16 Ekim 2009 Cuma

The Metropolis and Mental Life

The Metropolis and Mental Life (1903)

George Simmel

1. The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the technique of life. The fight with nature which primitive man has to wage for his bodily existence attains in this modern form its latest transformation. The eighteenth century called upon man to free himself of all the historical bonds in the state and in religion, in morals and in economics. Man's nature, originally good and common to all, should develop unhampered. In addition to more liberty, the nineteenth century demanded the functional specialization of man and his work; this specialization makes one individual incomparable to another, and each of them indispensable to the highest possible extent. However, this specialization makes each man the more directly dependent upon the supplementary activities of all others. Nietzsche sees the full development of the individual conditioned by the most ruthless struggle of individuals; socialism believes in the suppression of all competition for the same reason. Be that as it may, in all these positions the same basic motive is at work: the person resists to being leveled down and worn out by a social-technological mechanism. An inquiry into the inner meaning of specifically modern life and its products, into the soul of the cultural body, so to speak, must seek to solve the equation which structures like the metropolis set up between the individual and the super-individual contents of life. Such an inquiry must answer the question of how the personality accommodates itself in the adjustments to external forces. This will be my task today.

2. The psychological basis of the metropolitan type of individuality consists in the intensification of nervous stimulation which results from the swift and uninterrupted change of outer and inner stimuli. Man is a differentiating creature. His mind is stimulated by the difference between a momentary impression and the one which preceded it. Lasting impressions, impressions which differ only slightly from one another, impressions which take a regular and habitual course and show regular and habitual contrasts-all these use up, so to speak, less consciousness than does the rapid crowding of changing images, the sharp discontinuity in the grasp of a single glance, and the unexpectedness of onrushing impressions. These are the psychological conditions which the metropolis creates. With each crossing of the street, with the tempo and multiplicity of economic, occupational and social life, the city sets up a deep contrast with small town and rural life with reference to the sensory foundations of psychic life. The metropolis exacts from man as a discriminating creature a different amount of consciousness than does rural life. Here the rhythm of life and sensory mental imagery flows more slowly, more habitually, and more evenly. Precisely in this connection the sophisticated character of metropolitan psychic life becomes understandable - as over against small town life which rests more upon deeply felt and emotional relationships. These latter are rooted in the more unconscious layers of the psyche and grow most readily in the steady rhythm of uninterrupted habituations. The intellect, however, has its locus in the transparent, conscious, higher layers of the psyche; it is the most adaptable of our inner forces. In order to accommodate to change and to the contrast of phenomena, the intellect does not require any shocks and inner upheavals; it is only through such upheavals that the more conservative mind could accommodate to the metropolitan rhythm of events. Thus the metropolitan type of man-which, of course, exists in a thousand individual variants - develops an organ protecting him against the threatening currents and discrepancies of his external environment which would uproot him. He reacts with his head instead of his heart. In this an increased awareness assumes the psychic prerogative. Metropolitan life, thus, underlies a heightened awareness and a predominance of intelligence in metropolitan man. The reaction to metropolitan phenomena is shifted to that organ which is least sensitive and quite remote from the depth of the personality. Intellectuality is thus seen to preserve subjective life against the overwhelming power of metropolitan life, and intellectuality branches out in many directions and is integrated with numerous discrete phenomena.

3. The metropolis has always been the seat of the money economy. Here the multiplicity and concentration of economic exchange gives an importance to the means of exchange which the scantiness of rural commerce would not have allowed. Money economy and the dominance of the intellect are intrinsically connected. They share a matter-of-fact attitude in dealing with men and with things; and, in this attitude, a formal justice is often coupled with an inconsiderate hardness. The intellectually sophisticated person is indifferent to all genuine individuality, because relationships and reactions result from it which cannot be exhausted with logical operations. In the same manner, the individuality of phenomena is not commensurate with the pecuniary principle. Money is concerned only with what is common to all: it asks for the exchange value, it reduces all quality and individuality to the question: How much? All intimate emotional relations between persons are founded in their individuality, whereas in rational relations man is reckoned with like a number, like an element which is in itself indifferent. Only the objective measurable achievement is of interest. Thus metropolitan man reckons with his merchants and customers, his domestic servants and often even with persons with whom he is obliged to have social intercourse. These features of intellectuality contrast with the nature of the small circle in which the inevitable knowledge of individuality as inevitably produces a warmer tone of behavior, a behavior which is beyond a mere objective balancing of service and return. In the sphere of the economic psychology of the small group it is of importance that under primitive conditions production serves the customer who orders the good, so that the producer and the consumer are acquainted. The modern metropolis, however, is supplied almost entirely by production for the market, that is, for entirely unknown purchasers who never personally enter the producer's actual field of vision. Through this anonymity the interests of each party acquire an unmerciful matter-of-factness; and the intellectually calculating economic egoisms of both parties need not fear any deflection because of the imponderables of personal relationships. The money economy dominates the metropolis; it has displaced the last survivals of domestic production and the direct barter of goods; it minimizes, from day to day, the amount of work ordered by customers. The matter-of-fact attitude is obviously so intimately interrelated with the money economy, which is dominant in the metropolis, that nobody can say whether the intellectualistic mentality first promoted the money economy or whether the latter determined the former. The metropolitan way of life is certainly the most fertile soil for this reciprocity, a point which I shall document merely by citing the dictum of the most eminent English constitutional historian: throughout the whole course of English history, London has never acted as England's heart but often as England's intellect and always as her moneybag!

