08 Απριλίου 2008

Έθνος-Κράτος (σημειώσατε 2)

Initially the state was conceived as a mere instrument for imposing law and order: a body, made up of institutions and laws and people who served in them and carried them out, which would run like a machine in performing its task. However, almost exactly midway in its development between 1648 and 1945, it came across the forces of nationalism which, until then, had developed almost independently of it and sometimes against it. The seventeenth- and eighteenth-century state had demanded no special affection on the part of its subjects, provided only its decrees were obeyed and its demands for money and manpower met; but now it could draw on nationalism in order to fill its emptiness and provide itself with ethical content. As conceived by Rousseau, Herder, and the rest, nationalism – if that is the proper word – had been a harmless preference for one’s native country, its language, its customs, its modes of dress, and its festivals; once it had been adopted by the state, it became aggressive and bellicose. Digesting the stolen spiritual goods, the state turned itself from a means into an end and from an end into a god. Whether it lived in peace with them or fought against them, that god was usually quite prepared to respect the rights of other gods like itself to a sovereign existence – witness the elaborate courtesies that rulers and diplomats, often even soldiers, extended to each other even in wartime (when Napoleon III was captured at Sedan in 1870, not only did he come to no harm, but he was allowed to go free). But from its subjects it demanded absolute loyalty even unto death, inflicting savage punishment on them if they dared disobey or evade service, a double standard which shows what it really thought of them.
Του Μάρτιν βαν Κρέβελντ από το The Rise and Decline of the State, με αφορμή μια γνωμοδότητση για το έθνος.

3 σχόλια:

Elias είπε...

Δε νομίζω ότι ο Rousseau ήταν τόσο αθώος, όσο τον παρουσιάζει το κείμενο του Μάρτιν.
«Θα ήταν δύσκολο να βρεθεί μια επιρροή πιο αποφασιστική από αυτή του Rousseau στη διαμόρφωση των νεότερων εννοιών των λέξεων patrie και nation, ενώ το ίδιο μπορεί να ειπωθεί και για το peuple» [εδώ, σελ. 154].
Ο λαός όμως, στον οποίο θα πρέπει να ανήκει η ανώτατη εξουσία, δεν ταυτίζεται με το σύνολο του πληθυσμού. Από το Κοινωνικό Συμβόλαιο: «Οι πολίτες έχουν την ανώτατη εξουσία υπό τον όρο ότι συμμετέχουν ενεργά στην έκφραση της γενικής θέλησης». Είναι γνωστό πως ο τελευταίος όρος σήμαινε, για τον "Πολίτη της Γενεύης" τη θέληση για το κοινό καλό. Το ερώτημα που προκύπτει είναι πώς ξεχωρίζουν οι δημόσια σκεπτόμενοι πολίτες από τους ιδιοτελείς;
Ο Rousseau πίστευε ότι μπορούν να νοιάζονται για το κοινό καλό μόνο οι πολίτες που έχουν συνειδητοποιήσει όλα τα ιδιαίτερα στοιχεία του έθνους τους (έθιμα, κλίμα, γλώσσα, παραδόσεις κλπ.), αυτά που το κάνουν να ξεχωρίζει από τα άλλα έθνη [ibid. σελ. 160-161]. Σ’ ένα γράμμα του προς τον Usteri έγραφε: «το πατριωτικό πνεύμα μάς ενθαρρύνει να βλέπουμε σαν εχθρούς αυτούς που δεν είναι συμπατριώτες μας (concitoyens)» [ibid. σελ. 154]

Elias είπε...

