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samedi, 13 août 2011

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



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)


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.


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

mardi, 02 août 2011

Arnolt Bronnen: Entre o Communismo e o Nacional-Socialismo

Arnolt Bronnen: Entre o Comunismo e o Nacional-Socialismo

por Werner Olles
Ex: http://legio-victrix.blogspot.com/
Arnolt Bronnen nasceu em 19 de agosto de 1895 em Viena. Desde muito jovem decidiu mudar seu nome verdadeiro (Arnold Bronner) pelo que anos mais tarde conhecerá a celebridade no mundo das letras. Esta tendência a maquiar a realidade acompanhar-lhe-á ao longo de sua existência. Assim é como converteu-se de judeu vienense em ário-germânico; de cidadão alemão em cidadão austríaco, para voltar à cidadania alemã; de comunista a nacional-revolucionário, mais tarde nacional-socialista, para regressar anos mais tarde ao comunismo.
Após a Grande Guerra, na qual participou como Kaiserjäger (Caçador Imperial) no front do Tirol, onde foi ferido gravemente no pescoço, iniciou sua carreira literária em 1922 com a publicação de uma obra teatral entitulada Vatermord (Parricida), que havia começado a escrever sendo prisioneiro dos italianos. Naquela época Bronnen pertencia a um grupo de dramaturgos, escritores e atores vanguardistas comprometidos com o expressionismo e vinculados a Bertold Brecht, com quem mantinha estreitos laços de amizade. Brecht havia encarregado-se da montagem de dita obra porém, desgraçadamente, abandonou esta iniciativa depois de haver escrito inclusive os arranjos para a encenação.
Após sua estréia em Frankfurt, representou-se em Berlim pela primeira vez em 14 de maio de 1922, a cargo da companhia "Deutscher Theater", convertendo-se em um autêntico escândalo. Sua segunda obra, Anarchie in Sillian (Anarquia em Sillian), levou à maioria dos críticos a considerar que o dramaturgo do futuro não era Brecht, senão Bronnen.
Em 1924 estreou-se sua obra Katalaunische Schlacht (A batalha dos Campos Catalaúnicos) no Grande Teatro de Frankfurt. Um ano mais tarde, Bronnen escreveu Die Rheinischen Rebellen (Os rebeldes renanos), obra que suscitou profundas polêmicas entre a crítica: o autor, conhecido até esse momento com um simpatizante das correntes marxistas, havia passado ao campo do nacionalismo. Bronnen, porém, todavia não havia dado esse passo.
Mais tarde escreveu Ostpolzug (Campanha ao Polo Leste), drama no qual explorava a personalidade de Alexandre o Grande. Em 1925 estreou Exzesse (Excesso) obra com a qual, uma vez mais, provocou um grande alvoroço como consequência de suas cenas e diálogos eróticos Um ano mais tarde estreou Reparationen (Reparações), obra dedicada à resistência nacional contra a ocupação francesa da Renânia e contra o pagamento de reparações de guerra.
Do marxismo ao nacionalismo-revolucionário
Em 1929, Bronnen publicou um romance sobra a Alta Silésia entitulado O.S., onde recria a luta dos Freikorps contra os insurgentes polacos antes de iniciar-se a Primeira Guerra Mundial e do significativo e sangrento assalto dos voluntários alemães contra Annaberg. Tucholsky repreende-o por ter feito um "biscate insensato" e de propagar "mentiras próprias de fascistas de salão". Pelo contrário, Joseph Goebbels, escreveu: "O.S. de Bronnen é o livro que todos gostaríamos de ter escrito." Ernst Jünger considerou este romance como "um primeiro sinal, que indica que nos ambientes de Bronnen, cabe a responsabilidade". Em Der Tag e no Münchener Neueste Nachrichten podia ler-se: "É algo mais que um romance, é uma profissão de fé política de altos voos", enquanto que Alfred Rosenberg, no Völkischer Beobachter chama a atenção sobre Bronnen, porém isso sim, sem deixar de considerá-lo um "bon vivant" e um autor "perigoso".
Politicamente, Bronnen já havia convertido-se em um nacional-revolucionário, próximo ao grupo de intelectuais que expressavam-se em revistas como Die Standarte, Deutsches Volkstum, Arminius, Deutsche Front, Das Dritte Reich, Gewissen, Die Kommanden, Nationalsozialistische Briefe, Der Vormarsch, Der Wehrwolf e Widerstand, as quais pertenciam os irmãos Ernst e Friedrich-Georg Jünger, Friedrich Hielscher, Franz Schauwecker, Ernst von Salomon, Herbert Blank, Otto Strasser, Ernst Niekisch e A.Paul Weber. Como antigo intelectual da esquerda marxista, partidário de uma sorte de socialismo popular e combativo, Bronnen sentiu-se atraído por tais círculos.
No plano profissional, Bronnen começou sua carreira na UFA e na Reichsrundfunkgesellschaft (Sociedade Radiofônica do Reich), ao tempo que rompe os laços que ainda o uniam com os extremistas de esquerda. Após um congresso sob o título "Literatura e Rádio", produz-se uma azeda polêmica com seus colegas, os escritores Alfred Döblin, Walter von Molo, Börries von Münchhausen, Alfons Paquet, Ludwig Fulda, Herbert Euleberg e Arnold Zweig, na medida em que ele era partidário de pôr a rádio "a serviço do povo", "não estava ali para servir aos literatos, senão ao povo", e, em qualquer caso, não devia converter-se em "uma instituição beneficente para escritores aposentados". Para Bronnen, o escritor é tão somente "o instrumento da expressão das idéias da nação".
Em janeiro de 1930 organiza um debate que, com os anos, converter-se-á em emblemático frente aos microfones da Radio Berlim, com Kurt Hiller, dirigende do Grupo de Pacifistas Revolucionários, e Franz Schauwecker, conhecido escritor nacional-revolucionário. Bronnen escreve uma biografia de Von Rossbach, chefe dos Freikorps, e pouco depois, conhece Goebbels, com cuja personalidade fica fascinado. Bronnen converte-se desta maneira no provocador número um da Alemanha. Quando Thomas Mann sustenta em um ato público que a burguesia alemã defende, lado a lado com os social-democratas, as instituições da República de Weimar, Bronnen abandona a sala flanqueado por vinte SA pedindo a dissolução da reunião. Por ocasião da estréia do filme Nada de novo no front, baseada no romance do mesmo nome de Erich Maria Remarque, Bronnen, com sua mulher Olga, uma amiga de Goebbels - que dar-lhe-á uma filha em 1938, Bárbara, que, anos mais tarde, como seu pai, converter-se-á em escritora - e vários camaradas, provocarão um grande alvoroço soltando ratos brancos na sala. Goebbels conhecia a ascendência judia de Bronnen, razão pela qual o responsável da propaganda nazi dar-lhe-á seu apoio diante das denúncias de alguns colegaso que desprezavam-no e de não poucos artigos publicados na imprensa.
A partir da tomada de poder pelos nacional-socialistas em 1933, Bronnen conheceu algumas dificuldades como consequência de sua origem racial. Em um princípio, disse ser filho natural, depois fez-se um estudo antropométrico do crânio para provar seu caráter "ariano". Não participava das idéias de resistência antinazi de alguns de seus antigos amigos nacional-revolucionários e nacional-bolcheviques. Antes de 1933, por exemplo, Bronnen havia protegido Ernst Niekisch contra as injúrias lançadas por Goebbels, porém quando os nazis subiram ao poder Bronnen cuidou-se muito de dar a conhecer sua posição contra o anti-hitlerismo de Niekisch.
Stalingrad: a estrela de Bronnen apaga-se
Bronnen teve muito poder através daso ndas da Radio Berlim. Depurou os profissionais de esquerda, liberais e judeus. Escreveu um romance sobre o ambiente radiofônico, Der Kampf in Äther (Combate pelas ondas), que Alfred Rosenberg chegou inclusive a censurar, por entender que criticava subliminalmente a política cultural nacional-socialista. Meses mais tarde, Bronnen converter-se-á em um pioneiro da televisão, à cabeça de uma pequena equipe que filma os Jogos Olímpicos de Berlim de 1936.
A estrela de Bronnen, não obstante, começa a apagar-se após a tragédia de Stalingrad. Alfred Rosenberg, inimigo das vanguardas nas artes e na literatura, a quem nunca havia gostado o dandy Bronnen e a quem, definitivamente, considerava um produto da boêmia literária, começa a maquinar. Em uma conversação entre Hitler e aquele, Rosenberg ataca aos literatos "bolcheviques culturais" entocados na retaguarda, enquanto que os jovens soldados alemães regavam com seu sangue o front russo ou congelavam no inverno das estepes. Rosenberg cita dois nomes: Erich Kästner e Arnolt Bronnen. Depois de um processo de intenções e da proibição de toda atividade literária, Bronnen é expulso da Câmara de Escritores do Reich. Quando Bronnen pede explicações por esta sanção, é-lhe respondido que é como consequência de suas antigas atividades e "escandalosas" atividades vanguardistas. Meses mais tarde, por conta de escutas por parte da Gestapo, Bronnen é inclusive detido, como anos mais tarde explicará em sua autobiografia.
Em 1944 Bronnen saiu da Alemanha e instalou-se em Goisern im Salzkammergut, onde reúne-se com um grupo da resistência antinazi, não sem antes vestir o uniforme da Wehrmacht, chegando à Áustra em 8 de maio de 1945. Até 1959, trabalhou como jornalista do diário Neue Zeit de Linz.
Na República Democrática Alemã
A princípios da década de 50 Bronnen traslada-se a Berlim Oriental. Afilia-se ao SED social-comunista e escreve sua autobiografia em 1954, Arnolt Bronnen gibt zu Protokoll, que embelezará a seu gosto. Mais tarde aparecem Deutschland Kein Wintermärchen (Alemanha, não és um pequeno conto de inverno), em 1956, e Tage mit Bert Brecht (Dias junto a Bert Brecht), em 1959. Em 1957, reeditou um de seus velhos livros, o romance Film und Leben der Barbara La Marr (Filme e vida de Bárbara La Marr). A imprensa da República Democrática ataca-o duramente acusando-o de "antissemitismo e pornografia". Fala-se inclusive de "atitude fundamentalmente anti-humana de sua consciência", faz-se alusão a "seus vícios desagradáveis de juventude", de seu "estilo amaneirado", e suas "posturas cínicas e insolentes" nos "baixos estádios da pirâmide literária da época". A nova edição de dito romance foi proibida, o que supôs o imprevisto final da carreira como dramaturgo de Bronnen. Brecht interveio apelando à bondade intrínseca de Bronnen e em memória de sua velha amizade. Brecht oferece a Bronnen a possibilidade de converter-se em crítico teatral, o que permite ao inconformista visceral escapar do muro de silêncio que a exclusão definitiva do mundo cultural representa. Bronnen, não obstante, já não poderá jogar papel político nenhum na República Democrática comunista.
Em 12 de outubro de 1959, Bronnen morreu à idade de 64 anos em Berlim. Durante toda sua vida foi um personagem controvertido: de dramaturgo esquerdista a romancista nacional-revolucionário e nacional-socialista. Arnolt Bronnen encarnou essa mistura de inconformismo, oportunismo e dandismo. Jamais foi um renegado, senão um eterno convertido, responsabilidade, sem dúvida alguma, de sua vocação e seu secreto talento.

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

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


De Michelangelo van de 20ste eeuw

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

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


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



-         “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

mercredi, 11 mai 2011

Le plan de Staline pour conquérir l'Europe

Le plan de Staline pour conquérir l’Europe:
Comment l’Union Soviétique «perdit» la 2ème Guerre Mondiale

Daniel W. Michaels

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

Viktor Suvorov (Vladimir Rezun)
Poslednyaya Respublika («La dernière république»)
Moscou : TKO ACT, 1996.

English original here [2]

142009.jpgIl y a maintenant plusieurs années de cela, un ancien officier du renseignement militaire soviétique nommé Vladimir Rezun provoqua de vives discussions en Russie à cause de son affirmation sensationnelle, selon laquelle Hitler a attaqué la Russie soviétique en juin 1941, au moment exact où Staline se préparait à submerger l’Allemagne et l’Europe de l’Ouest, en prélude à une opération bien préparée, visant à «libérer» toute l’Europe en la mettant sous domination communiste.

Ecrivant sous le nom de plume de Viktor Suvorov, Rezun a développé cette thèse dans trois livres. Le Brise-glace (qui a été traduit en anglais et en français [1989] ) et Dni M («M-Day») ont été présentés dans le Journal of Historical Review, nov-déc. 1997. Le troisième livre, présenté ici, est un ouvrage de 470 pages, «La dernière république : pourquoi l’Union Soviétique perdit la Seconde Guerre Mondiale», publié à Moscou en 1996.

Suvorov présente une abondance de preuves, montrant que quand Hitler déclencha son «Opération Barbarossa» contre la Russie Soviétique le 22 juin 1941, les forces allemandes purent infliger d’énormes pertes aux Soviétiques précisément parce que les troupes russes étaient très bien préparées pour la guerre — mais pour une guerre d’agression qui fut programmée pour le début de juillet — et pas pour la guerre défensive qui leur fut imposée par l’attaque préventive de Hitler.

Dans le Brise-glace, Suvorov détaille le déploiement des forces soviétiques en juin 1941, décrivant exactement de quelle manière Staline amassa de vastes quantités de troupes et de stocks d’armements le long de la frontière européenne, pas pour défendre la patrie soviétique, mais en préparation d’une attaque vers l’ouest et de batailles décisives en territoire ennemi.

Ainsi, quand les forces allemandes frappèrent, le gros des forces russes, terrestres et aériennes, étaient concentrées le long des frontières ouest de l’URSS, en face des pays européens contigus, particulièrement le Reich allemand et la Roumanie, prêtes pour l’assaut final contre l’Europe.

Dans son second livre sur les origines de la guerre, M-Day («Jour de mobilisation»), Suvorov décrit comment, entre la fin de 1939 et l’été de 1941, Staline construisit méthodiquement et systématiquement la force militaire la mieux armée, la plus puissante dans le monde — véritablement la première superpuissance du monde — pour sa future conquête de l’Europe. Suvorov explique comment la conversion drastique de l’économie du pays pour la guerre, voulue par Staline, rendait la guerre réellement inévitable.

Une Union Soviétique Mondiale

Dans La dernière république, Suvorov ajoute d’autres preuves à celles présentées dans ses deux livres précédents, pour appuyer son affirmation selon laquelle Staline se préparait à une guerre d’agression, en soulignant les motivations idéologiques des actions du dirigeant soviétique. Le titre fait allusion au malheureux pays qui devait être incorporé en tant que «République finale» dans «l’Union des Républiques Socialistes Soviétiques» mondiale, complétant ainsi le révolution prolétarienne mondiale.

Comme l’explique Suvorov, ce plan était entièrement en accord avec la doctrine marxiste-léniniste, ainsi qu’avec la politique de Lénine dans les premières années du régime soviétique. L’historien russe argue de manière convaincante que ce ne fut pas Léon Trotsky (Bronstein), mais plutôt Staline, son moins flamboyant rival, qui fut réellement le fidèle disciple de Lénine pour la poursuite de la Révolution Communiste Mondiale. Trotsky insistait sur la doctrine de la «révolution permanente», par laquelle le jeune Etat soviétique aiderait à fomenter des soulèvements et des révolutions ouvrières à l’intérieur des pays capitalistes.

A la place de cela, Staline voulait que le régime soviétique tire avantage «d’armistices» occasionnels dans la lutte mondiale pour consolider la force militaire soviétique, afin qu’au bon moment des forces soviétiques plus importantes et mieux armées puissent frapper en Europe du Centre et de l’Ouest, ajoutant de nouvelles républiques soviétiques quand cette force écrasante se mettrait en marche à travers le continent. Après la consolidation réussie et la soviétisation de toute l’Europe, l’URSS renforcée serait prête à imposer le pouvoir soviétique à tout le globe.

Comme le montre Suvorov, Staline comprit très bien que s’ils avaient le choix, les peuples des pays avancés de l’Occident ne choisiraient jamais volontairement le communisme. Il serait donc nécessaire de l’imposer par la force. Staline décida alors que son plan audacieux ne pouvait être réalisé que par une guerre mondiale.

Une preuve d’importance décisive à cet égard est le discours de Staline du 19 août 1939, récemment retrouvé dans les archives soviétiques (cité en partie dans Journal of Historical Review de nov-déc. 1997, p. 32-33). Dans ce discours, l’héritier de Lénine déclare:

L’expérience des vingt dernières années a montré qu’en temps de paix le mouvement communiste n’est jamais suffisamment fort pour prendre le pouvoir. La dictature d’un tel parti deviendra possible seulement en résultat d’une guerre majeure

Plus tard, tous les pays qui avaient accepté la protection de l’Allemagne renaissante deviendront aussi nos alliés. Nous aurons un large champ d’action pour développer la révolution mondiale.

De plus, et comme les théoriciens soviétiques l’ont toujours affirmé, le communisme ne pourrait jamais coexister pacifiquement sur le long terme avec d’autres systèmes socio-politiques. En conséquence, la domination communiste devrait inévitablement être imposée au monde. Ce but de «révolution mondiale» était tellement consubstantiel à la nature et au développement du «premier Etat des travailleurs» qu’il fut un trait cardinal du programme soviétique, même avant que Hitler et son mouvement national-socialiste arrive au pouvoir en Allemagne en 1933.

Staline voulait frapper au moment et à l’endroit de son choix. A cette fin, le développement soviétique des systèmes d’armes offensives les plus avancées, principalement les blindés, les avions, et les forces aéroportées, avait déjà commencé au début des années 30. Pour assurer le succès de son audacieuse entreprise, Staline ordonna à la fin de 1939 de construire une puissante machine de guerre qui serait supérieure en quantité et en qualité à toutes les forces d’opposition possibles. Son premier ordre secret pour la mobilisation militaro-industrielle totale du pays fut émis en août 1939. Un second ordre de mobilisation totale, cette fois-ci pour la mobilisation militaire, devait être émis le jour où la guerre commencerait.


L’attaque allemande «Barbarossa» anéantit le plan bien établi de Staline pour «libérer» toute l’Europe. Dans ce sens, affirme Suvorov, Staline «perdit» la 2ème Guerre Mondiale. Le dirigeant soviétique ne pouvait considérer que comme une déception d’avoir «seulement» vaincu l’Allemagne et conquis l’Europe de l’Est et du Centre.

14 jours qui sauvèrent l’Occident

«Nombre d’indices tendent à prouver que la date fixée par Staline pour l’opération «Orage» était le 6 juillet 1941.» (Viktor Suvorov, Le Brise-glace)

«Le commandement fasciste allemand réussit, deux semaines avant la guerre, à devancer nos troupes.» (Général S.P. Ivanov)

«Hitler ne savait pas tout, mais il en savait assez: s’il n’attaquait pas, l’autre attaquerait. (…) Hitler reniflait ce danger. (…) C’était une question de vie ou de mort.» (Léon Degrelle, Persiste et signe)

«Ma conviction profonde est que si le Führer ne nous avait pas donné l’ordre d’attaquer à ce moment-là, les Etats européens et la plupart des sociétés humaines seraient à présent bolchevisés.» (Otto Skorzeny, La guerre inconnue)

«… la puissance russe menaçante, ayant ses têtes de pont préparées sur la Baltique et sur la mer Noire, n’attendait qu’une occasion, c’est-à-dire le moment où l’armée allemande serait suffisament occupée par les puissances occidentales, pour que le front oriental soit ouvert à une attaque massive à laquelle l’Allemagne ne serait pas en mesure de résister.» (Sven Hedin, L’Amérique dans la lutte des continents)

«Staline préparait la guerre dans tous les domaines, en partant de délais qu’il avait fixé lui-même. Hitler déjoua ses calculs.» (Amiral N. G. Kouznetsov)

Selon Suvorov, Staline trahit sa déception de plusieurs manières après la fin de la guerre. D’abord, il laissa le maréchal Joukov conduire le défilé de la victoire en 1945, au lieu de le faire lui-même — lui, le Commandant suprême. Deuxièmement, aucun défilé officiel de la victoire du 9 mai ne fut même autorisé jusqu’à la mort de Staline en 1953. Troisièmement, Staline ne porta jamais aucune des médailles qu’il avait obtenues après la fin de la 2ème Guerre Mondiale. Quatrièmement, un jour, dans un moment de dépression, il exprima aux membres de son entourage proche son désir de se retirer [du pouvoir] maintenant que la guerre était finie. Cinquièmement, et c’est peut-être le plus révélateur, Staline abandonna le projet, prévu de longue date, du Palais des Soviets.

Un monument inachevé

L’énorme Palais des Soviets, approuvé par le gouvernement soviétique au début des années 30, devait faire 418 mètres de haut, surmonté par une statue de Lénine de 100 mètres de hauteur — plus haut que l’Empire State Building de New York. Il devait être construit sur le site de l’ancienne Cathédrale du Christ Sauveur. Sur l’ordre de Staline, ce magnifique symbole de la vieille Russie fut rasé en 1931 — un acte par lequel les dirigeants communistes voulaient effacer symboliquement l’âme de la vieille Russie pour faire place au monument central de l’URSS mondiale.

Toutes les «républiques socialistes» du monde, y compris la «dernière république», devaient être représentées dans le Palais. Le hall principal de ce sanctuaire séculier devait être décoré avec le texte du serment que Staline avait fait en termes quasi-religieux lors des funérailles de Lénine. Il comportait ces paroles : «Lorsqu’il nous quitta, le Camarade Lénine nous légua la responsabilité de renforcer et de développer l’Union des Républiques Socialistes. Nous te jurons, Camarade Lénine, que nous nous acquitterons honorablement de tes commandements sacrés.»

Cependant, seules les premières fondations de ce grandiose monument furent achevées, et pendant les années 90, après l’effondrement de l’URSS, la Cathédrale du Christ Sauveur fut soigneusement reconstruite sur le site.

La version officielle

Pendant des décennies, la version officielle du conflit germano-soviétique de 1941-45, soutenue par les historiens de l’establishment, à la fois en Russie et en Occident, fut à peu près cela:

Hitler déclencha une attaque «éclair» par surprise contre l’Union Soviétique tristement mal-préparée, ridiculisant son chef, le naïf et confiant Staline. Le Führer allemand fut conduit vers l’Orient primitif par la convoitise pour «l’espace vital» et les ressources naturelles, et par sa détermination longuement remâchée de détruire le «communisme juif» une fois pour toutes. Dans son attaque traîtresse, qui était une étape importante de la folle campagne de Hitler pour la «conquête du monde», les agresseurs «nazis» ou «fascistes» submergèrent d’abord toute résistance grâce à leur prépondérance en chars et en avions modernes.

Cette vison des choses, qui fut affirmée par les juges Alliés au Tribunal de Nuremberg après la guerre, est encore largement acceptée, à la fois en Russie et aux Etats-Unis. En Russie aujourd’hui, la plus grande partie du public (et pas seulement ceux qui sont nostalgiques de l’ancien régime soviétique) accepte cette version «politiquement correcte». En effet, elle «explique» les énormes pertes de l’Union Soviétique en hommes et en matériel pendant la 2ème Guerre Mondiale.

Condamné depuis le début

Contrairement à la version officielle selon laquelle l’Union Soviétique n’était pas préparée pour la guerre en juin 1941, en réalité, souligne Suvorov, c’était les Allemands qui n’étaient pas vraiment préparés. Le plan allemand «Barbarossa», hâtivement mis au point, qui visait à une victoire éclair en cinq ou six mois avec des forces numériquement inférieures, avançant en trois larges poussées, était condamné depuis le début.

De plus, note Suvorov, l’Allemagne manquait des matières premières (incluant le pétrole) essentielles pour soutenir une guerre prolongée d’une telle dimension.

Une autre raison du manque de préparation de l’Allemagne, affirme Suvorov, était que ses chefs militaires avaient sérieusement sous-estimé la performance des forces soviétiques pendant la «Guerre d’Hiver» contre la Finlande en 1939-40. Elles combattirent, il faut le souligner, dans des conditions extrêmement sévères d’hiver — températures de -40 et des épaisseurs de neige de plus d’un mètre — contre les fortifications et les installations enterrées, bien conçues et renforcées de la «Ligne Mannerheim» de la Finlande. En dépit de cela, on l’oublie souvent, l’Armée Rouge contraignit finalement les Finlandais à un humiliant armistice.

C’est toujours une erreur, souligne Suvorov, de sous-estimer son ennemi. Mais Hitler fit cette faute de calcul décisive. En 1943, après que le cours de la guerre ait tourné contre l’Allemagne, il reconnut son jugement erroné des forces soviétiques, deux années plus tôt.

Disparité des chars

Pour prouver que c’était Staline, et pas Hitler, qui était réellement préparé pour la guerre, Suvorov compare l’armement allemand et soviétique au milieu de 1941, avec une attention particulière pour les systèmes d’armes offensifs, d’importance décisive: les chars et les forces aéroportées. C’est un axiome généralement accepté en science militaire, que les forces attaquantes doivent avoir une supériorité numérique de trois contre un. Cependant, comme l’explique Suvorov, quand les Allemands frappèrent au matin du 22 juin 1941, ils attaquèrent avec un total de 3 350 chars, alors que les défenseurs soviétiques avaient un total de 24 000 chars — ce qui veut dire que Staline avait sept fois plus de chars que Hitler, ou vingt et une fois plus de chars que ce qui aurait été considéré comme suffisant pour une défense adéquate. De plus, souligne Suvorov, les chars soviétiques étaient supérieurs dans tous les aspects techniques, incluant la puissance de feu, l’autonomie et le blindage.

Tel qu’il était, le développement soviétique de la production de chars lourds avait déjà commencé au début des années 30. Par exemple, dès 1933 les Soviétiques étaient déjà passés à la production en série, et livraient à leurs forces le modèle T-35, un char lourd de 45 tonnes avec 3 canons, 6 mitrailleuses, et 30mm de blindage. Par contre, les Allemands commencèrent le développement et la production d’un char de 45 tonnes comparable [ce furent le «Tiger» et le «Panther», NDT] seulement après que la guerre ait commencé à la mi-1941.

En 1939 les Soviétiques avaient déjà ajouté trois modèles de chars lourds à leur arsenal. De plus, les Soviétiques concevaient leurs chars avec de plus larges chenilles, et les équipaient avec des moteurs Diesel (qui étaient moins inflammables que ceux utilisant des carburateurs conventionnels). En outre, les chars soviétiques étaient construits avec le moteur et la direction à l’arrière, améliorant ainsi l’efficacité générale et la vision de l’équipage. Les chars allemands avaient une conception moins efficace, avec le moteur à l’arrière et la direction dans la partie avant.

Quand le conflit commença en juin 1941, montre Suvorov, l’Allemagne n’avait pas du tout de chars lourds, seulement 309 chars moyens, et juste 2 668 chars légers, inférieurs. Pour leur part, les Soviétiques au début de la guerre avaient à leur disposition des chars qui n’étaient pas seulement plus lourds mais de meilleure qualité.

A ce sujet, Suvorov cite les souvenirs du général allemand des blindés Heinz Guderian, qui écrivit dans ses mémoires Chef de Panzers (1952/1996, p. 143) :

Au printemps de 1941, Hitler avait spécialement ordonné qu’une commission militaire russe puisse visiter nos usines et nos écoles de blindés; dans cet ordre il avait insisté pour que rien ne leur soit caché. Les officiers russes en question refusèrent toujours de croire que le Panzer IV était en fait notre char le plus lourd. Ils dirent toujours que nous devions leur cacher nos nouveaux modèles, et se plaignirent en disant que nous n’appliquions pas l’ordre d’Hitler de tout leur montrer. La commission militaire insista tellement sur ce point que finalement nos responsables des services concernés conclurent: «Il semble que les Russes possèdent déjà des chars meilleurs et plus lourds que les nôtres». Ce fut à la fin de juillet 1941 que le T-34 apparut sur le front et l’énigme du nouveau modèle de char russe fut résolue.

Suvorov cite un autre fait révélateur extrait de l’Almanach de la 2ème Guerre Mondiale de Robert Goralski (1982, p. 164). Le 24 juin 1941, juste deux jours après le début de la guerre germano-soviétique:

Les Russes mirent en action leurs chars géants Klim Vorochilov près de Raseiniai [Lithanie]. Des modèles pesant 43 et 52 tonnes surprirent les Allemands, qui trouvèrent les KV presque inarrêtables. L’un de ces chars russes reçut 70 coups directs, mais aucun ne perça son blindage.

Bref, l’Allemagne attaqua le colosse soviétique avec des chars qui étaient trop légers, trop peu nombreux, et inférieurs en performances et en puissance de feu. Et cette disparité perdura pendant toute la guerre. Pendant le seule année 1942, les usines soviétiques produisirent 2 553 chars lourds, pendant que les Allemands en produisaient juste 89. Même à la fin de la guerre, le meilleur char au combat était le modèle soviétique IS («Iosif Staline»).

Suvorov encourage sarcastiquement les historiens militaires de l’establishment à étudier un livre sur les chars soviétiques, par Igor P. Schmelev, publié en 1993 par la «Hobby Book Publishing Company» à Moscou. Le travail d’un honnête analyste militaire amateur tel que Schmelev, qui est sincèrement intéressé et qui aime son travail et la vérité, dit Suvorov, est souvent supérieur à celui d’un employé payé par le gouvernement.

Disparité des Forces Aériennes

La supériorité soviétique en forces aéroportées était encore plus disproportionnée. Avant la guerre, les bombardiers soviétiques DB-3f et SB ainsi que les TB-1 et TB-3 (dont Staline possédait environ un millier) avaient été modifiés pour transporter aussi bien des parachutistes que des bombes. Vers la mi-1941, les Soviétiques avaient entraîné des centaines de milliers de parachutistes (Suvorov dit presque un million) en vue de l’attaque planifiée contre l’Allemagne et l’Occident. Ces troupes aéroportées devaient être déployées et lâchées derrière les lignes ennemies en plusieurs vagues, chaque vague étant formée de cinq corps d’armée aéroportés (VDKs), chaque corps comptant 10 419 hommes incluant un état-major et des services, une division d’artillerie, et un bataillon de chars autonome (50 chars). Suvorov donne la liste des commandants et des bases des deux premières vagues, ou dix corps. Les secondes et troisièmes vagues comportaient des troupes parlant français et espagnol.

Comme l’attaque allemande empêcha ces troupes hautement entraînées d’être utilisées comme prévu, Staline les convertit en «Divisions de la Garde», qu’il utilisa comme des réserves et des «pompiers» pour les situations d’urgence, tout comme Hitler utilisa souvent les unités de Waffen SS.

Cartes et manuels

Pour appuyer sa thèse principale, Suvorov cite des données supplémentaires qui n’étaient pas mentionnées dans ses deux premiers ouvrages sur ce sujet. Premièrement, à la veille du début de la guerre de 1941, les forces soviétiques avaient reçu des cartes topographiques seulement pour les zones de la frontière et pour l’Europe; elles ne reçurent pas de cartes du territoire ou des villes soviétiques, parce que la guerre ne devait pas être menée sur le territoire national. Le Chef du Service Topographique militaire de l’époque, et donc responsable de la distribution des cartes militaires, le major-général Kudryatsev, ne fut pas sanctionné ni même limogé pour avoir manqué à fournir des cartes du territoire national, mais continua à mener une longue et brillante carrière militaire. De même, le Chef d’Etat-major, le général Joukov, ne fut jamais tenu pour responsable de la débâcle des premiers mois de la guerre. Aucun des principaux commandants militaires ne pouvait être tenu pour responsable, souligne Suvorov, parce qu’ils avaient tous suivi à la lettre les ordres de Staline.

Deuxièmement, au début de juin 1941, les forces soviétiques reçurent des milliers d’exemplaires d’un manuel russo-allemand, avec des sections consacrées à des opérations militaires offensives, telles que s’emparer de gares de chemin de fer, orienter des parachutistes, et ainsi de suite, et des expressions [en langues étrangères] utiles comme «arrêtez de transmettre ou je tire». Ce manuel fut imprimé en grand nombre par les imprimeries militaires de Léningrad et de Moscou. Cependant, ils n’atteignirent jamais les troupes sur les lignes de front, et on dit qu’elles furent détruites pendant la phase du début de la guerre.