4. In certain seemingly insignificant traits, which lie upon the surface of life, the same psychic currents characteristically unite. Modern mind has become more and more calculating. The calculative exactness of practical life which the money economy has brought about corresponds to the ideal of natural science: to transform the world into an arithmetic problem, to fix every part of the world by mathematical formulas. Only money economy has filled the days of so many people with weighing, calculating, with numerical determinations, with a reduction of qualitative values to quantitative ones. Through the calculative nature of money a new precision, a certainty in the definition of identities and differences, an unambiguousness in agreements and arrangements has been brought about in the relations of life-elements - just as externally this precision has been effected by the universal diffusion of pocket watches. However, the conditions of metropolitan life are at once cause and effect of this trait. The relationships and affairs of the typical metropolitan usually are so varied and complex that without the strictest punctuality in promises and services the whole structure would break down into an inextricable chaos. Above all, this necessity is brought about by the aggregation of so many people with such differentiated interests, who must integrate their relations and activities into a highly complex organism. If all clocks and watches in Berlin would suddenly go wrong in different ways, even if only by one hour, all economic life and communication of the city would be disrupted for a long time. In addition an apparently mere external factor: long distances, would make all waiting and broken appointments result in an ill-afforded waste of time. Thus, the technique of metropolitan life is unimaginable without the most punctual integration of all activities and mutual relations into a stable and impersonal time schedule. Here again the general conclusions of this entire task of reflection become obvious namely, that from each point on the surface of existence - however closely attached to the surface alone - one may drop a sounding into the depth of the psyche so that all the most banal externalities of life finally are connected with the ultimate decisions concerning the meaning and style of life. Punctuality, calculability, exactness are forced upon life by the complexity and extension of metropolitan existence and are not only most intimately connected with its money economy and intellectualist character. These traits must also color the contents of life and favor the exclusion of those irrational, instinctive, sovereign traits and impulses which aim at determining the mode of life from within, instead of receiving the general and precisely schematized form of life from without. Even though sovereign types of personality, characterized by irrational impulses, are by no means impossible in the city, they are nevertheless, opposed to typical city life. The passionate hatred of men like Ruskin and Nietzsche for the metropolis is understandable in these terms. Their natures discovered the value of life alone in the unschematized existence which cannot be defined with precision for all alike. From the same source of this hatred of the metropolis surged their hatred of money economy and of the intellectualism of modern existence.

5. The same factors which have thus coalesced into the exactness and minute precision of the form of life have coalesced into a structure of the highest impersonality; on the other hand, they have promoted a highly personal subjectivity. There is perhaps no psychic phenomenon which has been so unconditionally reserved to the metropolis as has the blasé attitude. The blasé attitude results first from the rapidly changing and closely compressed contrasting stimulations of the nerves. From this, the enhancement of metropolitan intellectuality, also, seems originally to stem. Therefore, stupid people who are not intellectually alive in the first place usually are not exactly blasé. A life in boundless pursuit of pleasure makes one blasé because it agitates the nerves to their strongest reactivity for such a long time that they finally cease to react at all. In the same way, through the rapidity and contradictoriness of their changes, more harmless impressions force such violent responses, tearing the nerves so brutally hither and thither that their last reserves of strength are spent; and if one remains in the same milieu they have no time to gather new strength. An incapacity thus emerges to react to new sensations with the appropriate energy. This constitutes that blasé attitude which, in fact, every metropolitan child shows when compared with children of quieter and less changeable milieus.

6. This physiological source of the metropolitan blasé attitude is joined by another source which flows from the money economy. The essence of the blasé attitude consists in the blunting of discrimination. This does not mean that the objects are not perceived, as is the case with the half-wit, but rather that the meaning and differing values of things, and thereby the things themselves, are experienced as insubstantial. They appear to the blasé person in an evenly flat and gray tone; no one object deserves preference over any other. This mood is the faithful subjective reflection of the completely internalized money economy. By being the equivalent to all the manifold things in one and the same way, money becomes the most frightful leveler. For money expresses all qualitative differences of things in terms of "how much?" Money, with all its colorlessness and indifference, becomes the common denominator of all values; irreparably it hollows out the core of things, their individuality, their specific value, and their incomparability. All things float with equal specific gravity in the constantly moving stream of money. All things lie on the same level and differ from one another only in the size of the area which they cover. In the individual case this coloration, or rather discoloration, of things through their money equivalence may be unnoticeably minute. However, through the relations of the rich to the objects to be had for money, perhaps even through the total character which the mentality of the contemporary public everywhere imparts to these objects, the exclusively pecuniary evaluation of objects has become quite considerable. The large cities, the main seats of the money exchange, bring the purchasability of things to the fore much more impressively than do smaller localities. That is why cities are also the genuine locale of the blasé attitude. In the blasé attitude the concentration of men and things stimulate the nervous system of the individual to its highest achievement so that it attains its peak. Through the mere quantitative intensification of the same conditioning factors this achievement is transformed into its opposite and appears in the peculiar adjustment of the blasé attitude. In this phenomenon the nerves find in the refusal to react to their stimulation the last possibility of accommodating to the contents and forms of metropolitan life. The self-preservation of certain personalities is brought at the price of devaluating the whole objective world, a devaluation which in the end unavoidably drags one's own personality down into a feeling of the same worthlessness.

7. Whereas the subject of this form of existence has to come to terms with it entirely for himself, his self-preservation in the face of the large city demands from him a no less negative behavior of a social nature. This mental attitude of metropolitans toward one another we may designate, from a formal point of view, as reserve. If so many inner reactions were responses to the continuous external contacts with innumerable people as are those in the small town, where one knows almost everybody one meets and where one has a positive relation to almost everyone, one would be completely atomized internally and come to an unimaginable psychic state. Partly this psychological fact, partly the right to distrust which men have in the face of the touch-and-go elements of metropolitan life, necessitates our reserve. As a result of this reserve we frequently do not even know by sight those who have been our neighbors for years. And it is this reserve which in the eyes of the small-town people makes us appear to be cold and heartless. Indeed, if I do not deceive myself, the inner aspect of this outer reserve is not only indifference but, more often than we are aware, it is a slight aversion, a mutual strangeness and repulsion, which will break into hatred and fight at the moment of a closer contact, however caused. The whole inner organization of such an extensive communicative life rests upon an extremely varied hierarchy of sympathies, indifferences, and aversions of the briefest as well as of the most permanent nature. The sphere of indifference in this hierarchy is not as large as might appear on the surface. Our psychic activity still responds to almost every impression of somebody else with a somewhat distinct feeling. The unconscious, fluid and changing character of this impression seems to result in a state of indifference. Actually this indifference would be just as unnatural as the diffusion of indiscriminate mutual suggestion would be unbearable. From both these typical dangers of the metropolis, indifference and indiscriminate suggestibility, antipathy protects us. A latent antipathy and the preparatory stage of practical antagonism effect the distances and aversions without which this mode of life could not at all be led. The extent and the mixture of this style of life, the rhythm of its emergence and disappearance, the forms in which it is satisfied- all these, with the unifying motives in the narrower sense, form the inseparable whole of the metropolitan style of life. What appears in the metropolitan style of life directly as dissociation is in reality only one of its elemental forms of socialization.

