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mardi, 28 juin 2016

JMJ : bataille de Vienne reconstituée au programme?

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JMJ : bataille de Vienne reconstituée au programme?

Ex: http://visegradpost.com

Pologne – Une reconstitution de la bataille de Vienne pour les JMJ 2016 à Cracovie ?

Par Olivier Bault

Pendant les Journées Mondiales de la Jeunesse (JMJ) qui se dérouleront avec le pape François à Cracovie du 27 au 31 juillet, le ministère de la Défense polonais prévoit plusieurs événements destinés à présenter aux pèlerins et autres visiteurs « l’armée polonaise à la lumière des générations au service de la défense des valeurs chrétiennes ». Parmi ces événements dévoilés par le journal Rzeczpospolita le 11 juin dernier, une reconstitution de la bataille de Vienne fait hurler la gauche laïque polonaise qui aimerait ne voir dans la chrétienté qu’une collectivité d’ONG tendant systématiquement l’autre joue à chaque claque qu’elle se prend tout en accueillant chez elle tous les arrivants sans trop se poser de questions sur leurs intentions ou sur les conséquences pour la communauté locale et nationale. Or la bataille de Vienne est le symbole d’une chrétienté à l’opposé de cette vision, avec des croyants qui avaient avec eux la force que donne le Saint-Esprit. Ce don de la force s’appelle d’ailleurs dans la langue de Sienkiewicz męstwo, ce qui se traduit généralement plutôt par « vaillance », « courage » ou même « virilité » selon les contextes.

Cette bataille du 12 septembre 1683 pour la défense de la capitale autrichienne a marqué le début du reflux du califat ottoman qui menaçait de s’étendre depuis les Balkans au reste de l’Europe. C’est en septembre 1683 que les troupes du Saint-Empire romain germanique alliées à celles de la République des Deux Nations (l’union du Royaume de Pologne et du Grand-Duché de Lituanie) mirent les Turcs, plus nombreux, en déroute sous le commandement du roi de Pologne Jean III Sobieski. « Venimus, vidimus, Deus vicit » (nous sommes venus, nous avons vu, Dieu a vaincu) écrivit alors le souverain polonais dans une missive au pape Innocent XI pour l’informer de la victoire militaire du christianisme sur l’islamisme.

L’idée du ministre de la Défense Antoni Macierewicz pour les JMJ 2016 n’est donc pas saugrenue, et elle est même courageuse dans le contexte actuel en Europe. On ne sait pas encore ce qu’en pense le pape François.

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jeudi, 23 juin 2016

Arnaud Imatz: “El catolicismo ha sido la gran suerte de España”

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Arnaud Imatz: “El catolicismo ha sido la gran suerte de España”

Ex: http://www.katehon.com

Nacido en Bayona, en 1948, en el seno de una familia de origen vasco-navarro, Arnaud Imatz es doctor en Ciencias Políticas, diplomado en Derecho y Economía. Ha sido funcionario internacional en la OCDE y fundador/gerente de empresa.

Autor de numerosos libros y artículos, ha publicado en España: José Antonio: entre odio y amor. Su historia como fue (Áltera, Madrid, 2006, 2007), Los partidos contra las personas. Izquierda y derecha: dos etiquetas (Áltera, Barcelona, 2005) y Juan Donoso Cortés: Contra el liberalismo. Antología política (Áltera, Madrid, 2014).

Publicará este verano, en París, una amplia síntesis histórica sobre el antagonismo derecha/izquierda, Droite/Gauche: pour sortir de l’équivoque. Histoire des idées et de valeurs non-conformistes du XIXe au XXIe siècle.

¿Qué empujó a un francés a interesarse a España, a sus pensadores y a su historia?

- Es una mezcla de razones familiares, generacionales y, por supuesto, también el imprevisto o la oportunidad. Hay dos ramas en mi familia: una carlista (la de mi abuelo materno) y otra republicana (la de mi abuelo paterno, héroe y gran mutilado de la guerra de 1914). Mi padre, campeón nacional de pelota vasca, excelente jugador de fútbol y rugby, me inculcó valores imprescindibles, hoy desgraciadamente burlados y pisoteados: la honestidad, la fidelidad, el respeto a la palabra dada, el sentido del bien común.

Empecé mis estudios universitarios en 1965. En plena rebelión estudiantil, mi sensibilidad política gaullista, un patriotismo abierto “ni de derechas ni de izquierdas”, me llevó a abandonar provisionalmente la universidad para cumplir mi servicio militar en el prestigioso 6º Regimiento de Paracaidistas de Infantería de Marina.

Admirador del Presidente Charles de Gaulle, gigante entre los enanos políticos franceses del siglo XX, no tenía ninguna simpatía por el freudo-marxismo de los extremistas o violentos sesentayochistas. Y en esto no andaba desencaminado. Hoy se sabe que estos pseudorevolucionarios de 1968 abandonaron muy pronto sus virulentas críticas al consumerismo capitalista, al productivismo y a la tecnocracia para defender el multiculturalismo, el individualismo de los derechos humanos y la lógica frenética del mercado. Las cosas, como son: mi generación fue mortífera. Sus mayores representantes, los líderes de los mal llamados contestatarios, contribuyeron decisivamente a nutrir la oligarquía o la casta corrupta de hoy. Casi todos se precipitaron sin la menor vergüenza en los pasillos del poder. En mi caso particular, ellos actuaron como revulsivo, como una vacuna definitiva contra la militancia política. A partir de ahí me convertí en un observador distanciado de la política. Simultáneamente, comprendí que no podía haber ciencias sociales sin un verdadero debate contradictorio, sin una lucha contra las ideas recibidas, sin un combate contra los maniqueísmos. Creo, desde aquellos lejanos años, que la objetividad es una meta que el politólogo o el historiador se deben esforzar de alcanzar. Por eso considero que los universitarios que se meten en política además parangonándose de sus títulos y de sus pretendidas investigaciones, son charlatanes, peligrosos barbaros.

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¿Qué le llevó estudiar la controvertida personalidad de José Antonio Primo de Rivera y a un olvidado Juan Donoso Cortés?

- Bueno, en realidad, mis primeros trabajos universitarios fueron sobre la Escuela de Salamanca (siglo XVI y XVII), famosísima escuela casi desconocida en Francia y muy mal conocida en España. Mi descubrimiento del pensamiento de José Antonio Primo de Rivera fue posterior y totalmente fortuito. Leí dos obras sobre él publicadas por la editorial antifranquista Ruedo Iberico: Antifalange del periodista y polemista marxista, Herbert Southworth y Falange: historia del fascismo español del historiador, entonces social-demócrata, Stanley Payne. Despertaron mi interés por José Antonio y años después, en 1975, defendí mi tesis doctoral. Se trataba de un doctorado de Estado, y no de Universidad, el mayor grado académico otorgable entonces por el Estado francés. Conste que a pesar de mi alejamiento de los convencionalismos, mi tribunal, compuesto de profesores liberales y socialdemócratas al “viejo estilo”, me dio la mayor graduación: summa cum laude. Una actitud honesta e independiente, inimaginable hoy en una universidad dominada por lo políticamente correcto. Esto fue mi primer paso. Luego me interesé por el liberal José Ortega y Gasset, y el tradicionalista Juan Donoso Cortés, y publiqué en Francia varios ensayos y antologías. Otro de mis temas favoritos ha sido la Guerra civil española. Di a conocer al público francés unos cuantos autores españoles absolutamente desconocidos en el Hexágono. También tuve la satisfacción de romper la omertà de 40 años, que había afectado a Stanley Payne, publicando y prologando su libro La guerre d’Espagne. L’histoire face à la confusion mémorielle (Editions du CERF, París, 2010).

¿España o Españas?

- Yo digo siempre España, como digo lengua española (y no castellana). Spain and Spanish language dicen, por cierto, y sin vacilar, los ingleses y los americanos del norte. Pero tampoco me parece algo fundamental. Muchos españoles creen que el concepto “Españas” es reciente y a menudo lo hacen remontar a la Constitución de 1978, con la institucionalización de la división de España en comunidades autónomas. Sin embargo, por citar un solo contra-ejemplo, recordaré que el catedrático de Filosofía del Derecho de sensibilidad carlista, Francisco Elías de Tejada, acostumbraba utilizar dicho concepto en los años 1940-1975. Ahora bien, si con este concepto de Españas se quiere esconder un proyecto de desconstrucción de España en tanto que nación, por supuesto, como historiador, discrepo totalmente. Dejo a los papanatas la admiración por intelectuales y artistas mediáticos como Savater, Sánchez Ferlosio, Javier Marías o Antonio Gala. Yo me quedo con la pléyade de autores famosos, de izquierdas y de derechas, unidos al ser y a la existencia de España: Feijoo, Cadalso, Balmes, Costa, Ganivet, Menéndez y Pelayo, Giner de los Ríos, Unamuno, Ortega, Maeztu, Baroja, los Machado, Marañón, Madariaga y tantos otros.

Según sus estudios y reflexiones, la crisis que sufre España, ¿participa de una más global, que afectaría a toda Europa, o subsumiría, además, problemáticas seculares jamás resueltas?

- En efecto, creo que “el drama de la España moderna” se ha dado, en gran parte, de manera similar al de las otras grandes naciones europeas (Francia, Italia, Gran Bretaña, Alemania, etc.). Indudablemente, la construcción de la España moderna y democrática se ha hecho sobre el rechazo absoluto de la dictadura franquista. Pero, como dicen los ingleses, se ha desechado el bebe con el agua de la bañera. Los estereotipos del pasado, la amplia memoria histórica (que no reciente) y la valoración de la continuidad han sido continuamente denunciados en la península. Un error. La oligarquía o las elites postfranquistas, imitadoras de sus maestros europeos, se han mostrado incapaces de generar un nuevo proyecto de vida en común, de suscitar un sentimiento de pertenencia a una unidad de destino. Los responsables son globalmente todos los mandos de los partidos de gobierno, tanto de derechas como de izquierdas, los neoliberales y los neo-socialdemócratas. Evidentemente, en este proceso se suman, como dice usted, problemáticas seculares jamás resueltas, o características específicas de España. Pero conviene subrayar, sobre todo, la incapacidad de las elites europeas mundializadas, desconectadas de la realidad, obsesionadas por la creación de una Europa librecambista, multicultural, avasallada, sin marco geográfico, histórico y cultural; una Europa hecha por y para ciudadanos zombis.

Catolicismo y España: ¿cemento o cortapisa? Al casi desaparecer aquél, ¿España tiene sentido?

- El catolicismo ha sido la gran suerte de España. Su eclipse, un desastre. Sólo desde 2015 se han cerrado 341 casas de religiosos en España. Una evolución terrible que va de la mano con el profundo deterioro del país. No olvidemos que para Maquiavelo, Montesquieu, Tocqueville, Lord Acton, y muchísimos más, es la religión lo que frena los apetitos y sostiene las virtudes (y sobra decir que estos pensadores se referían esencialmente al cristianismo). Mire usted, en nuestra Francia “Fille aînée de l’Église” tenemos una cierta experiencia del tema. Desde la Revolución francesa se ha luchado, a menudo brutalmente, contra la Iglesia y el catolicismo. Hemos conocido las persecuciones religiosas, el sectarismo laicista, el racismo republicano de base anticristiana y al final, una vez laminado el cristianismo, asistimos al triste espectáculo de unos políticos totalmente desarmados ante el desarrollo del Islam. Lo único que se les ocurre es manipular la opinión pública, repitiendo ad nauseam, y desde hace más de 30 años, que no hay reemplazamiento de la población, que esto es una fantasía, y que de todas formas habrá (se supone que gracias al milagro que ellos cumplirán un día) un nuevo Islam, modernizado, reformado, contextualizado, laicizado, democratizado, compatible con el modelo occidental, capaz de marginar a “la pequeña minoría fundamentalista vivero del totalitarismo islamista”. Una saga de mentiras y sandeces.

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Clase política y pueblo español, ¿tal para cual y viceversa?

- Como dice El Cantar de mio Cid: «¡Dios, qué buen vasallo, — si oviesse buen señor!»". Confieso que me he impuesto seguir a los principales líderes políticos de España, escuchando o leyendo algunos de sus discursos. El panorama es desesperante. Quizás nunca han imperado tanto la demagogia, la duplicidad y el engaño.

Una educación degradada, la pérdida del sentido trascendente de la existencia, individualismo acelerado por las nuevas tecnologías, el consumismo como estilo de vida, la atomización social como fruto y la consiguiente debilidad de la persona…, ¿comparte el diagnóstico? Tamaña revolución antropológica, seguramente universal, pero acentuada por el temperamento español, ¿es reversible?

- No lo sé, pero le recordaré el dicho maurrasiano: “La desesperanza en política es una estupidez absoluta”.

¿Por qué no existe en España una “derecha de ideales”?

- Creo que existe, pero no tiene la menor visibilidad en los grandes medios de comunicación. Sólo hablan los representantes de la derecha de intereses, obsesionados por las recetas neoliberales, por el economicismo, la competitividad, la reforma del mercado del empleo, la reducción de los déficits.

En España se tiende a buscar analogías entre Podemos y el Frente Nacional francés. ¿Encuentra razonable tal perspectiva?

- El éxito de Podemos se debe a su constante promoción en los medios de comunicación. Al contrario del Frente Nacional, un partido populista votado mayoritariamente por los obreros y los asalariados, que ha sido siempre marginado y boicoteado por los periodistas y los representantes de la oligarquía político-económico-cultural. Podemos tiene, ante todo, una herencia radical o extremista de izquierda: tesis ecologistas, defensa del multiculturalismo, rechazo de las fronteras, laicismo maximalista, federalismo y a veces separatismo, admiración hacia los movimientos populistas tercermundistas de Chávez y Morales (pero sin compartir sus patriotismos o nacionalismos). La ideología de Podemos es una mezcla de crítica virulenta del capitalismo (abogan por controles y represiones económicas) y de absoluta defensa del liberalismo “societal” (apertura de las fronteras, odio del Estado, generalización del aborto, lucha contra las discriminaciones, etc.). La contradicción insalvable de Podemos es querer hacer del individuo la norma de todo y a la vez querer una colectividad unida. A diferencia del Frente Nacional, Podemos cree en las recetas supranacionales, en una reforma milagrosa de la Unión Europea, lo que hace de él un partido desfasado y condenado a la impotencia. El caso de Podemos es atípico; paradójicamente hace eco al eslogan de Fraga Iribarne “Spain is different”. Podemos y el partido Syriza, movimiento desacreditado por su vergonzante sumisión a la UE, son dos populismos de extrema izquierda. Tienen muy poco que ver con los numerosos populismos europeos que se definen a favor de la justicia social y en contra de la globalización mundialista, del reemplazamiento poblacional y civilizacional. Incluso el Movimiento 5 Estrellas no comparte la ideología inmigracionista de Podemos, uno de los pilares del mundialismo, por no querer jugar el papel de los “idiotas útiles” como decía Karl Marx.

Como buen conocedor de la historia y la actualidad españolas, resumiendo todo lo anterior, ¿vislumbra un futuro para España o, según su criterio, esta nación sufre los espasmos de un fin cercano?

- Ya no creo que los pueblos europeos de Occidente se puedan salvar solos. Pongo mis esperanzas en los países del Este, que han sufrido durante tantas décadas el totalitarismo comunista. Quizás ellos nos ayuden a deshacernos de la oligarquía neoliberal dominante, a romper con lo políticamente correcto y a salir de nuestra dormición.

Vieja política versus populismos; oligarquía versus pueblos; mundialismo versus identidades colectivas; pensamiento progresista políticamente correcto versus tradición judeo-cristiana;…, ¿cuáles son los ejes decisivos, a su entender, de “la cuestión” de nuestro tiempo?

- La única división importante de hoy es la que opone, en el interior de las izquierdas y de las derechas, a los partidarios del apego frente los partidarios del desarraigo; la que levanta a los defensores de la identidad, de la soberanía, de la justicia social y del bien común, frente a los adeptos del mundialismo, del multiculturalismo y del gran mercado. Nunca se debe olvidar la lección política de Aristóteles, Rousseau, Jefferson y de muchos otros pensadores prestigiosos: para que una sociedad democrática pueda sobrevivir se necesita un territorio relativamente limitado y un alto nivel de homogeneidad de la población.

La Tribuna del País Vasco.

mardi, 14 juin 2016

Carl Schmitt, Un giurista davanti a se stesso

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Teodoro Klitsche de la Grange: recensione a:

 
Carl Schmitt, Un giurista davanti a se stesso
Neri Pozza Editore, Vicenza 2012, pp. 312, € 16,50.
 
Ex: http://civiumlibertas.blogspot.com

Questa non è una delle molte raccolte di scritti di Schmitt tradotti e pubblicati in Italia negli ultimi quarant’anni, ma si prefigge, attraverso i testi e le interviste raccolte (alcuni dei quali già pubblicati in italiano), di “fornire una chiave di lettura per una delle figure più discusse e contraddittorie del ventesimo secolo” e l’“esercizio di lettura che il libro propone assomiglia pertanto alla decifrazione di quelle figure nascoste dentro un paesaggio o in altro disegno che appaiono improvvisamente se si tiene lo sguardo fisso sull’immagine abbastanza a lungo” (così Giorgio Agamben nell’introduzione).

cs-$_35.JPGSchmitt è stato uno dei maggiori interpreti della crisi del XX secolo; la sua peculiare concezione del diritto ha fatto si che lui, giurista come si considerò sempre fino alla morte – ma come tutti i grandi giuristi portatore di una visione che trascende il mero orizzonte giuridico – sia stato in Italia apprezzato prevalentemente come politologo e filosofo della politica.

Tuttavia come scrive Agamben nell’attenta introduzione “non si comprende nulla del pensiero di Schmitt, se non lo si situa innanzitutto in una concezione del diritto che poggia su un elemento antagonistico rispetto alla legge”. E tale considerazione è del tutto condivisibile; ancor più a considerare che la polemica anti-normativista di Schmitt è essa stessa rivolta ad indagare la crisi dell’Europa (e del pensiero europeo) del XX secolo, di cui il normativismo di Kelsen – e ancor più quello dei suoi epigoni è stato, ad un tempo, la conseguenza e anche la rappresentazione (forse) più coerente. Risolvere la legittimità nella legalità, l’esistente nel normativo, l’ordinamento nella norma, la decisione sovrana nella coscienza dell’interprete, espungendo (i primi termini) dal diritto è la sintesi giuridica e politica di una concezione che ha perso i riferimenti (e la dipendenza) dalla concretezza e dalla storia. E così da quello che Maurice Hauriou chiamava le fond théologique, al quale la couche juridique è ancorata (e senza la quale diventa ondivaga).

D’altra parte i contributi del giurista di Plettemberg hanno il pregio d’interpretare non solo il tempo a lui contemporaneo, ma anche il futuro. Come si legge nell’introduzione “A quasi trent’anni di distanza, le analisi di Schmitt sono divenute ancora più pertinenti. Si prenda il problema della costituzione europea, che oggi è al centro del dibattito politico. Ciò che il «no» dei cittadini francesi e olandesi è venuto a ricordare è che una nuova costituzione non può essere insediata attraverso accordi «legali» fra governi, ma deve passare attraversi una fase costituente. Un nuovo potere costituito senza un potere costituente può essere legale, ma non legittimo. E nulla è più sconcertante dell’incoscienza con cui le democrazie occidentali, dopo essere scivolate tra le due guerre legalmente nel fascismo, pretendono oggi di trapassare altrettanto legalmente in prassi e forme di governo per le quali ci mancano i nomi e che non sono certo migliori di quello”. Schmitt ha buon gioco nel dimostrare che un potere costituente europeo implica “qualcosa come un patriottismo europeo”. Il quale a sua volta presuppone un sentire comune e un patrimonio che, in omaggio ad un legalismo burocratico il trattato naufragato, col rifiuto delle “radici giudaico-cristiane”, dimenticava e respingeva.

Non sorprende perciò quanto ancora si legge nell’introduzione del saggio Staat, bewegung, volk, tradotto da Cantimori con il titolo Principi politici del Nazionalsocialismo, indovinato perché Cantimori aveva ben capito che Schmitt intendeva ivi delineare i principi del nuovo ordine nazionalsocialista. Come scrive Agamben “Ma, per i lettori attenti di oggi, l’interesse è raddoppiato dalla scomoda, ma ineludibile consapevolezza che questo testo delinea, in realtà, i principi costituzionali delle società postdemocratiche del secolo ventesimo nel cui solco ancora oggi ci muoviamo. Se l’interpretazione che di questo testo proponiamo è corretta, allora esso conterrebbe il centro esoterico e per così dire l’arcanum della teoria schmittiana del diritto pubblico”. Tuttavia oltre che alla biopolitica e al criterio del politico/impolitico il collegamento con le costituzioni novecentesche, del c.d. Stato sociale (o pluriclasse), è, ad avviso di chi scrive, dato dalla continuità (dialettica) dello Stato totale come “autorganizzazione della società”. Stato totale quantitativo nella Repubblica di Weimar, che diviene (anche e soprattutto) qualitativo col Terzo Reich (v. Der Hüter des Verfassung, saggio di Schmitt, peraltro precedente l’ascesa di Hitler al potere).

La stessa capacità di comprensione dell’attualità emerge (tra gli altri) dal saggio sulla “Rivoluzione legale mondiale”, nel quale l’ormai anziano (1978) Schmitt applica all’eurocomunismo - che appartiene di pieno diritto alla fase senescente, ideologica e politica, del comunismo – le proprie considerazioni sull’uso politico della legalità e sul cambiamento legale della costituzione della rivoluzione, già enunciate negli anni ’20 sulla dottrina (e la prassi) leninista e sul costituzionalismo di Kelsen.

Valutando la tesi di Santiago Carillo che i metodi violenti della rivoluzione bolscevica sono “oggi antiquati e si troverebbero nel posto giusto e nel momento giusto solo laddove si trattasse di fare il salto da una società agrario-contadina a una moderna ed industriale. In quanto metodi di una rivoluzione comunista erano legittimi ma non legali. Oggi invece sono superati, perché adesso a essere in questione nelle società industrialmente sviluppate è la potenza statale. Quei metodi, pertanto, non possono più essere un modello appropriato di rivoluzione comunista e devono essere sostituiti da metodi pacifici, vale a dire statali-legali”. Lo Stato peraltro è “il portatore della legalità, la quale realizza quel miracolo che è una rivoluzione pacifica. La rivoluzione, dal canto suo, legittima lo Stato in cambio dell’atto di beneficenza con cui esso permette che abbia luogo una rivoluzione statale-legale. La rivoluzione legale diviene permanente e la rivoluzione statale permanente diviene legale”. Il che significa per gli eurocomunisti condividere la tesi kelseniana sull’abrogazione legale della Costituzione. Schmitt ricorda che proprio le ascese del fascismo in Italia e del nazismo in Francia avvennero osservando le procedure costituzionali, pure quelle dettate in omaggio alla “superlegalità” (concetto di Maurice Hauriou). Quindi, in sostanza nulla di nuovo. Solo che il tutto non elimina il problema della legittimità dell’ordinamento e del potere costituente, ambedue non riconducibili alla legalità.

Daumier_Avocats_avec_toques_m.jpgIn particolare il potere costituente ha generato una prassi per il cambiamento di costituzione: “ogni rivoluzionario di professione ha imparato a maneggiarle: si destituisce il governo legale esistente, si convoca un «governo provvisorio» e si indice un’assemblea nazionale costituente… attraverso rivoluzioni grandi e piccole, europee e non europee, è sorta nell’arco di due secoli una prassi legittimante nella legalizzazione del colpo di stato e delle rivoluzioni”. Tuttavia è “difficile immaginare il trasferimento di un potere costituente dalla nazione all’umanità…L’organizzazione attuale della pace mondiale non è utile solo all’unità, ma anche allo status quo dei suoi numerosi membri sovrani. Dovremmo forse prospettarci un’assemblea plenaria dell’ONU p almeno una seduta del Consiglio di sicurezza che si svolga similmente a quella della notte del 4 agosto 1789, in cui i privilegiati rinunciarono festosamente a tutti i loro privilegi feudali?”.

A cercare il “filo di Arianna” in questi saggi e contributi (uno di questi fili perché, data la ricchezza delle riflessioni di Schmitt, ve ne sono parecchi) pare a chi scrive di ricondurlo alla formula che “l’esistente prevale sul normativo”, la quale, pur nelle differenze, accomuna Schmitt non solo ai concetti ed alla dottrina dello jus publicum europeaeum, ma anche al pensiero di Hauriou e di Santi Romano. Al contrario della dottrina del diritto prevalente nel secondo dopoguerra, dove è il normativo che più che prevalere, non considera l’esistente.

Così i rapporti forza/diritto, legittimità/legalità, costituente/costituiti, comando/obbedienza sono più che risolti, occultati da un normativismo che ha la funzione della notte di Hegel: di rendere grigie tutte le vacche. E così di nascondere il potere sotto la couche di una legalità autoreferenziale. La quale è come il barone di Munchaüsen il quale evitava di cadere nella palude sostenendosi per il codino della parrucca. Prima o poi il tonfo è assicurato.
Teodoro Klitsche de la Grange

vendredi, 20 mai 2016

Ein germanophiler Traditionalist

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Ein germanophiler Traditionalist

von Carlos Wefers Verástegui

Ex: http://www.blauenarzisse.de

Der spanische Journalist, Politiker und Redner Juan Vázquez de Mella y Fanjul (18611928) war einer der bedeutendsten katholischen Apologetiker des ausgehenden 19. Jahrhunderts.

Vor allem ihm ist es zu verdanken, dass die bis dahin verstreut, neben– und sogar gegeneinander existierenden legitimistischen, klerikalen und antiliberalen Strömungen im „Traditionalismus“ ein gedanklich durchgebildetes, einheitliches System erhielten. Politisch immer noch interessant sind Mellas gewagte Gegenwartsdiagnosen und Prognosen.

Katholische Zivilisation als Gegenentwurf zur Moderne

Mella war kein Soziologe oder Geschichtsphilosoph von Fach. Trotzdem hat er bedeutende Lehrstücke zu beiden Disziplinen geliefert. Seine eigentliche Spezialität war die politische Theologie: Innerhalb eines spezifisch christlichen Geschichtsbildes als analytischem Rahmen vollzieht sich die systematische Kulturkritik der Moderne, der konsequent die „katholische Zivilisation“ entgegen gestellt wird.

Die Moderne wird dabei dialektisch auseinandergesetzt und destruiert. Die politisch-​theologische Methode ermöglicht die Vorauskonstruktion kommender Ereignisse. Eines ihrer Mittel ist die „ideologische Ableitung“. Das ist die Ableitung des Geschichtsverlaufs aus den in der Geschichte wirksamen Ideen, den richtigen wie den irrigen. Der Darstellung der sich aus diesen Ideen ergebenden notwendigen Konsequenzen liegt bei Mella eine in sich schlüssige Geschichtslogik zugrunde: Ist erstmal der Weg in die entsprechende Richtung eingeschlagen, nehmen die Ereignisse mit äußerster Folgerichtigkeit ihren Lauf. Die Freiheit besteht für den Menschen darin, nun diesen ersten Schritt zu tun, zwischen Wahrheit und Irrtum zu wählen, zu irren oder richtig zu liegen.

Wahr oder falsch

Genauso, wie die ganze irrende Menschheit, sind auch ihre Führer mit Blindheit geschlagen und wissen nicht, was sie tun. Der dogmatische und, mit ihm, politische und auch soziale Irrtum, ist die Wurzel allen geschichtlichen Übels. Diese radikale Gegenüberstellung von Wahrheit und Irrtum, richtig oder falsch bei Mella, lässt keine Vermittlung, also keine der heute so beliebten Grauschattierungen, zu: Sie zwingt jeden zu einer klaren Stellungnahme in der Wirklichkeit.

Für Mella stand die soziopolitische Wirklichkeit seit den Tagen der Französischen Revolution permanent unter Spannung. Diese kann sich nur in Konflikten entladen und führt, aller Vorsicht und selbst gegenteiliger Bemühungen zum Trotz, zur Katastrophe. Mellas Reden und Artikel der ersten Jahrzehnte des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts beinhalten daher unzählige treffende Voraussagen des Spanischen Bürgerkriegs (19361939). Gerade weil Mella seine Gegenwart realistisch, d.h. illusionslos, betrachtete, konnte er die Entwicklung vorwegnehmen.

Mellas Werdegang vom Liberalismus zum Karlismus

Mella war Traditionalist aus Überzeugung: nicht eine etwaige Familientradition, sondern Ideen waren es, die ihn zum Traditionalismus geführt hatten. Geboren im nordspanischen Asturien als Sohn eines Offiziers und liberalen Demagogen sowie einer strenggläubigen Katholikin stand Mella zunächst unter dem Einfluss der väterlichen liberalen Anschauungen. Früh bemerkte der Vater das Redetalent seines Sohnes: Er übte den kaum Zehnjährigen darin, in der Öffentlichkeit liberale Standreden zu halten. Nach dem Tod des Vaters zogen Mutter und Kind zu Verwandten in das benachbarte Galicien.

Dort kam es auch zur ersten Kontaktaufnahme Mellas mit dem spanischen Legitimismus und Royalismus, dem Karlismus. In der galicischen Hauptstadt Santiago de Compostela war die Kirche, trotz der siegreichen liberalen Revolution, noch immer die stärkste Macht und karlistisch eingestellt. Auch waren in Galicien die Anhänger des legitimistischen Thronanwärters Don Carlos von Bourbon („Karl V.“), die Karlisten, sehr zahlreich. Die traditionalistischen Einflüsse, die vom Karlismus ausgingen, haben Mella die Richtung gegeben.

Die Wende zum Karlismus vollzog sich während seines Jurastudiums in Santiago de Compostela. Mella war kein guter Student. Die trockene Materie missfiel ihm sehr, so dass er die geringste Zeit und Kraft aufwendete, um die Examina zu bestehen, mehr nicht. Mella nutzte seine Zeit lieber zum Selbststudium der Philosophie, Theologie, Geschichte und Literatur. Dadurch erlangte er eine universelle Bildung. In Theologie und Philosophie brachte er es sogar zu einem echten Fachwissen.

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Parlamentarier wider Willen

Wie ein Schwamm nahm er die Lehren und Prinzipien der spanischen Konterrevolution in sich auf, vor allem Donoso Cortés. Weitere Anregungen empfing er vom spanischen Traditionalisten und Literaturkritiker Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo. Aufgrund seiner universellen Bildung und seiner Redebegabung wurden, trotz der mäßigen Noten, seine Lehrer auf ihn aufmerksam: dank ihrer Förderung und mit kirchlicher Unterstützung konnte Mella Artikel und Kritiken in verschiedenen traditionalistischen Medien veröffentlichen.

Dabei bestach Mella durch seinen Rednerstil sowie seine scharfe Dialektik. Mellas Beredsamkeit drang bis zur karlistischen Führung durch: der Marquis von Cerralbo nahm sich seiner an, so dass er von nun an als Chefpropagandist der Sache Don Carlos („Karl VII.“) diente. 1891 stellten die Karlisten Mella als ihren Kandidaten für den Wahlbezirk Valls in Katalonien auf. 1892 schaffte es Mella in das Parlament, diesmal als Abgeordneter von Aoiz, im ehemaligen Königreich Navarra.

Von 1892 bis 1919 – mit einer Unterbrechung von 1900 bis 1905 – war Mella karlistischer bzw. traditionalistischer Parlamentarier, sehr zu seinem Unwillen. Er war geschworener Feind des Liberalismus, den er in seinem eigenen Heiligtum, dem Parlament, aufs heftigste bekämpfte. Mella war für keine Zusammenarbeit zu haben, was ihm Kritik und Missmut von liberal-​konservativer Seite zuzog. Die gemäßigten, katholischen und christlichen Liberalen, die „vermittelnden Parteien“, lehnte er genauso ab, wie die radikalen und antiklerikalen Liberalen.

Mella im Exil

Von 1900 bis 1905 befand sich Mella, halb freiwillig, im Exil: als Chefpropagandist wurde er für den Aufstand katalanischer Karlisten verantwortlich gemacht und polizeilich gesucht. Zuerst floh Mella nach Portugal, danach lebte er zurückgezogen in seiner galicischen Heimat. Nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg trennte sich Mella vom legitimistischen Thronanwärter Don Jaime (Jakob III.). Mit der ganzen spanischen Öffentlichkeit hatte der Weltkrieg auch die Karlisten in die beiden Lager der „aliadófilos“ – d.h. die Anhänger Frankreichs und Englands – und „germanófilos“ – die Befürworter Deutschlands und Österreich-​Ungarns – gespalten.

Mit fast der gesamten karlistischen Führungsriege war Mella „germanófilo“, im Gegensatz zum Thronanwärter, der Frankreich und England bevorzugte. Dieser setzte die gesamte deutschenfreundliche Führung ab, was zur Abspaltung der sogenannten „Mellisten“ vom Karlismus führte.

Keine Reaktion, sondern Wiederanknüpfen an die Tradition

Trotz seiner politischen Heimat im Legitimismus steht Mella in der viel großartigeren Tradition der christlichen Staatsphilosophie. In einzigartiger Weise nahm er die Lehren der Schule von Salamanca, namentlich Francisco de Vitoria und Francisco Suárez, in sich auf. Diese verarbeitete er auf originelle Weise, indem er sie in Verbindung mit den Thesen des Reaktionärs Donoso Cortés brachte. Mellas Traditionalismus ist kein bloßer Gegenentwurf zur Praxis und Theorie des Liberalismus. Er ist keine „Gegennachahmung“, keine bloß konterrevolutionäre Chiffre für „Absolutismus und Reaktion“: er bezeichnet vielmehr das bewusste Wiederaufsuchen und Anknüpfen an eine nationalspanische Tradition politischen Denkens.

Diese war über den Absolutismus des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts verloren gegangen. Im 19. Jahrhundert war sie den Legitimisten, die eigentlich die Verteidiger der Tradition sein sollten, verdächtig geworden: die Liberalen hatten sich ihrer bemächtigt und dreist für liberalen Konstitutionalismus ausgegeben. In dieser missbräuchlichen Form benutzten sie sie in ihrem Kampf gegen das absolutistische Ancien Régime, nur um ihren eigenen Absolutismus zu befördern.

Mellas „Traditionalismus“ ist ein dreifacher: „Traditionalismus“ im strengen Wortsinn, als organisches Anknüpfen und Fortbilden des bereits positiv Überlieferten bzw. dessen Wiederherstellung. An diesen schließen sich ein christlich-​naturrechtlicher Traditionalismus sowie ein soziologischer Traditionalismus an, die beide aristotelisch-​thomistischer (scholastischer) Provenienz sind. Bei Mella bleibt es aber nicht bei abstrakten Ordnungsprinzipien rein normativer Art, wie sonst in der Scholastik üblich. Diese Prinzipien müssen auch menschlich, geschichtlich sowie gesellschaftlich wirklich sein.

In diesem Sinne genießt die Tradition als die Zeiten übergreifende Verwirklichung des Volksganzen und universeller Konsens einen Vorzug gegenüber der vom zeitlosen hierarchischen Prinzip dargestellten Ordnung. Auch gegenüber dem Willen der jeweiligen Gegenwart ist das Recht der sich darstellenden Ganzheit grundsätzlich höher anzuschlagen: die gegebene und gebotene Naturnotwendigkeit, die die Menschen veranlasst, sich zwecks Bildung des geselligen Zustands zusammenzuschließen, besitzt einen höheren Stellenwert, als Willkür und Belieben des Individuums. Das schließt jede numerische Willensbildung (Demokratie) wie auch jeden deliberativen Prozess der Willensfindung (Liberalismus) als Quellen der Legitimität aus.

Permanenz und Fortschritt

Aus dem Traditionalismus erklärt sich Mellas Streiten für Permanenz: nur da, wo sich geschichtlich etwas bewährt hat und fortbesteht, kann es auch Fortdauer, Stetigkeit und Ständigkeit geben. Die Prämisse jeden echten Fortschritts ist deshalb Entwicklung aus der Tradition. Die Tradition, die selbst in der Entwicklung steht, bezeichnet das Wesen dieses echten Fortschritts: Anknüpfen und Weiterspinnen des geschichtlichen Fadens auf dem Grunde der Permanenz.

Die „Tradition“ Mellas ist, soziologisch gesprochen, die gesellschaftliche Dynamik, die die gesellschaftliche Statik – die in den gesellschaftlichen und politischen Einrichtungen verwirklichten göttlichen Schemata und natürlichen Ordnungsprinzipien – umflutet, nährt und zur Entfaltung bringt. Dass Mellas „Traditionalismus“ von daher kein bloßer monarchischer Absolutismus ist, wird aus der Begründung der Gesellschaft klar, die Mella von Francisco Suárez nimmt: Gegenüber dem Staat ist die ganze Gesellschaft ursprünglich. „Gesellschaft“ begreift Mella nicht liberal-​individualistisch atomistisch, sondern als gegliedertes und in sich selbst hierarchisch abgestuftes Volksganzes. Die Gesellschaft ist „organisch-​demokratisch“, d.h. in ihr ist das Volk als Ganzes ursprünglich.

