SUBJECT WITHOUT CONFINES
2. Vae victis
When the question is about defining the phenomenon of aggression, people most often appeal to emotional, psychological and sentimental spheres, failing to take into consideration, as it is common in the modern world, the most profound, metaphysical aspects of the phenomenon. In the channel of the humanistic tradition there appeared by itself the negative attitude to aggression, which is considered as something subject to full extermination or (what is more realistic) to diminishing. However, aggression is so closely related with the human nature, that reminds about itself constantly – both in everyday life, in private life psychology and in political reality of wars, conflicts, clashes. Let us try to comprehend the aggression, abstracting ourselves from all usual stereotype views – pacifist, scandalously apologetic, psychoanalytic or socially deterministic ones.
Aggression as a phenomenon could be fuller defined as “violent overstepping bounds”. Just in this its essential quality consists, this quality is recognized in conflicts of everyday life, in a criminal occurrence, in a large-scale military clash. A criminal violently transgresses the bounds of the social ethics, moral, physic or economic integrity of a human or a community. This is aggression. An army violently oversteps frontiers of a hostile country or enemy’s defensive lines. It is aggression too. Finally, ideologists, breaking the settled stereotype ways of thinking, violently overstep the bounds of mental cliches. And this is aggression too.
Not only social or exclusively human existence is filled with the various types of bounds, transgressing which gives birth to various types of aggression. The structure of all reality is built just on various bounds, separating every thing and every mode of existence from all the rest ones. In some sense, the bound itself makes of every thing what the latter is by itself, being the embodiment of the difference, differentiation from the rest objects. In the most general sense, the aggression can have also a cosmic, universal dimension, showing through the violent interference of one into another. There is abundant example of aggression in the animal and vegetable kingdoms, in which the existence of a species or an individual is often sustained by doing violence to others, that makes the continuous round of transformations, assimilation and adaptations of Universe’s environment and of beings, inhabiting it.
Consequently, the aggression is something general, universal, and integral to the basis of the reality itself.
The violent overcoming of the bound has two aspects: one is relatively negative, the other is relatively positive.
The subject of aggression, that is the being, which makes an aggressive assault upon another one (upon the object of aggression), seeks to extend its own limits by such action, to strengthen, to improve, replenish its own nature. Taking victim’s life, a beast of prey appeases its hunger, sustains its own existence, obtaining matters, necessary for the organism. The military aggression expands territories and multiplies the wealth of the victorious party, and even a boozy fight victor strengthens his self-confidence, faith in himself and gets moral satisfaction. In short, in the aggression the positive expansion of the subject, expanding its sphere of potentialities, is realized.
But the object, undergone the aggression, the eaten or beaten victim, the subjugated nation etc., on the contrary, as a result of bounds’ infringement (mutual in the given process), just loses what it had before, reduces its sphere of potentialities. It (the object) becomes a pay for other’s success, a scapegoat. In some sense, the fact itself of aggression turns it, in fact, in the object, whereas previously, before the assault, it could possess the illusion of its own subjective character, bringing about the aggression toward other beings, objects, nations. This is the negative aspect of the “violent overcoming bounds”.
In the pre-humanistic civilization and in non-humanistic (traditional) civilizations, which exist even till now, both aspects of the aggression were considered in the aggregate, as two mutually complementary elements, laid in the primordial structure of the Universe. The Chinese symbol “Yeng-and-Yang” is a perfect example of that fatalistic dualism. The white fragment of the circle presents the subject here; the black one presents the object correspondingly.
In the symbolism of sexes, the first one is identified with the masculine principle (Yang), the second one is identified with the feminine one (Yeng). Hence follows the common “legitimization” of the aggression, that was peculiar to the traditional world, in which it would not come to anyone’s mind to artificially oppose the human to basic forces of the reality. Certainly, the more refined civilizations shaded by all means the laws of aggression on the social level, so the difference from the barbarian customs was on hand. However, in all cases the right on the “violent overstepping bounds” was preserved, even if the latter was taking a sublimated form, both in the cases of wars and in the cases of individual repression, bringing about which was the function of some special traditional organizations – the proto-type of the present-day police. The exploits of conquerors, subjugators, destroyers were sung in legends and eposes, which are one and all built on the formula “Vae victis!” (“Woe to the vanquished”).
What is the metaphysical justification of aggression in traditional civilizations, besides the direct observation of the nature’s structure?
The matter is that tradition considered the fact itself of bounds’ existence as the expression the Universe’s incompleteness in relation to the latter’s Cause, conceived as something Absolute, One and being beyond all limits. Consequently, the aspiration for the expansion of one’s existence, for the existential expansion, for the “transgressing bounds” (in Latin it is transcendere, “transcending”) was considered as a profound impulse of movement to the divine, as the echo of missing the Absolute, implanted in the world and in the beings of the world.