8. This reserve with its overtone of hidden aversion appears in turn as the form or the cloak of a more general mental phenomenon of the metropolis: it grants to the individual a kind and an amount of personal freedom which has no analogy whatsoever under other conditions. The metropolis goes back to one of the large developmental tendencies of social life as such, to one of the few tendencies for which an approximately universal formula can be discovered. The earliest phase of social formations found in historical as well as in contemporary social structures is this: a relatively small circle firmly closed against neighboring, strange, or in some way antagonistic circles. However, this circle is closely coherent and allows its individual members only a narrow field for the development of unique qualities and free, self-responsible movements. Political and kinship groups, parties and religious associations begin in this way. The self-preservation of very young associations requires the establishment of strict boundaries and a centripetal unity. Therefore they cannot allow the individual freedom and unique inner and outer development. From this stage social development proceeds at once in two different, yet corresponding, directions. To the extent to which the group grows - numerically, spatially, in significance and in content of life - to the same degree the group's direct, inner unity loosens, and the rigidity of the original demarcation against others is softened through mutual relations and connections. At the same time, the individual gains freedom of movement, far beyond the first jealous delimitation. The individual also gains a specific individuality to which the division of labor in the enlarged group gives both occasion and necessity. The state and Christianity, guilds and political parties, and innumerable other groups have developed according to this formula, however much, of course, the special conditions and forces of the respective groups have modified the general scheme. This scheme seems to me distinctly recognizable also in the evolution of individuality within urban life. The small-town life in Antiquity and in the Middle Ages set barriers against movement and relations of the individual toward the outside, and it set up barriers against individual independence and differentiation within the individual self. These barriers were such that under them modern man could not have breathed. Even today a metropolitan man who is placed in a small town feels a restriction similar, at least, in kind.. The smaller the circle which forms our milieu is, and the more restricted those relations to others are which dissolve the boundaries of the individual, the more anxiously the circle guards the achievements, the conduct of life, and the outlook of the individual, and the more readily a quantitative and qualitative specialization would break up the framework of the whole little circle.

9. The ancient polis in this respect seems to have had the very character of a small town. The constant threat to its existence at the hands of enemies from near and afar effected strict coherence in political and military respects, a supervision of the citizen by the citizen, a jealousy of the whole against the individual whose particular life was suppressed to such a degree that he could compensate only by acting as a despot in his own household. The tremendous agitation and excitement, the unique colorfulness of Athenian life, can perhaps be understood in terms of the fact that a people of incomparably individualized personalities struggled against the constant inner and outer pressure of a deindividualizing small town.. This produced a tense atmosphere in which the weaker individuals were suppressed and those of stronger natures were incited to prove themselves in the most passionate manner. This is precisely why it was that there blossomed in Athens what must be called, without defining it exactly, "the general human character" in the intellectual development of our species. For we maintain factual as well as historical validity for the following connection: the most extensive and the most general contents and forms of life are most intimately connected with the most individual ones. They have a preparatory stage in common, that is, they find their enemy in narrow formations and groupings the maintenance of which places both of them into a state of defense against expanse and generality lying without and the freely moving individuality within. Just as in the feudal age, the "free" man was the one who stood under the law of the land, that is, under the law of the largest social orbit, and the unfree man was the one who derived his right merely from the narrow circle of a feudal association and was excluded from the larger social orbit - so today metropolitan man is "free" in a spiritualized and refined sense, in contrast to the pettiness and prejudices which hem in the small-town man. For the reciprocal reserve and indifference and the intellectual life conditions of large circles are never felt more strongly by the individual in their impact upon his independence than in the thickest crowd of the big city. This is because the bodily proximity and narrowness of space makes the mental distance only the more visible. It is obviously only the obverse of this freedom if, under certain circumstances, one nowhere feels as lonely and lost as in the metropolitan crowd. For here as elsewhere it is by no means necessary that the freedom of man be reflected in his emotional life as comfort.

10. It is not only the immediate size of the area and the number of persons which, because of the universal historical correlation between the enlargement of the circle and the personal inner and outer freedom, has made the metropolis the locale of freedom. It is rather in transcending this visible expanse that any given city becomes the seat of cosmopolitanism. The horizon of the city expands in a manner comparable to the way in which wealth develops; a certain amount of property increases in a quasi-automatical way in ever more rapid progression. As soon as a certain limit has been passed, the economic, personal, and intellectual relations of the citizenry, the sphere of intellectual predominance of the city over its hinterland, grow as in geometrical progression. Every gain in dynamic extension becomes a step, not for an equal, but for a new and larger extension. From every thread spinning out of the city, ever new threads grow as if by themselves, just as within the city the unearned increment of ground rent, through the mere increase in communication, brings the owner automatically increasing profits. At this point, the quantitative aspect of life is transformed directly into qualitative traits of character. The sphere of life of the small town is, in the main, self-contained and autarchic. For it is the decisive nature of the metropolis that its inner life overflows by waves into a far-flung national or international area. Weimar is not an example to the contrary, since its significance was hinged upon individual personalities and died with them; whereas the metropolis is indeed characterized by its essential independence even from the most eminent individual personalities. This is the counterpart to the independence, and it is the price the individual pays for the independence, which he enjoys in the metropolis. The most significant characteristic of the metropolis is this functional extension beyond its physical boundaries. And this efficacy reacts in turn and gives weight, importance, and responsibility to metropolitan life. Man does not end with the limits of his body or the area comprising his immediate activity. Rather is the range of the person constituted by the sum of effects emanating from him temporally and spatially. In the same way, a city consists of its total effects which extend beyond its immediate confines. Only this range is the city's actual extent in which its existence is expressed. This fact makes it obvious that individual freedom, the logical and historical complement of such extension, is not to be understood only in the negative sense of mere freedom of mobility and elimination of prejudices and petty philistinism. The essential point is that the particularity and incomparability, which ultimately every human being possesses, be somehow expressed in the working-out of a way of life. That we follow the laws of our own nature-and this after all is freedom-becomes obvious and convincing to ourselves and to others only if the expressions of this nature differ from the expressions of others. Only our unmistakability proves that our way of life has not been superimposed by others.

11. Cities are, first of all, seats of the highest economic division of labor. They produce thereby such extreme phenomena as in Paris the remunerative occupation of the quatorzième. They are persons who identify themselves by signs on their residences and who are ready at the dinner hour in correct attire, so that they can be quickly called upon if a dinner party should consist of thirteen persons.. In the measure of its expansion, the city offers more and more the decisive conditions of the division of labor. It offers a circle which through its size can absorb a highly diverse variety of services. At the same time, the concentration of individuals and their struggle for customers compel the individual to specialize in a function from which he cannot be readily displaced by another. It is decisive that city life has transformed the struggle with nature for livelihood into an inter-human struggle for gain, which here is not granted by nature but by other men. For specialization does not flow only from the competition for gain but also from the underlying fact that the seller must always seek to call forth new and differentiated needs of the lured customer. In order to find a source of income which is not yet exhausted, and to find a function which cannot readily be displaced, it is necessary to specialize in one's services. This process promotes differentiation, refinement, and the enrichment of the public's needs, which obviously must lead to growing personal differences within this public.