Von daher steht es auch selbstbestimmt und souverän den politischen Gewalten des Staates gegenüber. Dieser ist als Rechtsbewahrer mit schiedsrichterlichen und organisatorischen Aufgaben betraut. Er hat nur da unterstützend oder stellvertretend einzugreifen, wo die Tätigkeit der gesellschaftlichen Verbände und Klassen von allein nicht ausreicht oder ein Streit zu schlichten ist (Subsidiaritätsprinzip). Zu den arteigenen Aufgaben des Staates gehören die Verteidigung nach innen und außen, sowie die Oberleitung des Ganzen im Sinne des Gemeinwohls.

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Ablehnung des Parlamentarismus

In der Gesellschaft und durch die Gesellschaft soll der Mensch als Angehöriger seiner jeweiligen Gemeinschaften sowie nach Maßgabe seiner natürlichen Fähigkeiten und Eigenschaften sich möglichst frei entfalten und vervollkommnen. Im Gegensatz zur individualistischen Demokratie des Liberalismus ist das in der Gesellschaft begriffene Volk nicht aus sich selbst heraus souverän.

Mellas Auseinandersetzung mit dem liberalen Parlamentarismus, seinen Widersprüchen, Halbheiten und Wirrnissen, steht in nichts der seines Zeitgenossen Georges Sorel nach. Ganze Passagen seiner Reden und Artikel erinnern stark an die Gewaltmaximen des französischen revolutionären Syndikalisten, z.B. wenn Mella bekennt, dass er die in ihrer Gewalttätigkeit absurde Konsequenz der streikenden Arbeiter den Schwankungen der Parlamentarier („diesen dekadenten Byzantinern“) gegenüber bevorzuge.

Mella lehnte überhaupt den Parlamentarismus ab, weil dieser systematisch die Verantwortung weiterschöbe und auf andere abwälzte, bis von ihr nichts als die Verhöhnung des „unglücklichen Stimmviehs“ übrig bliebe. Er versprach sich zudem nichts von Kompromissen. Als gläubiger Katholik und Geschichtskenner stand er der Gegenwart zu nüchtern gegenüber, als dass er an eine friedliche Lösung der sozialen Probleme seiner Zeit glauben konnte. Darum befürwortete er nicht nur die Gewalt, sondern erwartete geradezu, dass der Anreiz zu ihrer Anwendung von den Revolutionären, den Anarchisten und Sozialisten käme.

Die Dialektik der Ereignisse begriff Mella dabei als göttliches Strafgericht: es sind Gottesurteile, welche sich nach Art einer „Lotterie“ über die Nationen vollziehen. Die Teilnahme aller an dieser „Lotterie“ ist Zwang, und kein Los bleibt aus. Aus den Sünden und Nachlässigkeiten der Völker ergibt sich, als verdiente Strafe, das Ausbleiben rettender großer Staatsmänner. Und, umgekehrt, gibt es keine Tugend, keine Tüchtigkeit und kein Verdienst, die nicht irgendwie ihre Belohnung erhielten.

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Der liberale Staat systematisiert den Bürgerkrieg

Besonders widerwärtig war Mella die Gleichgültigkeit des liberalen Staats gegenüber den verschiedenen Meinungen und Ansichten in der Gesellschaft. Da der Staat zugegebenermaßen die Wahrheit nicht kennt, muss er sie, will er konsequent sein, vollends in Abrede stellen. Der Idiotie und Ignoranz überführt, ist er dennoch nicht willens, seine Finger von der Bildung zu lassen. Für den Posten eines weltlichen Oberpriesters, den er für sich beansprucht, ist er alles andere als qualifiziert. Von daher ist es absurd, dass er die bürgerliche Gesellschaft in seinem Schoss beherbergen möchte.

Denn, wie Mella ausführt, da, wo es keine gemeinsamen Prinzipien gibt, kann es auch keine gemeinsamen Einrichtungen geben. Sind die Prinzipien für den Staat alle gleich, und feinden sich zudem noch gegenseitig an, befinden sich im Wettstreit, so hat er mit seiner Ordnung doch nur eins geschafft: er hat den Bürgerkrieg systematisiert und damit die Wahrheit neutralisiert.

Die sich aus dieser Operation ergebende intellektuelle Anarchie verwirrt und scheidet die Geister noch mehr: durch die Unzahl von Ansichten und zerstückelten oder absonderlichen Lehren werden die Menschen unaufrichtig und schwächlich. Zuletzt verderben über den Unglauben auch noch die Gemüter, so dass, wenn die Revolution ausbricht, die Revolutionäre nicht auf ein Lager gewappneter Kreuzritter, sondern auf Klageweiber und blökende Schafe treffen.

mardi, 10 mai 2016

Du sultan Recep Ier et du calife François

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Du sultan Recep Ier et du calife François

par Thomas Ferrier

Ex: http://thomasferrier.hautetfort.com

La commission de Bruxelles a officiellement indiqué son souhait de supprimer les visas pour les Turcs qui souhaiteraient visiter l’Union Européenne. Elle ne fait que transposer la décision des principaux chefs d’état et de gouvernement, Angela Merkel en tête, en échange de la pleine collaboration des autorités turques au plan établi de gestion des migrants « syriens » (beaucoup n’étant pas syriens du tout, ceci dit).

Le négociateur turc va néanmoins changer en cours de route. Le premier ministre Davutoglu, coupable d’avoir été encore trop accommodant avec les dirigeants européens, est démis par la volonté du président Recep Erdogan. Celui-ci a ainsi fait savoir que la suppression des visas qu’il exige ne souffrirait d’aucune contrepartie. Pas question pour lui de généraliser le passeport biométrique ou d’adapter sa politique anti-terroriste, dédiée aux Kurdes, pas à Daech bien sûr.

Erdogan continue sa politique de renforcement de son autorité en vue d’établir une crypto-autocratie à peine cachée en vérité. Personne ne doit lui faire de l’ombre. Après avoir réduit l’armée au silence, avec la bénédiction naïve de l’Union Européenne, après avoir réintroduit le voile islamique, Erdogan veut désormais tous les pouvoirs pour mener à bien la réislamisation du pays. Pour avoir négligé sa volonté, Davutoglu est débarqué. Le prochain premier ministre devra être un personnage effacé, vassal soumis de son sultan.

Alors que la Russie de Poutine est victime de sanctions économiques, dont la droite parlementaire en France a demandé sans succès l’arrêt, la Turquie d’Erdogan est l’objet d’une indécente flatterie. Merkel a même livré à la justice allemande un humoriste qui avait osé se moquer du tyranneau. Il faut ménager ce dernier, connu pour ses colères noires, et ce à tout prix. Il a en effet le doigt appuyé sur la manette ouvrant le barrage migratoire.

Il aurait suffit pourtant que les Européens changent leurs lois afin de rendre leurs pays moins attractifs aux migrants. Mais nos dirigeants semblent incapables d’oser montrer les crocs et de faire preuve d’une force morale même minimale. Au contraire, toute l’eurocratie est allée à Canossa offrir au pape François le prix Charlemagne. Il est vrai qu’il aurait été difficile de lui remettre le prix Charles Martel.

Le pape se permet (voir mon article précédent) depuis des mois de culpabiliser les Européens en les invitant à faire preuve d’un « nouvel humanisme » qui consisterait à accueillir tous les migrants sur son sol. Il déclare même rêver d’une Europe « où être migrant ne soit pas un délit ». Il prône lui aussi le multiculturalisme au lieu de ranger la chrétienté derrière la défense de l’européanité. François a ainsi mis fin au compromis romano-chrétien, et donc euro-chrétien, établi par l’empereur Constantin. En échange de la protection terrestre de l’Empire, l’Eglise devait lui assurer une protection céleste.

En flattant Erdogan et en se soumettant aux injonctions morales suicidaires de François, les dirigeants de l’Union Européenne trahissent gravement les intérêts des Européens. Une toute autre politique serait au contraire nécessaire, associant cohérence et fermeté, défense du véritable humanisme européen, celui hérité des Grecs et des Romains, et refus d’un multiculturalisme mortifère auquel les mondialistes, dont ce pape est, voudraient nous soumettre.

Le discours à tenir au pape, c’est de s’en tenir à la défense de son Église, et à s’abstenir de toute position publique de nature politique, en particulier invitant les Européens à faire preuve de faiblesse. Le discours à tenir au président turc, c’est de lui rappeler que son pays occupe illégalement Chypre-Nord et qu’il a existé en 1920 un traité de Sèvres qu’on pourrait avoir envie de ressusciter.

Thomas FERRIER (Le Parti des Européens)

jeudi, 10 mars 2016

Die geistig Toten

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Die geistig Toten

von Carlos Wefers Verástegui
Ex: http://www.blauenarzisse.de

Der spanische Reaktionär Juan Donoso Cortés (18091853) bemerkte im Zeitalter der Revolutionen wie der Verfall des Glaubens zum Verfall der Wahrheit führt.

Dem Aufbegehren gegen Gott entspricht der Verstandeshochmut, die Emanzipation der Menschheit von Gott bestätigt diese in ihrem eigenen Schöpfertum. Das wiederum erzeugt in ihr den Glauben an sich selbst, an ihre eigene Göttlichkeit. Der Irrtum, nicht nur in Metaphysik und Glauben, wird so mit Notwendigkeit zum ständigen Begleiter einer jeden unabhängigen Vernunft. Die Wahrheit haben die einmal unabhängig, selbständig und hochmütig gewordenen Verstände der Menschen unwiederbringlich verloren und damit einen geistigen Tod herbeigeführt.

Aufklärung führt zu Agnostizismus und geistigem Tod

Die (geistig) Toten sind jedoch nicht mit den Ungebildeten und Idioten gleichzusetzen. Es ist nämlich eine bestimmte Bildungsrichtung, die das geistige Totsein unserer Zeitgenossen verbürgt: die aufklärerische. Diese Bildung gibt sich gern fortschrittlich und kritisch und will zu Mündigkeit und Toleranz erziehen. Gegen den christlichen Glauben ist sie nur vordergründig neutral. Allein die Neutralität gegen den Glauben aber würde von sich aus schon ausreichen, diesen herunterzusetzen und zu zersetzen.

Bei der Neutralität bleibt es niemals. Erklärtes Ziel ist nämlich, den Zweifel, ohne nach seiner Vernunft oder Berechtigung zu fragen, in aller Herzen zu säen. Diese Bildung, die viel eher Verbildung heißen müsste, bringt den Agnostizismus hervor. Mit der Fähigkeit zum Glauben fällt aber auch die Fähigkeit zur Wahrheit überhaupt. Juan Donoso Cortés hat das so dargestellt: „Die Verminderung des Glaubens, die die Verminderung der Wahrheit herbeiführt, führt nicht zwangsläufig zur Verminderung, sondern zur Abirrung des menschlichen Verstandes. Gnädig und zur selben Zeit gerecht, hält Gott den schuldigen Verständen die Wahrheit vor, das Leben [d.h. das physische Leben; C.W.V.] aber hält er ihnen nicht vor. Er verurteilt sie zum Irrtum, zum Tode jedoch verurteilt er sie nicht.“

juan782204097987.jpgDer Tote irrt grundsätzlich

Der (geistig) Tote ist also einem verhängnisvollen Irrtum erlegen, ohne auch nur das Geringste davon zu ahnen. Das springt bei einem Gespräch mit ihm sofort ins Auge: der Tote gibt sich interessiert und beteiligt. Er scheint auf sein Gegenüber einzugehen. Tatsächlich liegt ihm jedoch nichts an alledem. Er will nur sich selbst wiederfinden und dazu noch gut unterhalten sein. Anstatt einer fordernden Aufgabe will er Bestätigung. Aus diesem Grund lässt sich nichts Vernünftiges anfangen mit ihm. Man kann nichts von ihm fordern, nichts von ihm verlangen, man kann ihn nicht in die Pflicht nehmen. Der Tote kann dabei über ein außerordentliches Wissen verfügen und sogar intelligent sein; an zwei entscheidenden Dingen fehlt es ihm jedoch: an der notwendigen Einsicht sowie an der Fähigkeit zur Selbsterkenntnis.

Der Tote ist und bleibt Skeptiker, nicht nur in religiösen Fragen. Fichte hat das wunderbar in seinen „Grundzügen des gegenwärtigen Zeitalters“ dargestellt. Diesem „Zeitalter der vollendeten Sündhaftigkeit“ wird es Fichte zufolge „der Gipfel der Klugheit sein, an allem zu zweifeln und bei keinem Dinge über das Für oder das Wider Partei zu nehmen: in diese Neutralität, diese unbestechbare Gleichgültigkeit für alle Wahrheit wird es die echte und vollkommene Weltweisheit setzen“. Die unerkannte Wahrheit des Skeptizismus ist daher seine Gleichgültigkeit und Selbstgefälligkeit. Beide haben das Privileg, sich allen und allem überlegen dünken zu dürfen. Die gleichgültige, einer geistigen Leichenstarre entsprechenden Störrigkeit und kecke Aufmüpfigkeit wird dabei allzu gern als Unerschütterlichkeit ausgegeben.

Statt Vernunft gibt’s in Wahrheit nur Gefühlspantheismus

Damit auch kein Zweifel darüber besteht, dass der Tote auch wirklich geistig vollkommen hinüber und mausetot ist, ergeht er sich in allerlei Inkonsequenzen. Die wichtigste Inkonsequenz besteht darin, trotz der Skepsis Wahrheiten anzunehmen. Statt Wahrheit gibt es allerdings nur Gefühlsanwandlungen: Gemütszustände, Neigungen, Empfindungen wie Wohlwollen, Beifall, Fürsprache, aber auch ein Organ für all das, was einem „gegen den Strich“ geht. Anstatt Vernunft gibt es beim Toten Gefühlspantheismus. Allein, dass es sich hierbei um Pantheismus handelt, ist wichtig festzuhalten. Der Pantheismus reflektiert nämlich, wie der Philosoph Paul Yorck von Wartenburg unterstrich, keine Gottes-​, sondern eine Weltauffassung. Gefühlsmäßig und somit unvernünftig wird das Ganze dadurch, dass der Gott der Welt – der Mensch, seine Gesellschaft und Geschichte – wesentlich unerkennbar ist. Im Gefühl, nicht in der Ratio, geben sich dann die Hand der Pantheismus und der Agnostizismus. Das Menschenbild ist damit von Grund auf gefälscht und unrichtig.

Wer genau wissen will, ob er es mit einem Toten zu tun hat, braucht nicht erst darauf zu warten, dass dieser ihn zur Weißglut bringt. Er reicht vollkommen aus, sein Verständnis von Wahrheit zu prüfen. Auch ist es sehr ratsam, seine Redlichkeit auf die Probe zu stellen. Zuallerletzt wird dann sein Ehrgefühl unter die Lupe genommen. Jeder, der bei dieser Untersuchung durchfällt, hat für geistig tot zu gelten. Schon bei der Wahrheitsfindung kommt heraus: Niemals kommt der Tote über die Frage des Pilatus hinaus „Was ist Wahrheit?“ Das ist nur natürlich, denn, wer sind sie, die Toten, eigentlich, um über die Wahrheit oder Unwahrheit zu entscheiden?

Schlechte Schauspieler, die den Sokrates spielen

Würden sich die Toten darauf beschränken, nur sich selbst dieser Entscheidung, was Wahrheit ist und was nicht, zu entheben, wären sie weniger lästig. Nun stellen aber die Toten ihrerseits die Forderung: „Du musst es genauso machen wie ich. Wer bist du, der du dich anmaßt, die Wahrheit zu kennen?“ Gegen diese Frage – es ist keine Dummheit, sondern Absurdität! –, die bei allem mitschwingt, was die Toten so von sich geben, kommen selbst Götter nicht an. Zu sehr gefallen sie sich nämlich in der Rolle des sokratischen Fragers.

Dabei halten sie dazu noch die Köstlichkeit ihres Selbsterlebnisses für den Beweis ihrer eigenen Göttlichkeit. Dass sie nur eine Rolle spielen, noch dazu schlecht, ansonsten aber keine kompetenten Jünger von Sokrates sind, zeigt ihr Unmut: werden sie selbst hinterfragt, kommen die üblichen, großen und kleinen Gemeinheiten, die Unkenrufe und die Kindereien. Zum platonischen Dialog als einem Musterbeispiel für eine rationale Erörterung, selbst verschiedenster Argumente und sogar von Gegenpositionen, taugen sie nicht. Auch ist er ihnen verhasst, denn der platonische Dialog soll nicht unterhalten, er dient der Wahrheitsfindung.

juansello_donoso-cortes.jpgDie Wahrheit ist verhasst und muss unmöglich gemacht werden

Die Verhasstheit der Wahrheit ist der Grund, warum tote Menschen sie auf verschiedene Weise unmöglich machen. Dazu bieten sich drei Kunstgriffe an: Verbot, sterile Diskussion und Verneinung. Das interessanteste Wahrheitsvergütungsmittel ist bei weitem die sterile Diskussion: Wird der Toten darauf hingewiesen, wie unzulänglich er selbst und, mit ihm, seine Argumente sind, reagiert er auf eigentümliche Weise: er tut so, als hörte er nicht oder nur sehr schlecht. Das Überhören, Weghören, Durcheinander– und Falschhören ist der Toten täglich Brot.

Eine andere Möglichkeit der Abwehr in der Diskussion ist die von den Toten geübte, besondere Verstehenskunst: das bald gepflegt, bald wild auftretende Missverständnis. Sagt einer z.B. „hüh“, versteht der Tote grundsätzlich „hott“. Wer sich einem Toten gegenüber traut, Allgemeines über die Wahrheit zu sagen, muss in Kauf nehmen, dass dieser kontert: „Das ist deine persönliche Meinung“ bzw. „Das ist deine persönliche Sichtweise“. Will jemand die Unanfechtbarkeit logischer Sätze beweisen, platzt der Tote aus sich heraus: „Das ist Behauptung!“ und „Das muss nicht immer so sein!“ Wer dem Toten gegenüber ausführt: „Dinge, die die Moral und das Zusammenleben betreffen, können nicht von jedermann begriffen werden. Es ist besser, sie der breiten Masse als Dogma vorzuschreiben“, erntet für gewöhnlich Geschrei und Gekeife: der Tote schreit empört Zetermordio – ob der vom autoritären Bösewicht gemeuchelten Demokratie.

Der Rationalismus hat die Leute unfähig für die Wahrheit und somit tot gemacht

Unerreicht in ihrer Klassizität ist die Darstellung von Donoso Cortés in seinem berühmten Essay über den Katholizismus, den Liberalismus und den Sozialismus, in dem er sich mit der pathologischen Unfähigkeit zur Wahrheit des vom Rationalismus verwirrten Menschen beschäftigt. Der in einem fatalen Irrtum gefangene Mensch, dessen Kopf unumkehrbar verworren und verkehrt ist, ist keine philosophisch-​theologische Hypothese, er ist wirklich. Der geistige Tod, aus dem niemand mehr zurückkehrt, ist unlängst Realität von Millionen von Mitmenschen.

Die Gefahr, die von diesen Toten ausgeht, ist nicht zu unterschätzen. Gerade weil die Toten den wenigen wirklich Lebendigen zahlenmäßig überlegen sind, und noch dazu die politischen und Bildungseliten stellen, ist der Katastrophenfall permanent: es ist der Normalfall. Die alte Frage, ob die Welt nicht zum Irrenhaus geworden ist, ist mit „Ja“ zu beantworten. Aber mehr noch als ein Irrenhaus ist es ein Totenreich.

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vendredi, 09 octobre 2015

Ernst Jünger, Katholik

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Ernst Jünger, Katholik

von Alexander Pschera

Ex: https://erstezone.wordpress.com

Ernst Jünger konvertierte kurz vor seinem Tod zur katholischen Kirche. Die Bücher seines Spätwerks weisen den Weg dahin. Sie lassen sich als eine Theologia in Nuce lesen. Allen voran der Essay Die Schere.

Als Ernst Jünger am 26. September 1996 zum katholischen Glauben konvertierte, zeigten sich viele Zeitgenossen überrascht – und zwar, weil man gerade von Jünger annahm, er habe die traditionelle Religion mit einer „neuen Theologie“ überwunden. Diese neue Theologie trat auf als ein mythologisches Denken großen Maßstabs. Jüngers mythischem Denken traute man zu, die Verwerfungen und Umbrüche der Moderne wenn nicht begrifflich, so doch zumindest bildhaft klären und an die ewigen Kräfte der Erde rückbinden zu können. Jünger galt als homo mythologicus, weniger als homo religiosus. Die Konversion schreckte daher auf. Sie erschien als Rückschritt, als eine Aufgabe desjenigen Postens, den Jünger nie verließ, als Abflachung eines plastischen Bilderuniversums. Warum dieser Regressus ad Romam?

Liselotte Jünger bekannte, ihr Mann habe den Wunsch geäußert, so beerdigt zu werden „wie alle hier“ – mit „hier“ ist die Dorfgemeinschaft des oberschwäbischen Wilflingen gemeint, in dem Jünger die zweite Hälfte seines Lebens verbrachte. Kaum einer der Exegeten gab sich mit solch einer Erklärung zufrieden. So wurde das Werk Jüngers auf katholische Spuren hin abgeklopft mit dem Ziel, die Konversion als den letzten Schritt eines Prozesses darzustellen. Bei dieser Suche nach religiösen Motiven wurde man fündig. Zwar enthalten die Bücher, die auf die Erfahrung des ersten Weltkriegs zurückgehen, allen voran die Stahlgewitter, höchstens para-religiöse Momente. Aber im zweiten Weltkrieg, so bezeugen es Jüngers Tagebücher Strahlungen, vollzieht sich eine Wendung hin zum Christentum. Diese Tagebücher belegen eine zweimalige Bibellektüre, eine Zuwendung zu den Kirchenvätern und zu Léon Bloy, den Jünger durch Carl Schmitt kennenlernte. Jüngers Schrift Der Friede, die in der Endphase des zweiten Weltkriegs im Kreis des Widerstands zirkulierte, beruft sich auf den 73. Psalm – der auch bei der Konversionsfeier eine Rolle spielte – und konstatiert, daß die „humanitäre“ Wandlung, die nach dem Krieg erforderlich ist, von einer „theologischen“ zu begleiten sei. Und auch im Alterswerk, vor allem in der Serie der Tagebücher Siebzig verweht, stößt man immer wieder auf Notate, die eine christliche Haltung bezeugen: Das Gebet „gibt dem Menschen, vor allem in unseren nördlichen Breiten, die einzige Pforte zur Wahrheit, zur letzten und rücksichtslosen Ehrlichkeit“ (Siebzig verweht II). Auch positiv besetzte Figuren wie der naturgelehrte und zum Martyrium bereite Pater Lampros vom Kloster Maria Lunaris aus dem Roman Die Marmorklippen (1939) wurden zitiert, um Jüngers Respekt vor der katholischen Welt zu unterstreichen – und sie wurden einer blassen Figur wie dem Superintendenten Quarisch aus dem Roman Die Zwille (1973) gegenüberstellt, um zu zeigen, wie weit sich Jünger von der entmythologisierten protestantischen Kirche seiner Zeit entfernt hatte. Kurz: Jüngers Konversion zum Katholizismus erschien vor dem Hintergrund seines vielschichtigen Lebensprogramms als logischer Schritt hin zu einer umfassenden, universellen Religion, ja es erschien als roter Faden, als sinnstiftende Einheit in der Vielfalt dieses Lebens.

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Richtig ist, daß Jünger in den Jahren des zweiten Weltkrieges, die er in Paris und an der Ostfront erlebte, angesichts der Kriegsgräuel tatsächlich eine christliche Wende vollzog. Doch schon bald zeigte er auch ein reges Interesse an der Gnosis. In den fünfziger Jahren heißt es in einem Brief an seinen Sekretär Armin Mohler, daß der Autor sich „von theologischen Neigungen freihalten [müsse]. Sie sind Belege, Fundstellen für ihn“ (2.4.1959). In der Tat sammelt Jüngers Werk denn auch Belege für alle möglichen Formen der Transzendenz, ohne daß der Autor sein Denken einem religiösen System anvertraut. Griechische Mythologie, Buddhismus, Taoismus, pantheistische Strömungen, chassidische Lehren, orientalische Weisheiten, die Kirchenväter, immer wieder auch biblische, vor allem alttestamentarische Motive, aber auch literarische Quellen, die, wie Hölderlin, in den Rang von Mythenspendern erhoben werden, macht Jünger für die Interpretation unseres Weltzeitalters nutzbar. Dabei entwickelt er den Kampf zwischen den Titanen – Chiffre für die alles beherrschende Welt der Technik – und den zurückgezogenen Göttern als Leitmotiv. Gerade das Motiv des Rückzugs der Götter, ihre Abwesenheit, zeigt, wie Jünger sammelt und arbeitet. Dieses Motiv wird von ihm mit Léon Bloys vielzitierter –  aber nicht wörtlich nachgewiesener – Rede vom „zurückgezogenen Gott“ und auch mit Hölderlins Versen („Zwar leben die Götter / Aber über dem Haupt droben in anderer Welt“) parallelisiert. Ob „Gott“ oder „Götter“ ist dabei sekundär. Entscheidend ist der Rückzug der göttlichen Substanz. Dieser Rückzug der göttlichen Substanz hinterläßt ein mit sich selbst beschäftigtes, materialistisches und durchorganisiertes Diesseits, in dem nur noch der Mensch für sich selbst und für Ordnung unter seinesgleichen sorgt: „Inzwischen haben wir eine Station erreicht, in der auch die Physik Gleichnisse anbietet. Das hängt damit zusammen, daß sie in die Lücke eindringt, die der Rückzug der Götter hinterlassen hat“ (Die Schere, 18). Doch gibt es im mythologischen Bezugssystem Jüngers auch Hoffnung auf die Wiederkehr des Göttlichen, die sich vor allem in Gestalt der Mutter Erde konkretisiert.

Diese Form der mythologischen Belegentnahme ist eine Spielart postmodernen, postmythischen Denkens. Jünger wurde vor allem mit seinen Büchern An der Zeitmauer (1959) und Über die Linie (1950) zu einem Vorläufer dessen, was später als Diskurs der Postmoderne bekannt wurde. Wäre Jünger ein systematischer Denker, so hätten sich seine Mythenkollektionen zu einem widerspruchslosen System verhärtet. Doch zum Glück war Jünger kein Systematiker. Jüngers Reflexionen entspringen einem vorrationalen, vorbegrifflichen Bezirk. Seine Begriffe entwachsen einem bildlichen Ursprung und tragen bei aller Prägnanz die Mehrdeutigkeiten und Widersprüche des Metaphorischen in sich. Dies läßt sich am Begriff der Zeitmauer zeigen. Er meint nicht, daß vor der Mauer die Zeit und die Geschichte existierten und hinter ihr etwas anderes, aber eben nicht mehr „Zeit“ und „Geschichte“ in unserem jenseitigen Verständnis: „Man kann die Außenwand der Zeitmauer auch als Brunnenrand sehen. (…). Moos und Efeu, die oben am Brunnenrand wuchern, verbreiten sich im Kreise; der Fortschritt kehrt wie die Schlange, die sich in den Schwanz beißt, in sich zurück. In die Tiefe des Brunnens dringen Wurzeln, doch keine Blicke ein“ (Die Schere, 174).

Hier nähert man sich dem Katholischen in Jüngers späteren Werken an. Die Annäherung führt immer aus dem empirischen Bereich in einen anderen Bezirk, für den Jünger zahlreiche bildhafte Umschreibungen fand: „andere Seite“, „Welt, die außerhalb unserer Erfahrung liegt“, Ziel der Wanderung, Bezirk jenseits der Kerkerwand und des zerreißenden Vorhangs. Die Zeit, die „dort drüben“ gilt, nennt er „Schicksalszeit“ im Unterschied zur „meßbaren Zeit“ der Erfahrungswelt. Die Überwindung der meßbaren Zeit geschieht im „Zeitsprung“, das heißt in einem aus der Ordnung und aus der Meßbarkeit fallenden Vollzug. Nennungen der anderen Seite sind stets an Akte des Sehens gebunden. So faßt er die Hoffnung auf die Auferstehung als einen „Ausblick durch die Kerkerwand“ (Die Schere, 18), die prophetische Vorschau und das zweite Gesicht als ein „Spähen durch ein Schlüsselloch“ (35). Mitunter fällt der Blick auf bedeutsam Nebensächliches, auf „Nebendinge wie ein umgestoßenes Tintenfaß“, die eine Störung im Getriebe der Zeit sind und uns aufschrecken lassen. Die Welt der Erfahrung wird dann als ganze zu einem Verweis auf die Welt des Jenseits.

Jünger legt großen Wert auf die Unterscheidung zwischen dem unsichtbar Vorhandenen und dem überhaupt nicht Vorhandenen: „Wir unterscheiden (…) zwischen dem Sichtbaren, dem Unsichtbaren und dem Nicht-Vorhandenen“ (Die Schere, 49). Nicht alles, was unsichtbar ist, ist demnach nicht vorhanden. Gleichzeitig ist aber auch nicht alles, was unsichtbar ist, immer auch vorhanden. Doch wie läßt sich zwischen Wahrheit, daß heißt Vorhandenheit, und Unwahrheit, daß heißt Nicht-Vorhandenheit, unterscheiden? Diese Frage führt hinein in eine mystische Schau einer Wahrheit, die den „Göttern“ ursächlich vorgelagert ist und Gott meint. Der Weg leitet dabei von der „Annäherung“ als einer originär dichterischen und künstlerischen Aufgabe über verschiedene Zwischenstufen zur Epiphanie – wobei zugleich deutlich wird, daß Jünger den Dichter als privilegierten Seher in der Tradition des poeta vates interpretiert.

Die erste Stufe dieser Hierarchie des Erkennens bildet das „zweite Gesicht“. Jünger bezeichnet damit einen Zustand der Entrückung, der im alltäglichen Erleben angesiedelt ist und in dem zukünftiges Erleben erschaut wird, bei dem jedoch Erhabenes noch keine Rolle spielt. Die „Vorschau“ macht dann schon deutlicher, daß es sich bei diesen Wahrnehmungen nicht bloß um subjektive Fiktionen handelt: „In der Vorschau hat ein Zeitsprung stattgefunden; eine Vorhut wurde vorausgeschickt. Insofern wird in der Schau nicht Zukünftiges, sondern Vergangenes gesehen. Der Vorschauer hat die Gegenwart überholt. So kam es zur verblüffenden Identität des Geschauten und seiner Wiederholung in der Zeit“ (30). Die Vorschau – von Jünger dann auch als „Prognose“ bezeichnet –  ist eine „Vorbeurteilung von Entwicklungen“, die „sich auf Tatsachen“ stützt. Die Gewißheit, mit der eine solche Fakultät der Vorausschau als existierend angenommen wird, muß davon ausgehen, daß das Sein auf einem festen Fundament ruht. Es geht Jünger hier nicht um Determinismus, sondern um die Annahme einer vorgegebenen sinnhaften Ordnung, um einen der Schöpfung zugrundeliegenden Logos. Jünger faßt das auf seine Weise, wenn es in Auseinandersetzung mit Kant heißt: „Die Existenz der Dinge ist also vorgezeichnet, wie in einem Prägstock, dessen Figur, in Wachs gedrückt, mehr oder minder deutlich ‚erscheint’. Eben war es noch möglich, während es nun existiert (‚nun’ ist hier besser als ‚jetzt’). Wir dürfen daraus schließen, daß das ‚Hiersein’ nur eine der möglichen Qualitäten des ‚Daseins’ ist“ (85).

In Jüngers Theorie der „Vorschau“ wird also in der Privatsprache des mythologisch denkenden Mystikers ein poetisches Modell christlicher Seins-Gewißheit entwickelt, daß sich darin neutestamentarisch gibt, indem es sich von den Propheten des Alten Testaments deutlich abgrenzt. Denn im Unterschied zur Vorschau gründet sich die Prophetie „weniger auf Tatsachen als auf Eingebung und Erscheinungen“ (41). Der Wahrheitscharakter der Prognose beruht mithin auf ihrer Fundierung durch eine Wirklichkeit, eben durch den fleischgewordenen Logos, den die Propheten nur „prophezeien“ konnten. Erst dieser macht das möglich, was Jünger einen „Zeitsprung“ nennt (und zwar deswegen, weil diese Fleischwerdung Gottes selbst ein solcher „Zeitsprung“ war). Nun ist der Mensch frei, über das Mögliche, gleichwohl noch Unsichtbare, als etwas Wirklichem gedanklich zu verfügen und über dieses unsichtbar Mögliche als über etwas Vergangenes zu sprechen. Denn alles Mögliche muß von nun an verstanden werden als bereits bei Gott existierend und damit eben als unsichtbar vorhanden.

Es ist mehr als ein Deutungsansatz, wenn man Jüngers Theorie der Prognose strukturell als Beschreibung einer christlichen Seinsschau interpretiert. Denn in der Schere läßt Jünger die Reihe der Erkenntniszustände in der Epiphanie gipfeln. Als Zeuge tritt nun nur noch Paulus auf: „’Daher, König Agrippa, war ich der himmlischen Erscheinungen nicht ungläubig’. So Paulus – das war behutsam gesprochen, denn er stand vor Gericht. Er konnte sich auch auf Zeugen berufen, die mit ihm auf dem Weg nach Damaskus das Licht, ‚’heller denn der Sonne Glanz’, gesehen, wenngleich sie die Stimme nicht gehört hatten“ (146). In der Epiphanie gipfelt die Schau der anderen Seite insofern, als sie eine auf Erscheinungen des Göttlichen ausgerichtete Vorschau ist. Und indem Jünger in diesem Zusammenhang auf das Verhältnis von Epiphanie und Zeit zu sprechen kommt, hebt sich unvermutet und nur ganz kurz der Mythen-durchwebte Vorhang, der dem Jünger-Leser Bilder aller Zeiten und Räume vorgaukelt, um ihn an der Vielheit der Erscheinungen des Göttlichen teilhaben zu lassen, und gibt den Blick auf den Logos frei: „Die Schöpfung ist Zeit schaffend. Die Götter sind Zeit setzend, die Titanen Zeit kürzend und dehnend (…)“ (146). Am Ursprung der Zeit sieht Jünger also nicht die Götter, sondern Gott. Die Götter selbst sind, wie es an anderer Stelle heißt, eben auch nur „Gleichnisse“ und Bilder, die an das Unsichtbare heranführen. Sie sind historisch bedingte Erkenntnismuster der religiösen Vernunft. Die Schöpfung aber, die in ihrer wunderbaren Vielfalt Jüngers bevorzugten Zugang zum Ursprung des Seins darstellt, ist historisch nicht bedingt, sondern bedingend. Damit nun ist Gott gemeint.

Man muß darüber streiten, warum Jünger hier und anderer Stelle nicht von Gott spricht, wenn er ihn, was aus dem Kontext deutlich wird, meint. In seiner letzten Schrift Gestaltwandel heißt es hierzu: „’Gott’ genießt, auch wenn der Name nicht genannt wird oder die Sprache sich mehr oder minder überzeugend um ihn herumwindet, noch einen gewissen Respekt. Daß die Rechnung mit unserem Jetzt und Hier nicht aufgeht, wird instinktiv gefühlt und auf jeder geistigen Stufe erkannt. Entsprechend formt sich das Gebet“. Doch das ist keine Antwort. Die Stelle belegt nur, daß Jünger sich des eigenen „Herumwindens“ durchaus bewußt ist. Einen Schritt weiter geht Jünger, wenn er dieses Herumwinden auch bei Nietzsche festmacht und eine epochale Situation anruft: „Nietzsches ‚Gott ist tot’ kann nur bedeuten, daß der epochale Stand der Erkenntnis nicht genügt“ (Gestaltwandel). Ist es also tatsächlich die historische Erkenntnissituation des, wie es bei Jünger heißt, „Interims“, die es nicht zuläßt, von Gott zu reden? „Im Interim sind Götter selbst in der Dichtung unzeitgemäß; am besten wird ihr Name neutralisiert“ (ebd.). Jüngers Argumentation ist hier schwer zu folgen, schon allein deswegen, weil er fordert, die Namen der Götter zu neutralisieren, während sich, wie er selbst sagt, die Sprache um den Namen Gottes nur mühsam herumwinden kann. Wäre Jünger ein Systematiker, auf dessen Begriffe und terminologische Abgrenzungen Verlaß wäre, so könnte man in dieser Unterscheidung einen Hinweis auf die stärkere Seinskraft Gottes sehen, die durch Erkenntnis und Sprache gleichsam hindurchdrängt. Doch Jünger ist eben kein Denker, sondern ein Dichter. Daher bleibt auch diese Differenzierung dunkel.

théologie,catholicisme,ernst jünger,révolution conservatrice,littérature,littérature allemande,allemagne,lettres,lettres allemandes

Und deswegen bietet sich eine andere, weitergehende Hypothese an. Könnte es sein, daß Jünger die Klarheit des mit dem Namen Gottes verbundenen Logos meidet, der für alle nur denkbaren Bilder immer auch die Auflösung, den Schlüssel bereithält, und auf die „Schöpfung“ rekurriert, weil es ihm darum geht, seine dichterische Existenz, die in der Erschaffung von unaufgelösten Bildwelten besteht, zu schützen? Diese Vermutung gewinnt an Beweiskraft, wenn man betrachtet, welche Rolle dem Dichter angesichts der Gewißheit zukommt, daß es das unsichtbar Vorhandene als Mögliches gibt und daß der Mensch Gewißheit darüber hat. „Das Mögliche, besser noch das Vermögende, ist unbegreiflich; die Vorstellung ist von ihm wie durch eine Mauer getrennt. Es kann nur duch Dinge, die innerhalb der Erfahrung liegen, der Anschauung nähergebracht werden – also durch Gleichnisse“ (Die Schere, 86). Gleichnisse und Bilder sind Sichtbarmachungen des Unsichtbaren. Der Dichter ist es, der diese Bilder findet. „Wo Bilder fallen, müssen sie durch Bilder ersetzt werden, sonst droht Verlust“, heißt es zu Beginn der Schere (1). Bilder fallen immer dann, wenn Religionen, die Jünger als „mehr oder minder gelungene Kunstwerke“ (ebd.) betrachtet, untergehen. Genau dies ist im Zeitalter der Titanen geschehen. Die Bilderwelten der Religionen, die eine Ahnung des Transzendenten vermitteln, sind untergegangen – und daran hatte Luther keinen geringen Anteil („Es scheint, daß die Begegnungen schwächer werden, wenn man Linien wie Moses-Paulus-Luther bedenkt“, 77). Nur die Gleichnisse des Dichters können diesen Bildverlust ausgleichen, indem sie anstelle der Epiphanien und Begegnungen mit dem Überirdischen wenigstens poetisch an der Sichtbarmachung des Unsichtbaren arbeiten. Man gelangt in Jüngers Spätwerk also an einen Punkt, an dem sowohl die offene als auch die verdeckte Struktur der Texte eindeutig auf den Logos hinlenken. Genau an dieser Stelle jedoch weicht Jünger aus und in den Bereich der ästhetischen Präfiguration zurück. Was das für die Konversion des Menschen Jünger  bedeutet, wird (und soll auch) immer ein Geheimnis bleiben. Jüngers Texte jedenfalls haben jene Linie des 26. September 1996 nicht überschritten. Sie bleiben diesseits des Logos.

