of those children. For every dollar they leave them makes them so much the weaker. The finest inheritance you can give to a child is to allow it to makes its own way, completely on its own feet. . . . I did not envy these rich children; on the contrary, I pitied them. I was amazed at the smallness and stupidity of their lives. (18)

Isadora’s young life alternated between joy and terror. Her mother often was red-eyed from tears, only knowing how to suffer and weep as a Christian, an attitude that her daughter found appalling. Before ever reading him, Isadora said she instinctively embraced Nietzschean philosophy.

Isadora started her first school of dance at age six. Her classes became so large, and she was making much-needed money, that she dropped out of school at age 10. Already she was developing her own system of dance, often inspired by poetry. It was at this young age, after being sent to a famous ballet teacher for lessons, that she developed the view that the dance formed in the Italian Renaissance was “ugly and against nature.”

isadora-duncan-n-396564-0.jpgHer education did not stop with her exit from school. She and her siblings had enchanted evenings, when their mother played Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Mozart, and Chopin and read them Shakespeare, Shelley, Keats, Browning, and Burns. At one point the children opened a theater and took their troupe on a small tour on the California coast. Isadora started a newspaper and embarked on a program of self-study at the public library in Oakland.

Isadora’s opposition to marriage sprung from her parents’ divorce and was cemented after reading George Eliot’s Adam Bede, about an unmarried pregnant girl who exposes her baby rather than endure humiliation and ostracism in her village. “I decided, then and there, that I would live to fight against marriage and for the emancipation of women and for the right for every woman to have a child or children as it pleased her, and to uphold her right and her virtue,” she recalled (19). Her opposition to marriage was always due to two factors: an opposition to divorce (especially when a woman’s children could be taken from her), and a desire for women to have more freedom to bear children. When women told her that marriage was needed to secure the father’s support of children, Isadora responded that she did not think men so lowly.

Isadora’s romantic encounters also led her to discount the viability of marriage for artists. Time after time she fell in love, only to have the man ask her to renounce her art in order to support his. When her first lover, a Shakespearean actor, took her to look at apartments she felt “a strange chill and heaviness” and asked what their married life would be like. “Why, you will have box each night to see me act, and then you will learn to give me all my répliques and help me in my studies” (20). This first heartbreak led to her being placed briefly in a clinic and her subsequent notions that only one spiritual path was possible:

I believe that in each life there is a spiritual line, an upward curve, and all that adheres to and strengthens this line is our real life—the rest is but as chaff falling from us as our souls progress. Such a spiritual line is my Art. My life has know but two motives—Love and Art—and often Love destroyed Art, and often the imperious call of Art put a tragic end to Love. For these two have no accord, but only constant battle. (21)

Isadora is considered modern for her bisexuality; she had one confirmed relationship with a woman. She considered Plato’s Phaedrus the most exquisite love song ever written, and, like the ancient Greeks, believed “the highest love is a purely spiritual flame which is not necessarily dependent on sex” (22). No doubt she would have appreciated J. J. Bachofen’s elucidation on the differences between the Thracian’s sensual homosexuality versus the Lesbian women, who chose Orphism over Amazonism: “The sole purpose was to transcend the lower sensuality, to make physical beauty into a purified psychic beauty” (23).

Isadora continued her education as an adult, spending hours at the library of the Paris Opera to study the history of dance. In her early adulthood, she said the only dance masters she could have were Jean-Jacques Rousseau (for Emile), Whitman, and Nietzsche. Later she said the three great precursors of her Dance of the Future were Beethoven, Nietzsche, and Wagner: Beethoven created the Dance in mighty rhythm, Wagner in sculptural form, Nietzsche in Spirit (24).

Isadora Duncan was a soul from another age. In ancient Greece she might have been at home with Sappho, or as a priestess or hetaera. Although she always claimed to need “more freedom,” it was in part the freedoms of modernity that made her path difficult. In her tragic, yet joyful, life, she maintained a link to a religiosity that almost has vanished. Isadora was not merely a woman or artist; like her beloved Zarathustra, she lived up to the title of “dancing philosopher.”

Notes

1. Isadora’s birthday is believed to be May 27, 1878. Her baptismal certificate, discovered in 1976, records the date as May 26, 1877.

2. Isadora Duncan, My Life (New York: Liveright Publishing, 1955), p. 75.

3. My Life.

4. My Life, p. 76.

5. My Life, p. 85.

6. My Life, p. 129.

7. Isadora Speaks: Writings & Speeches of Isadora Duncan, ed. Franklin Rosemont (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1994), p. 34.

8. My Life, p. 302.

9. My Life, p. 303.

10. My Life, p. 196.

11. My Life, p. 318.

12. My Life, pp. 341–42.

13. Lilian Karina and Marion Kant, Hitler’s Dancers: German Modern Dance and the Third Reich, trans. Jonathan Steinber (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004), pp. 33–34.

14. Terri J. Gordon,  “Fascism and the Female Form: Performance Art in the Third Reich,” in Sexuality and German Fascism, ed. Dagmar Herzog (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004), p. 14.

15. Isadora Speaks, p. 131.

16. My Life, p. 76.

17. My Life, p. 22.

18. My Life, p. 21.

19. My Life, p. 17.

20. My Life, p. 107.

21. My Life, p. 239.

22. My Life, p. 285.

23. J. J. Bachofen,  Myth, Religion, and Mother Right, trans. Ralph Manheim (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967), p. 204.

24. My Life, p. 341.

 


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

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/05/remembering-isadora-duncan-pagan-priestess-of-dance/

samedi, 28 mai 2011

Gottfried Benn

Gottfried Benn in Interview (1956)

Gottfried Benn liest aus "Kunst und Drittes Reich"

 

jeudi, 19 mai 2011

De Michelangelo van de 20ste eeuw

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De Michelangelo van de 20ste eeuw

Ex: http://www.kasper-gent.org/

“Gott ist die Schönheit und Arno Breker sein Prophet.” (Salvador Dali)

Inleiding

Geen kunstenaar zo omstreden als Arno Breker. De Duitse beeldhouwer greep in de 20ste eeuw, op een moment dat Europa in de ban was van het modernisme, terug naar de renaissance en leverde uitzonderlijk werk af, zoals Bereitschaft en Berufung. Maar: Breker was een van Hitlers gefavoriseerde beeldhouwers – samen met onder andere Josef Thorak en Gerard Hauptmann – wat hem gedurende de naziperiode weliswaar faam opleverde (die verdiende hij trouwens); toch zou deze professionele band met Hitler voor hem na de val van nazi-Duitsland vooral het einde van zijn artistieke carrière betekenen. Breker bleef weliswaar beeldhouwen, maar vanwege zijn zwart verleden werd hij, zeker in Duitsland, doodgezwegen. Zo stelde de overheid pas in 2006 voor de eerste maal het gehele oeuvre van Breker tentoon en ook toen nog zorgde deze tentoonstelling voor heel wat opschudding in de Duitse media.

Het begin van een artistieke carrière

In 1927 – hij was toen 27 jaar – trok Breker naar Parijs waar hij contacten legde met verschillende Franse en internationale kunstenaars, zoals  Charles Despiau, Aristide Maillol en Ernest Hemmingway, die hem inspireerden en stimuleerden. Breker had het geluk de kunsthandelaar Alfred Flechtheim te hebben leren kennen. Door zijn contacten met Flechtheim ontving Breker al snel vele opdrachten uit binnen- en buitenland en bouwde zo op zeer korte tijd een stevige reputatie uit. In 1932 werd aan Breker de Rom-Preis des preußischen Kultusministeriums uitgereikt wat het voor hem mogelijk maakte zelf naar Rome te trekken. Daar raakte hij enorm onder de indruk van Michelangelo en de stedenbouw, elementen die later in zijn neoclassicistische ontwerpen voor het Derde Rijk zouden terugkomen.

brekercocteau.jpgOp dat moment toekomstig Minister van Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, die Breker in Rome had leren kennen, drong er bij hem op aan om terug te keren naar Duitsland, omdat “er hem een grote toekomst te wachten stond”. De jonge en ambitieuze Breker aarzelde niet, zeker niet toen schilder en goede vriend Max Lieberman hem daar ook nog eens toe aanzette. In 1934 keerde Breker terug naar zijn vaderland, waar hij alle voordelen genoot van een protegé van het regime.

De Olympische Spelen van 1936

Met de Olympische Spelen van 1936 in Berlijn draaide de Duitse propagandamachine op volle toeren. Hoewel het Olympisch handvest door de nazi’s nageleefd werd, zag men de Spelen toch als een uitgelezen kans om de nationaal-socialistische ideologie uit te dragen. Voor Arno Breker betekenden de Spelen een nieuw hoogtepunt in zijn carrière. Zijn beelden Zehnkämpfer en Die Siegerin, beide beelden meer dan drie meter hoog, behaalden een zilveren medaille. De jury had hem de gouden medaille willen geven, maar Adolf Hitler wilde vanwege politiek-strategische redenen per se dat een Italiaan die gouden medaille zou krijgen. Toch stak Hitler zijn bewondering voor Breker niet weg. Brekers carrière was gelanceerd.

Nog datzelfde jaar, 1936, ontmoette Breker Albert Speer voor het eerst – waarvoor hij beelden maakt voor op de Wereldtentoonstelling in Parijs – en een jaar later, in 1937 werd Breker tot Professor benoemd. Maar met de nederlaag van Duitsland in 1945, leek er een abrupt einde te komen aan Brekers carrière.