12. All this forms the transition to the individualization of mental and psychic traits which the city occasions in proportion to its size. There is a whole series of obvious causes underlying this process. First, one must meet the difficulty of asserting his own personality within the dimensions of metropolitan life. Where the quantitative increase in importance and the expense of energy reach their limits, one seizes upon qualitative differentiation in order somehow to attract the attention of the social circle by playing upon its sensitivity for differences. Finally, man is tempted to adopt the most tendentious peculiarities, that is, the specifically metropolitan extravagances of mannerism, caprice, and preciousness. Now, the meaning of these extravagances does not at all lie in the contents of such behavior, but rather in its form of "being different," of standing out in a striking manner and thereby attracting attention. For many character types, ultimately the only means of saving for themselves some modicum of self-esteem and the sense of filling a position is indirect, through the awareness of others. In the same sense a seemingly insignificant factor is operating, the cumulative effects of which are, however, still noticeable. I refer to the brevity and scarcity of the inter-human contacts granted to the metropolitan man, as compared with social intercourse in the small town. The temptation to appear "to the point," to appear concentrated and strikingly characteristic, lies much closer to the individual in brief metropolitan contacts than in an atmosphere in which frequent and prolonged association assures the personality of an unambiguous image of himself in the eyes of the other.

13. The most profound reason, however, why the metropolis conduces to the urge for the most individual personal existence - no matter whether justified and successful - appears to me to be the following: the development of modern culture is characterized by the preponderance of what one may call the "objective spirit" over the "subjective spirit." This is to say, in language as well as in law, in the technique of production as well as in art, in science as well as in the objects of the domestic environment, there is embodied a sum of spirit. The individual in his intellectual development follows the growth of this spirit very imperfectly and at an ever increasing distance. If, for instance, we view the immense culture which for the last hundred years has been embodied in things and in knowledge, in institutions and in comforts, and if we compare all this with the cultural progress of the individual during the same period-at least in high status groups - a frightful disproportion in growth between the two becomes evident. Indeed, at some points we notice a retrogression in the culture of the individual with reference to spirituality, delicacy, and idealism. This discrepancy results essentially from the growing division of labor. For the division of labor demands from the individual an ever more one-sided accomplishment, and the greatest advance in a one-sided pursuit only too frequently means death to the personality of the individual.. In any case, he can cope less and less with the overgrowth of objective culture. The individual is reduced to a negligible quantity, perhaps less in his consciousness than in his practice and in the totality of his obscure emotional states that are derived from this practice. The individual has become a mere cog in an enormous organization of things and powers which tear from his hands all progress, spirituality, and value in order to transform them from their subjective form into the form of a purely objective life. It needs merely to be pointed out that the metropolis is the genuine arena of this culture which outgrows all personal life. Here in buildings and educational institutions, in the wonders and comforts of space-conquering technology, in the formations of community life, and in the visible institutions of the state, is offered such an overwhelming fullness of crystallized and impersonalized spirit that the personality, so to speak, cannot maintain itself under its impact. On the one hand, life is made infinitely easy for the personality in that stimulations, interests, uses of time and consciousness are offered to it from all sides. They carry the person as if in a stream, and one needs hardly to swim for oneself. On the other hand, however, life is composed more and more of these impersonal contents and offerings which tend to displace the genuine personal colorations and incomparabilities. This results in the individual's summoning the utmost in uniqueness and particularization, in order to preserve his most personal core. He has to exaggerate this personal element in order to remain audible even to himself. The atrophy of individual culture through the hypertrophy of objective culture is one reason for the bitter hatred which the preachers of the most extreme individualism, above all Nietzsche, harbor against the metropolis. But it is, indeed, also a reason why these preachers are so passionately loved in the metropolis and why they appear to the metropolitan man as the prophets and saviors of his most unsatisfied yearnings.

14. If one asks for the historical position of the two forms of individualism which are nourished by the quantitative relation of the metropolis, namely, individual independence and the elaboration of individuality itself, then the metropolis assumes an entirely new rank order in the world history of the spirit. The eighteenth century found the individual in oppressive bonds which had become meaningless-bonds of a political, agrarian, guild, and religious character. They were restraints which, so to speak, forced upon man an unnatural form and outmoded, unjust inequalities. In this situation the cry for liberty and equality arose, the belief in the individual's full freedom of movement in all social and intellectual relationships. Freedom would at once permit the noble substance common to all to come to the fore, a substance which nature had deposited in every man and which society and history had only deformed. Besides this eighteenth-century ideal of liberalism, in the nineteenth century, through Goethe and Romanticism, on the one hand, and through the economic division of labor, on the other hand, another ideal arose: individuals liberated from historical bonds now wished to distinguish themselves from one another. The carrier of man's values is no longer the "general human being" in every individual, but rather man's qualitative uniqueness and irreplaceability. The external and internal history of our time takes its course within the struggle and in the changing entanglements of these two ways of defining the individual's role in the whole of society. It is the function of the metropolis to provide the arena for this struggle and its reconciliation. For the metropolis presents the peculiar conditions which are revealed to us as the opportunities and the stimuli for the development of both these ways of allocating roles to men. Therewith these conditions gain a unique place, pregnant with inestimable meanings for the development of psychic existence. The metropolis reveals itself as one of those great historical formations in which opposing streams which enclose life unfold, as well as join one another with equal right. However, in this process the currents of life, whether their individual phenomena touch us sympathetically or antipathetically, entirely transcend the sphere for which the judge's attitude is appropriate. Since such forces of life have grown into the roots and into the crown of the whole of the historical life in which we, in our fleeting existence, as a cell, belong only as a part, it is not our task either to accuse or to pardon, but only to understand.

22 Eylül 2009 Salı

Machines urbaines par S. Gosselin

Machines urbaines, par Sophie Gosselin

Atelier du 28 octobre 2004

écouter l’enregistrement de l’atelier

La proposition de concentrer le travail de l’atelier philo de cette année autour d’une réflexion sur le fait urbain vient en conséquence du travail développé l’année précédente sur le fétichisme et qui s’est terminé par deux interventions sur la ville, mais vise aussi à inscrire l’atelier philo dans une articulation plus forte avec l’activité artistique développée par Apo33 et ses interventions dans l’espace urbain.

De plus, le phénomène urbain semble depuis peu être devenu un objet d’intérêt particulier, donnant lieu à de nombreuses manifestations culturelles visant à le mettre en valeur vis-à-vis de ses populations. A quelle enjeu renvoie ce regain d’intérêt ?

