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resists it  so little would that condition be compatible with the contemporary concept of
the collective. That in the countries which today monopolize the name of socialism, an
immediate collectivism is commanded as the subordination of the individual to society,
gives the lie to their socialism and reinforces the antagonism. The weakness of the ego
through a socialized society, which unremittingly drives human beings together and,
literally and figuratively, makes them incapable of being alone, manifests itself in the
complaints about isolation no less than in the truly unbearable coldness which spreads
everywhere along with the expanding exchange-relationship, and which is merely
prolonged by the authoritarian and ruthless regimentation of the alleged peoples
democracies against the needs of their subjects. That a union of free human beings would
have to continually gang themselves up, belongs in the conceptual realm of maneuvers,
of marching, flag-waving, orations of leaders. They thrive only so long as society
irrationally wishes to cobble together its compulsory members; objectively they are not
needed. Collectivism and individualism complete one another in what is false.
Speculative historical philosophy since Fichte protested against both, in the doctrine of
the condition of consummated sinfulness, later in that of lost meaning. Modernity is
equated with a deformed world, while Rousseau, the initiator of retrospective hostility
towards one s own time, set it alight on the last of the great styles: what spurred his
revulsion was too much form, the denaturalization of society. The time has come to
dismiss the imago of the meaningless world, which degenerated from a cipher of longing
to the slogan of those who fetishize order. Nowhere on earth is contemporary society, as
its scientific apologists vouchsafe,  open ; nowhere deformed, either. The belief that it
would be so, originated in the devastation of the cities and landscapes by planlessly self-
expanding industry, in a lack of rationality, not its oversupply. Whoever traces back
deformation to metaphysical processes instead of relationships of material production,
virtually delivers ideologies. With their change, the picture of violence could be softened,
which the world presents to the human beings who do violence to it. That supraindividual
bonds disappeared  they by no means disappeared  would indeed not itself be bad; the
truly emancipated works of art of the twentieth century are no worse than those, which
thrived in the styles which modernity discarded with reason. The experience inverts itself
as if in a mirror, that according to the state of consciousness and of the material
productive forces, it is expected that human beings would be free, that they also expect it
themselves, and that they are not so, while nevertheless no model of thinking, behavior
and, in that most denigrating of terms,  value , is left in the state of their radical
unfreedom, as those who are unfree desire it. The lament over the lack of bonds has a
constitution of society for its substance, which simulates freedom, without realizing such.
Freedom exists only, dimly enough, in the superstructure; its perennial failure deflects the
longing towards unfreedom. Probably the question of the meaning of existence in its
entirety is the expression of that discrepancy.
On the Condition of Freedom 281-283
The horizon of a condition of freedom, which would need no repression and no morality,
because the drive would no longer have to express itself destructively, is veiled in gloom.
Moral questions are stringent not in their dreadful parody, sexual repression, but in
sentences like: torture ought to be abolished; concentration camps ought not to exist,
while all this continues in Africa and Asia and is only repressed because civilized
humanity is as inhuman as ever against those which it shamelessly brands as uncivilized.
If a moral philosopher seized these lines and exulted, at having finally caught up with the
critics of morality  in that these, too, cite the values comfortably proclaimed by moral
philosophers  then the definitive conclusion would be false. The sentences are true as
impulse, when they register, that somewhere torture is occurring. They may not be
rationalized; as an abstract principle they would end up immediately in the bad infinity of
their derivation and validity. The critique of morality is applicable to the transposition of
the logic of consistency onto the behavior of human beings; that is where the stringent
logic of consistency becomes the organ of unfreedom. The impulse, the naked physical
fear and the feeling of solidarity with, in Brecht s words, tormentable bodies, which is
immanent to moral behavior, would be denied by attempts at ruthless rationalization;
what is most urgent would once more become contemplative, the mockery of its own
urgency. The distinction of theory and praxis involves theoretically, that praxis can no
more be purely reduced to theory than chris [Greek: separately] from it. Both are not to
be glued together into a synthesis. That which is undivided lives solely in the extremes, in
the spontaneous impulse which, impatient with the argument, does not wish to permit the
horror to continue, and in the theoretical consciousness unterrorized by any functionary,
which discerns why it nonetheless goes unforeseeably on. This contradiction alone is, in
sight of the real powerlessness of all individuals, the staging-grounds of morality today.
The consciousness will react spontaneously, to the extent it cognizes what is bad, without
satisfying itself with the cognition. The incompatibility of every general moral judgement
with the psychological determination, which nevertheless does not dispense with the
judgement, that something would be evil, does not originate in thinking s lack of logical
consistency, but in the objective antagonism. Fritz Bauer has noted that the same types
who call for clemency for the torturers of Auschwitz with a hundred lazy arguments, are
friends of the reintroduction of the death penalty. The newest state of moral dialectics is
concentrated therein: clemency would be naked injustice, the justified atonement would
be infected by the principle of brute force, while humanity consists solely of resisting this
last. Benjamin s remark, that the execution of the death penalty might be moral, but never [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]




 

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