(zuerst in: Die Tagespost, September 2015)

jeudi, 20 août 2015

Le divin Chesterton, de François Rivière

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Le divin Chesterton, de François Rivière

par Francis Richard

Ex: http://www.francisrichard.net

Le divin Chesterton est la première biographie écrite en français de Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), G.K.S., universellement connu des amateurs de romans policiers à énigme. Ce fanatique de littérature policière est en effet le créateur du célèbre père Brown, un curé détective qui mène l'enquête...

G.K.S. n'est évidemment pas seulement l'auteur des aventures du père Brown, même si ce sont les aventures de ce détective en soutane qui l'ont définitivement rendu célèbre. Il a en effet une centaine d'ouvrages à son compteur et parle même du n°999 des livres qu'il n'a jamais écrits dans son... Autobiographie.

Cette biographie en français, qui ne correspond à la commémoration d'aucun anniversaire, est la bienvenue pour découvrir ou redécouvrir l'oeuvre de ce polygraphe hyper-actif et dessinateur précoce et talentueux: le livre de François Rivière reproduit d'ailleurs des illustrations originales de l'Anglais.

chesterton-riviere.jpgEnfant, Gilbert aime la fiction merveilleuse. Elle "sert d'antidote aux monstres cauchemardesques qui l'empêchent souvent de dormir mais qu'il tente d'exorciser avec ses dessins." Aussi, avant de lire Walter Scott, Thackeray et Dickens, aura-t-il lu MacDonald, Charles Kingsley et Barrie.

A ses qualités précoces de lecteur impénitent et de dessinateur - c'est surtout un excellent caricaturiste -, il faut ajouter celles, tout aussi précoces, de poète et de débatteur - il aime les joutes verbales où, avec sa voix haut perchée, il fait preuve d'humour, manie l'ironie, cultive le paradoxe et exerce son sens de la répartie.

Jeune homme, il travaille dans l'édition et est journaliste. Dans la presse, il pourfend les idées reçues et s'en prend notamment à celles de George Bernard Shaw et de H.G. Wells, membres très actifs de la "Société fabienne, dont naîtra un jour le Parti travailliste", incompatibles avec son "sens de l'émerveillement qui sert de socle à la spiritualité et au nonsense".

Pour Chesterton, Shaw, Wells, ou encore Kipling, sont des hérétiques. "Un hérétique est un homme dont la vision des choses a l'impudence de différer de la mienne", définit-il, avec humour. Le fait est que leur vision diffère de la sienne: le premier est un socialiste athée, le deuxième un utopiste immodeste et le troisième un cosmopolite portant l'uniforme.

Une rencontre va être déterminante, celle avec le père John O'Connor: il va faire de lui le "confident de ses préoccupations les plus intimes" et ce prêtre ne sera pas pour rien dans sa conversion au catholicisme. Lequel correspond davantage que l'anglicanisme à son rejet du déterminisme, qu'il oppose à la vérité transcendante.

Chesterton va, à l'évidence, s'inspirer du père O'Connor pour créer son personnage du père Brown, "un détective d'un genre nouveau, héros d'une fiction associant passion littéraire déplorable au regard de la gent cultivée (ou supposée telle) à l'essence même de sa réflexion métaphysique".

Certes Chesterton peut paraître excentrique, et il l'est, mais il est aussi très cultivé, très brillant. Son physique de géant, binoclard et obèse, grand buveur de vin et de bière devant l'Eternel, est un démenti apporté à la subtilité de ses raisonnements et de son style.

Comme nobody is perfect, Chesterton sera adepte de l'utopique troisième voie du distributisme, "un système s'opposant à la fois au capitalisme et au socialisme et prônant une économie fondée sur la petite propriété, avec un retour à la paysannerie et à l'artisanat", dont cet anti-moderne, hostile au progrès technique, a la nostalgie.

La biographie de François Rivière explique la genèse et le développement de l'oeuvre diverse et variée de cet homme rayonnant, qui mènera de front des activités d'écrivain, de journaliste et de conférencier: "Cet homme est tellement joyeux qu'on se dit qu'il a rencontré Dieu", écrira Franz Kafka.

L'oeuvre de Chesterton comprend des romans, des nouvelles, des essais, des poésies et des biographies non conformistes - Browning, Dickens, William Blake, Saint François d'Assise, William Cobett, Stevenson, Chaucer, Saint Thomas d'Aquin -, et même une pièce de théâtre, Magie.

Kafka ne sera pas le seul à lire et à louer Chesterton. Citons parmi ses contemporains, Shaw et Wells, qu'il a pourtant souvent pris pour cibles, et, parmi des auteurs de romans policiers plus jeunes que lui, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers ou John Dickson Carr.

Jorge Luis Borges dresse ce portrait perspicace de Chesterton, qu'il appelle son maître:

"Il aurait pu être Kafka ou Poe mais, courageusement, il opta pour le bonheur, du moins feignit-il de l'avoir trouvé. De la foi anglicane, il passa à la foi catholique, fondée, selon lui, sur le bon sens. Il avança que la singularité de cette foi s'ajuste à celle de l'univers comme la forme étrange d'une clé s'ajuste exactement à la forme étrange de la serrure."

Francis Richard 

Le divin Chesterton, François Rivière, 224 pages, Rivages

dimanche, 17 mai 2015

Le Siècle des Charognes de Léon Bloy

Le Siècle des Charognes de Léon Bloy

par Juan Asensio

Ex: http://www.juanasensio.com

À propos de Léon Bloy, Le Siècle des Charognes (dessins de Felix de Recondo, Éditions Fata Morgana, 2015).
 
bloy4640.jpgC'est à la date du 9 janvier 1900 que Léon Bloy recopie dans son Journal Le Siècle des Charognes, paru le 4 février de la même année dans le cinquième, et dernier, numéro de Par le scandale. Le texte est dédié à «quelqu'un» sur lequel Bloy ne souffle mot, puisqu'il a dû cesser à cette date d'être l'ami du mendiant ingrat, en fait un certain Édouard Bernaert, poète belge qui fut ami de Léon Bloy, et créateur de l'éphémère revue en question.

L'absence de tout apparat critique, dans l'édition de ce court texte donnée par Fata Morgana, en accroît la puissance, que ne semblent même pas atténuer les dessins vagues de Felix de Recondo. N'est pas Goya qui veut, ni même Daumier, et je ne comprends pas franchement quel rapport les éditeurs ont souhaité établir entre ces visions de créatures molles et invaginées avec la précision toute létale des traits que décoche l'écrivain sur le grand et puant cadavre des catholiques, progressistes ou pas.

Imaginons un instant, de nos jours, un auteur qui, comme Léon Bloy, oserait écrire, serait assez fou pour écrire, à la cinquantaine passée, un tel texte, et le soumettrait par exemple aux imbéciles confits de La Croix ou de tout autre rinçure catholique poussant, comme des champignons consacrés, sur les étals d'une quelconque Procure, et qui n'aurait pas peur, pauvre belluaire inconscient, d'être immédiatement attaqué pour injure ou diffamation par une bonne cinquantaine de ligues vertueuses ! Pourrait-il écrire ces mots ? : «Je n'ai jamais cessé de l'écrire depuis vingt ans. Jamais il n'y eut rien d'aussi odieux, d'aussi complètement exécrable que le monde catholique contemporain – au moins en France et en Belgique – et je renonce à me demander ce qui pourrait plus sûrement appeler le Feu du Ciel» (p. 16) et plus loin, histoire d'enfoncer le clou sur la Croix d'un Christ qui est tout de même mort pour racheter les imbéciles (y compris, et c'est absolument prodigieux, les imbéciles de La Croix) : «le spectacle des catholiques modernes est une tentation au-dessus de nos forces» (p. 17).

bloy1.jpgComme il serait réjouissant, tout de même, qu'un moderne contempteur de baudruches pieuses, crevant de honte à l'idée que, lui-même catholique et pourtant «forcé d'obéir au même pasteur» (p. 18) que les ouailles dégoulinantes de mansuétude, devrait bien finir par reconnaître que les catholiques français, ces cochons, sont bel et bien ses frères ou, du moins, précise immédiatement Léon Bloy, ses «cousins germains» (p. 17), comme il serait drôle et intéressant qu'un tel butor évangélique ose affirmer que les ouvrages publicitaires de Fabrice Hadjadj ne sont rien de plus qu'une amélioration toute superficielle du catéchisme délavé qu'il a pieusement écouté (d'une seule oreille) lorsqu'il était petit, ou bien que Jacques de Guillebon, lorsqu'il mourra (je prierai pour son âme c'est sûr) et se présentera devant son Créateur, n'aura rien de plus à Lui montrer qu'une poignée de de pelures de navets et de poudre de courge, tout ce qui restera en fait de ce qu'il a osé publier, des livres paraît-il et qui me semblent, à moi, ne pas même constituer un fumier utile, digne de faire prospérer des plantes plus vivaces et nobles que ses rangées de tiges dolentes et blettes avant même de sortir de terre et qui, une fois sorties de terre, sont aussi féroces qu'un pissenlit porté au revers d'une veste de mariage.
La moquerie est facile me direz-vous. Oui, évidemment, et, par politesse, m'en tenant aux deux seuls cas d'Hadjadj et de Guillebon (son clone Falk van Gaver semble s'être perdu, quelque part entre Katmandou et Kirtipur), je n'ai même pas évoqué les très hautes pensées que Solange Bied-Charreton, comme une portée de coucous grimaçants et piailleurs, s'avise de déposer dans de petits nids journalistiques, où elle finira bien par se faire une place digne de celle de l'hystérique patronne de Causeur : cette jeune femme, pseudo rebelle à plein temps comme d'autres sont entrées au couvent, ne craint pas de donner son avis sur tout, la calotte papale et la pénétration annale, sans compter, sujet infiniment plus profond, les livres de Jérôme Leroy, un sujet de méditation tellement complexe qu'il n'est réservé, dit-on, qu'à quelques athlètes de l'intelligence et pucelles charismatiques, visitées uniquement par les plus hautes visions extatiques.

Oui, la moquerie est facile bien sûr, et il est évident que seuls les mauvais lecteurs, et Marc-Édouard Nabe qui se prend pour son ultime héritier, estiment que Léon Bloy est avant tout intéressant pour la truculence de son extraordinaire méchanceté. Pauvre homme tout de même, obsédé jusqu'à la folie par son talent de lilliputien et son nombril de la taille d'un univers. Les plus hautes railleries, les plus féroces méchancetés, chez Léon Bloy, ne sont intéressantes que parce qu'elles constituent le langage, en quelque sorte codé ou plutôt inversé, par lequel des vérités surnaturelles s'expriment, sont vues en somme comme au travers d'un miroir, obscurément. Pauvre Nabe, oui, sous-Bloy plus méchant que talentueux, plus disert que doué, plus clown qu'inspiré, qui n'a toujours pas compris de quelle formidable façon celui dont il ose se réclamer eût vomi son esthétisme pornographique qui, au mieux, nous arrache un sourire entre 12 et 14 ans, le seul âge où lire cet auteur prolifique peut avoir un quelconque intérêt autre que celui d'exacerber un disgracieux acné.

De fait, ce tout petit article de Léon Bloy, que nous pourrions croire n'être qu'une de ses innombrables charges contre les catholiques, est avant tout un texte sur l'Argent, qui mentionne même le titre d'un livre (L'Argent, justement) qui ne fut jamais écrit sous cette forme par Léon Bloy, qui sans doute préféra le diffracter dans presque chacun de ses livres, et peut-être même dans chacune des lignes qu'il écrivit.

Les charognes, en effet, ce sont les catholiques, le siècle qu'elles contaminent est le XIXe, même si les «putréfiés du XIXe siècle» risquent d'asphyxier, derrière elles, le XXe, si «le Feu n'intervient pas» (p. 11, châtiment invoqué encore à la page 16), et la substance qui permet aux charognes de prospérer est le vivant par excellence aux yeux de Léon Bloy, c'est-à-dire le Pauvre. Les catholiques s'engraissent et prospèrent parce qu'ils dévorent le Pauvre, quel prélat ne verrait là, dans une telle énormité, un blasphème adressé à la sainte Trinité et, bien sûr, à l’Église ? Outrecuidances d'un fou, dira-t-on.

Il est étonnant qu'en aussi peu de pages Léon Bloy se confronte à l'habituelle indigence du langage, qu'il regrette faussement (1), lui, l'admirable manieur d'hyperboles et d'énormités coruscantes (mais aussi le prodigieux écrivain, inventeur d'images émouvantes de simplicité (2)), et il est tout aussi étonnant, du moins superficiellement, qu'il adopte la posture qui lui sied le mieux, celle de l'herméneute fulgurant qui s'interroge par exemple de la manière suivante, faussement détachée : «À ce propos, et pour le dire en passant, quand donc viendra l'herméneute, l'explicateur comme il ne s'en est jamais vu, par qui nous saurons enfin que le Cantique des cantiques est simplement un récit préalable de la Passion, antérieur d'une trentaine de générations aux quatre Évangiles ?» (pp. 16-7). Nous retrouvons par ailleurs la figure du fils prodigue (cf. p. 18) que l'écrivain évoquera dans Le Salut par les Juifs ou les Propos digestifs des Histoires désobligeantes, et une autre des thématiques les plus paradoxales de Bloy, la réversibilité : «Mais lorsque, songeant à la réversibilité des douleurs, on se rappelle, par exemple, qu'il est nécessaire qu'un petit enfant soit torturé par la faim, dans une chambre glacée, pour qu'une chrétienne ravissante ne soit pas privée du délice d'un repas exquis devant un bon feu; oh ! alors, que c'est long d'attendre ! et que je comprends la justice des désespérés !» (pp. 24-5, l'auteur souligne).

N'oublions pas, bien évidemment, le thème principal de ce petit texte, la défense du Pauvre, comme je l'ai dit, la charogne, le catholique contemporain étant l'ennemi surnaturel de celui qu'il chasse (cf. p. 25), ennemi qui est une "brute inexorable qu'on est forcé d'arrêter avec une faux ou un paquet de mitraille dans le ventre» (p. 28).

Léon Bloy, avant de conclure, décoche sa dernière flèche herméneutique, et opère, comme à l'accoutumée, l'une de ces transsubstantiations métaphoriques qui font l'intérêt de sa pensée et de son écriture : «Le Verbe de Dieu est venu dans une étable, en haine du Monde, les enfants le savent, et tous les sophismes des démons ne changeront rien à ce mystère que la joie du riche a pour SUBSTANCE la Douleur du pauvre» (p. 29, l'auteur souligne).

Et voici comment, en quelques lignes seulement d'un texte de Léon Bloy après tout assez banal, nous avons dépassé les fadaises pieuses pieusement débitées par nos indigents scribouilleurs plus haut mentionnés. Et voici pour quelle raison Léon Bloy sera toujours l'auteur détesté par les prudents et les imbéciles, que sa prose a par avance cloués sur la planche de liège que l'on réserve au classement des différentes variétés d'insectes et d'animalcules.

Notes

(1) «Au surplus, toutes les figures ou combinaisons de similitudes supposées capables de produire le dégoût sont d'une insuffisance plus que dérisoire quand on songe, par exemple, à la littérature catholique !...» (p. 23, l'auteur souligne. Quelques pages plus loin, Léon Bloy se déclare "mécontent de cette espèce de parabole qui suggère mal ce [qu'il] pense et surtout ce [qu'il] sent» (p. 28).
(2) Ainsi parle-t-il des bêtes, «étonnées de la méchanceté des hommes qui ont l'air de vouloir noyer Caïn dans les lacs tranquilles de leurs yeux» (p. 28).

lundi, 25 août 2014

Schmitt, Sovereignty, & the Deep State

4489568_orig.gifSchmitt, Sovereignty, & the Deep State

By Greg Johnson

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

In Political Theology [2], his short book on the concept of sovereignty, Carl Schmitt states that: “Sovereign is he who decides on the exception.”[1] Sovereignty means supreme political authority, as opposed to political subjection. Within a society, the sovereign is the ruler, as opposed to the ruled. A sovereign nation rules itself, as opposed to being ruled by others.

For Schmitt, law and bureaucracy can deal with normal day-to-day life. But, as Aristotle pointed out, generalizations about human affairs pertain only “for the most part.” In addition to normal circumstances, there are exceptional circumstances, in which functionaries cannot simply apply the existing laws.

Thus supreme power cannot lie in laws which are administered by bureaucracies. Supreme power reposes in the person who decides what to do in exceptional cases, when the codifications of past experience are not enough to guide us.

Schmitt’s concept of sovereignty is beguilingly simple, but when one thinks it through, the implications for the liberal project are devastating.

One of the leading slogans of liberalism is “government by laws, not men,” meaning that sovereignty ultimately rests with laws rather than individual men. The desirability of government by laws can be appreciated by imagining a utopia in which there are no laws, just a wise and benevolent judge who looks at the unique circumstances of every dispute and intuits the just decision.

There are two basic problems with this utopia.

First, there is no guarantee that the judge will always be wise and benevolent, and if he fails to deliver justice, then we would need a way to remedy the situation. That remedy cannot consist simply of another man who is empowered to fix the problem, because what if he becomes corrupt or capricious? Obviously, we cannot leave decisions in the hands of men. There have to be principles for evaluating decisions and rules for reviewing and correcting them, which means: reposing sovereignty in general principles or laws.

Second, if every dispute is treated as a unique situation with a unique just outcome, this makes life rather unpredictable. But unpredictability undermines social cooperation, order, and progress. Large business endeavors, for example, involve tremendous financial risks. But people will hesitate to undertake such risks if there is not a legal structure in place that allows them to predict the likely outcomes of certain conflicts. Therefore, we need a code of general laws. And since a lot of conflicts are pretty much the same, there’s no harm in having general rules to adjudicate them.

The liberal dream is to insure that everyone is treated justly by submitting all human decisions to rules. These rules can be applied according to other rules. Individual decision-makers can not only follow rules, they can be chosen according to still other rules, and their positions can based on objective qualifications, i.e., educational attainments and professional certifications. The aim is a society in which justice is produced by a well-oiled, rule-governed machine free of human bias, arbitrariness, and corruption.

In order to insure that the machine performs, it must have built-in self-monitoring and self-correcting mechanisms. It need not depend upon the moral or intellectual virtues of its functionaries if it can watch all their actions, double-check all their decisions, and reward or punish them accordingly. Just as the Catholic sacraments can be dispensed by a corrupt priest, justice can be produced by bored, cynical, and indifferent bureaucrats as long as the machine functions according to its rules.

In sum:

  1. Liberalism wishes to repose sovereignty in law, not men, the ultimate law being the constitution, which is the blueprint of a vast justice-and-fairness dispensing machine.
  2. Liberalism believes that human decision is a corrupting force in government, thus decisions must be eliminated where possible and subjected to rules where unavoidable. The ideal government is a machine, like the Newtonian mechanical model of the universe which requires no recourse to divine intervention. Decisions in government is like miracles in nature: “arbitrary” ghosts to be exorcised from the machine.
  3. Liberalism believes that sovereignty can be divided, i.e., that the machinery of government can diagnose and correct itself. This includes such notions as judicial review and bureaucratic auditing, but at the highest constitutional level, it is the idea of of the separation of powers, which “check” and “balance” each other.
  4. Liberalism believes that if government is sufficiently rule-governed and self-correcting, it need not depend on extraordinary human moral virtue. Honest, wise, and disinterested men are rare, but all people wish to enjoy pleasure and avoid pain. Thus the most stable foundation of political order is greed and fear. Optimally dispensing such awards and punishments requires extensive surveillance and auditing, so nobody gets away with anything.

Just as hell is an instrument of divine love, the modern bureaucratic surveillance state is an instrument of liberal fairness.

The weakness of the liberal model is that human decisions can only be regulated by general rules when dealing with normal circumstances, i.e., with circumstances anticipated by legislators and that thus fall under their rules. But what about exceptional circumstances that do not fall under rules, circumstances that were not foreseen and provided for in advance? These call for decisions. Now, in the case of a judge or a bureaucrat, these decisions can be subjected to higher order review, which can itself be governed by rules.

But what happens when we get to the very top of the legal hierarchy, the constitution itself? What happens when a constitutional order encounters a situation that was not anticipated by the founders and cannot be subsumed under their laws? Then the preservation of the constitutional order depends upon human decision, rather than decision depending upon the constitutional order. Decisions can be guided by the constitution only in circumstances foreseen by the founders. In exceptional circumstances, decisions must be guided by something higher.

Sovereignty thus lies in the hands of men who decide in exceptional circumstances. Specifically, they decide when exceptional circumstances are at hand, and they decide what to do about them. At that point, the only thing that the legal system can do is specify who is empowered to make such decisions.

If sovereignty ultimately reposes in men, not laws, this is true even in liberal systems which officially deny it. Liberal societies are simply ruled by secret sovereigns, men who exercise decision as they hide behind the laws. In liberal society, there are two kinds of secret sovereigns.

First, there are the founders, the framers of the constitutional order who decided what the fundamental laws will be. Laws are ultimately created by decisions. Thus those who believe that decisions must always be governed by laws are simply abandoning their own freedom and responsibility and choosing to be ruled by the free decisions of those who came before them. Just as the deist model of the universe depends upon divine wisdom to frame its laws and set the machine in motion, liberals depend on the human wisdom of the Founders who created the constitution.

Second, since the founders of a liberal system could not anticipate every exceptional circumstance, sovereignty must be exercised in the present day as well. Some liberal societies actually make constitutional provisions granting unlimited dictatorial power to an individual in emergency situations, for instance, article 48 of the Weimar constitution, which Adolf Hitler invoked to take dictatorial power. But if a society makes no legal provisions for sovereign decisions in emergency situations, such decisions must still be made. Thus they will be made outside the framework of the official state. Such decisions may be made by important political figures, but not in their official capacities, which do not permit such decisions.

This, of course, is what is meant by the idea of a “deep state [3],” which, interestingly enough, is a Turkish contribution to contemporary political discourse. The Turkish idea of the deep state (derin devlet) refers to a network concentrated in the military and security services but spread throughout the bureaucracy and judiciary and intersecting with organized crime. The deep state works to maintain Turkey as a secular, nationalist society, primarily working against Islamists, Left-wing radicals, and Kurdish separatists. (The Turkish deep state seems to intersect with the crypto-Jewish Dönmeh [4] community.)

A similar deep state heaved into the light in Egypt, when the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, [5] in response the the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, removed President Hosni Mubarak from power. The SCAF then called elections, ceded power to the winner, Mohamed Morsi, and dissolved itself in June of 2012. In July of 2013, when Morsi proved unable to govern, he was removed in a military coup led by SCAF member Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is now the President of Egypt. After the coup, SCAF was officially reactivated, although it members were surely in close and constant contact with each other during its official hiatus, particularly in the run up to the coup.

The concept of a deep state overlaps with such notions as an establishment, a permanent bureaucracy, secret agencies, smoke-filled rooms, lobbies, political “inner parties,” NGOs and Quangos, and even secret societies [6], all of which shape political policy and negotiate between interest groups, which is just politics as usual. But in Schmittian terms, this has nothing to do with sovereignty, which is comes to light when politics as usual breaks down. And in the cases of Turkey and Egypt, when the political system had been paralyzed by crisis, the deep state centered in the military has intervened to preserve a secular, nationalist political order.

Since White Nationalists aim at creating the next political system in North America and in white nations around the globe, and since we are counting on the present system to collapse under the weight of external shocks and internal corruption, it behooves us to understand where sovereignty resides in the present system. If, for example, the American system entered a constitutional crisis, who would exercise sovereign power to preserve the system? Where does the American deep state lie? Or, better: where would it emerge? What is the system’s last line of defense? Who will kill and die to preserve it?

Organized Jewry is the most powerful force in America today. In terms of politics as usual, Jews get their way in all matters that concern them. But although organized Jewry surely would intersect with an American sovereign deep state, if America faced a severe constitutional crisis, I do not think that Jews would step in to exercise the sovereign decision-making functions necessary to preserve the system. They would surely try to stave off a crisis for as long as possible, to preserve their wealth and power. But ultimately, I do not think they would risk their own blood and treasure to preserve the American system, for the simple reason that the Jews today show no sign of caring about America’s long-term viability. It’s not their country, and they act like it. They are just using it, and using it up. They are not stewarding it for future generations. In a real crisis, I think their deepest instinct would be simply to decamp to friendlier climes.

Would the American deep state emerge in the military? The military is currently the branch of government that Americans hold in highest esteem. But a fatal crisis might include catastrophic military failure. It might also involve the American military massacring civilians. In which case, the military would enjoy very low esteem, and all Bonapartism would be off.

Liberal societies may be especially brittle when faced with systemic crises because liberalism corrodes virtue and excellence. Modern political thought promised stability by founding political order on widespread vices — greed and cowardice – rather than rare virtues like moderation, courage, wisdom, justice, and honor. But when the liberal machine breaks down — when it can no longer master crises — when it can no longer dispense rewards and punishments — when it it depends for its salvation on the decisions of a sovereign, then liberalism’s very existence will require the virtues that it neglects if not outright disdains.

If you want to see real terror in an American’s eyes, simply propose a new constitutional convention. Most Americans would never trust their contemporaries with framing a new system because they believe, correctly, they they are not just silly and ignorant but also downright vicious.

Wherever sovereignty would ultimately repose in a systemic crisis — wherever a deep state would emerge — what separates a true White Nationalist from a mere race-conscious reactionary is recognizing the system’s ultimate guardians as our worst enemies [7].

Note

1. Carl Schmitt, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty [2], trans. George Schwab (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1988), p. 5.

 


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

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/08/schmitt-sovereignty-and-the-deep-state/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/schmitt.jpg

[2] Political Theology: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0226738892/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0226738892&linkCode=as2&tag=countecurrenp-20

[3] deep state: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_state

[4] Dönmeh: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/10/25/the-doenmeh-the-middle-easts-most-whispered-secret-part-i.html

[5] Supreme Council of Armed Forces,: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCAF

[6] secret societies: http://www.counter-currents.com/tag/metapolitics-and-occult-warfare/

[7] our worst enemies: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/11/he-told-us-so-patrick-buchanans-suicide-of-a-superpower/

vendredi, 08 août 2014

HILAIRE BELLOC: THE SERVILE STATE AND THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DISTRIBUTISM

HILAIRE BELLOC: THE SERVILE STATE AND THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DISTRIBUTISM

 
July 27th is the birthday of Hilaire Belloc, one of the great radical traditionalists.


From the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century until the era of the Great Depression immediately preceding the commencement of the Second World War, the most enduring internal conflict within the nations of the West was rooted in what was then called the “social question.” The growth of industrialization and the dispossession of the agrarian peasant classes during the time of the enclosure movement had created within the industrializing nations a massive proletarian class of permanently pauperized laborers and the deplorable social conditions which accompanied the growth of this class.

Throughout the nineteenth century, numerous potential remedies to the condition of the working classes were proposed and the labor, socialist, communist, and anarchist movements developed into powerful political forces during this time. It was into this political and socioeconomic environment that Hilaire Belloc was born in 1870. Belloc was born in France to an English mother and French father and was raised in England. Throughout his eighty-two years of life, Belloc would exhibit many talents. He was an immensely prolific writer (it was once said that he “wrote a library” during his time), poet, and debater. He was an accomplished historian. Belloc was fond of racing yachts and wrote extensively on travel. He was also a politician at one point in his life and for a time held a seat in the English parliament. From his experience as a parliamentarian, Belloc came to regard the pretenses of the liberal democratic state as one rooted in the popular representation of the people as a sham. Parliamentary democracy, in Belloc’s view, was simply a mask for the rule of the plutocratic class. Perhaps above all, Belloc was a staunch defender of Catholic orthodoxy and produced many apologetic works on behalf of his own faith tradition and challenged the secularism of his intellectual contemporaries such as George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells. [1]

Though Belloc opposed the secular outlook of the Fabian intellectuals and the more radical Marxists, he shared their concern with solving the problems of labor and the social ills brought about by the industrial age. It was out of this concern that Belloc and his friend, fellow literary figure, and fellow Catholic apologist Gilbert Keith Chesterton formed a unique and always small but intellectually original movement known as “distributism.” The philosophical basis of distributism was outlined in two books, one by Chesterton and one by Belloc. Chesterton’s What’s Wrong with the World was published in 1910. Its thesis was that the paternalistic welfare state proposed by the progressive liberal and social democratic reformers of the era was not inconsistent with the continued rule of the plutocrats. Rather, a welfare state of the kind the Fabians suggested could be utilized by the ruling classes to pacify and further subordinate the working classes. Belloc continued with this theme in his 1912 book The Servile State. Belloc generally accepted the criticisms of capitalism offered by the socialists and Marxists, but argued that socialism would not have the effect of liberating the working classes. Instead, the welfare state would reduce the workers and the masses generally to the level of state dependents with the state continuing to be controlled by the capitalist plutocracy.
 

Medieval charity
As devout Catholic traditionalists, both Belloc and Chesterton naturally had the tendency to romanticize the social system of the medieval era, centered as it was in the Catholic Church. The guilds and agrarian peasant traditions of the Middle Ages became the model for Belloc’s and Chesterton’s and by extension the distributist movement’s theoretical foundations for social reform. The ambition of the distributists was not to nationalize the means of productions in the manner favored by the Marxists or to radically expand the level of state intervention into the economy and into society in the name of social welfare. Rather, the distributists preferred the opposite approach of redistributing the means of production into as many hands as possible, essentially making everyone into a capitalist. Distributist ideas continued to be outlined in Chesterton’s paper G. K.’s Weekly and the Distributist League was founded in 1926. Most of the core members of the league were either former socialists who had converted to Catholicism or devout Catholics who were simply concerned with the social question. The league was never a particularly large organization and never held more than two thousand actual members at any one time. Distributism was an intellectual movement rather than a political or activist one.

Distributism is a concept that is more interesting for its ideas than its influence. It was a tendency that offered an uncompromising critique of capitalism yet firmly rejected virtually all efforts or proposals to remedy the ills of capitalism through bureaucracy and statism. Not only the socialist parties but also the labor unions were criticized by the distributists on these grounds. Belloc, Chesterton, and the distributists shared the concern of classical liberals for the preservation of private property and the liberty of the individual against the state while simultaneously expressing concern for the conditions of labor and related social injustices. Capitalism in their view had the effect of a net reduction in liberty not only because the laboring masses were dependent on the capitalists for their subsistence, but also because capitalism was inherently unstable and therefore necessitated state intervention in order to address its social dislocations. Further, the capitalists and plutocrats themselves preferred state regulation of the kind granting monopoly privileges. Contrary to the supposed laissez faire ideal of capitalism, the actual practice of capitalism went hand in hand with the growth of statism.
 
 
The distributists’ criticisms of capitalism were not merely economic in nature. In their view, both capitalism and the proposed socialist alternatives were equally deficient in their neglect of the spiritual welfare of mankind and their limitation of social concerns to matters of material interests only. For the capitalists, greed and material acquisition had become the highest values. For the socialists, satisfying the material needs of the working classes was their only concern. Neither perspective satisfactorily addressed the dehumanizing nature of either proletarianism as it existed under capitalism or the proposed statist alternatives offered by the socialists. The distributists were concerned about the effect of capitalism on family, cultural, and communal life. By forcing the workmen to spend long hours laboring in factories, capitalism was essentially taking fathers and husbands away from their families and the distributists noted that the plutocratic classes would at times endorse women’s emancipation movements in order to make female labor more readily exploitable. The concerns of many traditionalists of the era regarding the impact of industrialization and commercial society on high culture were also shared by the distributists and the distributists likewise lamented the decline of small shops and independent craftsmen brought on by the rise of department stores and chain stores.

Emancipated women
Though they were critical of the dehumanizing effects of the machine age, the distributists were not advocates of a return to a pre-industrial state in the manner advocated by the Luddites. Rather, they thought that with a widespread distribution of ownership of productive property, the laboring classes would be able to achieve autonomy and independence through such arrangements as industrial guilds operated as cooperatives of small producers and the reestablishment and growth of small businesses and small farms. Indeed, the economic ideals of the distributists were very similar to those of the classical anarchists and both movements favored many similar economic arrangements such as worker cooperatives, mutual banks, and independent peasant communities. The American social reformer and devout Catholic Dorothy Day even attempted a synthesis of distributist and anarchist ideas with her Catholic Worker movement. Yet the Catholic traditionalists and romantic medievalists who comprised the distributist movement generally found themselves at odds with the anarchists and their anti-clericalism and Enlightenment rationalism. However, the differences were primarily philosophical, cultural, and religious rather than economic.[2]

Belloc advanced an interesting theory concerning the development of capitalism in England and by extension throughout the world during the Industrial Revolution. He argued that capitalism took the particular form that it assumed during its developmental era largely as a consequence of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII during the sixteenth century. The monasteries had previously been the basis of cultural, educational, and charitable life in England and their suppression had created a gap in the social fabric whose consequences were made manifest during the early industrial age. First, the disappearance of the monasteries had the effect of removing the social safety net and creating the conditions for state assumption of charitable responsibilities in the way first demonstrated by the Poor Laws and which later found their full fruition in the welfare state. Likewise, the decline in the power and influence of the Church that was the natural result of the closure of the monasteries undermined the ability of the Church to serve as a constraining force on the growing power of industrial capitalists. Lastly, the destruction of monastic life had the effect of creating a spiritual vacuum that would later be filled by the materialistic values of the growing commercial society. [3]

No longer challenging plutocracy.
George Orwell noted in 1946 that Belloc’s The Servile State had been quite prescient in its analysis of the likely consequences of state socialism when it was published thirty-four year earlier.[4] The legacy of state socialism has been the creation of the hard totalitarian regimes associated with Communism, Fascism, and Nazism, and the soft totalitarianism of the Western welfare states. Belloc has since been demonstrated to have been correct when he suggested that socialism would only have the effect of maintaining plutocratic rule while pacifying the population at large by making them into wards of the provider state. Though living standards have certainly risen in the West since Belloc’s time, all of the modern nations now face severe fiscal crises generated in large part by the prevalence of the provider state. The rise of the global economy has brought with it the advance of proletarianism in previously pre-industrial societies on the periphery and generated a process of re-proletarianization in the nations where industrialization is long established, particularly in the United States. The massive transnational capitalist enterprises and financial institutions are now eclipsing the power of even nation-states themselves. In some ways, it would seem that the problems that Belloc and his distributist colleagues sought to address are now as prevalent as ever.


NOTES:

[1] Jahn, Karl (2000). Distributism. Archived at http://karljahn.tripod.com/tan/distributism.htm. Acccessed on October 8, 2012
.
[2] Dorothy Day. Articles on Distributism-2. The Catholic Worker, July–August 1948, 1, 2, 6.

[3] Bradshaw, Brendan (1974). The Dissolution of the Religious Orders in Ireland under Henry VIII. London: Cambridge University Press.

[4] George Orwell. Second Thoughts on James Burnham in Polemic No 3 May 1946.


Originally published in Belloc: Thoughts & Perspectives, Volume Twelve (edited by Troy Southgate) published by Black Front Press.