L’aide des Etats-Unis «neutres»

Comme le note Suvorov, les Etats-Unis avaient fourni du matériel militaire depuis les années 30. Il cite l’étude de A.C. Sutton, National Suicide (Arlington House, 1973), qui relate qu’en 1938 le président Roosevelt conclut un accord secret avec l’URSS pour échanger des informations militaires. Pour le public américain, cependant, Roosevelt annonça la mise en place d’un «embargo moral» contre la Russie soviétique.

Pendant les mois précédent l’entrée en guerre formelle de l’Amérique dans la guerre (décembre 1941), les navires de guerre des Etats-Unis, officiellement neutres, étaient déjà en guerre dans l’Atlantique contre les forces navales allemandes (Voir La Flotte de Mr Roosevelt: la guerre privée de la Flotte US de l’Atlantique, 1939-42 par Patrick Abbazia [Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1975] ). Et deux jours après le déclenchement de «Barbarossa», Roosevelt annonça une aide des Etats-Unis à la Russie Soviétique dans sa guerre de survie contre l’Axe. Ainsi, au début de l’opération «Barbarossa», Hitler écrivit une lettre à Mussolini: «En ce moment cela ne fait aucune différence si l’Amérique entre officiellement en guerre ou pas, elle soutient déjà nos ennemis à fond, avec des livraisons massives de matériel de guerre.»

De même, W. Churchill faisait tout ce qui était en son pouvoir pendant les mois précédent juin 1941 — alors que les forces britanniques subissaient défaite sur défaite — pour faire entrer à la fois les Etats-Unis et l’URSS dans la guerre du côté britannique. En vérité, la coalition anti-Hitler des «Trois Grands» (Staline, Roosevelt, Churchill) était effectivement en place avant que l’Allemagne attaque la Russie, et fut une raison majeure pour que Hitler se sentit obligé de frapper la Russie soviétique, et de déclarer la guerre aux Etats-Unis cinq mois plus tard. (Voir le discours d’Hitler du 11 décembre 1941, publié dans le Journal of Historical Review, hiver 1988-89, p. 394-396, 402-412)

Les raisons de l’appui de F. Roosevelt à Staline sont difficiles à établir. Le président Roosevelt lui-même expliqua un jour à William Bullitt, son premier ambassadeur en Russie soviétique: «Je pense que si je lui donne [à Staline] tout ce que je peux, et que je ne demande rien en retour, noblesse oblige, il ne tentera pas d’annexer quoi que ce soit, et travaillera avec moi pour un monde de paix et de démocratie.» (Cité dans Robert Nisbet, Roosevelt et Staline: l’idylle manquée, 1989, p. 6). Peut-être l’explication la plus exacte (et la plus gentille) de l’attitude de Roosevelt est-elle une ignorance profonde, une auto-intoxication ou de la naïveté. Selon l’opinion digne de considération de George Kennan, historien et ancien diplomate américain de haut rang, en politique étrangère Roosevelt était «un homme superficiel, ignorant, dilettante, avec un horizon intellectuel sévèrement limité.»

Un pari désespéré

Suvorov admet être fasciné par Staline, l’appelant «un animal, un monstre sauvage et sanglant, mais un génie de tous les temps et de tous les peuples». Il dirigea la plus grande puissance militaire de la 2ème Guerre Mondiale, la force qui, plus que toute autre, vainquit l’Allemagne. En particulier, dans les années finales du conflit, il domina l’alliance militaire des Alliés. Il dut considérer Roosevelt et Churchill avec mépris, comme des «idiots utiles».

Au début de 1941, chacun admettait que comme l’Allemagne était déjà engagée contre la Grande-Bretagne en Afrique du Nord, en Méditerranée, et dans l’Atlantique, Hitler ne pourrait jamais se permettre l’ouverture d’un second front à l’Est (se rappelant la désastreuse expérience de la 1ère Guerre Mondiale, il avait mis en garde dans Mein Kampf contre le danger mortel d’une guerre sur deux fronts). C’est précisément parce qu’il était sûr que Staline pensait que Hitler n’ouvrirait pas un second front, soutient Suvorov, que le dirigeant allemand se sentit libre de déclencher «Barbarossa». Cette attaque, insiste Suvorov, fut un pari énorme et désespéré. Mais menacé par des forces soviétiques supérieures, prêtes à submerger l’Allemagne et l’Europe, Hitler n’avait guère d’autre choix que de déclencher cette attaque préventive. [Toutes proportions gardées, on peut faire une intéressante comparaison avec l'attaque israélienne de la Guerre des Six Jours en 1967. Dans ce dernier cas, le caractère préventif de l'attaque est admis sans difficulté par les historiens «officiels», alors que dans le cas de «Barbarossa», il est «politiquement incorrect» de le reconnaître, malgré l'évidence de l'immense menace soviétique, imminente ou pas, NDT.]

Reichstag, 1945

Mais c’était trop peu, trop tard. En dépit de l’avantage de frapper le premier, ce furent les Soviétiques qui finalement l’emportèrent. Au printemps de 1945, les troupes de l’Armée Rouge réussirent à hisser le drapeau rouge sur le bâtiment du Reichstag à Berlin. C’est seulement grâce aux sacrifices des forces allemandes et des forces de l’Axe que les troupes soviétiques ne parvinrent pas à hisser le drapeau rouge sur Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhague, Rome, Stockholm, et peut-être, Londres.

Le débat devient plus âpre

En dépit de la résistance des historiens de «l’establishment» (qui en Russie sont souvent d’anciens communistes), l’appui à la thèse de «l’attaque préventive» de Suvorov est allé croissant, à la fois en Russie et en Europe de l’Ouest. Parmi ceux qui sympathisent avec les vues de Suvorov figurent de jeunes historiens russes comme Yuri L. Dyakov, Tatiana S. Bushuyeva, et I. Pavlova (voir le JHR, nov-déc. 1997, p. 32-34).

Concernant l’histoire du 20ème siècle, les historiens américains ont généralement l’esprit plus fermé que leurs collègues d’Europe et de Russie. Mais même aux Etats-Unis, il y a eu quelques voix pour appuyer la thèse de la «guerre préventive» — ce qui est du plus haut intérêt, sachant que les livres de Suvorov sur la 2ème Guerre Mondiale, à l’exception du «Brise-glace», n’ont pas été traduits en anglais (l’une de ces voix est celle de l’historien Russell Stolfi, professeur d’Histoire Européenne Moderne à la Naval Postgraduate School à Monterey, Californie. Voir le compte-rendu de son livre Hitler’s Panzer East dans le JHR de nov-déc. 1995).

Toutes les réactions au travail de Suvorov n’ont pas été positives, cependant. Il a aussi provoqué des critiques et des répétitions des thèses officielles vieilles de plusieurs décennies. Parmi les nouveaux défenseurs les plus représentatifs de la ligne «orthodoxe», figurent les historiens Gabriel Gorodetsky de l’Université de Tel-Aviv, et John Ericson de l’Université d’Edinburgh.

Rejetant tous les arguments qui pourraient justifier l’attaque allemande, Gorodetsky en particulier critique et ridiculise les travaux de Suvorov, spécialement dans un livre proprement intitulé «Le Mythe du Brise-glace». En fait, Gorodetsky (et Ericson) attribue les pertes soviétiques à la supposée impréparation de l’Armée Rouge pour la guerre. «Il est absurde», écrit Gorodetsky, «de prétendre que Staline aurait jamais conçu l’idée d’attaquer l’Allemagne, comme quelques historiens allemands aiment aujourd’hui à le suggérer, pour pouvoir au moyen d’une attaque-surprise, désorganiser l’attaque préventive planifiée par l’Allemagne.»

Il n’est pas surprenant que Gorodetsky ait reçu l’éloge des autorités du Kremlin et des chefs militaires russes. De même, «l’establishment» allemand soutient l’historien israélien. Aux frais des contribuables allemands, Gorodetsky a travaillé et enseigné au Service de Recherche d’Histoire Militaire (MGFA) allemand, semi-officiel, qui a publié en avril 1991 le livre de Gorodetsky, Zwei Wege nach Moskau (Deux chemins pour Moscou).

Dans la «Dernière République», Suvorov répond à Gorodetsky et aux autres critiques de ses deux premiers livres sur l’histoire de la 2ème Guerre Mondiale. Il est particulièrement cinglant dans ses critiques du travail de Gorodetsky, spécialement le «Mythe du Brise-glace».

Quelques critiques

Suvorov écrit de manière caustique, sarcastique, et avec une grande acidité. Mais s’il a raison sur le fond, comme le pense l’auteur de cet article, il a — et nous aussi — parfaitement le droit d’être acerbe, ayant été trompé et désinformé pendant des décennies.

Bien que Suvorov mérite notre gratitude pour son importante dissection d’une légende historique, son travail n’est pas sans défauts. D’une part, son éloge des réalisations du complexe militaro-industriel soviétique, et de la qualité des armements et de l’équipement militaire soviétique est exagéré, voire dithyrambique. Il omet de signaler l’origine occidentale d’une grande partie de l’armement et du matériel soviétique. Les ingénieurs soviétiques ont eu un talent particulier pour modifier avec succès, simplifier, et souvent améliorer les modèles et les conceptions occidentaux. Par exemple, le robuste moteur Diesel utilisé par les chars soviétiques était basé sur un moteur d’avion allemand de BMW.

Une critique qui ne peut pas décemment être faite à Suvorov serait son manque de patriotisme. Se rappelant que les premières victimes du communisme furent les Russes, il fait à juste titre une nette distinction entre le peuple russe et le régime communiste qui le dominait. Il n’écrit pas seulement avec la compétence d’un historien capable, mais en mémoire des millions de Russes dont les vies furent gaspillées pour les plans malsains de «révolution mondiale» de Lénine et de Staline.

Original article: Journal of Historical Review, 17/4 (Juillet-Août 1998), 30-37. Online source of translation: http://library.flawlesslogic.com/suvorov_fr.htm [3]

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

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/04/le-plan-de-staline-pour-conquerir-leurope-comment-lunion-sovietique-%c2%abperdit%c2%bb-la-2eme-guerre-mondiale/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/stalin_victory.jpg

[2] here: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/04/exposing-stalins-plan-to-conquer-europe/

[3] http://library.flawlesslogic.com/suvorov_fr.htm: http://library.flawlesslogic.com/suvorov_fr.htm

samedi, 07 mai 2011

Drieu La Rochelle vide lo spettro di una nuova guerra e per questo credette nell'Europa unita

Drieu La Rochelle vide lo spettro di una nuova guerra e per questo credette nell’Europa unita

Francesco Lamendola

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

Vi sono scelte che non vengono perdonate, che fruttano al proprio autore la «damnatio memoriae» perpetua, indipendentemente dal valore del personaggio e da tutto quanto egli possa aver detto o fatto di notevole, prima di compiere, magari per ragioni contingenti e sostanzialmente in buona fede, quella tale scelta infelice.

È questo, certamente, il caso dello scrittore Drieu La Rochelle (Parigi, 1893-1945), il quale, nonostante i suoi innegabili meriti letterari e l’importanza di certe sue intuizioni politiche nel periodo fra le due guerre mondiali, per il fatto di aver aderito al Partito Popolare Francese dell’ex comunista Jacques Doriot ed averne condiviso, durante l’occupazione tedesca della Francia, le posizioni collaborazioniste, è stato scacciato per sempre dal salotto buono della cultura europea e ha subito la rimozione sistematica dei suoi meriti di europeista convinto, quando l’idea di un’Europa unita era una rara eccezione alla regola nel panorama uniforme dei gretti nazionalismi.

Ma chi era Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, prima di convertirsi al fascismo, nel 1934, e prima di accettare di collaborare con i Tedeschi nella Francia occupata, fino a ricoprire la direzione della prestigiosissima «Nouvelle Revue Française»?

Non è tanto la sua biografia che qui ci interessa, reperibile presso qualunque testo di letteratura francese, quanto l’itinerario spirituale che lo ha portato, rara e felice eccezione nel panorama degli anni Venti e Trenta, a perorare la causa di una unità europea capace di assorbire e ricomporre i nazionalismi esasperati e contrapposti.

Il primo dato significativo è la sua partecipazione alla prima guerra mondiale, dal principio alla fine (comprese tre ferite sul campo, di cui due nel solo 1914). Egli vi andò entusiasta, come tanti altri giovani della borghesia non solo francese, ma tedesca, russa, austriaca, italiana; ma ne tornò traumatizzato e disgustato. Aveva sognato la guerra eroica, e si trovò scaraventato in una carneficina di tipo industriale, dove la vittoria finale non andava al più audace o al più coraggioso, ma a quello che aveva alle spalle il più potente sistema industriale e finanziario.

Il pacifismo di Drieu La Rochelle, pertanto, non nacque da motivazioni etiche, ma, in un certo senso, estetiche: lettore entusiasta, fin dalla prima gioventù, dello «Zarathustra» nietzschiano, e quindi odiatore della mediocrità e della anonimità della società di massa, egli vide nella guerra moderna non già la smentita, ma il trionfo di quella mediocrità e di quella anonimità, dunque qualcosa di osceno e di stupidamente brutale.

Il secondo dato importante è la lucidità con la quale egli comprese che, a partire dal 1919, l’Europa aveva perduto il suo ruolo primario sulla scena della politica e dell’economia mondiali, a vantaggio di potenze imperiali di tipo “continentale”: Stati Uniti, Russia, e, in prospettiva, Cina e India. Prima di molti intellettuali e di molti uomini politici, egli comprese che nessun Paese europeo – tranne, forse, la Gran Bretagna, in virtù del suo immenso Impero coloniale – avrebbe potuto, alla lunga, reggere il confronto con quei colossi.

Pertanto, anche il suo superamento del nazionalismo – a cui aveva creduto appassionatamente – non si basa su ragionamenti di ordine umanitario, ma di “Realpolitik”. Così come Machiavelli vide lucidamente che gli Stati regionali italiani non avrebbero potuto reggere la sfida delle monarchie nazionali francese e spagnola, se non si fossero riformati da cima a fondo; allo stesso modo Drieu La Rochelle vide che gli Stati europei sarebbero usciti dal gioco delle grandi potenze mondiali se non fossero stati capaci di rinunciare alla pietra d’inciampo del nazionalismo e non avessero costruito una unione di tipo federale.

Il suo giudizio sul nazionalismo, dunque, non scaturiva da ragioni morali, ma politiche: esso aveva fatto il suo tempo. In altre epoche della storia aveva potuto svolgere un ruolo utile, anzi, necessario; adesso, non era altro che un peso morto, un ostacolo privo di senso (egli adopera il termine «rinsecchito») alla futura salvezza del Vecchio Continente.

Perché Drieu La Rochelle era una nazionalista, un francese che amava la Francia sopra ogni altra cosa; ma non fu mai un nazionalista gretto e miope, capace, cioè, di misconoscere la funzione storica e culturale svolta dalle «altre» patrie nella storia d’Europa. Egli, in particolare – cosa tanto più notevole, nel clima della «pace punitiva» imposta a Versailles da Clemenceau alla Germania sconfitta – non fu mai uno spregiatore della cultura tedesca; non solo: sostenne sempre che, accanto all’influsso della Grecia, di Roma e dell’Umanesimo italiano, la cultura francese era il risultato di un altro influsso, quello nordico d’oltre Reno, che aveva svolto un ruolo non meno significativo del primo.

Il terzo elemento è la ricerca tormentata, quasi affannosa, di una formula politica capace di fornire un orientamento spirituale e materiale ai popoli dell’Europa, usciti dalla prova durissima della prima guerra mondiale e frastornati da eventi di grande portata storica, potenzialmente minacciosi, quali la nascita dell’Unione Sovietica, il sorgere del fascismo e, poi, del nazismo, e la grande crisi di Wall Street del 1929. I suoi ondeggiamenti politici sono apparsi sovente quali segni di confusione ideologica e di velleitarismo; forse, sarebbe più giusto considerarli quali segni di una aspirazione ardente, ma sincera, a trovare un porto sicuro nella grande procella che in quegli anni infuriava sul mondo.

Il suo accostamento al Partito Popolare Francese di Doriot, ex comunista divenuto fautore di Hitler e Mussolini, giunge solo alla metà degli anni Trenta, dopo che egli sembra avere esplorato ogni strada, ogni possibilità, per individuare una via d’uscita dalla crisi della civiltà europea che gli sembrava, e a ragione, una crisi non solo economica e politica, ma innanzitutto spirituale. È come se egli avesse bussato a tutte le porte e, solo dopo averle trovate tutte chiuse a doppia mandata, si fosse risolto ad entrare nell’unica stanza che gli si rivelò accessibile.

In ogni caso, è certo che la sua adesione al collaborazionismo con i Tedeschi, dopo il 1940, non ebbe niente di opportunistico e niente di disonorevole, per quanto la si possa considerare politicamente discutibile o anche decisamente sbagliata. Egli non desiderava un’Europa asservita alla volontà di Hitler, e aveva sempre affermato di non intendere l’unità europea come il risultato di un’azione di forza da parte di una singola Potenza. Tuttavia, nel 1940, si trovò a dover fare una scelta irrevocabile: scelse quello che gli parve il male minore. È noto, d’altronde, che si adoperò per ottenere la liberazione di Jean Pulhan, detenuto nelle carceri naziste; ma questo sarebbe stato troppo facilmente dimenticato, nel cima da caccia alle streghe del 1945 che lo spinse al suicidio.

Nella sua ricerca di un nuovo ordine europeo che consentisse alle «patrie» francese, tedesca, inglese, italiana, di continuare a svolgere un ruolo mondiale nell’era dei colossi imperiali, si era accostato anche a certi ambienti industriali e finanziari che egli definiva «capitalismo intelligente», perché aveva intuito che, in un mondo globalizzato, anche il capitalismo avrebbe potuto svolgere una funzione utile, purché si dissociasse dal nazionalismo e contribuisse a creare migliori condizioni di vita per gli abitanti del Vecchio Continente. Grande utopista, e forse sognatore, Drieu La Rochelle si rendeva però conto della importanza dei fattori materiali della vita moderna, e intendeva inserirli nel quadro della nuova Europa da costruire.

Al tempo stesso, egli era un nemico dichiarato della tecnologia fine a se stessa e, più in generale, degli aspetti quantitativi, puramente economicisti della modernità. Una sua lampeggiante intuizione si può riassumere nella frase: «L’uomo, oggi, ha bisogno di ben altro che inventare macchine; ha bisogno di raccogliersi, di danzare: una grande danza meditata, una discesa nel profondo». Pertanto, egli vide lucidamente il pericolo della costruzione di un’Europa senz’anima, rivolta solo agli aspetti materiali dell’esistenza.

Si potrà definire questa posizione come tipicamente decadentistica; e, in effetti, non è certo un caso che, anche sul piano del suo itinerario letterario, egli si sia mosso fra Dadaismo, Surrealismo e Decadentismo alla Thomas Mann: sempre alla ricerca di una nuova via, di un varco fuori dal grigiore della mediocrità della società tecnologica e massificata. In un certo senso, il suo itinerario politico non è stato altro che il riflesso e il prolungamento di quel suo errabondo, infaticabile viaggio artistico alla ricerca, se non di una nuova Terra Promessa, certo di una via di fuga dagli aspetti più alienanti della modernità.

In fondo, la sua vicenda umana, artistica e politica fra vitalismo, pessimismo (pensò più volte al suicidio), estetismo, superomismo e «rivoluzione conservatrice» lo accomuna a personaggi come Ernst Jünger, i quali, dopo essere stati segnati irreversibilmente dall’esperienza della guerra di trincea, si dedicarono interamente alla ricerca di una nuova società, capace di dare un senso a quei sacrifici e di fare proprie cere esigenze del mondo moderno, volgendole però al servizio di un primato dello spirito sull’economia e sulla tecnica.

Quanto alla sua adesione finale al Nuovo Ordine nazista, non bisognerebbe dimenticare che egli non fu poi così isolato come si pensa, dal momento che intellettuali ed artisti del calibro di Ezra Pound, Knut Hamsun e Céline finirono per fare delle scelte analoghe alle sue, e ciascuno di essi in perfetta buona fede. Egli sperò, come quelli, di poter agire dall’interno del sistema hitleriano per affermare i valori in cui aveva sempre creduto, contro la doppia minaccia del totalitarismo politico russo e del totalitarismo finanziario americano; e, se commise un grave errore di giudizio, bisogna pur ammettere che, nel fuoco della seconda guerra mondiale, non tutto quel che oggi ci sembra evidente, con il senno di poi, lo era anche allora; e non tutto quel che si fece allora, nell’Europa dell’Asse, era totalmente folle e scellerato, come poi una Vulgata manichea lo ha voluto dipingere.

Ha scritto Alessandra La Rosa nel suo pregevole saggio «L’idea di Europa in Drieu La Rochelle» (nel volume L’Europa e le sue regioni, frutto di un Convegno internazionale svoltosi presso ‘Università di Catania ed organizzato dal Dipartimento di studi politici nel maggio 1990 (Palermo, Arnaldo Lombardi Editore, pp. 95-106 passim):

«Per Drieu fare l’Europa è una questione vitale da qualunque punto ci si pone, esterno o interno. “Il faut faire les Etates unis d’Europe parce que c’est la seule façon de defendre l’Europa contre elle-même et contre les autres groupes humains”. Se dal punto di vista estero bisogna fare l’Europa per far sì che non sia fagocitata dall’imperialismo capitalista americano e dall’imperialismo socialista risso, dal punto di vista interno i pericoli che nascono da un diffuso ed esasperato nazionalismo chiedono tale soluzione. L’unità europea è necessaria per porre fine alle lotte interne nate dai differenti interessi nazionali che potrebbero culminare in una ulteriore guerra fratricida da cui l’Europa non uscirebbe salva.

Secondo George Boneville, l’odio della guerra e l’amore dell’Europa presentano una stretta correlazione nella maggior parte delle riflessioni fatte dagli intellettuali sul tema dell’Europa. Nel caso di Drieu La Rochelle l’equazione è più complessa. Come vedremo l’atteggiamento europeista di Drieu non scaturisce da un rifiuto della violenza in sé, da un odio per la guerra tra le nazioni e quindi da un amore innato per la pace. L’esprit de guerre e la volontà di potenza sono presenti nel suo pensiero. Come dice Simon “il a chanté la guerre accoucheuse de héros”. Il primo conflitto mondiale viene accettato con entusiasmo da Drieu, che parte volontario. La guerra, al di là del suo carattere ideologico, rappresenta per Drieu l’occasione per permettere di risvegliare nell’uomo quelle virtù virili, come il coraggio, l’amore del rischio e il senso del sacrificio, attraverso le quali affermare la propria volontà di potenza, “en dépit de tous les obstacles et de toutes les menaces”.

Ma è anche vero che sul tema della guerra Drieu dimostra di avere delle esitazioni e dei ripensamenti che alla fine lo portano ad un superamento del suo atteggiamento antipacifista, come dimostra la sua argomentazione su l’unità europea. (…) È la realtà della guerra a mostrare a Drieu la portata dell’errore delle sue immaginazioni giovanili. Per l’uomo Drieu che ha vissuto l’esperienza amara delle trincee e frustrante del campo di battaglia, la guerra non è più “une novetaué mervelleuse, l’accomplissement qui n’était pas espéré de notre jeunesse”, ma solamente una esperienza da ripudiare fatta solo di distruzione e sofferenza (…). La speranza iniziale che la guerra fosse un movimento rivoluzionario rinnovatore e benefico fa posto alla presa di coscienza della estrema bestialità di ogni atto bellicistico. La  guerra è solo “geste obscene de la mort” reso ancora più ripugnante dall’uso di armi e di tecniche micidiali proprie della guerra chimica.. Sul campo di battaglia Drieu prende coscienza della profonda dicotomia esistente tra la guerra moderna, da lui vissuta, fatta di ferro , d scienza e di industria, e la guerra “éternelle”, da lui sognata, fatta di scontri frontali, di muscoli, di guerrieri. La “violence des hommes” caratterizza la prima, la “violence des choses” la seconda. La guerra moderna nega tutti i valori che giustificavano agli occhi di Drieu la guerra eterna (…).

La presa di coscienza che ciò che lui aveva vissuto come combattente era la forma decadente della guerra classica spiega il suo disincanto, il suo disgusto, il suo sentimento di sentirsi “blessé”. Ciò ha contribuito a far assumere a Drieu una posizione antimilitarista; ad aprire la strada del suo pensiero al pacifismo che negli anni venti si manifesta come protesta contro la guerra moderna. In tal senso si spiegano certamente le prime affermazioni di Drieu sulla necessità di evitare la ripetizione di una guerra se non si voleva l’agonia dell’universo. (…)

Il cambio di carattere della guerra eterna ci può aiutare a capire le dichiarazioni antimilitariste di Drieu come rifiuto della guerra moderna, ma se ci soffermassimo solamente sulle sue proteste contro la guerra moderna non potremmo capire le sue dichiarazioni di pacifismo assoluto, implicite nella sua posizione europeista. Infatti la condanna della guerra moderna non implica ancora la condanna morale della guerra in sé, quindi anche di quella che per Drieu è la “vera” guerra. È necessario perciò soffermarsi sul superamento della sua posizione nazionalista per capire come Drieu approdi all’internazionalismo pacifista che implica una condanna morale e politica della guerra.

Drieu La Rochelle non è certamente un intellettuale che crede nell’Europa “a priori” e che quindi nega di fatto l’idea nazionale. Tutt’altro (…). È indubbio che nel pensiero di Drieu è possibile individuare degli aspetti della dottrina nazionalista. Ma è anche vero che nello stesso pensiero giovanile di Drieu, ritenuto da alcuni il più patriottico, è possibile individuare delle affermazioni che lo allontanano dalla stretta osservanza del pensiero maurissiano. Nel poema “A vous Allemands” Drieu mostra di non condividere l’antigermanismo dell’Action Français.. Drieu prova del rispetto per il valore e la forza del nemico tedesco, fino a vedere nei tedeschi la fonte della rigenerazione nazionale. (…) Non solo Drieu rifiuta l’antigermanismo politico, ma anche quello filosofico, che invece caratterizzava il pensiero di Maurras. Per Maurras il pensiero francese è figlio dell’umanesimo mediterraneo, espressione quindi di quella ragione e di quella misura tipica del mondo greco-latino. Per Drieu, invece, il pensiero francese non è figlio solo del genio mediterraneo, ma anche delle influenze nordiche. (…)

Se certamente Drieu non è un intellettuale che nega a priori l’idea di nazione, bisogna anche ammettere che il discorso politico di Drieu è caratterizzati da fasi evolutive in cui vi è un ripensamento e un superamento degli aspetti nazionalisti del suo pensiero (…). Genève ou Moscou e L’Europe contre les patries sono testi in cui il superamento della posizione nazionalista di Drieu trova la sua completa realizzazione. Drieu si pone contro il concetto di unità nazionale, presentando l’esagono francese come un “carrefour” aperto sul mondo, aperto sull’Europa, nel cui seno già si realizza l’incontro del genio nordico e mediterraneo. La Francia contemporaneamente fiamminga, bretone, basca, alsaziana, realizzava già l’unità nella diversità (…).

Ogni manifestazione di nazionalismo culturale, integrale, è per Drieu espressione di un “ottuso” conservatorismo che porta a coniugare solo questo verbo: “Je suis français“. Contro l’isolazione culturale, mortale per la stessa creazione, Drieu sostiene l’assimilazione culturale, affermando che per vivere pienamente bisogna espandere la propria identità e non rimanere radicato nella propria (…).

Nel 1922 in Mesure de la France il rifiuto della guerra poteva sembrare più legato alle condizioni inaccettabili della guerra moderna meccanica e chimica, piuttosto che legato ad un superamento della sua posizione nazionalista. Ma i saggi politici di Genève ou Moscou e L’Europe contre les patries dimostrano come Drieu riunisca in uno stesso rifiuto la guerra e il nazionalismo che genera il primo. Il sentimento del patriottismo non corrisponde ala realtà delle cose. Esso è sorpassato. Cosa significa essere un patriota francese in un’Europa aperta ai grandi imperi? “Aujord’hui la France ou l’Allemagne, c’est trop petit” (…).

Rifiutando ogni forma di particolarismo nazionalismo nazionale Drieu esorta i Francesi a “mourir comme Français, à renaitre comme hommes” per poi diventare degli europei. La sua presa di posizione contro le patrie e il nazionalismo ha un corollario positivo: la sua professione di fede europea. (…) La sua speranza nella unione europea si colora, come nella maggior parte dei casi, di pacifismo morale e politico, che può sembrare paradossale in un futuro teorico del fascismo. “Les seuls adversaires de la guerre dans notre societé sons les objecteurs de coscience”. A costoro Drieu dedica un capitolo in Socialisme Fasciste parlandone con ammirazione e simpatia. Nella parte finale di L’Europe contre les patries fa sua la loro tesi. Sotto forma di dialogo col suo “io” Drieu dichiara che nell’evento di una guerra europea rifiuterà la mobilitazione poiché, se come uomo considera la guerra moderna il “geste obscene de la mort”, come europeo vede la sola speranza di sopravvivenza dell’Europa in una unità pacifica. L’amore della nuova patria europea impone non la guerra ma la pace (…).

Nel 1922, in Mesure de la France, egli si muove nella direzione di una Europa delle patrie. (…) Considerando ancora la patria come una realtà che non poteva essere negata, egli propende verso l’idea di una alleanza tra le patrie europee, sotto la forma di una confederazione, dove potrebbe essere creata qualche struttura in comune. Ma nello stesso del 1922 , rifiuta ogni soluzione che si fondi sull’egemonia di una nazione federatrice. (…)

Nel 1928 la posizione di Drieu diventa molto più radicale sul modo di realizzare l’unità europea. Il nome di “Ginevra”, presente nel titolo del suo saggio, indica come in questo periodo Drieu crede che la Società delle nazioni sia l’agente della unificazione europea. La sua speranza di vedere realizzare una unificazione europea sotto il segno liberale lo porta ad ammirare l’azione di alcuni politici: come “l’effort admirable et fécond d’Aristide Briand”. (…)

L’unificazione europea non è solo un’idea, non è solo un progetto morale. Drieu prende posizione anche sulle forze sociali ed economiche che debbono operare prr la sua realizzazione. Egli si rende conto che il sistema economico è un importante agente di unificazione (…) Negli anni Venti, dal 1925 al 1929, Drieu fa appello alla forza del sistema capitalista. Spera in un neo-capitalismo intelligente e riformatore che rinunci alla concorrenza selvaggia che regnava sia tra le azioni che all’interno d queste. L’alleanza tra capitalismo e nazionalismo non può essere, secondo Drieu, che accidentale; la logica stessa dell’evoluzione del capitalismo deve condurlo, se esso vuole sopravvivere, all’internazionalismo (…) Drieu sostiene i nuovi capitalisti, agenti di un sistema industriale intelligente, poiché li considera forze rivoluzionarie che concorrono alla realizzazione della unità europea».

Abbiamo paragonato Drieu La Rochelle a un viandante che bussa a tutte le porte, consapevole – come pochi suoi contemporanei lo erano stati – dei tempi tremendi che si andavano preparando, fin dall’epoca della conferenza di Versailles che, chiudendo il capitolo della prima guerra mondiale, apriva le ragioni per lo scoppio della seconda.

Tipica, in proposito, è stata la sua illusione che la Società delle Nazioni potesse svolgere il ruolo storico di tenere a battesimo la nascita della nuova Europa unita: illusione generosa e, a suo modo, non del tutto sbagliata, se gli uomini che erano allora alla guida dell’Europa avessero posseduto un po’ più di lungimiranza e un po’ più di saggezza. Invece, come è noto, la Società delle Nazioni divenne quasi subito un supplemento di potere per le ambizioni egemoniche della Gran Bretagna e della Francia, svuotandola di ogni credibilità e di ogni significato ideale.