Si nous repartons du texte de Michel de Certeau, il nous apparaîtra que le fait urbain constitue à la fois l’arrière fond sur lequel s’opère le passage du voyeur au marcheur et la question à laquelle ce texte vise à introduire. Il y aurait donc un lien structurel entre les réflexions que nous avons développé pendant une année à partir de ce texte et la question du fait urbain. Il s’agirait donc de tenter de saisir la nature et les implications de ce lien.

J’ai parlé de « fait urbain » et non de « ville », reprenant ainsi une distinction opérée par M. de Certeau dans la suite du texte. La ville se distingue du fait urbain comme un concept de la réalité matérielle qu’il désigne. Il s’agira donc ici non pas de développer un travail de définition, mais de penser les transformations actuelles dans notre rapport à l’espace, à travers une compréhension de notre pratique de l’espace urbain. Une phrase d’Henri Lefèbvre guide ici ma démarche :

« La pratique spatiale d’une société secrète son espace ; elle le pose et le suppose, dans une interaction dialectique : elle le produit lentement et sûrement en le dominant et en se l’appropriant. A l’analyse, la pratique spatiale d’une société se découvre en déchiffrant son espace ».

L’espace urbain est devenu aujourd’hui notre quotidien. Penser notre rapport à la ville c’est tenter de comprendre l’évolution des pratiques sociales, tenter de déchiffrer les modes d’organisation sociaux qui se développent en son sein. La réflexion sur l’espace est indissociable de la réflexion sur notre propre pratique, c’est pourquoi, dans la continuité de Certeau, nous nous intéresserons particulièrement, à travers une analyse des modes d’organisation de l’espace et des représentations de l’espace, aux pratiques qui les engendrent et dont les représentations constituent les signes.

L’articulation de la représentation à l’espace s’opère par la pratique. Utilisant le langage, notre point de départ ne peut être que celui de la représentation. Il s’agira d’interroger comment se construisent les représentations (les manières de voir qu’elles supposent et les formes dans lesquelles ces manières de regarder se matérialisent) pour faire apparaître, entre ces deux moments, l’espace et la pratique qu’elles présupposent. C’est ainsi que procède Walter Benjamin dans son ouvrage sur « Charles Baudelaire » (chap 2 : Le flâneur, p76) :

« Ce qui frappe d’abord c’est le ravissement avec lequel le narrateur suit les spectacles de la foule, qu’observe également le cousin à sa fenêtre d’angle dans une nouvelle célèbre d’Hoffmann. Mais quelle timidité dans le regard de celui qui observe la foule bien installé dans sa demeure, et quelle pénétration dans le regard de celui qui la regarde à travers les vitres du café ! C’est la différence entre Berlin et Londres qu’on retrouve dans la différence entre les postes d’observation. D’un côté l’homme privé ; il est assis à la fenêtre d’angle comme dans une loge de théâtre ; lorsqu’il veut mieux détailler le marché, il dispose de sa lorgnette de théâtre. De l’autre, le consommateur, anonyme, qui entre dans le café et qui le quittera bientôt, attiré par l’aimant de la masse qui se frotte sans cesse à lui. D’un côté une multitude de petites scènes de genre qui , rassemblées, font un album de vignettes colorées ; de l’autre une silhouette qui aurait pu inspirer un grand graveur ; une foule innombrable où personne n’est tout à fait lisible pour son voisin et personne n’est tout à fait indéchiffrable. »

Interroger les modes de construction des représentations c’est dissocier, dans l’analyse des représentations, la manière de regarder, les formes dans lesquelles cette manière de regarder se matérialise et les procédures et instruments par lesquels s’opèrent la construction du regard et des formes de représentation (exemple : la camera obscura). En dissociant les différents moments qui construisent la représentation, on pourra peut-être commencer à voir, derrière la représentation (image) la pratique spatiale et sociale qui la rend possible. Penser la pratique c’est penser les modes de conception qui la pensent, c’est-à-dire le regard et les formes de représentation dont elle permet l’articulation (et non penser directement la pratique comme si elle pouvait exister en soi, en dehors de la représentation).

L’espace urbain constitue l’arrière-fond de la scène et l’espace sur lequel le regard se pose. Le texte de Certeau, Voyeurs ou marcheurs, est une introduction à la question de l’urbanité comme lieu où s’opère une mutation du regard. De quelle mutation du regard la ville est-elle le lieu ? De quelle pratique spatiale fait signe cette mutation du regard ?

Le texte de Certeau dessine le paysage des oppositions qui structurent symboliquement et pratiquement l’espace urbain. La Tour s’élève sur une île, image de la ville, dont elle est à la fois l’écho et la représentation symbolique. L’espace urbain se structure sous notre regard depuis la hauteur de la tour : c’est la vue d’en haut qui permet de délimiter les frontières de la ville, qui permet de dessiner la forme d’une île sur le fond d’une mer. La tour intervient comme un dispositif optique symbolisant la construction d’une forme de savoir. Nous avons vu dans les ateliers sur le fétichisme, la relation entre cette tour comme dispositif optique et la machine idéologique de Marx : le dispositif optique de la camera obscura. Nous avons vu qu’elles opéraient selon les mêmes procédures.

Walter Benjamin a aussi repris le modèle de la machine idéologique marxienne pour analyser le phénomène de la fantasmagorie rencontré par le flâneur qui parcours la ville moderne.

La différence entre le regard du flâneur et celui du savant, c’est-à-dire entre deux figures de l’idéologie, consiste dans la position souveraine du second par rapport au premier. Le savant voit d’en haut, il peut voir en bas celui qui se fait prendre dans les filets de la fantasmagorie produite par la marchandise et les vitrines commerçantes, il peut voir la relativité de telle ou telle fantasmagorie (on reconnaît là la figure du critique de la « société de consommation » et/ou de la « passivité » des consommateurs). Au contraire, le flâneur, en bas de la tour, se fait happer de toutes parts par les jeux de lumière et les effets d’illusion. Mais dans les deux cas, l’image ou la fantasmagorie, le fantôme devenu image, le spectre-fétiche, provoque chez le savant et le flâneur l’oubli de son inscription spatiale et sociale, l’oubli de sa pratique.

Entre ces deux figures de l’idéologie, ou plutôt derrière ces deux figures, Certeau tente de faire apparaître ce qui est oublié par elles : les opérations spatiales et temporelles par lesquelles le flâneur se change quelque temps en tacticien.

Qu’est-ce qui a permis cette mutation du regard ? Pourquoi l’espace urbain est-il le terrain de cette mutation ? Cette mutation du regard est-elle le signe d’une transformation dans notre rapport à l’espace, au territoire ?