Na de oorlog…

32731.jpgDe eerste jaren na het einde van Wereldoorlog II leefde Breker nogal teruggetrokken. Hij maakte van de tijd, die hij afgezonderd was, wel gebruik om na te denken over zijn leven, de keuzes die hij gemaakt had enz. en om opnieuw contact te zoeken met zijn oude (Franse) vrienden, collega’s. Pas sinds de jaren 1950 liepen de opdrachten terug binnen. Deze opdrachten waren vooral inzake schilderijen, bustes (bijvoorbeeld van de Italiaanse dichter Ezra Pound en de Spaanse kunstenaar Salvador Dali) en zelfs enkele architecturale opdrachten (bijvoorbeeld het Gerling-gebouw in Keulen).

Pas begin de jaren 1980 werden de eerste tentoonstellingen met werken van Breker georganiseerd, al stootten deze op flinke weerstand. Zo moest een expositie in Zürich de deuren sluiten; nog een andere in Berlijn werd verstoord door zo’n 400 antifascistische demonstranten. Pas in 2006, 15 jaar na Brekers dood in 1991, organiseerde de overheid zelf een tentoonstelling met Brekers werken – hierbij refereer ik terug naar het begin van dit artikel – en, zoals ik reeds zei, lokte deze heel wat controverse uit. Doch: meer dan 35 000 mensen kwamen deze tentoonstellingen bezichtigen en de commentaren waren, over het algemeen, lovend. Dit getuigt dat sommige mensen politiek en kunst van elkaar gescheiden weten te houden; en maar goed ook: het zou immers zonde zijn indien dergelijke magnifieke werken, zoals Der Sieger, Eos of nog andere, verloren zouden gaan vanwege het verleden van haar maker.

Geschreven door Gauthier Bourgeois

 

Bronnen

-         “Arno Breker: ein Leben für das Schöne”, Dominique Egret

-         “Beelden voor de massa: kunst als wapen in het Derde Rijk”, Michel Peeters

-         “Das Bildnis des Menschen im Werk von Arno Breker”, Volker Probst

-         “De echo van Arno Breker: kunstenaar, nazi en/of visionair?”

-         “Het Arno Breker-taboe”, Mark Schenkel

mardi, 26 avril 2011

Nicola Bombacci: de Lênin a Mussolini

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Nicola Bombacci: de Lênin a Mussolini

 
por Erik Norling
 
Ex: http://legio-victrix.blogspot.com/ 
 
A 29 de Abril de 1945 eram assassinados os principais líderes fascistas às mãos dos guerrilheiros comunistas. E entre estes fascistas encontramos, curiosamente, Nicola Bombacci, antiga figura máxima do comunismo italiano, fundador do Partido Comunista de Itália (PCI), amigo pessoal de Lenine com quem esteve na URSS durante os anos da Revolução, apodado de “O Papa Vermelho” pela burguesia e finalmente incondicional seguidor de Mussolini, a quem se juntou nos últimos meses do seu regime. A sua história é uma história de conversão ou de traição?... Ou, talvez, de evolução natural de um nacional-bolchevique?... 
 
Um jovem revolucionário

Nicola Bombacci nasce no seio de uma família católica (o seu pai era agricultor, antigo soldado do Estado Pontifício) da Romagna, na província de Forli, a 24 de Outubro de 1879, a escassos quilómetros de Predappio, onde quatro anos mais tarde nascerá o futuro fundador do Fascismo. Trata-se de uma região marcada por duras lutas operárias e por um campesinato habituado à rebelião, terra de paixões extremas. Por imposição paterna ingressa no seminário mas rapidamente o abandona aquando da morte do seu progenitor. Em 1903 ingressa no anticlerical Partido Socialista (PSI) e decide tornar-se professor para poder assim servir as classes menos favorecidas na sua luta (novamente as semelhanças com o Duce são evidentes, tendo chegado a estudar na mesma escola superior) mas rapidamente passa a dedicar-se de corpo e alma à revolução socialista. A sua capacidade de trabalho e os seus dotes de organizador valem-lhe a direcção dos órgãos da imprensa socialista, o que lhe permitirá aumentar a sua influência no seio do movimento operário, chegando a ser Secretário do Comité Central do Partido, onde conhecerá um jovem uns anos mais novo: Benito Mussolini, que, não nos esqueçamos, foi a promessa do socialismo italiano antes de se tornar nacional-revolucionário. [1]

Opondo-se à linha moderada da social-democracia, Bombacci fundará juntamente com Gramsci o Partido Comunista de Itália após a cisão interna do PSI e viajará em princípios dos anos 20 para a URSS, para participar na revolução bolchevique, aonde já antes tinha estado como representante do Partido Socialista tendo sido conquistado pela causa dos sovietes. Aí trava amizade com o próprio Lenine que lhe dirá numa recepção no Kremlin estas famosas palavras sobre Mussolini: “Em Itália, companheiros, em Itália só há um socialista capaz de guiar o povo para a revolução: Benito Mussolini”, e pouco depois o Duce encabeçaria uma revolução, mas fascista… [2]

Como líder (António Gramsci era o teórico, Bombacci o organizador) do recém-criado PCI, torna-se no autêntico “inimigo público nº 1” da burguesia italiana, que o apoda de “O Papa Vermelho”. Revalidará brilhantemente o seu lugar de deputado, desta vez nas listas da nova formação, enquanto que as esquadras fascistas começam a tomar as ruas enfrentando as milícias comunistas em sangrentos combates. Bombacci empenhar-se-á em deter a marcha para o poder do fascismo mas fracassará, desde as páginas dos seus jornais lança invectivas contra o fascismo arengando a defesa da revolução comunista. É uma época em que os esquadristas de camisa negra cantam canções irreverentes como “Não tenho medo de Bombacci / Com a barba de Bombacci faremos spazzolini (escovas) / Para abrilhantar a careca de Benito Mussolini”. Etapa em que o comunismo se vê imerso em numerosas tensões internas e o próprio Bombacci entra em polémica com os seus companheiros de partido sendo um dos pontos de fricção a opção entre nacionalismo e internacionalismo. Já antes tinha demonstrado tendências nacionalistas, que faziam pressagiar a sua futura linha. Quando ainda estava no Partido Socialista e como consequência de um documento protestando contra a acção de Fiume levada a cabo por D’Annunzio que o Partido queria apresentar, Bombacci rebelou-se e escreveu sobre este que era “Perfeita e profundamente revolucionário; porque D’Annunzio é revolucionário. Disse-o Lenine no Congresso de Moscovo”. [3]
 
O primeiro fascismo

Em 1922 os fascistas marcham sobre a capital do Tibre; nada pode impedir que Mussolini assuma o poder, ainda que este não seja absoluto durante os primeiros anos do regime. Como deputado e membro do Comité Central do Partido, assim como encarregado das relações exteriores do mesmo, Bombacci viaja ao estrangeiro frequentemente. Participa no IV Congresso da Internacional Comunista representando a Itália, e, no Comité de Acção Antifascista, entrevista-se com dirigentes bolcheviques russos. Leva já metade da sua vida dedicada à causa do proletariado e não está disposto a desistir do seu empenho em levar à prática o seu sonho socialista. Torna-se fervente defensor da aproximação da Itália à URSS na Câmara e na imprensa comunista, falando seguramente em nome e por instigação dos dirigentes moscovitas, mas utilizando um discurso nacional-revolucionário que incomoda no seio do Partido, que por outro lado está em plena debandada após a vitória fascista. As relações com o revolucionário Estado soviético seriam uma vantagem para a Itália enquanto nação que também atravessa um processo revolucionário, ainda que fascista. É imediatamente acusado de herético e pedem-lhe que rectifique as suas posições. Não podem admitir que um comunista exija, como o faz Bombacci, “superar a Nação (sem) a destruir, queremo-la maior, porque queremos um governo de trabalhadores e agricultores”, socialista e sem negar a Pátria “direito incontestável e sacro de todo o homem e de todos os grupos de homens”. É a chamada “Terceira Via” onde o nacionalismo revolucionário do fascismo se encontra com o socialismo revolucionário comunista.

Bombacci é progressivamente marginalizado no seio do PCI e condenado ao ostracismo político, embora não deixe de manter contactos com alguns dirigentes russos e com a embaixada russa para a qual trabalha, além de que um dos seus filhos vivia na URSS. Acreditava sinceramente na revolução bolchevique e que, ao contrário dos camaradas italianos, os russos tinham um sentido nacional da revolução pelo que jamais renegará a sua amizade para com a URSS, nem sequer depois de aderir definitivamente ao fascismo.