Il risultato di quella miopia, di quel gretto egoismo nazionalista è noto: sia la Gran Bretagna che la Francia perdettero tanto i loro imperi coloniali, quanto il loro ruolo di potenze mondiali, subito dopo la fine della seconda guerra mondiale: avevano sacrificato una splendida occasione di mettersi all’avanguardia dell’unità europea per inseguire la chimera di una splendida autosuffcienza «imperiale», per la quale non possedevano né i mezzi, né la credibilità ideologica (dopo aver combattuto contro Hitler in nome della libertà dei popoli di tutto il mondo).

Che dire, dunque, del sogno europeista di Drieu La Rochelle?

Anche se, oggi, è di gran moda esercitarsi nel tiro al bersaglio sugli sconfitti e stracciarsi le vesti davanti agli errori e alle contraddizioni dei perdenti, nondimeno bisognerebbe recuperare quel minimo di onestà intellettuale per rendere atto a uomini come Drieu La Rochelle che il loro sogno non è stato solo e unicamente uno sbaglio; che un’Europa diversa e migliore avrebbe potuto nascere, e la tragedia della seconda guerra mondiale avrebbe potuto essere evitata, se altri uomini generosi avessero condiviso quel medesimo sogno.

vendredi, 29 avril 2011

Croatie: la révolution d'avril 1941

Croatie : la révolution d’avril 1941


par Christophe DOLBEAU


Ustacha2.pngCette année 2011 marque le 70e anniversaire de la naissance de l’État Indépendant Croate, un épisode majeur de l’histoire de la Croatie au XXe siècle mais aussi un événement qui soulève encore d’âpres controverses. Le 10 avril 1941 fut-il un accident de l’histoire, fut-il au contraire une étape logique et inéluctable de la vie nationale croate ou encore une simple péripétie orchestrée par Hitler et Mussolini pour servir leurs intérêts ? Extrêmement délicat eu égard aux méchantes polémiques que suscitent encore les faits et gestes des Croates durant la IIe Guerre mondiale, le débat n’est toujours pas clos et il n’est peut-être pas inutile de faire le point.


Le 10 avril 1941


Le jeudi 10 avril 1941, soit quatre jours après le début de l’offensive allemande contre la Yougoslavie, il est aux alentours de 16h 10 (1) lorsque l’ancien colonel Slavko Kvaternik s’exprime sur les ondes de Radio Zagreb et proclame, au nom d’Ante Pavelić, le rétablissement de l’indépendance croate. Quelques minutes plus tard, la station diffuse un bref message de Vladko Maček, demandant au peuple croate de reconnaître l’autorité du nouveau pouvoir et de loyalement coopérer avec lui. La ville est d’ores et déjà sous le contrôle des miliciens du Parti Paysan, des militants de l’Oustacha et des volontaires issus de diverses associations patriotiques comme Uzdanica. Témoin « neutre » des événements, le consul américain John James Meily raconte : « Le mercredi 9 avril, le bruit court que toute la Garde Civique du Parti Paysan est passée du côté frankiste ; les officiels serbes présents à Zagreb et notamment le Vice-Ban s’apprêtent à quitter la ville. Le jour suivant, le 10 avril, la Garde Civique et une partie au moins de la Garde Rurale se déclarent ouvertement favorables aux Frankistes (2) ; vers 10 heures du matin, le Vice-Ban reçoit l’un de nos fonctionnaires en s’écriant ‘C’est la débacle ! La débacle totale !’. À midi, le chef de cabinet du Ban nous informe que la Yougoslavie, c’est fini ; que dans quelques heures, les troupes allemandes vont entrer en ville ; que la Croatie va se déclarer indépendante et que le Parti Paysan s’arrangera avec les Frankistes. C’est quelques minutes avant l’entrée des premiers soldats allemands dans Zagreb que le général Kvaternik, un chef frankiste ou oustachi, proclame à la radio, au nom du Poglavnik Dr Ante Pavelić, l’État Indépendant Croate (…) Vers 16 heures, des milliers de citoyens enthousiastes acclament les premières unités mécanisées allemandes. Dans le même temps, un petit groupe organisé de Frankistes, ou d’oustachis comme ils se nomment eux-mêmes, avec à leur tête le major oustachi Ćudina, des étudiants frankistes et la Garde Civique s’emparent des bâtiments publics, de la gare et de la radio, sans rencontrer de résistance. C’est ainsi que la Croatie se sépare, sans effusion de sang (seul un policier a été tué), de l’État yougoslave » (3).


La proclamation de l’indépendance n’apparaît donc aucunement comme une initiative ou une manœuvre allemande. Les protagonistes de cette journée du 10 avril sont bien tous des Croates, la Wehrmacht n’est pas encore arrivée et seul le Dr Edmund Veesenmayer (1904-1977) représente sur place les autorités du Reich. La révolution qui commence ne pourrait avoir lieu sans un vaste consensus : à cette date, l’Oustacha ne peut, en effet, mobiliser, au mieux, que 4000 à 5000 militants assermentés et armés, ce qui serait tout à fait insuffisant en cas de résistance yougoslave. En réalité, le colonel Kvaternik sait pouvoir compter sur la Garde Civique et la Garde Rurale dont les chefs – Zvonko Kovačević, Đuka Kemfelja, Milan Pribanić – disposent de 142 000 hommes bien entraînés. À cette force d’essence politique s’ajoutent encore les effectifs de la police et de la gendarmerie dont les commandants, Josip Vragović et le général Tartalja acceptent eux aussi de cautionner le coup de force. Ces gens n’ont quand même pas tous été soudoyés par la Wilhelmstrasse ! Cette conjonction de forces disparates n’est possible que parce que les chefs du Parti Paysan – V. Maček et A. Košutić – approuvent (4) ou laissent faire et que l’objectif, à savoir l’indépendance nationale, fait clairement l’unanimité. D’ailleurs, si l’on en croit le récit du consul Meily, mais également les témoignages du consul allemand Alfred Freundt et du général Kühn, la population de Zagreb ne cache pas sa joie.


Un soulèvement général


L’assise populaire et le caractère spontané du soulèvement croate trouvent leur confirmation dans une multitude de rébellions locales (5) qui précèdent ou suivent les événements de Zagreb. Ainsi, dès le 3 avril, le capitaine d’aviation Vladimir Kren déserte-t-il et s’envole-t-il pour Graz afin de convaincre les Allemands de ne pas bombarder les villes croates. Trois jours plus tard, le colonel Zdenko Gorjup et d’autres pilotes croates se mutinent sur un aérodrome de Macédoine. Le 7 avril, des patriotes s’emparent de Čakovec où le pharmacien Teodor Košak proclame l’indépendance de la Croatie. Le même jour, des soldats se mutinent à Đakovac puis à Veliki Grđevac et à Bjelovar où les nationalistes (le Dr Julije Makanec, le député Franjo Hegeduš et le sergent Ivan Čvek) prennent le pouvoir (6). Des accrochages opposent soldats croates et serbes à Đakovo mais aussi à Vaganj où l’officier croate Milan Luetić est tué lors d’un affrontement. Le 10 avril même, le capitaine Želimir Milić et l’équipage d’un torpilleur se révoltent à Šibenik, tandis que la ville est prise en main par le Dr Ante Nikšić. À Crikvenica, le major Petar Milutin Kvaternik s’insurge contre le commandement serbe de la garnison (ce qui lui coûtera la vie), tandis qu’à Split, le capitaine Righi et le lieutenant-colonel Josip Bojić chassent les dernières autorités yougoslaves. En Bosnie et en Herzégovine, le soulèvement s’étend également. À Doboj, des patriotes se battent contre une vingtaine de blindés yougoslaves ;  à Mostar, la population se soulève derrière Stjepan Barbarić et Ahmed Hadžić tandis qu’à Livno, le Frère Srećko Perić prend la tête de l’insurrection. Affirmer, comme on l’a longtemps fait, que tous ces mouvements avaient pour seule origine de sombres complots ourdis par l’étranger est pour le moins simpliste, voire carrément malhonnête. Comme l’écrira plus tard le Dr Georges Desbons : « Il était naturel qu’en 1941, les Croates refusent de se battre sous l’influence de la Yougoslavie, devenue une formation serbe à l’exclusif profit des Serbes (…) Il était logique, la force militaire yougoslave s’effondrant, que les Croates se saisissent de cette occasion unique de proclamer leur indépendance. La logique cadrait avec l’impératif national » (7).


Beaucoup d’adversaires de l’émancipation nationale croate persistent envers et contre tout à tenir l’État Indépendant Croate pour une simple création artificielle de l’Axe et le 10 avril pour un vulgaire putsch dépourvu de racines populaires. Nous venons de voir que la proclamation de l’indépendance semble pourtant avoir recueilli l’assentiment d’une majorité de la population et bénéficié du soutien actif de très nombreux citoyens qui ne pouvaient tous appartenir aux services secrets allemands et italiens… Il n’est peut-être pas inutile de rappeler en outre que la création d’un État croate n’entrait pas vraiment dans les plans de l’Axe. Dans une concluante étude, publiée il y a un quart de siècle (8), le professeur K. Katalinić a bien montré que le IIIe Reich s’était toujours déclaré favorable au maintien de la Yougoslavie : tant l’envoyé spécial allemand Viktor von Heeren (décoré de l’Ordre de Saint-Sava en 1937) que le secrétaire général aux affaires étrangères Ernst von Weizsäcker ne cachaient pas leur volonté de préserver le Royaume Yougoslave. Au moment de la guerre (qui n’éclate qu’en raison des manigances britanniques à Belgrade et dont l’objectif principal est le contrôle de la Grèce), le Führer lui-même commence par envisager de placer la Croatie sous tutelle hongroise (6 avril 1941), puis il prévoit de confier la Dalmatie, la Bosnie et l’Herzégovine aux Italiens, avant de préciser (dans ses Instructions provisoires du 12 avril 1941) que l’Allemagne ne s’immiscera pas dans les affaires intérieures de la Croatie. Du côté italien, le régime fasciste ne cachait pas son appétence pour la Dalmatie et quant à la cause croate, elle avait définitivement cessé de plaire après la signature (1937), avec Milan Stojadinović, d’un avantageux traité. Dans ces conditions, affirmer que l’État Indépendant Croate fut une « création » de l’Axe est abusif : la révolution d’avril a éclaté parce que la patience du peuple croate était à bout et que l’opportunité de s’affranchir se présentait. Le mouvement était spontané et les occupants, placés devant le fait accompli, n’ont fait que le tolérer.


Une monarchie très critiquée


Les détracteurs de l’État Indépendant Croate font généralement mine d’ignorer ce que pouvait être l’exaspération des Croates en 1941. À les en croire, rien ne laissait présager que les Croates souhaitaient se séparer de la Yougoslavie, ce qui prouverait bien, selon eux, que le 10 avril ne fut qu’un grossier subterfuge des Allemands et l’État de Pavelić une imposture. Il y a là, bien sûr, une immense hypocrisie car les problèmes de la Yougoslavie étaient depuis longtemps connus de tous, ainsi d’ailleurs que les revendications des Croates. En France, par exemple, l’encre du Traité de Saint-Germain est à peine sèche que certains journalistes commencent à dénoncer, à l’instar de Charles Rivet du Temps, le panserbisme agressif des dirigeants du Royaume des Serbes, Croates et Slovènes. À l’époque, toutefois, ce genre de critique ne rencontre que peu d’écho. Bien que le roi Alexandre s’affranchisse allègrement de son serment de servir la démocratie, les gouvernants occidentaux persistent à témoigner à son égard d’une grande mansuétude (9). La haute administration est très serbophile : en l920, raconte Paul Garde, l’ambassadeur Jacques de Fontenay s’inquiète de la prochaine sortie de prison de Stjepan Radić, et quant à son confrère Émile-Laurent Dard, il souhaite carrément « que la dictature subsiste » (10)… Petit à petit, cependant, sous l’influence des memoranda de l’émigration croate et des campagnes d’information du Parti Paysan, l’image du royaume se ternit sensiblement. En 1928 survient l’assassinat, en plein Parlement, de Stjepan Radić, Pavao Radić et Đuro Basariček, et cette fois, le masque tombe. L’attentat de la Skupština révèle au monde entier la violence de l’antagonisme opposant Serbes et Croates. « Le tragique décès de Stjepan Radić », commente The Economist (18 août 1928), « place dorénavant les Croates et les Serbes dans deux camps hostiles et irréconciliables ».


Loin de ramener le régime à la raison, cette tragédie conduit, quelques mois plus tard, le souverain à instaurer officiellement la dictature, ce qui attise encore un peu plus les passions. Désormais, nombreux sont ceux qui s’alarment publiquement de la dérive franchement totalitaire du Royaume Yougoslave. Les principaux dirigeants politiques croates – Vladko Maček, Ante Trumbić, Juraj Krnjević, Ljudevit Kežman, August Košutić et Ante Pavelić – multiplient les démarches auprès des capitales européennes où leurs doléances trouvent maintenant des oreilles plus attentives. Profondément choquée par le carcan de fer que le roi Alexandre impose à son pays (11), la presse internationale ne cache plus ses réserves. Les blâmes émanent des plus grandes plumes et même de vieux amis comme R.W. Seton-Watson et Wickham Steed. « Si la Yougoslavie opte définitivement pour l’autocratie militaire et royale », écrit le premier, « elle se privera de l’aide des puissances occidentales car celles-ci estiment qu’il est contraire à l’intérêt général de maintenir en Europe de l’Est un gouvernement despotique ». « Les méthodes de torture auxquelles recourt la police yougoslave », proteste le second, « rappellent les pires moments de la tyrannie turque » (12). Le 16 janvier 1931, c’est au tour de John Gunther, le correspondant en Europe du Chicago Daily News, de dénoncer le pillage économique auquel le régime yougoslave soumet la Croatie mais également les discriminations dont souffrent les Croates dans l’armée et la fonction publique, sans oublier les méthodes très cruelles de la police royale (13). 1931, c’est aussi l’année où le savant croate Milan Šufflay tombe sous les coups d’une équipe de nervis mandatés par le pouvoir. Trois ans à peine après l’assassinat de Radić, le scandale est énorme. Il suscite aussitôt la réaction indignée d’Albert Einstein et de Heinrich Mann qui en appellent à la Ligue Internationale des Droits de l’Homme. Leur lettre, qui met directement en cause les autorités yougoslaves, paraît le 6 mai 1931 à la une du New York Times.






L’opprobre international


Dans les années 30, les gouvernements occidentaux, français et britannique en particulier, ont beau s’accrocher bec et ongles au vieux mythe de la Yougoslavie dynamique, forte et unie, celui-ci ne trompe plus grand monde. Au Royaume-Uni, dix-sept députés signent, en 1932, un manifeste dénonçant les discriminations qui frappent les populations non-serbes de Yougoslavie (14), tandis que le célèbre chroniqueur Herbert Vivian s’indigne, dans les pages de l’English Review, de la répression sauvage qui sévit dans ce pays (15). De cette violence, l’ancien parlementaire Ante Pavelić dresse pour sa part un tableau sans concession dans une petite brochure (16) qu’il édite en quatre langues (croate, allemand, français, espagnol) et diffuse dans toute l’Europe. Les abus et les exactions que couvre ou ordonne le pouvoir yougoslave lui aliène de plus en plus de monde. Aux Etats-Unis, le président du Comité International pour la Défense des Détenus Politiques, Roger Nash Baldwin, proteste solennellement auprès de l’ambassade yougoslave (24 novembre 1933) contre les tortures infligées aux prisonniers croates et macédoniens ; sa lettre est contresignée par les écrivains Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos, Upton Sinclair et Erskine Caldwell. En France, le député démocrate-chrétien Ernest Pezet, qui fut un chaud partisan de l’unité yougoslave, publie La Yougoslavie en péril (Paris, Bloud et Gay, 1933) où il dresse un bilan sévère du régime d’Alexandre : « La Yougoslavie », reconnaît-il, déçu, « n’est qu’une appellation trompeuse destinée à masquer, aux yeux de l’étranger, une pan-Serbie impérieuse et dominatrice » (p.256). Dans La dictature du roi Alexandre (Paris, Bossuet, 1933), l’ancien ministre (serbe) Svetozar Pribičević fait le même constat. De retour d’une mission d’information en Yougoslavie (juin 1933), les sénateurs Frédéric Eccard, Guy de Wendel et Marcel Koch se déclarent eux aussi très inquiets de l’évolution négative du royaume (17), un sentiment que partage entièrement Robert Schuman qui visite Zagreb en août 1934. Le député catholique et futur ‘Père de l’Europe’ est scandalisé par le sort particulièrement injuste réservé aux Croates. « Il est impossible », écrit-il à Louis Barthou, « d’ignorer plus longtemps cette situation malsaine (…) il faut le retour à un régime constitutionnel de liberté et de fédéralisme, respectant l’individualité de toutes les nations composant cet État » (18). Un peu avant le voyage de R. Schuman, le journaliste Henri Pozzi a lui aussi publié un portrait sans fard de la Yougoslavie. Dans ce pamphlet qui s’intitule La guerre revient (Paris, Paul Berger, 1933), il énumère les crimes de la dictature yougoslave et rapporte au passage ce propos prémonitoire d’Ante Trumbić : « …en aucun cas, même en cas de guerre étrangère, l’opposition croate ne consentira à donner son appui politique, son appui moral, au gouvernement actuel de la Yougoslavie, à lui accorder son blanc-seing » (p.40)…


En 1934, le conflit intra-yougoslave atteint un sommet avec l’exécution, le 9 octobre, à Marseille, du roi Alexandre Ier. Perpétré par un Macédonien et organisé par des Croates, cet attentat a un retentissement mondial mais à l’intérieur du royaume, il ne change pas grand- chose. Comme en attestent les affaires de Sibinj et Brod (19), la répression ne faiblit pas et la presse internationale, un instant émue par le régicide, renoue vite avec la critique virulente du régime. « La pire terreur règne en Yougoslavie », affirme ainsi le quotidien parisien L’Œuvre (16 juin 1935), avant d’ajouter que « ces persécutions des populations non-serbes, catholiques pour la plupart, méritent non seulement d’être dénoncées, mais nécessitent l’intervention des peuples civilisés » (20). En 1936, les méthodes moyenâgeuses de la police yougoslave et l’insalubrité légendaire de ses cachots suscitent l’indignation du romancier et futur Prix Nobel français André Gide. Publié (le 7 février) dans les pages de Vendredi, l’ « hebdomadaire du Front Populaire », son article précède de quelques semaines à peine la mort à Srijemska Mitrovica du nationaliste Stjepan Javor ! Les années qui suivent et qui précèdent immédiatement la Deuxième Guerre mondiale demeurent elles aussi marquées d’une vive tension : ici, les gendarmes abattent sans raison sept jeunes gens (le 9 mai 1937 à Senj) et là, on manipule le résultat des élections ou l’on suspend arbitrairement un journal d’opposition. Le contentieux croato-serbe paraît vraiment insurmontable et le 15 janvier 1939, les députés croates menacent même d’appeler le peuple à prendre les armes au cas où l’on persisterait à lui dénier son droit à l’autodétermination.


Une révolution démocratique


On aura compris, à la lecture de ce bref rappel, qu’il est tout à fait malhonnête, comme nous l’avons dit plus haut, d’affirmer que la sédition croate de 1941 ne fut que le fruit d’une machination hitléro-fasciste. En fait, après 23 ans d’absolutisme, l’exaspération du peuple croate était à son comble et tout le monde le savait. Le soulèvement des Croates était inéluctable et l’attaque allemande n’en fut que le détonateur. Le gardien de « la prison des peuples » étant en difficulté, l’occasion était propice et les patriotes l’ont opportunément saisie. Dans son prologue, la Déclaration d’Indépendance des États-Unis du 4 juillet 1776 énonce que les hommes sont dotés de certains droits inaliénables dont la vie, la liberté et la recherche du bonheur. « Les gouvernements », ajoute le texte, « sont établis par les hommes pour garantir ces droits et leur juste pouvoir émane du consentement des gouvernés. Toutes les fois qu’une forme de gouvernement devient destructive de ces buts, le peuple a le droit de la changer ou de l’abolir ». En France, la Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen du 24 juin 1793 précise dans son article XXXV que « quand le gouvernement viole les droits du peuple, l’insurrection est pour le peuple, et pour chaque portion du peuple, le plus sacré des droits et le plus indispensable des devoirs ». En 1941, les Croates n’ont fait qu’appliquer ces vieux principes et en ce sens, la révolution d’avril fut tout ce qu’il y a de plus démocratique.



Christophe Dolbeau


C. Dolbeau est écrivain et collaborateur d’Ecrits de Paris et de Rivarol. Il est auteur de plusieurs ouvrages sur la Croatie. Son dernier livre est La guerre d’Espagne (L'atelier Fol'Fer, 2010).






(1) Curieusement, dans son rapport à Berlin, le Dr Veesenmayer situe l’intervention du colonel Kvaternik à 17h 45 – cf. J. Tomasevich, War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2001, p.54.


(2) Surnom donné aux membres du Parti du Droit Croate, héritiers de la pensée de Josip Frank (1844-1911).


(3) Voir I. Omrčanin, The Pro Allied Putsch in Croatia in 1944 and the Massacre of Croatians by Tito Communists in 1945, Philadelphie, Dorrance and Co, 1975, pp.103-107.


(4) Au sein du Parti Paysan, les députés Janko Tortić et Marko Lamešić ont mis en place une structure clandestine baptisée Organizacija za oslobođenje i borbu (OZOIB).


(5) Cf. I. J. de Mihalovich-Korvin, Istina o Nezavisnoj Državi Hrvatskoj, Buenos Aires, Croacia y los Croatas, 1991, p.12-13.


(6) Voir Z. Dizdar, « Bjelovarski ustanak od 7. do 10. Travnja 1941 », Časopis za suvremenu povijest, N°3 (2007), 581-609.


(7) G. Desbons, « Rapport France-Croatie », Balkania, vol. I, N°1 (janvier 1967), p.24.


(8) K. Katalinić, « Proclamación de la independencia croata a la luz de los documentos internacionales », Studia Croatica, vol. 2, N°105 (avril-juin 1987), 102-130.


(9) Voir F. Grumel-Jacquignon, La Yougoslavie dans la stratégie française de l’entre-deux-guerres, aux origines du mythe serbe en France, Berne, Peter Lang, 1999.


(10) Cf. P. Garde, « La France et les Balkans au XXe siècle », Contrepoints du 16.11.2000.


(11) Voir Christian Axboe Nielsen, « Policing Yugoslavism : Surveillance, Denunciations, and Ideology during King Alexandar’s Dictatorship, 1929-1934 », East European Politics and Societies, vol. 23, N°1 (February 2009).


(12) Cf. S. Hefer, Croatian Struggle for Freedom and Statehood, Buenos Aires, Croatian Liberation Movement, 1979, p. 77.


(13) Ibid, pp. 78-80.


(14) Cf. M. Gjidara, « Cadres juridiques et règles applicables aux problèmes européens de minorités », Annuaire Français de Droit International, 1991, vol. 37, p. 356.


(15) Cf. S. Hefer, op. cité, p. 60-61.


(16) Voir Ekonomska obnova podunavskih zemalja. Razoružanje Beograd i Hrvatska, Vienne, Grič, 1932 (réédition par Domovina, Madrid 1999).


(17) Cf. Gergely Fejérdy, « Les visites de Robert Schuman dans le bassin du Danube », in Robert Schuman et les pères de l’Europe (sous la direction de S. Schirmann), Bruxelles, Peter Lang, 2008, p. 77.


(18) Ibid, p. 80. Voir également M. Grmek, M. Gjidara, N. Šimac, Le nettoyage ethnique, Paris, Fayard, 1993, pp. 146-149.


(19) Le 19 février 1935, la gendarmerie yougoslave tue 8 paysans croates à Sibinj et le lendemain, 20 février 1935, six autres à Brod.


(20) Cf. M. Gjidara, op. cité, p. 356.


mardi, 26 avril 2011

Nicola Bombacci: de Lênin a Mussolini


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!”.



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.

lundi, 11 avril 2011

El viente divino o la muerte voluntaria

El viento divino o la muerte voluntaria

[Artículo de Isidro Juan Palacios]

Ex: http://antecedentes.wordpress.com/

kamikaze.jpg“Nuestra sombría discusión fue interrumpida por la llegada de un automóvil negro que venía por la carretera, rodeado de las primeras sombras del crepúsculo”.

Rikihei Inoguchi, oficial del estado mayor y asesor del grupo Aéreo 201 japonés, charlaba con el comandante Tamai sobre el giro adverso que había tomado la guerra. Aquel día, 19 de octubre de 1944, había brillado el Sol en Malacabat, un pequeño pueblo de la isla de Luzón, en unas Filipinas todavía ocupadas por los ejércitos de Su Majestad Imperial, Hiro-Hito. “Pronto -recuerda Inoguchi- reconocimos en el interior del coche al almirante Takijiro Ohnishi…” Era el nuevo comandante de la fuerzas aeronavales japonesas en aquel archipiélago. “He venido aquí -dijo Ohnishi- para discutir con ustedes algo de suma importancia. ¿Podemos ir al Cuartel General?”

El almirante, antes de comenzar a hablar, miró en silencio al rostro de los seis oficiales que se habían sentado alrededor de la mesa. “Como ustedes saben, la situación de la guerra es muy grave. La aparición de la escuadra americana en el Golfo de Leyte ha sido confirmada (…) Para frenarla -continuó Ohnishi- debemos alcanzar a los portaviones enemigos y mantenerlos neutralizados durante al menos una semana”. Sin una mueca, sentados con la espalda recta, los militares de las fuerzas combinandas seguían el curso de las palabras del almirante. Y entones vino la sorpresa.

“En mi opinión, sólo hay una manera de asegurar la máxima eficiencia de nuestras escasas fuerzas: organizar unidades de ataque suicidas compuestas por cazas Zero armados con bombas de 250 kilogramos. Cada avión tendría que lanzarse en picado contra un portaviones enemigo… Espero su opinión al respecto”.

Tamai tuvo que tomar la decisión. Fue así como el Grupo Aéreo 201 de las Filipinas se puso al frente de todo un contingente de pilotos que enseguida le seguirían, extendiéndose el gesto de Manila a las Marianas, de Borneo a Formosa, de Okinawa al resto de las islas del Imperio del Sol Naciente, el Dai Nippon, sin detenerse hasta el día de la rendición.

Tras celebrar una reunión con todos los jefes de escuadrilla, Tamai habló al resto de los hombres del Grupo Aéreo 201; veintitrés brazos jóvenes, adolescentes, “se alzaron al unísono anunciando un total acuerdo en un frenesí de emoción y de alegría”. Eran los primeros de la muerte voluntaria. Pero, ¿quién les mandaría e iría con ellos a la cabeza, por el cielo, y caer sobre los objetivos en el mar? El teniente Yukio Seki, el más destacado, se ofreció al comandante Tamai para reclamar el honor. Aquel grupo inicial se dividiría en cuatro secciones bautizadas con nombres evocadores: “Shikishima” (apelación poética del Japón), “Yamato” (antigua designación del país), “Asahi” (Sol naciente) y “Yamazukura” (cerezo en flor de las montañas).

Configurado de este modo el Cuerpo de Ataque Especial, sólo restaba buscarle una identidad también muy especial, como indicó oportunamente Inoguchi; y fue así como se bautizó a la “Unidad Shimpu”. Shimpu, una palabra repleta de la filosofía del Zen. En realidad no tiene ningún sentido, es una mera onomatopeya, pero es otra de las formas de leer los ideogramas que forman la palabra KAMIKAZE, “Viento de los Dioses”.

“Está bien -asintió Tamai-. Después de todo, tenemos que poner en acción un Kamikaze”. El comandante Tamai dio el nombre a las unidades suicidas japonesas, llamando a sus componentes los “pilotos del Viento Divino”.

La escuadrilla Shikishima, al frente de la cual se hallaba el teniente Seki, salió, para ya no regresar, el 25 de octubre de 1944, desde Malacabat, a las siete y veinticinco de la mañana. Sobre las once del día, los cinco aparatos destinados divisaron al enemigo en las aguas de las Filipinas. El primero en entrar en picado y romperse súbitamente, como un cristal, fue el teniente Seki, seguido de otro kamikaze a corta distancia, hundiendo el portaviones “St.Lo”, de la armada norteamericana. Ante los ojos incrédulos de los yanquis, los restantes tres pilotos se lanzaron a toda velocidad en su último vuelo, a 325 kilómetros por hora en un ángulo de 65 grados, hundiendo el portaviones “Kalinin Bay” y dejando fuera de combate los destructores “Kitkun” y “White Plains”. Siguiendo su ejemplo, la unidad Yamato emprendió vuelo un día después, el 26 de octubre, al encuentro certero con la muerte, después de brindar con sake y entonar una canción guerrera por aquel entonces muy popular entre los soldados:

“Si voy al mar, volveré cadáver sobre las olas.

Si mi deber me llama a las montañas,

la hierba verde será mi mortaja .

Por mi emperador no quiero morir en la paz del hogar”.

Tras el primer asombro, un soplo gélido de terror sacudió las almas del enemigo, los soldados de la Tierra del Dólar.

Lo asombroso del Cuerpo Kamikaze de Ataque Especial no fue su novedad, ni siquiera durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Fue su especial espíritu y sus numerosísimos voluntarios lo que les distinguió de otras actitudes heroicas semejantes, de igual o superior valor. La invocación del nombre del Kamikaze despertaba en los japoneses la vieja alma del Shinto, los milenarios mitos inmortales anclados en la suprahistoria, y recordaba que cada hombre podía convertirse en un “Kami”, un dios viviente, por la asunción enérgica de la muerte voluntaria como sacrificio, y alcanzar así la “vida que es más que la vida”.

De hecho, la táctica del bombardeo suicida (”tai-atari”) ya había sido utilizada por las escuadrillas navales en sus combates de impacto aéreo contra los grandes bombarderos norteamericanos. Pero aisladamente. Asímismo, otros casos singulares de enorme heroísmo encarando una muerte segura tuvieron lugar durante esa guerra. Yukio Mishima, en sus “Lecciones espirituales para los jóvenes samurai“, nos narra una anécdota entre un millón que, por su particular belleza, merece ser aquí recordada. Y dice de este modo: “Se ha contado que durante la guerra uno de nuestros submarinos emergió frente a la costa australiana y se arrojó contra una nave enemiga desafiando el fuego de sus cañones. Mientras la Luna brillaba en la noche serena, se abrió la escotilla y apareció un oficial blandiendo su espada catana y que murió acribillado a balazos mientras se enfrentaba de este modo al poderoso enemigo“.

Más lejos y mucho antes, también entre nosotros, tan acostumbrados a la tragedia de antaño, de siempre, en la España medieval, se produjo un caso parecido a este del Kamikaze, salvando, claro está, las distancias. Con los musulmanes dominando el sur de la Península, surgieron entre los cristianos mozárabes, sometidos al poder del Islam, unos que comenzaron a llamarse a sí mismos los “Iactatio Martirii”, los “lanzados”, los “arrojados al martirio”, es decir, a la muerte. Los guiaba e inspiraba el santo Eulogio de Córdoba, y actuaron durante ocho años bajo el mandato de los califas, entre el año 851 y el 859. Su modo de proceder era el siguiente: penetraban en la mezquita de manera insolente, siempre de uno en uno, y entonces, a sabiendas de que con ello se granjeaban una muerte sin paliativos, abominaban del Islam e insultaban a Mahoma. No tardaban en morir por degollamiento. Hubo por este camino cuarenta y nueve muertes voluntarias. El sello lo puso Eulogio con la suya propia el último año.