Lisant attentivement l’Invention du quotidien à la recherche de ce qui avait pu produire cette mutation du regard, je remarquais une chose étrange dans la manière dont Michel de Certeau abordait cette question de la pratique. Je la comparais au travail mené par Henri Lefèbvre dans Critique de la vie quotidienne et dans La production de l’espace. L’analyse d’Henri Lefèbvre s’encre toujours d’abord dans l’espace matériel qui est le support et le produit d’une pratique. La pratique n’est qu’un moment dans la dialectique de la production de l’espace entendu comme espace social. Henri Lefèbvre développe une démarche matérialiste dans le sens où son point de départ est la structure matérielle, reprenant à sa manière l’opposition traditionnelle marxiste de superstructure et infrastructure. On pourrait penser que Walter Benjamin procède aussi de cette manière : il dessine d’abord l’espace matériel dans lequel la pratique va prendre place. Mais il me semble qu’il y aurait leurre à lire le texte de Benjamin de cette manière, particulièrement concernant Paris Capitale du 19ème siècle. Dans cet ouvrage, Benjamin déploie la constellation des fantasmagories qui a construit le 19ème siècle pour en dévoiler la nature fantasmatique et idéologique : il cherche à produire les ’images dialectiques’ qui réveilleront le lecteur/flâneur de son rêve. Il tente de faire apparaître à travers la fantasmagorie la réalité matérielle qu’elle masque. D’une certaine manière, W. Benjamin ne semble pas croire (contrairement à H. Lefèbvre) qu’on puisse accéder à la réalité historique d’un point de vue objectif : on ne pourrait y atteindre que depuis les fantasmagories que cette réalité a produite. Le travail de l’historien consisterait à faire transpirer le réel dans la fantasmagorie pour la transformer en ’image dialectique’.

Chez Certeau la démarche est encore très différente. Tactiques, stratégies, opérations, procédures... tous ces termes qui reviennent tout au long du texte pour décrire les pratiques conflictuelles qui constituent l’espace social semblent produire une idée de la pratique décrochée de toute inscription matérielle : la pratique n’est pas un moment dans la dialectique de la production de l’espace, la pratique est ce qui dessine un espace, elle consiste dans une manière de découper l’espace. Mais si la pratique dessine un espace, ce dessin consiste dans un tracé sur un terrain déjà existant. Or il semblerait parfois que les procédures et opérations puissent se déployer de manière quasi-autonome par rapport au terrain sur lequel elles s’inscrivent. Il m’était difficile de comprendre précisément quel était le terrain de ces pratiques et il me semblait parfois que ces termes relevaient peut-être de l’abstraction. Ce qui m’a conduit à cette réflexion c’est la tentative d’utiliser ces concepts pour penser la pratique artistique : il me semblait que ces concepts pouvaient valoir également pour décrire les pratiques quotidiennes et la pratique artistique. Ces concepts ne me permettaient pas, au premier abord, de déterminer la spécificité de la pratique artistique par rapport aux pratiques quotidiennes. Ce problème posé par rapport à la pratique artistique se posait aussi par rapport à d’autres types de pratiques : qu’est-ce qui définit la spécificité d’une pratique si ce n’est précisément l’espace matériel dans lequel elle s’inscrit et l’espace qu’elle engendre par sa propre pratique ?

Cela m’amenait sur un autre questionnement : comment un domaine de pratiques, celui des pratiques quotidiennes particulièrement, pouvait-il être déterminé comme une unité ? L’identification d’un domaine du « quotidien » présuppose une opposition à du non-quotidien, le quotidien étant une détermination négative des activités spécialisées, des fonctions finalisées dans la machine de production sociale. Le ’quotidien’ est ce que Certeau a identifié comme le « reste » de ces activités spécialisées. Certeau part de ce reste pour tenter de lui donner une définition positive et peut-être ainsi, stratégiquement, pour faire sauter les verrous qui tiennent ensemble, dans la machine sociale, les activités spécialisées, machine dont le fonctionnement s’alimente de la négation du non-fonctionnel.

Mais d’un autre côté, ces questions me semblaient contrebalancées par une autre réflexion. Comment la pratique avait-elle pu devenir en tant que telle l’objet d’une analyse ? Qu’est-ce qui permettait à un moment que quelqu’un puisse voir de cette manière là, derrière l’idéologie. Je cherchais la réponse, « en bonne matérialiste », du côté de la structure de l’espace matériel (tel qu’il pourrait apparaître dans la représentation, textuelle notamment) sur lequel une telle analyse se déployait et qui n’était autre que la ville. Ce regard donc, en venais-je à conclure, est lui aussi déterminé par l’espace urbain, mais cette fois de manière très différente de celui du flâneur ou du savant. Certeau part du même point que Walter Benjamin, en bas de la tour, mais il s’arrête avant que l’effet de masque de la fantasmagorie n’agisse pleinement. La ville est un dispositif d’aliénation, l’instrument d’une pratique stratégique dirait-il.

L’habitant des villes modernes, dont le flâneur est la figure, se sent aliéné, dépossédé, par ces lieux impersonnels, étrangers, ayant perdu toute familiarité, où se multiplie la reproduction du même sous la forme de l’architecture et de la marchandise, où il devient impossible de se reconnaître tant le singulier s’efface au profit du reproductible. A cette expérience de la ville comme système anonyme s’oppose, comme son passé mythique, la nature et la tradition orale. Ce passé mythique ressurgit dans l’espace urbain sous la forme de la fantasmagorie et prend corps dans les vitrines commerçantes. Ainsi l’habitant des villes a-t-il l’illusion de retrouver du familier dans ce qui est capté, détourné et reproduit en série par la machine industrielle du capitalisme.

La figure du flâneur témoigne d’un processus de dépossession dont la ville est à la fois le lieu et l’instrument (autre exemple : expérience de Mumbai). Certeau rejoint ce constat mais d’un autre bout : il met à jour une relation essentielle entre la construction de l’espace urbain et le déploiement du processus colonial. Cette relation essentielle met en jeu un même rapport à l’espace qu’il décrit comme produit d’une pratique stratégique.

« J’appelle ’stratégie’ le calcul des rapports de force qui devient possible à partir du moment où un sujet de vouloir et de pouvoir est isolable d’un « environnement ». Elle postule un lieu susceptible d’être circonscrit comme un propre et donc de servir de base à une gestion de ses relations avec une extériorité distincte. La rationalité politique, économique ou scientifique s’est construite sru ce modèle stratégique. » (p XLVI)

Dans la définition de l’unité ’ville’, cette pratique stratégique se déploie, selon Certeau, à travers une triple opération :

_la production d’un espace propre

_la substitution d’un non-temps ou d’un système synchronique.