Robert Stark interviews Keith Preston on Chesterton & Belloc

Robert Stark interviews Keith Preston on Chesterton & Belloc 1

Listen to the interview here.

bellocgk2

 

Robert Stark interviews Keith Preston of Attack the System

Topics include:

Keith’s interest in alternative economics that opposes both capitalism and socialism such as distributism

Why third way economics theories have limited influence but a large potential audience

NEITHER PROGRESSIVE NOR CONSERVATIVE: THE ANTI-MODERNISM OF G.K. CHESTERTON

HILAIRE BELLOC: THE SERVILE STATE AND THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DISTRIBUTISM

A Traditionalist critique of Capitalism

Chesterton and Belloc’s views on Nationalism, Eugenics, and Imperialism

How Marxist viewed Distributism as a Petit Bourgeois movement

The Distributist critique of the welfare state versus the modern conservative view towards poverty

Taxation policies such as a Negative Income Tax and Asset Tax

dimanche, 27 juillet 2014

L’écologie selon Hildegarde

L’écologie selon Hildegarde

Écologie. Vous avez dit écologie…

La mode est à l’écologie. Soigner son environnement, protéger sa planète s’impose comme une obligation morale, surtout depuis qu’on interdit aux religions de prononcer ce gros mot. Mais de quoi parle-t-on au juste ? Parler de planète, ce n’est pas la même chose que parler de monde ; parler de la nature ne dit pas ce qu’est cette nature, dans sa… nature profonde, même lorsqu’on l’écrit avec un « N » majuscule. Les anciens vivaient dans un monde ; nous, nous vivons sur une planète, perdus dans une immensité sans frontières…

Sainte Hildegarde appartient au passé, non parce qu’elle aurait aujourd’hui 916 ans ou parce qu’elle ne connaît rien à l’économie, mais parce qu’elle nous parle d’un monde qui ne ressemble plus du tout au nôtre. Tandis que nous construisons des mondes nouveaux, des cieux nouveaux, que nous sautons de progrès en découvertes, elle nous révèle ingénument les secrets d’un univers où les cieux peuplés de créatures chantent la gloire de Dieu, où la terre glorifie le Créateur dans toutes ses fibres, des plantes aux anges, en passant par les astres, le sexe, la vie, la souffrance…

C’est à peine si nous reconnaissons la nature qu’elle nous décrit dans ses visions et dans ses chants, tant le visage qu’elle en montre a changé depuis lors ! Comme si ses visions nous transportaient de l’autre côté de la toile, nous faisant découvrir avec stupeur qu’il y a un envers à ce que nous voyons, et que cet envers est en réalité l’endroit des choses. Nous qui croyions invinciblement et définitivement voir les choses à l’endroit, nous apprenons que cette perception a quelque chose d’illusoire. Elle ne dit pas que nos sens nous trompent, comme le pense M. Descartes, mais qu’ils ne nous disent pas tout, tant s’en faut, que ce qu’ils disent est plutôt vrai, mais à l’envers.

Ce défaut de perception, placé à la racine même de l’homme depuis la chute d’Adam, ne dit lui-même pas tout de l’homme : celui qui en dit tout, c’est le Verbe incarné, nouvel Adam, homme restauré dans sa dignité première, parfaitement à l’endroit, lui. En Lui, le microcosme est renouvelé, et sa vision du macrocosme peut enfin retrouver son vrai sens.

En effet, chez notre visionnaire – comme chez tous les Pères de l’Église d’ailleurs -, l’homme ressemble à l’univers parce qu’il en rassemble tous les règnes : corps, âme et esprit, d’où le terme de microcosme, c’est-à-dire petit-monde. Ainsi, le grand-monde trouve-t-il son sens dans le Verbe fait chair, et l’homme sa vraie place dans ce monde per ipsum et cum ipso et in ipso, par Lui, avec Lui et en Lui. Le Verbe est la clef de lecture du monde.

Le statut ontologique de l’homme fait que tout ce qu’il accomplit sur terre concerne aussi les cieux, qu’il aime, qu’il mange, qu’il dorme ou qu’il marche. S’il ne doit pas faire n’importe quoi, c’est que d’une certaine manière ses actes résonnent dans tout l’univers. Sa conscience est une conscience d’abord religieuse, une conscience qui le relie, via le Verbe, à l’univers créé et au Créateur, la conscience morale n’étant que le reliquat de cette conscience plus vaste.

Le monde hildegardien est un monde de nature symbolique, où ce qui est en bas ressemble à ce qui est en haut, où le supérieur fonde l’inférieur, où les êtres circulent. Et la musique d’Hildegarde ressemble à ce monde, avec ses effets de miroir, ses ascensions fulgurantes, ses résonances multiples. La grâce et la beauté y sont la parure de toutes choses, Marie le miroir où partout se reflète le verbe créateur : « C’est pourquoi tu as été couronnée de la Sagesse de Dieu qui t’a établie comme son miroir ». Chez Hildegarde, nous regardons la nature et c’est Dieu qui paraît, nous tournons nos regards vers Marie, et c’est le Verbe qui se montre…

Si notre monde moderne consentait à regarder sa planète comme un miroir, qui sait, peut-être y verrait-il Dieu ?

La Nef

jeudi, 17 juillet 2014

Carl Schmitt on the Tyranny of Values

Carl Schmitt on the Tyranny of Values

By Greg Johnson

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

Schmitt1.jpgCarl Schmitt’s two essays on “The Tyranny of Values” (1959 [2] and 1967 [3]) are typical of his work. They contain simple and illuminating ideas which are nevertheless quite difficult to piece together because Schmitt presents them only through complex conversations with other thinkers and schools of thought. In “The Tyranny of Values” essays, Schmitt’s target is “moralism,” which boils down to doing evil while one thinks one is doing good.

Schmitt is an enemy of political moralism because he thinks it has profoundly immoral consequences, meaning that it creates a great deal of needless conflict and suffering. Schmitt defends a somewhat amoral political realism because he thinks that its consequences are actually moral, insofar as it reduces conflict and suffering.

In Schmitt’s view, one of the great achievements of European man was to subject war to laws [4]. Schmitt calls this “bracketed” warfare. Wars had to be lawfully declared. They were fought between uniformed combatants who displayed their arms openly, were subject to responsible commanders, and adhered to the rules of war. Noncombatants and their property were protected. Prisoners were taken. The wounded were cared for. Neutral humanitarian organizations were respected. And wars could be concluded by peace treaties, because the aims of war were limited, and the enemy and his leaders were not criminalized or proscribed, but recognized as leaders of sovereign peoples with whom one could treat.

Schmitt makes it clear that the rules of war are something different from Christian “just war” theory. Bringing justice or morality into wars actually intensifies rather than moderates them. Indeed, the classical rules of war were quite cynical about morality and justice. Wars could be launched out of crude self-interest, but they could be terminated out of crude self-interest too. Leaders may not have been good enough to avoid wars, but neither were they bad enough that the war had to be prosecuted until their destruction. All parties recognized that if they were scoundrel enough to make war, they were also decent enough to make peace. But by limiting the intensity and duration of wars, this cynicism ended up serving a higher good.

Of course the ideal of “bracketed warfare” had its limits. It did not apply in civil wars or revolutions, since in these both parties deny the legitimacy or sovereignty of the other. Nor did it apply in colonial or anti-colonial wars, primarily fought against nonwhites, and the barbarism also spilled over to the treatment of rival European colonizers. Furthermore, within Europe herself, the ideal of bracketed warfare was often violated. But the remarkable thing is not that this ideal was violated—which is merely human—but that it was upheld in the first place.

If, however, war is moralized, then our side must be good and their side must be evil. Since reality is seldom so black and white, the first necessity of making war moral is to lie about oneself and one’s enemy. One must demonize the enemy while painting one’s own team as innocent and angelic victims of aggression. This is particularly necessary in liberal democracies, which must mobilize the masses on the basis of moralizing propaganda. In a fallen world, moralists are liars.

But the conviction that one is innocent and one’s enemy is evil licenses the intensification of conflict, for all the rules of bracketed warfare now seem to be compromises with evil. Furthermore, even though a negotiated peace is the swiftest and most humane way to end a war, if one’s enemy is evil, how can one strike a bargain with him? How can one accept anything less than complete and unconditional surrender, even though this can only increase the enemy’s resistance, prolong the conflict, and increase the suffering of all parties?

War can be moralized by religious or secular aims. But whether one fights in the name of Christ or Mohammed, or in the name of liberty, equality, and fraternity, the result is to prolong and intensify conflict and suffering.

Moralism, however, is destructive in the political realm as a whole, not just in war (which is merely politics by other means). In “The Tyranny of Values,” Schmitt is concerned with the injection of morality into the legal realm. But we must understand that Schmitt does not oppose moralizing law because he thinks that the law should be amoral or immoral. Instead, Schmitt thinks that the law is already sufficiently moral, insofar as it is capable of reducing conflict in society. Schmitt opposes the introduction of value theory into law because he thinks that it will increase social conflict, thus making the law less moral.

Schmitt’s argument is clearest in the 1959 version [2] of “The Tyranny of Values,” which was a talk given to an audience of about 40 legal theorists, philosophers, and theologians on October 23, 1959, in the village of Ebrach, Bavaria. Later, Schmitt had 200 copies of the paper printed up for distribution among friends and colleagues.

Schmitt points out that value theory emerged at the end of the 19th century as a response to the threat of nihilism. Up until that time, moral philosophy, politics, and law had managed to muddle through without value theory. But when the possibility of nihilism was raised, it seemed necessary to place values on a firm foundation. The three main value theorists Schmitt discusses are the sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920), who holds that values are subjective, and philosophers Nicolai Hartmann (1882–1950) and Max Scheler (1874–1928), who defended the idea of objective values.

Although many people believe that value relativism leads to tolerance, Schmitt understood that relativism leads to conflict:

The genuinely subjective freedom of value-setting leads, however, to an endless struggle of all against all, to an endless bellum omnium contra omnes. In such circumstances, the very presuppositions about a ruthless human nature on which Thomas Hobbes’ philosophy of the state rests, seem quite idyllic by comparison. The old gods rise from their graves and fight their old battles on and on, but disenchanted and, as we today must add, with new fighting means that are no longer weapons, but rather abominable instruments of annihilation and processes of extermination, horrible products of value-free science and of the technology and industrial production that follow suit. What for one is the Devil is God for the other. . . . It always happens that values stir up strife and keep enmity alive.

But Schmitt argues that objective values are not the solution to the conflicts created by subjective values:

Have the new objective values dispelled the nightmare which, to use Max Weber’s words, the struggle of valuations has left in store for us?

They have not and could not. To claim an objective character for values which we set up means only to create a new occasion for rekindling the aggressiveness in the struggle of valuations, to introduce a new instrument of self-righteousness, without for that matter increasing in the least the objective evidence for those people who think differently.

The subjective theory of values has not yet been rendered obsolete, nor have the objective values prevailed: the subject has not been obliterated, nor have the value carriers, whose interests are served by the standpoints, viewpoints, and points of attack of values, been reduced to silence. Nobody can valuate without devaluating, revaluating, and serving one’s interests. Whoever sets a value, takes position against a disvalue by that very action. The boundless tolerance and the neutrality of the standpoints and viewpoints turn themselves very quickly into their opposite, into enmity, as soon as the enforcement is carried out in earnest. The valuation pressure of the value is irresistible, and the conflict of the valuator, devaluator, revaluator, and implementor, inevitable.

A thinker of objective values, for whom the higher values represent the physical existence of the living human beings, respectively, is ready to make use of the destructive means made available by modern science and technology, in order to gain acceptance for those higher values. . . . Thus, the struggle between valuator and devaluator ends, on both sides, with the sounding of the dreadful Pereat Mundus [the world perish].

Schmitt’s point is that a theory of objective values must regard all contrary theories as false and evil and must struggle to overcome them, thus prolonging rather than decreasing social conflict. This is the meaning of “the tyranny of values.” Once the foundations of values have been challenged, conflict is inevitable, and the conflict is just as much prolonged by conservative defenders of objective values as by their subjectivistic attackers: “All of Max Scheler’s propositions allow evil to be returned for evil, and in that way, to transform our planet into a hell that turns into paradise for value.”

What, then, is Schmitt’s solution? First he offers an analogy between Platonic forms and moral values. Platonic forms, like moral values, cannot be grasped without “mediation”:

The idea requires mediation: whenever it appears in naked directness or in automatical self-fulfillment, then there is terror, and the misfortune is awesome. For that matter, what today is called value must grasp the corresponding truth automatically. One must bear that in mind, as long as one wants to hold unto the category of “value.” The idea needs mediation, but value demands much more of that mediation.

Recall that Schmitt is addressing legal theorists. His recommendation is that they abandon value theory, which is an attempt to grasp and apply values immediately and which can only dissolve civilization into conflict. He recommends instead that they return to and seek to preserve the existing legal tradition, which mediates and humanizes values.

In a community, the constitution of which provides for a legislator and a law, it is the concern of the legislator and of the laws given by him to ascertain the mediation through calculable and attainable rules and to prevent the terror of the direct and automatic enactment of values. That is a very complicated problem, indeed. One may understand why law-givers all along world history, from Lycurgus to Solon and Napoleon have been turned into mythical figures. In the highly industrialized nations of our times, with their provisions for the organization of the lives of the masses, the mediation would give rise to a new problem. Under the circumstances, there is no room for the law-giver, and so there is no substitute for him. At best, there is only a makeshift which sooner or later is turned into a scapegoat, due to the unthankful role it was given to play.

What Schmitt refers to obliquely as a “makeshift” in the absence of a wise legislator is simply the existing tradition of jurisprudence. This legal tradition may seem groundless from the point of view of value theorists. But it nevertheless helps mediate conflicts and reduce enmity, which are morally salutary results, and in Schmitt’s eyes, this is ground enough for preserving and enhancing it.

In the expanded 1967 version [3] of “The Tyranny of Values” the already vague lines of Schmitt’s argument are further obscured by new hairpin turns of the dialectic. But the crucial distinction between abstract value theory and concrete legal traditions is somewhat clearer. My comments are in square brackets:

The unmediated enactment of values [basing law on value theory] destroys the juridically meaningful implementation which can take place only in concrete forms, on the basis of firm sentences and clear decisions [legal traditions]. It is a disastrous mistake to believe that the goods and interests, targets and ideals here in question could be saved through their “valorization” [the foundations provided by value theory] in the circumstances of the value-freedom of modern scientism. Values and value theory do not have the capacity to make good any legitimacy [they do not provide foundations for jurisprudence]; what they can do is always only to valuate. [And valuation implies devaluation, which implies conflict.]

The distinction between fact and law, factum and jus, the identification of the circumstances of a case, on the one hand, appraisement, weighing, judicial discovery, and decision, on the other, the discrepancies in the report and the votes, the facts of the case and the reasons for decision, all that has long been familiar to the lawyers. Legal practice and legal theory have worked for millennia with measures and standards, positions and denials, recognitions and dismissals.

Legal tradition is founded on thousands of years of problem-solving and conflict resolution. It needs no other foundation. Value theory adds nothing to law, and it has the potential to subtract a great deal by increasing social conflict and misery. Schmitt’s “The Tyranny of Values” essays thus fall into the skeptical tradition of conservative social theory founded by David Hume, which argues that evolved social traditions are often wiser than theorists offering rational critiques — or rational foundations.

 


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

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/07/carl-schmitt-on-the-tyranny-of-values/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Croesus-and-Solon-1624-xx-Gerrit-van-Honthorst.jpg

[2] 1959: http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/07/the-tyranny-of-values-1959/

[3] 1967: http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/07/the-tyranny-of-values-1967/

[4] subject war to laws: http://www.counter-currents.com/2012/07/the-political-soldier-carl-schmitts-theory-of-the-partisan/

mardi, 17 juin 2014

L'opposition et la révolte

L'opposition et la révolte

par Pier Paolo Pasolini

Ex: http://zentropaville.tumblr.com

"L’Eglise est désormais condamnée à disparaître de par son appartenance à un monde humaniste du passé, qui constitue un obstacle à la nouvelle révolution industrielle. Le nouveau pouvoir nécessite, de la part des consommateurs, un esprit complètement pragmatique et hédoniste […] Il n’y a plus de place pour la religion et surtout pas pour l’Eglise. La conséquence de tout ça sera la dissolution naturelle de l’Eglise. […] 

L’acceptation de la civilisation bourgeoise capitaliste est un fait définitif, dont le cynisme n’est pas seulement une faute, la énième dans l’histoire de l’Eglise, mais bien une erreur historique qu’elle paiera probablement de son déclin. Car elle n’a pas pressenti que la bourgeoisie représentait un nouvel esprit, qui d’abord s’est révélé concurrent de l’esprit religieux et qui finira par prendre sa place pour fournir aux hommes une vision totale et unique de la vie. 
 
Si les fautes de l’Eglise ont été nombreuses et graves dans sa longue histoire de pouvoir, la plus grave de toutes serait d’accepter passivement d’être liquidée par un pouvoir qui se moque de l’Evangile […] Ce que l’Eglise devrait faire pour éviter une fin sans gloire est donc bien clair : elle devrait passer à l’opposition contre un pouvoir qui l’a si cyniquement abandonnée en envisageant sans gêne de la réduire à du pur folklore. 

En reprenant une lutte qui d’ailleurs est dans sa tradition (la lutte de la papauté contre l’Empire), mais pas pour la conquête du pouvoir, l’Eglise pourrait être le guide grandiose, mais non autoritaire, de tous ceux, qui refusent (c’est un marxiste qui parle, et justement en qualité de marxiste) le nouveau pouvoir de la consommation, qui est complètement irréligieux, totalitaire, faussement tolérant et même, plus répressif que jamais, corrupteur, dégradant. C’est ce refus que l’Eglise pourrait symboliser, en retournant à ses origines, c’est-à-dire à l’opposition et à la révolte.”


 Pier Paolo Pasolini

vendredi, 13 juin 2014

The Anti-Modernism of G. K. Chesterton

Neither Progressive nor Conservative: The Anti-Modernism of G. K. Chesterton

By Keith Preston

AlternativeRight.Com & http://attackthesystem.com

 
 
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) bears the distinction of being a writer who resisted virtually all of the dominant trends of his era. He lived during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, precisely the time that modernity was fully consolidating itself within Western civilization more than a century after the apex of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Chesterton began his writing career as a young man and as the twentieth century was just beginning. As much as any other writer from his era, he predicted the horrors that century would entail.
 
A man of many talents and interests, Chesterton was a playwright, novelist, lecturer, journalist, poet, critic of literature and art, philosopher, and theologian. His work in many of these areas stands out as being among the very best of the era and continues to offer immense insight even in the present day. Among Chesterton’s circle of friends and intellectual sparring partners were such luminaries as H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, and George Bernard Shaw. His relationships with these men are themselves highly significant as each of them were among the leading “progressive” intellectuals of the era and fully committed to the modernist values of rationalism, secularism, and socialism. As these were all systems of thought that Chesterton adamantly opposed, it is striking that he could also count some of these figures as friends and engage them in amiable debate. It was during an era when the old liberal values of rational discourse and gentlemanly civility still prevailed, even among those who in many ways held polar opposite world views. It was before the time of the radical political polarization of modern intellectual life that began with the growth of the totalitarian movements of the early to middle twentieth century. The friendly exchanges between Chesterton and Shaw, for instance, even on topics of intense disagreement in many ways serve as a refreshing contrast to the rhetorical brutality that dominates much of today’s public discourse.

The dramatic changes that had occurred in Western society over the course of the nineteenth century had dramatically impacted the thinking of its leading intellects. The growth of industrial civilization has raised the general standards of living to levels that were hitherto not even dreamed of, and the rising incomes of the traditionally exploited industrial working class were finally allowing even the proletariat to share in at least some middle class comforts. The rise of new political ideologies such as liberalism and democracy had imparted to ordinary people political and legal rights that were previously reserved only for the nobility. Health standards also increased significantly as industrial civilization expanded and life expectancy began to grow longer. Scientific discovery and technological innovation exploded during the same era and human beings began to marvel at what they had accomplished and might be able to accomplish in the future. Religion-driven superstitions had begun to wane and the religious persecutions of the past had dwindled to near non-existence. Societies became ever more complex and out of this complexity came the need for an ever expanding class of specialists and more scientific approaches to social management. While only a hundred years had passed between the world as it was in 1800 and the world of 1900, the changes that had occurred in the previous century were so profound that the time difference might as well have been thousands of years.

The profundity of this civilization-wide change inspired the leading thinkers of the era to tremendous confidence and optimism regarding the future and human capabilities. If one surveys the literature of utopian writers of the era one immediately observes that many of these authors expressed a confidence in the future that now seems as quaint as it is absurd. The horrors of the twentieth century, with its genocides, total wars, atomic weaponry, and unprecedented levels of tyranny would subsequently shatter the naïve idealism of many who had previously viewed the advent of that century with great hopes that often approached the fantastic. The early twentieth century was a time of joyous naivete. Bertrand Russell would later insist that no one who was born after the beginning of the Great War which broke out in 1914 would ever know what it was like to be truly happy.

“Pick a star, any star” – the retro-futuristic optimism of the past

But G. K. Chesterton, while far from being a cynical or overly pessimistic figure, was not one who shared in this optimism. Indeed, he was one who understood the potential horrors that could be unleashed by the new society and new modes of thought as clearly as any other. To Chesterton, the progressives of his time were over confident to the point of arrogance and failed to recognize the dangers that might befall mankind as humanity boldly forged its way into the future. Perhaps one of Chesterton’s most prescient works of social criticism is Eugenics and Other Evils, published in 1917. [1] At the time the eugenics movement that was largely traceable to the thought of Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, had become a popular one in the world’s most advanced nations such as England, America, and Germany. It was a movement that in its day was regarded as progressive, enlightened and as applying scientific principles to the betterment of human society and even the human species itself. Its supporters included many leading thinkers and public figures of the era including Winston Churchill, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, John Maynard Keynes, Anthony Ludovici, Madison Grant, and Chesterton’s friends Wells and Shaw. Yet Chesterton was one of the earliest critics of the eugenics movement and regarded it as representing dangerous presumptions on the part of its proponents that would likely lead to horrific abuses of liberty and violations of the individual person which it eventually did.

One of Chesterton’s most persistent targets was the growing secularism of his era, a trend which continues to the present time. That Chesterton was a man of profound faith even as religion was being dwarfed by science among thinking and educated people during his time solidifies Chesterton’s role as a true intellectual maverick. It is this aspect of Chesterton’s thought that as much as anything else continues to win him the admiration of those who remain believers even during the twenty-first century. Chesterton was always a man of spiritual interests and even as a young man toyed with occultism and ouija boards. The development of his spiritual thinking later led him to regard himself and an “orthodox” Christian and Chesterton formally converted to Catholicism in 1922 at the age of forty-six. His admirer C. S. Lewis considered Chesterton’s writings on Christian subjects to be among the very best works in Christian apologetics.

In the intellectual climate of the early twenty-first century, religious thinking has fallen into even greater disrepute than it possessed in the early twentieth century. In relatively recent times, popular culture has produced a number of writers whose open contempt for religious believers has earned them a great deal of prominence. While intelligent believers who can offer thoughtful defenses of their views certainly still exist, it is also that case that religious belief or practice is at its lowest point yet in terms of popular enthusiasm in the Western world. Less than five percent of the British population attends religious services regularly and even in the United States, with its comparatively large population of religious fundamentalists, secularism has become the fastest growing religious perspective. Chesterton would no doubt be regarded as a rather anachronistic figure in such a cultural climate.

Abandoned church

The contemporary liberal and left-wing stereotype of a religious believer is that of an ignorant or narrow-minded bigot who is incapable of flexibility in his thinking and reacts with intolerance to those holding different points of view. Certainly, there are plenty of religious people who fit such stereotypes just as overly rigid and dogmatic persons can be found among adherents of any system of thought. Yet, a survey of both Chesterton’s writings on religion and his correspondence with friends of a secular persuasion indicates that Chesterton was the polar opposite of a bigoted, intolerant, religious fanatic. In his Christian apologetic work Orthodoxy, Chesterton wrote,

“To hope for all souls is imperative, and it is quite tenable that their salvation is inevitable…In Christian morals, in short, it is wicked to call a man ‘damned’: but it is strictly religious and philosophic to call him damnable.” 

Of his friend Shaw, he said, “In a sweeter and more solid civilization he would have been a great saint.”

In his latter years when he knew he was dying, H. G. Wells wrote to Chesterton, “If after all my Atheology turns out wrong and your Theology right I feel I shall always be able to pass into Heaven (if I want to) as a friend of G.K.C.’s. Bless you.” Chesterton wrote in response:

“If I turn out to be right, you will triumph, not by being a friend of mine, but by being a friend of Man, by having done a thousand things for men like me in every way from imagination to criticism. The thought of the vast variety of that work, and how it ranges from towering visions to tiny pricks of humor, overwhelmed me suddenly in retrospect; and I felt we have none of us ever said enough…Yours always, G. K. Chesterton.” [2]

It was also during Chesterton’s era that the classical socialist movement was initially starting to become powerful through the trade unions and labor parties and virtually all leading intellectuals of the era professed fidelity to the ideals of socialism. Yet just as Chesterton was a prescient critic of eugenics, he likewise offered an equally prescient critique of the totalitarian implications of state socialism. Because of this, he was often labeled a reactionary or conservative apologist for the plutocratic overlords of industrial capitalism by the Marxists of his era. But Chesterton was no friend of those who would exploit the poor and workings classes and was in fact a staunch critic of the industrial system as it was in the England of his era. “Who except a devil from Hell ever defended it?” he was alleged to have said when asked about capitalism as it was practiced in his day. [3]

Indeed, Chesterton’s criticisms of both industrial capitalism and state socialism led to the development of one of the most well-known and interesting aspects of his thought, the unique economic philosophy of distributism. Along with his dear friend and fellow Catholic traditionalist Hilaire Belloc (Shaw coined the term “Chesterbelloc” to describe the pair as inseparable as they were), Chesterton suggested the creation of an economic system where productive property would be spread to as many owners of capital as possible thereby producing many “small capitalists” rather than having capital concentrated into the hands of a few plutocrats, trusts, or the state itself.

The prevailing trends of the twentieth century were towards ever greater concentrations of power in large scale, pyramid-like institutions and ever expanding bureaucratic profligacy. Chesterton’s and Belloc’s economic ideas were frequently dismissed as quaint and archaic. However, technological developments in the cyber age have once again opened the door for exciting new possibilities concerning the prospects for the decentralization of economic life. Far from being anachronistic reactionaries, perhaps Chesterton and his friend Belloc were instead futuristic visionaries far ahead of their time.

It is clear enough that Chesterton was in many ways a model for what a public intellectual should be. He was a fiercely and genuinely independent thinker and one who stuck to his convictions with courage. Chesterton never hesitated to buck the prevailing trends of his day and was not concerned about earning the opprobrium of the chattering classes by doing so. He was above all a man of character, committed to intellectual integrity, sincere in his convictions, tolerant in his religious faith, and charitable in his relations with others. In his intellectual life, he wisely and quixotically criticized the worst excesses of the intellectual culture of his time. The twentieth century might have been a happier time if the counsel of G. K. Chesterton had been heeded.

NOTES:

[1] Chesterton, Gilbert Keith. Eugenics and Other Evils. Reprinted by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (November 20, 2012). Originally published in 1917.

[2] Babinski, Edward T. Chesterton and Univeralism. Archived at http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/chesterton.htm. Accessed on March 12, 2013.

[3] Friedman, David D. G. K. Chesterton-An Author Review, The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to Radical Capitalism. Second Edition. Archived at http://daviddfriedman.com/The_Machinery_of_Freedom_.pdf. Accessed on March 12, 2013.

Originally published in Chesterton: Thoughts & Perspectives, Volume Thirteen (edited by Troy Southgate) published by Black Front Press.

jeudi, 29 mai 2014

Political Theology of Juan Donoso Cortés

Political Theology of Juan Donoso Cortés

by Jacek Bartyzel

es0026a.jpgThe term “political theology” has never been a more adequate definition of any corpus of thought[1] created by a philosopher, than when applied to the work of Spanish traditionalist Juan Donoso Cortés (1809-1853), who affected the social teachings of the Catholic Church (in statements of Blessed Pope Pius IX) in such a material way, that contemporary Catholic writer Rino Cammilleri is fully justified to call Cortés “the Father of the Syllabus”[2]. In the opinion of the author of Ensayo sobre el catolicismo, el liberalismo y el socialismo, considerados en sus principios fundamentales, theology is always at the foundation of any social issue, because if everything comes from God and if God is in everything, only theology is the skill which presents the final cause of all things; this explains why the knowledge of truth decreases in the world proportionately to the decreasing faith[3]. The sense of dependence of the fate of peoples on God’s providence is common to all eras and civilisations, and an opposite opinion – negating providentialism – should rather be considered as “eccentric.” A notable exception to this rule and an instance of theological “deafness” existing in the times of old was for Donoso the character of Pilate, who in the opinion of the theologian had to yield to Caiaphas precisely because he failed to understand the relationship between theology and politics. If Pilate had a “lay” concept of politics combined with brilliant mind, he would be only able to become instantly aware that he is not dealing with a political rebel who may pose direct threat to the state; however, as he did not consider Jesus guilty from the political point of view, he was also unable even to presuppose that the new religion might change also the world of politics.

Donoso Cortés finds proofs of the dependence of political concepts on religious ones in the whole history of civilised communities, starting from the antinomy between the ancient East and West, represented by ancient Greece. Pantheism common in oriental despotic systems, condemned peoples to eternal slavery in huge but temporarily founded empires, while Greek polytheism created crowded republics of humans and gods, where gods – often delinquent, quarrelling and adulterous – were often human enough, while humans -heroic and talented in philosophy – carried divine characteristics. In contrast to the monotonously static character of Eastern civilisations, the Hellenic world borne various traces of beauty and movement, for which, however, it paid with political chaos and comminution. However, the synthesis of Eastern power and Greek dynamics combined in Rome, two-faced as Janus[4] , which disciplined all gods, forcing them to enter the Capitol, and also – by enclosing nations in its Empire – performed the providential work, preparing the world for evangelisation.

In the apologetic “prodrome” of his political theology, Donoso Cortés emphasises the fact that Christianity has transformed both the lay community (primarily the family in which the father – retaining the respect and love of his children – ceased to be a tyrant for his enslaved wife and children) and also the political community, transforming the pagan domination by force into the concept of power as public service to God: The kings began to rule in the name of God; nations began to obey their princes as guardians of power coming from God[5]. And, which is most important, by depriving the earthly rulers from the attribute of divinity, which they did not deserve, and on the other hand, by providing the divine authority to their rule, Christianity has once and for ever erased any excuse for both political manifestations of the sin of pride– the  t y r a n n y  of rulers and the  r e v o l u t i o n  of the subjects: By adding divine quality to the authority, Christianism made obedience holy, and the act of making authority divine and obedience holy condemned pride in its two most dire manifestations which are the spirit of tyranny and the spirit of rebellion. Tyranny and rebellion are impossible in a truly Christian community[6].

It is obvious for Donoso Cortés that Christianity would not be able to exert such beneficial influence, if the Catholic Church had not been an institution of supernatural origin, established by the God – Man himself, by Jesus Christ. Without the supernatural element, without the action of grace, one can perceive in civilisations only[7] the results and not causes, only elements which make up civilisations and not their sources. However, the Christian community differs absolutely from the ancient community, even with respect to politics and society, for the fact that in the ancient community people generally followed instincts and inclinations of the fallen nature, while (…) people in the Christian community, generally, more or less, died in their own nature and they follow, more or less the supernatural and divine attraction of grace[8]. This not only accounts for the superiority of political institutions of the Christian community over pagan ones, but also supports a thesis which is anthropological and soteriological at the same time and says that a pagan man is a figure belonging to pagan, disinherited humanity, while a Christian man is a figure of redeemed humanity. This thesis is simultaneously compatible with an ecclesiological thesis which says that the Church presents human nature as sinless, in the form in which it left God’s hands, full of primeval justice and sanctifying grace[9].

The apologetics of Donoso Cortés says in conclusion that the Church is not (as Guizot assumed) just not one of the many elements of European civilisation, but it is the very civilisation, as the Church gave this civilisation unity, which became its essence. European civilisation is simply Catholic civilisation. The Christianity (“the catholic dogma”) is a complete system of a civilisation, which embraces everything – the teaching about God, the teaching about the Universe and the teaching about man: Catholicism got the whole man in its possession, with his body, his heart and his soul[10].

Donoso Cortés expressed his conviction that political theology provides a sufficient explanation for everything, in a sentence which echoes with the opinions of Tertullian, the most anti-philosophic apologist of ancient Church: A child, whose mouth is feeding on the nourishing milk of Catholic theology, knows more about the most vital issues of life than Aristotle and Plato, the two stars of Athens[11]. This is not a coincidence if one considers that Donoso used to describe the lay, naturalist and rationalist Enlightenment trends against which he fought, as “philosophism”. However, the most vital consequence of such approach seems to be no need for a separate political theology which would be autonomous against the whole corpus of theology as such. Characteristically enough, it was Catholicism and not conservatism which was evoked in opposition to liberalism and socialism in the whole dissertation by Donoso, and not only in the heading of his opus magnum – and not only due to the fact that conservatism in Spain means the right wing of the liberal camp (moderados, or „the moderate”), and that the author of Ensayo… used to be one of the leaders of this camp before his spiritual transformation and that he radically disassociated himself from this camp after this transformation. If Donoso wished to illustrate the opposition of political doctrines, he could have used the term “traditionalism” which in Spain is commonly identified with the orthodox Catholic counter-revolutionary camp. However, the term „traditionalism” never appears in his work, which proves that it was not necessary for Donoso’s concepts; the fact that the author consistently follows the line of thought confronting Catholicism with liberalism and socialism proves that he aimed at counterpoising religion (and inherent political theology) against ideologies which are understood as “anti-theologies” or “false theologies.” This phenomenon discloses political  a u g u s t i n i s m  of Donoso, for whom the political authority is not vital, and it is justified only “for the reason of sin” (ratione peccati) of man, which is proved also by the theory of “two horse bits” explained elsewhere[12]; such bits are to curb sinful inclinations of humans. The first, spiritual bit is to appeal to conscience, while the other, a political one, is based on compulsion. The other bit is still necessary, in spite of the Redemption on the Golgotha as the Sacrifice of the Cross redeemed only the original sin but it did not erase the option of man’s continuing inclination towards the evil. For this reason, although the Good News has excluded compulsion as the sole option to be used, the political power must continue its existence to prevent depravation; what is more, its role and the choice of the tools of compulsion must grow, as the religion and morality are gradually weakening since the disruption of the medieval Christianitas. When the quicksilver on the “religious thermometer” is falling dramatically, the rise of quicksilver on the “political thermometer” seems to be the only means to prevent total fall and self-erasure of people.

Another Augustinian aspect of the political theology of Donoso Cortés is the fact, that it focuses on discussing the four cardinal issues of Christian theodicy in which the Bishop of Hippo was also considerably involved: 1º the secret of free will and human freedom; 2º the question on the origin of evil (unde malum?); 3º the secret of the heredity of the original sin and joint guilt and punishment; 4º the sense of blood and propitiatory offering.

The Theory of Freedom

369DonosoESD.jpgDonoso Cortés discusses three aspects of freedom, seen as perfection, as means to achieve perfection and in the perspective of historia sacra – its history in Heavens and on earth, together with implications of its abuse by angels and humans.

First, the author rejects common opinion that the essence of free will is the option to choose between good and evil (resp. „freedom of choice”). Such situation would have two implications, which Donoso sees as irrational: firstly, the more perfect is man, the less freedom he has (gradual perfection excludes the attraction of evil), and hence a contradiction between perfection and freedom and secondly, the God would not be free as God cannot have two contradictory tendencies – towards good and towards evil. In the positive sense, freedom does not consist in the option to choose between the good and the evil, but it is simply the property of the rational will[13]. However, one must differentiate between perfect and partial freedom. The first one is identical with the perfection of mind and will and can be found only in God, and hence only God is perfectly free. Man, however, is imperfect, as every other created being and he is only relatively free. Which is more, the level of freedom available for man is directly proportionate to the level of his obedience towards the Maker: man grows in freedom when loves God and shows due respect to the God’s law, and when man departs from God and condemns God’s law, he falls under the rule of Satan and becomes his slave. This is the not only a crystallisation of Donoso’s concept of truth but also of his understanding of authority; freedom consists in the obedience to the authority of the Heavenly Ruler, while slavery is the obedience to the devilish “appropriator”. The link between the natural and supernatural order, identified by political theology, allows to determine by analogy, the earthly submission to a ruler legitimate by his obedience to God and the submission to a godless usurper.

The option to follow the evil, which is the “freedom of choice” is factual, but it is a mistake to consider it to be the essence of freedom; this is just an affection resulting from the imperfection of human will, and therefore it is a week and dangerous freedom which threatens with falling into the slavery of the “appropriator.” Free will, understood as the possibility to turn good into evil, is such a great gift, that, from God’s perspective, it seems to be a kind of abdication and not grace[14], and therefore it is a secret which is terrifying by the fact that man, making use of it, is just continually spoiling the God’s work. Therefore, everybody who cares for achieving true freedom – the freedom from sin – should rather attempt to put this option to sleep or even to lose it wholly if possible, which can be achieved only with the assistance of grace. Without grace, also resulting from acts, one can do nothing – one can only get lost. Grace which gives freedom from sin does not contradict freedom itself because it needs human participation in order to operate. According to fundamental theology, man is granted the grace sufficient to move the will by delicate pull; if man follows this, his will unites with God’s will and in this way the sufficient grace becomes effective. In the light of the above, the freedom of human will understood as the means leading to perfection is, the most wondrous of God’s wonders[15], as the man may resist God and get his dire victory while, in spite of this, God remains the winner and man remains the loser[16], losing his redemption. However, as long as the great theatre of the world[17] still stages the giant struggle between the “Two Cities” – Civitas Dei and the civitas terrena ruled by the Prince of This World, between the Divine and the Human Hercules, every man, consciously or unconsciously serves and fights in one of the armies and everybody will have to participate in the defeat or in the victory[18]of theMilitary Church (Ecclesia militans). The fight will cease in eternity, in the homeland of the righteous – the citizens of Ecclesia triumphans.