Com a expulsão definitiva do partido em 1927, Bombacci entra numa etapa que podemos qualificar como os anos do silêncio que dura até 1936, altura em que lança a sua editorial e a revista homónima baptizada “La Veritá” e que culminará em 1943 numa progressiva conversão ao fascismo. No entanto é demasiado fácil considerar que Bombacci simplesmente se passou de armas e bagagens para o fascismo como pretendem os que o acusam de ser um “traidor”. Assistiremos a um processo lento de aproximação, não ao fascismo mas sim a Mussolini e à ala esquerdista do movimento fascista, onde Bombacci se sente aconchegado e em família, próximo das suas concepções revolucionárias, o corporativismo e as leis sociais deste fascismo de que “todo o postulado é um programa do socialismo”, segundo dirá em 1928 reconhecendo a sua identificação. [4]
 

Bombacci1.gifComprovamos assim que Bombacci não é um fascista, mas defende as conquistas do regime e a figura de Mussolini. Não se aproximou do partido fascista – jamais se inscreveu no Partido Nacional Fascista – apesar da sua amizade reconhecida com Mussolini, não aceitou cargos que lhe poderiam oferecer nem renegou as suas origens comunistas. A sua independência valia mais. No entanto convenceu-se de que o Estado Corporativo proposto pelo fascismo era a realização mais perfeita, o socialismo levado à prática, um estado superior ao comunismo. Jamais camuflará os seus ideais, em 1936 escrevia na revista “La Veritá”, confessando a sua adesão ao fascismo mas também ao comunismo:

“O fascismo fez uma grandiosa revolução social, Mussolini e Lenine. Soviete e Estado fascista corporativo, Roma e Moscovo. Muito tivemos que rectificar, nada de que nos fazer perdoar, pois hoje como ontem move-nos o mesmo ideal: o triunfo do trabalho”. [5]

Enquanto isto sucedia Bombacci tem um longo intercâmbio epistolar com o Duce tentando influenciar o antigo socialista na sua política social. O máximo historiador do fascismo, Renzo de Felice, escreveu a este respeito que Bombacci tem o mérito de ter sugerido a Mussolini mais do que uma das medidas adoptadas nesses anos 30. [6] Numa destas missivas, datada de Julho de 1934, propõe um programa de economia autárquica (que Mussolini aplicará) que, diz Bombacci ao Duce, é mostra da sua “vontade de trabalhar mais naquilo que agora concerne, no interesse e pelo triunfo do Estado Corporativo…”, como faz também desde as páginas da sua revista onde uma e outra vez batalha por uma autarcia que faça da Itália um país independente e capaz de enfrentar as potências plutocráticas (entenda-se os EUA, mas também a França e a Inglaterra). Por isso apoia decididamente a intervenção na Etiópia em 1935, mas não como campanha colonial senão como prelúdio da confrontação entre os países “proletários” (entre os quais estaria a Itália fascista) e os “capitalistas” que irremediavelmente chegaria, essa “revolução mundial (que) restabelecerá o equilíbrio mundial”. A acção italiana seria uma “típica e inconfundível conquista proletária”, destinada a derrotar as potências “capitalistas” e cuja experiência “deverá ser assumida… como um dado fundamental para a redenção das gentes de cor, ainda sob a opressão do capitalismo mais terrível”. [7]

Contra Estaline

Entre os anos de 1936 e 1943, difíceis para o fascismo pois iniciam-se os conflitos armados, prelúdio da derrota, Bombacci acrescenta a sua adesão ideológica a Mussolini. É um homem com quase 60 anos, viu como muitos dos seus sonhos socialistas não se realizaram, mas é um eterno idealista e não está disposto a abandonar a luta pelo socialismo, por “essa obra de redenção económica e de elevação espiritual do proletariado italiano que os socialistas da primeira hora tínhamos iniciado”. A sua editorial é uma ruína económica, os seus biógrafos deixaram constância das dificuldades e penúrias que sofre. Ter-lhe-ia bastado um passo oportunista e integrar-se no fascismo oficial e teria disposto de todas as ajudas do aparato do Estado mas não quer perder a sua independência ainda que em ocasiões deva aceitar subvenções do Ministério de Cultura Popular.
 

Esta etapa coincide com uma profunda reflexão sobre os seus erros passados e uma série de ataques ao comunismo russo que se tinha vendido às potências capitalistas traindo os postulados de Lenine. Assim, escreve Bombacci em Novembro de 1937, as relações entre a URSS e os países democráticos só tinha uma explicação que revelaria tudo o resto: “a razão é só uma, frívola, vulgar, mas real: o interesse, o dinheiro, o negócio”, pelo que este antigo comunista podia declarar abertamente que “nós proclamamos com a consciência limpa que a Rússia bolchevique de Estaline se tornou uma colónia do capitalismo maçónico-hebraico-internacional…”. A alusão anti-semita não é nova em Bombacci, nem nos teóricos socialistas do início do século, pois não devemos esquecer que o anti-semitismo moderno teve os seus mais ferventes defensores precisamente entre os doutrinários revolucionários de finais do século XIX, quando o judeu encarnava a figura do odiado capitalista. Em Bombacci não encontramos um anti-semitismo racialista mas sim social, de acordo com os posicionamentos mediterrânicos do problema judeu diferentemente do anti-judaismo alemão ou gaulês.

Quando estala a II Guerra Mundial, e especialmente ao estalar na frente Leste, Bombacci participa em pleno nas campanhas anticomunistas do regime. Como dirigente comunista conhecedor da URSS a sua voz faz-se ouvir. No entanto não renega os seus ideais, pelo contrário aprofunda a tese de que Estaline e os seus acólitos traíram a revolução. Escreve numerosos artigos contra Estaline, sobre as condições reais de vida no chamado “paraíso comunista”, as medidas adoptadas por este para destruir todos os sucessos do socialismo leninista. Em 1943, pouco antes da queda do Fascismo, concluía Bombacci resumindo a sua posição num folheto de propaganda:

“Qual das duas revoluções, a fascista ou a bolchevique, fará história no século XX e ficará na história como criadora de uma ordem nova de valores sociais e mundiais?

Qual das duas revoluções resolveu o problema agrário interpretando verdadeiramente os desejos e aspirações dos camponeses e os interesses económicos e sociais da colectividade nacional?

Roma venceu!

Moscovo materialista e semi-bárbara, com um capitalismo totalitário de Estado-Patrão quer juntar-se à força (planos quinquenais), levando à miséria mais negra os seus cidadãos, à industrialização existente nos países que durante o século XIX seguiram um processo de regime capitalista burguês. Moscovo completa a fase capitalista.

Roma é outra coisa.

Moscovo, com a reforma de Estaline, retrata-se institucionalmente ao nível de qualquer Estado burguês parlamentar. Economicamente há uma diferença substancial, porque, enquanto que nos Estados burgueses o governo é formado por delegados da classe capitalista, aqui o governo está nas mãos da burocracia bolchevique, uma nova classe que na realidade é pior que essa classe capitalista porque dispõe sem qualquer controlo do trabalho, da produção e da vida dos cidadãos”. [8]
 

A República Social Italiana

bombacci2.jpgQuando Mussolini é deposto em Julho de 1943 e resgatado pelos alemães uns meses depois, o Partido Nacional Fascista já se desagregou. A estrutura orgânica desapareceu, os dirigentes do partido, provenientes das camadas privilegiadas da sociedade passaram-se em massa para o governo de Badoglio e a Itália encontra-se dividida em dois (ao sul de Roma os Aliados avançam em direcção ao norte). Mussolini reagrupa os seus mais fiéis, todos eles velhos camaradas da primeira hora ou jovens entusiastas, quase nenhum dirigente de alto nível, que ainda acreditam na revolução fascista e proclama a República Social Italiana. Imediatamente o fascismo parece voltar às suas origens revolucionárias e Nicola Bombacci adere à república proclamada e presta a Mussolini todo o seu apoio. O seu sonho é poder levar a cabo a construção dessa “República dos trabalhadores” pela qual tanto ele como Mussolini se bateram juntos no início do século. Tal como Bombacci, outros conhecidos intelectuais de esquerda juntam-se ao novo governo: Carlo Silvestri (deputado socialista, depois da guerra defensor da memória do Duce), Edmondo Cione (filosofo socialista que será autorizado a criar um partido socialista aparte do Partido Fascista Republicano), etc.

O primeiro contacto com Mussolini ocorre a 11 de Outubro, apenas um mês depois da proclamação da RSI, e é epistolar. Bombacci escreve a Mussolini a partir de Roma, cidade onde o fascismo ruiu estrepitosamente (os romanos destruíram todos os símbolos do anterior regime nas ruas), mas onde ainda existem muitos fascistas de coração, e é este o momento que escolhe para declarar a Mussolini que está consigo. Não quando tudo corria bem, mas sim nos momentos difíceis como tão-só o fazem os verdadeiros camaradas:

“Estou hoje mais que ontem totalmente consigo” – confessa Bombacci – “a vil traição do rei-Badoglio trouxe por todos os lados a ruína e a desonra de Itália mas libertou-a de todos os compromissos pluto-monárquicos de 22.

Hoje o caminho está livre e em minha opinião só se pode recorrer ao abrigo socialista. Acima de tudo: a vitória das armas.

Mas para assegurar a vitória deve ter a adesão da massa operária. Como? Com feitos decisivos e radicais no sector económico-produtivo e sindical…

Sempre às suas ordens com o grande afecto já de trinta anos.”
 
Mussolini, acossado pela situação militar mas mais decidido que nunca a levar a cabo a sua revolução agora que se libertou dos lastros do passado, autoriza que os sectores mais radicais do partido assumam o poder e inicia-se uma etapa denominada de “socialização” (nome proposto por Bombacci e aceite pelo Duce) que se traduzirá na promulgação de leis de inspiração claramente socialista, em relação à criação de sindicatos, à co-gestão das empresas, à distribuição de lucros e à nacionalização dos sectores industriais de importância. Tudo isto foi resumido nos 18 Pontos do primeiro (e único) congresso do Partido Fascista Republicano em Verona, documento redigido conjuntamente por Mussolini e Bombacci, que se constituiria como a base do Estado Social Republicano. Na política exterior tentará convencer Mussolini a assinar a paz com a URSS e a prosseguir a guerra contra a plutocracia anglo-saxã, ressuscitar o eixo Roma-Berlim-Moscovo dos pensadores geopolíticos do nacional-bolchevismo dos anos 20, proposta que parece ter tido êxito em Mussolini que escreverá vários artigos para a imprensa republicana sobre este assunto mesmo sabendo que esta proposta tinha uma tenaz oposição por parte de um amplo sector do partido, em particular de Roberto Farinacci. Bombacci viaja para o norte e reinstala-se perto do seu amigo Walter Mocchi, outro veterano dirigente comunista convertido ao fascismo mussoliniano que trabalha para o Ministério de Cultura Popular.