_la création d’un sujet universel et anonyme, dont le modèle politique serait l’Etat de Hobbes, le monstre sorti des mers pour s’installer sur la terre ferme : le Leviathan.

L’opération stratégique consiste à isoler un espace propre (construire une forteresse) en le distinguant d’une extériorité (la nature, les sauvages) considérée comme dangereuse. Par ce geste d’isolement un vouloir peut s’affirmer en pouvoir et depuis ce lieu isoler dans l’espace et le temps des « éléments » de cette « extériorité », les couper de leur contexte et les introduire dans l’espace propre en lui imposant ses lois : opération d’exclusion inclusive (exclusion de l’autre comme étranger et inclusion de cet autre par sa conformation aux lois du lieu) (Passage de l’état de nature au contrat social). Le vouloir qui s’affirme alors n’a plus de limite que celle des lois qu’il s’impose. En dehors de ses propres lois (qui sont les lois de sa raison, des lois abstraites), le réel lui apparaît sous la modalité du possible. Il s’y affirme comme puissance infinie, comme Sujet. En tant que pur possible, le réel devient la surface de projection où réaliser ses désirs et imaginations. L’espace réel ou matériel se présente comme un espace abstrait, comme espace utopique.

La rupture instauratrice entre un espace propre et un dehors rend possible une abstraction de l’espace matériel : la représentation ne se définit plus par rapport à une réalité matérielle mais par rapport à une autre représentation, celle de l’ « autre », de celui qui est identifié comme « extérieur ». (Ainsi l’acte fondateur du contrat social se définit chez tous les auteurs des théories du contrat social sur le fond d’une critique de l’ « autre » sauvage - pour lequel les peuples colonisés servent systématiquement d’exemple, tant chez Locke, chez Hobbes que chez Rousseau - et non par rapport à une critique de la société qui leur est contemporaine - même si celle-ci est souvent implicite, elle n’apparaît jamais comme telle dans la construction du cadre théorique). La représentation utopique de l’espace masque à la fois l’opération d’abstraction de l’espace matériel et l’opération d’exclusion-inclusive (ou d’expropriation) qui la rend possible. La constitution de cet espace propre prend une forme utopique (exemple : contrat social) qui masque une extension spatiale et temporelle dont le principe est l’exclusion. Extension spatiale, c’est-à-dire géographique, à travers la conquête des terres « extérieures » et l’objectif civilisateur de celui qui a été identifié comme « autre ». Extension temporelle sous la forme de l’Histoire. L’Histoire, comme processus temporel collectif et linéaire présuppose un sujet unique, universel et anonyme. L’Histoire avec un grand H ne pouvait être que l’histoire de l’Europe qui l’a inventée, Histoire de l’Europe devenue Histoire de l’Occident imposée aux historicités des autres sociétés. L’espace utopique se révèle comme espace colonisé : utopie versus colonie. Le Leviathan, automate sur-humain, est le Sujet de cet Histoire.

L’opération stratégique est par définition conquérante : en isolant des éléments identifiés comme « extérieurs », en les extrayant de leur contexte pour les intégrer dans son espace propre et les conformer aux lois qui le définissent, la pratique stratégique tend à transformer la totalité de l’espace en espace propre, en sa propriété.

Ainsi, une des premières opérations de la colonisation et du capitalisme consista à exproprier les agriculteurs de leurs terres pour les transformer en salariés, c’est-à-dire en main d’oeuvre mobile, dont le travail n’était plus déterminé par un terrain d’inscription mais par une série d’opérations abstraites mesurées en temps. De la même manière la ville, particulièrement en France, a été l’instrument de décontextualisation/aliénation par lequel on a détruit les langues et communautés locales au profit de la constitution d’un territoire homogène et d’une langue unique. Le système de fonctionnariat qui obligeait au déplacement des fonctionnaires pour leur installation temporaire dans la capitale remplissait cette fonction de décontextualisation/aliénation.

L’analyse de la pratique coupée de tout terrain d’inscription semble correspondre à ce processus de décontextualisation/aliénation dont la ville a été l’instrument.

La pratique tactique apparaît (comme pratique sociale) lorsque la pratique stratégique étend son lieu propre jusqu’à dominer la totalité de l’activité humaine. L’habitant des villes, confronté à une machine anonyme qui capte et reproduit ses fantasmes et imaginations, se retrouve dans une situation continuellement conflictuelle, inventant des techniques d’appropriation et des imaginaires pour se rendre son espace de vie plus familier, mais étant sans cesse dépossédé de cela même qu’il invente par la machine anonyme qui le réinjecte dans le circuit de la marchandise.

Ces tactiques ont pour terrain un espace qui leur est de jour en jour de plus en plus étranger mais qui survit de la nourriture même produite par leur « résistance ».

Michel de Certeau met à jour le conflit permanent dont la ville est le lieu, derrière les images et fantasmagories produites. Ce qu’il nous dit c’est que par exemple lorsqu’un grand écran est implanté dans l’espace public ou que de la musique est diffusée par un système d’haut-parleurs anonyme installé dans la ville, nous avons encore perdu du terrain sur les stratèges, que derrière l’image produite ou la musique diffusée, c’est encore la machine aliénante qui progresse.

Mutation du regard ? Nous n’avons pas encore répondu à la question : qu’est-ce qui a permis à Certeau de voir, derrière les fantasmagories, des tactiques de résistance ?

La question est : comment s’opère une mutation du regard ? Suffit-il de se dire un moment, en haut de la tour : je veux descendre en bas maintenant, je veux pouvoir voir ce qui se passe d’en bas.

Mais peut-être que la possibilité de cette mutation, de ce changement de point de vue, est aussi déterminée par une transformation sociale plus profonde. Par « sociale » j’entends ici le croisement d’un processus technologique, politique et symbolique qui engage une modification dans le rapport à l’autre, au collectif. Ainsi, la mutation du regard opérée par Certeau, cette possibilité de suivre la pratique pas à pas et non plus de l’analyser et l’objectiver d’en haut serait déterminée par une transformation dans la nature ou plutôt les formes de la machinerie aliénante qu’est l’espace urbain. En effet, la mutation du regard opérée par Certeau réside dans la possibilité de voir derrière les fantasmagories et de suivre les opérations qu’elles rendent invisibles.

Trois choses nous amènent à cette déduction :

_la ville qui sert d’arrière-fond à l’analyse de Certeau est New-York, ville qui représente la modernité du 20ème siècle, ville qui constitue l’apogée de la ville moderne, ville qui réalise le plus « efficacement » les principes structurant de la modernité : exclusion/inclusive, colonie versus utopie. Au contraire, Walter Benjamin s’intéresse, à travers Paris, à la formation de la ville moderne au 19ème siècle. Il s’intéresse à ce moment où la ville apparaissante n’a pas encore résolu ses contradictions, à ce moment de transition entre une société encore largement agraire et une société en voie d’industrialisation. Walter Benjamin, écrivant dans la première moitié du 20ème siècle, choisi de traiter ce moment de transition en l’envisageant comme un moment au plus haut point dialectique.