In the soteriological aspect, the weakness of human will is the “sheet anchor” for man, which explains the comparison of human and angelic condition. Angels were placed on the top of hierarchy of created beings, and received from the God a greater scope of freedom, which proved to have irrevocably disastrous effect on the angels which rebelled. Angels, more perfect than men, are granted a once-off act of choice only, so the fall of rebel angels was both immediate and the final, and their condemnation allowed no appeal. Man, weaker from angels with respect to his will and his mind, had for this very reason retained the chance for his redemption and the hope to be saved. The decisive damnation can be “earned” by man only when, the human offence, by repetition, reaches the dimension of the angelic offence[19].

Therefore, Donoso Cortés examines the question why God has not decided to “break” human freedom to save man, even against the “freedom of choice” which – as we know – is just an option for self-damnation? His answer allows to withdraw the suspicion of tendencies towards the Lutheran principle of justification sola gratia, as it emphasises the necessity of  m e r i t s  to be saved, as the lack of merits would be not adequate to the divine perfection. Redemption without merit would not be God’s goodness but His weakness, the effect without cause, something which we call on earth (…) a whim of a nervous woman[20].

The possibility of eternal damnation is only balanced by the possibility of redemption. The first one is God’s justice, the other – God’s grace. Donoso Cortés emphasises that the only consistent and logical option is either to accept or reject both options simultaneously as everything outside the common notion of “going to Hell” is not the true punishment, while everything outside “going to Heavens” is not the true reward: Cursing God for allowing the existence of Hell is the same as cursing God for creating Heaven. [21]

Freedom and Truth

Donoso Cortés’ theory of freedom incorporates one more vital motive, which is the discussion on the relationship of freedom and truth. Naturally, in his understanding, the Church is the depository of absolute truth, but such solution implies a very meaningful and painful paradox. The truth and beauty of the Catholic teaching do not by any means contribute to the popularity of the Church; the actual situation is just opposite: the world does not listen to this teaching and it crowds around the pulpits of error and carefully listens to wanton speeches by dirty sophists and miserable harlequins[22]. This gives rise to assumptions that the world is persecuting the Church not only because it forgot Its truth, holiness, the proofs of the divine mission and His miracles, but because the world abhors all these notions.

However if the Church, in spite of its losses and persecution, has survived two thousands years, where is the cause of its triumph, if not in the truth which it represents? The only cause is the supernatural force supporting the Church, the mysterious, supernatural right of grace and love. Donoso Cortés justifies this thesis with a paradoxical argument that Christ did not “win over the world” not with the truth, as Christ impersonates truth and the essence of that truth was already known in the Old Testament, but the people of the Old Covenant rejected the Impersonated Truth and crucified it on the Mount of Calvary: This is a dire lesson for those believing that truth, by its inherent force, may extend its reign and that the error cannot rule over the earth[23]. The Saviour won over the world, but not due to the fact that He is the world, but  i n  s p i t e  o f  t h e  t r u t h !

The truth, by itself, cannot triumph exactly because of the freedom of man, whose mind and will are dimmed by the fall of sin. A man, in the fallen state, becomes the enemy of truth which he treats as the “tyranny” of God and when he crucifies God, he thinks that he has killed his tyrant.

The most extensive explanation for the secret of wrong choices made by human will is found by Donoso Cortés on the Gospel of St. John: I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (J, V, 43) According to Cortés, these words prove the natural triumph of the false over the true, of the evil over the good[24]. The natural tendency of fallen will towards evil is confirmed by the people of Jerusalem choosing Barabbas and by the inclination which contemporary proletariat displays towards false socialist theology. The Nature is unable to choose truth; one needs grace and love in order to choose truth, as no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him. (J, VI, 44) Simply speaking, the triumph of the Cross is incomprehensible, as the victory of Christianity requires constant, supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit.

The assumption that man in his (fallen) natural state is the enemy of truth and that his “free choices”, stripped from the support granted by grace, must always be wrong, has extremely weighty implications. This means, that freedom cannot be trusted and the “right of choice” is always destructive, both in the state and in the Church. In the former, when people despise of the monarchy by God’s grace and believe in their “natural” right to choose leaders following their will, there is no other hope for maintaining order, than establishing  d i c t a t o r s h i p  perceived in an “occasionalist” sense, as an analogon of a miracle performed by God which suspends the “ordinary” rights of nature, albeit also established by themselves; in such circumstances, the dictatorship also proves the implementation of the divine right of love.[25]. However, on the ecclesiastic plane, the pessimistic assessment of human nature, which perfectly harmonises with the “spirit of the Syllabus”, discloses at the same time a basic discrepancy between Donoso Cortés together with dictates of the Syllabus (and the whole body of the traditional teaching of the Church on the issue), and an optimistic thesis which has been advocated since Vaticanum II, saying that “the truth wins in no other way than by the power of the truth itself”. Adoption of such thesis results in the resignation from the postulate of a Catholic state and proclaims the right of every person to “religious freedom” expressed in the declaration Dignitatis humanae and condemned in the Syllabus[26]. The traditional teachings of the Magisterium include innumerable examples of the same thesis[27] which Donoso presented in Ensayo…, saying that the error has no “right” by itself and that there can be no “freedom for the error” which is as abhorrent as the error itself[28]. This implies that the Church has the right to judge errors which, according to Donoso, protects one against relativism, which is an unavoidable consequence of catalogues of “agreed and arbitrary truths[29]being made by humans, and also implies beneficial character of intolerance which saved the world from chaos, putting above any discussion the truths which are holy and original, which provide the very foundation for any debate; truths, which cannot be doubted even for a moment, for this might instantly shake the mind unsure of truth or error, for his immediately dims the bright mirror of human mind[30]. Only the Church has the holy privilege of useful and fruitful debate, similarly as only the faith incessantly delivers truth and truth incessantly delivers knowledge[31], while doubts may deliver only further doubts.

Where did Evil Come From?

sello_156217.jpgErroneous interpretations of the key issue of theodicy on how to reconcile the imperfection of free human will with divine justice and goodness result, in the opinion of Donoso Cortés, from the very erroneous definition of freedom. A mind permeated with such definition is unable to explain to itself why God keeps yielding to the erroneous human will and He allows rebellion and anarchy on Earth. Terrified by this concept, such mind must resort to Manicheism – either in its traditional ancient form which advocates the existence of two gods (or equivalent principles): of good and evil, or in its modern form identified by Donoso with atheist and anthropolatric socialism of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. According to Donoso, any Manicheism is able to explain, in its own manner, the nature of fight and duality of the good and the evil but no Manicheism is able to explain the nature of peace and unity or convincingly prove any final victory, as this would require the annihilation of one or the other element, while any destruction of a putative substantial being is beyond comprehension. Only Catholicism provides a solution for this contradiction, as it explains everything by pointing out to an ontological difference between man and God which also serves as an explanation of the origin of evil, without the need to substantiate evil or to negate divine omnipotence or goodness[32].

God, as the absolute Good, is the creator of every good. Therefore it is not possible for the God to create evil, because, although God cannot put in the Creation everything which exists in there, (…) he cannot put there anything which does not exist in Himself, and no god exists in God[33]. On the other hand, God cannot place absolute good in anything, because this would imply the creation of another God. Therefore, God grants to all the creation only relative good, something of what exist in Him, but which is not Himself[34]. If God is the Maker of everything, then the whole creation is relatively good, including Satan and Hell. Satan, choosing to become the being which he is, that is the Evil, did not lose his angelic nature, which is good, as it was created by the God.

Although all the created beings are good, the evil exists in the world and it wreaks dire havoc there. In order to solve this riddle, one must clarify three issues: where does evil come from, what is evil and how finally it is a factor of general harmony.

Evil finds its beginning in the way in which man (and earlier, the fallen angels) used the freedom of will, which was given to him and which is commonly called the “freedom of choice” between the good and the evil, which should be more adequately and precisely called the freedom to unify with the good which exists independently from man, that is with God, or the freedom to depart from God and to negate Him by such departure and to turn towards Evil which is nothingness. Therefore, the occurrence of evil is the result of double negation: negation of the mind, which results in error (negation of truth) and negation of the will which results in evil (negation of good). Both negations are at the same time an absolute negation of God as the truth and the good are substantially the God, that is the same thing which is just discussed from two different points of view.

This negation, naturally enough, does no harm to God, but it introduces disharmony in his Creation. Before the rebellion of angels and the fall of man, everything in the Creation (including matter), gravitated towards God, the truth and the good, while those two metaphysical rebellions resulted in disorder which consists in separating things which the God intended to unite and by uniting things which the God wished to separate. In other words, the gravitation towards God has been changed by rebelling angels and fallen men into the revolutionary movement centred on themselves; both the Satan and the man turned themselves into their absolute and final goal. The price for this “emancipation” was, however dreadful; for Satan, it was final damnation, but the man also paid a lot; with a disintegration of his mental and physical powers. Human mind lost its rule over the will, the will lost its power over actions, the body renounced allegiance to the spirit and the spirit became enslaved by the body.

Therefore, Donoso Cortés affirms, using the mighty power of his fiery rhetoric, the Catholic philosophical thesis derived from St. Augustine which considers that good is identical with the being and that the evils is not metaphysical. The evil “is” the non-existence; it does not exist substantially, it exists only qualitatively, as a manner of being and not as a substance. Therefore, the expression “evil” does not evoke any other notion than the notion of disorder, as the evil is not a thing but just a disorderly manner of existence of things, which did not cease to be good in their substance[35]. Evil is only accidental and as such it cannot be the work of God, but it can be – and is – the work of Satan and man. In the light of the thesis of non-substantiality of evil, which according to Donoso is the only one which is not internally contradictory, both the Manichean theology of “two gods” and the resulting thesis on the constant struggle between God and man become unreasonable. Such struggle is impossible because the man – the maker of accidental and transitory evil – is not equal to God, and consequently, no true struggle may take place where the victory is not possible (for the disproportion of power) and it is not fore-judged (being constant).

Elaborating on the issue of the reconciliation of the possibility of man’s committing evil with the omnipotence of the providential God’s will, Donoso Cortés says that this “terrible freedom” of disrupting the harmony and beauty of the Creation would not have been given to man by God if the God had not been sure that He would be able to turn it into the tool of His plans and to stop the devastation. The point is, that the separation between the Maker and his Creation, which is real in one (moral) respect, becomes feigned in another (existential ties of dependence). Originally – before the rebellion and the fall – rational and free beings were linked with God by the power of His grace. They separated themselves through sin, breaking the node of grace (and hence actually proving their freedom), but when they depart from the God by the power of their will, they approach Him in some other way, because they either encounter His justice or they become the object of His grace. In order to explain this phenomenon, Donoso evokes the medieval metaphor (known, among others, to Dante) which depicts the Creation as a wheel and the God as its circumference on one hand and its centre on the other. Being the centre, God attracts things to Himself, and as the circumference, He encloses. Created beings either gravitate towards the Maker being the circle, or they depart from Him, but then they encounter Him being the circumference, so they always are under God’s hand, wherever they go[36]. If one characterises man as a being which introduces disorder into order, then the divine character of God consists also in the ability to extract order from disorder, changing the temporary separation into unbreakable unity. Whoever is not willing to unite with Him through eternal rewards, shall be united by eternal punishment. The end (goal) which every creature is to reach has been chosen by the God; the creature may chose only the way – either towards damnation or towards salvation.

Elaborate rhetoric antinomies of Donoso Cortés include also a justification for God’s approval for the man’s offence, because the God had “the Saviour of the World, to be used as a kind of reserve[37]; this thesis was one of the reasons for which the author of Ensayo…. has been accused of heresy by father Gaduel, editor of „L`Ami de la Religion”. However, it seems extremely doubtful (also according to the Holy Officium to which Donoso appealed) for this sentence, saying: Man sinned, because God decided to become man[38], to be justifiably interpreted as considering God to be the reason for Adam’s sin, as such causality is negated by subsequent words: Man wavered, because God has the power to support; man fell, because God has the power to uphold[39].

Ideologies which are Negations

The concept of evil as non-existence and the concept of falsity as non-truth is applied by Donoso Cortés to confront Catholicism with ideologies of liberalism and socialism. Their falsity appears there as the lack of ontological and epistemological positivism, resulting from the failure to understand nature and the origin of evil Both the liberal and the socialist concept of evil is too strikingly inadequate to the reality, as they seek evil in places where it does not dwell and overlook its significant manifestations. Liberals see evil in the sphere of political institutions inherited from the ancestors, which primarily embrace Christian monarchy, while socialists say that evil dwells in public institutions – mostly in the family and in private ownership. From the (superficial) point of view of temporary game of power between political parties, this difference seems to be a significant one which affects the public existence; the goals of liberals may seems relatively moderate (replacing traditional monarchy with parliamentary democracy, which actually gives power to the addicts of “debating”), while the intentions of socialists attack the very foundations of the community and evoke also the opposition of liberals. However, in the light of theology and philosophical anthropology, this difference seems diminished to a large extent, even to the point of becoming insignificant, as both these schools – silently or overtly – reject the Catholic dogma on the fall of creation and on the original sin affecting human nature. Both liberals and socialists see man as essentially good – not in the sense of a nature created as good, but always and absolutely, while the evil is always institutional ; the only difference is that both schools name different institutions. However, in any case this means re-ontologisation of the evil and in this sense one can talk about the „Manicheism” of both ideologies.

1093-vidas españolas s-xx_0033.jpg

A significant difference between liberalism and socialism concerns the degree to which they negate the truth concerning the origin of evil, advocated by Catholicism. Liberalism is inconsistent in this respect and, one may say, even timid: it is afraid to negate this truth in a resolute way and it regrets to renounce any principle (including this Catholic principle, which it only subjects to an “amputation” of all non-liberal notions, which actually make up the very essence of Catholicism). Liberalism praises political revolution and calls it liberating while it impugns social revolution, failing to notice that the former causes the latter: the balance between socialism and Catholicism sought by liberalism is absolutely impossible, and for this reason the (…) liberal school will finally have to abdicate, either in aid of socialists, or in aid of Catholics.[40].

The impotence of the “liberal school” is therefore caused by its lack of political theology and by its inability to consistently negate it; such negation is replaced by disputes, which are even assumedly barren and inconclusive. This school may rule only when the community is in decay; the moment of its domination is the transitory and volatile moment in which the world does not yet know whether to choose Barabbas or Jesus and when it wavers between dogmatic statement and total negation. At that moment, the community accepts the government of those, who are afraid to say: “I confirm” and those are equally afraid to say “I negate”so they always say “I differentiate”. The highest interests of this school consist in preventing the arrival of the day of resolute negations or the day of resolute confirmations. In order to prevent it, this school resorts to debating, which is the best way to the confusion of all concepts and to dissemination of scepticism. It understands very well that people, who constantly listen to sophists discussing for and against things, finally fail to know which is which and they ask whether it is true that the truth and the error, the sin and the virtue are opposite concepts or whether they rather are one and the same thing, just seen from different points of view?[41]. Liberalism, however, is condemned to defeat because the man has been created to act and the continuous debate does not agree with action, and therefore it is against human nature. Therefore a day is coming when the people, following their desires and feelings, shall crowd public squares and streets, resolutely choosing either Barabbas or Jesus and levelling the stand of sophists to the ground[42].

The greater “resoluteness” of socialism consists in the fact, that socialists draw two consistent conclusions from the hypothesis on the goodness of man: a conclusion on the perfection of man (which actually is deification of man) and the identification of evil with the God (or with the concept of God, which is the “threat to the conscience”). „The Golden Age” in socialist interpretation will flourish with the disappearance of faith in God, in the rule of mind over sense and the rule of governments over people; that is, when the brutal crowds will consider themselves as Gods, the law and the government[43]. Donoso Cortés sees this socialist system of the future as ideal despotism which combines pantheism of political, social and religious nature. This stands in express contrast with sociological individualism of Christianity which sees community as a group of humans obeying the same institutions and laws and living under their protection, while pantheists see community as an organism existing individually[44]. According to Donoso, this cardinal contradiction allows to perceive the logical consistency of Christian anthropology and the irrationality of socialist (collectivist) anthropology. If a community does not exist independently from people who are its members, then, naturally, a community can have no thing which did not originally exist in the individuals[45], and, logically enough, the evil and the good in a community originates from man and that it would be absurd to consider uprooting evil from a community without touching people in which the evil resides, being its source[46]. The concept of a holistically perceived community gives rise only to contradictions and unclear notions, which by themselves unmask socialism as a “charlatan” theory. It is not known, whether the evil in a community is substantial (in such situation, even an intention to destroy the existing social order would not be radical enough, as the full eradication of evil would be possible only after eradicating the community), or whether it is accidental; if the latter is true, what circumstances and reasons combined to give rise for this fatal coincidence? Unable to solve these contradictions, socialism leads to ascribe to man (a collective man) the name of the redeemer of community, and hence it advocates the same two secrets as Catholicism does (the secret of the origin of evil and the secret of redemption) but it only reverses them in a perverse way; the Catholicism says two simple and natural things: man is man and his doings are human while God is God and his doings are divine, then socialism says two things which are incomprehensible: that man undertakes and performs God’s works and the society performs acts appropriate to man[47]. With the consideration to the above, Donoso amends his earlier opinion on the logical advantage of socialism over liberalism, as socialism is “stronger” only by the way in which it advocates its issues, by its “theological” impetus, while the contents of the socialist doctrine is a monstrous conglomerate (…) of fantastic and false hypotheses[48].

Finally, if liberalism which emphasises its “neutral” lay character, is just an  a n t i – t h e o l o g y, then, according to Donoso Cortés, socialism is a  f a l s e  t h e o l o g y, which is just an awkward plagiarism of the Gospel, an irrational “half-Catholicism” which creates a new “God” of a collective man. however, basically both these ideologies shine with the “moonshine” of Christianity, which consists in undermining Catholicism to various degrees and in various places and in misinterpreting the World of God.: In spite of being schools which directly oppose Catholicism, that is schools which would resolutely negate all the catholic statements and all the principles, they are schools which just differ from Catholicism to a larger or smaller degree; they have borrowed from Catholicism everything which is just not a pure negation and they only live its life[49]. The author of Ensayo… is of the opinion that all heresiarchs, including political ones, share the common fate, as when they imagine that they live outside Catholicism, they actually live within, because Catholicism is just as the atmosphere of minds; socialists follow the same fate: after huge efforts aimed at the separation from Catholicism they have just reached the condition of being bad Catholics[50].

The Heredity of Sin

A theodicy would be incomplete if it failed to complement the answer to the question on the source and nature of evil with an explanation on the dogma of the heredity of original sin by all the generations. Donoso Cortés, who devoted the whole third chapter of his Ensayo… to discussing this issue, does not deny that this dogma in particular, being a dogma without which Catholicism would lose the reason for its existence – causes the highest “outrage” both for the purely natural justice and for the modern mentality, with its most expressive manifestations being the ideologies of liberalism and socialism. How can one be a sinner if he has not sinned, just at the moment of birth? On what grounds one may discuss the inheritance of Adam’s sin, which is the unavoidable consequence of that sin in the form of punishment, but without personal guilt? All this seems to fly in the face of all reason and the sense of the right, and to contradict the truth on the inexhaustible God’s grace advocated by the Christian religion. Instead, one might consider this dogma to be a borrowing from gloomy religions of ancient East, whose gods thrived on the suffering of victims and the sight of blood.

Although this question is usually posed on the ethical plane, the reply provided by Donoso Cortés transcends onto the ontological level, as he explains the putative contradiction between the absence of personal guilt and the heredity of sin and responsibility arising therefrom, with the duality of the existential structure of man. Our forefather Adam was at the same time an individual and mankind, and sin was committed before the separation of individual and mankind (by progeniture). Therefore, Adam sinned in both his natures: the collective and the individual one. Although the individual Adam died, the collective Adam lives on, and he has stored his sin in the course of life: the collective Adam and the human nature are the same thing; hence, human nature continues to be guilty, as it continues to be sinful[51]. Every man who comes to this world is a sinner, because he has human nature and human nature has been polluted: I sinned when I was Adam, both when mature, when I got the name which I carry, and before I came to the world. I was in Adam when he left the hands of God and Adam was in me when I left the womb of my mother; I am unable to separate myself from his person and unable to separate myself from his sin[52].

Every human being simultaneously upholds the individual element, which is its substantial personal unity, and an element which is common for the whole mankind. The first element, received by everyone from his parents, is just an accidental form of being; the other one, received (through Adam) from God , is the essence of every human being and this very fact is decisive for everyone’s participation in the sin. Individual sins are just “extras” added to the original sin which was at the same time one and common, exceptional and embracing nuclei of all sins. No man has been and will be able to sin individually in the same way as Adam: we just cover dirty spots with more dirty spots; only Adam soiled the snow-white purity[53].

Therefore one should note that the theory of existence of Donoso Cortés not only excludes idealistic ontologism, but on the other hand it also rejects nominalism, which denies the reality of the commoners (in this instance: the mankind). The result of the dogma of original sin and the rule of substantial unity of mankind is the dogma of the heaviness of the double responsibility of man (collective one concerning the original sin and the individual one concerning the sinful acts), which is the  s o l i d a r i t y  in sin. Only this solidarity gives to man his dignity, extending his life to cover the long course of times and spaces, and therefore, after a certain fashion, it gives rise to “mankind”: This word, meaningless for the ancients, only with the rise of Christianity began to express the substantial unity of human nature, the close kinship which unites all men in one family[54].

The heritage of guilt and punishment – and hence, without doubt, the suffering, should not be seen as evil, but only as good, available in the condition resulting from the irreversible fact of man’s depravity. If not for the punishment – which is in its essence a healing aid – the pollution would be irreversible and God would not have any means to reach man (to whom He gave freedom) with His grace. By rejecting punishment, we erase also the option of redemption. Punishment is just the very chance for being saved, denied to fallen angels, which ties a new bond between the Maker and the man. This punishment, although it still is relatively bad , being suffering, becomes the great benefit due to its purpose, which is the purification of the sinner: Because sin is common, the purification is also absolutely necessary for everyone; hence the suffering must also be common, if the whole mankind is to be purified in its mysterious waters[55].

Moreover, the dogma of solidarity also has its feedback aspect; solidarity remains in sin and in merit; if all people sinned with Adam, then all people were redeemed by Jesus Christ, whose merit is pointing towards them.

Social Implications of the Solidarity Dogma

According to Donoso Cortés, the concepts of heredity through blood and solidarity in sin explain all significant family, social and political institutions of mankind. If, for instance, a nation is well aware of the idea of hereditary transfer, its institutions will necessarily be based on heredity, and hence on stricte  a r i s t o c r a t i c, basis, moderated, however, by things which are common (in solidarity ) to all people in a society and hence are democratic, but only in this very sense. This also refers to the democracy of Athens, which was nothing else than an aristocracy, impudent and anxious, serviced by a crowd of slaves[56].

However, the concept of solidarity was disastrous for pagan communities due to its incompleteness; particular phenomena of solidarity (in family, community and politics) were not moderated by human solidarity which is comprehensible only in the light of the Christian dogma. This resulted in the tyranny of husbands and fathers in the family, the tyranny of state over communities and the permanent and common state of war between states, as well as a twisted concept of patriotism as declaring war against the whole mankind by a caste which constituted itself as a nation[57]. In modern times, all disorder is caused by the departure from the “Christian dogma” which has already been made known..

donoso.jpgBoth the instances of crippled solidarity in pre-Christian communities and the denial of solidarity in “post-Christian” communities[58] – are proofs of the lack of elementary balance in all doings of man which remain only human. They show the impotence and vanity of man as compared with the might and perfection of God, who is the only one to be able to uphold everything, not degrading anything; on the other hand man, upholding anything, degrades all things which are not upheld by him: in the sphere of religion, he cannot uphold himself without degrading God at the same time; he can neither uphold God without degrading himself; in politics he cannot give homage to freedom without offending authority at the same time; in social issues he either sacrifices community to individuals or individuals to the community[59]. Due to this one-sidedness, Donoso Cortés describes both liberals and socialists as parties of equilibrists.

Liberalism denies solidarity in the religious order, as both its ontological nominalism and its ethical meliorism do not allow it to accept the heredity of punishment and guilt. In turn, liberalism in the social order – as the follower of pagan egoism – denies the solidarity of nations, calling other nations strangers and it has not yet called them enemies only because it lacks enough energy[60].

Socialism goes even further, as it not only denies religious solidarity, heredity of punishment and guilt, but it also rejects the very punishment and guilt. The denial of the rule of heredity results therefore in the egalitarian principle of legal entitlement of everybody to all offices and all dignities[61] while egalitarianism gives ground to the denial of the diversity and solidarity of social groups which leads to the postulate of eradicating family and furthermore to the eradication of private ownership, with particular reference to land. This sequence of denials has a logic of its own, as one cannot understand ownership without some sort of proportion between the owner and his thing; while there is no proportion between land (Earth) and man[62]. The land does not die, and hence a mortal being cannot “own” it if one resigns from the notion of heredity. Purely individual ownership denies reason and the institution of ownership is absurd without the institution of family[63].

Socialism does not end with the denial of sin, guilt and punishment, but continuing the sequence of denials, it negates the unity and personality of man; in the result of rejecting tradition and historic continuity, socialism is unable to unite the present human existence with the past and the future, and all this leads it to unavoidable and total nihilism: Those, who tear themselves away from God go to nothingness and it cannot be the other way, as outside God there can be nothing but nothingness[64].

The Sense of Blood Offering

The “Cortesian” theodicy is crowned by the discussion on the necessity and sense of the propitiatory offering of blood – the most common procedure which is known almost to all religions, but is simultaneously the most mysterious and seemingly repulsive and irrational one.

The first blood offering was made by Abel – and, which is strange, God welcomed it just because it was the offering of blood, in contrast to the offering made by Cain, which was bloodless. It is even more puzzling that Abel, who spills blood for propitiatory offering, abhors the very fact of spilling blood and he dies because he refuses to shed blood of his envious brother, while Cain, who refuses a blood sacrifice to satisfy God, is fond of bloodshed to the point of killing his brother. This series of paradoxes leads Donoso Cortés to conclude that bloodshed functions as purification or erasure procedure, respectively to its purpose. Having discovered this, the fair Abel and Cain the fratricide become pre-figurations of the “Two States” which, according to St. Augustine, will struggle with each other until the end of history: Abel and Cain are the characters representing those two cities governed by opposite laws and by hostile lords; one of which is called the City of God and the other is the city of world and they are warring with each other not because one sheds blood and the other never does it, but because in the former, blood is shed by love while in the latter it is shed by vengeance; in the latter , blood is a gift to man to satisfy his passion, while in the former it is a gift to God for His propitiation[65].

Why everybody then sheds blood, in one way or another? According to Donoso, bloodshed is the inherent result of Adam’s misdeed. But, in the result of the promise of Redemption, by replacing the guilty person with the Redeemer, the death sentence has been suspended until His arrival. On the other hand, Abel, the heir of the death sentence and of the promise suspending it – is a memorial and symbolic offering. His offering is so perfect, that it expresses all the Catholic dogmas: as an offering in general, it constitutes an act of gratitude and respect for God; as a blood offering, it announces the dogma of original sin, heredity of guilt, punishment and solidarity, and also functions as reminder of the promise and the reciprocity of the Redeemer; finally, it symbolises the true offering of the Lamb without blemish.

However, in the course of generations, the original revelation, together with the message carried by Abel’s offering, became blurred, because simultaneously all men inherited the original sin, which corrupted human mind. The most deformed, cruel and fearful consequence of the misperception of the sense and purpose of blood offering was turning it actually into the act of offering human lives.

Where did pre-Christian peoples commit an error? This very fragment of discussion allows the reader experience the fine rhetoric by Donoso Cortés, his subtle reasoning and the sophisticated discourse. The discourse consists of a series of rhetoric questions (starting with anaphors) which are every time answered with a negative reply, except for the last question. Were the ancients wrong, thinking that divine justice needs propitiation? No, they were not. Were they wrong thinking that propitiation can be achieved only by bloodshed? No, they were not. Is it wrong that one person can offer enough propitiation to erase sins of everyone else? No, this is true. Or perhaps they were wrong thinking that the sacrificed one must be innocent? No, this was not false either. Their one and only error – which, however, had monstrous consequences – was the conviction that any man can serve as such (effective) offering. This one and only error, this single departure from the “Catholic dogma”, turned the world into the sea of blood[66]. This leads to the conclusion, which according to Donoso, remains ever true, that whenever people lose any Christian quality, wild and bloody barbarous behaviour is imminent.

donoso-cortes-juventud-politica-y-romanticismo-.jpgThe pagan error concerning offerings of blood was in fact only partial, because human blood is only unable to erase the original sin, while it can erase personal sins. This gives not only the justification but even the (…) necessity of death penalty[67], which was considered efficient by all civilisations, and those advocating its abolishment will soon see how expensive are such experiments, when blood immediately begins to seep through all its [community's – J.B.] pores[68]. Donoso Cortés saw the support of abolitionism as tolerance for crime which can be explained only by weakening religious spirit. It would be hard to say that his discussion on the subject lacks psychological sharpness and prophetic value: The criminal has undergone a gradual transformation in human eyes; those abhorred by our fathers are only pitied by their sons; the criminal has even lost his name – he became just a madman or a fool. Modern rationalists adorn crime with the name of misfortune; if this notion spreads, then some day communities will go under the rule of those misfortunate and then innocence will become crime. Liberal schools will be replaced with socialists with their teaching on holy revolutions and heroic crimes; and this will not be the end yet: the distant horizons are lit with even more bloody aurora. Perhaps some galley slaves are now writing a new gospel for the world. And if the world is forced to accept these new apostles and its gospel, it will truly deserve such fate[69].

Dignitatis humanae?

If human nature is so direly hurt by the fall of sin, and consequently the man may only add more errors to the first and main one, then how will it be possible to achieve at any time in the future the reinstatement of man’s unity with God? Donoso Cortés admits, that without solving this “dogma of dogmas” the whole Catholic structure (…) must fall down in ruin; as it has no vault[70]; in such instance, this structure would be just a philosophical system, less imperfect than the other ones.

This dilemma can be solved in one way only: by acknowledging the infinite  l o v e  of God for his Creation. Love is the only adequate description for God: God is love and love only. (…) We are all redeemed in love and by love[71]. The depth of human fall implies that the reconstruction of the order had to be achieved in no other way than through raising man to divinity which, in turn, had to be effected only by the Incorporation of the World, when God, becoming a Man, never ceased to be the God[72]. The Holiest Blood, spilt at the Calvary, not only erased Adam’s guilt but it also put the redeemed man in the state of merit.

This truly abysmal disproportion between the impotence of the fallen man and the immeasurable, freely granted God’s grace and love makes Donoso Cortés draw conclusions of utmost importance and far-reaching – in the opinion of some, too far-reaching – implications. The Secret of Incorporation is in his eyes, the only title of nobility for mankind, and therefore, whenever the author sees a man fallen by his own guilt and stripped from the sanctifying grace, the he is surprised by the restraint shown by rationalists in their contempt of man and he is unable to understand this moderation in contempt[73]. In this context, Donoso placed his most famous and most controversial statement: if God had not accepted human nature and had not elevated it to His level, leaving it with the shiny trace of His divinity, (…) man’s language would lace words to express human lowliness. As to myself, I can only say that if my God had not became a body in a woman’s womb and if He had not died on the cross for the whole mankind, then the reptile, which I trample with my foot, would have been less deserving of contempt in my eyes, than the whole mankind[74].

In other words, the common character of guilt does not only mean that grace is necessary for salvation and that no man can be considered to be “good by his nature”, which is unquestionable from the point of view of Catholic doctrine, but also refuses natural dignity to man in this state[75]. The author of Ensayo… admits openly: Out of all the statements of faith, my mind has the most difficulty to accept the teaching on the dignity of mankind – the dignity which I desire to understand and which I cannot see[76]. Various deeds of numerous famous people, extolled as heroic, seem to Donoso to be rather heroic misdeeds committed out of blind pride or mad ambition. It would be easy to understand what puzzlement or even horror would Donoso experience learning that Fathers of the Second Vatican Council promulgated the Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis humanae, or perhaps he would think that the anthropological hyper-optimism which permeates this text proved that the heresy of naturalistic Pelagianism, contended by St. Augustine, has been reborn after 1500 years.

On the other hand, the ultra-pessimism of Donoso Cortés has exposed him to the accusations of antithetic heresy. His contemporary critic father Gaduel has discovered in Donoso’s statement on human dignity the condemned error of „baianism”, that is a thesis proposed by Michael Baius[77] saying that “all acts non resulting from faith are sinful” (omnia opera infidelium sunt peccata). However, this seems doubtful, as the author of Ensayo… does not offer any general statements, but discusses only a certain class of acts which are seen as good in the eyes of the “world”.

Father Gaduel is supported by Carl Schmitt, a Catholic, who, although fascinated by the decisionist thought of Donoso Cortés, considered the outbreaks of “monstrous pessimism” (and doubt in the chances to conquer evil, which “often is close to madness”[78]) demonstrated by the Spanish thinker to be a “radical form” of the concept of the original sin which departs from the “explanation adopted by the Council of Trent (…) which says, in contrast to Luther, that human nature has not been wholly polluted but it is only blurred by the original sin, has been hurt to a certain extent, but man still remains naturally able to do good”[79]. Schmitt says also that the way in which Donoso understands the original sin dogma “seems to overlap the Lutheran approach”, although he remarks that Donoso „would never accept Luther’s opinion that one should obey every authority”[80]. He also ventures to offer a peculiar defence of Donoso, emphasising that “he did not aim (…) at developing some new interpretation for the dogma, but to solve a religious and political conflict”, „ and therefore, when he says that man is evil by his nature, he primarily involves himself in polemics with atheist anarchism and its basic axiom – the natural goodness of man; his approach is hence polemic and not doctrinal”[81]. Such defence line would certainly never satisfy Donoso, who, truly enough, was very far away from the intention to develop a new interpretation for the dogma, but at the same time considered the compliance of his own opinions with the interpretation of the Magisterium as the issue of utmost importance.

The problem of whether Donoso Cortés has passed over the boundaries of orthodoxy at that moment, will probably remain controversial. One should remember however, that this would be only a “material” and not “formal” heresy, as Vatican has dismissed charges against him, and the defendant had in advance promised to submit himself to any decision.. In addition to that, even if Donoso was in fact too pessimistic about human nature, the same objection could be directed towards to late anti-Pelagian writings by St. Augustine, which has been disclosed by the controversy on Lutheranism and Jansenism[82].

The issues which, however, seem to remain beyond any essential controversy are the political implications of the anthropological pessimism of Donoso Cortés. This pessimism results in unambiguous rejection of a system based on the trust in human mind and goodness, which is the democratic system: I perceive mankind as an immense crowd crawling at the feet of the heroes whom it considers gods, while such heroes, similarly to gods, can only worship themselves. I could believe in the dignity of those dumb crowds only when God revealed it to me[83]. According to Donoso, any attempt at building a system based on the trust in human goodness and mind, is both heresy and madness. Only Jesus Christ can be the Master and the Focus of everything, both in the whole Creation and in a human state. Only in Him can reign the true peace and brotherhood, while the negation of his Social Kingdom brings only the division into parties, rebellions, wars and revolutions: the poor rise against the rich, the unhappy against the happy, the aristocrats against kings, lower classes against higher ones (…); the crowds of people, propelled by the fury of wild passions unite in their fight, just as streams swollen with rainstorm waters unite when falling into the abyss[84]. One of the best experts on Spanish traditionalist thought Frederick D. Wilhelmsen presents this ideal of the Catholic state in a nutshell, rightly saying that “the political authority in a well arranged society is just a manner of governing, which is always, although in diverse ways, subordinated to God. This means that authority, power and sovereignty can be united only in God”[85].

by Jacek Bartyzel

“Organon”, Instituto de Historia de Ciencia, Academia de Ciencias de Polonia, núm. 34/2006, págs. 195-216.



[1]   Actually, this concerns the ideas of Donoso Cortés expressed after his religious transformation in 1843 when  he changed from a moderate liberal and a “sentimental” Catholic into a determined reactionary  and ultramontanist;  I have discussed this evolution in more detail in my essay: Posępny markiz de Valdegamas. Życie, myśl i dziedzictwo Juana Donoso Cortésa, in „Umierać, ale powoli!”. O monarchistycznej i katolickiej kontrrewolucji w krajach romańskich 1815-2000, Kraków 2002, p. 351-387.  See also Carl Schmitt: „For [Donoso] Cortés, his postulate of radical spiritualism is already equivalent to taking the side of a specific theology of struggle against an opponent. (…) … systemic discussion shows his effort to present in  brief issues belonging to the good, old , dogmatic theology” – id., Teologia polityczna i inne pisma, selected, translated and prefaced by M. A. Cichocki, Kraków – Warszawa 2000, p. 80.

[2] See R. Cammilleri, Juan Donoso Cortés – Il Padre del Sillabo, Milano 1998, 2000².