Se para muitos o último Mussolini era um homem acabado, títere dos alemães, não deixa de surpreender a adesão que recebe de homens como Bombacci, um verdadeiro idealista, de estatura imponente, com a barba crescida e uma oratória atraente, alérgico a tudo o que pudesse significar acomodar-se ou aburguesar-se, que tão-pouco agora aceitará salário ou prebendas (apenas em princípios de 1945 aparecerá o seu nome numa lista de propostas de salários do ministério da Economia ou como Chefe da Confederação Única do Trabalho e da Técnica). Bombacci tornar-se-á assessor pessoal e confidente de Mussolini, para atrair de novo às bases do partido os trabalhadores. Propõe a criação de comités sindicais, abertos a não militantes fascistas, eleições sindicais livres, viajará pelas fábricas do norte industrializado (Milão-Turim) explicando a revolução social do novo regime e o porquê da sua adesão. O velho combatente revolucionário parece de novo rejuvenescer, após um comício em Verona e várias visitas a empresas socializadas escreve ao Duce a 22 de Dezembro de 1944: “Falei durante uma hora e trinta minutos num teatro entregue e entusiasta… a plateia, composta na maior parte por operários vibrou gritando: sim, queremos combater por Itália, pela república, pela socialização… pela manhã visitei a Mondadori, já socializada, e falei com os operários que constituem o Conselho de Gestão que achei cheio de entusiasmo e compreensão por esta nossa missão”. Enquanto a situação militar se deteriorava, os grupos terroristas comunistas (os tragicamente famosos GAP) já tinham decidido eliminá-lo pelo perigo que a sua actividade representava para os seus objectivos. [9]

Mas a guerra está a chegar ao fim. Benito Mussolini, aconselhado pelo deputado ex-socialista Carlo Silvestri e Bombacci, propõe entregar o poder aos socialistas, integrados no Comité Nacional de Libertação. [10] Em Abril de 1945 as autoridades militares alemãs rendem-se aos Aliados, sem informar os italianos, é o fim. Abandonados e sós.
 
Crepúsculo de um nacional-revolucionário

Durante os últimos meses da RSI Bombbaci continuou a campanha para recuperar as massas populares e evitar que se decantassem pelo bolchevismo. Em finais de 1944 publicava um opúsculo intitulado «Isto é o Bolchevismo», reproduzido no jornal católico «Crociata Italica» em Março de 1945. Bombacci insiste nas críticas aos desvios estalinistas do comunismo real que destruiu o verdadeiro sindicalismo revolucionário na Europa com as ingerências russas. Nestas últimas semanas de vida da experiência republicana, Bombacci está ao lado dos que ainda acreditam numa solução de compromisso com o inimigo para assim evitar a ruína do país. Leal até ao fim, ficará com Mussolini mesmo quando tudo já está definitivamente perdido. Profeticamente fala disso aos seus operários numa das suas últimas aparições públicas, em Março de 1945:

“Irmãos de fé e de luta… não reneguei aos meus ideais pelos quais lutei e pelos quais, se Deus me deixar viver mais, lutarei sempre. Mas agora encontro-me nas fileiras das cores que militam na República Social Italiana, e vim outra vez porque agora sim é a sério e é verdadeiramente decisivo reivindicar os direitos dos operários…”

Nicola Bombacci, sempre fiel, sempre sereno, acompanhará Mussolini na sua última e dramática viagem até à morte. A 25 de Abril está em Milão. O relato de Vittorio Mussolini, filho do Duce, sobre o seu último encontro com o seu pai, acompanhado por Bombacci, mostra-nos a inteireza deste:

“Pensei no destino deste homem, um verdadeiro apóstolo do proletariado, em certa altura inimigo acérrimo do fascismo e agora ao lado do meu pai, sem nenhum cargo nem prebenda, fiel a dois chefes diferentes até à morte. A sua calma serviu-me de consolo”. [11]

Pouco depois, após Mussolini se separar da coluna dos seus últimos fiéis para os poupar ao seu destino, Bombacci é detido por um grupo de guerrilheiros comunistas junto com um grupo de hierarcas fascistas. Na manhã de 28 de Abril era colocado contra o paredão em Dongo, no norte do país, ao lado de Barracu, valoroso ex-combatente, mutilado de guerra, de Pavolini, o poeta-secretário do partido, de Valério Zerbino, um intelectual e Coppola, outro pensador. Todos gritam, perante o pelotão que os assassina, “Viva Itália!”. Bombacci, enquanto tomba crivado pelas balas dos comunistas, grita: “Viva o Socialismo!”.
 

_____________

Notas:

1. Em português, sobre o movimento revolucionário do pré-fascismo veja-se o excelente trabalho do professor israelita Zeev Sternhell e dos seus colaboradores, «Nascimento da ideologia fascista», onde curiosamente quase não se menciona Bombacci.

2. Sobre a trajectória revolucionária de Bombacci há um excelente trabalho de Gugliemo Salotti intitulado «Nicola Bombacci, da Mosca a Saló».

3. Referimo-nos à tomada da cidade dálmata em 1919 pelo poeta-soldado Gabrielle D’Annunzio, que é considerada por muitos autores como o primeiro capítulo da revolução fascista. Veja-se Carlos Caballero, “La fascinante historia D’Annunzio en Fiume”, em Revisión, Alicante, ano I, 2, vol. IV, Outubro de 1990.

4. Sobre a ala esquerdista do fascismo: Luca Leonello Rimbotti, «Il fascismo di sinistra. Da Piazza San Sepolcro al congresso di Verona», Roma, Settimo Sigillo, 1989. Ver também: Giuseppe Parlato, “La Sinistra fascista. Storia de un progetto mancato”, Bolinia, Il Mulino, 2000.

5. Cit. Arrigo Petacco, «Il comunista in camicia nera. Nicola Bombacci tra Lenin e Mussolini», Milão, Mondadori Editori, 1996, p. 115.

6. «Mussolini il Duce. II. Lo Stato totalitario 1936-1940», Turim, Einaudi, 1981 (2a, 1996), p. 331 n.

7. A correspondência de Bombacci para Mussolini (mas não a do Duce para este) está conservada em parte no Arquivo Central do Estado Italiano.

8. Nicola Bombacci, «I contadini nell’Italia di Mussolini», Roma, 1943, pp. 34 e ss.

9. Mais de 50 mil fascistas serão executados por estes grupos terroristas durante estes dois anos, e mais 50 mil na trágica Primavera-Verão de 1945. Foram especialmente visados os dirigentes fascistas que possuíssem uma certa aura de popularidade e que pudessem encarnar uma face mais populista do fascismo. O caso mais chamativo foi o do filósofo Giovanni Gentile, que deu lugar inclusivamente a protestos no seio da resistência antifascista. Existe uma ampla bibliografia sobre o assunto, embora na actualidade se tente reduzir as cifras e o impacto desta sangrenta guerra civil.

10. É curioso comprovar como em vários países da Europa, com o aproximar do final da guerra, os únicos elementos fieis à nova ordem são as chamadas alas “proletárias” dos movimentos nacional-revolucionários e que se negoceie a entrega do poder aos grupos socialistas da resistência por oposição aos comunistas e aos burgueses. Assim sucederá na Noruega onde os sectores sindicais propõe um governo de coligação à resistência social-democrata em Abril de 1945, ou em França onde após a queda do governo de Petain no Outono de 1944 Marcel Deat e Jacques Doriot pugnam por instaurar um governo socialista.

11. «La vida con mi padre», Madrid, Ediciones Cid, 1958, p. 267.

dimanche, 24 avril 2011

Léon Daudet, sa vie, son oeuvre et ses astralités

par Daniel Cologne

Ex: http://geminilitteraire.wordpress.com/

Dans la riche banlieue Est de Bruxelles, à l’angle des avenues de l’Yser et de Tervueren, on découvre aujourd’hui un immeuble moderne abritant, entre autres locataires, une chemiserie de luxe et une agence bancaire. Là s’élevait jadis l’hôtel particulier de la marquise de Radigues, où Léon Daudet séjourna durant son exil belge de vingt-neuf mois (1927 – 1929). L’entrée du Parc du Cinquantenaire est à quelques mètres et, sur une photographie reproduite dans le livre de Francis Bergeron en page 122, à l’arrière-plan de Léon Daudet et de son fils Philippe, on aperçoit les arcades édifiées à l’initiative du roi-bâtisseur Léopold II pour les cinquante ans de la Belgique en 1880. Au sommet de cet arc de triomphe, Le char de Phébus est emporté par des chevaux qui galopent vers Le Soleil Levant.

 

Léon Daudet arrive en Belgique après s’être évadé de la prison de la Santé, où il purgeait une peine de cinq mois pour diffamation. Il est toujours marqué par le suicide de son fils Philippe en 1923. Il soupçonnait un assassinat politique maquillé en suicide, mais Francis Bergeron pense que l’adolescent fugueur et épileptique a vraiment mis fin à ses jours. Publié en annexe par Marin de Charette, l’horoscope de Philippe Daudet né à Paris, Le 7 janvier 1909 à 4 h 00, semble confirmer la thèse de l’auteur.

