Re: Ideology and Fantasy

but Hitler or his cronies weren´t psycotic. Their ideology may resemble psychosis, but they weren´t psychotic. You are abusing language, by mis-representing Nazi ideology as ínsane´when it wasn´t, not insanity in any psychiatric sense. The frequently biologistic frame of reference that Hitler uses in regard to the Jews has to be understood in the light of many similar tracts and rants which utilise demagogic politics in the light of serious scientific and biologistic vocabulary to confer seriousness on a nonsense project, and to say that there is only one possible ´cure´for the body politic - eradication of the alien bacillus, not containment or synthesis. The same can be seen in regard to Washington´s use of terms as ´the cancer of communism´etc....

> from: PsycheCulture@xxxxxx
> date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 05:56:32
> to: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> subject: Re: Ideology and Fantasy
> I use the term "psychotic" to describe the monumentally destructive,
> bizarre, and irrational forms of behavior that characterize Twentieth Century
> politics in order to generate an experience of these forms of behavior as
> ego-alien. Ordinarily, I do not use this term. My research revolves around
> understanding the logic or meaning of these behaviors.
> The purpose of Nazism for Hitler was to save the life of Germany. He
> discerned the existence of a disease within the body politic, the "presence of a
> bacillus" that had "penetrated into the lungs," become rooted there and would
> only die out "with the destroyed lungs and the destroyed person." The question
> for Germany was whether the people wanted "to die or live."
> Either Germany would sink and the German people sink with her, or else
> one would dare to enter on the "fight against death" by rising up against the
> "fate that has been planned for us." Nazism would wage a battle in order to see
> which was stronger: "the spirit of international Jewry or the will of
> Germany."
> National Socialism was mass hysteria growing out of the experience of
> the Jew as a disease within the body politic. Goebbels suggested that the Jew
> had the same function as the "poison bacillus has in the human organism,"
> generating a process that would "mobilize the resistance of the healthy powers."
> A pamphlet put out by the office of Rosenberg compared the State to a
> body "composed of cells invaded by parasites, such as bacteria." These parasites
> were "incapable of building up a state themselves." Rather, the bacteria
> "live in a body" and "can multiply." A body thus afflicted "must defeat the
> bacteria which have penetrated it; otherwise it will be defeated by them."
> With regard processes of this kind, humanitarian principles "cannot be
> taken into consideration at all, as little as in the case of disinfecting a
> body or a contaminated room." It was necessary to clear a path for a "completely
> novel way of thinking" that could lead to the "final decision which must be
> made in our time so as to safeguard the existence of the great creative race."
> Genocide grew out of the fantasy of the nation as an organism or real
> "body politic" containing Jewish bacteria. In order to save the life of the
> German body, it was necessary to "disinfect it," that is, to destroy the parasites
> and bacteria whose continued presence within could lead to the death of the
> nation.
> In February, 1942, as the killing process was unfolding, Hitler stated
> that the discovery of the Jewish virus was "one of the greatest revolutions the
> world has seen." The struggle in which the German people were engaged was
> similar to the one "waged by Pasteur and Koch in the last century." How many
> diseases, Hitler asked, must owe their origins to the Jewish virus? Only with
> the elimination of the Jews would the German people regain their health.
> The Final Solution was generated on the basis of an immunological
> fantasy. Hitler believed that he had discovered the pathogen that was at the root of
> Germany's suffering, the cause of her illness. His project, the purpose of
> Nazism, was to destroy the Jewish bacteria and thereby to rescue the German
> nation from death.
> The fantasy that Jews were bacteria was the source of all that followed.
> Hitler and Himmler and Goebbels did not invent or present these metaphors
> for the purpose of achieving other objectives. Rather, all other goals--the
> quest for power, waging war, and the Final Solution--derived from the struggle to
> destroy or master the experience of disease, the psychosomatic symptom within
> the body politic.
> Historians pose the question of why Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in
> the midst of the Battle of Britain. Why did he not simply complete the
> conquest of Britain and then move on to the conquest of Russia? This question assumes
> that waging war has a more or less rational purpose.
> Hitler attacked Russia because he wished to be true to himself, that is,
> to the sacred mission of National Socialism. He was certain that the
> Jewish-Bolshevik bacteria had their breeding ground in the Soviet Union. They were
> seeping into the West from Russia. If this process continued, Germany (and
> Europe) would be destroyed. The British, on the other hand, were a lot like Aryans.
> Hitler waged war against Russia as a response to paranoid anxieties
> about Jewish-Bolshevik bacteria. Hitler imagined himself to be the "savior" of
> Germany and Western civilization. He would exterminate the Jewish virus in order
> to prevent the death of the body politic.
> Jews of course were neither bacteria nor virus, but human beings, and
> the German nation was an idea or social construction rather than an organism.
> However, by studying images and metaphors bound to the central terms of an
> ideology, it is possible to move toward uncovering the unconscious fantasies that
> are the source of historical events.
> Ideologies are as if manifest content of a dream. Culture and history
> provide a "dream screen" into which latent content is externalized. One may
> analyze shared fantasies by observing the manner in which they are contained
> within cultural projections. To analyze the collective fantasies that are the
> source of societal self-destruction is to begin the process of awakening from the
> nightmare of history.
> Richard A. Koenigsberg, Ph. D.
> Library of Social Science
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Paul Murphy
Tel: 0044 02890 659866
Fax: 0044 02890 322767

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