Certainly, metaphysical and ascetic practices in such case could be called the pure form of aggression. In those practices the initiated ones strove for transgressing all bounds, the maximum bringing their own “ego” to the absolute state, putting to the aggression not just some objects, but all the reality as a whole. In the way of the direct self-deification the maximum of the aggressive impulse is concentrated, for the Divine is just the cancel of bounds and limits, constituting the essence of the non-divine, immanent. By the way, hence follows the Jewish word “Satan”, literally meaning “barrier”, “obstacle”, that is “bound”, comprehended as something negative. Departing from this, it is simple to take the next step and explain the mechanism of so called “demonization of an adversary”, examples of which is so abundant in the traditional legends, epos, religious teachings. What serves as an obstacle on the way of expansion of a nation, country, religion, more narrow people’s community and, finally, a human; what limits the will of the latter to the totalization, to the expansion of existence, all this automatically falls under the sign of “Satan”, obtains the quality of the theological evil, and consequently, the aggression becomes legitimized on the most elevated levels. Due to such “demonization of an adversary” or a victim their objectivization occurs, depriving them of their subjective quality, abstracting from the specific, social or religious solidarity.
Iran against Turan, Acheians against Trojans, Israelites against gois, Moslems against giaours, Aces against Vans, Gods against Titans, and sometimes even women (Amazons) against men – the various paradigms of dualism, borne by the primordial impulse to aggression, are abundant in the most ancient chronicles, religious codices, poetic legends and so forth. By the justification of their own camp the people of Tradition justified, in fact, something which is more – the principle itself of aggression, the primordial will itself to the “violent transgressing bounds”, the aspiration for the totalization of one’s own subjective character (however that may be expressed – either through national or religious, or tribal affiliation).
In the modern world the break has occurred with the centuries-old traditions, that fully turned over the mental and social structures of the modern humankind in comparison with the long milleniums of the past. “Enlightenment”, humanism, rationalism and other “progressist” tendencies put forward the system of estimations and values, fully contradicting the basic orientations of the traditional society. This certainly (and maybe in the most expressive way) touched upon the principle of aggression.
The European Age of Enlightenment implanted in people a one-sided view of the aggression, a view from the victim’s point exclusively.
The light side of that phenomenon, based on the will to the Absolute, to attaining the total character, to the maximum extension of a subject up to the sphere of the Divine, discontinued being understandable, concrete and ontologically rooted, and, consequently, was identified with the “survival”, with atavism, with inertial barbarism, with the temporal and in the main rectifiable defect of the civilization. Having lost its metaphysical legitimacy, the aggression became to be perceived as unlawful transgressing the integrity of what was proclaimed the supreme value in itself – a human individual, society, being etc. Hence follows all “natural right” tendency, which has been developed starting from the times of Rousseau. For the existential expansion discontinued being metaphysically justified, the victim put in its own claims to the “total security”, that is to the artificial and raised to the highest ethical imperative defense from aggression. The aggression was in fact outlawed. With this, in particular, the general “democratic” legal statue, which prohibits the propaganda of war, is connected.
It turned to be possible to change the cultural and social foundations of the society, whereas it was naturally beyond anyone’s powers to change the basic tendencies of both cosmos and human beings. Therefore the aggression never disappeared either from history, or from the everyday life, or from the wild nature. It just began to be perceived as the evil, as one limited being’s claim on utilizing another one, which arises spontaneously from time to time.
For the process of subject’s totalization was excluded, the aggression became to be considered as merely quantitative acquiring, piling external subjects, as the trivial and vulgar selfishness, as the fatal “life struggle”. Therefore all of the aggression became to gradually be reduced to merely economic sphere and all its manifestations in other spheres were strictly blamed by “public opinion”. “Total security” and “human rights” were from then on guaranteed by transference of the aggression into the sphere of the abstract material standards – money, capital.
As the Western way of thinking became more and more popular, as the capitalist, liberal system attained its global character, the systematic discredit of both aggression and its manifestations was going on. This touched political, cultural, ideological spheres. The civilization, fully based on defending victim’s interests exclusively, aspired to gradually clear itself from those institutions, structures and models of behaviour, which as integral parts were preserved in the human community since its traditional “pre-humanistic” state. With this trend the pacifism, women suffrage, tendencies towards weakening State machinery, the ideology of “human rights” and so forth blend – all what makes up the ideological facade of the present-day liberalism, which became a social and political model, dominating on the planet.