En dépit de ce deuil encore récent et de cette blessure non cicatrisée, Léon Daudet déborde d’activité à Bruxelles : conférences, réceptions, rédaction d’une vingtaine de volumes. C’est le rythme de travail habituel de Daudet : une « déferlante effroyable » (p. 43) au détriment de la qualité, du moins en ce qui concerne l’œuvre romanesque. En revanche, le critique littéraire et artistique mérite de passer à la postérité avec ses surprenants éloges de Proust, Gide, Kessel et Picasso. « La patrie [ou la France, selon les versions], je lui dis merde quand il s’agit de littérature » (p. 90). Ainsi parlait celui qu’Éric Vatré qualifie judicieusement de « libre réactionnaire » (cité p. 116).

Léon Daudet naît à Paris Le 16 novembre 1867 à 23 h 00. Il est le fils d’Alphonse Daudet (1840 – 1897). Moins prolixe que son père dans la veine provençale héritée du Félibrige (Fièvres de Camargue, roman publié en 1938), il en partage jusqu’en 1900 les convictions politiques de républicain antisémite.

D’Alphonse Daudet, Francis Bergeron écrit : « Il déjeune chez Zola et dîne chez Drumont » (p. 45). Le moindre mérite de son livre n’est certes pas de rappeler que l’origine de l’antisémitisme se situe à gauche.

Entre autres influences, celle de sa cousine Marthe Allard, qui devient sa seconde épouse, et « dont les idées catholiques et monarchistes sont bien arrêtées » (p. 48), fait basculer Léon Daudet dans l’orbite de l’Action française.

Au lendemain de la Première Guerre mondiale, Léon Daudet est élu député d’une « Chambre bleu-horizon ». Il joue un rôle important dans la décision de la France d’occuper la Ruhr. Farouche adversaire d’Aristide Briand, Léon Daudet est apprécié par André Tardieu qui, devenu président du Conseil en 1929, lui accorde sa grâce. Après deux ans et demi de bannissement, Léon Daudet rentre à Paris non sans avoir une ultime réception dans son hôtel bruxellois, le 30 décembre.

« Léon fut un redoutable polygraphe » (p. 109). À ses cent vingt-sept œuvres (romans, essais, pamphlets, recueils d’articles), il faut ajouter plus de quarante préfaces et contributions à des ouvrages collectifs. Parmi les livres qui emportent l’enthousiaste préférence de Francis Bergeron, citons : Paris vécu (deux tomes paradoxalement écrits à Bruxelles), l’incontournable Stupide XIXe siècle (1922), La vie orageuse de Clémenceau (1938), car Léon Daudet vénérait Le « Tigre », Panorama de la IIIe République (1936), Charles Maurras et son temps (1928), les romans historiques de 1896 et 1933 mettant en scène les personnages de Shakespeare et Rabelais.

Le 1er juillet 1942, Léon Daudet s’éteint à Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, dans cette région inspiratrice de son père, dans ce Midi dont on a chanté les marchés (Gilbert Bécaud), les fifres et les tambourins (Robert Ripa), Le « mistral qui décoiffe les marchandes, jouant au Tout-Puissant » (Mireille Mathieu).

Léon Daudet meurt là où naquit Nostradamus. Le point commun de « l’enfant terrible de la IIIe République » (Louis Guitard, cité p. 114) et du faux prophète du XVIe siècle est Le cursus universitaire médical, inachevé chez l’un, accompli chez l’autre.

Dans notre famille de pensée, l’on demeure volontiers sceptique, voire méfiant, envers l’astrologie. D’autant plus nécessaires sont les études qui terminent tous les ouvrages de la collection « Qui suis-je ? ». Marin de Charette interprète l’horoscope de Léon Daudet (pages 123 à 126).

Son analyse est convaincante. De Léon Daudet, l’astrologue écrit : « Dans son ciel de naissance, aucune planète n’est faible : elles sont toutes puissamment reliées entre elles » (p. 125). Sur le plan personnel, le trigone Lune – Mercure (angle de 120 °) incline à la sur-activité littéraire et à la toute particulière prédisposition à la critique. Le romancier « solaire » produit, le critique « lunaire » reproduit, à l’instar du luminaire nocturne qui reproduit la lumière du Soleil en la reflétant.

« Né, en outre, au moment d’un carré exact et croissant d’Uranus à Neptune (dont l’axe mitoyen passe par Saturne !) – aspect générationnel -, Daudet incarne comme une sorte de déchirement entre l’ancien et le nouveau, et, aussi, un pont » (p. 126).

Mis en perspective dans les statistiques de Michel Gauquelin, cet horoscope se caractérise par l’occupation des quatre « zones d’intensité maximale » : la Lune vient de se lever, Jupiter se couche, Pluton culmine et cinq planètes sont amassées au nadir. Parmi cette quintuple conjonction, relevons le couple Soleil – Saturne (deux degrés d’orbe). Saturne « ensoleillé » indique la quête du Vrai sachant s’affranchir des a priori (le « libre réactionnaire »). mais Saturne « brûlé » (« combuste », disent les astrologues traditionalistes), peut expliquer « l’extrême violence de ton avec laquelle il a toujours défendu ses idées, ses convictions, ses goûts » (p. 94).

Cela ne fait pas pour autant de Léon Daudet un « extrémiste ». Même les actuels et pernicieux censeurs de la plus sournoise des polices de la pensée ne s’y trompent pas et lui laissent le bénéfice d’une « relative indulgence ».

 

Note

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Francis Bergeron, Léon Daudet, Éditions Pardès, coll. «Qui suis-je ?», 2007, 128 p

 

mercredi, 30 mars 2011

Années 20 et 30: la droite de l'établissement francophone en Belgique, la littérature flamande et le "nationalisme de complémentarité"

Robert STEUCKERS :

 

Années 20 et 30 : la droite de l’établissement francophone en Belgique, la littérature flamande et le « nationalisme de complémentarité »

 

Le blocage politique actuel des institutions fédérales belges est l’aboutissement ultime d’une mécompréhension profonde entre les deux communautés linguistiques. En écrivant cela, nous avons bien conscience d’énoncer un lieu commun. Pourtant les lieux communs, jugés inintéressants parce que répétés à satiété, ont des racines comme tout autre phénomène social ou politique. Dans la Belgique du 19ème siècle et de la première moitié du 20ème, l’établissement se veut « sérieux » donc branché sur la langue française, perçue comme un excellent véhicule d’universalité et comme un bon instrument pour sortir de tout enlisement dans le vernaculaire, qui risquerait de rendre la Belgique « incompréhensible » au-delà de ses propres frontières exigües. Certes, les grands ténors de la littérature francophone belge de la fin du 19ème siècle, comme Charles De Coster et Camille Lemonnier, avaient plaidé pour l’inclusion d’éléments « raciques » dans la littérature romane de Belgique : De Coster « médiévalisait » et germanisait à dessein la langue romane de son « Tijl Uilenspiegel » et Lemonnier entendait peindre une réalité sociale avec l’acuité plastique de la peinture flamande (comme aussi, de son côté, Eugène Demolder) et truffait ses romans de mots et de tournures issus des parlers wallons ou borains pour se démarquer du parisianisme, au même titre que les Félibriges provençaux qui, eux, réhabilitaient l’héritage linguistique occitan. Ces concessions au vernaculaire seront le propre d’une époque révolue : celle d’une Belgique d’avant 1914, finalement plus tournée vers l’Allemagne que vers la France. La défaite de Guillaume II en 1918 implique tout à la fois une alliance militaire franco-belge, une imitation des modèles littéraires parisiens, l’expurgation de toute trace de vernaculaire (donc de wallon et de flamand) et une subordination de la littérature néerlandaise de Flandre à des canons « classiques », inspirés du Grand Siècle français (le 17ème) et détachés de tous les filons romantiques ou pseudo-romantiques d’inspiration plus germanique.

 

Le théoricien et l’historien le plus avisé du « style classique » sera Adrien de Meeüs, auteur d’un livre remarquablement bien écrit sur la question : « Le coup de force de 1660 » (Nouvelles Société d’éditions, Bruxelles, 1935). Cet ouvrage est un survol de la littérature française depuis 1660, année où, sous l’impulsion de Louis XIV, le pouvoir royal capétien décide de soutenir la littérature, le théâtre et la poésie et de lui conférer un style inégalé, qu’on appelle à imiter. La droite littéraire de l’établissement francophone belge va adopter, comme image de marque, ce « classicisme » qu’Adrien de Meeüs théorisera en 1935. Par voie de conséquence, pour les classicistes, seule la langue française exprime sans détours ce style issu du « Grand Siècle » et de la Cour de Louis XIV. Mais que faire de la littérature flamande, qui puisse aussi à d’autres sources, quand on est tout à la fois « classiciste » et partisan de l’unité nationale ? On va tenter de sauver la Flandre de l’emprise des esprits qui ne sont pas « classiques ». Antoine Fobe (1903-1987) et Charles d’Ydewalle (1901-1985) vont fonder à Gand des revues comme « Les Ailes qui s’ouvrent » et « L’Envolée », afin de défendre un certain classicisme (moins accentué que celui que préconisera de Meeüs) et les valeurs morales catholiques contre les dadaïstes flamands, campés comme appartenant à un « école de loustics et de déséquilibrés ».  Outre ces foucades contre une avant-garde, généralement « progressiste » sur le plan politique, les milieux francophones de Flandre, défenseurs de droite d’une unité belge de plus en plus contestée, ne s’intéressent en aucune façon à la production littéraire néerlandaise : comme si de hautes figures comme Herman Teirlinck ou le Hollandais « Multatuli » ne méritaient aucune attention. On évoque quelque fois une Flandre idéale ou pittoresque mais on ne lit jamais à fond les productions littéraires nouvelles de l’espace néerlandais, de haute gamme. La Flandre francophone et belgicaine pratique le « refoulement » de sa propre part flamande, écrit la philologue Cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre, dans une étude remarquable qui nous permet enfin de faire le tri dans une littérature catholique, de droite, francophone, qui a tenu en haleine nos compatriotes dans les années 20 et 30 mais a été « oubliée » depuis, vu les réflexes autoritaires, royalistes, nationalistes et parfois pré-rexistes ou carrément rexistes qu’elle recelait.

