Re: Discourses of Political Destruction: One

A friend in the army reserve once said to me "anyone who joins the army
reserve does so because they have a problem and the army reserve solves the
problem - we stay in the army reserve until our problem is solved or we find
another way of solving it and then we leave"

This reflects what was said below. The man had a problem and found a
solution to his problem in the Nazi party. All we can hope is that the
insituations in society that people are attracted to join are directed by
good intentions and controls are in place to keep those intentions pure.

I recall reading that Foucault studied the miseries of humanity. Perhaps
miseries occur when good intentions go astray or are hijacked.

>From: Ron T <rontee707@xxxxxxxxxx>
>Reply-To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Subject: Re: Discourses of Political Destruction: One
>Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 09:17:43 -0400
>was a very bad student and my father did not respect me. But I was a good
>marksman and one day on the rifle range an SS Officer saw me shooting my
>with expertise and wanted to know if I would be interested in joing the
>party. They gave me a uniform, boots, a gun, they called me sir, and I was
>respected. I have nothing against the Jews. I always respected them. I had
>Jewish friends. But they gave me a uniform and made me feel important.
>That's why I did it." It seems as simple as that. That would be very
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <PsycheCulture@xxxxxx>
>To: <foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Sent: Monday, July 07, 2003 10:28 AM
>Subject: Discourses of Political Destruction: One
> > We have been discussing the extraordinary manifestations of
> > societal violence in the Twentieth Century politics, with nearly
> > human beings killed as a consequence of activities called "war,"
> > "revolution," etc.
> >
> > I suggested that one might characterize what has occurred as a
> > civilizational psychopathology, and that there may be common
> > processes that sustain the cultural constituted patterns of behavior.
> >
> > One hypothesis is that violence or destructiveness is the
> > of a form of submission to an ideology, whereby individuals are willing
> > and kill in the name of defending or valorizing an idea to which one is
> > attached. I focus on the "nation" as a fundamental ideology to which
> > bind themselves, but as others have pointed out, a similar dynamic may
> > attachment to religious beliefs and political ideologies (such as
> >
> > Human beings elevate an ideology or belief system into something
> > or more significant than the self, identify themselves with this
> > and then submit or bow down to the idea that has come to represent them.
> > and dying arise out of passionate, hysterical attachment. One is willing
> > die and to kill in order to prove one's devotion to the symbolic object
> > which the ego has become identified.
> >
> > Insofar as the self has become identified with the omnipotent
> > destruction of the ideology is experienced as destruction of the self.
> > "grand narrative" becomes psychosomatically situated within one's body.
> > Destruction of the idea is experienced as the fragmentation
>(disintegration) of one's
> > body.
> >
> > I focus on Nazi Germany because I believe that what occurred there
> > constitutes a paradigm for the destructive political processes of the
> > Century. Rather than being an anomaly, Hitler crystallized certain
> > trends.
> >
> > Freud viewed neurosis and psychosis as extreme forms of
> > processes that occur in everyone. Similarly, genocide constitutes an
> > form of "normal" or ordinaryh political processes. In conceiving and
> > the Final Solution, the Nazis were acting out the ideology: " It is
> > to kill the enemy in order to save the nation." Hitler carried this idea
>to its
> > logical, bizarre conclusion.
> >
> > Hitler may be characterized as a radical conformist. He put forth
> > common, ordinary political ideas, then expected his people to embrace
>these ideas
> > absolutely or totally.
> >
> > He said, "We wish to have no other God, only Germany." With
> > religion of nationalism reached its apotheosis. Hitler asked his people
> > adore and worship Germany. The other side of the coin of worshipping
>Germany was
> > the destruction of all those who refused to bow down: "Thou shalt have
> > other god before me."
> >
> > Hitler declared to the German people: "You are nothing, your
> > everything." Alongside the glorification of the nation was negation of
> > subject. Rather, the subject was relocated in the nation. The nation was
> > glorified as an omnipotent object. The German people bowed down to this
>projection of
> > themselves, but in so doing negated (and eventually destroyed)
> >
> > Rudolph Hess often declared, "Hitler is Germany, just as Germany
> > Hitler." Violence and destructiveness grew out of the intense,
> > attachment that binds the ego to an object conceived as omnipotent.
> >
> > Hitler said, "We may be inhumane, but if we rescue Germany we have
> > achieved the greatest deed in the world." This is the fundamental
>structure of
> > thought that generates political destruction. Those who initiate
> > recognize that what they are doing is not exactly wonderful or groovy.
>However, they
> > overcome their compunctions based on the idea that what they are doing
> > "necessary."
> >
> > What is necessary is that the omnipotent idea or ideology be
> > at all costs. What must be rescued is belief in the object and its
> > That which must be destroyed is the OTHER ideology or nation. From
> > framework of the other discourse, one's own nation, god or ideology is
> > conceived to be good or omnipotent.
> >
> > Hannah Arendt's views were discussed in relationship to my theory.
> > Arendt's biographer, Elizabeth Young-Bruehl observed that Arendt located
> > capacity to do evil in what she called "thoughtlessness," that is an
>inability or
> > choice "not to think, to inquire, to question, but a rote following or
>rules or
> > acceptance of another's judgment."
> >
> > Eichmann's explanation at his trial suggested that he had
> > "the Fuhrer's will for the Kantian categorical imperative," and that
> > will became the "ultimate source of lawfulness."
> >
> > The subtitle of Arendt's book, the "banality of evil," generated a
> > certain line of analysis that focused upon the tendency of German
>bureaucrats to
> > "follow orders." This mode of interpretation emphasizes "obedience" as a
> > motive underlying societal destructiveness. According to this
> > is not as if Eichmann truly desired or wished to kill Jews. Rather, he
> > of many ordinary, "thoughtless" persons who simply executed or carried
> > the requirement of the bureaucracy, demands of society and orders of its
> > leaders.
> >
> > Is such a characterization of Nazi destruction accurate? Are we
> > comprehend what has occurred within such a "bloodless" perspective?
> >
> > With regard to ideologies of violence, sacrifice and murder, what
> > the relationship of the subject to these societal discourses?
> >
> > With regards,
> >
> > Richard Koenigsberg
> >
> > Richard A. Koenigsberg, Ph. D.
> > Library of Social Science
> >
> >
> > --- StripMime Warning -- MIME attachments removed ---
> > This message may have contained attachments which were removed.
> >
> > Sorry, we do not allow attachments on this list.
> >
> > --- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
> > multipart/alternative
> > text/plain (text body -- kept)
> > text/html
> > ---

Hotmail is now available on Australian mobile phones. Go to

Partial thread listing: