Re: Ideology and Fantasy

In a message dated 6/20/03 4:56:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, katmara@xxxxx
> So Kevin, the Jewish-virus metaphor was not the means of JUSTIFYING the
> eradication of Jews, but the means TO eradicate Jews. Death camps would not have
> been possible without the operation of such discourse.

Correct, this is a very important distinction. The discourse did not
appear to justify extermination that was undertaken for reasons outside the

Rather, the desire to exterminate the Jews was CONTAINED WITHIN THE
DISCOURSE. The motivation for extermination was part and parcel of the language
used to describe the Jew. The image of the Jew contained within the Nazi
language required extermination. If the German nation is a sacred, beloved object,
and the Jew is a disease threatening to cause the death of this object, then
according to this logic if one is a good German then one is REQUIRED to
exterminate the Jew.

Of course, while discourse fueled extermination, we must go a step
beyond Foucault and pose the question: What was the source and the meaning of the
discourse? WHY was the Jew experienced and described by many Nazis as a
bacteria or virus?

In my view, discourses embodied in language reflect something deeper.
Discourses contain a (shared) fantasy that human beings are trying to express
and articulate through language.

So one may say that just as dreams (according to Freud) reflect the
unconscious of individuals, so does discourse reflect and embody the shared
unconscious fantasies of a culture.

What were Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels and Rosenberg trying to express
through the use of such language? What was the nature of the desire contained
within Nazi ideology? What was the symbolic (unconscious) meaning of the Jew?
What did Hitler imagine that he was "killing off" when he killed Jew?

With regards,

Richard K.

Richard A. Koenigsberg, Ph. D.
Library of Social Science

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