 

davignon120.jpgOr le contexte a rapidement changé après le Traité de Versailles, dont la Belgique sort largement dupée par les quatre grandes puissances (Etats-Unis, France, Grande-Bretagne, Italie), comme l’écrivait clairement Henri Davignon (photo ci-contre), dans son ouvrage « La première tourmente », consacré à ses activités diplomatiques en Angleterre pendant la première guerre mondiale. Après Versailles, nous avons Locarno (1925), qui éveille les espoirs d’une réconciliation généralisée en Europe. Ensuite, les accords militaires franco-belges sont de plus en plus contestés par les socialistes et les forces du mouvement flamand, puis, dans un deuxième temps, par le Roi et son état-major (qui critiquent l’immobilisme de la stratégie française marquée par Maginot) et, enfin, par les catholiques inquiets de la progression politique des gauches françaises. Tout cela suscite le désir de se redonner une originalité intellectuelle et littéraire marquée de « belgicismes », donc de « vernacularités » wallonne et flamande. L’univers littéraire de la droite catholique francophone va donc simultanément s’ouvrir, dès la fin des années 20, à la Flandre en tant que Flandre flamande et à la Wallonie dans toutes ses dimensions vernaculaires.

 

C’est Henri Davignon, l’homme installé come diplomate à Londres pendant la guerre de 1914-18, qui ouvrira la brèche : il est en effet le premier à vouloir faire glisser cette littérature francophone de Flandre et de Belgique d’un anti-flamandisme exaspéré au lendemain de la première guerre mondiale à une défense de toutes les identités collectives et régionales du royaume. Pour Davignon, que cite Cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre, il faut, en littérature, substituer au nationalisme unitaire —qui veut régenter les goûts au départ d’un seul éventail de critères esthétiques ou veut aligner les différences inhérentes aux régions du pays sur un et un seul modèle unificateur—  un nationalisme fait de complémentarités (les complémentarités propres aux particularismes raciques « germanique/flamand » et « roman/wallon », qu’ils soient généraux ou locaux). Dans ce cas, pour Davignon, les particularismes raciques ne seraient plus centrifuges mais centripètes. « La vigueur de la nation ne procède pas de l’unification des idiomes, des coutumes et des tempéraments » ; au contraire, « cette vigueur se renouvelle au contact de leurs diversités », écrit Davignon tout en ajoutant ce qu’il faut bien considérer comme une restriction qui nous ramène finalement à la case de départ : « quand une haute tradition et une pensée constructive président à leur adoption ». Quelle est-elle cette « haute tradition » ? Et cette « pensée constructive » ? Il est clair que cette haute tradition, dans le chef de Davignon, n’existe que dans l’usage de la langue française et dans l’imitation de certains modèles français. Et que la « pensée constructive » correspond à tous les efforts visant à maintenir l’unité nationale/étatique belge. Cependant, en dépit du contexte belge des années 20 et 30 du 20ème siècle, Henri Davignon énonce une vérité littéraire, très générale, extensible à la planète entière : l’intérêt pour le vernaculaire, toujours pluriel au sein d’un cadre national, quel qu’il soit, que ce soit en Allemagne ou en France (avec les Félibriges qui fascinaient tant les Flamands que les Francophones), ne saurait être un but en soi. Mais les vérités universelles —qui se profilent derrière tout vernaculaire, se cachent en ses recoins, en ses plis, et le justifient pour la pérennité—   ne sauraient exclusivement s’exprimer en une seule langue, a fortiori dans les zones d’intersection linguistique, et ne doivent jamais dépendre d’un projet politique somme toute rigide et toujours incapable d’assumer une diversité trop bigarrée. La « haute tradition » pourrait être finalement beaucoup de choses : un catholicisme audacieux (Barbey d’Aurevilly, Léon Bloy, Ernest Psichari, G. K. Chesterton, Carl Schmitt, Giovanni Papini, etc.), s’exprimant en français, en anglais, en allemand, en espagnol ou en italien ; une adhésion à la Tradition (Guénon, Evola, Coomaraswamy, Schuon, etc.) ;  une « transcendement » volontaire du cadre national trop étroit dans un mythe bourguignon (le « Grand Héritage » selon Luc Hommel) ou impérial ou, plus simplement, dans un idéal européen (chez un Drion du Chapois, où il se concentre dans une vaste zone médiane, lotharingienne et danubienne,  c’est-à-dire en Belgique, en Lorraine, en Rhénanie, en Suisse, dans le Bade-Wurtemberg, en Bavière et dans tout l’espace austro-hongrois, Italie du Nord comprise). Ces cadres, transcendant l’étroitesse d’une nation ressentie comme trop petite, permettent tout autant l’éclosion d’une « pensée constructive ».

 

Henri Davignon en reste là. C’était son point de vue, partagé par bien d’autres auteurs francophones restant en marge des événements littéraires néerlandais de Flandre ou des Pays-Bas.

 

pitj01.jpgL’aristocrate gantois Roger Kervyn de Marcke ten Driessche (né en 1896 - photo ci-contre) franchit un pas de plus dans ce glissement vers la reconnaissance de la diversité littéraire belge, issue de la diversité dialectale et linguistique du pays. Kervyn se veut « passeur » : l’élite belge, et donc son aristocratie, doit viser le bilinguisme parfait pour conserver son rôle dans la société à venir, souligne Cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre. Kervyn assume dès lors le rôle de « passeur » donc de traducteur ; il passera toutes les années 30 à traduire articles, essais et livres flamands pour la « Revue Belge » et pour les Editions Rex. On finit par considérer, dans la foulée de cette action individuelle d’un Gantois francophone, que le « monolinguisme est trahison ». Le terme est fort, bien sûr, mais, même si l’on fait abstraction du cadre étatique belge, avec ses institutions à l’époque très centralisées (le fédéralisme ne sera réalisé définitivement qu’au début des années 90 du 20ème siècle), peut-on saisir les dynamiques à l’œuvre dans l’espace entre Somme et Rhin, peut-on sonder les mentalités, en ne maniant qu’une et une seule panoplie d’outils linguistiques ? Non, bien évidemment. Néerlandais, français et allemand, avec toutes leurs variantes dialectales, s’avèrent nécessaires. Pour Cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre, le bel ouvrage de Charles d’Ydewalle, « Enfances en Flandre » (1935) ne décrit que les sentiments et les mœurs des francophones de Flandre, essentiellement de Bruges et de Gand. A ce titre, il ne participe pas du mouvement que Kervyn a voulu impulser. C’est exact. Et les humbles du menu peuple sont les grands absents du livre de d’Ydewalle, de même que les représentants de l’élite alternative qui se dressait dans les collèges catholiques et dans les cures rurales (Cyriel Verschaeve !). Il n’empêche qu’une bonne lecture d’ « Enfances en Flandre » de d’Ydewalle permettrait à des auteurs flamands, et surtout à des créateurs cinématographiques, de mieux camper bourgeois et francophones de Flandre dans leurs oeuvres. Ensuite, les notes de d’Ydewalle sur le passé de la terre flamande de César aux « Communiers », et sur le dialecte ouest-flamand qu’il défend avec chaleur, méritent amplement le détour. 

 

La démarche de Roger Kervyn et les réflexions générales d’Henri Davignon, sur la variété linguistique de l’espace Somme/Rhin nous forcent à analyser œuvres et auteurs où le télescopage entre réflexes flamands et wallons, flamands et rhénans, ardennais et « Eifeler » sont bien présents : songeons aux poèmes de Maurice Gauchez sur la Flandre occidentale, à ceux du Condrusien Gaston Compère sur le littoral flamand, au culte de l’espace Ardenne/Eifel chez le Pierre Nothomb d’après-guerre, à l’ouverture progressive du germanophobe maurassien Norbert Wallez à l’esprit rhénan et à la synthèse austro-habsbourgeoise (via les « Cahiers bleus » de Maeterlinck ?), à la présence allemande ou de thèmes allemands/rhénans/mosellans dans certains romans de Gaston Compère, ou, plus récemment, à la fascination exercée par Gottfried Benn sur un ponte de la littérature belge actuelle, Pierre Mertens ? Ou, côté allemand, à l’influence exercée par certains Liégeois sur l’éclosion du Cercle de Stefan George ? Côté flamand, la porosité est plus nette : ni la France ni l’Allemagne ne sont absentes, a fortiori ni les Pays-Bas ni la Scandinavie ni les Iles Britanniques.