At the very last stage that process brought to the fact, that practically all forms of aggression – everyday life, political, aesthetic one and so forth – were “outlawed”, and bounds became to be considered as something inviolable and sacred. Together with that the other phenomenon emerged – the tendency to the “inviolable overcoming bounds”, to the mondialization of the world, to the “soft” mixing all subjects, people and beings in some common crucible, in One World. After stating bounds` inviolability the bounds` cancel was stated, but this time the question was not about expansion and totalization of the subject, of the aggressor, but about rallying victims in the common merely objective character cosmos. The perfect form of such an ideology is the model, known as “soft ideology”, in which the matter is about mixing with each other most various ingredients in the case they are all deprived of a brightly expressed aggressive principle, of the subjective character. In the historical aspect, just at the same time, when the first signs of the soft ideology appeared (that is at the end of 60-ies/at the beginning of 70-ies of our century), the adjacent phenomenon emerged: the modern terrorism. Certainly, the terrorism did exist before also, but till some certain moment it remained rather lumpen phenomenon, in which the most intensive manifestations of political aggression were concentrated, confronting with the unshakeable wall of System. The modern terrorism, however, is quite different from the radical political trend of revolutionaries of the nineteenth/the beginning of twentieth century, for it tends to converting from being extreme political and rather pragmatical means to a kind of an independent phenomenon, self-sufficient one and representing a special kind of the ideology. The representatives of the civilization, based on the soft ideology, gradually extended the notion “terrorism”, having included all those manifestations, which contrasted with the basic foundations of their own doctrine, in it. In other words, the terrorism became a synonym for aggression in the latter’s most general metaphysical sense. All the components of present reality, which did not confine themselves to norms, imposed by “world community of victims”, were gradually brought to the terrorism pole. Political parties, which were alternative to the liberal system, religious trends, even entire nations went over to the sector of “terrorism”, being driven there by the expanding Western model.
The terrorism became gradually the last asylum of the subject, craving for the totalization in the world, where that craving is outlawed. It is then not surprising, that the independent doctrine of aggression became to gradually turn out, the doctrine of the pure terror beyond the more narrow interests of a party, nation or religion.
The pure terror phenomenon is the last word in the history of aggression and the liberal struggle against it. The time of “terrorism in the name of narrow interests of a party” is up. More and more people realize the pragmatical character of a concrete party membership in the case of their personal existential choice. Besides, the classical ideolodies’ defenselessness in the face of all-absorbing and all-dissolving mondialist soft ideology becomes more and more apparent.
The sharp rise of May 1968 brought to the sad and insipid reduced reformism, to the social-democratic parody. Palestine intifada resulted in the compromise collusion of Arafat with Tel-Aviv. As a result of the Soviet system breakdown the decaying remains of the guerilla are forsaken in the Latin America. The rightist terrorism was managed even before. The doctrinal, ideological defeat of all “open society enemies” is on hand.
But in spite of all substitutes, proposed by the soft ideology adherents (eccentric and purely visual aggression in the youth fashion; endless TV hits with blood and corpses; removal of a ban on the “sado-maso” production etc.), the special type of people is preserved, from who the aggression is inseparable, who experience the incessant, poignant craving for the “totalization of the subject”, exceeding the bounds up to the sphere of the transcendent. It is just them who begin to lay foundations of a new ideology, a universal ideology beyond the obsolete and outdated cliches.
In 1994 in Italy the book of Enrico Galmozzi was published with the name “Subject without confines” – “Il soggetto senza limite”. Its author is one of the founders of the extremely leftist terrorist organization “First way”, Prima Linea, which competed with the famous “Red Brigades”. It is extremely significant, that the book of the leftist extremist, anarcho-communist Galmozzi is dedicated to d’Annunzio, the founder of the fascist party in Italy, the adherent of the aristocracy and, finally, the man, who was as a rule ascribed to the extremely rightist political wing. Enrico Galmozzi brilliantly analyses the d’Annunzio’s phenomenon from the existential point of view and draws very interesting parallels between him and anarchism figures and even between him and Lenin. What is most important, the matter here is not in interpreting d’Annunzio from the leftist point of view, but in the search of one universal criterion, which could unite people of one and the same metaphysical type beyond the ideological differences. The formula, which was found by Galmozzi for the name of his book, seems so felicitous that it could serve as a common, universal slogan for all opponents to the “soft concentration camp” of the modern mondialism.
“Subject without confines” is the purest possible realization of the metaphysical sense of aggression, it is surprisingly precise slogan, expressing the inner nature of the Pure Terror.
From now on everything will only depend on the ability of “solitary people” to take leave of the previous ideological illusions, having recognized the metaphysical necessity and inevitability of a new systematization of a social sphere – not according to the scale “the rightist against the leftist”, but according to the scale “friends of aggression” against “enemies of aggression”.
And who knows, whether the mondialist integration of people, who are objects, people, who are victims, into the one planetary liberal community, into One Absolute Object provokes the emergence of a new and last character of the world history – the Absolute Subject, Subject without confines, which will commit the conclusive act of the eschatological drama.
Translation Vladislav Ivanov