[3] Jan Donoso Cortés, „Przegląd Katolicki” 1870, No.46, p. 724 [I quote all fragments from the Esej o katolicyzmie, liberalizmie i socjalizmie from  this text (signed in the recent issue as Ks. M. N.) printed therein in the years 1870-1871, which is an actual translation (certainly from French) covering approximately 80 % of the original text and  summarising the rest,  with additional comments and a biographic sketch. However, I introduce corrections to this translation in places which depart from the meaning of the original  or which sound too archaic (I have also modified spelling and punctuation), comparing it with contemporary Spanish edition of the text in Obras Completas, Madrid 1970, t. II, as well as with the French edition of Cortés'  works edited by his friend, Louisa Veuillot – Œuvres de Donoso Cortés, marquis de Valdegamas, Paris 1858, t. III: Essai sur le catholicisme, le libéralisme et le socialisme considérés dans leurs principes fondamentaux].

[4] Ibid., p. 726.

[5] Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1870, No.49, p. 770.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Similarly to  François Guizot, a writer highly appreciated by Donoso, who however pointed out to his weaknesses and limitations resulting  from his liberal, protestant and naturalist research perspective.

[8] Jan Donoso Cortés , „Przegląd Katolicki” 1870, No.52, p. 818.

[9] Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1870, No.49, p. 772.

[10]            Ibid., p. 769.

[11]            Ibid.

[12]            See  J. Donoso Cortés, Carta al director de la „Revue de Deux Mondes”, [in:] id., Obras Completas, Madrid 1970, t. II [Polish translation of the fragment in: „Przegląd Poznański” 1849, t. VIII, p. 438-440].

[13]            Jan Donoso Cortés „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.1, p. 2.

[14]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.4, p. 49.

[15]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.1, p. 1.

[16]            Ibid.

[17]            It is not a coincidence that Spaniard Donoso Cortés presents this Augustinian opposition of the Two Cities using a Baroque metaphor of el Gran Teatro del Mundo created by his great fellow countryman Pedro Calderón de la Barca.

[18]            Jan Donoso Cortés, „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.4, p. 51.

[19]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.1, p. 6.

[20]            Ibid., p. 7.

[21]            Ibid.

[22]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1870, No.52, p. 818.

[23]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1870, No.50, p. 786.

[24]            Ibid.

[25]            See  J. Donoso Cortés, Discurso sobre la dictadura, [w:] id., Obras Completas, Madrid 1970, t. II, p. 316 i n.

[26]            See the condemned thesis XV: „Every man has the right to accept and believe in a religion which he has considered true, guided by the light of his mind” – Syllabus errorum, in: Bl. Pius IX, Quanta cura. Syllabus errorum. (O błędach modernizmu), Warszawa 2002, p. 23.

[27]            For instance, Pius VII says that the  public law, sanctioning equal freedom for the truth and the error, commits a “tragic and always contemptible heresy” (Post tam diuturnitas), Gregory XVI – „ravings” (Mirari vos), bl. Pius IX – „monstrous error” (Qui pluribus), which is most harmful to the Church and the salvation of souls” (Quanta cura), something which “leads to easier depravation of morals and minds” and to the “popularisation of the principle of indifferentism” (Syllabus), Leon XIII – „the public crime” (Immortale Dei), something which is “equivalent to atheism” (ibid.) and „contrary to reason”; quoted from: F. K. Stehlin, W obronie Prawdy Katolickiej. Dzieło arcybiskupa Lefebvre, Warszawa 2001, p. 188-189.

[28]            Jan Donoso Cortés, „Przegląd Katolicki” 1870, No.49, p. 772.

[29]            Ibid., p. 773.

[30]            Ibid.

[31]            Ibid.

[32]            This explanation naturally repeats anti-Manichean polemics of St. Augustine, while the conclusions concerning modern (socialist) “Manicheisms” are his own.

[33]            Jan Donoso Cortés, „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.4, p. 52.

[34]            Ibid.

[35]            Ibid., p. 54.

[36]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.5, p. 66.

[37]            Ibid., p. 67.

[38]            Ibid.

[39]            Ibid.

[40]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.12, p. 179.

[41]            Ibid., p. 177.

[42]            Ibid.

[43]            Ibid., p. 178.

[44]            Ibid., p. 181.

[45]            The defence of this point of view allows to identify Donoso also as an Aristotelian, as he considers individual substances also as real beings.

[46]            Jan Donoso Cortés, „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.12, p. 181.

[47]            Ibid.

[48]            Ibid., p. 182.

[49]            Ibid.

[50]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.16, p. 245.

[51]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.13, p. 195.

[52]            Ibid.

[53]            Ibid., p. 196.

[54]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.15, p. 226.

[55]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.14, p. 210.

[56]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.15, p. 227.

[57]            Ibid.

[58]            This term has been, naturally unknown to the author of Ensayo…, but it stands with full compliance with his perception of the current condition of the society.

[59]            Jan Donoso Cortés, „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.15, p. 226.

[60]            Ibid., p. 228 [Such characteristics of liberalism, which seems to fit rather nationalism, must seem surprising in modern times.  However, the concept of  Donoso can be defended, if one becomes aware that liberal doctrines and movements of his times - during the period of Romanticism - had a very strong national component, which in certain instances (Jacobinism, Italian Risorgimento), seemed just chauvinistic. Liberalism radically separated itself from romantic (proto)nationalism only at the end of the 19th century, a long time after the death of Donoso. It is also worth remembering that the concept of "holy egoism" (sacro egoismo), apparently   Machiavellian in its spirit, and signifying the superior directive of a national state, has been born in the very circle of the liberal destra storica].

[61]            Ibid.

[62]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.16, p. 241.

[63]            Ibid.

[64]            Ibid., p. 245.

[65]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.17, p. 259.

[66]            Ibid., p. 260.

[67]            Ibid., p. 261.

[68]            Ibid.

[69]            Ibid.

[70]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.18, p. 274.

[71]            Ibid., p. 275.

[72]            Donoso’s use of Hegelian concepts  such as “the synthetic union” of man with God (ibid., p. 277),  or the “unification of ideality  with reality”  in the Son of God (ibid., p. 289) is well understandable in the  historic context, although it introduces certain  conceptual chaos to   basically classical (mostly Augustinian and partly Thomistic) philosophical vocabulary of the Spanish theologian.

[73]            Jan Donoso Cortés, „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.18, p. 275.

[74]            Ibid.

[75]            Terminology of traditional fundamental theology refers to the so-called “original dignity” with which man was supplied in the act of creation, in contrast to the “final dignity” which is inseparable form the strive towards truth, which has been reinstated in man by the act of Redemption.

[76]            Jan Donoso Cortés, „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No.18, p. 275.

[77]              For reference to the condemnation of 79 theses by Baius by  St. Pope Pius V in  1567 see.: Breviarium fidei. Wybór doktrynalnych wypowiedzi Kościoła, edit.. S. Głowa SJ and I. Bieda SJ, Poznań 1989, p. 203-205.

[78]            C. Schmitt, op. cit., p. 77.

[79]            Ibid., p. 76 [In fact, Schmitt does not give an accurate brief of the Trent teachings; certainly, none of the  canons of the Decree on the Original Sin, adopted at Session V in 1546 includes no statement that "man continues to be able to do good  out of his nature.” Fathers of the Tridentinum consciously refrained from solving all problems related to the nature of the original sin and its effects, but they only rejected the teachings of Protestant reformers by declaring that the grace granted at baptism „effaces the guilt of original sin"  and  remits everything which "has the true and proper character of sin" and not only "blurs it or makes it no more considered as guilt” (Can. 5), quot. from: Breviarium fidei..., p. 202].

[80]            Ibid.

[81]            Ibid.

[82]            See also.: L. Kołakowski, God Owes Us Nothing: A Brief Remark on Pascal’s Religion and on the Spirit of Jansenism, The University of Chicago Press 1995.

[83]            Juan Donoso Cortés, „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No. 18, p. 276 [This perception of democracy has been repeated in an equally sarcastic, albeit lay form, by H.L. Mencken saying that “democracy is the cult of jackals professed by asses”.]

[84]            Ibid., „Przegląd Katolicki” 1871, No. 19, p. 292.

[85]            F. D. Wilhelmsen, Donoso Cortés and the Meaning of Political Power, [in:] Christianity and Political Philosophy, Athens 1978, p. 139, quot. from: M. Ayuso, La cabeza de la Gorgona. De la «Hybris» del poder al totalitarismo moderno, Buenos Aires 2001, p. 24.

 

 

 

dimanche, 03 novembre 2013

Les leçons de Peter Koslowski face à la post-modernité

Les leçons de Peter Koslowski face à la post-modernité

par Jacques-Henri Doellmans

Peter Koslowski.jpgPeter Koslowski, jeune philosophe allemand né en 1952, est professeur de philosophie et d'économie politique à l'Université de Witten/Herdecke, président de l'Institut CIVITAS, Directeur de l'Institut de Recherches en Philosophie de l'Université de Hanovre. Son objectif est de déployer une critique fondée de la modernité et de tous ses avatars institutionalisés (en politique comme en économie). Ses arguments, solidement étayés, ne sont pas d'une lecture facile. Rien de son œuvre, déjà considérable, n'a été traduit et nous, francophones, avons peu de chances de trouver bientôt en librairie des traductions de ce philosophe traditionnel et catholique d'aujourd'hui, tant la rigueur de ses arguments ruine les assises de la pensée néo-gnosticiste, libérale et permissive dominante, surtout dans les rédactions parisiennes!

Koslowski est également un philosophe prolixe, dont l'éventail des préoccupations est vaste: de la philosophie à la pratique de l'économie, de l'éthique à l'esthétique et de la métaphysique aux questions religieuses. Koslowski est toutefois un philosophe incarné: la réflexion doit servir à organiser la vie réelle pour le bien de nos prochains, à gommer les dysfonctionnements qui l'affectent. Pour atteindre cet optimum pratique, elle doit être interdisciplinaire, éviter l'impasse des spécialisations trop exigües, produits d'une pensée trop analytique et pas assez organique.

Pour la rédaction d'un article, l'interdisciplinarité préconisée par Koslowski fait problème, dans la mesure où elle ferait allègrement sauter les limites qui me sont imparties. Bornons-nous, ici, à évoquer la présentation critique que nous donne Koslowki de la “postmodernité” et des phénomènes dits “postmodernes”.

La “modernité” a d'abord été chrétienne, dans le sens où les chrétiens de l'antiquité tardive se désignaient par l'adjectif moderni, pour se distinguer des païens qu'ils appelaient les antiqui. Dans cette acception, la modernité correspond au saeculum de Saint-Augustin, soit le temps entre la Chute et l'Accomplissement, sur lequel l'homme n'a pas de prise, seul Dieu étant maître du temps. Cette conception se heurte à celle des gnostiques, constate Koslowski, qui protestent contre l'impuissance de l'homme à exercer un quelconque pouvoir sur le temps et la mort. Le gnosticisme  —qu'on ne confondra pas avec ce que Koslowski appelle “la vraie gnose”—  prétendra qu'en nommant le temps (ou des segments précis et définis du temps), l'homme parviendra à exercer sa puissance sur le temps et sur l'histoire. Par “nommer le temps”, par le fait de donner des noms à des périodes circonscrites du temps, l'homme gnostique a la prétention d'exercer une certaine maîtrise sur ce flux qui lui échappe. La division du temps en “ères” antique, médiévale et moderne donne l'illusion d'une marche en avant vers une maîtrise de plus en plus assurée et complète sur le temps. Telle est la logique gnostique, qui se répétera, nous allons le voir, dans les “grands récits” de Hegel et de Marx, mais en dehors de toute référence à Dieu ou au Fils de Dieu incarné dans la chair des hommes.

Parallèlement à cette volonté d'arracher à Dieu la maîtrise du temps, le gnosticisme, surtout dans sa version docétiste, nie le caractère historique de la vie de Jésus, rejette le fait qu'il soit réellement devenu homme et chair. Le gnosticisme spiritualise et dés-historise l'Incarnation du Christ et introduit de la sorte une anthropologie désincarnée, que refusera l'Eglise. Ce refus de l'Eglise permet d'éviter l'écueil de l'escapisme vers des empyrées irréelles, de déboucher dans l'affabulation phantasmagorique et spiritualiste. L'Incarnation revalorise le corps réel de l'homme, puisque le Christ a partagé cette condition. Cette revalorisation implique, par le biais de la caritas  active, une mission sociale pour l'homme politique chrétien et conduit à affirmer une religion qui tient pleinement compte de la communauté humaine (paroissiale, urbaine, régionale, nationale, continentale ou écouménique). L'homme a dès lors un rôle à jouer dans le drame du saeculum,  mais non pas un rôle de pur sujet autonome et arbitraire. Si les gnostiques de l'antiquité avaient nié toute valeur au monde en refusant l'Incarnation, l'avatar moderne du gnosticisme idolâtrera le monde, tout en le désacralisant; le monde n'aura plus de valeur qu'en tant que matériau, que masse de matières premières, mises à la totale disposition de l'homme, jetées en pâture à son arbitraire le plus complet. Le gnosticisme moderne débouche ainsi sur la “faisabilité” totale et sur la catastrophe écologique.

Si le premier concept de modernité était celui de la chrétienté imbriquée dans le saeculum  (selon Saint-Augustin), la deuxième acception du terme “modernité” est celle de la philosophie des Lumières, dans ses seuls avatars progressistes. Koslowski s'insurge contre la démarche de Jürgen Habermas qui a érigé, au cours de ces deux dernières décennies, ces “Lumières progressistes” au rang de seul projet valable de la modernité. Habermas perpétue ainsi la superstition du progressisme des gauches et jette un soupçon permanent sur tout ce qui ne relève pas de ces “Lumières progressistes”. L'idée d'un progrès matériel et technique infini provient du premier principe (galiléen) de la thermodynamique, qui veut que l'énergie se maintient en toutes circonstances et s'éparpille sans jamais se perdre au travers du monde. Dans une telle optique, l'accroissement de complexité, et non la diminution de complexité ou la régression, est la “normalité” des temps modernes. Mais, à partir de 1875, émerge le second principe de la thermodynamique, qui constate la déperdition de l'énergie, ce qui permet d'envisager la décadence, le déclin, la mort des systèmes, la finitude des ressources naturelles. Le projet moderne de dominer entièrement la nature s'effondre: l'homme gnostique/moderne ne prendra donc pas la place de Dieu, il ne sera pas, à la place de Dieu, le maître du temps. Dans ce sens, la postmodernité commence en 1875, comme le notait déjà Toynbee, mais ce fait de la déperdition n'est pas pris en compte par les idéologies politiques dominantes. Partis, idéologues, décideurs politiques agissent encore et toujours comme si ce second principe de la thermodynamique n'avait jamais été énoncé.

Pourtant, malgré les 122 ans qui se sont écoulés depuis 1875, l'usage du vocable “postmoderne” est venu bien plus tard et révèle l'existence d'un autre débat, parti du constat de l'effondrement de ce que Jean-François Lyotard appelait les “grands récits”. Pour Lyotard, les “grands récits” sont représentés par les doctrines de Hegel et de Marx. Ils participent, selon Koslowski, d'une “immanentisation radicale” et d'une “historicisation” de Dieu, où l'histoire du monde devient synonyme de la marche en avant de l'absolu, libérant l'homme de sa prison mondaine et de son enveloppe charnelle. Pour Marx, cette marche en avant de l'absolu équivaut à l'émancipation de l'homme, qui, en bout de course, ne sera plus exploité par l'homme ni assujetti au donné naturel. Lyotard déclarera caducs ces deux “grands récits”, expressions d'un avatar contemporain du filon gnostique.

A la suite de cette caducité proclamée par Lyotard, le philosophe allemand Odo Marquard embraye sur cette idée et annonce le remplacement des deux “grands récits” de la modernité européenne par une myriade de “petits récits”, qu'il appelle (erronément) des “mythes”. Le marxisme, l'idéalisme hégélien et le christianisme, dans l'optique de Marquard, sont “redimensionnés” et deviennent des “petits récits”, à côté d'autres “petits récits” (notamment ceux du “New Age”), auquel il octroie la même valeur. C'est le règne de la “polymythie”, écrit Koslowski, que Marquard érige au rang d'obligation éthique. Le jeu de la concurrence entre ces “mythes”, que Koslowski nomme plus justement des “fables”, devient la catégorie fondamentale du réel. La concurrence et l'affrontement entre les “petits récits”, le débat de tous avec tous, le jeu stérile des discussions aimables non assorties de décisions constituent la variante anarcho-libérale de la postmodernité, conclut Koslowski. Ce néo-polythéisme et cet engouement naïf pour les débats entre tous et n'importe qui dévoile vite ses insuffisances car: 1) La vie est unique et ne peut pas être inscrite exclusivement sous le signe du jeu, sans tomber dans l'aberration, ni sous le signe de la discussion perpétuelle, ce qui serait sans issue; 2) Totaliser ce type de jeu est une aberration, car s'il est totalisé, il perd automatiquement son caractère ludique; 3) Cette polymythie, théorisée par Marquard, se méprend sur le caractère intrinsèque des “grands récits”; contrairement aux “petits récits”, alignés par Marquard, ils ne sont pas des “fables” ou de sympathiques “historiettes”, mais un “mélange hybride d'histoire et de philosophie spéculative”, qui est “spéculation dogmatique” et ne se laisse pas impliquer dans des “débats” ou des “jeux discursifs”, si ce n'est par intérêt stratégique ponctuel. La polymythie de Marquard n'affirme rien, ne souhaite même pas maintenir les différences qui distinguent les “petits récits” les uns des autres, mais a pour seul effet de mélanger tous les genres et d'estomper les limites entre toutes les catégories. Les ratiocinations évoquant une hypothétique “pluralité” qui serait indépassable ne conduisent qu'à renoncer à toute hiérarchisation des valeurs et s'avèrent pure accumulation de fables et d'affabulations sans fondement ni épaisseur.

Après la “polymythie” de Marquard, le second volet de l'offensive postmoderne en philosophie est représentée par le filon “déconstructiviste”. En annonçant la fin des “grands récits”, Lyotard a jeté les bases d'une vaste entreprise de “déconstruction” de toutes les institutions, instances, initiatives, que ces “grands récits” avaient générées au fil du temps et imposées aux sociétés humaines. Procédant effectivement de cette “spéculation dogmatique” assimilable à un néo-gnosticisme, les “grands récits” ont été “constructivistes”  —ils relevaient de ce que Joseph de Maistre appelait “l'esprit de fabrication”—  et ont installé, dit Koslowski, des “cages d'acier” pour y enfermer les hommes et, aussi, les mettre à l'abri de tout appel de l'Absolu. Ces “cages d'acier” doivent être démantelées, ce qui légitime la théorie et la pratique de la “déconstruction”, du moins jusqu'à un certain point. Si déconstruire les cages d'acier est une nécessité pour tous ceux qui veulent une restauration des valeurs (traditionnelles), faire du “déconstructivisme” une fin en soi est un errement de plus de la modernité. Toujours hostile aux avatars du gnosticisme antique, à l'instar du penseur conservateur Erich Voegelin, Koslowski rappelle que pour les gnoses extrêmes, le réel est toujours “faux”, “inauthentique”, “erratique”, etc. et, derrière lui, se trouvent le “surnaturel”, le “tout-autre”, l'“inattendu”, le “nouveau”, l'“étranger”, toujours plus “vrais” que le réel. Pour Lyotard et Derrida, le philosophe doit toujours placer ce “tout-autre” au centre de ses préoccupations, lui octroyer d'office toute la place, au détriment du réel, toujours considéré comme insuffisant et imparfait, dépourvu de valeur. Lyotard veut privilégier les “discontinuités” et les “hétérogénéités” contre les “continuités” et les “homogénéités”, car elles témoignent du caractère “déchiré” du monde, dans lequel jamais aucun ordre ne peut se déployer. L'idée d'ordre  —et non seulement la “cage d'acier”—   est un danger pour les déconstructivistes et non pas la chance qui s'offre à l'homme de s'accomplir au service des autres, de la Cité, du prochain, etc.

Pour Koslowski, cette logique “anarchisante” dérive de Georges Bataille, récemment “redécouvert” par la “nouvelle droite”. Bataille, notamment dans La littérature et le mal, explique que la souveraineté consiste à accroître la liberté jusqu'à obtenir un “être-pour-soi” absolu, car toute activité consistant à maintenir l'ordre est signe d'escalavage, d'une “conscience d'esclave”, servile à l'égard de l'“objectivité”. L'homme ne peut être souverain, pour Bataille, que s'il se libère du langage et de la vie, donc s'il est capable de s'auto-détruire. Le moi de Bataille renonce de façon absolue à défendre et à maintenir la vie (laquelle n'a pas de valeur comme le monde n'avait pas de valeur pour les gnostiques de la fin de l'antiquité, qui refusaient le mystère de l'Incarnation). L'apologie du “gaspillage”, antonyme total de la “conservation”, et la “mystique du moi” chez Bataille débouchent donc sur une “mystique de la mort”. En ce sens, elle surprivilégie la dispersio des mystiques médiévaux, lui accorde un statut ontologique, sans affirmer en contre-partie l'unio mystica.

Telle est la critique qu'adresse Koslowski à la philosophie postmoderne. Elle ne s'est pas contenté de “déconstruire” les structures imposées par la modernité, elle n'a pas rétabli l'unio mystica, elle a généralisé un “déconstructivisme” athée et nihiliste, qui ne débouche sur rien d'autre que la mort, comme le prouve l'œuvre de Bataille. Mais si Koslowski s'insurge contre le refus du réel qui part du gnosticisme pour aboutir au déconstructivisme de Derrida, que propose-t-il pour ré-ancrer la philosophie dans le réel, et pour dégager de ce ré-ancrage une philosophie politique pratique et une économie qui permette de donner à chacun son dû?

Dans un débat qui l'opposait à Claus Offe, politologue allemand visant à maintenir une démocratie de facture moderne, Koslowski indiquait les pistes à suivre pour se dégager de l'impasse moderne. Offe avait constaté que les processus de modernisation, en s'amplifiant, en démultipliant les différenciations, en accélérant outrancièrement les prestations des systèmes et sous-systèmes, confisquaient aux structures et aux institutions de la modernité le caractère normatif de cette même modernité. Différenciations et accélérations finissent par empêcher la modernité d'être émancipatrice, alors qu'au départ son éthique foncière visait justement l'émancipation totale (i.e.: échapper à la prison du réel pour les gnostiques, s'émanciper de la tyrannie du donné naturel chez Marx). Pour réintroduire au centre des préoccupations de nos contemporains cette idée d'émancipation, Offe prône l'arrêt des accumulations, différenciations et accélérations, soit une “option nulle”. Offe veut la modernité sans progrès, parce que le progrès fini par générer des structures gigantesques, incontrôlables et non démocratiques. Il réconcilie ainsi la gauche post-industrielle et les paléo-conservateurs, du moins ceux qui se contentent de ce constat somme toute assez facile. Effectivement, constate Koslowski, Offe démontre à juste titre qu'une accumulation incessante de différenciations diminue la vitalité et la robustesse de la société, surtout si les sous-systèmes du système sont chacun monofonctionnels et s'avèrent incapables de régler des problèmes complexes, chevauchant plusieurs types de compétences. Si les principes de vérité, de justice et de beauté s'éloignent les uns des autres par suite du processus de différenciation, nous aurons, comme l'avait prévu Max Weber, une vérité injuste et laide, une justice fausse et laide et une esthétique immorale et fausse. De même, le divorce entre économie, politique et solidarité, conduit à une économie impolitique et non solidaire, à une politique anti-économique et non solidaire, à une solidarité anti-économique et impolitique. Ces différenciations infécondes de la modernité doivent être dépassées grâce à une pratique de l'“interpénétration” générale, conduisant à une polyfonctionalité des institutions dans lesquelles les individus seront organiquement imbriqués, car l'individu n'est pas seulement une unité économique, par exemple, mais est simultanément ouvrier d'usine, artiste amateur, père de famille, etc. Chaque institution doit pouvoir répondre tout de suite, sans médiation inutile, à chacune des facettes de la personnalité de ce “père-artiste-ouvrier”. Offe considère que l'“interpénétration” pourrait porter atteinte au principe de la séparation des pouvoirs. Koslowski rétorque que cette séparation des pouvoirs serait d'autant plus vivante avec des institutions polyfonctionnelles et plus robustes, taillées à la mesure d'hommes réels et complexes. L'“option nulle” est un constat d'échec. L'effondrement de la modernité politique et des espoirs qu'elle a fait naître provoque la déprime. Un monde à l'enseigne de l'“option nulle” est un monde sans perspective d'avenir. Un système qui ne peut plus croître, s'atrophie.

Pour Koslowski, c'est le matérialisme, donc la pensée économiciste,  —la sphère de l'économie dans laquelle la modernité matérialiste avait placé tous ses espoirs—  qui est contrainte d'adopter l'“option nulle”. Comme cette pensée a fait l'impasse sur la culture, la religion, l'art et la science, elle est incapable de générer des développements dans ces domaines et d'y susciter des effets de compensation, pourtant essentiels à l'équilibre humain et social. L'impasse, le sur-place du domaine socio-économique doit être un appel à investir des énergies créatrices et des générosités dans les dimensions religieuses, artistiques et scientifiques, conclut Koslowski.

Telle est bien son intention et Koslowski ne se contente pas d'émettre le vœu d'une économie plus conforme aux principes de conservation et d'équilibre des philosophies non modernes. Deux livres très denses témoignent de sa volonté de sauver l'économie et le social de la stagnation et du déclin induits par l'“option nulle”, constatée par Offe, un politologue déçu de la modernité mais qui veut à tout prix la sauver, en dépit de ses échecs patents. Dans cette optique, Koslowski a écrit Wirtschaft als Kultur  (1989) et Die Ordnung der Wirtschaft  (1994) (réf. infra). Ces deux ouvrages sont si fondamentaux que nous serons contraints d'y revenir: retenons, ici, que Koslowski, dans Wirtschaft als Kultur, part du constat que les réserves naturelles de la planète s'épuisent, qu'elles sont limitées, que cette limite doit être prise en compte dans toutes nos actions, qu'elle implique ipso facto que le progrès accumulatif illimité est une impossibilité pratique. A ce progressisme qui avait structuré toute la pensée moderne, Koslowski oppose les idées d'une “justice” et d'une “réciprocité” dans les échanges entre l'homme et la nature. Ensuite, il plaide pour une réinsertion de la pensée économique dans une culture plus globale, laissant une large place à l'éthique du devoir. Il esquisse ensuite les contours de l'Etat social postmoderne, qui doit être “subsidiaire” et prévoir une solidarité en tous sens entre les générations. Cet Etat postmoderne et subsidiaire doit participer, de concert avec ses homologues, à la restauration d'un marché intérieur européen, prélude à la naissance d'une “nation européenne”, capable d'organiser ses différences ethniques et culturelles sans sombrer dans le nivellement des valeurs qu'un certain discours sur la “multiculturalité” appelle de ses vœux (Koslowski se montre très sévère à l'égard de cet engouement pour la “multiculture”).

Dans Die Ordnung der Wirtschaft, ouvrage très solidement charpenté, Koslowski jette les bases d'un néo-aristotélisme, où s'allient “philosophie pratique” et “économie éthique-politique”. Cette alliance part d'une “interpénétration” et d'une “compénétration” des rationalités éthique, économique et politique. Ainsi, la “bonne politique” est celle qui ne répond pas seulement aux impératifs politiques (conservation du pouvoir, évitement des conflits), mais vise le bien commun et la couverture optimale de tous les besoins vitaux. Les structures économiques, toujours selon cette logique néo-aristotélicienne, doivent également répondre à des critères politiques et éthiques. Quant à l'éthique, elle ne saurait être ni anti-économique ni anti-politique. Cette volonté de ne pas valoriser un domaine d'activité humaine au détriment d'une autre postule de recombiner ce que la modernité avait voulu penser séparément. La philosophie pratique d'Aristote entend également conserver les liens d'amitié politique (philia politike)  entre les citoyens et les communautés de citoyens, qui fondent le sens du devoir et de la réciprocité. Koslowski relie ce principe cardinal de la pensée politique aristotélicienne aux travaux de la nouvelle école communautarienne américaine (A. MacIntyre, M. Walzer, Ch. Taylor, etc.). Le néoaristotélisme met l'accent sur le retour indispensable de la vertu grecque de phronesis:  l'intelligence pratique, capable de discerner ce qui est bon et utile pour la Cité, dans le contexte propre de cette Cité. En effet, la rationalité pure, sur laquelle l'hypermodernité avait parié, exclut le contexte. L'application de cette rationalité décontextualisante dans le domaine de l'économie a conduit à une impasse voire à des catastrophes: une rationalité économique réelle et globale exige une immersion herméneutique dans le tissu social, où se conjuguent actions économiques et politiques. Enfin, le réel est le fondement premier de la philosophie pratique et non le “discours” ou l'“agir communicationnel” (cher à Habermas ou à Apel), car tout ne procède pas de l'agir et du parler: l'Etre transcende l'action et ses déterminations précèdent l'acte de parler ou de discourir.

La pensée philosophique et économique de Koslowski constitue une réponse aux épreuves que nous a infligées la modernité: elle représente la facette positive, le complément constructif, de sa critique de la modernité gnosticiste. Elle est un chantier vers lequel nous allons immanquablement devoir retourner. Puisse cette modeste introduction éveiller l'attention du public francophone pour cette œuvre qui n'a pas encore été découverte en France et qui complèterait celles de Taylor, MacIntyre, Spaemann, déjà traduites.

Bibliographie:

- Peter KOSLOWSKI, «Sein-lassen-können als Überwindung des Modernismus. Kommentar zu Claus Offe», in Peter KOSLOWSKI, Robert SPAEMANN, Reinhard LÖW, Moderne oder Postmoderne?, Acta Humaniora/VCH, Weinheim, 1986.

- Peter KOSLOWSKI, Wirtschaft als Kultur. Wirtschaftskultur und Wirtschaftsethik in der Postmoderne, Edition Passagen, Wien, 1989.

- Peter KOSLOWSKI, Die Prüfungen der Neuzeit. Über Postmodernität. Philosophie der Geschichte, Metaphysik, Gnosis, Edition Passagen, Wien, 1989.

- Peter KOSLOWSKI, «Supermoderne oder Postmoderne? Dekonstruktion und Mystik in den zwei Postmodernen», in Günther EIFLER, Otto SAAME (Hrsg.), Postmoderne. Anspruche einer neuen Epoche. Eine interdisziplinäre Erörterung, Edition Passagen, Wien, 1990.

- Peter KOSLOWSKI, Die Ordnung der Wirtschaft, Mohr/Siebeck, Tübingen, 1994.

 

samedi, 12 octobre 2013

Romano Guardini

Romano Guardini

(Text aus dem Band Vordenker [2] des Staatspolitischen Handbuchs, Schnellroda 2012.)

Ex: http://www.sezession.de

von Harald Seubert

older-guardini.jpgGuardini wurde als Sohn einer aus Südtirol stammenden Mutter und eines italienischen Geflügelgroßhändlers geboren. 1886 übersiedelte die Familie nach Mainz, wo Guardini das humanistische Gymnasium absolviert.

Nach Studien der Chemie und Nationalökonomie entschied er sich, zusammen mit dem Jugendfreund Karl Neundörfer, Theologie zu studieren. Romano Guardinis lebenslanger Freund, Josef Weiger, gehörte mit in den Tübinger Freundschaftskreis, der gleichermaßen von einer Neuaneignung des großen katholischen Erbes und den geistigen und ästhetischen Gärungen und Bewegungen der Zeit vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg bestimmt war.

1915 promovierte Guardini über Bonaventura, 1922 habilitierte er sich über denselben Kirchenlehrer. In den nächsten Jahren war Guardini an maßgeblicher Stelle in der katholischen Jugendbewegung tätig, vor allem im Quickborn mit dem Zentrum der Burg Rothfels. Neben einer Neugestaltung der gesamten Lebensführung bildete die Reform der Liturgie, wobei dem Logos ein verstärktes Gewicht gewidmet sein sollte, einen Schwerpunkt der Neuorientierung. Bis 1939 suchte Guardini die Burg Rothfels als eine Gegenwelt zu bewahren, auch wenn er seit 1934 bespitzelt wurde. Er wollte sie zu einer christlichen Akademie formen, was bis zu der erzwungenen Schließung auch weitgehend gelingen sollte.

Bereits 1923 erhielt Guardini den neuerrichteten Lehrstuhl für Christliche Weltanschauung an der Berliner Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität. Die Titulatur, die auch seinen späteren Münchener Lehrstuhl prägen sollte, war Programm: Inmitten des protestantisch geprägten Berlin solltendie Grundphänomene und Kräfte der eigenen Zeit aus christlicher Perspektive gedeutet werden, im Sinn einer freien, auch ästhetisch hochgebildeten Katholizität, die die großen Traditionen neu aneignete. Der Weltanschauungsbegriff folgte dabei den geistigen und methodischen Vorgaben der hermeneutischen Schule von Dilthey bis Troeltsch. Die Einlösung zeigte sich in den morphologisch souveränen Deutungen Guardinis, die von der Patristik, von Augustinus zu Platon zurückreichen, wobei er aber die thomistische Tradition nicht verleugnete. Ein polyphones Wahrheitsverständnis, das zugleich auf den absoluten Grund gerichtet ist, bildet gleichsam die Mittelachse aller Arbeiten.

Schon in den frühen dreißiger Jahren kritisierte Guardini den innerweltlichen Messianismus des NS-Regimes; er verwies auf den unlösbaren Nexus zwischen jüdischer Religion und christlichem Glauben, der sich schon aus der Existenz Jesu ergebe. In den beiden letzten Kriegsjahren lebte Guardini zurückgezogen in Mooshausen, dem Pfarrort seines Freundes Weiger. Erst nach 1945 konnte er seine öffentliche Wirksamkeit wieder aufnehmen, zunächst in Tübingen und drei Jahre später mit der Berufung auf das persönliche Ordinariat in München. Von hier aus entfaltete Guardini in den nächsten Jahren eine große Wirksamkeit. Sein virtuoser und zugleich zurückgenommener Vortragsstil wirkte weit in das Bürgertum hinein. In großen Zyklen, die sich stets der existentiellen Dimension des Denkens aussetzten, interpretierte er Platon, Augustinus, Dante, Pascal, Kierkegaard, Dostojewski und Hölderlin. Im Zentrum eines langjährigen Vorlesungszyklus stand aber die Ethik, bei Guardini verstanden als umfassende Lehre von der Kunst der Lebensgestaltung. Ergänzend dazu wirkte er als überzeugender, auf die Stunde hörender Prediger und Liturg in der St.-Ludwigs-Kirche bei den Münchener Universitätsgottesdiensten.

1950 erschien die gleichermaßen essayistisch prägnante und wegweisende Studie [3] Das Ende der Neuzeit. Guardini sieht die antike und mittelalterliche Weltsicht durch eine grundsätzliche Geschlossenheit und Ordnung, nicht zuletzt durch eine Harmonie gekennzeichnet, von der sich die Neuzeit ablöst. Diese Trennung vom Göttlichen und Hypostase des Endlichen berge immense Gefahren. Man hat dies als Ablehnung der Neuzeit mißverstanden. Deren Ressourcen sieht Guardini in der Tat an ihr Ende gelangt. Er eröffnet aber zugleich eine künftige Perspektive: auf den Glauben, der in der Moderne seine Selbstverständlichkeit verloren hat und damit ein neues eschatologisches Bewußtsein ermöglicht.

Insgesamt ist Guardini nur zu verstehen, wenn man seinen janusköpfigen Blick, zurück in die Vergangenheit und in die offene nach-neuzeitliche Zukunft voraus, würdigt. Grundlegend für Guardinis philosophische Morphologien und Phänomenologien ist seine Gegensatzlehre (u. a. 1925 und 1955 in verschiedenen Fassungen vorgelegt). Der Gegensatz verweist auf das unverfügbare Gesetz der Polarität und unterscheidet sich damit ebenso von der spekulativen Dialektik Hegels wie auch von der Dialektik der Paradoxalität bei Kierkegaard und in der Existenzphilosophie. Vom einzelnen Phänomen sucht Guardini in einem gleitenden Übergang auf das umgreifende Ganze zu gelangen und umgekehrt. Gegensätzlichkeit ist ihm zufolge »unableitbar«, weil ihre Pole nicht auseinander zu deduzieren und auch nicht aufeinander zurückzuführen sind. Überdies bedarf der Begriff der Anschauung und umgekehrt. Guardini sah sich selbst bewußt eher am Rande der akademischen Welt (es wird berichtet, daß er das Hörsaalgebäude, als Ausdruck von Distanz und Respekt gleichermaßen, vor jeder Vorlesung umrundete). So übte er eine legendäre Strahlkraft auf unterschiedliche Geister, von Hannah Arendt bis Viktor von Weizsäcker, aus, hatte aber im engeren akademischen Sinn kaum Schüler.

220px-Romano_Guardini_stamp.jpgGuardinis Denkstil war wesentlich künstlerisch bestimmt, weshalb er in den späten Jahren auch in der Münchener Akademie der Schönen Künste eine herausgehobene Wirkungsstätte finden sollte. In seiner Münchener Zeit wandte sich Guardinis Deutungskunst auch Phänomenen wie dem Film zu. Wenn er schon mit der Schrift Der Heiland 1935 eine profunde christliche Kritik der NS-Ideologie vorgelegt hatte, so konnte er daran 1950 mit der Untersuchung Der Heilsbringer anknüpfen, einer bahnbrechenden Studie für das Verständnis von totalitären Ideologien als Politische Religionen. Wenig bekannt ist Guardinis Bemühung um ein hegendes »Ethos der Macht«, das gegenüber den anonymen Mächten zur Geltung zu bringen sei, die seiner Diagnose gemäß immer deutlicher zutage treten, das aber auch die charismatische Macht und Herrschaft zu domestizieren weiß.