Tampoco se encuentra exenta la Naturaleza de brindarnos algún que otro ejemplo claro de lo que es un kamikaze. De ello, el símbolo concluyente es el de la abeja, ese insecto solar y regio que vive en y por las flores, las únicas que saben caer gloriosas y radiantes, jóvenes, en el esplendor de su belleza, apenas han comenzado a vivir por primavera. Igual que la abeja, que liba el néctar más dulce y está siempre dispuesta para morir, así actúa también el kamikaze, cayendo en a una muerte segura frente al intruso que pretende hollar las tierras del Dai Nippon. El marco tiene todos los ingredientes para encarnar el misterio litúrgico o el acto del sacrificio, del oficio sacro.

En “El pabellón de oro“, Yukio Mishima describe una misión simbólica. Una abeja vela en torno a la rueda amarilla de un crisantemo de verano (el crisantemo, la flor simbólica del Imperio Japonés); en un determinado instante -escribe Mishima- “la abeja se arrojó a lo más profundo del corazón de la flor y se embadurnó de su polen, ahogándose en la embriaguez, y el crisantemo, que en su seno había acogido al insecto, se transformó, asimismo, en una abeja amarilla de suntuosa armadura, en la que pude contemplar frenéticos sobresaltos, como si ella intentase echarse a volar, lejos de su tallo“. ¿Hay una imagen más perfecta para adivinar la creencia shintoísta de la transformación del guerrero, del artesano, del príncipe, del que se ofrenda en el seno del Emperador, a su vez fortalecido por el sacrificio de sus servidores? Desde hace más de dos mil seiscientos años, el Trono del Crisantemo (una línea jamás ininterrumpida) es de naturaleza divina: ellos son descendientes directos de la diosa del Sol, Amaterasu-omi-Kami; los “Tennos”, los emperadores japoneses, son las primeras manifestaciones vivientes de los dioses invisibles creadores, en los orígenes, de las islas del Japón. No son los representantes de Dios, son dioses… por ello, Mishima, en su obra “Caballos desbocados“, define así, con absoluta fidelidad a la moral shintoísta, el principio de la lealtad a la Vía Imperial (el “Kodo”): “Lealtad es abandono brusco de la vida en un acto de reverencia ante la Voluntad Imperial. Es el precipitarse en pleno núcleo de la Voluntad Imperial“.

Corría el siglo XIII, segunda mitad. El budismo no había conseguido todavía apaciguar a los mongoles, cosa de lo que más tarde se ha ufanado. Kublai-Khan, el nieto de Temujin, conocido entre los suyos como Gengis-Khan, acababa de sumar el reino de Corea al Imperio del Medio. Sus planes incluían el Japón como próxima conquista. Por dos veces, una en 1274 y otra en 1281, Kublai-Khan intentó llegar a las tierras del Dai Nippon con poderosos navíos y extraordinarios efectos psíquicos y materiales; y por dos veces fue rechazado por fuerzas misteriosas sobrehumanas. Primero, una tempestad y después un tifón desencadenados por los kami deshicieron los planes del Emperador de los mongoles. Ningún japonés olvidaría en adelante aquel portentoso milagro, que fue recordado en la memoria colectiva con su propio nombre: “Kamikaze”, viento de los kami, Viento Divino.

El descubrimiento del país de Yamato, al que Cristobal Colón llamaba Cipango, y que fue conocido así también por los portugueses y después por los jesuitas españoles, por los holandeses e ingleses que les siguieron en el siglo XVI, no fue del todo mal recibido por los shogunes del Japón. Sin embargo, un poco antes de mediados de la siguiente centuria, el shogunado de Tokugawa Ieyashu había empezado a desconfiar de los “bárbaros” occidentales, por lo que decide la expulsión de los extranjeros, impide las nuevas entradas y prohibe la salida de las islas a todos los súbditos del Japón. En 1647 se promulga el “Decreto de Reclusión”, por el cual el Dai Nippon se convertiría de nuevo en un mundo interiorizado, en un país anacoreta. Japón se cerró al comercio exterior y a las influencias ideológicas de Occidente, ya tocado irreversiblemente por el espíritu de la modernidad. De esta forma es como se vivió en aquellas tierras hasta bien entrado el siglo XIX, de espaldas a los llamados “progresos”. Japón ignorará también el nacimiento de una nueva nación que para su desgracia no tardará en ser, con el tiempo, la expresión más cabal de su destino fatídico, como le sucedería igualmente a otros pueblos de formación tradicional. La nueva nación se autodenominará “América”, pretendiendo asumir para sí el destino de todo un continente. Intolerable le resultará al Congreso y al presidente Filemore la existencia de un pueblo insolente, fiel a sí mismo, obstinado en seguir cerrado por propia voluntad al comercio y a las “buenas relaciones”. Japón debía ser abierto, y, si fuera preciso, a fuerza de cañonazos. Todo muy democráticamente. Todavía hoy, en el Japón moderno y americanizado, los barcos negros del almirante Perry son de infausta memoria.

Los estruendos de la pólvora y el hierro hicieron despertar bruscamente a muchos japoneses, para quienes la presencia norteamericana indicaba con claridad que la Tierra del Sol Naciente había descendido a los mismos niveles que las naciones decadentes, de los que antes estuvieron preservados. Muchos pensaron que la causa de tal desgracia le venía al Dai Nippon por haberse olvidado de los descendientes de Amaterasu, del Emperador, recluido desde hacía centurias en su palacio de Kioto. Por ello se alzó enseguida una revuelta a los gritos de “¡Joy, joy!” (¡fuera, fuera!, referido a los extranjeros) y de “¡Sonno Tenno!” (¡venerad al Emperador!). La restauración Meiji de 1868 se apuntaló bajo el lema del “fukko”, el retorno al pasado. Pero la tierra de Yamato tuvo que aceptar por la fuerza la nueva situación y ponerse a rivalizar con el mundo moderno, pero sin perder de vista su espíritu invisible, al que siguió siendo fiel. Cuando Yukio Mishima escribe sobre esa época, piensa lo que otros también pensaron como él. Y, así, anota: “Si los hombres fuesen puros, reverenciarían al Emperador por encima de todo. El Viento Divino (el Kamikaze) se levantaría de inmediato, como ocurrió durante la invasión mongola, y los bárbaros serían expulsados“.

Año de 1944. Mes de octubre. El Japón se encuentra en guerra frente a las potencias anglonorteamericanas. La escuadra yanqui está cercando las islas Filipinas, y en sus aguas orientales se aproxima, golpe tras golpe, hacia el mismo corazón del Imperio… El almirante Onhisi concibe la idea de lanzar a los pilotos kamikaze…

El mismo día en que el Emperador Hiro-Hito decide anunciar la rendición incondicional de las armas japonesas y se lo comunica al pueblo entero por radio (¡era la primera vez que un Tenno hablaba directamente!), el comandante supremo de la flota, vicealmirante Matome Ugaki, había ordenado preparar los aviones bombarderos de Oita con el fin de lanzarse en vuelo kamikaze sobre el enemigo anclado en Okinawa. Era el 15 de agosto de 1945. En su último informe, incluyó sus reflexiones finales…: “Sólo yo, Majestad, soy responsable de nuestro fracaso en defender la Patria y destruir al ensoberbecido enemigo. He decidido lanzarme en ataque sobre Okinawa, donde mis valerosos muchachos han caído como cerezos en flor. Allí embestiré y destruiré al engreído enemigo. Soy un bushi, mi alma es el reflejo del Bushido. Me lanzaré portando el kamikaze con firme convicción y fe en la eternidad del Japón Imperial. ¡Banzai!”. Veintidós aviadores voluntarios salieron con él, sólo por seguirle en el ejemplo de su última ofrenda. No estaban obligados. La guerra había concluido. Pero… no obstante, tampoco podían desobedecer las órdenes del Emperador, que mandaba no golpear más al adversario. Se estrellaron en las mismas narices de los norteamericanos, que contemplaron atónitos un espectáculo que no podían comprender… Ugaki hablaba del Bushido -el código de honor de los guerreros japoneses-. ¿Acaso no es el kamikaze, por esencia y por sentencia, un samurai?

En los botones de sus uniformes, los aviadores suicidas llevaban impresas flores de cerezo de tres pétalos, conforme al sentido del viejo haiku (poema japonés de dieciséis sílabas) del poeta Karumatu:

“La flor por excelencia es la del cerezo,

el hombre perfecto es el caballero”

El cerezo es una flor simbólica en las tierras japonesas, nace antes que ninguna otra, antes de iniciarse la primavera, para, en la plenitud de su gloria, caer radiante; es la flor de más corta juventud, que muere en el frescor de su belleza. Siempre fue el distintivo de los samurai.

Al encenderse los motores, los pilotos kamikaze se ajustaban el “hashimaki”, la banda de tela blanca que rodea la cabeza con el disco rojo del Sol Naciente impreso junto a algunas palabras caligrafiadas con pincel y tinta negra, al modo como antaño lo usaron los samurai antes de entrar en batalla, al modo como cayeron los últimos guerreros japoneses del siglo XIX con sus espadas catana siguiendo al caudillo Saigo Takamori frente a los “marines” del almirante Perry. En la mente fresca y clara, iluminada por el Sol, no había sitio para las turbulencias. Sobre todos, unos ideogramas se repetían hasta la saciedad: “Shichisei Hokoku” (”Siete vidas quisiera tener para darlas a la Patria“). Eran los mismos ideogramas que por primera vez puso sobre su frente Masashige Kusonoki cuando se lanzó a morir a caballo, en un combate sin esperanzas, allá por el siglo XIV; los mismos ideogramas que se colocó alrededor de la cabeza Yukio Mishima en el día de su muerte ritual.

Yukio Mishima, obsesionado por la muerte ya desde su niñez y adolescencia, estuvo a punto de ser enrolado en el Cuerpo Kamikaze de Ataque Especial. Se deleitaba pensando románticamente que si un día se le diera la oportunidad se ser un soldado, pronto tendría una ocasión segura para morir. Sin embargo, cuando fue llamado a filas y se vio libre de ser incorporado al tomársele erróneamente por un enfermo de tuberculosis, el mejor escritor japonés de los tiempos modernos no hizo nada por deshacer el engaño del oficial médico, saliendo a la carrera de la oficina de reclutamiento. Aquello, pese a todo, le pareció a Mishima un acto de infamante cobardía, como lo confesará más tarde en repetidas ocasiones. El desprecio de su propia actitud fue uno de los factores de menor importancia en el día de su “seppuku” (el “hara-kiri”, el suicidio ritual), pero que le llevó a meditar durante años sobre la condición interior del kamikaze. Para Mishima no cabía la menor duda: aquellos pilotos que hicieron ofrenda de sus vidas, con sus aparatos, eran verdaderos samurai. En “El loco morir”, afirma que el kamikaze se encuentra religado al Hagakure, un texto escrito entre los siglos XVII y XVIII por Yocho Yamamoto, legendario samurai que tras la muerte de su señor se hizo ermitaño. El Hagakure llegó a ser el libro de cabecera de los samurai, el texto que sintetizó la esencia del Bushido. En cinco puntos finales, venía a decir:

- El Bushido es la muerte.

- Entre dos caminos, el samurai debe siempre elegir aquél en el que se

muere más deprisa.

- Desde el momento en que se ha elegido morir, no importa si la muerte

se produce o no en vano. La muerte nunca se produce en vano.

- La muerte sin causa y sin objeto llega a ser la más pura y segura,

porque si para morir necesitamos una causa poderosa, al lado

encontraremos otra tan fuerte y atractiva como ésta que nos impulse a vivir.

- La profesión del samurai es el misterio del morir.

Para el hombre que guarda la semilla de lo sagrado, la muerte es siempre el rito de paso hacia la trascendencia, hacia lo absoluto, hacia la Divinidad; por esa razón suenan, incluso hoy, sin extrañezas, las primeras palabras del almirante Ohnisi en su discurso de despedida al primer grupo de pilotos kamikaze constituido por el teniente Seki:

“Vosotros ya sois kami (dioses), sin deseos terrenales…”

Ya eran dioses vivientes, y como tales se les veneraba, aunque todavía “no hubieran muerto”; porque, sencillamente, “ya estaban muertos”. Los resultados de sus acciones pasaban al último plano de las consideraciones a evaluar. No importaban demasiado… Aunque realmente los hubo: durante el año y medio que duraron los ataques kamikaze, fueron hundidos un total de 322 barcos aliados, entre portaviones, acorazados, destructores, cruceros, cargueros, torpederos, remolcadores, e, incluso, barcazas de desembarco; ¡la mitad de todos los barcos hundidos en la guerra!

Para Mishima, el caza Zero era semejante a una espada catana que descendía como un rayo desde el cielo azul, desde lo alto de las nubes blancas, desde el mismo corazón del Sol, todos ellos símbolos inequívocos de la muerte donde el hombre terreno, que respira, no puede vivir, y por los que paradójicamente todos esos hombres suspiran en ansias de vida inmortal, eterna. “Hi-Ri-Ho-Ken-Ten” fue la insignia de una unidad kamikaze de la base de Konoya. Era la forma abreviada de cuatro lemas engarzados: “La Injusticia no puede vencer al Principio. El Principio no puede vencer a la Ley. La Ley no puede vencer al Poder. El Poder no puede vencer al Cielo“.

Aquel 15 de agosto de 1945, cuando el Japón se rendía al invasor, el almirante Takijiro Ohnishi se reunió por última vez con varios oficiales del Estado mayor, a quienes había invitado a su residencia oficial. ¿Una despedida? Los oficiales se retiraron hacia la medianoche. Ya a solas, en silencio, el inspirador principal del Cuerpo Kamikaze de Ataque Especial se dirigió a su despacho, situado en el segundo piso de la casa. Allí se abrió el vientre conforme al ritual sagrado del seppuku. No tuvo a su lado un kaishakunin, el asistente encargado de dar el corte de gracia separándole la cabeza del cuerpo cuando el dolor se hace ya extremadamente insoportable… Al amanecer fue descubierto por su secretario, quien le encontró todavía con vida, sentado en la postura tradicional de la meditación Zen. Una sola mirada bastó para que el oficial permaneciera quieto y no hiciera nada para aliviar o aligerar su sufrimiento. Ohnishi permaneció, por propia voluntad, muriendo durante dieciocho horas de atroz agonía. Igonaki, Inoguchi y otros militares que le conocían que el almirante, desde el mismo instante en que concibiera la idea de los ataques kamikaze, había decidido darse la muerte voluntaria por sacrificio al estilo de los antiguos samurai, incluso aunque las fuerzas del Japón hubieses alcanzado finalmente la victoria. En la pared, colgaba un viejo haiku anónimo:

“La vida se asemeja a una flor de cerezo.

Su fragancia no puede perdurar en la eternidad”.

Poco antes de la partida, los jóvenes kamikaze componían sus tradicionales poemas de abandono del mundo, emulando con ello a los antiguos guerreros samurai de las epopeyas tradicionales. La inmensa mayoría de ellos también enviaron cartas a sus padres, novias, familiares o amigos, despidiéndose pocas horas antes de la partida sin retorno. Ichiro Omi se dedicó, después de la guerra, a peregrinar de casa en casa, pidiendo leer aquellas cartas. su intención era publicar un libro que recogiese todo aquel material atesorado por las familias y los camaradas, y fue así como muchas de aquellas cartas salieron a la luz. Bastantes de éstas y otras fueron a parar a la base naval japonesa de Etaji. Allí también peregrinó Yukio Mishima, poco antes de practicarse el seppuku, releyéndolas y meditándolas. Una, sobre las otras, le conmovió, actuando en su interior como un verdadero koan (el “koan” es, en la práctica del budismo Zen, la meditación sobre una frase que logra desatar el “satori”, la iluminación espiritual). Mishima tuvo la tentación de escribir una obra sobre los pilotos del Viento Divino, y así apareció su obra “Sol y Acero“. Un breve párrafo de estas cartas y algunos otros de las tomadas por Omi son las fuentes de esta antología:

En este momento estoy lleno de vida. Todo mi cuerpo desborda juventud y fuerza. Parece imposible que dentro de unas horas deba morir (…) La forma de vivir japonesa es realmente bella y de ello me siento orgullo, como también de la historia y de la mitología japonesas, que reflejan la pureza de nuestros antepasados y su creencia en el pasado, sea o no cierta esa creencia (…) Es un honor indescriptible el poder dar mi vida en defensa de todo en lo creo, de todas estas cosas tan bellas y eminentes. Padre, elevo mis plegarias para que tenga usted una larga y feliz vida. Estoy seguro que el Japón surgirá de nuevo“.

Teruo Yamaguchi.

Queridos padres: Les escribo desde Manila. Este es el último día de mi vida. Deben felicitarme. Seré un escudo para Su Majestad el Emperador y moriré limpiamente, junto con mis camaradas de escuadrilla. Volveré en espíritu. Espero con ansias sus visitas al santuario de Kishenai, donde coloquen una estela en mi memoria “.

Isao Matsuo.

Elevándonos hacia los cielos de los Mares del Sur, nuestra gloriosa misión es morir como escudos de Su Majestad. Las flores del cerezo se abren, resplandecen y caen (…) Uno de los cadetes fue eliminado de la lista de los asignados para la salida del no-retorno. Siento mucha lástima por él. Esta es una situación donde se encuentran distintas emociones. El hombre es sólo mortal; la muerte, como la vida, es cuestión de probabilidad. Pero el destino también juega su papel. Estoy seguro de mi valor para la acción que debo realizar mañana, donde haré todo lo posible por estrellarme contra un barco de guerra enemigo, para así cumplir mi destino en defensa de la Patria. Ikao, querida mía, mi querida amante, recuérdame, tal como estoy ahora, en tus oraciones“.

Yuso Nakanishi

Ha llegado la hora de que mi amigo Nakanishi y yo partamos. No hay remordimiento. Cada hombre debe seguir su camino individualmente (…) En sus últimas instrucciones, el oficial de comando nos advirtió de no ser imprudentes a la hora de morir. Todo depende del Cielo. Estoy resuelto a perseguir la meta que el destino me ha trazado. Ustedes siempre han sido muy buenos conmigo y les estoy muy agradecido. Quince años de escuela y adiestramiento están a punto de rendir frutos. Siento una gran alegría por haber nacido en el Japón. No hay nada especial digno de mención, pero quiero que sepan que disfruto de buena salud en estos momentos. Los primeros aviones de mi grupo ya están en el aire. Espero que este último gesto de descargar un golpe sobre el enemigo sirva para compensar, en muy reducida medida, todo lo que ustedes han hecho por mí. La primavera ha llegado adelantada al sur de Kyushu. Aquí los capullos de las flores son muy bellos. Hay paz y tranquilidad en la base, en pleno campo de batalla incluso. Les suplico que se acuerden de mí cuando vayan al templo de Kyoto, donde reposan nuestros antepasados“.


mardi, 08 mars 2011

Het geheim der Perseïden

Het geheim der Perseïden

hermes.jpgIn het slotartikel van ‘Het cultureel leven tijdens de bezetting’ (Diogenes, nr. 1-2, nov. ’90, blz. 57), schreef onze vriend Henri-Floris Jespers dat ik in het interview van de Heer Van de Vijvere te voorschijn gekomen was als een ‘ijverige en openlijke ultra’ (sic!). Niets is minder waar. Ik een ‘ultra’? Ik wens dit hier, zo mogelijk, te weerleggen. Eerst en vooral: in een passage van zijn artikel onderstreept H.F. Jespers dat werken van zijn grootvader Floris Jespers door de Brusselse Propaganda-Abteilung, niettegenstaande haar mild standpunt tegenover de zogenaamde Belgische ‘entartete Kunst’ gecensureerd werden. En hij citeert: ‘Joods meisje’ en ‘Joodse Bruiloft’. Dergelijke titels zijn, helaas, te beschouwen als naïeve provocatie! Hadden beide werken als titel meegekregen ‘Antwerps meisje’ en ‘Antwerpse bruiloft’, zou de Propaganda-Abteilung er voorzeker geen graten in gezien hebben… Laten we niet vergeten dat nazi-idioten onze grote Rembrandt als ‘entartet’ beschouwden omdat hij o.m. ‘Het Joods bruidje’ geschilderd heeft, alsmede portretten van rabbijnen die in de buurt van zijn Jodenbreestraat rondliepen in schilderachtige Oosterse gewaden… De heren van de Brusselse Propaganda-Abteilung, het dient gezegd te worden, interesseerden zich meer voor ‘wijntje en Trijntje’ dan aan censuur! Anderzijds heeft grootvader Jespers toch in Nazi-Duitsland tentoongesteld met de meeste Vlaamse expressionisten. Dit echter met eerder brave werken die de naam hadden te behoren tot een nieuwe strekking in de Belgische kunst, namelijk het ‘animisme’. Onder het mom van ‘Heimatkunst’ heeft Floris Jespers gedurende de bezettingsjaren Ardense landschappen geschilderd waar ik onlangs nog een prachtig staaltje van gezien heb in het Osterriethhuis, aan de Meir, te Antwerpen. Zelfs een Magritte heeft zich aan de nazi-bezetter trachten aan te passen met zijn ‘surrealisme en plein soleil’, dat Andre Breton achteraf als ‘surrealisme cousu de fil blanc’ bestempeld heeft, terwijl ikzelf gedurende die bezetting als echte surrealist, als ‘Entart’ verketterd werd!


Doch, laten we overgaan naar ‘het geheim der Perseïden’! Perseiden? Een geheim genootschap of eerder een vriendenkring van schrijvers, musici en vooral kunsthistorici die zich als ‘Groot-Nederlanders’ of ‘Dietsers’ aanstelden, en de roem van de ‘Groot-Nederlandse cultuur’ verdedigden en wensten te verspreiden, zelfs onder nazi-bezetting, die ‘Groot-Nederland’ als een onverdedigbare en voorbijgestreefde utopie beschouwde. Laat ons niet vergeten dat er tussen Vlaanderen en Nederland teen een haast onoverschrijdbare ‘Chinese muur!’ bestond, een echte ‘muur van de schande’, en toch werd die muur overschreden, namelijk door uw dienaar, de zogezegde ‘ultra’ Marc. Eemans. Maar van waar die Perseïdenaam? Laat ons gerust opklimmen tot de 16de en de 17de eeuw, toen de kloof tussen Noord en Zuid in de Nederlanden ontstaan is. Toen is er een wellicht eveneens geheim genootschap gesticht, dat naar rederijkersgewoonten een naam meekreeg ontleend aan de klassieke Oudheid, en de keuze viel op de held Perseus die Andromeda gered heeft. In rederijkerstaal was de arme, gekluisterde Andromeda het symbool van de verscheurde Nederlanden… Een van de topfiguren van dit geheim genootschap moet Petrus-Paulus Rubens geweest zijn, de hofschilder der aartshertogen Albert en Isabella, doch tevens een halfbroer van een prinses van Nassau, geboren uit overspel van de vader van Rubens met prinses Anna van Saksen, echtgenote van Willem de Zwijger.

Hier komt nu de spilfiguur van Dr Juliane Gabriëls op de voorgrond van de moderne ‘Perseiden’. Vriendin Juliane, een thans helaas haast vergeten topfiguur uit het Vlaamse cultureel leven in de eerste helft van onze eeuw, werd te Gent geboren in een francofone orangistische familie . Ze studeerde geneeskunde aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel en werd de eerste vrouwelijke neuroloog dezer instelling, dit circa 1910, zo ik me niet vergis. Gedurende de Eerste Wereldoorlog werd ze docent aan de toen vervlaamste Universiteit van Gent, en werd ze in 1918, als zoveel andere ‘aktivisten’, vervolgd door het Belgische gerecht.

In de diaspora der vervolgde flaminganten belandde ze te Berlijn, waar ze o.m. bevriend werd met de eveneens uitgeweken jonge dichter Paul van Ostaijen en, zo men haar mag geloven, ontmoette ze hem geregeld in de lift van een groot Berlijns hotel, die hij bediende in een rood uniformpje in de trant van ‘le chasseur de chez ‘Maxim”…

Te Berlijn trad Juliane Gabriëls in de echt met de Duitse kunsthistoricus Dr Martin Konrad, de medewerker, onder de leiding van Dr Paul Clemens, van het verzamelwerk ‘Belgische Kunstdenkmäler. (Verlag F. Bruckmann A.G., München, 1923). Het werd voor Juliane Gabriels het begin van haar tweede roeping. Ze promoveerde toen te Berlijn tot doctor in de kunstgeschiedenis met een studie over ‘Artus Quellien, de Oude, Kunstryck Belthouwer’ (Uitg. ‘De Sikkel’, Antwerpen, 1930), met de beroemde Duitse kunsthistoricus A.E. Brinckmann als promotor.

Juliane Gabriëls vertoefde echter niet lang te Berlijn en ging zich te Blaricum, aan de Zuiderzee vestigen, waar ze de geboorte van het Vlaamse expressionisme meemaakte, met haar vrienden Gust en Gusta de Smet, Fritz van den Berghe, Jozef Canrre en het koppel Lucien Brulez-Mavromati, zonder de dichter Rene De Clercq te vergeten. Een herinnering aan dit ballingschapsoord is het ‘Portret van mevrouw G.’, geschilderd door Fritz van den Berghe.

Terug in het vaderland, vestigde Juliane Gabriëls zich te Antwerpen, in de Osijstraat, waar ze een dokterscabinet opende en een salon hield waar talloze Vlaamse en Noord-Nederlandse prominenten graag geziene gasten werden.

In dit salon is een haard van Vlaams culturele  initiatieven ontstaan. Laat ons hier slechts vermelden: ‘Geschiedenis van de Vlaamsche kunst’ onder leiding van Prof. Dr Ir Stan Leurs (uitgeverij De Sikkel, Antwerpen, z.d.); stichting van de ‘Vlaamse Toeristenbond’, onder voorzitterschap van dezelfde Prof. Dr Ir Stan Leurs; stichting van een Vlaamse Akademie van de zeevaart; stichting van het ‘Busleyden-instituut’, onder voorzitterschap van de Noord-Nederlandse Prof. Dr G.J. Hoogewerff, voor de studie van de Groot –Nederlandse kunstgeschiedenis, enz.

Ik heb Juliane Gabriëls slechts twee dagen voor de inval van de Duitse legers in Belgie leren kennen. Bij een luchtaanval op Antwerpen, in mei 1940, werd haar huis in de Osijstraat door een bom getroffen en is ze een onderkomen te Brussel komen zoeken, hetgeen de aanleiding werd voor een meer uitgebreide kennismaking en de ontdekking van dezelfde interesse voor de Groot-Nederlandse idealen zowel op het gebied van de kunst als op dat van de Dietse belangen, zowel cultureel als politiek.

Groot was onze hoop toen we vernamen dat het gebied waarover de Duitse ‘Militärverwaltung’ zich uitstrekte tot aan de Somme reikte, dit is tot aan de zuidelijke grens van de aloude XVII Provincies; doch even groot werd onze teleurstelling toen we moesten vaststellen dat Noord-Nederland onder een ‘Zivilverwaltung’ viel en van Zuid-Nederland door een echte Chinese muur gescheiden werd. Onze sympathie voor de ‘Mythos van de XXe eeuw’ ten spijt, bracht dit ons, Juliane Gabriëls en mezelf, en onze gelijkgeoriënteerde vrienden, tot een eerder terughoudende gezindheid tegenover de bezetter. Dit belette echter niet, voor de meeste onder ons, een kollaboratie met voorbehoud.

Ikzelf, werkloos geworden door de oorlogsomstandigheden, ben aldus om den brode een vrije medewerker geworden aan allerlei zowel franstalige als nederlandstalige bladen en tijdschriften behorende tot de verscheidene strekkingen van de kollaboratie, dit echter op uitsluitend cultureel vlak, want politiek was me uit den boze… De Realpolitik van de bezetter was eerder dubbelzinnig en onaanvaardbaar wat ons Diets ideaal betrof. Ik heb trouwens eens gezegd aan Dr Jef van de Wiele, de leider van de Devlag en auteur van het boek ‘Op zoek naar een vaderland’, dat hij niet een lands-, maar een volksverrader was…

Zonder aan ‘weerstand’ te denken, hebben Juliane Gabriëls en onze Dietsgezinde vriende aan ‘weerstand’ gedaan onder het motto ‘onverfranst, onverduitst’. Maar hoe? Op allerlei wijzen, middels contacten met nietnazi-gezinde Duitse vrienden waaronder, o .m. de Brusselse leden van de Propaganda-Abteilung. Vandaar de milde houding van deze heren wat betreft de toepassing in Vlaanderen van de ‘entartete Kunstpolitik’ .

Ons Groot-Nederlands ideaal was anderzijds, hoe paradoksaal het ook moge klinken, gediend door een door ‘Ahnenerbe’, het wetenschappelijk organisme van de SS, gestichte uitgeverij geheten ‘De Burcht’. De zetel van deze uitgeverij werd aldus het ontmoetingscentrum van de ‘Perseïden’ en de haard van talrijke Groot-Nederlandse uitgaven, o.m. het maandblad ‘Hamer’ en het tijdschrift ‘Groot-Nederland’, waar zowel Noord-Nederlandse als Zuid-Nederlandse schrijvers regelmatig aan meegewerkt hebben.

Er waren verder nog andere mogelijkheden door andere uitgeverijen geboden. Zo is het dat bij De Sikkel een boek van Juliane Gabriëls en Adriaan Mertens in 1941 verschenen is, gewijd aan ‘De constanten in de Vlaamse kunst’, en van mezelf, bij de uitgever Juliaan Bernaerts (hij was eveneens de directeur van ‘De Burcht’) een kleine monografie over ‘De Vroeg-Nederlandse schilderkunst’ (Kleine Beer-reeks nr. 10 van de uitgeverij ‘De Phalanx’). Onze thans té vergeten vriend Urbain Van de Voorde publiceerde anderzijds bij een uitgeverij van het VNV een uitstekend overzicht van de schilderkunst der Nederlanden, dat vooral de nadruk legde op de eenheid van de zogeziene of zogenaamde ‘Vlaamse’ en ‘Hollandse’ schilderkunst, niettegenstaande de politieke verscheurdheid van ons gemeenschappelijk vaderland. Van dit boek bestaat een tot hiertoe onuitgegeven Franse vertaling. Anderzijds heb ik toen een uitvoerig, nog steeds onuitgegeven, essay in het Frans gewijd aan de Nederlandse poëzie (Noord en Zuid), vanaf de Middeleeuwen tot het midden van onze eeuw. Het draagt voor de ‘Perseïden’ de veel betekenende poëtische titel ‘Andromède révélée’.

Van een Duitse kunsthistoricus, de in Amsterdam vertoevende Friedrich-Markus Huebner, vertaalde ik verder een boek gewijd aan Jeroen Bosch dat na de oorlog, dank zij mij, nog een Franse vertaling kende onder de titel ‘Le mystere Jerome Bosch’ (uitgeverij Meddens, Brussel). Laat me er nog aan toevoegen dat ik eveneens de auteur ben (onder een deknaam!) van een boek gewijd aan ‘De Vlaamse Krijgsbouwkunde’ (Frans Vlaanderen inbegrepen), gedeeltelijk geschreven gedurende de Duitse bezetting (Drukkerij-Uitgeverij Lannoo, Tielt, 1950).