 

Pour cerner la diversité littéraire de nos lieux, sans vouloir la surplomber d’un quelconque corset étatique qui finirait toujours par paraître artificiel, il faut plaider pour l’avènement d’une littérature comparée, spécifique de notre éventail d’espaces d’intersection, pour la multiplication des « passeurs » à la Kervyn, au-delà des criailleries politiciennes, au-delà d’une crise qui perdure, au-delà des cadres étatiques ou sub-étatiques qui, esthétiquement, ne signifient rien. Car, empressons-nous de l’ajouter, cela ne reviendrait pas à fabriquer du « fusionnisme » stérile mais à se démarquer des universalismes planétaires et médiatiques qui pétrifient notre pensée, nous arrachent à notre réel et font de nous de véritables « chiens de Pavlov », condamnés à répéter des slogans préfabriqués ou à aboyer des vociférations vengeresses, dès qu’un de ces dogmes ou un autre se verrait écorner par le simple principe de réalité. La France fait pareil : tandis que les médias sont alignés sur tous les poncifs du « politiquement correct », que Bernard Henri Lévy organise la guerre contre Kadhafi, au-delà de la présidence et de l’état-major des armées, les rayons des librairies de province et des supermarchés des petites bourgades croulent sous le poids des romans régionalistes, vernaculaires, réels, présentent les anciennes chroniques régionales et villageoises éditées par l’excellent M.-G. Micberth. L’an passé, on trouvait jusqu’aux plus reculés des villages franc-comtois des histoires de cette province, où l’on exaltait son passé bourguignon, espagnol et impérial, ou encore une solide biographie de Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle, serviteur insigne de l’Empereur Charles-Quint. Cette année, on trouve trois nouveaux ouvrages sur le parler régional, sur les termes spécifiques des métiers artisanaux, agricoles et sylvicoles de la province et un lexique copieux de vocables dialectaux. Récolte analogue en Lorraine et en Savoie. Un signe des temps…  

 

Robert STEUCKERS.

(extrait d’un éventail de causeries sur les littérature et paralittérature belges, tenues au Mont-des-Cats, à Bruxelles, Liège, Douai, Genève, entre décembre 2007 et mars 2011).

 

Bibliographie :

 

Cécile VANDERPELEN-DIAGRE, Ecrire en Belgique sous le regard de Dieu, Ed. Complexe/CEGES, Bruxelles, 2004.

 

Cet ouvrage a été recensé et commenté à plusieurs reprises dans nos cercles. La recension définitive paraitra prochainement sur le site http://euro-synergies.hautetfort.com/     

 

Seront également consultés lors de futurs séminaires :

 

Textyles, revue des lettres belges de langue française, n°24, 2004, « Une Europe en miniature ? », Dossier dirigé par Hans-Joachim Lope & Hubert Roland.

 

Die horen – Zeitschrift für Literatur, Kunst und Kritik, Nr. 150,1988, « Belgien : Ein Land auf der Suche nach sich selbst » - Texte & Zeichen aus drei Sprachregionen. Zusammengestellt von Heinz Schneeweiss.  

 

samedi, 26 mars 2011

Fürs Vaterland. L'epopea dei Corpi Franchi

Fürs Vaterland. L’epopea dei Corpi Franchi

 Autore: Luca Leonello Rimbotti

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


Il Freikorps Roßbach. Uno dei Freikorps più celebri, fu impegnato nella Prussia occidentale e sul Baltico.

Il Freikorps Roßbach. Uno dei Corpi Franchi più celebri, fu impegnato nella Prussia occidentale e sul Baltico.


Nella Germania devastata del primo dopoguerra, travolta dalla crisi economica, dalla guerra civile, dallo sfascio dello Stato, ci fu un nucleo di uomini che non rimasero a guardare: la Repubblica di Weimar, nata dal crollo del 1918 e scossa da una serie di insurrezioni comuniste, che dettero vita alle effimere “repubbliche dei consigli”, era anche attraversata da tentativi di contro-rivoluzione: un putsch dietro l’altro, ma nessuno di essi riuscì a rovesciare il pur fragile governo socialdemocratico. Questo, infatti, si resse praticamente soltanto grazie al paradossale aiuto che gli fornirono i Corpi Franchi, cioè quei gruppi nati spontaneamente fra giovani e soldati appena smobilitati, che si raccoglievano attorno a capi militari carismatici ed efficienti: una specie di compagnie di ventura, che sorsero qua e là in tutta la Germania.


Non difendevano la Repubblica, che anzi disprezzavano. Difendevano la Germania. Contro le sollevazioni dei “rossi” e contro le infiltrazioni che, a Est come a Ovest, minacciavano i labili confini, non ancora stabiliti dalla pace di Versailles e completamente aperti. A Occidente, la Francia sobillava il separatismo renano; a Oriente la Polonia appena risorta voleva accaparrarsi più terra tedesca che poteva; e intanto l’Armata Rossa di Trotzkij spingeva verso la Germania. Lenin lo aveva detto: per fare la rivoluzione mondiale bisogna prendere in tutti i modi la Germania. Contro questa folla di nemici sorse un pugno di combattenti: bande irregolari, civili armati alla meglio, oltre a veterani delle trincee della Grande Guerra.


Nella zona baltica, in Curlandia, nella Pomerania e nell’Alta Slesia contese alla Polonia, nella Ruhr occupata dai Francesi, nella Renania, a Berlino: ovunque ci fosse da contrastare la sovversione si trovavano uomini disposti a morire. Questi “lanzichenecchi”, come li chiamò Jünger, erano nazionalisti radicali, alcuni rimpiangevano la Germania imperiale del Kaiser, ma molti altri vedevano invece in quella lotta l’occasione per fare una rivoluzione nazionale. Ma, ben più che ideologi, erano uomini d’azione. Con una sola idea in testa: difendere il Reich in ogni modo e in ogni luogo. Questo mondo di ribelli, di straordinari guerrieri moderni, trovò il suo realistico epos nel famoso romanzo I proscritti di Ernst von Salomon, pubblicato nel 1929 e presto divenuto il testo di riferimento per comprendere un’epoca e una serie di intricate vicende, che altrimenti – specialmente fuori dalla Germania – sarebbero state del tutto ignorate.


Oggi le Edizioni Ritter ci propongono un eccezionale documento in materia: la prima traduzione italiana di un altro testo di von Salomon, Freikorps. Lo spirito dei Corpi Franchi, uscito in Germania nel 1936 col titolo Storia recente, un documento che si raccomanda sia per la scarsità della bibliografia sull’argomento, sia per la statura dell’autore. Von Salomon, coinvolto nell’omicidio politico del ministro degli Esteri Walther Rathenau, per il quale venne condannato nel 1922 a cinque anni, in precedenza, negli anni caldi dell’immediato primo dopoguerra, fu presente in molti teatri guerreschi, dalla repressione dei moti comunisti a Berlino alla lotta antibolscevica nelle regioni baltiche, a quella anti-polacca nella Slesia settentrionale.


Il libro, breve ma denso e trascinante, è un formidabile ritratto dell’epoca e degli uomini che si mossero in quegli scenari mutevoli e irti di incognite. Idealismo combattentistico, fedeltà al capo del proprio corpo e alla terra tedesca, coscienza di essere circondati dall’odio dei nemici e dall’incomprensione del governo centrale; il quale molto spesso, sotto le minacce dell’Intesa (Francia e Inghilterra), si piegava a intimare sgomberi di zone già riconquistate dai Freikorps dopo sanguinosi combattimenti. Ma la frustrante situazione non era tale da ingenerare scoramento in quegli uomini dall’eccezionale temperamento. Scrive von Salomon che «il “lanzichenecco” del dopoguerra tedesco non si vendeva. Si donava». I giovani che accorrevano in quelle file fondevano i loro ideali in un’unica forma: «i vari aspetti ideologici di ogni orientamento, in voga a quell’epoca, agirono insieme e non è un caso che molti concetti sorti dai movimenti giovanili si siano precipitati a trovare nei Corpi Franchi una nuova patria spirituale». Aggregazioni rapide sul campo, mobilità, capacità di impegnare anche battaglie con armi pesanti fornite di straforo dall’esercito, slancio e senso del sacrificio. Queste doti permisero a formazioni, come ad es. quella del Reggimento Reinhard, il primo a costituirsi a Berlino, o il Corpo Franco Rossbach, o la Brigata Ehrhardt, di fronteggiare situazioni catastrofiche, come quella orientale, dove si profilava «lo spaventoso pericolo dell’insurrezione dell’Asia alle porte dell’Europa», come scrive von Salomon.


Un reparto della Brigata Ehrhardt

Un reparto della Brigata Ehrhardt


Un’etica rigida, ma guidata da un «forte valore affettivo» per quelle terre tedesche da riconquistare al germanesimo e sulle quali non pochi combattenti speravano un giorno di radicarsi: l’ideale di acquisire una tenuta agricola nella Pomerania o nella Prussia Orientale redente, come asserisce von Salomon, era diffuso, al fine di «rafforzare l’elemento tedesco e conquistare così per il Reich un nuovo baluardo, se non una nuova provincia». L’universo dei Freikorps, destinato a scomparire all’improvviso così come era sorto, al momento della stabilizzazione dei confini e della situazione politica interna, rappresentò in ogni caso un momento alto della tenuta nazionale, in un momento tragico della storia tedesca. Qualcosa che, in Italia, può essere paragonato al legionarismo fiumano, ugualmente mobilitatosi per proteggere un fronte compromesso dai trattati di pace, e non a caso ricordato di passata da von Salomon come «prima espressione dello spirito fascista». Ed anche nella memoria storica tedesca la vicenda rimase esemplare del volontarismo spontaneo, tanto che – come ricorda nell’introduzione Maurizio Rossi, che svolge un’esauriente ricostruzione del quadro storico entro cui operarono i Freikorps - il Nazionalsocialismo si disse erede di quelle vicende e di quegli uomini, ben rappresentati dalla figura di Schlageter, l’ex-combattente dei Corpi Franchi e poi iscritto alla NSDAP: finendo fucilato dai Francesi nel 1923 per terrorismo nella zona della Ruhr, divenne una delle icone più celebrate dell’eroismo post-bellico.