Schriften: Von heiligen Zeichen, Würzburg 1922; Der Gegensatz. Versuche zu einer Philosophie des Lebendig-Konkreten, Mainz 1925; Christliches Bewußtsein. Versuche über Pascal, Leipzig 1935; Der Herr. Betrachtungen über die Person und das Leben Jesu Christi, Würzburg 1937 (16. Aufl. 1997); Welt und Person. Versuche zur christlichen Lehre vom Menschen, Würzburg 1939; Der Tod des Sokrates, Bern 1945; Das Ende der Neuzeit. Ein Versuch zur Orientierung, München 1950; Die Macht. Versuch einer Wegweisung, München 1951; Ethik. Vorlesungen an der Universität München, hrsg. v. Hans Mercker, 2 Bde., Ostfildern 1993.

Literatur: Berthold Gerner: Romano Guardini in München. Beiträge zu einer Sozialbiographie, 3 Bde., München 1998–2005; Franz Henrich: Romano Guardini, Regensburg 1999; Markus Zimmermann: Die Nachfolge Jesu Christi. Eine Studie zu Romano Guardini, Paderborn 2004.

 


Article printed from Sezession im Netz: http://www.sezession.de

URL to article: http://www.sezession.de/41152/45-todestag-romano-guardini.html

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.sezession.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/9783935063562.jpg

[2] Vordenker: http://antaios.de/gesamtverzeichnis-antaios/staatspolitisches-handbuch/33/staatspolitisches-handbuch-band-3-vordenker

[3] wegweisende Studie: http://www.sezession.de/3323/neues-mittelalter.html/3

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jeudi, 29 août 2013

Emilio Gentile: Pour ou contre César?

Emilio Gentile: Pour ou contre César?


Pierre Le Vigan
Ex: http://metamag.fr

Pour-ou-contre-Cesar882.jpgEn 1938, le chanoine de Winchester écrivait que le totalitarisme, de droite ou de gauche, « c’est l’Antéchrist. C’est une révolution et une religion. » L’opposition entre le christianisme et le totalitarisme s’inscrit en fait à la suite d’une longue histoire. C’est le conflit entre religion et modernité. 

Première étape : la condamnation de l’esprit de libre examen au temps de Luther. Deuxième étape : la condamnation de la Révolution française comme volonté de déifier l’homme. Etape suivante : la condamnation de la volonté de déifier la nation, ou la race, ou la classe des prolétaires. Mais entretemps, il y a eu l’apocalypse de la modernité : la guerre de 1914. Elle a amené pour les églises un défi de type nouveau. Le nihilisme risquait de tout submerger. Et des religions de substitution apparaissent. 

Nicolas Berdiaev avait observé que le bolchévisme mobilisait des « énergies religieuses résiduelles ». Reinhold Niebhur parlait de son côté d’un « idéalisme politique aux implications religieuses ». Un constat parfaitement compatible avec la persécution des chrétiens affirmés par le bolchévisme. De ce point de vue, les choses étaient claires : en Russie, Lénine avait engagé une guerre sans merci contre la religion. Le plan quinquennal de 1927 se donnait 5 ans pour éradiquer ce qui restait de la religion. Explication : le communisme était une religion de la liquidation de toutes les religions, d’où l’anticommunisme réactionnel des églises chrétiennes dans les années 20 et 30.
 
Face aux autres totalitarismes, la situation était plus nuancée. « La confrontation entre le christianisme d’une part, et le fascisme et le national-socialisme d’autre part, fut d’un ordre différent et bien plus complexe. » note Emilio Gentile. D’un côté, fascisme et nazisme se voulaient un rempart contre le communisme, ennemi mortel des Eglises. D’un autre côté, ces totalitarismes anticommunistes tendaient à devenir des religions de substitution. En Italie, cette tendance s’affirma surtout à partir de 1937. A partir du moment où le Duce était présenté comme « la Providence vivante », les Catholiques ne pouvaient que constater l’impossibilité de « catholiser » le fascisme. « A considérer le principe totalitaire en lui-même en tant qu’énergie historique ayant sa loi propre, il apparait ainsi que ce principe enveloppe une aversion foncière des ordinations chrétiennes, aversion qui n’est rendue inefficace que dans la mesure où le totalitarisme est efficacement contrarié par l’opposition de la religion. » écrivait Jacques Maritain en 1936. Cet aspect n’a pas échappé à l’Eglise. Un rapport du Vatican de 1931 définissait et condamnait le nationalisme outrancier du régime de Mussolini comme une « religion civile ». Le fascisme est un « absolutisme païen » déclarait Francisco Luigi Ferrari. De son côté, don Sturzo résumait : « Communisme, fascisme et nazisme sont devenus une religion. » Une religion de l’anti-religion dans le cas du communisme, une contre-religion dans le cas du fascisme et du national-socialisme. « Il n’y a de différence vraiment marquante, écrivait don Sturzo, à savoir que le bolchévisme ou dictature communiste est le fascisme de gauche, tandis que le fascisme ou dictature conservatrice est le bolchévisme de droite. »
  
Le cas le plus manifeste de contre-religion fut le national-socialisme. Hitler exécrait l’universalisme du catholicisme mais admirait sa hiérarchie. D’un autre côté, il appréciait le caractère national du protestantisme allemand mais voulait l’unifier à son service. Quant à Jésus, il le définissait comme « notre grand chef aryen ». « En me défendant contre le Juif, je combats pour défendre l’œuvre du Seigneur. » disait-il encore. C’est dire qu’Hitler voulait plus nazifier le christianisme que l’éradiquer. Ainsi, il ne goûtait pas les rêves d’une religion antichrétienne d’Erich et Mathilde Ludendorff, de même qu’il ne soutint pas les idées d’Alfred Rosenberg, l’auteur du Mythe du XXe siècle et ne fut jamais convaincu que le mouvement dit de la « Foi Germanique » puisse avoir un grand avenir.
  
Face au totalitarisme nazi, les églises catholiques s’opposèrent tôt, avec la déclaration du curé de Kirschhausen (Hesse) en septembre 1930, déclarant qu’aucun catholique ne pouvait être membre du parti nazi. Il fut soutenu par sa hiérarchie et cette incompatibilité fut réaffirmée en première page de l’Osservatore romano le 11 octobre 1930. Le Concordat allemand de 1933 intervint avant tout comme une stratégie du gouvernement allemand pour liquider les restes de l’influence politique de l’Eglise. Le philosophe catholique Anton Hilckman dénonça radicalement le national-socialisme comme une « sacralisation du politique ». « Aucun doute ne peut subsister quant au caractère non seulement fondamentalement antichrétien, mais aussi fondamentalement antireligieux, au sens le plus large du terme, du mouvement hitlérien. » écrivait-il. 
 
Les relations entre le national-socialisme et le protestantisme furent plus complexes. Une partie des dirigeants des églises protestantes considéraient que préserver la « pureté de la race » faisait partie des devoirs envers Dieu. Les Chrétiens Allemands constituaient le fer de lance de cette tendance. Ils prônaient un « christianisme positif » purgé du judaïsme : un nouveau marcionisme, mais non pour opposer l’Amour à la Loi mais pour opposer la race au judaïsme.  A la pointe extrême de ces idées, on trouvait les thèses  du philosophe Ernst Bergmann sur « L’Eglise nationale germanique ». Mais pour le pasteur Richard Karwehl, le racisme est une divination de la race aryenne. Il est ainsi incompatible avec le christianisme. Un point de vue que l’on trouve aussi chez Paul Tillich et Karl Barth. Gerhard Leibholz parlait pour sa part de « confessionnalisation de la politique » à propos du nazisme. C’est qui donna lieu à la création de l’Eglise confessante, suite à la déclaration de Barmen, rassemblant les protestants rebelles à la mise au pas au sein de la nouvelle Eglise protestante du Reich. C’est George N. Shuster qui avait raison en voyant dans l’hitlérisme « la première expérience moderne de mahométisme appliqué ».L’hitlérisme se voulait une nouvelle religion, une « foi politique ». Une foi est toujours exclusive. Le conflit avec les religions instituées était alors inévitable. C’est ce que montre l’histoire des totalitarismes. Mais le missionnaire anglais Joseph H. Oldham n’avait pas tort de souligner qu’une certaine forme de totalitarisme pouvait aussi concerner les Etats démocratiques. La confrontation entre christianisme et modernité n’est donc pas terminée.

Emilio Gentile, Pour ou contre César ? Les religions chrétiennes face aux totalitarismes, Flammarion / Histoire, 482 pages, 28 Euros.

samedi, 27 avril 2013

Il grande equivoco della «nuova evangelizzazione»

Il grande equivoco della «nuova evangelizzazione»

di Francesco Lamendola

Fonte: Arianna Editrice [scheda fonte]

Sacerdoti e credenti laici, da un po’ di tempo a questa parte, si vanno riempiendo la bocca con una nuova espressione che, a loro parere, dovrebbe spiegare e giustificare tutto, mentre non spiega e non giustifica proprio nulla: la cosiddetta nuova evangelizzazione.

Si parte da un dato corretto, anzi, perfino banale nella sua lampante evidenza: il mondo moderno è diventato radicalmente laico, o, per meglio dire, laicizzato e secolarizzato; si è radicalmente allontanato dal sacro e dal religioso; si è radicalmente scristianizzato. Il sogno di Hébert, degli “enragés”, dei sanculotti del 1793 si è infine realizzato: ma non già, come essi cercarono di fare, chiudendo le chiese e abolendo gli ordini religiosi, bensì svuotando le chiese dei fedeli e trasformando, snaturando lo spirito dei monasteri.

Da questa constatazione nasce l’idea, in sé giusta, che il cristianesimo, almeno in Occidente, deve ripartire da zero: alle masse secolarizzate, immerse nel materialismo e nell’edonismo più sfrenato, si deve riproporre la Buona Novella ripartendo da niente: non ci sono più basi, non si deve dare nulla per scontato, perfino il battesimo non è che un rito formale. La verità è che i cristiani sono diventati non solo minoranza, ma esigua minoranza; e che, anche fra di essi, l’autentico spirito di fede è paurosamente scemato, quando non è stato alterato e perfino travisato.

Le cause sono molteplici, ma tutte riconducibili al fenomeno della modernizzazione: prima con la Rivoluzione scientifica, poi con la Rivoluzione industriale, infine con le ideologie “progressiste” di matrice illuminista – liberalismo, democrazia, socialismo, comunismo, radicalismo -, la società occidentale ha imboccato sempre più decisamente la strada della glorificazione dell’uomo e delle sue opere: gli stati, le merci, il denaro, la scienza e la tecnica; e, contemporaneamente, la strada dell’oblio dell’essere, dell’assoluto, di Dio.

Spesso la glorificazione dell’uomo, davanti ai ripetuti insuccessi, agli errori ed ai crimini di cui è stata costellata la marcia verso le “magnifiche sorti e progressive”, si è rovesciata nel suo contrario: nell’amaro disprezzo, nella svalutazione totale, nello schifo, nella nausea, nella nullificazione. Raramente, però, dallo schifo, dalla nausea e dalla nullificazione di sé, l’uomo moderno ha avuto la forza di ritrovare la necessaria umiltà e di chiarire a se stesso le ragioni del proprio scacco; raramente ha trovato il coraggio di riconoscere l’origine del proprio fallimento e di rimettersi sulla strada dell’essere, alla ricerca dell’assoluto, che sola avrebbe potuto spegnere la sete divorante che ontologicamente appartiene alla sua natura.

La Chiesa cattolica rispecchia e riflette le contraddizioni del mondo moderno, prima fra tutte l’idolatria del’uomo e delle sue opere. A un certo punto ha creduto che l’unico modo per non scomparire, per conservare il proprio messaggio e trasmetterlo alle future generazioni, fosse quello di parlare la stessa lingua del mondo moderno, di adottare i suoi punti di vista, la sua prospettiva, il suo stile, le sue finalità. Molti cristiani lo pensavano in buona fede, sia chiaro, e lo pensano tuttora: hanno creduto, così facendo, di riagganciare il treno in partenza, di ristabilire un dialogo con quanti avevano perso la fede o la stavano perdendo: e non si sono accorti che, un poco alla volta, inavvertitamente, quelli che stavano perdendo la fede erano loro.

Hanno creduto, per esempio, che la liturgia fosse una semplice veste esteriore; e l’hanno a tal punto modificata, da renderla irriconoscibile. Hanno creduto che il dogma si potesse “interpretare” alla luce della mentalità moderna: e, come i protestanti, hanno cominciato a leggerlo ciascuno a suo modo, sempre con la “buona” intenzione di renderlo più comprensibile, più al passo coi tempi. Hanno cominciato a sentire, a pensare, a vestire, a parlare, ad agire in tutto e per tutto come gli “altri”. Perdendo la propria specificità, e ciò sulla base di un grande equivoco: che, per dialogare con l’altro, sia necessario abolire la distanza, rinunciando a quel che si è. Ma questo non è dialogare: questo è camuffarsi, abdicare a se stessi, imbrogliare le carte. Non è una forma di rispetto né verso gli altri, né verso se stessi, né, meno ancora, verso la verità.

Sempre più spesso sedicenti “teologi” cattolici pubblicano libri, rilasciano interviste e imperversano nei salotti televisivi, per sostenere delle autentiche enormità, per vendere come l’ultimo grido del politicamente corretto e dell’audacia speculativa una serie di affermazioni che nulla hanno di cristiano e che gettano solamente la confusione e lo smarrimento fra i credenti, mentre non servono affatto a conquistare l’attenzione e il rispetto dei non credenti, come invece essi - non sai se più ingenui o vanitosi -  s’immaginano.

Siffatti teologi negano il mistero, negano i miracoli, o quasi tutti i miracoli; negano, in sostanza, il soprannaturale: imbevuti di evoluzionismo, di psicanalisi, di storicismo e di positivismo, pensano e parlano come se solo le  verità della scienza, dell’economia, della politica fossero degne di rispetto; come se soltanto l’agire fosse utile e necessario, mentre il pregare – specie se in un monastero di clausura – fosse parassitismo. Questo non lo dicono esplicitamente, beninteso: ma lo si evince chiaramente da tutti i loro discorsi. Ostentano una filosofia “progressista” che dovrebbe catturare la benevolenza dei loro interlocutori profani, mentre attira su di essi solamente il disprezzo. In compenso, vengono lusingati nella loro umana vanità: i loro libri si vendono bene, i conduttori televisivi li invitano spesso. Non si accorgono nemmeno di essere il trastullo di quei salotti buoni, gli inconsapevoli buffoni della situazione. Li trovano utili, finché parlano male del Papa o deridono la credenza nel Diavolo, finché gettano dubbi sulla vita dell’anima, sul peccato, sul Giudizio: li strumentalizzano ed essi ci cascano, lusingati nella loro ambizione, nel loro narcisismo intellettuale. Si sentono dei grand’uomini, degli “illuminati” e sono gratificati dal pensiero che stanno contribuendo a “modernizzare” il cristianesimo.

E sempre più spesso membri del clero parlano e si comportano come se non credessero nel sacramento del sacerdozio: non vedono l’ora di vestirsi in borghese, appena terminato di officiare la messa; preidicano con disinvolta leggerezza, turbano le coscienze con affermazioni azzardate e gratuite; in privato, ma sovente anche in pubblico, criticano ferocemente la Chiesa, rammentano gli scandali, i casi di pedofilia, la corruzione della Curia; incuranti di ogni spirito di carità, di umiltà, di obbedienza, parlano male del Papa – lo hanno fatto specialmente con Woityla e Ratzinger; in breve: fanno di tutto per piacere al “mondo” e per farsi perdonare la “colpa” di essere, loro malgrado, esponenti di una istituzione oscurantista e retrograda.

In molte chiese, la messa è diventata una sorta di pomposo rito laico, simile, in tutto e per tutto, a una qualsiasi assemblea profana: si ripete qualche formula, magari sopprimendo le più “imbarazzanti” (come il “Confiteor”); si ascolta una omelia che ha ben poco di spirituale; si fa della musica con le chitarre e si cantano delle canzoni insulse e dolciastre, pervase di un buonismo tanto generico quanto insipido; ci si rivolge ai vicini di banco per scambiarsi il cosiddetto “segno di pace”, stringendosi la mano come si farebbe in piazza, al passeggio, con grandi segni di amicizia e simpatia (anche se ciascuno è solo coi suoi problemi e, una volto uscite di lì, le persone non si salutano nemmeno).

L’anima non trova il silenzio, non si rivolge verso l’alto; la presenza di Dio è un “optional”, non la si sente viva e vibrante nei gesti e nelle parole del sacerdote; questi, anzi, volta costantemente le spalle all’altare del Santissino, si tiene sempre rivolto all’assemblea, come farebbe un qualsiasi oratore profano: si direbbe che la Messa sia una faccenda fra lui ed essa, che sia, al massimo, una semplice commemorazione. Dello Spirito che scende sui fedeli, del mistero della transustanziazione, si stenta a riconoscere la presenza. Ciascuno si prende in mano la particola, come se fosse un qualunque pezzo di pane, e la porta alla bocca da sé: come dire: faccio da solo, non ho bisogno di nessun altro. Ma questa è la dottrina luterana del sacerdozio universale: non è una dottrina cattolica.

Ultima in ordine di tempo, da Cagliari giunge la notizia che un gruppo di frati francescani e di suore hanno organizzato canti e balli in piazza, coinvolgendo alcune decine di ragazzi, con lo scopo dichiarato di “riavvicinare” a Dio le persone: il tutto in una sarabanda di movenze scomposte, in un frenetico agitarsi di corpi come in una discoteca, che si sarebbe potuto giudicare semplicemente grottesco, se non fosse stato, prima di tutto, penoso. Alla fine la manifestazione é stata sciolta dalle forze dell’ordine, perché sprovvista delle necessarie autorizzazioni.

La preghiera, il silenzio, il decoro, la modestia, il rientro nelle profondità dell’anima, per trovare la Parola assoluta: tutto questo, per quei religiosi, è passato di moda. Oggi bisogna predicare Dio a tempo di rock; scimmiottando lo stile profano, essi pensano di farsi pescatori di uomini: ma chi è che rimane preso veramente nella rete, a questo punto: il pesce o il pescatore? Lo spettacolo che essi hanno offerto era ridicolo, ma anche pericoloso: il cristianesimo che hanno “proposto” al pubblico non era che una caricatura della fede, una mascherata totalmente fuorviante.

La domanda è sempre la stessa: per dialogare con il mondo moderno, bisogna introiettare la filosofia del mondo moderno? Se così fosse, allora sarebbe più semplice fare quel che fecero Lutero e Calvino cinque secoli fa: abolire la Chiesa, sopprimere gli ordini religiosi e la distinzione fra sacerdoti e laici, leggere e interpretare liberamente le Sacre Scritture, eliminare quasi tutti i sacramenti, negare al Papa qualunque obbedienza; e, soprattutto, smettere di sforzarsi di essere dei buoni cristiani, perché tanto non serve a niente, Dio ha già deciso chi salvare e chi no.

Lutero e Calvino, almeno, furono coerenti (meno coerenti gli storici professionisti che si ostinano a chiamare “riforma” quella che fu una radicale distruzione), mentre questi teologi, questi preti e questi fedeli “progressisti” dei nostri giorni non hanno nemmeno la virtù della coerenza: vorrebbero snaturare completamente la fede, ma senza avere il coraggio di dirlo e, forse, nemmeno l’onestà di rendersene conto. Intanto si affannano per tirare la Chiesa dalla loro parte, per tirare il Papa per la falda della sottana, spostandoli sempre più verso le loro posizioni. La fede?, una possibilità. La vita dopo la morte?, forse. Il sacerdozio femminile: perché no? Le unioni di fatto, i matrimoni gay: perché no, dopotutto? Aborto ed eutanasia: no, certo; però, bisogna vedere, vi sono taluni casi…

E così via, di dubbio in dubbio, di possibilismo in possibilismo, di compromesso in compromesso: alla fine quel che resterà non avrà più niente di specificamente cristiano e neppure di specificamente religioso. Sarà una pseudo-religione fatta da ciascuno sulla propria misura, come si va dal sarto ad ordinare un vestito. Una “religione” buona per tutte le stagioni, che costa il minimo della fatica intellettuale e nessun sacrificio sul piano morale. Una religione comoda, una religione usa e getta. Gesù Cristo, alla fine, sarà uno dei tanti maestri di saggezza: un uomo notevole, certamente, ma insomma un uomo. Come dicono i Testimoni di Geova. E la morte, tornerà ad essere la morte: la parola definitiva sulla vita, come nell’Antico Testamento. Poi, forse, Dio resusciterà i defunti: ma l’anima, l’anima immortale, non sarà più necessaria.

Si tornerà a leggere i Vangeli e si “scoprirà” che Gesù, nel deserto, non è stato tentato da Diavolo, perché quel racconto è un semplice simbolo; che i pani e i pesci non sono stati moltiplicati, perché anche quello è solo un simbolo; che Lazzaro non è stato richiamato dal paese dei morti, perché questo non è possibile. Quasi quasi, si scoprirà che Gesù non ha fondato una nuova religione: era un ebreo, che pensava da ebreo, ed ebrei erano i suoi seguaci - Paolo compreso, l’evangelizzatore dei gentili. Dunque il cristianesimo non è che una forma di ebraismo, un ebraismo rivisto e adattato alla mentalità dei non ebrei.

Allora bisogna avere il coraggio di dire che Pio X, quando ha condannato il modernismo, definendolo “sintesi di tutte le eresie”, ha sbagliato in pieno; bisogna avere il coraggio di dire che molti teologi, preti e laici hanno visto nel Concilio Vaticano II la rivincita della verità rappresentata dal modernismo, ingiustamente condannato; e che il cristianesimo attuale, che essi volevano e vogliono, è un cristianesimo modernista, ossia un cristianesimo fatto a immagine e somiglianza del mondo moderno, che dice solo quelle cose che piacciono al mondo moderno e che tace o si vergogna di tutte le cose che, al mondo moderno, potrebbero dare fastidio.

Resta solo da capire che cosa potrebbe farsene, l’uomo moderno, di un siffatto cristianesimo. Per sentire dei discorsi che piacciono al mondo moderno, non c’è bisogno di una religione, né di una chiesa, e tanto meno del cristianesimo, Le stesse cose le dicono già, e le dicono meglio, innumerevoli ideologie politiche, sociali, filosofiche; meglio ancora: le dice la società moderna, senza bisogno di ideologie. Le dice con l’adorazione quotidiana delle cose, del denaro, del sesso, del potere. E dunque, perché ripeterle tra le navate di una chiesa, scimmiottando lo stile del mondo?


Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

 

 

mardi, 16 avril 2013

Léon Bloy: le porte-foudre

 

Léon Bloy

 

Léon Bloy :

Le porte-foudre

 


« Au commencement était Léon Bloy. »

Évangile selon Saint Jean – Prologue

 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Maxime Le Nagard

 

lundi, 08 avril 2013

Géopolitique du Christianisme – Catholiques et Orthodoxes

Poutine-et-Benoit-XVI_artic.jpg

Géopolitique du Christianisme Catholiques et Orthodoxes

par Xavier Moreau

À l’occasion de la récente élection du Pape François Ier, nous mettons une seconde fois en ligne cette analyse de Xavier Moreau, initialement publiée sur Realpolitik en juillet 2010. Elle ne perd en rien son actualité.

[Chapeau original tel que publié en juillet 2010] L’accession du cardinal Ratzinger à la papauté a accéléré le processus de rapprochement entre l’Église catholique et l’Église orthodoxe. Cette réconciliation, après 1000 ans de disputes, pourrait devenir réalité, tant elle est souhaitée par les patriarches de Russie, de Serbie, de Constantinople, de Chypre et le pape Benoit XVI. Elle est en outre, ardemment désirée par le pouvoir russe, qui cherche ainsi à désarmer un levier, que la puissance anglo-saxonne a su utiliser avec habileté ces vingt dernières années.
Xavier Moreau

Si l’origine de la querelle est théologique, la fracture entre l’Europe occidentale et orientale ne repose pas exclusivement sur la fameuse querelle du « filioque ». Pour les orthodoxes et les catholiques, la foi, les sacrements, l’importance de la tradition sont les mêmes. Le Schisme s’est comporté pendant 1000 ans comme un organisme vivant, se nourrissant de querelles religieuses, mais aussi des conflits entre états catholiques et orthodoxes. C’est justement la multiplicité des acteurs, à la fois religieux et politiques, qui a rendu quasi-impossibles les tentatives de rapprochement, jusqu’à aujourd’hui.

On peut distinguer dans l’histoire de ce schisme, trois grandes périodes jusqu’à la chute du communisme. La première qui s’écoule du VIIIème au XVème siècle, couvre la naissance et l’aggravation du conflit. La seconde, qui correspond au développement séparé des deux Églises s’étend jusqu’à la Révolution russe. La dernière couvre les deux guerres mondiales et prend fin en 1991, à la disparition de l’Union Soviétique.

La chrétienté des Xème et XIème siècles s’est construite autour de deux ensembles politiques issus de l’Empire romain, l’un latin et l’autre oriental. A cette époque la civilisation est en Orient. Les peuples qui composent l’Europe occidentale sont considérés comme des barbares par les Byzantins. Anne de Kiev, qui devient Reine de France en 1051, en épousant Henri Ier, est frappée par la rusticité de la cour de ce dernier. Tandis que Constantinople rayonne encore de l’héritage de l’Empire romain, les chrétiens latins s’efforcent de rivaliser avec la grandeur byzantine. Ils ont pour eux la jeunesse et la vigueur de leurs peuples. Alors que le fondateur des Carolingiens s’est illustré, en 732, en écartant définitivement le péril arabo-musulman à Poitiers, que les Espagnols poursuivent leur « Reconquista », la vieille puissance byzantine résiste mal aux coups des Arabes, puis des Turcs. Du côté latin, la papauté qui siège à Rome veut affirmer sa primauté sur Constantinople en tant qu’héritière du trône de Saint Pierre. Au VIIIème siècle, l’Église romaine a rajouté de manière unilatérale, le fameux « filioque » au CREDO chrétien. Les Catholiques professent donc que le Saint-Esprit procède du Père et du Fils. Ce que reprochent surtout les chrétiens orientaux, c’est l’unilatéralité de la décision romaine, prise sans consulter les autres patriarcats. Le pape a rompu la « Sobornost », notion extrêmement importante pour les chrétiens orientaux, proche de la « collégialité ». En 1054, la rupture théologique est consommée. Cette querelle doctrinale aurait pu prendre une moindre importance, sans l’orgueil des clercs de part et d’autre, et surtout, sans le déroulement catastrophique des croisades.

La deuxième moitié du XIème siècle est marquée dans l’empire romain d’Orient, par la volonté de l’empereur Alexis Ier Comnène, de restaurer la puissance byzantine, notamment contre l’invasion des Turcs Seldjoukides. La faiblesse de son armée pousse Alexis Ier à demander de l’aide au pape Urbain II, pour recruter des mercenaires occidentaux. Emu par le sort des chrétiens orientaux, le pape Urbain II appelle à la croisade en 1095. Cet appel rencontre un écho exceptionnel dans une Chrétienté latine avide de pèlerinages et brûlant de libérer le tombeau du Christ. Pourtant, ce qui aurait du restaurer l’Union des deux Églises, contre l’ennemi commun, contribue à renforcer l’hostilité voire la haine entre les deux peuples chrétiens. Les armés croisées se montrent souvent indisciplinées et surtout incontrôlables par le pouvoir byzantin. Elles s’attirent l’hostilité et la méfiance des populations chrétiennes de l’Empire romain d’Orient. L’irréparable est commis lors de la IVème croisade en 1204. Le doge de Venise exige la prise de Constantinople en échange du transport de l’armée croisée vers la Terre Sainte. Après maintes péripéties, la ville est mise à sac. Cela constitue une perte immense pour l’Empire byzantin, et ruine définitivement ses espoirs de repousser les envahisseurs musulmans. Plutôt que d’avoir sauvé les chrétiens d’Orient, les croisés latins les ont condamnés à la « dhimmitude ». Une ultime tentative de réconciliation a lieu en 1439. A Florence, un concile œcuménique parvient à réunir le pape, le patriarche de Constantinople et le Métropolite de Moscou, Isidore de Kiev. Les trois parties s’entendent, mais ni les Byzantins, ni le Grand Prince de Moscou, Vassili II, ne veulent de cet accord. Ce dernier enferme Isidore de Kiev dans un couvent en 1441. Cet événement, ainsi que le mariage, en 1472, de son fils, Ivan III, avec Sophie Paléologue, nièce du dernier empereur byzantin, font de Moscou la troisième Rome. Le monde orthodoxe suit désormais une sorte de développement séparé où la Russie est la puissance dominante. A la fin du XVème siècle, les deux confessions commencent à s’étendre géographiquement, l’une par la conquête du nouveau monde, l’autre par la poussée russe vers l’Orient.

Les relations avec la papauté sont désormais quasi systématiquement conflictuelles. La menace militaire polonaise, que subit la Russie à sa frontière du nord-ouest contribue à cet état de fait. Pourtant, Ivan le Terrible demande au Vatican, en 1580, d’intercéder pour obtenir une paix négociée avec le roi de Pologne. Le pape dépêche un émissaire jésuite, le père Antonio Possevino, en espérant la réconciliation des Églises et la levée d’une nouvelle croisade. Antonio Possevino fournit un récit détaillé de son voyage en Russie de 1581 à 1582. Ivan le Terrible se montre hermétique à toute idée de rapprochement, même s’il concède quelques libertés de circulation aux catholiques. Possevino négocie la paix de Jam Zapolski en 1582, à laquelle les Polonais mettront fin en prenant Moscou en 1605. Possovino estime que la réconciliation des deux Églises est impossible et recommande la conversion par la création d’Églises orientales rattachées à Rome. Les Jésuites seront d’ailleurs très actifs dans ce processus qui s’est mis en place depuis le XIIème siècle. Ces Églises orientales ou gréco-catholiques ou encore « uniates » constituent jusqu’à aujourd’hui une des principales pommes de discorde entre Catholiques et Orthodoxes. Le XVIIème siècle voit ainsi se prolonger le développement séparé des deux églises. Au XVIIIème siècle, alors que l’ordre catholique traditionnel vacille en Occident, sous les coups des philosophes des lumières, les Russes l’emportent successivement sur les protestants suédois et les catholiques polonais. Sous Catherine II, ils commencent à porter des coups décisifs à l’Empire ottoman qui amorce son déclin.

Le siècle suivant est marqué par la suprématie russe sur les Turcs et par la libération des peuples chrétiens orientaux du joug musulman. Dans le même temps, les chrétiens latins et orientaux doivent faire face à une nouvelle menace : l’athéisme, né de l’Europe des lumières et de la Révolution française. La déchristianisation qui a commencé en France dès les premiers moments de la révolution inquiète particulièrement l’empereur Alexandre Ier. Les révolutionnaires français inaugurent les premiers massacres de masse, qui inspireront Lénine 120 ans plus tard. L’Empereur russe met en place, après le Congrès de Vienne de 1815, la Sainte Alliance sensée unir les princes chrétiens contre les dangers des idées révolutionnaires. Tandis que l’orthodoxie se renforce politiquement sous la houlette de la Russie impériale, le XIXème siècle est pour l’Église catholique synonyme de persécutions en Europe. C’est aussi pour elle, le siècle de la rédaction de textes fondamentaux sur sa doctrine, notamment la doctrine sociale. En 1891, l’encyclique Rerum Novarum apporte la seule réponse alternative sociale au marxisme et à la lutte des classes. Elle reste sans équivalent dans l’Église orthodoxe jusqu’à la chute du communisme. Ce développement de la doctrine catholique est accompagné par le renforcement de la hiérarchie vaticane. L’affirmation en 1870, de l’infaillibilité pontificale, creuse un peu plus le fossé entre catholiques et orthodoxes, même si celle-ci ne fut invoquée qu’une fois en 140 ans. Ainsi le XIXème siècle semble achever la séparation des deux Églises, qui vont affronter en ordre dispersé les formes les plus sanglantes et inhumaines de l’athéisme, le communisme et le nazisme.

L’autocratie impériale et l’orthodoxie échouent contre les tendances anarchistes et révolutionnaires qui trouvent en Russie un terreau particulièrement favorable. Netchaïev, Bakounine, Kropotkine sont les précurseurs ; Lénine, Trotski et Staline, les exécuteurs fanatiques. Pendant les 70 ans de communisme qui s’abattent sur la Russie, la question du rapprochement des Églises disparaît. L’Église orthodoxe est persécutée, même si la Grande Guerre Patriotique force Staline à rouvrir les Églises. Etroitement contrôlée, l’Église orthodoxe parvient alors à se maintenir tant bien que mal. Cette soumission au pouvoir communiste lui sera reprochée, notamment par les Catholiques. Les Églises uniates roumaine et ukrainienne lui sont rattachées de force.

En Occident, l’Église catholique, qui s’est remarquablement comportée pendant la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale, est déstabilisée à partir du concile Vatican II, en 1962. Les clergés français, allemand et latino-américain, conquis par la théologie de la libération et les influences protestantes, s’éloignent de l’enseignement traditionnel de l’Église catholique. Le théologien brésilien, Leonardo Boff, déclare que « la barbe de Fidel Castro se confond avec celle des apôtres». Il est sanctionné en 1984 par la « Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi », présidé par le cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Ce désordre inquiète les Églises orthodoxes. Pourtant le concile Vatican II réaffirme la proximité des deux confessions et rappelle que « les Églises d’Orient possèdent depuis leur origine un trésor auquel l’Église d’Occident a puisé beaucoup d’éléments de la liturgie, de la tradition spirituelle et du droit (…) les dogmes fondamentaux de la foi chrétienne sur la Trinité, le Verbe de Dieu, qui a pris chair de la Vierge Marie, ont été définis dans des conciles œcuméniques en Orient.»

A la chute du communisme en URSS, les églises se remplissent massivement, 70 ans de matérialisme communiste ne sont pas venus à bout de la foi orthodoxe. Elle se retrouve, comme l’Église catholique depuis 30 ans, à devoir faire face au matérialisme libéral. La réconciliation est immédiatement à l’ordre du jour et semble possible. C’est sans compter avec les politiques impériales allemande et américaine, qui ont décidé d’utiliser cette fracture civilisationnelle pour accomplir leurs objectifs géopolitiques en Europe, quitte à mettre au passage, la Yougoslavie à feu et sang.

Malgré la volonté affichée par les dirigeants catholiques et orthodoxes dès le début des années 90 de trouver un modus vivendi, cette période est synonyme d’affrontement entre le monde orthodoxe et le monde catholique. L’Allemagne et l’Amérique jouent habilement sur les antagonismes historiques et religieux pour mener à bien leurs objectifs géopolitiques. Pour l’Allemagne réunifiée d’Helmut Kohl, il s’agit d’achever le « Drang nach Osten » (« Bond vers l’Est »), permanence de la politique germanique en Europe. Pour les Anglo-saxons, il s’agit de maintenir, contre le sens de l’histoire, la notion d’Occident et de justifier la perpétuation de son bras armé, l’OTAN. Bénéficiant du déclassement politico-stratégique de la France et de la Russie durant cette même période, cette politique est couronnée de succès, et connaît son apogée lors des bombardements contre la Serbie en 1999. Malgré cet antagonisme poussé à son paroxysme en Yougoslavie, les deux chrétientés catholique et orthodoxe semblent encore vouloir se rapprocher. La fin de la Guerre froide et la disparition de l’affrontement Est-Ouest fait de l’Occident un concept du passé. Elle laisse apparaître une nouvelle fracture « civilisationnelle » entre le monde chrétien orthodoxe-catholique et le monde protestant qui conserve encore pour modèle de son dynamisme national celui du peuple élu de l’Ancien Testament.

L’action de l’Allemagne en Yougoslavie, en attisant le conflit entre Croates catholiques et Serbes orthodoxes, suspend pour dix ans la possibilité d’une réconciliation. La destruction de la Serbie comme puissance régionale est, en effet, un impératif pour l’Allemagne réunifiée. Dès les révoltes nationalistes croates en 1974, les services secrets ouest-allemands ont recruté des dissidents croates, en activant les réseaux ultra-nationalistes oustachis. L’Allemagne doit éviter une disparition pacifique de la Yougoslavie sur le modèle de l’URSS, qui ferait immanquablement de la Serbie la puissance dominante de la région. Cependant, s’appuyer sur la faction néo-nazie et antisémite croate comporte un énorme risque pour l’Allemagne, fortement marquée par son histoire récente. C’est alors que le gouvernement allemand réussit une suite de manœuvres politico-diplomatiques qui vont lui permettre de parvenir à ses fins.

Les Allemands bénéficient d’une conjonction de leurs intérêts avec ceux des États-Unis, qui ont décidé de reproduire contre les Serbes (et leur allié russe), une stratégie afghane qui consistait à soutenir les mouvements islamistes contre les soviétiques. Le gouvernement américain apporte ainsi son soutien, à l’islamiste radical Alija Izetbegovic.