Met de bedoeling de nadruk te leggen op de voorrang van de Nederlandse op de Italiaanse kunst, gaf Juliane Gabriëls een lezing in het ‘Italiaans Instituut’ van de Livornostraat te Brussel, waarin ze betoogde dat de Renaissance niet in ltalië, doch in de Nederlanden was ontstaan met een Claus Sluter en een Jan van Eyck als boegbeelden. Na de lezing had een kleine ontvangst in de ‘dopo lavoro’ van het Instituut plaats. Bij het drinken van een uitstekende ‘chianti’ (toen een rariteit), werd een woordje gezegd ter ere van de Duce en van de leider Staf De Clercq, waarop een toevallig aanwezige Duitse SS-man, Unterscharführer Heinz Wilke, eveneens een woordje ter ere van zijn Führer wenste te zeggen. Het woord werd hem echter geweigerd omdat het voor ons uitsluitend ging om een Italiaans-Vlaamse verbroederingsavond. Heinz Wilke liep woedend weg en diende tegen ons een klacht in bij de S.D. met diplomatieke verwikkelingen tussen Brussel, Berlijn en Rome. Gelukkig genoeg voor ons, kwam de topfiguur van de SS in Belgie ons ter hulp en bleef de klacht bij de S.D. ten slotte zonder gevolg, zoniet waren Juliane Gabriëls en haar vrienden in een Duits concentratiekamp beland… Achteraf, na de val van de Duce, bleek de directeur van het ‘Italiaans Instituut’ te Brussel een Italiaanse verzetsman te zijn…

Een ander, eerder onschuldig exploot van de ‘Perseïden’ ten gunste van de Nederlandse kunstgeschiedenis, was de officiële ontvangst door het ‘Busleydeninstituut’, op het Mechelse stadhuis, van Prof. Dr Hans Gerard Evers ter gelegenheid van het verschijnen van zijn boek gewijd aan Peter Paul Rubens (Verlag F. Bruckmann, München, 1942). Het werd een heuglijke gebeurtenis met een ‘congratulatio’ van Juliane Gabriels, een dankwoord van Prof. Evers en de overhandiging van een erediploma aan de Duitse kunstgeleerde, dit in aanwezigheid van leden van het ‘Deutsches Institut’ te Brussel, waaronder weinig of geen Nazi-Iui, doch mooie jonge vrouwen, want vrouwelijk schoon heeft steeds de ‘Perseïden’ gesierd…

Een ‘Perseïde’ van over de ‘schreve’ was de Frans-Vlaamse priester Gantois, een persoonlijke vriend van de niet-katholieke Juliane Gabriëls, die reeds in het begin van de bezetting onder een deknaam een studie gewijd had aan het toen aktuele onderwerp ‘tot waar strekken zich de Nederlanden in Frankrijk uit?’ Natuurlijk tot aan de Somme! Ik licht hierbij dan uit mijn bibliotheek een vijfdelig boek uit de 18e eeuw (met een ‘imprimatur’ van 24 juni 1768) dat heet ‘Les delices des Pays-Bas ou description geographique et historique des XVII. Provinces Belgiques’, met een ‘Descriptio particuliere du Duche de Brabant et du Brabant Wallon’ .

In het Nederlands luidt dit boek (op de titelplaat) ‘Het Schouwburg der Nederlanden’, want de drukker-uitgever ervan was de Antwerpenaar C.M. Spanooghe, ‘Imprimeur-Ubraire’, gevestigd ‘sur la place de la Sucrerie’ (sic!). Een merkwaardige toeristische gids avant la lettre, waarvan de ‘Denombrement’ of inhoudstafel niet enkel de XVII provincies omvat, waaronder het hertogdom Luxemburg, het graafschap Artesie, het graafschap Henegouwen, enz., doch eveneens o.m. Waals Brabant, Frans-Vlaanderen, het Kamerijkse, ja zelfs het Prinsbisdom Luik en het Akense, dus een gedeelte van het huidige Duitslandl Aldus een echt kluitje voor de kultuteie expansiegeest van de ‘Perseïden’ die anderzijds niet terugdeinsden voor een kijk op de bestendige culturele invloed van de Nederlanden tot ver in Oost-Duitsland, o.m. Dantzig en Königsberg, ja ook in Zuid-Duitsland , tot in Tyrool (Innsbrück) en ook Frankrijk en Italië.

Een mooi geschenk in die zin was een in 1937 verschenen ‘Deutsch-Niederländische Symphonie’ onder leiding van Dr R. Oszwald en met een speciale hulde aan Prof. Raf Verhulst. Op het kaft prijkt een mooie foto van het Lierse stadhuis! Hier waren eveneens ‘Perseïden’, bewust of onbewust, aan het werk geweest. Ik denk o.m. aan de gewezen echtgenoot van Juliane Gabriels, Dr Martin Konrad en ons beider persoonlijke Nederduitse vriend Franz Fromme, of eerder Franske, de olijke anti-nazi, die het vertikte gedurende de bezetting een uniform te dragen en die aan zijn hiërarchische chef ooit de vraag stelde: ‘een uniform dragen? Wilt u dan dat ik zelfmoord pleeg?’ Deze kleine anekdote moge een, tenminste voorlopig eindpunt stellen aan rnijn beknopt relaas van wat het bewust of onbewust Diets cultureel ‘verzet’ geweest is van de kleine vriendengroep der ‘geheime Perseïden’ … Maar er bestond eveneens een politiek ‘Diets Verzet’!


Bij het redigeren van het hiervoor afgedrukt ‘Geheim der Perseïden’ zijn allerlei bedenkingen en bijkomende vaststellingen en wellicht niet altijd noodzakelijke toevoegingen aan mijn betoog komen opdoemen. En in de eerste plaats dan bedenkingen en vaststellingen bij het oorlogsgeweld dat niet voor elkeen geweld betekende. Inderdaad, zo dit geweld onvervangbaar cultuurgoed vernietigde, bracht het eveneens een cultuur opbloei mee, ten minste in onze Westerse landen. Gedurende de laatste wereldoorlog zijn in Vlaanderen uitgeverijen en vooral boekhandels als paddestoelen na de regen in groot ge tal uit de grond gerezen. Men verkocht soms zelfs mooie vergulde boekbanden aan de lopende meter… En het muziek- en toneelleven dan: talloze concerten, oprichting van nieuwe muziekensembles zoals een Vlaams filharmonisch orkest te Brussel en, eveneens te Brussel, de hernieuwing van de Alhambraschouwburg als operahuis. Ik herinner me, enkele dagen voor de ‘bevrijding van Brussel’, in augustus 1944, een opvoering van ‘De Vliegende Hollander’ . Begin september was er een Amerikaanse musicalshow met mooie, halfnaakte girls in ruil gekomen…
Amerikaanse cultuur?

Maar het oorlogsgebeuren brengt eveneens allerlei ontsporingen mee, vooral bij extraverte en ambitieuze naturen, zoals bv. een atheneumleraar die zich plots ontpopte als een toekomstig gouwleider of een dichter die zich reeds een Vlaamse Goebbels waande. Ja zelfs een naïeve Cyriel Verschaeve die het slagwoord van Rene De Clercq omvormde tot een potsierlijk ‘Wij zijn Duitsers, geen Latijnen’, in de waan dat het Nazi-Duitsland de mythe van het Heilig Roomse Rijk der Duitse Natie had doen herrijzen met een Hitler als de door de profetieën aangekondigde ‘derde Frederik’…

Aan de andere zijde, de zijde van ‘de goede Belgen’, zien we hoe de hoofdconservator van een onzer grote musea zijn museum, in mei 1940, in de steek liet om naar Engeland te vluchten om dan in 1944 naar het ‘bevrijde vaderland’ terug te keren als kapitein van het Belgische leger; een eenvoudige Gentse schoolmeester ontpopte zich tot kapitein van de ‘weerstand’, om achteraf diktator van de moderne kunst in Belgie te worden, terwijl een misdadiger van gemeenrecht als grote ‘weerstander’ uit Dachau terugkeerde, twintig kilo verzwaard, en in 1945 kabinetschef van een socialistische minister werd, om achteraf een hoge functie in een ministerie te bekleden… Er dient echter gezegd dat dezelfde man, in september 1940, een ‘Jeunesse Socialiste Nationale’ (hoe vertaalt men dit in het Nederlands?) had willen opdrichten.

Een andere goede socialist en volgeling van Hendrik De Man, en toekomstige hoge functionaris van de Spaarkas, had op datzelfde ogenblik een milde ‘Socialiste Nationale’ willen stichten… Gelukkig voor hen werd het hen door de Duitse bezetter niet toegelaten!


Doch laat ons tot ‘Het geheim der Perseïden’ terugkomen, om dan te herinneren aan een prent van Harrewijn uit Rubens’ tijd die ons de tuingevel van het Rubenshuis aan de Wapper toont waarop duidelijk, als een uithangbord, een voorstelling van Andromeda’s verlossing door Perseus te ontwaren is. Voor Dr Juliane Gabriëls was het een duidelijke bevestiging dat Rubens wel degelijk een lid van het geheim genootschap der ‘Perseïden’ geweest was…

Een andere stelling van Juliane Gabriëls was dat Rubens niet te Siegen geboren werd, zoals thans algemeen wordt beweerd, doch wel te Antwerpen.

Tot in het midden van verleden eeuw werd nog, historisch getrouw, aangenomen dat het te Keulen en niet te Siegen was. Ik bezit het programmaboekje van de feestelijkheden die te Antwerpen plaatsvonden van 15 tot 25 augustus 1840 ter gelegenheid van de inhuldiging van het standbeeld van P.P. Rubens op de Groenplaats aldaar. In een voorafgaande korte levensbeschrijving van de kunstenaar is deze nog steeds te Keulen geboren, en in 1840 of 1841, moet Victor Hugo nog zijn geboortehuis te Keulen bezocht hebben als toeristische bezienswaardigheid (cfr. ‘Le Rhin’, 1842).

In de ‘Aanteekeningen over den grooten meester en zijne bloedverwanten’, van de Antwerpse stadsarchivaris P. Genard, verschenen in 1877, vindt men trouwens op pagina 193 het volgende: ‘Omgeven van de zorgen eener teedere moeder en van duurbare verwanten, gaf Maria Pijpelinckx te Antwerpen, waarschijnlijk in het huis harer zuster Suzanna, het licht aan eenen zoon die den voorvaderlijken naam van’ Peeter ontving en later met fierheid den titel van geboren poorter van Antwerpen droeg.’ Het is hier niet de plaats om verder in te gaan op de echte geboorteplaats van Peter-Paulus Rubens: Siegen, Keulen of Antwerpen? Ik zal er echter aan toevoegen dat men op de Meir, te Antwerpen, een pand vindt dat, in het Latijn en met een borstbeeld van de kunstenaar, beweert zijn geboortehuis aldaar te zijn, alhoewel het slechts een huis uit de 18′ eeuw moet zijn. Hetgeen in bezettingstijd voor de ‘Perseïden’ vooral telde was dat Rubens wel te Antwerpen, in Brabant, geboren werd en niet te Siegen, in Duitsland… Dr Juliane Gabriëls, waarvan ik me als geestelijke erfgenaam beschouw (ik bezit van haar onuitgegeven geschriften, waaronder een uitgebreide stamboom van de familie Rubens), was een verwoede verdedigster van de geboorte te Antwerpen van de ‘zoon van de triomf’, zoals ze P.P. Rubens heette.


Alvorens dit reeds al te lang postscriptum te besluiten wil ik nog wijzen op een ander stokpaardje van Dr Juliane Gabriëls en haar vriendenkring, namelijk een te herwaarderen Vlaamse, thans totaal vergeten Jeanne d’ Arc. Zo ik me niet vergis, kent men niet eens meer haar naam en bekommeren de historici zich niet om haar bestaan. Ze was nochtans de ziel en de geestelijke aanvoerster van het Vlaamse heir dat onder het bevel stond van Filips van Artevelde en dat in 1382 te Westrozebeke vers lagen werd door Filips de Stoute en de Franse koning Charles VI.

Dit mochten de ‘Perseïden’ vernemen in ‘Het Schouwburg der Nederlanden’ dat het optekende in een ‘Histoire du Moine de St. Denis, auteur contemporain, mise en François par M. le Laboureur’ . We lezen  aldus: ‘les Flamands étaient conduits par une vieille Sorcière, qui les avait assurés de la victoire, pourvu qu’on lui donnât à porter la bannière de St. Georges. Il ajoute que cette femme fut tuee au commencement du combat. Il y aurait bien des reflexions à faire sur cette particularité, qui n’a pas êté assez remarquée par les Historiens modernes.’ Ik zou nog verder kunnen citeren, maar zal het hierbij houden. ‘Het Schouwburg der Nederlanden’ verscheen in 1786 en tot hiertoe heeft geen enkele ‘Historien moderne’ het achterhaald wie deze ‘Sorcière’ kon geweest zijn. Dr Juliane Gabriels, als goede Vlaamse feministe en logezuster, heeft haar vrienden ‘Perseïden’ trachten te overhalen dit op te sporen. Het is nog niet gebeurd en ik ben, helaas, geen historicus doch slechts een Groot-Nederlander, thans eveneens, alhoewel door de na-oorlogse surrealistjes verketterd, als de ‘laatste historische surrealist’ beschouwd…

Diogenes, nr. 1, mei 1992, p. 99-103.

dimanche, 27 février 2011

Eurofaschismus und bürgerliche Decadenz


Benedikt Kaiser: Eurofaschismus und bürgerliche Dekadenz


Benedikt Kaiser: Eurofaschismus und bürgerliche Dekadenz
Benedikt Kaiser: Eurofaschismus und bürgerliche Dekadenz
Benedikt Kaiser: Eurofaschismus und bürgerliche Dekadenz

Europakonzeption und Gesellschaftskritik bei Pierre Drieu la Rochelle

Pierre Drieu la Rochelle (1893–1945) schied im März 1945 durch Freitod aus dem Leben. Fluchtofferten ins befreundete Ausland lehnte der französische Intellektuelle, der im Zweiten Weltkrieg mit der deutschen Besatzungsmacht kollaboriert hatte, kategorisch ab. „Man muß Verantwortung auf sich nehmen“, schrieb er kurz vor dem Suizid in seinem Geheimen Bericht.

Drieu la Rochelle war nicht nur ein gefeierter Romancier von Weltrang, er galt auch seinen Zeitgenossen als Ausnahme-intellektueller. In seinen Romanen, besonders in Die Unzulänglichen, kritisierte Drieu die Dekadenz des von ihm so verachteten Bürgertums. Parallel zum Reifungsprozeß seiner Romanprotagonisten entwickelte sich auch Drieu zum Mann der „Tat“, der „direkten Aktion“... zum Faschisten.

Die Kollaboration Drieus mit der deutschen Besatzungsmacht in Frankreich war keine Kapitulation vor dem Feinde, sondern vielmehr der Versuch, eine ideologische Front zu schmieden. Der wahre Feind sei nicht der boche, der „Deutsche“, sondern der bourgeois, der „Bürger“. Gegen die Dekadenz könne, so glaubte Drieu, nur gemeinsam vorgegangen werden: einzig ein im Faschismus geeintes Europa habe die Kraft, sich innerer Dekadenz und äußerer Feinde zu erwehren und genuin europäisch zu bleiben.

Die vorliegende Studie erkennt in Drieu la Rochelle einen modernen Europäer, der den Nationalismus hinter sich gelassen hatte. Benedikt Kaiser bettet den französischen Intellektuellen und sein Werk in den historischen Kontext der diversen europäischen Faschismen ein. Im Anhang findet sich ein Auszug aus Drieu la Rochelles Geheimem Bericht, der sein politisches Testament darstellt und das Handeln des Denkers nicht entschuldigen will, sondern es in einem letzten Akt bekräftigt.

Mit einem Vorwort von Günter Maschke!




von Günter Maschke

1. Zum Anliegen der Arbeit

1.1 Fragestellung und Methodik
1.2 Forschungsstand und Quellenkritik

2. Pierre Drieu la Rochelle und die politische Theorienbildung

2.1 Politische Biographie

2.2 Ein früher Begleiter: der „Lehrmeister“ Friedrich Nietzsche
2.3 Ideengeber Georges Sorels: décadence, Mythos, Gewalt
2.4 Charles Maurras und der integrale Nationalismus

3. Gesellschaftskritik im schriftstellerischen Werk Drieu la Rochelles

3.1 Der Frauenmann
3.2 Verträumte Bourgeoisie (Revêuse bourgeoisie)
3.3 Die Unzulänglichen (Gilles)

4. Drieus Position in der faschistischen Ideologie Frankreichs

4.1 Drieu la Rochelle und die Action Française
4.2 Verhältnis zum Partei-Faschismus: Der PPF und Jacques Doriot

5. Zwischen Engagement und Enthaltung: Drieu la Rochelle und die französischen Intellektuellen

5.1 „Feindliche Brüder“? – Die antifaschistischen Schriftsteller
5.2 Versuchung Faschismus: Von Paul Marion bis Lucien Rebatet
5.3 Die Selbstwahrnehmung Drieu la Rochelles

6. Der faschistische Traum von Europa

6.1 Eurofaschismus? Begriffsklärung eines Phänomens
6.2 Eurofaschismus unter Waffen: Der Weg Léon Degrelles
6.3 „Europe a Nation!“ – Wesen und Wollen Sir Oswald Mosleys
6.4 Europakonzeption bei Pierre Drieu la Rochelle

7. Zusammenfassung

8. Appendix

9. Literaturverzeichnis

9.1 Sekundärliteratur
9.2 Quellen

10. Abkürzungen

11. Namens- und Sachregister


In der Reihe KIGS sind des weiteren erschienen:

Kämpfer um ein drittes Reich:

Arthur Moeller van den Bruck und sein Kreis
(KIGS 2).

Dritter Weg und wahrer Staat:

Othmar Spann – Ideengeber der Konservativen Revolution
(KIGS 3).

Autor: Benedikt Kaiser
Veröffentlichungsjahr: 2011
Reihe: Kieler ideengeschichtliche Studien, Band 5
Seitenzahl: 160
Abbildungen: s/w.
Bindeart: engl. Broschur (Klappenbroschur) im Großformat (14,5 x 22,5 cm)
Preis: 18,95 Euro

samedi, 12 février 2011

Nazisme et révolution


À propos de Fabrice Bouthillon, Nazisme et Révolution. Histoire théologique du national-socialisme. 1789-1989 (Fayard, coll. Commentaire, 2011).

 «Que vienne à paraître un homme, ayant le naturel qu’il faut, et voilà que par lui, tout cela est secoué, mis en pièces : il s’échappe, il foule aux pieds nos formules, nos sorcelleries, nos incantations, et ces lois, qui, toutes sans exception, sont contraires à la nature. Notre esclave s’est insurgé, et s’est révélé maître.»
Platon, Gorgias, 483d-484a.

Ex: http://stalker.hautetfort.com/

Finalement, le lecteur pressé ou le journaliste n'auront pas besoin de lire de sa première à sa dernière page le curieux essai* de Fabrice Bouthillon puisque, dès la première ligne du livre, la thèse de l'auteur est condensée en une seule phrase : «Le nazisme a été la réponse de l’histoire allemande à la question que lui avait posée la révolution française» (p. 11). À proprement parler, cette thèse n'est pas franchement une nouveauté puisque Jacques Droz, dans L’Allemagne et la Révolution française, sur les brisées d'un Stern ou d'un Gooch, l'avait déjà illustrée en 1950, en montrant comment la Révolution française avait influencé quelques-uns des grands courants d'idées qui, comme le romantisme selon cet auteur, ont abouti à la déhiscence puis au triomphe du Troisième Reich.
La thèse de Bouthillon est, quoi qu'il en soit, fort simple, ses détracteurs diront simpliste (voire tout bonnement fausse) et ses thuriféraires, évidente sinon lumineuse : «À Paris en 1789, le contrat social européen se déchire, la Gauche et la Droite se définissent et se séparent. La béance qui en était résultée était demeurée ouverte depuis lors. Sur la fin du XIXe siècle, le conflit mondial qui commençait à se profiler semblait devoir l’approfondir encore» (p. 77).
Le constat est imparable, le travail de démonstration peut-être moins, sauf dans les tout derniers chapitres de l'ouvrage de Bouthillon, de loin les plus intéressants. Les coups contre la Gauche pleuvent ainsi dans l'ouvrage de Fabrice Bouthillon, qu'il s'agisse de critiques radicales, touchant ses plus profondes assises intellectuelles ou bien de rapprochements, assez faciles à faire il est vrai, entre celle-ci et le nazisme. Ainsi, s'appuyant sur une lecture contre-révolutionnaire de l'histoire, Fabrice Bouthillon peut écrire, fort justement, que : «L’idée, essentielle à la démarche de toute Gauche, d’un homme hors de tout contrat, d’un homme dans l’état de nature, est donc une pure contradiction dans les termes. La nature de l’homme, c’est la société; pour l’humanité, la nature, c’est la culture. Et voilà pourquoi la politique révolutionnaire cherche à s’élaborer sur un fondement qui doit forcément lui manquer : il n’est pas au pouvoir des hommes d’instituer l’humanité; la politique n’est pas quelque chose que l’homme pourrait constituer, mais qui le constitue. La fondation de la Cité, de la politique, de l’humanité, exigerait des forces supérieures aux forces humaines; or les révolutionnaires sont des hommes, en force de quoi, la tâche à laquelle ils s’obligent est donc vouée à l’échec» (p. 26).
C'est sur ce constat d'échec que, selon Bouthillon, le nazisme va fonder son éphémère empire, d'autant plus éphémère que, comme n'importe quel autre gouvernement n'ayant son origine que dans une sphère strictement temporelle ou séculière, il périra, qu'importe, nous le verrons, la facilité avec laquelle il tentera, au moment de s'effondrer, de récupérer les emblèmes et symboles du christianisme.
Concernant les rapprochements entre les emblèmes et les symboles de la Gauche et ceux du nazisme (1), nous pouvons lire ceci, lorsque Bouthillon analyse longuement et de manière fort convaincante la première proclamation publique du programme du parti nazi, faite le 24 février 1920 : «les hommes de Gauche présent à la Hofbräuhaus ont pu finir par brailler «Heil Hitler !» avec les autres, parce que Hitler leur a tenu des propos et leur a fait accomplir des gestes dans lesquels ils se retrouvaient. Par le nazisme, la Gauche n’a pas été seulement contrainte; elle a aussi été séduite» (p. 162) et, surtout, cette autre longue évocation de points communs entre les deux ennemis qui n'ont pas toujours été, loin s'en faut, irréductibles : «ce qui compte, pour comprendre ce qui se passe dans la salle archétypique [le 24 février 1920 : première proclamation publique du programme du parti nazi] où le récit de Mein Kampf transporte le lecteur, et comment la révélation du programme contribue à y créer peu à peu l’unité, c’est d’abord de se souvenir qu’il comprend vingt-cinq articles, ce qui permet de faire monter peu à peu la sauce de l’enthousiasme; et que, dans le lot, il y en a bien neuf qui relèvent incontestablement du patrimoine politique de la Gauche, ce qui permet à ceux des siens qui restent encore dans l’auditoire de s’y joindre progressivement. Point 7, l’État a le devoir de procurer aux citoyens des moyens d’existence : c’est le droit au travail, tel que revendiqué par la révolution de 1848. Point 9, tous les citoyens ont les mêmes droits et les mêmes devoirs : c’est l’égalité devant la loi, type 1789. Point 10, tout citoyen a le devoir de travailler, et le bien collectif doit primer sur l’intérêt individuel : c’est le noyau de tout socialisme. Point 11, suppression du revenu des oisifs, et de l’esclavage de l’intérêt : mais c’est du Besancenot, nos vies valent plus que leurs profits. Point 12, confiscation des bénéfices de guerre : à la bonne heure; point 13, nationalisation des trusts : quoi de mieux ? Point 14, hausse des retraites; point 17, réforme agraire – on en revenait aux Gracques – avec possibilité d’expropriation sans indemnité pour utilité publique; point 20, enfin, l’égalité de tous les enfants devant l’école, façon Ferry» (pp. 163-4).
Rappelant les analyse de Michel Dreyfus dans L’Antisémitisme à gauche (Éditions La Découverte, 2009), l'auteur ne craint pas d'enfoncer le clou lorsqu'il affirme qu'une autre partie du programme nazi n'a pas pu manquer de plaire à la Gauche, à savoir, son antisémitisme viscéral : «Mais il faut aller plus loin encore, et dire que ces points-là n’étaient pas les seuls du programme nazi qui, sous la République de Weimar, pouvaient susciter l’approbation d’un auditoire de Gauche. Cinq autres articles visaient les Juifs. Les points 5, 6, 7, les excluaient de la citoyenneté allemande, et donc aussi de la vie politique nationale; l’article 23 les excluait de la presse et de la vie culturelle; l’article 24 proclamait le respect du parti nazi envers un «christianisme positif», pour mieux condamner «l’esprit judéo-matérialiste». or cette thématique pouvait elle aussi constituer un appât pour la Gauche, et il est, de ce point de vue, très suggestif, qu’à l’arraché tant qu’on voudra, l’unanimité n’ait vraiment été atteinte dans la salle, le 24 février 1920, que sur le vote d’une résolution antisémite» (p. 164).
Bouthillon poursuit sa démonstration en insistant sur la spécificité du nazisme, qui parvint à concilier, un temps du moins, Droite et Gauche et ainsi refermer la plaie qu'avait ouverte la Révolution française en séparant, historiquement, les deux frères irréconciliables partout ailleurs qu'en France selon l'auteur (2) : «Or, dans l’histoire allemande, la nazisme constitue à la fois l’apogée de la haine entre la Gauche et la Droite, parce qu’il est né de la Droite la plus extrême et qu’il vomit la Gauche, et, en même temps, l’ébauche de leur réconciliation, précisément parce qu’il se veut un national-socialisme, unissant donc, à un nationalisme d’extrême-Droite, un socialisme d’extrême-Gauche. Vu sous cet angle, sa nature politique la plus authentique est donc celle d’un centrisme, mais par addition des extrêmes; et c’est pourquoi il peut espérer parvenir en Allemagne à une véritable refondation» (p. 173). Au sujet de cette thèse de Bouthillon, sans cesse répétée dans son ouvrage, de la création du nazisme par l'addition des extrêmes, notons ce passage : «pour que la Droite mute en l’une de ces formes de totalitarisme que sont les fascismes, il faut qu’elle accepte de faire sien un apport spécifique de la Gauche, et même de l’extrême-Gauche» (pp. 189-90).
Toutes ces pages (hormis celles, peut-être, du chapitre 2 consacré à Bismarck) sont intéressantes et écrites dans un style maîtrisé, moins vif cependant que celui d'un Éric Zemmour. Elles n'évoquent cependant point directement le sujet même qui donne son sous-titre à l'ouvrage de Bouthillon. Il faut ainsi prendre son mal en patience pour découvrir, au dernier chapitre, la thèse pour le moins condensée (en guise de piste de recherche méthodiquement développée, comme celle d'Emilio Gentile exposée dans La Religion fasciste), d'un autre ouvrage de l'auteur intitulé Et le bunker était vide. Une lecture du testament politique d'Adolf Hitler (Hermann, 2007). Car, en guise d'histoire théologique du nazisme que la seule référence à Carl Schmitt évoquant la théologie paulinienne ne peut tout de même combler (3), nous avons droit à une série de rapprochements, parfois quelque peu spécieux (4) entre les derniers faits et gestes de Hitler et ceux du Christ, comme celui-ci : «Le testament qu’il [Hitler] laisse est lui-même conçu comme un équivalent du discours du Christ pendant la dernière Cène, au moment de passer de ce monde à son Père : «je ne vous laisse pas seuls», tel est le thème dominant de ces adieux, dans un dispositif où l’expulsion de Göring et de Himmler hors du Parti pour trahison est l’exact pendant de celle de Judas hors du cénacle» (p. 254).
C'est donc affirmer que, s'il ne faut point considérer Hitler comme l'antichrist (5), il peut à bon droit être vu comme l'un de ses représentants, une idée qui a fait les délices de nombre d'auteurs, dont le sérieux de la recherche est d'ailleurs matière à controverse, tant certaines thèses ont pu sembler loufoques aux historiens du nazisme.
Mais affirmer que Hitler n'est qu'une des figures du Mal, et certainement pas celui-ci en personne si je puis dire nous fait peut-être toucher du doigt la thèse qui semblera véritablement scandaleuse aux yeux des lecteurs : Hitler est un dictateur absolument médiocre, dont le seul coup de génie a été, selon Bouthillon, d'adopter une position centriste qui lui a permis de mélanger habilement les idées et les influences venues des deux extrêmes politiques.
Autant dire que, devant l'effacement des frontières politiques auquel nous assistons de nos jours, la voie est libre pour que naissent une furieuse couvée de petits (ou de grands) Hitler qui, soyons-en certains, auront à cœur de venger l'honneur de leur père putatif et surtout de lire le testament aux accents fondamentalement religieux selon Bouthillon que le chef déchu leur aura laissé juste avant de se suicider et de faire disparaître son corps, comme une ultime parodie démoniaque de l'absence du cadavre du Christ.

* Livre dont Jean-Luc Evard donnera, ici même, une critique véritable, ce que la mienne n'est évidemment point qui se contente de dégager les grands axes de la démonstration de Bouthillon.
littérature,critique littéraire,histoire,nazisme,révolution française,théologie politique,fabrice bouthillon,éditions fayard(1) Sur le salut nazi, Fabrice Bouthillon affirme : «Ce geste fasciste par excellence, qu’est le salut de la main tendue, n’est-il pas au fond né à Gauche ? N’a-t-il pas procédé d’abord de ces votes à main levée dans les réunions politiques du parti, avant d’être militarisé ensuite par le raidissement du corps et le claquement des talons – militarisé et donc, par là, droitisé, devenant de la sorte le symbole le plus parfait de la capacité nazie à faire fusionner, autour de Hitler, valeurs de la Gauche et valeurs de la Droite ? Car il y a bien une autre origine possible à ce geste, qui est la prestation de serment le bras tendu; mais elle aussi est, en politique, éminemment de Gauche, puisque le serment prêté pour refonder, sur l’accord des volontés individuelles, une unité politique dissoute, appartient au premier chef à la liste des figures révolutionnaires obligées, dans la mesure même où la dissolution du corps politique, afin d’en procurer la restitution ultérieure, par l’engagement unanime des ex-membres de la société ancienne, est l’acte inaugural de toute révolution. Ainsi s’explique que la prestation du serment, les mains tendues, ait fourni la matière de l’une des scènes les plus topiques de la révolution française – et donc aussi, qu’on voie se dessiner, derrière le tableau par Hitler du meeting de fondation du parti nazi, celui, par David, du Serment du Jeu de Paume» (p. 171).
(2) «À partir de 1918, il n’est donc plus contestable qu’une voie particulière s’ouvre dans l’histoire de l’Europe pour l’une des nations qui la composent. Mais c’est la voie française. Parce que, sur le continent, pour la France, et pour la France seulement, la victoire pérennise alors la réconciliation de la Gauche et de la Droite qui s’était opérée dans l’Union sacrée, le clairon du 11 novembre ferme pour elle l’époque qui s’était ouverte avec la Révolution, et la République devient aussi légitime à Paris que la monarchie avait pu l’être avant 1789. Mais partout ailleurs sur le continent, c’est la défaite, dès 1917 pour la Russie, en 1918 pour l’Allemagne, en 1919, autour du tapis vert, pour l’Italie» (p. 107). Cet autre passage éclaire notre propos : «La période qui va de 1789 à 1914 avait été dominée par la séparation de la Gauche et de la Droite provoquée par la révolution française, et l’Allemagne avait perdu la chance que l’union sacrée lui avait donnée de refermer cette brèche. Du coup, la logique de la situation créée par la Révolution perdure, s’amplifie, se durcit : à Droite, la brutalisation exacerbe les nationalismes, à Gauche, elle surexcite l’universalisme, jusqu’à en tirer le bolchevisme. Moyennant quoi, la nécessité de mettre un terme à cette fracture se fait, au même rythme, plus impérieuse» (p. 197).
(3) «Rétablir l’Empire, réunir l’extrême Gauche et l’extrême Droite : Hitler aussi s’est donné ces deux objectifs, et la parenté de son entreprise avec celle de Napoléon ne doit donc rien au hasard. Elle vient de ce que le nazisme est né de l’effondrement révolutionnaire du katekhon aussi directement que le bonapartisme en est sorti. Comme ce qui se passe en Allemagne en 1933 vise à combler le gouffre, un moment refermé en 1914, mais rouvert dès 1918, qui béait sous la politique européenne depuis qu’en 1789, la Révolution avait mis un terme au prolongement que, durant près de quatorze siècles, le régime de Chrétienté avait procuré à l’Empire romain, la dimension antichristique du nazisme en découle immédiatement, faite d’opposition radicale au christianisme et de ressemblance avec lui, de ressemblance avec lui pour cause d’opposition radicale à lui» (pp. 262-3). Auparavant, l'auteur aura évoqué, tirant profit des thèses bien connues de René Girard (cf. p. 198) sur la violence mimétique, la volonté (et son exécution) d'exterminer les Juifs par une analyse du gouffre en question et des façons pour le moins radicales de le combler : «La Droite continentale tient qu’on ne peut quitter le contrat ancien, qu’il est en fait impossible de déchirer définitivement; la Droite insulaire [avec Burke], elle, démontre qu’on ne peut parvenir à un contrat nouveau. Or la Révolution s’étant pourtant bel et bien produite, il en résulte qu’on se trouve dans un état limbaire, intermédiaire entre ces deux vérités. On est entre l’Ancien Régime, chrétien, où la Victime, sur le sacrifice de laquelle reposait en dernière analyse tout l’ordre social, depuis la mise en place de l’augustinisme politique, était le Christ, régime qu’on ne peut totalement oublier – et le nouveau contrat social, qui, par hypothèse, ne devra plus rien au christianisme, mais auquel on ne peut atteindre. Eh bien, la solution intermédiaire est de refonder l’unité sur la haine du Juif : ce n’est plus le régime ancien, ça tient donc du nouveau; mais ce n’est pas un régime absolument nouveau, et ça tient donc de l’ancien : puisque dans l’ancien, en la personne du Christ, déjà la victime était juive» (p. 199).
(4) Ainsi du rapprochement opéré par l'auteur entre Eva Braun / Adolf Hitler et Ève / Adam, cf. p. 251-2.
(5) «En dictant son testament politique, Hitler visait à s’ériger en une espèce de dieu; faire de lui le Diable, comme y concourent avec ensemble de nos jours les médias, politiques et institutions d’enseignement, c’est l’aider à atteindre son but. S’il y avait cependant une leçon à retenir de la théologie de l’Antéchrist, ce serait pourtant que du mal, il n’a été qu’une des figures, et qu’il y aura pire – un pire que peu fort bien servir cette espèce de sacralisation perverse dont notre époque le fait jouir, grosse d’effets en retour au bout desquels nous ne sommes probablement pas rendus» (p. 268).

mardi, 08 février 2011

Churchill: More Myth than Legend


Churchill: More Myth than Legend

by Patrick Foy

Ex: http://takimag.com/

Last week a country-club Republican friend in Palm Beach gave me a copy of The Weekly Standard and urged me to read “A World in Crisis: What the thirties tell us about today” by opinion editor Matthew Continetti. The article would have the reader believe that the universe’s fate hinged upon a little-known 1931 Manhattan traffic accident involving Winston Churchill.