Difatti: «Il Nazionalsocialismo – sottolinea Rossi – aveva comprensibilmente tutto l’interesse di esaltare la logica continuità ideale tra lo spirito dei volontari dei Freikorps, rimarcandone l’immagine di comunità combattente rivoluzionaria e interclassista mobilitata contro i nemici esterni e interni del Reich, e il combattentismo delle SA, ponendo così in evidenza il ruolo svolto dal movimento nazionalsocialista come risolutore della questione nazionale e sociale ed unico artefice della rinascita spirituale della Germania».


Estranei agli intrighi e ai compromessi con i quali il governo di Weimar si screditava davanti all’opinione pubblica, i membri dei reparti volontari accorrevano là, dove c’era un pericolo immediato: badando alla concretezza, e non alle convenienze politiche del momento, essi contribuirono spesso a creare dei fatti compiuti, per cui molte zone poterono rimanere al Reich (ad es. Memel) solo perché c’erano stati uomini disposti a morire per mantenerle tedesche: «Il soldato di quell’epoca – commentava von Salomon – non capiva più le tortuosità misteriose della strategia governativa, agiva secondo un impulso guerriero». Poi venne la smobilitazione: «I Corpi Franchi si difendevano isolatamente con battaglie sempre nuove contro l’avversario, che li inseguiva senza tregua. Fortemente decimati, laceri, mezzi morti di fame, vacillanti per la stanchezza, ma con una disciplina incrollabile, giunsero infine […] alla frontiera tedesca, dove le truppe del Reichswehr dovevano accoglierli e smistarli rapidamente in quartieri di riposo qua e là nel Reich, fino al loro completo smembramento».


Diversi di loro finiranno oppositori del Terzo Reich (come Edgar Jung), alcuni si defilarono ma vi convissero (come von Salomon). Molti altri confluirono nel Nazionalsocialismo, come ad es. Erich Koch, che divenne Gauleiter della Prussia Orientale.


* * *


Tratto da Linea del 5 febbraio 2011.




Luca Leonello Rimbotti

jeudi, 24 février 2011

Ernst von Salomon, mémorialiste de la révolution conservatrice allemande

Ernst von Salomon, mémorialiste de la révolution conservatrice allemande

Par Francis Bergeron

  

Ex: http://synthesenationale.hautetfort.com/

Article publié dans le dossier consacré à la Révolution conservatrice allemande du numéro 21 (janvier février 2011) de la revue Synthèse nationale.

 

NAZIWEIM19230055.jpgAssez récemment, les éditions Bartillat ont eu l’excellente idée de rééditer Ernst von Salomon, auteur culte, certes, mais seulement pour un petit nombre d’adeptes. Et ses livres majeurs n’étaient plus disponibles depuis plusieurs années. Jean Mabire notait, dans son Que lire ? de 1996, pour le regretter,  que « la mort d’Ernst von Salomon, en 1972 n’avait « pas fait grand bruit, et, aujourd’hui, on parle fort peu de cet écrivain singulier ».

 

Et bien parlons-en, précisément dans ce numéro de Synthèse nationale, car l’auteur des Réprouvés est certainement, avec Ernst Jünger, l’écrivain qui a le mieux raconté la révolution conservatrice allemande. Car il en a été aussi un acteur majeur.

 

La famille von Salomon descendait semble-t-il de protestants français ayant émigré au moment des guerres de religion. Et ce n’est pas le moindre des paradoxes que  de constater que cet ancien cadet se voulait l’héritier des chevaliers teutoniques. Quant à son nationalisme, il est avant tout prussien.

 

Né en 1902 à Kiel, le grand port de guerre allemand, von Salomon s’engage dans une école militaire, - ces fameux cadets -, alors même que la guerre vient de s’achever sur l’humiliation de la défaite de 1918, et que le pays sombre dans la révolution et la guerre civile. Il participe aux aventures politico-militaires des corps francs, reçoit le baptême du feu à Berlin et combat les spartakistes (bolcheviques). Il est de tous les complots : depuis le putsch de Kapp (1920) jusqu’à l’assassinat du ministre Rathenau (1922). « Nous voulions liquider tout ce qu’il y avait en Allemagne comme politiciens favorables à la politique « réaliste », avouera-t-il, peu avant sa mort, en 1972, dans un long entretien télévisé. Nous voulions les tuer les uns après les autres, jusqu’à ce que le peuple se réveille ».

 

A la suite de ce dernier attentat, Von Salomon est arrêté, et condamné à cinq années de forteresse, et c’est en prison qu’il va écrire Les Réprouvés, publié en Allemagne en 1930, et en France l’année suivante. C’est un livre militant, ardent, qui traduit une pensée aristocratique, médiévale. Von Salomon n’est pas un doctrinaire, et pour lui, l’action et la volonté se justifient en soi. « La patrie brûlait sourdement dans quelques cerveaux hardis ». Cette phrase, on la trouve dans Les Réprouvés. Elle fut reprise bien des fois, aussi bien par les jeunes fascistes français d’avant-guerre et de l’Occupation, que par de jeunes résistants, ou encore par les activistes de l’OAS. Et von Salomon devint le maître à vivre (plus que le maître à penser) de beaucoup d’intellectuels qui se rêvaient hommes d’action. A commencer par Drieu la Rochelle.

 

Une grande partie du récit des Réprouvés est consacrée à la préparation du meurtre de Rathenau. Et comme le note Jean Mabire, le livre semble prôner « l’action pour l’action, dans une optique de violence et de pureté qui se soucie peu des préoccupations doctrinales ».

 

A peine libéré, von Salomon se rue à nouveau dans l’action. Il est une nouvelle fois condamné à trois ans de prison, après une violente bagarre. Libéré, il se lie avec Ernst Jünger et les cercles politico-littéraires de la révolution conservatrice. Mais ils entend rester d’abord un activiste, et le voici compromis dans la révolte armée des paysans du Schleswig-Holstein contre le pouvoir central. Von Salomon dirige leur journal, et on le soupçonne d’avoir participé à une série d’attentats à la bombe. A cette époque (1929), rappelle le journaliste Jean-Pierre Bonicco, qui a postfacé la réédition des Cadets, les quatre fils von Salomon sont tous en prison en raison de leurs engagements extrémistes, parfois opposés, d’ailleurs.

 

ernst-von-salomon-revolutionr-ohne-utopie-31409860.jpgLe roman La Ville parait en 1932 (en 1933 en France). C’est le portrait d’un agitateur vagabondant dans le radicalisme absolu, c’est encore une sorte d’autobiographie, autour de ses engagements « paysans ».

 

Puis sont publiés Les Cadets (1933), dont la traduction française ne paraitra, pour la première fois, que vingt années plus tard, récit à la première personne de son intégration à l’école des Cadets royaux, texte essentiel : « C’est ici que tout a commencé. Ici s’est forgée sa formidable capacité de résister aux pouvoirs établis… Ici, il a découvert ses affinités électives avec le prussianisme considéré non pas comme un système, un ordre substitué à d’autres, mais bien comme « le système, l’ordre sans appel possible » (François Nourissier, La Nouvelle NRF, mai 1953).

 

Curieusement l’arrivée au pouvoir d’Adolf Hitler, le 30 janvier 1933, ne remplit pas von Salomon de joie. C’est pourtant bien l’écrasement du Rote Front et l’avènement d’un régime à la fois socialiste et nationaliste, que l’on pourrait penser assez proche des idéaux de la révolution conservatrice. Mais von Salomon a commencé à perdre sa fibre militante. Peut-être après la nuit des longs couteaux, où furent assassinés tant de ses anciens camarades des Freikorps. Ou parce que sa compagne était d’origine juive. Ou plus simplement parce que, pour lui, comme pour tous les vrais révolutionnaires de droite, « c’est dans l’échec seul que la liberté vit », selon la formule du polémiste Philippe Murray.  J’aurais tendance à privilégier cette dernière hypothèse.

 

Pendant l’Occupation, il voyage, en France, notamment, mais ne participe pas au culte national-socialiste, pas plus qu’au complot contre Hitler. Néanmoins il est interné par les Américains, en 1945, qui l’ont classé big nazi. Cet internement de dix-huit mois (son quatrième emprisonnement, en fait) va être l’occasion, une fois de plus, pour lui, d’écrire un nouveau chef d’œuvre : Le Questionnaire. Dans cet énorme livre (800 pages dans la version allemande, 650 pages dans la traduction française de Gallimard), von Salomon subvertit le « questionnaire de dénazification » en 131 questions qui lui a été soumis, et le transforme en un formidable pamphlet consacré aux cinquante dernières années de l’histoire de l’Allemagne. Le livre est un grand succès, de part et d’autre de la frontière (publié en 1951 en Allemagne, et en 1953 en France).

 

Mort en 1972, von Salomon n’a pas connu la chute du mur de Berlin, la fin du communisme, la réunification de l’Allemagne. Ses dernières années, il les avait passées, tranquillement, dans une maison au toit de chaume près de Hambourg. François Brigneau et Dominique Venner le rencontrèrent l’un et l’autre peu avant sa mort. Ils avaient cherché en vain dans « ce visage replet » les traits du jeune aventurier terroriste qu’il avait été. Mais c’est dans ses livres qu’ils sont gravés, et à jamais.

 

Les Réprouvés, La Ville, Les Cadets et Le Questionnaire constituent donc l’essentiel de l’œuvre de von Salomon. Commencez par Les Cadets (1), puis reprenez l’ordre chronologique de parution. Vous reconstituerez alors l’autobiographie de notre aventurier, une autobiographie transcendée par ce sens de la rébellion absolue qui fascina tant un Drieu la Rochelle ou un Roger Stéphane.

 

Note

1 - Les Cadets, par Ernst von Salomon, postface de Jean-Pierre Bonicco, Bartillat, 2008.