Posted by: Rajesh Shukla | December 25, 2009

Since Auschwitz the fear of death means, to fear things worse than death.


Death in the concentration camps has a new horror: since Auschwitz the fear of death means, to fear things worse than death. What death does to what is socially condemned, is anticipated biologically in beloved human beings of great age; not only their bodies but their ego, everything which determines them as human beings, crumbles without illness and violent intervention. The remnants of confidence in their transcendental duration disappear as it were into earthly life: what is it supposed to be in them, anyway, which is not dying. The comforting faith, that in such disintegration or madness the core of the human being would continue to exist, has, in its indifference towards that experience, something foolish and cynical about it. It prolongs the snotty, philistine [Spiessbuerger] truism – that one remains always what one is – into infinity. –Adorno

Even the most repressive and the most deadly forms of social reproduction are produced by desire within the organization that is the consequence of such production under various conditions that we must analyze. That is why the fundamental problem of political philosophy is still precisely the one that Spinoza saw so clearly, and that Wilhelml Reich rediscovered: ‘Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?’ How can people possibly reach the point of shouting ‘More taxes! Less Bread!’ As Reich remarks, the astonishing thing is not that some people steal or that others occasionally go out on strike, but rather that all those who are starving do not steal as a regular practice, and all those who are exploited are not continually out on strike: after centuries of exploitation, why do people still tolerate being humililated and enslaved, to such a point, indeed, that they actually want humiliation and slavery not only for others but for themselves? … No, the masses were not innocent dupes; at a certain point, under a certain set of conditions, they wanted fascism, and it is this perversion of the desire of the masses that needs to be accounted for.–Deleuze

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