Churchill was crossing Fifth Avenue at 76th Street in the late evening of December 13th, 1931 on his way to Bernard Baruch’s apartment for a powwow when he looked the wrong way, crossed against the light, and was sideswiped by a car going 30MPH. The hapless statesman spent over a week in Lenox Hill Hospital recovering from a sprained shoulder, facial lacerations, and a mild concussion, all of which required a doctor’s prescription for “alcoholic spirits especially at meal times.” Continetti mentions “the granularity of history,” whatever that means: “If the car had been traveling just a little bit faster, the history of the twentieth century would have been irrevocably altered.” True enough, but for the better or the worse?

Continetti would argue that this chance mishap worked out for the best. His premise is that the 1930s were dangerous times much like our own, and it took the astute Winston Churchill to come to humanity’s rescue and make things right: “A few people in December 1931 recognized the growing danger. The patient at Lenox Hill Hospital was one.” Oh, dear. What bilge.

The Weekly Standard, as well as National Review Online and Commentary Magazine, all belong to the same faux-conservative neocon fraternity which hijacked Washington starting with H. W. Bush in the Cold War’s aftermath and has demolished any hope of a “peace dividend” ever since.

Fighting fire with gasoline is not generally a good idea, and Islamic extremism is a logical byproduct of the Tel Aviv-Washington alliance. Hence, the slow-motion downfall of the world’s “indispensable nation” is now upon us. It reminds me of the sad state of Little England in WWII’s aftermath, all thanks to Sir Winston’s myopic leadership.

Neocon opportunists have grabbed Churchill as one of their own. He is always linked to the presumed “good war” and has been glorified to the skies as a result. But what if that car had been traveling faster down Fifth Avenue in 1931 and knocked the British bulldog into the next world? Could the Second World War have been avoided altogether?

“Neocon opportunists have grabbed Churchill as one of their own.”

The “good war” resulted in approximately fifty million fatalities worldwide, left Europe a starved and blasted continent, destroyed the far-flung British and French empires, brought the Soviets into Europe’s heart for more than forty years, and handed China over to Mao Tse-tung.

Churchill actively participated in making World War II a global conflict. He promoted war’s outbreak in Europe in the summer of 1939, utilizing the Versailles Treaty’s last unresolved issue: Danzig and the Polish Corridor. Prime Minister Chamberlain gave Poland a blanket guarantee of the status quo, terminating a negotiated settlement and making war between Berlin and Warsaw inevitable.

In 1941, Churchill withheld vital information from the Hawaiian commanders about an imminent outbreak of hostilities. London’s Far East code-breakers had cracked the Japanese naval code, JN-25, and Churchill had access to it. The “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor turned the European conflict into a truly global war. It was Pearl Harbor that saved Churchill’s backside and rescued the Roosevelt presidency.

Churchill had some surprisingly positive things to say about Hitler prior to the invasion of Poland. In Francis Neilson’s The Churchill Legend Neilson quotes what Churchill wrote about the German leader in a letter to himself dated September 17th, 1937 and included in Step by Step, published in 1939:

“One may dislike Hitler’s system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we would find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.”

Along the same lines, Neilson cites the 1937 book Great Contemporaries, in which Churchill states that Hitler’s life’s story “cannot be read without admiration for the courage, the perseverance, and the vital force which enabled him to challenge, defy, conciliate, or overcome, all the authorities or resistances which barred his path.”

I’m now wondering about pre-1931. If the twentieth century could have been “irrevocably altered” by Churchill’s brush with death in a traffic accident between the World Wars, what if Churchill had never been engaged in politics in the first place? For the answer, one has only to get a copy of The Churchill Legend and read it. Francis Neilson, who was a member of Parliament at the outbreak of the Great War, claimed to have known Churchill longer than anyone alive.

The list of disasters Churchill presided over prior to the Second World War includes the fiasco at Gallipoli, the Lusitania’s sinking (when Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty), and the issuance of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 by the British War Cabinet, which opened a Pandora’s box from which has sprung endless injustice and bloodshed in the Middle East. Not that Churchill deserves the sole credit for these disasters, but his fingerprints are there. He was certainly involved at the highest level. Both the sinking of the Lusitania and the Balfour Declaration were the byproducts of a desperate strategy to drag America into the Great War.

One gets the impression from reading Neilson that Churchill’s entire public career—grounded in both World Wars—shows indisputable evidence of incompetence, opportunism, ruthlessness, mendacity, and bad judgment. Yes, history is repeating itself.

mercredi, 02 février 2011

Niccolo Giani e la Mistica della rivoluzione fascista

Niccolò Giani e la Mistica della rivoluzione fascista

Autore: Andrea Strummiello

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


Il suo nome ai più non dirà molto. Ma Niccolò Giani fu uno dei più importanti, radicali e oltranzisti esponenti del Fascismo rivoluzionario. Fu, infatti, tra i fondatori, nonché uno dei massimi rappresentanti, della Scuola di Mistica Fascista (SMF). Vissuto il suo ideale fino all’ultimo respiro, morì combattendo sul fronte greco nel 1941, ricevendo, per l’esempio offerto, la medaglia d’oro al valore. Tutto questo, mentre molti “fascisti” – le virgolette sono d’obbligo – s’imboscavano in patria, nascondendosi dietro la retorica di vuoti slogan e sterili parole d’ordine. Quegli stessi che, dopo il 1945, seppero bene in che direzione riciclarsi.

Oggi, con il titolo Mistica della rivoluzione fascista. Antologia di scritti, 1932-1941, la casa editrice catanese Il Cinabro (ufficiostampa@ilcinabro.it) porta alla luce i suoi scritti più significativi, fino ad ora mai ripubblicati. L’antologia prodotta – 268 pagine di passione, analisi politica e militanza vissuta – è un quadro completo ed esplicativo non solo della sua figura, ma anche dell’anima più intransigente della Scuola. Negli scritti di Giani si percepisce, infatti, in modo assolutamente lucido, puntuale e analitico, l’intento della SMF: vivere radicalmente, senza compromessi né mezze misure, lo spirito rivoluzionario dei primi anni del Fascismo. Quello stesso spirito che col passare del tempo e con la strutturazione del partito in regime, con le sue logiche di potere e la tendenza di molti a cavalcarne l’onda per fini personali, si stava ormai perdendo.

Nei testi di Giani si può osservare come quei compromessi di partito venissero, in modo radicale, combattuti e tentati d’estirpare dallo spirito degli appartenenti alla Scuola di Mistica. Ma nel libro non si ritrova solo un’analisi politica contestuale al suo tempo. Si trova anche una visione politica e storica d’insieme dai tratti chiari e netti, in cui il tentativo lampante (si veda, a questo proposito, l’articolo La marcia ideale sul mondo della Civiltà fascista), è quello di superare le categorie politiche derivanti dalle visioni materialistiche, razionalistiche ed economicistiche sorte dal 1789, per dar spazio ad una visione del mondo basata sullo spirito e sulla dedizione totale e incondizionata all’idea e al suo capo.
«Nudi alla meta», non a caso, era uno dei motti dei mistici, che avevano in Arnaldo Mussolini, fratello di Benito – e sua “eminenza grigia”- il loro riferimento. Non fu perciò un caso, che ebbero in dono, come sede, “il Covo” di via Paolo da Cannobio a Milano: vecchia sede del Popolo d’Italia e uno dei centri aggregativi dei primi squadristi. Proprio gli squadristi, il loro spirito rivoluzionario e la loro volontà d’affermazione, furono uno dei principali punti di riferimento dei mistici, i quali intendevano farsi strenui difensori di un ideale che sì, si era affermato, ma che andava sempre più imborghesendosi. Non a caso «Ogni rivoluzione – come aveva detto Mussolini ai capi della SMF – ha tre momenti. Si comincia con la Mistica, si continua con la politica, si finisce nell’amministrazione», e la Scuola avrebbe dovuto perpetuare questo primo momento per la totalità della nuova “era”. Era fascista, appunto.

Il libro, dunque, rappresenta un documento unico e di rara importanza, impreziosito da un ricca bibliografia finale, e dagli interessanti saggi introduttivi di Maurizio Rossi e Luca Leonello Rimbotti. Saggi che aiutano il lettore a districarsi in un contesto storico non facile, e nella vita di un fenomeno ancora troppo poco conosciuto: qual è quello della Scuola di Mistica Fascista. Fenomeno che, non a caso, ha visto, negli ultimi anni, un interessamento di pubblico, studiosi e critica sempre maggiore: e di cui il Borghese si è già più volte interessato.

Consigliamo perciò la lettura di questo volume, senza se e senza ma. Si scoprirà così un mondo di «assurdi» e «fanatici» del movimento fascista messi per troppo tempo in soffitta dalla storiografia ufficiale. Ma che ora bussano prepotentemente alla porta della storia.

* * *

Niccolò Giani, Mistica della rivoluzione fascista. Antologia di scritti, 1932-1941 (con saggi introduttivi di M. Rossi e L. L. Rimbotti), Edizioni Il Cinabro, Pp. 268, Euro 15. Articolo tratto da Il Borghese, dicembre 2010.

mardi, 01 février 2011

Il fascismo in America

Il fascismo in America

Autore: Luca Leonello Rimbotti

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

La recente morte dello storico americano John Patrick Diggins ci offre il destro per alcune considerazioni circa l’argomento del suo studio più noto in Italia, L’America, Mussolini e il fascismo, ormai fuori commercio da anni, in quanto pubblicato da Laterza nel lontano 1982, ma originariamente uscito dieci anni prima col titolo Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America, a cura dell’Università di Princeton. Quello di Diggins è un libro famoso, tradotto in molte lingue, ed è stato un po’ l’apripista della scarna bibliografia sui rapporti tra USA e Italia fascista e sull’attività delle organizzazioni del PNF nella repubblica stellata. Ai tempi fecero scandalo, nel provinciale antifascismo nostrano, alcune riflessioni di Diggins sulla generale simpatia mostrata in America per l’avvento al potere di Mussolini, in virtù della sua politica sociale e, soprattutto, in virtù del suo rivoluzionario disegno antropologico di mutare gli Italiani da turba di straccioni emigranti, facili al coltello e al crimine – di cui negli USA si aveva sin dall’Ottocento una sprezzante opinione, venata di non secondarie inflessioni razziste – finalmente in un popolo serio, moderno e disciplinato.

Diggins, che è stato un rinomato studioso dei movimenti politici e in particolare del ruolo degli intellettuali nelle moderne dinamiche della società di massa, ribaltò decennali pregiudizi che in America avevano, sin dai primi flussi migratori, bollato l’Italiano come un delinquente mafioso, e operò di conserva un aggiustamento delle posizioni. Scrisse che «la maggioranza degli Americani approvarono il Fascismo in base alle loro inclinazioni e ai loro bisogni»: ne apprezzarono il lato di movimento di “rinascita nazionale”. E formulò l’originale prospettiva di un Mussolini visto come un “eroe americano”: l’uomo che dal nulla era riuscito a pervenire a un disegno di riedificazione politica che parve esaltante alla mentalità americana, adusa a premiare lo sforzo bagnato dal successo, l’efficientismo e la tenacia dei propositi dell’individuo d’eccezione. Per una volta, era dunque l’Italia che si dimostrava il “Paese delle occasioni”.

Era, questo, ciò che Diggins ha chiamato «il lato oscuro delle valutazioni politiche americane», implicando la storica immaturità ideologica di quel popolo, versato a superficiali simpatie piuttosto che ad approfonditi scandagli di cultura politica. Bisogna pur dire che, come molto spesso accadde all’estero (ma per la verità non solo all’estero), e soprattutto negli anni Venti, l’accoglienza favorevole che venne riservata al Fascismo al suo avvento e per parecchi anni a seguire, si presentò negli Stati Uniti, più che un filo-fascismo, un filo-mussolinismo. Era la figura carismatica dell’uomo d’ordine, del giovane politico decisionista e innovatore, che colpiva gli immaginari anglosassoni, più di quanto non fosse l’ideologia nazionalpopolare che ne animava le scelte, per lo più ignorata nei suoi risvolti, a parte una generica curiosità per il corporativismo. Le simpatie raccolte da Mussolini in quel mondo – pensiamo solo a Churchill o a Franklin Delano Roosevelt – le diremmo per lo più a-fasciste e prive di connotati ideologici, se non per l’aspetto, certo non secondario, del robusto anti-comunismo impersonato dal Duce.

Paradigmatico, in questo senso, è quanto scritto da Diggins, quando riportava autorevoli giudizi di studiosi dell’Università di New York circa un Mussolini visto come «l’uomo della tradizione con il quale Aristotele, San Tommaso o Machiavelli si sarebbero senza imbarazzo trovati a loro agio». Del resto, come giustamente ha ricordato Renzo Santinon in I Fasci italiani all’estero (Settimo Sigillo), il terreno era già stato in precedenza preparato ad esempio da Marinetti, che «seminando il futurismo nel continente americano, aprì negli anni Venti la strada a una lettura avanguardistica ed entusiasmante del fascismo». Poi, a queste iniziali simpatie si aggiunse nel decennio seguente l’importante episodio del grande successo mediatico e d’opinione ottenuto negli USA da Italo Balbo, a seguito delle sue straordinarie imprese aviatorie. L’eccezionale prestigio riservato al trasvolatore fu sancito da un trionfale corteo per le vie di New York, con l’intitolazione di strade e targhe celebrative all’ex-capo squadrista. Tutto questo funzionò certamente da volano per nuovi consensi al Regime fascista, destinati a scemare soltanto a seguito della guerra etiopica (gli Stati Uniti, su sobillazione inglese, parteciparono alle sanzioni anti-italiane votate dalla Società delle Nazioni, di cui pure non facevano parte), volgendosi poi in crescente ostilità solo dopo l’intervento militare del 1940.

Ma, prima, ci fu tutto un lungo intreccio di rapporti tra America e Italia fascista. In cui non mancarono le luci e le ombre. Se la luce era essenzialmente la figura di Mussolini e in specie la sua politica sociale – segnatamente quella relativa alla bonifica delle terre paludose, che riscosse in America larga eco -, le ombre erano date dalla presenza dell’attivismo fascista di base negli Stati Uniti. Qui, spesso, risuonarono antichi pregiudizi anti-italiani duri a morire. Su questo terreno, il fuoriuscitismo antifascista lavorò sporco e a fondo. Sulla scorta di talune predicazioni marcatamente di parte – pensiamo a Salvemini, che a lungo saturò le Università americane con la sua propaganda ideologica basata sul risentimento – si volle ricreare anche su suolo americano la storica diffamazione basata sul binomio Fascismo-violenza. Un’ostinata campagna falsificatoria si ingegnò di sospingere l’opinione pubblica di quel Paese, ingenuamente portata a dare credibilità al bluff (allora come oggi), verso una preconcetta diffidenza nei confronti dei Fasci, sorti a quelle latitutidini sin da 1921. Fu allora facile mischiare le carte e fare del militante fascista italo-americano nulla più che una nuova versione del mafioso o del picchiatore da bassifondi. E questo, nonostante che le cronache dell’epoca riportassero sì di scontri tra Italo-americani fascisti e antifascisti, ma non mancando per altro di precisare che spesso erano proprio i fascisti a rimanere vittime della violenza e dell’odio: nel 1927, per dire, a New York vennero uccisi i fascisti Nicola Amoroso e Michele D’Ambrosoli, oppure, nel 1932, venne assassinato il fascista Salvatore Arena a Staten Island. Non si ha invece notizia di gravi fatti di sangue di parte fascista.

Il fascismo italo-americano era organizzato. E anche bene. Già nel 1925 c’erano novanta Fasci e migliaia di iscritti nelle città americane, riuniti nella Fascist League of North America guidata da Ignazio Thaon di Revel, che per motivi politici cessò di operare nel 1929. Il coordinamento tra i Fasci fu opera di Giuseppe Bastianini, primo segretario dei Fasci Italiani all’Estero e personaggio ingiustamente demonizzato per le sue origini “movimentiste” (era stato Ardito e vicesegretario del PNF a ventiquattro anni), favorevole allo sviluppo dello squadrismo tra gli italofoni d’oltreoceano. Un ambiente in cui si distinse Domenico Trombetta, singolare figura di organizzatore e animatore, esponente del radicalismo fascista newyorchese, direttore del periodico fascista “Il Grido della Stirpe”, assai diffuso tra gli Italiani e attorno al quale si catalizzò l’idea del volontariato di milizia, a difesa dell’italianità tra i milioni di nostri immigrati negli Stati Uniti. Questo ambiente rimase attivo anche quando, negli anni Trenta, Mussolini, per non urtare la sensibilità americana allarmata dalle campagne antifasciste, per gestire l’immagine del Regime preferì puntare sui normali canali diplomatici anziché sull’attivismo di base. Eppure, anche nel nuovo contesto, diciamo così più istituzionale, il Fascismo dimostrò di essere ben vivo tra gli Italo-americani, tanto da esprimere, persino verso la fine del decennio, una militanza a tutto campo – comprese trasmissioni radiofoniche di propaganda da una stazione di Boston –, ben rappresentato dall’American Union of Fascists di Paul Castorina, in rapporti amichevoli con i fascisti inglesi di Oswald Mosley e con la Canadian Union of Fascists, e dal pre-fascista Ordine dei Figli d’Italia in America, la principale associazione comunitaria italo-americana, che proprio nei tardi anni Trenta si identificò strettamente col Regime italiano, condividendone anche i più recenti indirizzi di politica razziale. Messi in sordina i Fasci per motivi di opportunità politica, una fitta rete di associazioni culturali, di attivisti, animatori di eventi comunitari, ma specialmente di giornali e stampa periodica, fece sì che il Fascismo, fino agli anni a ridosso della guerra, fosse di gran lunga la scelta politica che godeva dei maggiori consensi tra gli Italiani residenti negli USA. Un caso tipico fu l’arruolamento di un migliaio di volontari italo-americani nella Legione degli Italiani all’Estero, comandata in Africa Orientale dal Console della Milizia Piero Parini. E nella sola New York, negli anni Trenta, funzionavano non meno di cinquanta circoli fascisti, i cui membri indossavano la camicia nera e divulgavano assiduamente l’Idea.

Talune di queste dinamiche, e soprattutto quella relativa alla polemica tra istituzioni diplomatiche e Fasci politici, sono state rivisitate nel 2000 da Stefano Luconi in La diplomazia parallela. Il regime fascista e la mobilitazione degli Italo-americani (Franco Angeli), che ha segnalato proprio il ruolo centrale della comunità italo-americana filo-fascista come fattore politico di sostegno al governo di Roma, strumento di pressione economica, d’opinione e anche politica nei confronti di Washington. Una realtà che vedeva le ragioni politiche del Fascismo appoggiate non già dalla teppa dei portuali o dei picciotti del sottoproletariato italiano del New England, ma proprio all’opposto dalla vasta quota di Italiani che in America riportarono un solido successo personale, andando a costituire quel segmento sociale nazionalista, politicamente maturo ed etnicamente solidarista, sul quale non a torto Mussolini faceva conto per avere buona stampa negli Stati Uniti.

Per concludere brevemente l’argomento, vogliamo solo dire che, nonostante il seminale studio di Diggins abbia riportato larga fama, insegnando a molti come si fa storiografia senza confonderla con le opinioni personali, ancora oggi ci si imbatte in spiacevoli casi di ottusa faziosità. Chi si desse la pena di dare uno sguardo a quanto scrive ad esempio Matteo Pretelli sul sito “Iperstoria” gestito dal Dipartimento di Storia dell’Università di Verona e dal locale Istituto Storico della Resistenza, sotto il titolo Fascismo, violenza e malavita all’estero. Il caso degli Stati Uniti d’America, potrebbe pensare che Diggins abbia predicato nel deserto. Il solerte accademico italiano – che ci assicurano Lecteur presso l’Università di Melbourne – si danna l’anima per dimostrare i legami tra Fascismo italo-americano e criminalità mafiosa. Nessuno nega che da qualche parte ci sia stato un mascalzone che abusava della camicia nera. Ogni rivoluzione ha avuto la sua feccia, e il Fascismo molto meno di altre. Ma vorremmo segnalare al propagandista in parola che la malavita vera, quella gestita dai grandi criminali mafiosi, dimostrò di non stare dalla parte del Fascismo, bensì da quella dell’antifascismo. Basta sfogliare il libro di Alfio Caruso Arrivano i nostri pubblicato nel 2004 da Longanesi, in cui si dimostra in che misura la lobby di massoni e mafiosi di vertice preparò lo sbarco americano in Sicilia nel 1943. Lì non fu il caso di teppistelli: l’intero apparato della criminalità mafiosa organizzata, estirpata manu militari dal Fascismo nel 1928, si ripresentò compatto in veste di mortale nemico del Fascismo. E fu la volta di Genco Russo, Calogero Vizzini, Lucky Luciano… insomma la “cupola” al completo, ritornata al potere in Sicilia sotto bandiera a stelle e strisce e garantita dal capofila del legame tra mafia e governance americana: quel Charles Poletti che gettò le basi della repubblica italiana “democratica”, antifascista, ma soprattutto mafiosa, che gode ancora oggi ottima salute.

* * *

Tratto da Linea del 6 febbraio 2009.

lundi, 31 janvier 2011

Suzy Solidor - Les filles de Saint Malo

Suzy Solidor

Les filles de Saint Malo


00:05 Publié dans Musique | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : bretagne, saint malo, suzy solidor, chanson, france, années 30, années 40 | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

dimanche, 30 janvier 2011

Lale Andersen - Wo die Nordseewellen...

Lale Andersen

Wo die Nordseewellen...

vendredi, 28 janvier 2011

Wikileaks - Pearl Harbor, 1941


Wikileaks - Pearl Harbor, 1941

by Srdja Trifkovic

Ex: http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/

Over two thousand four hundred American sailors, soldiers and airmen were killed in Pearl Harbor 69 years ago today. Had we had an equivalent of WikiLeaks back in 1941, however, the course of history could have been very different. FDR would have found it much more difficult to maneuvre the country into being attacked in the Pacific in order to enable him to fight the war in Europe, which had been his ardent desire all along.

One leak—just one!—almost torpedoed Roosevelt’s grand design. In mid-1941 he incorporated the Army’s, Navy’s and Air Staff’s war-making plans into an executive policy he called “Victory Program,” effectively preparing America for war against Germany and Japan regardless of Congressional opposition and the will of the people. His intention was to lure public opinion into supporting the Program because the increase in weapons production promised meant more jobs and a healthier economy. A supporter of the America First Committee, Senator Burton K. Wheeler, obtained a copy of the Victory Program, classified Secret, from a source within the Air Corps, and leaked it to two newspapers on December 4, 1941, the Chicago Tribune (a serious newspaper back then) and the Washington Times-Herald (long defunct). Vocal public opposition to the plan erupted immediately, but ceased three days later, on December 7, 1941. Congress soon passed the Victory Program with few changes. The Japanese performed on cue.

Imagine the consequences had the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Times-Herald published a series of other leaks over the preceding few months, including the following:

Berlin, 27 September 1940. U.S. Embassy reports the signing of the Tripartite Pact, the mutual assistance treaty between Germany, Italy, and Japan: “It offers the possibility that Germany would declare war on America if America were to get into war with Japan, which may have significant implications for U.S. policy towards Japan.”

Washington, 7 October 1940. Having considered the implications of the Tripartite Pact, Lt. Cdr. Arthur McCollum, USN, of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), suggests a strategy for provoking Japan into attacking the U.S., thus triggering the mutual assistance provisions of the Tripartite Pact and finally bringing America into war in Europe. The proposal called for eight specific steps aimed at provoking Japan. Its centerpiece was keeping the U.S. Fleet in Hawaii as a lure for a Japanese attack, and imposing an oil embargo against Japan. “If by these means Japan could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better,” the memo concluded.

Washington, 23 June 1941. One day after Hitler’s attack on Soviet Russia, Secretary of the Interior and FDR’s advisor Harold Ickes wrote a memo for the President, saying that “there might develop from the embargoing of oil to Japan such a situation as would make it not only possible but easy to get into this war in an effective way. And if we should thus indirectly be brought in, we would avoid the criticism that we had gone in as an ally of communistic Russia.”

Washington, 22 July 1941. Admiral Richmond Turner’s report states that “shutting off the American supply of petroleum to Japad will lead promptly to the invasion of Netherland East Indies: “[I]t seems certain [Japan] would also include military action against the Philippine Islands, which would immediately involve us in a Pacific war.”

Washington, 24 July 1941. President Roosevelt says, “If we had cut off the oil, they probably would have gone down to the Dutch East Indies a year ago, and you would have had war.” The following day he freezes Japanese assets in the U.S. and imposes an oil embargo against Japan.

London, 14 August 1941. After meeting the President at the Atlantic Conference, Prime Minister Winston Churchill noted the “astonishing depth of Roosevelt’s intense desire for war.” PM is aware that FDR needs to overcome the isolationist resistance to “Europe’s war” felt by most Americans and their elected representatives.

Washington, 24 September 1941. Having cracked the Japanese naval codes one year earlier, U.S. naval intelligence deciphers a message from the Naval Intelligence Headquarters in Tokyo to Japan’s consul-general in Honolulu, requesting grid of exact locations of U.S. Navy ships in the harbor. Commanders in Hawaii are not warned.

Washington, 18 October 1941. FDR’s friend and advisor Harold Ickes notes in his diary: “For a long time I have believed that our best entrance into the war would be by way of Japan.” Yet four days later opinion polls reveal that 74 percent of Americans opposed war with Japan, and only 13 percent supported it.

Washington, 25 November 1941. Secretary of War Stimson writes that FDR said an attack was likely within days, and wonders “how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without too much danger to ourselves… In spite of the risk involved, however, in letting the Japanese fire the first shot, we realized that in order to have the full support of the American people it was desirable to make sure that the Japanese be the ones to do this so that there should remain no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who were the aggressors.”

Washington, 26 November 1941. Both US aircraft carriers, the Enterprise and the Lexington, are ordered out of Pearl Harbor “as soon as possible”. The same order included stripping Pearl of 50 planes, 40 percent of its already inadequate fighter protection.

Washington, 26 November 1941. Secretary of State Hull demands the complete withdrawal of all Japanese troops from French Indochina and from China.

Tokyo, 27 November 1941. U.S. Ambassador to Japan Grew says this is “the document that touched the button that started the war.” The Japanese reacted on cue: On December 1, final authorization was given by the emperor, after a majority of Japanese leaders advised him the Hull Note would “destroy the fruits of the China incident, endanger Manchukuo and undermine Japanese control of Korea.”

San Francisco, 1 December 1941. Office of Naval Intelligence, ONI, 12th Naval District in San Francisco found the Japanese fleet by correlating reports from the four wireless news services and several shipping companies that they were getting signals west of Hawaii. There are numerous U.S. naval intelligence radio intercepts of the Japanese transmissions.

Washington, 5 December 1941, 10 a.m. President Roosevelt writes to the Australian Prime Minister that “the next four or five days will decide the matters” with Japan.

Washington, 5 December 1941, 5 p.m. At Cabinet meeting, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox says, “Well, you know Mr. President, we know where the Japanese fleet is?” FDR replied, “Yes, I know … Well, you tell them what it is Frank.” Just as Knox was about to speak Roosevelt appeared to have second thoughts and interrupted him saying, “We haven’t got anything like perfect information as to their apparent destination.”

Washington, 6 December 1941, 9 p.m. At a White House dinner Roosevelt was given the first thirteen parts of a fifteen part decoded Japanese diplomatic declaration of war and said, “This means war!” he said to Harry Hopkins, but did not interrupt the soiree and did not issue any orders to the military to prepare for an attack.

As per that old cliché, the rest is history…

mardi, 25 janvier 2011

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

Dominique Venner présente:

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

vendredi, 14 janvier 2011

La metafisica de "L'Operaio" di Ernst Jünger

La metafisica de "L’operaio" di Ernst Jünger


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

Il progresso tecnico che ancora alla fine dell’800 sembrava condurre l’uomo ad un mondo più giusto e libero dal dolore, pareva mostrare, all’alba del secolo ventesimo, il suo terribile volto di Giano. Gli sfaceli della guerra e la povertà da essa cagionata producevano quelle ingiustizie che, nell’ottica marxista, e ben presto nazionalista e “fascista”, erano il prodromo, per certi versi contraddittorio, all’avvento della “rivoluzione”, fosse questa intesa come un ribaltamento dei rapporti di proprietà o come uno scardinamento del mondo liberale e borghese in previsione della costruzione di una comunità organica. Si iniziò a leggere la tecnica come il segno, se non la causa, della decadenza morale dell’uomo che preludeva al crepuscolo del mondo occidentale o almeno alla sua inevitabile “Krisis”. E’ assai in generale questa la cornice storica e sociale all’interno della quale l’allora celebre scrittore di guerra e giornalista politico Ernst Jünger pubblica, nel 1932, il saggio filosofico e metapolitico Der Arbeiter, Herrschaft und Gestalt (1).

Nelle pagine che seguono cercherò, da un lato, di evidenziare la portata propriamente metafisica del saggio esaminando la metafisica delle forme che ne costituisce l’impianto; dall’altra, avrò modo di rilevare come Ernst Jünger ne L’operaio non abbia l’intenzione di criticare la classe borghese per rinsaldarne, attraverso un artificio ideale, il potere; al contrario, secondo i miei studi, egli mette sotto accusa il borghese e il suo potere volendo, almeno teoricamente, contribuire alla costruzione di un modello metapolitico che, già a partire dai presupposti, si distingua nettamente sia dal liberalcapitalismo che dal collettivismo.