Alors que pendant 50 ans, le peuple serbe a été la principale victime de la politique ségrégationniste de Tito, lui-même croate, la propagande américaine, allemande et autrichienne réussit à faire croire en Europe et au-delà, que les Serbes sont les héritiers des communistes yougoslaves. Cette habile manipulation historique obtient un écho incontestable dans les pays européens à forte population catholique. Cette hostilité est cependant davantage due à une ignorance complète de l’histoire des Balkans, qu’à une véritable opposition anti-serbe. Seule une minorité atlantiste des élites catholiques européennes est consciente de l’enjeu réel. Ainsi, le ministre des finances autrichien, Johann Farnleitner, déclare-t-il en 1999, que « l’Europe s’arrête là où commence l’orthodoxie ». En France, le terme « serbolchévique » fait son apparition dans une intelligentsia catholique, qui peine à comprendre les nouveaux rapports de force issus de la fin de la guerre froide. C’est cette peur de voir les catholiques croates ou slovènes de nouveau persécutés par les communistes, qui pousse le Vatican à reconnaître la Croatie et la Slovénie. Cette reconnaissance brutale, suivie par la mise en place en 1992 en Croatie, d’une constitution ségrégationniste anti-serbe, précipite la Yougoslavie dans une guerre civile de 10 ans, qui aurait pu être sans doute évitée. Le Vatican ne reproduira pas cette erreur en 2008, et aujourd’hui, il n’a toujours pas reconnu l’indépendance du Kosovo.

Le conflit yougoslave a considérablement nui au rapprochement catholique-orthodoxe, de même que l’antagonisme séculaire russo-polonais. Cependant, les discussions n’ont jamais cessé. Le patriarche de Russie Alexis II et le pape Jean-Paul II y ont toujours été favorables, même si les origines polonaises de ce dernier furent un frein réel. L’élection de Benoit XVI fait avancer considérablement le rapprochement des deux Églises. Sa volonté de retour à la tradition catholique rassure les Orthodoxes. En août 2007, le patriarche Alexis II salue la publication du « motu proprio » qui autorise les Catholiques qui le souhaitent, à suivre la liturgie traditionnelle. Le patriarche de Russie déclare alors : « La récupération et la mise en valeur de l’antique tradition liturgique est un fait que nous saluons positivement. Nous tenons beaucoup à la tradition. Sans la conservation fidèle de la tradition liturgique, l’Église orthodoxe russe n’aurait pas été en mesure de résister à l’époque des persécutions dans les années Vingt et Trente du siècle passé. A cette période, nous avons eu tant de nouveaux martyrs que leur nombre peut être comparé à celui des premiers martyrs chrétiens ».

Ce retour à la tradition rapproche l’Église catholique des Églises orthodoxes, et l’éloigne de la « tentation protestante » de ces cinquante dernières années. Les positions des deux Églises sur les sujets de société sont les mêmes. Tandis que bon nombre d’Églises protestantes acceptent désormais le modèle permissif anglo-saxon de société avec l’homosexualité, y compris dans le clergé, la contraception chimique, le préservatif, l’avortement et le relativisme généralisé, Orthodoxes et Catholiques restent inflexibles sur la morale chrétienne. Il convient d’ajouter que les Églises catholiques et orthodoxes ont conservé au cœur de leur pratique, l’obligation de pardonner aux ennemis. La nécessité du pardon et du rejet de l’esprit de vengeance, en s’opposant aux traditions féodales de vendetta, en limitant les guerres ou leurs conséquences désastreuses a permis l’apparition de ce modèle de civilisation que fut l’Europe chrétienne. La réaction des peuples polonais et russe, au moment de la commémoration des massacres de Katyn, semble démontrer, que dans le cadre ce modèle « culturel», la réconciliation est possible. A l’inverse, en réintroduisant, par la croyance en la prédestination, le principe judaïque de peuple élu, le protestantisme s’est privé de cette voie pacifique de sortie des conflits. Les « Pilgrim fathers », les Boers d’Afrique du Sud ont cru à leur élection divine. L’Amérique de Bill Clinton et de Georges Bush a considéré que sa mission divine, la libérait de toute considération morale contre ses ennemis vrais ou supposés, qui sont l’incarnation du Mal. Le cinéma américain exporte d’ailleurs souvent ce thème, sous des formes naïves, souvent à limite du ridicule.

Conscient de l’enjeu politique de ce conflit de civilisation, l’administration russe, depuis l’arrivée de Vladimir Poutine au pouvoir, soutient les tentatives de réconciliation. Ce dernier a invité le pape Jean Paul II en Russie, en temps que chef d’Etat du Vatican. Le pouvoir russe a conscience que l’enjeu dépasse la simple question religieuse. Cette réconciliation, voulue par les chefs des Églises chrétiennes, effacera, si elle a lieu, la frontière entre l’Europe occidentale et orientale. Elle tracera, en revanche, une nouvelle fracture dans le monde dit « occidental » entre le groupe catholique-orthodoxe et les Judéo-Chrétiens issus de la Réforme. Elle est, pour cela, redoutée par le monde anglo-saxon, dont l’inquiétude est proportionnelle à la violence de ses campagnes médiatiques contre l’Église catholique.

lundi, 01 avril 2013

Musulmano o costruito dai robot: il Papa di fantascienza finisce così

Musulmano o costruito dai robot: il Papa di fantascienza finisce così

di Gianfranco de Turris

Fonte: il giornale [scheda fonte]

Le religioni (e la teologia) sono argomenti che hanno sempre attirato gli scrittori fantastici e fantascientifici. In particolare la Chiesa cattolica, sotto il profilo temporale e spirituale, ha ottenuto attenzione speciale sia in positivo che negativo. Molti autori ne hanno preso spunto per le loro ipotesi proiettate nel futuro. È soprattutto la fine della Chiesa che ha sollecitato la loro immaginazione. Il concetto di «fine» può infatti intendersi in molti modi: una religione che ha anche un potere temporale può concludere la propria missione in forme diverse. Ovviamente le cosiddette Profezie di Malachia sono spesso lo spunto di base, specie negli ultimi anni dato che ci si avvia alla conclusione dell’elenco dei papi contenuto in quello scritto, pubblicato per la prima volta nel 1595 in appendice a «Legnum Vitae» di Arnold de Wyon. Molti sostengono invece che sia un testo realizzato intorno al 1590 da un famoso falsario, Alfonso Ceccarelli, una specie di Simonides umbro.

 

roma-senza-papaSia come sia, in base a quella elencazione, che parte da Celestino II nel 1143, l’attuale Benedetto XVI sarebbe il 111esimo e penultimo della serie con il moto «De Gloria olivae». Subito dopo c’è una citazione che alcuni interpreti riferiscono a questi, mentre la maggioranza intende come riferita al 112° e conclusivo pontefice: «Durante l’ultima persecuzione di Santa Romana Chiesa siederà (sul trono) Pietro Romano che pascerà il gregge in mezzo a molte tribolazioni; terminate queste la città dei sette colli sarà distrutta, e il terribile Giudice giudicherà la gente».

 

Questa conclusione apocalittica, in linea con molte altre profezie cristiane, non poteva non colpire certi scrittori che l’hanno intesa in modi diversi. Una Chiesa e un Papato possono estinguersi e crollare non solo e non tanto materialmente, quanto spiritualmente, concludendo, fallendo o distorcendo la loro missione. E così per primo si deve ricordare il grande rimosso della letteratura italiana, Guido Morselli l’antimoderno, che come suo primo romanzo dopo il periodo realista scrisse nel 1966-7 Roma senza papa, anche il primo pubblicato da Adelphi nel 1974 dopo il suo suicidio l’anno precedente. Morselli rifiutava l’oggi e quindi la religione del suo oggi, che già manifestava sintomi di decadenza negli anni Sessanta del Novecento (il Concilio Vaticano II si era concluso nel 1965 con tutte le sue novità), e quindi la fine della Chiesa di Roma e del Papato viene descritta nel suo romanzo come una decadenza abissale dei valori tradizionali del Cristianesimo. La sua è una critica della Chiesa «al passo coi tempi» con papi fidanzati, favorevoli alla liberalizzazione di droga, contraccettivi, eutanasia, che utilizza più la psicanalisi freudiana che la teologia, dove il turismo di massa è una benedizione sicché ogni cosa nello Stato del Vaticano viene finalizzata a fare denaro. La Chiesa è finita perché non è più la vera Chiesa.

 

la-moschea-di-san-marcoE di una mercificazione totale, ad uso appunto dei turisti, parla anche, ma in una prospettiva più laica, Roberto Vacca, nel racconto L’ultimo papa (1965), dove il pontefice si esibisce nelle sue funzioni ad uso dei curiosi di tutto il mondo che pagano per vederlo all’insegna dello slogan «Peep-a-Pope-Show» (i «peepshow» sono spettacoli erotici). E, se ci si consente un’autocitazione, mi permetterò di ricordare che in un racconto che scrissi insieme a Piero Prosperi quando eravamo ventenni (Petrus Romanus, 1965) si immaginava una fine “politica” del Papato sotto un regime comunista instauratosi in Italia. Ma il tempo passa e i pericoli per la Chiesa cattolica cambiano: ad esempio, il relativismo dei valori, la crisi delle vocazioni, l’aggressività dell’Islam hanno indotto due autori a descriverne una fine traumatica, una resa senza condizioni: cinquant’anni dopo Prosperi, nel suo romanzo La moschea di San Marco (Bietti, 2007) prevede che nel 2015 Benedetto XVII, successore di Ratzinger, dopo aver creato una commissione di consulenti musulmani per allargare il dialogo, in un discorso Urbi et Orbi dichiari conclusa l’«eresia cristiana» e chieda ad Allah di riammettere i cattolici nella Umma dei credenti.

 

apocalissi-2012Di recente Antonio Bellomi torna sul tema e nel suo Finis mundi (antologia Apocalissi 2012, Bietti) prende spunto dalla profezia Maya sulla fine del mondo per immaginarsi la morte di Bendetto XVI e il suo successore uscito dal Conclave, il cardinale indonesiano Giovanni Ali Sudarto, che sceglie per sé il nome di Hussein I e che, senza portare alcun simbolo della croce, inizia la sua prima allocuzione alla folla dicendo: «In nome di Allah, misericordioso e compassionevole…». E uno dei personaggi del racconto dice: «Non è la fine del mondo. È la fine dell’era della Chiesa di Roma come l’abbiano conosciuta…».

 

Anche gli autori anglosassoni si sono avvicinati all’argomento con atteggiamento fantascientifico e futuribile. La storia più interessante non è il racconto Il dilemma di Benedetto XVI di J.H.Brennan (uscito nel 1977 con un titolo diverso e tradotto da Urania nel 1978), citato in questi giorni solo per la coincidenza del nome: vi si racconta delle visioni del Pontefice per dichiarar guerra ad un dittatore e di uno psicanalista chiamato per capire se esse siano vere o false. L’opera più curiosa è Il papa definitivo di un grande nome come Clifford D. Simak. Scritto nel 1981, racconta del pianeta Vaticano 17, dove si è rifugiata una stirpe di robot che, non potendo accedere sulla Terra alla religione cattolica in quanto privi d’anima, hanno creato una civiltà ed una religione simil-cattoliche con identiche strutture e riti, costruendo il «papa definitivo», cioè un immenso computer in cui immettere tutta la conoscenza dell’universo. Due temi, religione e robot, tipici di Simak che li usa per decretare la fine della Chiesa come l’abbiamo conosciuta sinora. In tema di automi Robert Silverberg con Buone notizie dal Vaticano del 1971 immagina che da un futuribile Conclave esca un pontefice robot che invece di rivolgersi alla gente in Piazza San Pietro accenda i propri razzi e sparisca in alto, nel cielo. Ma non occorre essere di metallo per fare e decidere cose inaspettate: il papa Roberto I descritto da Norman Spinrad nel suo Deus X emana una enciclica in cui proclama la possibilità di trapiantare l’anima tra esseri umani, come fosse il cuore, il fegato o i polmoni.


Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

samedi, 23 mars 2013

Othmar Spann: A Catholic Radical Traditionalist

Othmar Spann:
A Catholic Radical Traditionalist

 

By Lucian Tudor

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

 

spann3464600893.jpgOthmar Spann was an Austrian philosopher who was a key influence on German conservative and traditionalist thought in the period after World War I, and he is thus considered a representative of the intellectual movement known as the “Conservative Revolution.” Spann was a professor of economics and sociology at the University of Vienna, where he taught not only scientific social and economic theories, but also influenced many students with the presentation of his worldview in his lectures. As a result of this he formed a large group of followers known as the Spannkreis (“Spann Circle”). This circle of intellectuals attempted to influence politicians who would be sympathetic to “Spannian” philosophy in order to actualize its goals.[1]

Othmar Spann himself was influenced by a variety of philosophers across history, including Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, J. G. Fichte, Franz von Baader, and most notably the German Romantic thought of Adam Müller. Spann called his own worldview “Universalism,” a term which should not be confused with “universalism” in the vernacular sense; for the former is nationalistic and values particularity while the latter refers to cosmopolitan or non-particularist (even anti-particularist) ideas. Spann’s term is derived from the root word “universality,” which is in this case synonymous with related terms such as collectivity, totality, or whole.[2] Spann’s Universalism was expounded in a number of books, most notably in Der wahre Staat (“The True State”), and essentially taught the value of nationality, of the social whole over the individual, of religious (specifically Catholic) values over materialistic values, and advocated the model of a non-democratic, hierarchical, and corporatist state as the only truly valid political constitution.

Social Theory

Othmar Spann declared: “It is the fundamental truth of all social science . . . that not individuals are the truly real, but the whole, and that the individuals have reality and existence only so far as they are members of the whole.”[3] This concept, which is at the core of Spann’s sociology, is not a denial of the existence of the individual person, but a complete denial of individualism; individualism being that ideology which denies the existence and importance of supra-individual realities. Classical liberal theory, which was individualist, held an “atomistic” view of individuals and regarded only individuals as truly real; individuals which it believed were essentially disconnected and independent from each other. It also held that society only exists as an instrumental association as a result of a “social contract.” On the other hand, sociological studies have disproven this theory, showing that the whole (society) is never merely the sum of its parts (individuals) and that individuals naturally have psychological bonds with each other. This was Othmar Spann’s position, but he had his own unique way of formulating it.[4]

While the theory of individualism appears, superficially, to be correct to many people, an investigation into the matter shows that it is entirely fallacious. Individuals never act entirely independently because their behavior is always at least in part determined by the society in which they live, and by their organic, non-instrumental (and thus also non-contractual) bonds with other people in their society. Spann wrote, “according to this view, the individual is no longer self-determined and self-created, and is no longer based exclusively and entirely on its own egoicity.”[5] Spann conceived of the social order, of the whole, as an organic society (a community) in which all individuals belonging to it have a pre-existing spiritual unity. The individual person emerges as such from the social whole to which he was born and from which he is never really separated, and “thus the individual is that which is derivative.”[6]

Therefore, society is not merely a mechanical aggregate of fundamentally disparate individuals, but a whole, a community, which precedes its parts, the individuals. “Universalists contend that the mental or spiritual associative tie between individuals exists as an independent entity . . .”[7] However, Spann clarified that this does not mean that the individual has “no mental self-sufficiency,” but rather that he actualizes his personal being only as a member of the whole: “he is only able to form himself, is only able to build up his personality, when in close touch with others like unto himself; he can only sustain himself as a being endowed with mentality or spirituality, when he enjoys intimate and multiform communion with other beings similarly endowed.”[8] Therefore,

All spiritual reality present in the individual is only there and only comes into being as something that has been awakened . . . the spirituality that comes into being in an individual (whether directly or mediated) is always in some sense a reverberation of that which another spirit has called out to the individual. This means that human spirituality exists only in community, never in spiritual isolation. . . . We can say that individual spirituality only exists in community or better, in ‘spiritual community’ [Gezweiung]. All spiritual essence and reality exists as ‘spiritual community’ and only in ‘communal spirituality’ [Gezweitheit].[9]

It is also important to clarify that Spann’s concept of society did not conceive of society as having no other spiritual bodies within it that were separate from each other. On the contrary, he recognized the importance of the various sub-groups, referred to by him as “partial wholes,” as constituent parts and elements which are different yet related, and which are harmonized by the whole under which they exist. Therefore, the whole or the totality can be understood as the unity of individuals and “partial wholes.” To reference a symbolic image, “Totality [the Whole] is analogous to white light before it is refracted by a prism into many colors,” in which the white light is the supra-temporal totality, while the prism is cosmic time which “refracts the totality into the differentiated and individuated temporal reality.”[10]

Nationality and Racial Style

Volk (“people” or “nation”), which signifies “nationality” in the cultural and ethnic sense, is an entirely different entity and subject matter from society or the whole, but for Spann the two had an important connection. Spann was a nationalist and, defining Volk in terms of belonging to a “spiritual community” with a shared culture, believed that a social whole is under normal conditions only made up of a single ethnic type. Only when people shared the same cultural background could the deep bonds which were present in earlier societies truly exist. He thus upheld the “concept of the concrete cultural community, the idea of the nation – as contrasted with the idea of unrestricted, cosmopolitan, intercourse between individuals.”[11]

Spann advocated the separation of ethnic groups under different states and was also a supporter of pan-Germanism because he believed that the German people should unite under a single Reich. Because he also believed that the German nation was intellectually superior to all other nations (a notion which can be considered as the unfortunate result of a personal bias), Spann also believed that Germans had a duty to lead Europe out of the crisis of liberal modernity and to a healthier order similar to that which had existed in the Middle Ages.[12]

Concerning the issue of race, Spann attempted to formulate a view of race which was in accordance with the Christian conception of the human being, which took into account not only his biology but also his psychological and spiritual being. This is why Spann rejected the common conception of race as a biological entity, for he did not believe that racial types were derived from biological inheritance, just as he did not believe an individual person’s character was set into place by heredity. Rather what race truly was for Spann was a cultural and spiritual character or type, so a person’s “racial purity” is determined not by biological purity but by how much his character and style of behavior conforms to a specific spiritual quality. In his comparison of the race theories of Spann and Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss (an influential race psychologist), Eric Voegelin had concluded:

In Spann’s race theory and in the studies of Clauss we find race as the idea of a total being: for these two scholars racial purity or blood purity is not a property of the genetic material in the biological sense, but rather the stylistic purity of the human form in all its parts, the possession of a mental stamp recognizably the same in its physical and psychological expression.[13]

However, it should be noted that while Ludwig Clauss (like Spann) did not believe that spiritual character was merely a product of genetics, he did in fact emphasize that physical race had importance because the bodily racial form must be essentially in accord with the psychical racial form with which it is associated, and with which it is always linked. As Clauss wrote,

The style of the psyche expresses itself in its arena, the animate body. But in order for this to be possible, this arena itself must be governed by a style, which in turn must stand in a structured relationship to the style of the psyche: all the features of the somatic structure are, as it were, pathways for the expression of the psyche. The racially constituted (that is, stylistically determined) psyche thus acquires a racially constituted animate body in order to express the racially constituted style of its experience in a consummate and pure manner. The psyche’s expressive style is inhibited if the style of its body does not conform perfectly with it.[14]

Likewise Julius Evola, whose thought was influenced by both Spann and Clauss, and who expanded Clauss’s race psychology to include religious matters, also affirmed that the body had a certain level of importance.[15]

On the other hand, the negative aspect of Othmar Spann’s theory of race is that it ends up dismissing the role of physical racial type entirely, and indeed many of Spann’s major works do not even mention the issue of race. A consequence of this was also the fact that Spann tolerated and even approved of critiques made by his students of National Socialist theories of race which emphasized the role of biology; an issue which would later compromise his relationship with that movement even though he was one of its supporters.[16]

The True State

Othmar Spann’s Universalism was in essence a Catholic form of “Radical Traditionalism”; he believed that there existed eternal principles upon which every social, economic, and political order should be constructed. Whereas the principles of the French Revolution – of liberalism, democracy, and socialism – were contingent upon historical circumstances, bound by world history, there are certain principles upon which most ancient and medieval states were founded which are eternally valid, derived from the Divine order. While specific past state forms which were based on these principles cannot be revived exactly as they were because they held many characteristics which are outdated and historical, the principles upon which they were built and therefore the general model which they provide are timeless and must reinstituted in the modern world, for the systems derived from the French Revolution are invalid and harmful.[17] This timeless model was the Wahre Staat or “True State” – a corporative, monarchical, and elitist state – which was central to Universalist philosophy.

1. Economics

In terms of economics, Spann, like Adam Müller, rejected both capitalism and socialism, advocating a corporatist system relatable to that of the guild system and the landed estates of the Middle Ages; a system in which fields of work and production would be organized into corporations and would be subordinated in service to the state and to the nation, and economic activity would therefore be directed by administrators rather than left solely to itself. The value of each good or commodity produced in this system was determined not by the amount of labor put into it (the labor theory of value of Marx and Smith), but by its “organic use” or “social utility,” which means its usefulness to the social whole and to the state.[18]

Spann’s major reason for rejecting capitalism was because it was individualistic, and thus had a tendency to create disharmony and weaken the spiritual bonds between individuals in the social whole. Although Spann did not believe in eliminating competition from economic life, he pointed out that the extreme competition glorified by capitalists created a market system in which there occurred a “battle of all against all” and in which undertakings were not done in service to the whole and the state but in service to self-centered interests. Universalist economics aimed to create harmony in society and economics, and therefore valued “the vitalising energy of the personal interdependence of all the members of the community . . .”[19]

Furthermore, Spann recognized that capitalism also did result in an unfair treatment by capitalists of those underneath them. Thus while he believed Marx’s theories to be theoretically flawed, Spann also mentioned that “Marx nevertheless did good service by drawing attention to the inequality of the treatment meted out to worker and to entrepreneur respectively in the individualist order of society.”[20] Spann, however, rejected socialist systems in general because while socialism seemed superficially Universalistic, it was in fact a mixture of Universalist and individualist elements. It did not recognize the primacy of the State over individuals and also held that all individuals in society should hold the same position, eliminating all class distinctions, and should receive the same amount of goods. “True universalism looks for an organic multiplicity, for inequality,” and thus recognizes differences even if it works to establish harmony between the parts.[21]

2. Politics

Spann asserted that all democratic political systems were an inversion of the truly valuable political order, which was of even greater importance than the economic system. A major problem of democracy was that it allowed, firstly, the manipulation of the government by wealthy capitalists and financiers whose moral character was usually questionable and whose goals were almost never in accord with the good of the community; and secondly, democracy allowed the triumph of self-interested demagogues who could manipulate the masses. However, even the theoretical base of democracy was flawed, according to Spann, because human beings were essentially unequal, for individuals are always in reality differentiated in their qualities and thus are suited for different positions in the social order. Democracy thus, by allowing a mass of people to decide governmental matters, meant excluding the right of superior individuals to determine the destiny of the State, for “setting the majority in the saddle means that the lower rule over the higher.”[22]

Finally, Spann noted that “demands for democracy and liberty are, once more, wholly individualistic.”[23] In the Universalist True State, the individual would subordinate his will to the whole and would be guided by a sense of selfless duty in service to the State, as opposed to asserting his individual will against all other wills. Furthermore, the individual did not possess rights because of his “rational” character and simply because of being human, as many Enlightenment thinkers asserted, but these rights were derived from the ethics of the particular social whole to which he belonged and from the laws of the State.[24] Universalism also acknowledged the inherent inequalities in human beings and supported a hierarchical organization of the political order, where there would be only “equality among equals” and the “subordination of the intellectually inferior under their intellectual betters.”[25]

In the True State, individuals who demonstrated their leadership skills, their superior nature, and the right ethical character would rise among the levels of the hierarchy. The state would be led by a powerful elite whose members would be selected from the upper levels of the hierarchy based on their merit; it was essentially a meritocratic aristocracy. Those in inferior positions would be taught to accept their role in society and respect their superiors, although all parts of the system are “nevertheless indispensable for its survival and development.”[26] Therefore, “the source of the governing power is not the sovereignty of the people, but the sovereignty of the content.”[27]

Othmar Spann, in accordance with his Catholic religious background, believed in the existence of a supra-sensual, metaphysical, and spiritual reality which existed separately from and above the material reality, and of which the material realm was its imperfect reflection. He asserted that the True State must be animated by Christian spirituality, and that its leaders must be guided by their devotion to Divine laws; the True State was thus essentially theocratic. However, the leadership of the state would receive its legitimacy not only from its religious character, but also by possessing “valid spiritual content,” which “precedes power as it is represented in law and the state.”[28] Thus Spann concluded that “history teaches us that it is the validity of spiritual values that constitutes the spiritual bond. They cannot be replaced by fire and sword, nor by any other form of force. All governance that endures, and all the order that society has thus achieved, is the result of inner domination.”[29]

The state which Spann aimed to restore was also federalistic in nature, uniting all “partial wholes” – corporate bodies and local regions which would have a certain level of local self-governance – with respect to the higher Authority. As Julius Evola wrote, in a description that is in accord with Spann’s views, “the true state exists as an organic whole comprised of distinct elements, and, embracing partial unities [wholes], each possesses a hierarchically ordered life of its own.”[30] All throughout world history the hierarchical, corporative True State appears and reappears; in the ancient states of Sparta, Rome, Persia, Medieval Europe, and so on. The structures of the states of these times “had given the members of these societies a profound feeling of security. These great civilizations had been characterized by their harmony and stability.”[31]

Liberal modernity had created a crisis in which the harmony of older societies was damaged by capitalism and in which social bonds were weakened (even if not eliminated) by individualism. However, Spann asserted that all forms of liberalism and individualism are a sickness which could never succeed in fully eliminating the original, primal reality. He predicted that in the era after World War I, the German people would reassert its rights and would create revolution restoring the True State, would recreate that “community tying man to the eternal and absolute forces present in the universe,”[32] and whose revolution would subsequently resonate all across Europe, resurrecting in modern political life the immortal principles of Universalism.

Spann’s Influence and Reception

Othmar Spann and his circle held influence largely in Germany and Austria, and it was in the latter country that their influence was the greatest. Spann’s philosophy became the basis of the ideology of the Austrian Heimwehr (“Home Guard”) which was led by Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg. Leaders of the so-called “Austro-fascist state,” including Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt Schuschnigg, were also partially influenced by Spann’s thought and by members of the “Spann circle.”[33] However, despite the fact that this state was the only one which truly attempted to actualize his ideas, Spann did not support “Austro-fascism” because he was a pan-Germanist and wanted the German people unified under a single state, which is why he joined Hitler’s National Socialist movement, which he believed would pave the way to the True State.

Despite repeated attempts to influence National Socialist ideology and the leaders of the NSDAP, Spann and his circle were rejected by most National Socialists. Alfred Rosenberg, Robert Ley, and various other authors associated with the SS made a number of attacks on Spann’s school. Rosenberg was annoyed both by Spann’s denial of the importance of blood and by his Catholic theocratic position; he wrote that “the Universalist school of Othmar Spann has successfully refuted idiotic materialist individualism . . . [but] Spann asserted against traditional Greek wisdom, and claimed that god is the measure of all things and that true religion is found only in the Catholic Church.”[34]

Aside from insisting on the reality of biological laws, other National Socialists also criticized Spann’s political proposals. They asserted that his hierarchical state would create a destructive divide between the people and their elite because it insisted on their absolute separateness; it would destroy the unity they had established between the leadership and the common folk. Although National Socialism itself had elements of elitism it was also populist, and thus they further argued that every German had the potential to take on a leadership role, and that therefore, if improved within in the Volksgemeinschaft (“Folk-Community”), the German people were thus not necessarily divisible in the strict view of superior elites and inferior masses.[35]

As was to be expected, Spann’s liberal critics complained that his anti-individualist position was supposedly too extreme, and the social democrats and Marxists argued that his corporatist state would take away the rights of the workers and grant rulership to the bourgeois leaders. Both accused Spann of being an unrealistic reactionary who wanted to revive the Middle Ages.[36] However, here we should note here that Edgar Julius Jung, who was himself basically a type of Universalist and was heavily inspired by Spann’s work, had mentioned that:

We are reproached for proceeding alongside or behind active political forces, for being romantics who fail to see reality and who indulge in dreams of an ideology of the Reich that turns toward the past. But form and formlessness represent eternal social principles, like the struggle between the microcosm and the macrocosm endures in the eternal swing of the pendulum. The phenomenal forms that mature in time are always new, but the great principles of order (mechanical or organic) always remain the same. Therefore if we look to the Middle Ages for guidance, finding there the great form, we are not only not mistaking the present time but apprehending it more concretely as an age that is itself incapable of seeing behind the scenes.[37]

Edgar Jung, who was one of Hitler’s most prominent radical Conservative opponents, expounded a philosophy which was remarkably similar to Spann’s, although there are some differences we would like to point out. Jung believed that neither Fascism nor National Socialism were precursors to the reestablishment of the True State but rather “simply another manifestation of the liberal, individualistic, and secular tradition that had emerged from the French Revolution.”[38] Fascism and National Socialism were not guided by a reference to a Divine power and were still infected with individualism, which he believed showed itself in the fact that their leaders were guided by their own ambitions and not a duty to God or a power higher than themselves.

Edgar Jung also rejected nationalism in the strict sense, although he simultaneously upheld the value of Volk and the love of fatherland, and advocated the reorganization of the European continent on a federalist basis with Germany being the leading nation of the federation. Also in contrast to Spann’s views, Jung believed that genetic inheritance did play a role in the character of human beings, although he believed this role was secondary to cultural and spiritual factors and criticized common scientific racialism for its “biological materialism.”

Jung asserted that what he saw as superior racial elements in a population should be strengthened and the inferior elements decreased: “Measures for the raising of racially valuable components of the German people and for the prevention of inferior currents must however be found today rather than tomorrow.”[39] Jung also believed that the elites of the Reich, while they should be open to accepting members of lower levels of the hierarchy who showed leadership qualities, should marry only within the elite class, for in this way a new nobility possessing leadership qualities strengthened both genetically and spiritually would be developed.[40]

Whereas Jung constantly combatted National Socialism to his life’s end, up until the Anschluss Othmar Spann had remained an enthusiastic supporter of National Socialism, always believing he could eventually influence the Third Reich leadership to adopt his philosophy. This illusion was maintained in his mind until the takeover of Austria by Germany in 1938, soon after which Spann was arrested and imprisoned because he was deemed an ideological threat, and although he was released after a few months, he was forcibly confined to his rural home.[41] After World War II he could never regain any political influence, but he left his mark in the philosophical realm. Spann had a partial influence on Eric Voegelin and also on many Neue Rechte (“New Right”) intellectuals such as Armin Mohler and Gerd-Klaus Kaltenbrunner.[42] He has also had an influence on Radical Traditionalist thought, most notably on Julius Evola, who wrote that Spann “followed a similar line to my own,”[43] although there are obviously certain marked differences between the two thinkers. Spann’s philosophy thus, despite its flaws and limitations, has not been entirely lacking in usefulness and interest.

Notes

1. More detailed information on Othmar Spann’s life than provided in this essay can be found in John J. Haag, Othmar Spann and the Politics of “Totality”: Corporatism in Theory and Practice (Ph.D. Thesis, Rice University, 1969).

2. See Othmar Spann, Types of Economic Theory (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1930), p. 61. We should note to the reader that this book is the only major work by Spann to have been published in English and has also been published under an alternative title as History of Economics.

3. Othmar Spann as quoted in Ernest Mort, “Christian Corporatism,” Modern Age, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Summer 1959), p. 249. Available online here: http://www.mmisi.org/ma/03_03/mort.pdf [2].

4. For a more in-depth and scientific overview of Spann’s studies of society, see Barth Landheer, “Othmar Spann’s Social Theories.” Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 39, No. 2 (April, 1931), pp. 239–48. We should also note to our readers that Othmar Spann’s anti-individualist social theories are more similar to those of other “far Right” sociologists such as Hans Freyer and Werner Sombart. However, it should be remembered that sociologists from nearly all political positions are opposed to individualism to some extent, whether they are of the “moderate Center” or of the “far Left.” Furthermore, anti-individualism is a typical position among many mainstream sociologists today, who recognize that individualistic attitudes – which are, of course, still an issue in societies today just as they were an issue a hundred years ago – have a harmful effect on society as a whole.

5. Othmar Spann, Der wahre Staat (Leipzig: Verlag von Quelle und Meyer, 1921), p. 29. Quoted in Eric Voegelin, Theory of Governance and Other Miscellaneous Papers, 1921–1938 (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2003), p. 68.

6. Spann, Der wahre Staat, p. 29. Quoted in Voegelin, Theory of Governance, p. 69.

7. Spann, Types of Economic Theory, pp. 60–61.

8. Ibid., p. 61.

9. Spann, Der wahre Staat, pp. 29 & 34. Quoted in Voegelin, Theory of Governance, pp. 70–71.

10. J. Glenn Friesen, “Dooyeweerd, Spann, and the Philosophy of Totality,” Philosophia Reformata, 70 (2005), p. 6. Available online here: http://members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Totality.pdf [3].

11. Spann, Types of Economic Theory, p. 199.

12. See Haag, Spann and the Politics of “Totality,” p. 48.

13. Eric Voegelin, Race and State (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1997), pp. 117–18.

14. Ludwig F. Clauss, Rasse und Seele (Munich: J. F. Lehmann, 1926), pp. 20–21. Quoted in Richard T. Gray, About Face: German Physiognomic Thought from Lavater to Auschwitz (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2004), p. 307.

15. For an overview of Evola’s theory of race, see Michael Bell, “Julius Evola’s Concept of Race: A Racism of Three Degrees.” The Occidental Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Winter 2009–2010), pp. 101–12. Available online here: http://toqonline.com/archives/v9n2/TOQv9n2Bell.pdf [4]. For a closer comparison between the Evola’s theories and Clauss’s, see Julius Evola’s The Elements of Racial Education (Thompkins & Cariou, 2005).

16. See Haag, Spann and the Politics of “Totality, p. 136.

17. A more in-depth explanation of “Radical Traditionalism” can be found in Chapter 1: Revolution – Counterrevolution – Tradition” in Julius Evola, Men Among the Ruins: Postwar Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist, trans. Guido Stucco, ed. Michael Moynihan (Rochester: Inner Traditions, 2002).

18. See Spann, Types of Economic Theory, pp. 162–64.

19. Ibid., p. 162.

20. Ibid., p. 226.

21. Ibid., p. 230.

22. Spann, Der wahre Staat, p. 111. Quoted in Janek Wasserman, Black Vienna, Red Vienna: The Struggle for Intellectual and Political Hegemony in Interwar Vienna, 1918–1938 (Ph.D. Dissertion, Washington University, 2010), p. 80.

23. Spann, Types of Economic Theory, pp. 212.

24. For a commentary on individual natural rights theory, see Ibid., pp.53 ff.

25. Spann, Der wahre Staat, p. 185. Quoted in Wassermann, Black Vienna, Red Vienna, p. 82.

26. Haag, Spann and the Politics of “Totality,” p. 32.

27. Othmar Spann, Kurzgefasstes System der Gesellschaftslehre (Berlin: Quelle und Meyer, 1914), p. 429. Quoted in Voegelin, Theory of Governance, p. 301.

28. Spann, Gesellschaftslehre, p. 241. Quoted in Voegelin, Theory of Governance, p. 297.

29. Spann, Gesellschaftslehre, p. 495. Quoted in Voegelin, Theory of Governance, p. 299.

30. Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar (London: Integral Tradition Publishing, 2009), p. 190.

31. Haag, Spann and the Politics of “Totality, p. 39.

32. Ibid., pp. 40–41.

33. See Günter Bischof, Anton Pelinka, Alexander Lassner, The Dollfuss/Schuschnigg Era in Austria: A Reassessment (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003), pp. 16, 32, & 125 ff.

34. Alfred Rosenberg, The Myth of the Twentieth Century (Sussex, England: Historical Review Press, 2004), pp. 458–59.

35. See Haag, Spann and the Politics of “Totality, pp. 127–29.

36. See Ibid., pp. 66 ff.

37. Edgar Julius Jung, “Germany and the Conservative Revolution,” in: The Weimar Republic Sourcebook, edited by Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995), p. 354.

38. Larry Eugene Jones, “Edgar Julius Jung: The Conservative Revolution in Theory and Practice,” Conference Group for Central European History of the American Historical Association, Vol. 21, No. 02 (1988), p. 163.

39. Edgar Julius Jung, “People, Race, Reich,” in: Europa: German Conservative Foreign Policy 1870–1940, edited by Alexander Jacob (Lanham, MD, USA: University Press of America, 2002), p. 101.

40. For a more in-depth overview of Jung’s life and thought, see Walter Struve, Elites Against Democracy: Leadership Ideals in Bourgeois Political Thought in Germany, 1890–1933 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1973), pp. 317 ff. See also Edgar Julius Jung, The Rule of the Inferiour, 2 vols. (Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellon Press, 1995).

41. Haag, Spann and the Politics of “Totality, pp. 154–55.

42. See our previous citations of Voegelin’s Theory of Governance and Race and State; Armin Mohler, Die Konservative Revolution in Deutschland 1918–1932 (Stuttgart: Friedrich Vorwerk Verlag, 1950); “Othmar Spann” in Gerd-Klaus Kaltenbrunner, Vom Geist Europas, Vol. 1 (Asendorf: Muth-Verlag, 1987).

43. Evola, Path of Cinnabar, p. 155.

 

 


 

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