Θέλω να πω ότι το ρουσσωικό nation δεν ήταν τόσο ανώδυνη έννοια, δε σήμαινε απλώς το άθροισμα των πολιτιστικών ιδιαιτεροτήτων ενός λαού. Από τη γέννησή του, το σύγχρονο nation ήταν κομμένο και ραμμένο για πολιτικές διεκδικήσεις, και μάλιστα με διπλό τρόπο: οι πολίτες ενός έθνους vs. οι πολίτες άλλων εθνών - οι δημόσια σκεπτόμενοι πολίτες vs. οι ιδιοτελείς.
Αυτό το τελευταίο προσφέρει και μία συνταγή για δικτάτορες: 1) Πάρε την εξουσία μ’ οποιονδήποτε τρόπο (π.χ. με εκλογές, με πραξικόπημα, με ημι-πραξικοπηματικές «πορείες προς τη Ρώμη»). 2) Νομιμοποίησέ τη στο όνομα του λαού (π.χ. με στημένα δημοψηφίσματα, με εξόντωση πολιτικών αντιπάλων, με λαϊκίστικη προπαγάνδα). Εν ανάγκη, κάνε το διαχωρισμό ανάμεσα στο «λογικό» κομμάτι του λαού και στους υπόλοιπους. 3) Κήρυξε την κυβέρνησή σου «επαναστατική» και δίδαξε στο λαό ποια είναι η θέλησή του. Υπενθύμιζέ τη τακτικά

Manchurian είπε...

Έχει αναφερθεί εκτενέστερα στον Ρουσσώ προηγουμένως, δεν αγνοεί ούτε παραγνωρίζει το ρόλο του.

The man who did more than anyone else to start the Great Transformation was, perhaps, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78). Of petit-bourgeois origins – his father, though full of his own importance, was a watchmaker – he spent much of his life away from his native Geneva as a penniless exile; the more extensive his wanderings the more he harked back to it, painting it in splendid hues and glorifying its supposed virtues. Like most of his fellow philosophes from the time of Locke and Leibnitz on, Rousseau rejected the Christian idea of original sin and started from the notion that man was naturally good. However, to them the patrie was merely ‘‘a community of interests arising out of property rights,’’ whereas to him it was the source from which all the individual’s mental and moral faculties derived. Man being formed by the community in which he was born and in which he spent his youth, outside it no true humanity – no language, no property, no morality, no freedom, no happiness – was possible. In the Social Contract of 1762, Rousseau went further still, suggesting that this community had a corporate persona – a moi commun – represented by the general will. To go against one’s creator, as against one’s parents, was turned into the worst of all vices. Conversely, patriotism – the active submission to, and participation in, the general will – became the highest of all virtues and the source of all the remaining ones.

While the transformation of the patrie from the place where one had been born into the highest of all earthly ideals was thus accomplished almost at a single stroke, still Rousseau was no nationalist. As he made clear in the Confessions, to him the essence of the patrie consisted not of some lofty ideals but of the most humdrum aspects of its existence: such as the language its people spoke, the clothes they wore, the customs they observed, the festivals they celebrated, even the streets and houses they built in a style that was uniquely their own and in which they spent their lives. Precisely because of the extremely intimate link that he saw as existing between it and the individual, the community had to be small, possibly indeed no larger than Plato’s ideal city-state to which his father had often compared Geneva and to which his thought owed so much. Decentralization, not its opposite, was Rousseau’s goal. The world which he envisaged was anything but modern. It consisted of a loose confederation of autonomous city-states, each one living in relative isolation from its neighbors and populated, as far as possible, by warlike yet peaceful farmers who drew their own nourishment from the soil. Thus, and only thus, would each one also be able to represent the supreme ideal to its inhabitants who both drew their life from it and were supposed to lay down their lives on its behalf if necessary.


Again it cannot be emphasized too strongly that, whatever the kind of community in which they lived or which they had in mind, these and other eighteenth-century intellectuals were no nationalists in the modern, political sense. Some, having replaced Christianity with deism, merely studied different cultures as a way of bringing out the beauty of the creation in all its manifold forms – like a garden of separate flower beds each worthy of being admired on its own. Others, slightly more practically minded, were motivated by the need to understand the spirit of each nation as the basis for doing away with antiquated laws and creating a just social order. Some, such as Rousseau, held democratic and even revolutionary views, whereas others were inclined to accept almost any political regime so long as it allowed culture to develop freely. Herder himself went on record as saying that nothing was so ridiculous as the pretensions of any one nation to superiority, let alone claims of political domination which, far from advancing culture, would create ‘‘a wild mixture of breeds and nations under one scepter.’’ His attitude was typical for German intellectuals of his day. As late as 1796, Schiller, Germany’s greatest dramatist and poet, was able to write that Germans should forget about becoming a nation, and educate themselves to be human beings instead.