1. Forma e Tipo

Sfogliando L’operaio si ha la sensazione che temi di varia natura siano talmente e finemente interconnessi che appaia assai arduo procedere ad una de-composizione funzionale alla comprensione dei presupposti. Ad una lettura più attenta si “vede” invece perfettamente ciò che, nell’intento dell’acuto “sismografo”, si cela sotto la multiforme matassa. E’ utile a questo punto procedere alla illustrazione di quelli che mi sono sembrati i fondamenti metafisici del saggio del ’32.

Secondo Jünger esisterebbe un “solco” ineffabile definito di sovente eterno e immobile, di cui ogni forma (Gestalt) sarebbe il modo temporale. La Forma è una irradiazione (Strahlung) dell’Indistinto eterno ed immoto, è il modo tramite cui l’essenza numinosa della forma si fa tempo (2); la forma è un tutto che non si riduce alla somma delle sue parti (3). Ciò fa pensare che l’essenza della Gestalt non nasca e non muoia con gli elementi che ne garantiscono l’epifania, anche se il rapporto tra la forma e il suo evento è pressoché necessario (4). L’uomo non ha la possibilità di rappresentare la forma nella sua essenza, non la può cioè porre davanti a sé come un oggetto materiale o spirituale per poi misurarla razionalmente (5). Essa, in sé, è come l’Uno di Plotino (6). Ma l’uomo può “avvicinarsi” (7) alla forma vivendola, cioè incarnandola. Vivere la forma significa dis-porsi alla sovraindividualità che è la modalità grazie a cui la forma si appresta a dominare globalmente. L’uomo travalica la propria individualità facendo spazio al dipanarsi della forma, tras-formandosi in Tipo. La Forma si manifesta infatti nel tipo. Essa è il sigillo, dice Jünger, rispetto al tipo che è l’impronta (8).

Se la forma nelle sue vestigia mortali è una declinazione dell’eternità, il tipo deve, a mio avviso, essere considerato come la guisa temporale della forma. Esso infatti, in un certo senso, attualizza il Destino della Forma. Tale Destino, come suggerito dal titolo de L’operaio, è il Dominio della Forma. Un Dominio che, lo si diceva, non è parziale, che cioè non si espande in un solo piano della realtà, ma a livello del pensare, del sentire e del volere oltre che nello spazio tramite la tecnica e la distruzione che essa comporta. Nello scritto del 1963 Typus, Name, Gestalt si legge che “Tipo” è più di “individuo” nella stessa misura in cui è meno di “forma” (9).

La forma è più vicina all’Indistinto; il tipo, irradiazione della Forma, valicata l’individualità, spalanca le porte all’impersonalità. Questo discorso appare fin qui assai astratto. Per comprendere come effettivamente l’uomo, facendosi Tipo, possa rispecchiare totalmente la forma, è necessario riflettere sul linguaggio della manifestazione della forma. L’uomo infatti si fa tipo (forma nel tempo) praticando, in certo qual modo essendo, il linguaggio della forma. Divenendo tipo, e cioè qualcosa che supera gli esclusivi interessi della propria isolata individualità, si pro-pone al servizio dell’espansione totale della forma. Ora, a parere di Jünger, il linguaggio che la forma, tramite l’uomo, parla nell’epoca della “riproducibilità tecnica” (10) è naturalmente proprio quello della tecnica. Nel periodo de L’operaio la tecnica è un ingranaggio di questo sistema metafisico. Solamente tramite la tecnica infatti la forma può dominare in tutto il mondo. La tecnica è, in altri termini, il modo più efficace tramite cui la Forma può dominare totalmente.

2. L’elementare

Prima di procedere all’analisi del nesso che fonde inestricabilmente, nel pensiero di Jünger, la tecnica alla forma, è bene riflettere su un altro tema che è parimenti inserito nell’impianto metafisico di cui si discute. Mi riferisco alla nozione di “elementare” che, almeno in parte, costituisce uno degli argomenti più “attuali” del pensiero di Jünger (11). Ne L’operaio l’elementare è, da un certo punto di vista, una forza imperitura, sempre uguale a se stessa, ma imprevedibile, poco misurabile, refrattaria al calcolo della ragione strumentale, malamente oggettivizzabile; è dunque un’energia primordiale che non si riduce né all’uomo né alle sue leggi, morali o scientifiche che siano. L’elementare agisce sia come irrefrenabile forza naturale (inumana potenza dei quattro elementi naturali), sia nell’uomo come moto profondo dell’anima impossibile da ponderare, razionalizzare, cattivizzare. Secondo Jünger l’energia del cosmo è sempre uguale a se stessa. Risulta allora perfettamente inutile, anzi assai pericoloso, relegare nell’irrazionale le energie elementari che, in un modo o nell’altro, necessariamente troveranno una valvola di sfogo. Più vengono contratte, più aumenta la loro carica esplosiva, dirompente, agli occhi dell’uomo, terribile. Il borghese porterebbe avanti proprio questo tentativo: piegherebbe l’elementare all’assurdo o, al massimo, all’eccezione che conferma la regola della razionalizzabilità del tutto. A parere del borghese tutto ciò che non può essere ricondotto alla ragione strumentale e alla morale utilitaria deve essere per forza assurdo, dunque irrazionale; l’elementare è così, nell’ottica dell’uomo moderno, destinato ad essere s-piegato, calcolato. Il motivo di questa operazione matematica (12) è per Jünger essenzialmente uno: la paura. L’uomo moderno ha infatti come fine la sicurezza che, insieme alla comodità e all’aponia, vede come il presupposto della sua felicità. L’elementare introduce l’uomo nello spazio del pericolo e dunque lo apre all’esperienza inspiegabile, ma endemica all’umano, del Dolore (13). Crea così le premesse per lo sconvolgimento dell’ordine morale e sociale mettendo a repentaglio la sicurezza che, come si è detto, sarebbe il valore più caro all’uomo borghese. La contraddizione, la sofferenza, la violenza, ma anche la temerarietà, l’entusiamo eroico, fanno parte del sottobosco a cui l’elementare, secondo Jünger, dischiude l’animo umano. Il borghese crede che grazie al progresso, anche tecnico, la società umana possa un giorno pervenire alla costruzione di un paradiso terrestre in cui l’uomo universale, dotato di diritti inalienabili, possa essere rispettato in quanto tale; un paradiso terrestre da dove possa essere bandito il pericolo, il dolore. Jünger contesta l’equazione razionalità-borghese=razionalità. Quella borghese è infatti, ai suoi occhi, una forma di razionalità che strumentalizza ogni fenomeno alla sicurezza e alla comodità dell’uomo. Una forma di ragione che, dopo averlo oggettivizzato, fa di ogni ente un mezzo per raggiungere una forma di felicità terrena che risulterebbe riduttiva, poco appropriata alla grandezza destinale che l’uomo in passato sarebbe stato in grado di incarnare. Nel sistema jüngeriano l’elementare riveste quasi la funzione che in una macchina ha il carburante. E’ infatti l’energia del sistema, è una forza tellurica e immortale che agisce in sintonia con la Forma facendola muovere nello spazio, cioè consentendole di essere nel tempo. Ritornando allo schema generale: così come il tipo permette alla forma di esistere nello spazio, l’elementare permette alla forma di muoversi in esso e dunque, in virtù del legame che tradizionalmente stringe lo spazio col tempo, di essere tempo, cioè fenomeno, evento, Destino. L’Operaio sarebbe capace di scorgere l’elementare nella sua “realtà” senza giudicarlo e “castrarlo”. Non lo relega all’assurdo, ma cerca di amplificarne le potenzialità in vista del Dominio della Forma. Il modo più appropriato che questo eone della Forma ha per liberare la potenza di cui la Forma abbisogna è la tecnica. La tecnica, come è stato accennato e come verrà ribadito, non solo è il tramite che trasforma l’uomo in tipo, ma permette all’elementare di manifestarsi in tutto il suo vigore. La tecnica è dunque rigorosamente innestata nella metafisica elaborata da Jünger, essa appare, ne L’Operaio, come un suo meccanismo imprescindibile (14).

3. La tecnica

La tecnica è “la maniera in cui la forma dell’operaio mobilita il mondo” (15). L’Operaio è così quella Forma che mobilita il mondo tramite la tecnica. Heidegger commenta che allora la tecnica coincide con la mobilitazione -totale- del mondo attuata dalla forma dell’Operaio (16). Alain de Benoist, rifacendosi al saggio del 1930 intitolato Die Totale Mobilmachung, fa presente come ”mobilitare”, nel gergo di Jünger, non significhi solo mettere in movimento, ma vorrebbe indicare anche “essere pronto, rendere pronto”, Alain De Benoist aggiunge, “alla guerra” (17). Mobilitare può significare essenzialmente rendere qualcosa disponibile per qualcos’altro: la mobilitazione del mondo appresta il mondo alla conquista totale della Forma del Lavoro. La mobiltazione va da un lato di pari passo con la distruzione e si realizza nello spazio con la tecnica bellica (18); da un altro lato, già nella sua opera di demolizione, prepara il terreno per la parusia di una nuova Figura e innesca il meccanismo necessario affinché il nuovo Dominio della Forma si realizzi. Come si diceva, il tipo umano è altro dall’individuo. Ora, l’uomo si fa tipo tramite la tecnica, la quale incide sull’essenza dell’uomo grazie alla messa in moto di radicali processi spersonalizzanti che aprono l’individuo alla uni-formità e dunque alla sovra-individualità (19).

Perché lo strumento tecnico possa essere ad-operato dall’uomo, è necessario che questi faccia propria precisamente la razionalità strumentale. Se infatti l’uomo adotta la tecnica come strumento, non ha bisogno di mettere in gioco tutte quelle qualità che lo distinguono dagli altri uomini. Secondo una tradizione di pensiero che si impone già prima di Jünger (Sorel, Spengler, Ortega, Guénon) e che, dopo L’operaio, prosegue, seppur all’interno di concezioni filosofiche assai differenti, tramite Heidegger, Adorno, Arendt e molti altri, il mezzo tecnico (e la conoscenza come dominio) richiede esclusivamente la capacità meccanica e la razionalità sufficiente a farlo funzionare. Il funzionamento dello strumento sembra il fine del processo tecnico. L’uomo stesso appare come un ingranaggio finalizzato al funzionamento del mezzo che, alla stregua di un circolo vizioso, ha come fine la mera funzionalità. Capiamo così come, all’improvviso, l’uomo col suo retaggio di esperienze personali, qualità irripetibili, particolarità, ma anche “razza” (20), differenza etnica, conti poco. E’ invece importante l’esercizio della ragione che, prendendo in prestito la terminologia di Heidegger, definiamo “rappresentativa”. Il Tipo ergendosi a fondamento, a misura del mondo, pone il mondo medesimo davanti a sé come un oggetto. Il mondo è in quanto può essere misurato, forzato al metro umano. Il mondo è, ha valore (è valore, “immagine”) in quanto è strumentale al dominio del Tipo. Conoscere significa dunque misurare, cioè matematicizzare, pre-vedere, mobilitare, indirizzare al dominio (21). Il metro di valutazione del mondo è l’oggettivazione dello stesso ai fini della sua utilizzazione e la conoscenza in quanto tale, laddove si fa tecnica, è dominio. Questo processo è talmente radicale che, a un certo momento, pare che la tecnica come strumento, da mezzo si tramuti in fine e che, dunque, il fine del mobilitare sia strumentalizzare e utilizzare il mondo in vista del dominio. Il fine del mobilitare sembra il mobilitare (22). Il mezzo dell’uomo piega a sé l’uomo.

L’uomo che inizialmente crede di perseguire tramite la tecnica (strumento da lui inteso in senso neutrale) la felicità (la tecnica si propaga facilmente e velocemente e ingenera l’illusione che tramite essa si possa superare il dolore), poi diventa parte del dispositivo che accende.

La spersonalizzazione che la tecnica introdurrebbe prelude al totale oltrepassamento del modo che sino a quel momento, secondo Jünger, si aveva di interpretare la libertà intesa come “misura il cui metro campione venga fissato dall’esistenza individuale del singolo” (23). L’uomo è parte di un processo dove perdono di importanza le qualità e la vita del singolo, dove, come si diceva, risulta fondamentale rendere il mondo funzionante per lavorarlo in vista della produzione, cioè della mobilitazione. Il lavoro, mezzo che la forma utilizza per piegare a sé il mondo, si propaga in ogni settore della vita (24). Si riduce lo spazio che divide i sessi e quello che divide il lavoro in senso proprio dall’ozio; anche lo sport diventa lavoro; ogni cosa tende ad assumere una forma tipica e incarna lo stesso severo, freddo, ascetico stile. Farsi tipo tramite la tecnica significa dunque attualizzare tutta una serie di proprietà che rendono l’uomo adeguato al dominio della forma. Il dominio della forma nel tempo attuale si appaleserebbe così tramite segni inequivocabili che sono una conseguenza diretta dell’uso della tecnica e della mentalità che tale uso esige. Si fa strada una “rigidita’ da maschera” nel volto rasato del soldato, nella sua espressione glaciale e precisa, che non tradisce una differenza psicologica né alcun umano sentimento, ma che mostra una volontà oggettiva, impersonale, automatica, meccanica. L’uniforme fa la sua comparsa in ogni ambito della vita, gli operai assomigliano così ai soldati e i soldati sono operai. La cifra acquista la sua imprescindibile importanza in ogni settore dell’organizzazione statale, si fa strada l’anonimato, la ripetizione (che sostituisce la borghese irripetibilità, eccezionalità), garantisce la sostituibilità di un operaio con un altro. La quantità prevale sulla qualità.

Fin qui pare di leggere una critica alla tecnica e alla ragione che potremmo trovare in molti altri autori in quel tempo (25). Ma Jünger sembra essere originale proprio in quanto, dopo aver individuato le trasformazioni che la tecnica produce sull’uomo, non cede alla tentazione di condannare i mutamenti epocali di cui si è detto. Che l’uomo pensi di poter restare indenne da questi processi totali è infatti, a suo avviso, un’illusione. Egli, che si voglia o no, ne è mutato profondamente. Questa tras-figurazione distrugge negativamente l’individuo borghese; l’Operaio invece, consapevole della necessità dei processi in atto, sacrifica eroicamente i propri desideri contingenti e, nel Lavoro, considerato alla stregua di una missione rivoluzionaria, perviene alla coscienza di partecipare al Destino della Forma assurgendo a vessillo, “geroglifico” del suo totale Dominio. L’essenza della tecnica dunque, come dirà Heidegger, non sarebbe nulla di tecnico ma di nichilistico (26). Essa demolisce ogni vincolo e ogni consuetudinaria misura in quanto costringe ogni ente al suo utilizzo. Le cose perderebbero così il valore armonico, tradizionale, sacrale, cultuale che avevano e diventerebbero oggetti da dominare e da utilizzare facilmente e velocemente. Il fatto che il mobilitare appaia come un mezzo finalizzato al medesimo e cieco mobilitare, è appunto una apparenza che s-vela l’alto livello a cui la tecnica approda nella sua opera di conquista totale. In verità, il mobilitare finalizzato al mobilitare è, nel pensiero che si analizza, esattamente l’”astuto” modo che la Forma attualmente adotta per raggiungere il proprio Dominio. Il protagonista del mobilitare, il suo fine, non è infatti, contrariamente alle apparenze, in ultima istanza, il mobilitare, ma la vittoria totale della nuova Forma. Per questo Jünger distingue chiaramente tra fase dinamico-esplosiva (“paesaggio da officina”) e Dominio della Forma dell’Operaio. La prima è necessaria al secondo, ma il secondo conclude, nel suo compiersi, la fase “anarchica” in cui il mobilitare si esprime in modo tanto potente da ingenerare la credenza che il suo fine sia solo e soltanto la propria cieca, distruttiva e totale manifestazione (27). In questo processo totale, antikantianamente (28), l’uomo scoprirebbe la sua dignità, o, facendo nostro un gergo appropriato allo spirito del tempo in cui Jünger scrive, il suo “onore”, proprio nel trasformarsi in mezzo della manifestazione della forma. La tecnica è così esaltata precisamente perché tras-forma l’uomo da fine isolato a mezzo organico. L’Operaio risulta, nello spirito e nel corpo, glorificato, per così dire, alchemicamente risorto nella Forma.

4. Metapolitica

Questa analisi ci permette di planare dall’orizzonte metafisico a quello metapolitico. Jünger non condivide il presupposto che starebbe alla base del modello economico proposto dalla società liberal-capitalista, secondo cui la felicità e il benessere di una nazione si ottiene tramite la soddisfazione economica degli individui (atomi) che compongono la stessa società (29).

L’idea per la quale soddisfare i propri esclusivi interessi conduca alla felicità della nazione, è fermamente rifiutata da Jünger. Egli ritiene che l’interesse privato debba essere garantito nell’alveo degli interessi sovraindividuali dell’organismo comunitario. Fondare una ideologia che a partire dalla metafisica, tramite l’interpretazione altrettanto metafisica della tecnica, attacchi nei fondamenti l’individuo e la sua idea di libertà, significa chiaramente avere come bersaglio il liberalismo che sull’individuo e sulla tutela dei suoi diritti basa la propria dottrina. I rivoluzionari conservatori si sentivano “vitalisti” proprio nel senso che aderivano nichilisticamente alle contraddizioni della realtà, specialmente laddove queste conducevano alla demolizione dell’apparato politico ed ideologico delle classi dominanti (30). Essi ambivano ad una distruzione da cui potesse originarsi un nuovo gerarchico Ordine e una nuova forma di partecipazione politica. La stessa nozione di forma come qualcosa che non si riduce alla somma delle sue parti, trova riscontro in una comunità politica che non esaurisce la sua essenza nell’addizione dei singoli che la costituiscono. La comunità organica, come la forma, è altro dalle sue parti, è “un altro che si aggiunge”, un di più a cui non si arriva tramite la mera somma di vari elementi. Così l’agire, il pensare e il sentire degli individui non sarebbero in questo contesto finalizzati al possesso della felicità personale, ma al “bene”, alla potenza della comunità che trascende la somma.

Al tempo de L’Operaio la distruzione bellica, grazie alla tecnologia, assunse un livello mai raggiunto fino a quel momento, le lotte sociali si fecero, a causa della misera condizione della classe operaia, ma anche in virtù della diffusione della ideologia marxista, dell’avanzata dei partiti socialisti e dei sindacati, proporzionali all’industrializzazione e alla mobilitazione dei materiali (umani e non) in vista del dominio delle nazioni più sviluppate. Nel dopoguerra, specialmente a causa dell’inflazione e della fortissima svalutazione della moneta, buona parte della classe media perse ogni sua sicurezza e si produssero licenziamenti a catena nelle fabbriche; vari movimenti di destra e di sinistra e altri che si collocavano esplicitamente al di là di questi due cartelli ideali, ottennero così il favore della popolazione stremata dalla crisi economica. Se a ciò si aggiunge la polemica nazionalista contro i firmatari della pesante e probabilmente iniqua pace di Versailles, si capisce come il clima politico e sociale fosse confacente all’avanzata di partiti “radicali” che vedevano nella classe liberale al potere la responsabile dello sfacelo economico e politico della Germania. In un orizzonte in cui il “nuovo nazionalismo”, a cui Jünger aderisce già a partire dalla fine della Prima guerra mondiale, otteneva sempre più consensi, la metafisica delle Forme avrebbe potuto dunque acquistare un significato morale-politico: il superamento del concetto di individuo, negli intenti di Jünger, avrebbe potuto condurre alla creazione di un “Uomo nuovo” che fosse pronto a donare la propria vita e ad immolare i propri desideri per la potenza dello stato organico, per il risanamento totale “patria umiliata”. Nel pantano ideologico della Repubblica di Weimar questa metafisica politica poteva dunque servire, agli occhi del pensatore, a costruire un’etica che ponesse l’uomo in grado di salvarsi, anche a costo di profondi sacrifici personali, dalla grave crisi in cui versava buona parte delle nazioni europee in quel tempo. Il modernismo reazionario, di cui Jünger è “l’idealtipo” (31), ha un preciso fine politico che è chiaro al pensatore tedesco ben prima della stesura de L’operaio: “Chi potrebbe contestare che la Zivilisation è più intimamente legata al progresso della Kultur, che nelle grandi città essa è in grado di parlare la sua lingua naturale e sa utilizzare mezzi e concetti nei cui confronti la Kultur è indifferente o addirittura ostile? La Kultur non si lascia sfruttare a scopi propagandistici, e un atteggiamento che cerchi di piegarla in questo senso non può che esserle estraneo (…)” (32). Jünger crede che il “cupo ardore” che spinse migliaia di giovani ad andare in guerra gridando “per la Germania” offerto ad una nazione “inesplicabile e invisibile”, per quanto fosse bastato a far “tremare i popoli fino all’ultima fibra”, non potesse essere sufficiente per sconfiggere nazioni come quella statunitense che si erano rese disponibili alla mobilitazione totale di tutte le loro energie. Da qui la domanda retorica e assai significativa: “E se soltanto (il cupo ardore di cui si è detto) avesse avuto fin dal primo momento una direzione, una coscienza, una forma?” (33). Il fine politico de L’operaio può allora essere così inteso: creare le premesse metafisiche, dunque “kulturali”, ideali affinché l’ entusiasmo eroico potesse essere veramente efficace, cioè vincente. Jünger si è reso conto non solo del potere ineguagliabile degli strumenti tecnici applicati alla guerra, ma anche della necessità di trasformare la mentalità della nazione nella direzione della mobilitazione totale. Tale mobilitazione implica la fusione della vita col lavoro. Egli cioè pensa che solo se tutto diventa lavoro, tutto viene mobilitato alla potenza e dunque alla vittoria della Germania. Perché ciò accada è necessario che ogni cosa venga piegata allo strumento tecnico. La società diventa “lavoro” se prima è diventata macchina, tecnica. La Kultur tradizionalmente intesa non basta a questo che è chiaramente inteso come uno scopo epocale. C’è bisogno di una Zivilisation che non contraddica la Kultur ma che ne garantisca la vittoria reale. L’operaio ha l’obbiettivo eminentemente politico di sintetizzare la Kultur con la Zivilisation, in qualche modo di rendere culturale e politica la civilizzazione e di civilizzare, “modernizzare” la Kultur (34). Jünger contesta in maniera netta l’individualismo negli articoli scritti tra il 1918 e il 193335e, se si nota che L’operaio è del 1932, lo scritto può essere inteso in senso meramente apolitico molto difficilmente. Gli Operai, nel libro del ’32, sono uomini d’acciaio, incarnazione di un’etica oggettiva -realista-, che ha come fine il dominio della Forma del lavoro, e dunque il lavoro totale in ogni settore della produzione e dell’esistenza. L’individuo borghese che, in questa parabola di pensiero, ha come obbiettivo la comodità e la sicurezza, non sarebbe adatto a rappresentare senza rimpianti e con assoluto rigore un’etica che preveda la rinuncia alle proprie contingenti aspirazioni, alla propria esclusiva e “materiale” felicità. D’altra parte, non sarebbe adatto ad incarnare una simile etica neppure il “proletario” che si sente umiliato e combatte per migliorare le condizioni della sua classe e per ribaltare i rapporti di proprietà. Questi infatti lotta per gli interessi di una parte della nazione e ha un fine, che, dal punto di vista jüngeriano, resta sociale ed economico. L’Operaio invece, come si diceva, non bada al miglioramento della propria condizione economica, non ambisce ad impossessarsi dei mezzi di produzione né crede agli ideali di uguaglianza nei quali, seguendo la tradizione marxiana, il proletario dovrebbe credere. L’Operaio jüngeriano è al servizio della Forma e del suo Dominio; a questo servizio sacrifica ogni sua aspirazione, personale o di classe.

Secondo Jünger, si deve lavorare in primo luogo sullo spirito umano per poter ambire almeno ad una parziale rinascita. Il superamento dell’individualità è da Jünger perseguito tramite gli effetti distruttivi della tecnica che, in altri pensatori, sia di destra che di sinistra, sono abborriti in ogni senso. Jünger, nel periodo de L’operaio, ritiene puerili e dannose le tesi di chi pensa che la tecnica sia di per sé uno strumento del Male, qualcosa rispetto a cui l’uomo si sarebbe posto come un inesperto “apprendista stregone” che non è più in grado di controllare le dinamiche innescate dai suoi esperimenti (36) e, allo stesso modo, non ritiene che l’uomo possa divenire buono, giusto e dunque felice. In ogni quadro epocale domina un tipo di Forma che impregna tutto di sé; ogni cosa in un dato ciclo ha lo stile della forma che domina. Il ciclo sorge in quel periodo definito Interregno (37). L’Interregno è nietzscheanamente quel torno temporale in cui i vecchi valori non sono ancora morti e quelli nuovi che scalpitano non hanno ancora conquistato lo spazio necessario al Dominio. Accade così che alla fine di un ciclo le vecchie forme e i valori fino a quel momento dominanti si svuotino pian piano dal loro interno. Che i valori si s-vuotino significa che perdono la loro essenza di valori; il valore è ciò intorno a cui e grazie a cui l’uomo costruisce il suo senso. Alla fine di un ciclo i valori sono ancora formalmente intatti, il loro involucro è integro, splendente; ma perdono di sostanza: non sono più in grado di orientare la vita dell’uomo, è come se il loro corpo fosse ancora monoliticamente visibile a tutti, ma stesse perdendo il proprio vigore, il proprio potere di movimentare l’uomo e con esso il mondo. E’ così che in questo vuoto assiologico ed ontologico si insinuano nuove forze che aprono lo spazio al dominio inarrestabile di nuove forme. In siffatta dinamica di s-vuotamento delle forme che coincide con un nuovo riempimento, opera la tecnica. La tecnica si insinua in ogni dove, nello spazio e nello spirito, inizialmente come uno strumento puro, assolutamente neutro, grazie a cui l’uomo può vivere più comodamente; attraverso cui ha sempre più l’illusione di esorcizzare, depotenziare il dolore e tramite cui, giorno dopo giorno, trasforma la propria vita. Più l’uomo si innamora del suo strumento, più viene risucchiato nei suoi ingranaggi oggettivizzanti di cui sopra si è detto. La tecnica secondo Ernst Jünger risulta pericolosa proprio là dove si ignora il suo potere necessariamente distruttivo. Risulta pericolosa se la si valuta superficialmente come uno strumento neutrale che l’uomo può con la sua ragione utilitaria piegare ai suoi interessi e alla sua oggettiva felicità restandone essenzialmente immune. Ma risulta pericolosa anche là dove si tenti di negarla rifugiandosi in anacronistici sentimenti romantici. In altri termini, agli occhi dello Jünger del 1932, la tecnica è positiva solo se si è consapevoli del fatidico ruolo metafisico che riveste, se si accetta di intraprendere attraverso il suo utilizzo un percorso e-sistenziale che conduca al superamento dell’io, e se, quasi come si trattasse di una catarsi ontologica, attraverso questo superamento ci si renda poveri contenitori della Forma e del suo fatale Dominio.


1 Der Arbeiter, Herrschaft und Gestalt appare nell’ottobre del 1932 presso Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt (Hamburg). Nello stesso anno si hanno tre nuove edizioni del saggio. Dopo la guerra, Heidegger convince Jünger a ripubblicare il saggio che infatti compare nel sesto volume delle sue opere uscite presso Klett-Cotta a Stoccarda. L’opera è tradotta in italiano solo nel 1984 da Quirino Principe (L’operaio, trad. it., Longanesi, Milano 1984.) dopo che, agli inizi degli anni ’60, Julius Evola la fece conoscere nel riassunto analitico intitolato L’operaio nel pensiero di Ernst Jünger, Armando, Roma 1961. Delio Cantimori preferì tradurre la parola Der Arbeiter con “milite del lavoro” per sottolineare il carattere guerriero della nuova figura (Cfr., Delio Cantimori, Ernst Jünger e la mistica milizia del lavoro, in Delio Cantimori, Tre saggi su Ernst Jünger, Moller van den Brück, Schmitt, Settimo Sigillo, Roma 1985, pp. 17-43.).

2 Qualora le forme, nel loro aspetto fenomenico, non fossero soggette all’annientamento, non si potrebbe agevolmente spiegare la differenza fra un ciclo caratterizzato dal dominio di alcune forme e un altro contraddistinto da forme diverse. Ci fossero sempre le stesse forme cosa muterebbe all’alba di un nuovo ciclo? La valorizzazione di questa dottrina tradizionale giustifica insieme ad altre importanti somiglianze un parallelo fra la metafisica di Jünger e quella a cui si richiamano Evola, Guénon ed in parte Eliade. In particolare, risulta interessante un confronto fra i segni che secondo questi autori caratterizzano il Kali Yuga (L’età Oscura, l’ultima età prima della fine di questo ciclo cosmico) e i segni che, ne L’operaio e in altre opere di Jünger, contraddistinguono l’“Interregno” in cui sorge ed agisce la Forma dell’Operaio. In questo senso, è assolutamente importante anche un paragone con Spengler per il quale si rimanda a: Domenico Conte, Jünger, Spengler e la storia, in A.A. V.V., in Ernst Jünger e il pensiero del nichilismo, a cura di Luisa Bonesio, Herrenhaus, 2002, pp. 153-198; Luciano Arcella, Ernst Jünger, Oltre la storia, in Due volte la cometa, Atti del convegno Roma 28 ottobre 1995, Settimo Sigillo, Roma 1998. Antonio Gnoli e Franco Volpi, I prossimi titani, Conversazioni con Ernst Jünger, Adelphi, Milano 1997, pp. 103, 104. Si veda anche Julius Evola, Spengler e il Tramonto dell’Occidente, Fondazione Julius Evola, Roma 1981. Sulla interpretazione jüngeriana del pensiero di Spengler si legga soprattutto: Ernst Jünger, trad. it., Al muro del tempo, Adelphi, Milano 2000.

3 “Nella forma è racchiuso il tutto che comprende più che non la somma delle proprie parti”. Ernst Jünger, trad. it., L’Operaio, Dominio e Forma, Guanda, Parma 2004, p. 32. “Una parte è certamente così lontana dall’essere una forma così come una forma è lontana dall’essere una somma di parti”. Ibidem.

4 Jünger definisce la storia dell’evoluzione come “il commento dinamico” della forma. Cfr., Ernst Jünger, L’operaio, cit., p. 75. La forma dunque “non esclude l’evoluzione”, la “include come proiezione sul piano della realtà”. Ivi, p. 125. Ciò implica l’avversione non solo alla dottrina del progresso (“ogni progresso implica un regresso”), ma il rifiuto netto di ogni prospettiva storicistica: “La storia non produce forme, ma si modifica in virtù della forma”, ivi. p. 75. Evola commenta: “Le figure non sono storicamente condizionate; invece sono esse a condizionare la storia, la quale è la scena del loro manifestarsi, del loro succedersi, del loro incontrarsi e lottare (…). E’ l’apparire di una nuova figura a dare ad ogni civiltà la sua impronta. Le figure non divengono, non si evolvono, non sono i prodotti di processi empirici, di rapporti orizzontali di causa e di effetto”. Julius Evola, L’operaio nel pensiero di Ernst Jünger, cit., p. 32. Si potrebbe allora sostenere con Eliade che la “valorizzazione” dell’esistenza umana non è “quella che cercano di dare certe correnti filosofiche posthegeliane, soprattutto il marxismo, lo storicismo e l’esistenzialismo, in seguito alla scoperta dell’ “uomo storico”, dell’uomo che si fa da se stesso in seno alla storia”. Mircea Eliade, Il mito dell’eterno ritorno, Archetipi e ripetizioni, Borla, Roma 1999, p. 8. Questa impostazione è molto simile a quella jüngeriana, infatti l’Operaio come Gestalt non può essere considerato un prodotto delle dinamiche storico-economiche. E’ la Forma a fare la storia, non viceversa.

5 Usando il linguaggio heideggeriano si può sostenere che la forma non può essere piegata alla scienza intesa come “ricerca”: “La scienza diviene ricerca quando si ripone l’essere dell’ente” nell’ “oggettività”. Cfr., Martin Heidegger, L’epoca dell’immagine del mondo, in id. Sentieri interrotti, La Nuova Italia, Firenze 1984, p. 83. La Forma non può essere oggettivizzata, non se ne può fornire una storia dettagliata né, tantomeno, se ne può calcolare in anticipo e con esattezza il corso futuro.

6 Plotino distingue l’essere che è costituito da forme sensibili e intelligibili dall’Uno che può essere considerato amorfo: “L’Uno non è “qualcosa”, ma è anteriore a qualsiasi cosa; e nemmeno non è essere, poiché l’essere possiede (…) una forma, la forma dell’essere. Ma l’Uno è privo di forma, privo anche della forma intelligibile”. Plotino, Enneade VI, in Plotino, Enneadi, Rusconi, Milano 1992, p. 1343. L’Uno “privo di forma” non può essere conosciuto “né per mezzo della scienza né per mezzo del pensiero”. Chi estaticamente ha “visto” o meglio è “stato” (è) l’Uno “non immagina una dualità, ma già diventato altro da quello che era e ormai non più se stesso, appartiene a Lui ed è uno con Lui”. L’Uno non può essere oggettivizzato. L’oggettivazione si fonda infatti sulla distanza e sulla differenza tra il soggetto che oggettiviza e l’ente oggettivizzato. Qualora ci fosse la distanza tra chi contempla l’Uno e l’Uno, quest’ultimo non si potrebbe cogliere come tale ma come “un altro”. Contemplare l’Uno significa farsi riempire dall’Uno, essere Uno. Stabilito ciò, si capisce come l’esperienza dell’Uno non possa essere adeguatamente raccontata. Manca infatti l’oggetto da ricordare. Ne L’operaio la tecnica è il modo attraverso cui l’uomo, superando la propria differenza, si avvicina a rappresentare la Forma che lo trascende.

7 Il concetto di “Avvicinamento” che scopriamo nel saggio del 1963 Tipo Nome Forma viene ripreso nello scritto del 1970 Avvicinamenti, Droghe ed ebbrezza: “L’avvicinamento è tutto, e questo avvicinamento, non ha uno scopo tangibile, uno scopo cui si possa dare un nome, il senso risiede nel cammino”. Ernst Jünger, Avvicinamenti, Droghe ed ebbrezza, Guanda, Parma 2006, p. 53.

8 “(…) nel regno della forma la regola non distingue tra causa ed effetto, bensì tra sigillo ed impronta, ed è una regola di tutt’altra natura”. Ernst Jünger, L’operaio, cit., p. 31.

9 “Il predicare della natura (…) muove dall’oggetto (il giglio indicato), attraverso il tipo (il giglio nominato), alla forma e infine all’indistinto”. Le risposte divengono sempre più ampie e, nel contempo, si riducono le distinzioni. Questa riduzione è il segno dell’avvicinamento all’Indistinto”. Ernst Jünger, Tipo, Nome, Forma, trad. it., Herrenhaus, 2001, p.93.

10 La perdita dell’aura nell’epoca della riproducibilità tecnica è un elemento che Benjamin giudica, al contrario di Adorno e di Horkheimer, funzionale alla possibilità di una rivoluzione sociale. Paradossalmente Jünger, che da Benjamin è stato aspramente criticato in relazione al suo scritto Die Totale Mobilmachung, nella dura recensione Teorie del fascismo tedesco, ritiene anch’egli fatale il sacrificio dell’autenticità dell’arte a favore del suo “uso” rivoluzionario. Naturalmente le prospettive sono opposte in quanto, alla stregua di Lukács (cfr. György Lukács, La distruzione della ragione, Einaudi, Torino 1959, p. 538.), gli “incatesimi runici” di Jünger sarebbero, secondo Benjamin, tesi al rafforzamento di una “classe di dominatori” che “non deve rendere conto a nessuno e meno che mai a se stessa, che, issata su un altissimo trono, ha i tratti sfingei del produttore, che promette di diventare prestissimo l’unico consumatore delle sue merci”. Walter Benjamin, Teorie del fascismo tedesco, in id., Benjamin, Critiche e recensioni, Tra avanguardie e letteratura di consumo, trad. it., Einaudi, Torino 1979, p. 159. Dunque, la rivoluzione di Jünger e dei suoi sodali nazional-rivoluzionari, sarebbe tesa “ideologicamente” a rafforzare lo status quo, cioè lo stato liberalcapitalista e i privilegi dei “padroni”. Secondo i miei studi, Ernst Jünger non critica falsamente (“ideologicamente”) la classe borghese per amplificarne paradossalmente il potere. Egli non ha il fine di favorire lo status quo. Nel corso dell’articolo avrò modo di ribadire come le posizioni di Jünger sono equidistanti sia dal materialismo collettivista sia dall’utilitarismo borghese.

11 Secondo Daniele Lazzari: “Siamo stati persuasi da quasi tre secoli di illuminismo che il pensiero moderno avrebbe piegato le forze elementari ormai scientificamente conosciute, analizzate ed “ingabbiate” dal razionalismo dell’umana specie, ma in barba a queste riflessioni, all’osservatore più attento non può sfuggire il persistere, se non l’accentuarsi, di queste forze elementari. Tra queste la Natura, mai dimentica di sé e della sua eterna potenza non perde occasione di ricordarci la sua grandezza, la sua inarrestabile forza distruttrice con le grandi alluvioni, trombe d’aria e vulcaniche eruzioni”. Daniele Lazzari, Il Signore della Tecnica, in A.A. V.V., Ernst Jünger, L’Europa, cioè il coraggio, Società Editrice Barbarossa, Milano 2003, p. 162.

12 Heidegger ricorda che “Τά μαθήματα significa per i Greci ciò che, nella considerazione dell’ente e nel commercio con le cose, l’uomo conosce in anticipo”. Martin Heidegger, L’epoca dell’immagine del mondo, in id., Sentieri interrotti, cit., p. 74. La scienza come matematica determina “in anticipo e in modo precipuo qualcosa di già conosciuto”. Ivi, p. 75. Questo processo che implica la pre-conoscenza di ciò che si conosce e dunque la pre-visione, è il modo tipico attraverso cui, anche per Jünger, l’uomo moderno conosce, calcola e domina il mondo. La verità del mondo sta nella sua esattezza, cioè nella corrispondenza rigorosa col procedimento che si adotta per conoscerlo. Questo modo di conoscere è valido massimamente per la tecnica. La forma tramite la tecnica e la scienza come matematica calcolano e dominano il mondo. Ma, nel pensiero di Jünger, la Forma in se stessa non può certo essere a sua volta misurata, pre-determinanta. La sua verità non è l’esattezza.

13 All’argomento del dolore che, come si sta ricordando, è intrinsecamente legato il tema dell’elementare, e che non è possibile affrontare in tutta la sua ampiezza in questo articolo, Jünger dedica un complesso e profondo saggio nel 1934 in cui si legge: “Là dove si fa risparmio di dolore l’equilibrio verrà ristabilito secondo leggi di un’economia rigorosa, e parafrasando una formula celebre, si potrebbe parlare di una “astuzia del dolore” volta a raggiungere in qualsiasi modo lo scopo”. Ernst Jünger, Sul Dolore, in id. Foglie e Pietre, cit., p. 149.

14 La revisione della tematica della tecnica, che comunque non mi pare possa intaccare nella sostanza i fondamenti della metafisica delle forme, è un argomento molto complesso a cui sarebbe bene dedicare un apposito studio all’interno del quale si analizzino nello specifico almeno i saggi Oltre la linea (trad. it., Adelphi, Milano 1989), Il trattato del Ribelle (trad. it., Adelphi, Milano 1995), Al muro del tempo ( trd. it., Adelphi, Milano 2000), il romanzo filosofico Eumeswil (trad. it., Guanda, Parma 2001) e La forbice (trad. it., Guanda, Parma, 1996). Ne L’operaio, che è l’oggetto di questo articolo, Jünger pensa che l’omonima Figura possa finalizzare alla Rinascita dell’uomo totale l’elementare; la tecnica è dunque vista come lo strumento necessario che l’uomo adotta per disporsi alla Trascendenza della Forma. Successivamente questo strumento, a cui già nel ’32 era stata associata una trasformazione della libertà, non è più adatto a garantire la comunicazione tra la Forma e l’uomo. Da qui l’esigenza di elaborare nuove figure come appunto quella del Ribelle (in Il trattato del Ribelle) o dell’Anarca (in Eumeswil) che arrivano alla propria libertà sovratemporale tramite percorsi individuali.

15 Ernst Jünger, L’operaio, cit., p. 140.

16 Cfr. Martin Heidegger, La questione dell’Essere, trad. it., in Ernst Jünger-Martin Heidegger, Oltre la linea, trad. it., Adelphi, Milano 1989, pp. 130, 131.

17 Cfr., Alain de Benoist, L’operaio fra gli dei e i titani, cit., p. 40.

18 Benjamin identifica con precisione il nesso tra la guerra e la tecnica specialmente riferendosi all’estetizzazione della politica che perseguirebbe il fascismo. La guerra imperialistica sarebbe lo sbocco naturale della società capitalista a causa “della discrepanza di poderosi mezzi di produzione e la insufficienza della loro utilizzazione nel processo di produzione (in altre parole, dalla disoccupazione e dalla mancanza di mercati di sbocco)”. Walter Benjamin, L’opera d’arte nell’epoca della sua riproducibilità tecnica, Einaudi, Torino 1966, pp. 46, 47. E’ probabile (anche se non necessario) che la Mobilitazione Totale così come è stata elaborata da Jünger possa sfociare nella guerra. E’ anche vero che i Rivoluzionari-conservatori non contestano la società a partire da idee economiche e che i rapporti di proprietà non costiuiscono il fulcro principale della loro riflessione. E’ infatti lo stesso Operaio “a rifiutare ogni interpretazione che tenti” di spiegarlo “come una manifestazione economica, o addirittura come il prodotto di processi economici, il che significa in fondo, una sorta di prodotto industriale”. Ernst Jünger, L’operaio, cit., p. 29. L’Operaio pronuncia una “dichiarazioone d’indipendenza dal mondo dell’economia”, anche se “ciò non significa affatto una rinuncia a quel mondo, bensì la volontà di subordinarlo ad una rivendicazione di potere più vasta e di più ampio respiro. Ciò significa che non la libertà economica né la potenza economica è il perno della rivolta, ma la forza pura e semplice, in assoluto”. Ibidem.

19 Secondo Evola il “mondo senz’anima delle macchine, della tecnica e delle metropoli moderne”, “pura realtà e oggettività”, “freddo, inumano, distaccato, minaccioso, privo di intimità, spersonalizzante, “barbarico””, non è rifiutato dall’Uomo differenziato. Infatti, “proprio accettando in pieno questa realtà (…) l’uomo differenziato può essenzializzarsi e formarsi (…) attivando la dimensione della trascendenza in sé, bruciando le scorie dell’individualità, egli può enucleare la persona assoluta”. Julius Evola, Cavalcare la Tigre, Edizioni Mediterranee, Roma 1995, pp. 103, 104. Rispetto al complesso rapporto fra Jünger ed Evola, oltre agli scritti evoliani L’operaio nel pensiero di Ernst Jünger ( Armando, Roma 1961), Il cammino del Cinabro (Vanni Scheiwller, Milano 1963) e Cavalcare la Tigre, si legga Francesco Cassata, A destra del fascismo, profilo politico di Julius Evola, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 2003.

20 Ne L’operaio la caratteristica peculiare della tecnica consiste proprio nella sua capacità di modificare l’essenza dell’uomo verso l’uniformità. La tecnica, che è il più appropriato strumento di dominio dell’Operaio, frantuma ogni tradizione e ogni valore e dunque anche ogni differenza di carattere schiettamente biologico. Allo stesso modo, è vero che chi non avesse la capacità di sfruttare positivamente la distruzione tecnica, sarebbe, nell’ottica di Jünger, destinato alla massificazione amorfa, in altri termini ad una modalità di vita probabilmente inferiore rispetto a quella incarnata dall’Operaio. Solo quest’ultimo, esperita la distruzione di tutti i valori e consapevole della potenza inumana della tecnica, rinasce come eroe della Forma e come protagonista del suo destino di dominio.

21 Cfr., Martin Heidegger, L’epoca dell’immagine del mondo, in id. Sentieri interrotti, trad. it., La Nuova Italia, Firenze 1968, p. 87. Secondo Heidegger, dopo che l’uomo è divenuto sub-jectum issandosi a fondamento dell’essere e dunque a metro della verità, sapere significa dominare. Heidegger confessa che il suo scritto del 1953 La questione della tecnica “deve alle descrizioni contenute nel Lavoratore un impulso durevole”. Martin Heidegger, La questione dell’Essere, in Ernst Jünger-Martin Heidegger, Oltre la linea, cit., p. 118. In effetti, sia la strumentalizzazione del mondo attuata dalla ragione tecnica che il nesso profondo che fonde il darsi della verità col suo nichilistico ritrarsi sono, almeno in parte, tematiche già presenti ne L’operaio. (Cfr. Martin Heidegger, La questione della tecnica, in Saggi e discorsi, trad. it., Mursia, Milano, 1976.). Adorno e Horkheimer, in La dialettica dell’illuminismo, scrivono che “l’illuminismo nel senso più ampio di pensiero in continuo progresso”- cioè non solo come illuminismo del secolo XVIII- “ha perseguito da sempre l’obbiettivo di togliere agli uomini la paura e di renderli padroni”. Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, trad. it., Dialettica dell’illuminismo, Einaudi, Torino 1966, p. 11. La tecnica è “l’essenza” del sapere come potere”. Ivi, p. 12. Jünger anticipa questa analisi sul sapere moderno che ha la tecnica e la razionalità strumentale come essenza. I pensatori della Scuola di Francoforte però tendono a non considerare in senso positivo il potere catartico della strumentalizzazione della ragione e del sapere come dominio. Secondo Jünger invece, una volta constatata l’irreversibilità delle dinamiche descritte, non resta che viverle. Né per Heidegger né per Jünger si può prescindere dall’essenza nichilistica della tecnica: è proprio esperendo il nichilismo che ci si incammina verso un suo eventuale superamento. Entrambi non condannano la tecnica in quanto ne giudicano necessario l’avvento. Sull’argomento cfr., Michela Nacci, Pensare la tecnica, un secolo di incomprensioni, Laterza, Bari 2000, p. 44.

22 Questo aspetto è stato acutamente evidenziato dal nazionalbolscevico Ernst Niekisch: “(…) La mobilitazione totale, di cui Jünger si fa banditore, è l’azione la quale raggiunge i propri estremi limiti, le punte più alte cui si possa attingere; essa pretende di porre tutto in marcia, non tollera più nulla in stato di riposo, donna, bambino, vegliardo che sia. Incita i lattanti ad arruolarsi, chiama le ragazze sotto le armi, dà fondo alle più segrete riserve; niente ne resta escluso, ogni angolo è frugato, l’ometto più mingherlino viene trascinato al fronte. E’ il bagordo più sfrenato in cui si butta il nichilismo, quando gli è diventato quasi inevitabile dover finalmente fissare il proprio volto”. Ernst Niekisch, Il regno dei demoni, Feltrinelli, Milano 1959, pp. 117, 118. Niekisch descrive perfettamente la mobilitazione totale, ma tace sul fatto che, come più volte Jünger ripete, dietro al movimento si cela immobile la Forma.

23 Ernst Jünger, L’operaio, cit., p. 115.

24 Il lavoro non è interpretato come un fenomeno meramente sociale ed economico, né si ha la minima intenzione di porsi dalla parte degli operai sfruttati, che lavorano troppo. Viceversa, si tenta di introdurre il lavoro come un ideale, si tratta del lavoro come forma dell’uomo e, in un certo qual modo, come forma del mondo. Il mondo e l’uomo mutano la loro forma grazie al lavoro inteso come la missione propria dell’epoca moderna.

25 Si sente l’influenza di Weber laddove si parla della ragione strumentale che finalizza ogni ente all’utile umano, al profitto e che favorisce il superamento disincantato di quella ascesi intramondana che era all’origine del capitalismo medesimo ( cfr., Max Weber, L’etica protestante e lo spirito del capitalismo, trad. it., Rizzoli, Milano 1991, pp. 239, 240.) Ma, fa notare molto precisamente Herf, se “la critica della tecnica era moneta corrente nella cultura di Weimar”, “Ernst Jünger si distingueva, poiché sembrava accogliere positivamente il processo di strumentalizzazione degli esseri umani. Era come se Weber avesse accolto con gioia la prospettiva della gabbia di ferro”. Jeffrey Herf, Il modernismo reazionario, Il Mulino, Bologna 1988, p. 150. Per Jünger invero il fatto che la razionalità finalizzata al profitto si espanda in ogni settore della vita e che il lavoro si propaghi in ogni ambiente, non impedisce che l’Operaio possa, in un certo senso, tornare ad incarnare un’etica ascetica in cui non sia tanto importante il godimento di ciò che viene prodotto, quanto la dedizione totale al lavoro, dunque anche alla produzione. Egli cerca di dividere la missione del lavoro, funzionale al dominio della forma e alla nascita dell’Operaio (che non è un mero consumatore delle merci che produce), dall’etica utilitarista, propria del borghese che produce per raggiungere il suo isolato utile e piacere.

26 “Essere e niente non si danno uno accanto all’altro, ma l’uno si adopera per l’altro, in una sorta di parentela di cui non abbiamo ancora pensato la pienezza essenziale”. Martin Heidegger, La questione dell’essere, in Ernst Jünger, Martin Heidegger, Oltre la linea, cit., p. 157.

27 Ne L’Operaio, e in vari articoli che lo precedono (cfr., ad esempio, Ernst Jünger, “Nazionalismo” e nazionalismo, Das Tagebuch, 21 settembre 1929, in Ernst Jünger, Scritti politici e di guerra 1919-1933, trad. it., Libreria Editrice Goriziana, Gorizia 2005, p. 89.), Jünger loda alla stregua dei futuristi la velocità, la macchina, l’acciao, la violenza che genera distruzione, i paesaggi lunari e freddi tipici del mondo-officina, la guerra come fattore elementare attraverso cui poter esperire una nuova forma di esistenza rinvigorita dal pericolo e dalla morte. Il costante riferimento all’Ordine (all’Essere, all’Immobile) è stato invece interpretato come la differenza più profonda fra Jünger e i futuristi italiani. Secondo Fabio Vander ad esempio poiché “non può esservi calma dopo la tempesta della Krisis, se non come essere della tempesta ovvero essere del divenire, dialettica della differenza”, Jünger “deve rassegnarsi al “semplice dinamismo, attivismo”, deve considerarlo intranscendibile se rifiuta, come rifiuta, la prospettiva dialettica. Allora di fronte alla tragicità di Jünger, meglio il divertissement di Marinetti, che appunto della differenza assoluta non cercava trascendimento, salvezza”. Fabio Vander, L’estetizzazione della politica, Il fascismo come anti-Italia, Dedalo, Bari 2001, p. 55. Secondo Vander, Jünger, ma anche Heidegger, poiché restii ad accettare la dialettica della differenza, non sarebbero stati in grado di sintetizzare l’Essere col Divenire, mentre Marinetti, non avendoci neppure provato, sarebbe stato più coerente. Constatata nel pensiero di Jünger la presenza della nozione “forte” di Forma, ma considerata pure la complicata correlazione che fonde il sensibile al sovrasensibile, non mi sento di ridurre la metafisica delle forme a un fallito tentativo di coniugare l’Essere col Divenire.

28 “Agisci sempre in modo da trattare l’umanità, sia nella tua persona sia nella persona di ogni altro, sempre come un fine e mai soltanto come un mezzo”. Immanuel Kant, Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi, trad. it., Laterza, Bari 1992, p. 111. Cesare Cases scrive che “l’etica di Jünger si direbbe l’opposto dell’etica kantiana: l’uomo non vi è concepito come valore in sé, ma come “simbolo”, come mezzo per raggiungere un determinato scopo, in cui si invera e che è in funzione di un’entità metafisica che si chiama volta per volta “idea”, “Forma”, “destino””. Casare Cases, La fredda impronta della Forma, Arte, fisica e metafisica nell’opera di Ernst Jünger, La Nuova Italia, Firenze 1997, p. 39.

29 “E’ l’immensa moltiplicazione delle produzioni di tutte le differenti attività, conseguente alla divisione del lavoro, che, nonostante la grande ineguaglianza nella proprietà, dà origine, in tutte le società evolute, a quell’universale benessere che si estende a raggiungere i ceti più bassi della popolazione. Si produce così una grande quantità di ogni bene, che ve n’è abbastanza da soddisfare l’infingardo e oppressivo sperpero del grande, al tempo stesso, da sopperire largamente ai bisogni dell’artigianto e del contadino. Ciascun uomo effettua una così grande quantità di quel lavoro che gli compete, che può anche produrre qualcosa per quelli che non lavorano affatto e, al tempo stesso, averne in tale quantità che gli è possibile, attraverso lo scambio di quanto gli rimane con i prodotti delle altre attività, di provvedersi di tutte le cose necessarie e utili di cui ha bisogno”. Adam Smith, La ricchezza delle nazioni, trad. it., Editori Riuniti, Roma 1969, p. 14. Anche Jünger crede nella necessità della divisione del lavoro, dunque nella specializzazione e nel nesso che lega questi processi alla complessiva crescita economica della nazione. Non crede invece che il solo mercato, come fosse una “mano invisibile”, possa essere in grado di determinare la ricchezza della nazione e, in definitiva, il benessere complessivo del popolo.

30 L’avvicinamento della metafisica delle Forme alla metafisica della vita può essere pensato con cognizione di causa solo se accanto alle somiglianze si mettono in evidenza le profonde differenze. Fare alla stregua di Lukács della metafisica delle Forme un’enclave della filosofia della vita (cfr. György Lukács, trad. it., La distruzione della ragione, cit., p. 538.), può condurre a incasellare la prima nell’alveo dell’irrazionalismo e dunque può servire a ridurrre la complessa filosofia di Jünger a un sistema teso a criticare la ragione in quanto tale. Se Jünger concorda con filosofi come Simmel sull’importanza della vita intesa come un fiume da cui l’uomo trae i valori e in cui i valori fatalmente nel tempo sono riassorbiti, conferisce anche notevole importanza alla dimensione propriamente metafisica o meglio esattamente Trascendente. La Forma non è qualcosa che fuoriesce per caso dal divenire magmatico. Essa è eterna, immobile. Se non può essere paragonata all’idea platonica è solo perché, benché sia trascendente, la dinamica della sua e-sistenza si estrinseca come evento, ma l’essenza è e rimane atemporale. Questa atemporalità conferisce solidità all’impianto etico de L’Operaio. In questo senso, la riflessione di Jünger può essere avvicinata a quella dei pensatori della Tradizione, ad esempio ad Evola e a Guénon. Infatti questi studiosi, riproponendo la metafisica della “Tradizione”, sostengono che l’uomo, per agire in conformità al proprio destino, debba incarnare principi assoluti e trascendenti, impersonali. L’uomo della Tradizione abbandona i propri desideri, il proprio utile e persegue un’ attività sovraindividuale. La sua è un’ “azione senza desiderio”, un “agire senza agire”. (Cfr. Julius Evola, Cavalcare la Tigre, cit., p. 68.). Anche l’Operaio agisce senza agire, nel senso che è Forma: non è lui ad agire, ma la Forma di cui è impronta. Da qui la preminenza in questo pensiero di concetti “forti” come quello di disciplina, di sacrificio, di eroismo. Il vitalismo mutuato da Nietzsche è dunque inquadrato in un sistema metafisico in cui valori tipicamente guerrieri, aristocratici, tradizionali trovano forza e, nell’intento di Jünger, imperitura conferma.

31 Michela Nacci, Pensare la tecnica, Un secolo di incomprensioni, cit., p. 61.

32 Ernst Jünger, La mobilitazione Totale, in id., Foglie e Pietre, Adelphi, Milano 1997, p. 127.

33 Ibidem.

34 Herf fa presente che la prima guerra mondiale era stata per i rivoluzionari conservatori “il palcoscenico su cui si riconciliavano le dicotomie centrali della modernità tedesca: Kultur e Zivilisation, Gemeinschaft e Gesellschaft”. Jeffrey Herf, Il modernismo reazionario, cit., p. 130. Diversamente da Spengler e da altri “intellettuali di destra” vicini all’“antimodernismo völkisch, Jünger proponeva di assorbire la macchina e la stessa metropoli nella Kultur tedesca, anziché respingere entrambi come prodotti di forze estranee”. Ivi, p. 133.

35 Cfr., Ernst Jünger, Scritti politici e di guerra, Libreria Editrice Goriziana, Gorizia 2005.

36 “Si vorrebbe riconoscere all’uomo, a piacere, la qualità di creatore o di vittima di questa stessa tecnica. L’uomo appare qui o un apprendista stregone, il quale evoca forze i cui effetti egli non sa dominare, o il creatore di un progresso ininterrotto che corre incontro a paradisi artificiali”. Ernst Jünger, L’operaio, cit., p. 140.

37 Armin Mohler fornisce una chiara spiegazione del contesto in cui sorge il concetto di “interregno”: “Attraverso la nuova esplosione di movimenti che si determina nel secolo XIX il Cristianesimo (…) si disgrega. Nella realtà politica, conformemente al principio di inerzia, continua ad esistere; tuttavia là dove si prendono le decisioni esso ha perso la sua posizione dominante e rimane, anche nelle sue tradizioni consolidate (Neotomismo e Teologia dialettica), solamente una forza tra le altre. Questo processo è accelerato ulteriormente dalla decomposizione dell’eredità del mondo antico, che aveva aiutato nel corso dei secoli il cristianesimo a raggiungere una forma propria. Gli elementi della realtà precedente sussistono ancora, ma, isolati e senza punti di riferimento, si muovono disordinatamente nello spazio. L’antica struttura dell’Occidente quale unità di mondo classico, cristianesimo e forze di nuovi popoli penetrati nella storia con le invasioni barbariche, è frantumata. Ci troviamo così in questo stato intermedio, in un “Interregnum”, da cui ogni espressione culturale è influenzata”. Armin Mohler, La Rivoluzione Conservatrice in Germania 1919-1932, Una guida, cit., pp. 22, 23.

lundi, 10 janvier 2011

Drieu la Rochelle, poeta della decadenza

Drieu La Rochelle, poeta della decadenza

Pierre Drieu La RochelleVi sono scrittori che impersonano nella loro esistenza e nelle opere un’epoca intera con tutte le sue contraddizioni. Pierre Drieu La Rochelle è stato uno di questi enfants du siècle. E il fascino dei suoi romanzi è legato non solo alla loro efficacia letteraria, ma anche al fatto che lo scrittore francese è diventato il simbolo di una generazione, quella degli “anni ruggenti”, divisa fra una vita disordinata e la ricerca di un ordine personale e sociale. Personaggi e romanziere si sono identificati agli occhi dei lettori sino a perdere ogni distinzione. E così doveva avvenire perché tutta la sua narrativa è un lungo monologo autobiografico in cui fantasia e confessione si intrecciano inestricabilmente.

 Qualcuno lo ha definito il fratello di F.S. Fitzgerald, il poeta della decadenza, della disintegrazione di una civiltà. E la definizione è, in parte, esatta. Drieu infatti è fra gli scrittori francesi che hanno avvertito più tragicamente e intensamente la crisi dell’uomo occidentale. “Il suo spirito era abituato – ha scritto in un romanzo – a confrontare la vecchiezza di oggi, che si dibatte con scosse secche e nervose, alla giovinezza creatrice con le sue armonie calme e piene”.

Le sue opere letterarie più significative, come Drôle de voyage, Fuoco fatuo, Rêveuse bourgeoise, Gilles, sono tutte modulate su questo tema della decadenza. I personaggi ne sono partecipi e rivelano nelle loro vicende l’incapacità di avere rapporti costanti e normali con gli altri, donne, uomini e ambienti, in un’alternanza di desideri e delusioni, di decisioni e di rinnegamenti; spinti continuamente a fuggire, a evitare ogni legame per timore di dovere “scegliere”.

Le pagine più compiute della sua narrativa, in genere scostante come scostante era lo stesso scrittore, sono appunto quelle in cui Drieu esprime questa atmosfera di crisi attraverso un ritmo linguistico che passa da un periodare secco e duro a una prosa densa e contorta. Ma parlare in Drieu di un’unità e costanza stilistica sarebbe, a parer nostro, inesatto: per lui infatti lo stile era un puro strumento che doveva adattarsi alla materia che trattava. Mentre, per fare un esemio, Fuoco fatuo e La commedia di Charleroi sono costruiti in un linguaggio scabro ed essenziale, Drôle de voyage e la prima parte di Gilles, che descrivono invece una corruzione di sentimenti e un clima di disfacimento, sono modulati su un ritmo più contorto, denso, colmo di echi e di riferimenti. Ma il caso più significativo è quello di Rêveuse bourgeoise,dove l’autore, dovendo rievocare in chiave fantastica la storia della sua famiglia e l’ambiente della media borghesia durante la belle époque, adotta consapevolmente il linguaggio del naturalista.

Pierre Drieu La RochelleLa modernità di Drieu sta, a parer nostro, nella struttura costante di tutta la sua opera che, al di là delle differenze stilistiche sottolineate, fonde nel tessuto narrativo materiali di diversa estrazione, descrizioni di vicende, meditazioni interiori, annotazioni storiche e di costume, costruendo un vero e proprio tipo di “romanzo-saggio”. Ma, a differenza di altri narratori, Drieu descrive senza definire: tutta la sua narrativa manca cioè di corposità veristica, i personaggi non hanno volto, sono centri nervosi, temperamenti – o forse anime – e i loro rapporti non sono quasi mai visti direttamente, ma attraverso lo schermo dei loro riflessi emotivi.

Faremmo però un torto al romanziere francese se lo riducessimo a un puro descrittore della decadenza. La consapevolezza della decadenza non era per lui un alibi, una giustificazione per accomodarsi nella poltrona di un nichilismo senza speranza. In lui era viva l’esigenza di una rivolta per modificare una situazione personale e sociale che giudicava negativa. L’aveva già sperimentata durante la prima guerra mondiale, che gli ispirò il suo racconto più compiuto, quella Commedia di Charleroi, in cui i temi della guerra moderna come simbolo della decadenza, il desiderio di rivolta, l’eroismo e la paura si mescolano in un impasto linguistico di derivazione surrealista, spezzato, rotto, in cui passato e presente, azione e meditazione formano vari piani narrativi intrecciati fra di loro in una struttura armonica.

Questo bisogno però di una rivolta, invece di esprimersi, come sarebbe stato proprio per uno scrittore, in una ricerca e in un approfondimento interiore, lo spinse verso l’azione pubblica, nell’evasione dell’impegno politico attivo che si concluse, come si sa, nella sua adesione al fascismo e nel tragico suicidio. Ma – ed è bene sottolinearlo per comprendere appinero la sua personalità – negli ultimi anni lo scrittore francese stava maturando una meditazione che lo allontanava sempre di più, da un punto di vista psicologico, dalla politica, dagli aspetti più contingenti della storia, e lo portava a cercare certezze non condizionate dagli avvenimenti. L’ultimo Drieu, che fra l’altro ha scritto quella stupenda confessione che è Racconto segreto, viveva ormai orientato verso una prospettiva metafisica, nella lettura di San Paolo, dei Vangeli e dei testi sacri orientali.

Pol Vandromme ci offre in questo saggio un ritratto prevalentemente psicologico di Drieu nella sua epoca, molto importante per capire i temi fondamentali delle sue opere, e nello stesso tempo sottolinea i motivi originali di questo autore che ha anticipato, pur nei limiti della sua formazione culturale, non solo una certa letteratura dell’incomunicabilità del dopoguerra, ma anche una corrente letteraria francese, quella che è passata alla storia degli anni cinquanta come la scuola degli ussari e degli enfants tristes.

Presentazione di: Pol Vandromme, Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, Borla, Torino 1965, pp. 7-10