Aujourd’hui nous tentons de poursuivre la réflexion, à Nantes, et non plus depuis une Capitale. Nous relisons Certeau lisant la ville de New-York du haut d’un World Trade Center aujourd’hui disparu, détruit par des guerriers qui ne semblent venir d’aucun lieu déterminé, qui ne semblent appartenir à aucun lieu propre physiquement identifiable - comme un pays-, mais plutôt à un réseau invisible aux embranchements planétaires (même si il reste sans doute pour une part d’ordre fantasmatique). Certeau écrit au moment de l’apogée New-Yorkaise, l’apogée, c’est-à-dire peut-être aussi le moment juste avant le déclin, le passage vers autre chose, ailleurs.

_l’analyse de Certeau est contemporaine d’une transformation dans le rapport à la représentation qui se manifeste particulièrement dans les pratiques artistiques (voir article De l’expérimentation, de Pierre Schaeffer aux Situationnistes) mais aussi dans certains courants « scientifiques » (exemple : l’anthropologie visuelle, qui en conséquence des développements techniques, invente d’autres modes de production du savoir lié à d’autres manières de construire le regard sur la pratique des soit-disant « autres ».). Une des particularités de ces pratiques, qui déjà annoncent les transformations dont nous sommes aujourd’hui témoins avec le développement d’internet et du multi-média, consiste à inventer d’autres modes de production de la représentation et du savoir, inventer d’autres rapports et modes d’articulation du dire au faire, en intégrant dans leur pratique les récents développements techniques.

_l’analyse de Certeau est indissociable de celle de Foucault (dans Surveiller et punir) par rapport à laquelle elle constitue une forme de réponse. Or Foucault est celui qui, à partir d’une analyse des manières dont les dispositifs optiques participent d’une organisation du pouvoir, a modifié notre lecture de l’espace social. Or l’analyse de Foucault sur le panoptisme avait aussi pour origine une lecture du découpage de l’espace urbain (au temps de la peste).

Des ces trois choses il ressort que la mutation du regard serait corrélative de transformations dans la dimension technologique de la machine urbaine, tant du côté des dispositifs de vision que du côté de l’organisation spatiale, et de la production d’un nouvel espace (dans le sens d’Henri Lefèbvre).

Mutation du regard :

Au début du 20ème siècle, la focalisation du regard sur la fantasmagorie est déterminée par la nature aliénante de la ville qui coupe tout produit de son contexte de production : la production n’est plus déterminée par l’espace-temps dans laquelle elle se déploie (production agraire) mais par la quantité de résultat qu’elle produit dans un temps donné (production industrielle) : première abstraction.

A la fin du 20ème siècle, un autre rapport de production apparaît : celle-ci n’est ni déterminée par l’espace-temps dans laquelle elle se déploie, mais ni, non plus par l’accumulation des produits (par une quantité accumulable dans un lieu et temps donné), mais par la série/sérialisation des opérations produites (ou des services rendus) : deuxième abstraction.

La première abstraction consisterait dans la disparition de l’espace matériel. Dans la deuxième abstraction ce serait le produit comme réalité matérielle qui disparaît : il n’y aurait plus que des opérations temporelles virtuelles, sans lieu, pouvant opérer sur n’importe quelle réalité matérielle. (c’est peut-être ce vertige du virtuel qui engendre aujourd’hui cette frénésie de la mémorisation numérique de toutes les archives).

L’espace-temps urbain comme machine aliénante, comme machine industrielle, se transformerait en machine virtuelle organisant/composant ensemble une multiplicité de processus, d’opérations. L’automate instrumental devient un automate organique. L’automate instrumental était à la fois le corps et l’instrument de ce corps géographiquement/spatialement situé. L’automate organique n’aurait plus de localité déterminée, d’implantation géographique : le Léviathan retournerait à la mer et se transforme en Poulpe [1]. (voir frontispice du Léviathan).

L’oeil du Léviathan, du Dieu-homme, du Dieu fait homme et de l’homme fait Dieu, incarné et représenté architecturalement par la Tour, l’oeil de cet automate divin composé d’hommes changerait de forme : il se démultiplierait et passerait dans l’invisible, sous les mers, sous la forme de dispositifs panoptiques proliférants coupés de leur source centralisée. L’homme-Dieu se transformerait en monstre acéphale ou multi-céphale.

Cet oeil ne serait plus supporté par un corps visible et indivisible. Il tendrait, en se démultipliant, à devenir mobile et à pénétrer partout.

Cequi se perdrait alors, c’est l’articulation de cet oeil à un espace propre qu’il embrasse en le délimitant, qu’il reconnaîtcommele miroir qui lui renvoie son image. Le monstre étatique ayant conquis la totalité de l’espace ne peut plus se définir sur le fond d’une extériorité. L’extériorité lui devient intérieure et le conflit (entre tactique et stratégie) devient permanent.

L’île se fragmente en radeaux sur la mer.

Cette mutation du monstre produit un nouvel espace (espace-temps), une nouvelle manière de découper l’espace et le temps (entre eaux et terres).

L’Automate s’autonomise de l’espace auquel il s’articulait et qui jusqu’à maintenant l’articulait (en termes architecturaux : on passe de la Tour aux réseaux de communication, notamment avec l’informatique), et passe dans l’invisible. L’Automate panoptique se transforme petit à petit en machine de déterritorialisation : le territoire se virtualise.

Le territoire se distingue de « l’espace » qui en tant que concept désigne une abstraction. Il se distingue aussi de l’espace matériel, physique et géographique, en tant que construction sociale.

Le territoire désigne une unité spatiale définie par convention. Elle suppose un acteur (une identité collective) qui délimite une étendue par des frontières.

« Le territoire est un espace approprié support d’une identité collective ».

« Le territoire est à la conjonction de l’espace où s’exerce une souveraineté, de l’espace social (définit comme l’imbrication des lieux et des rapports sociaux) et de l’espace vécu (issu des rapports entre la représentation d’une réalité spatiale et des pratiques quotidiennes). »


Dire que le territoire se virtualise c’est dire qu’il y a un décrochage entre la configuration spatiale que dessine une collectivité humaine et le découpage géographique de l’espace, que la configuration spatiale que définit une communauté humaine n’est plus déterminée par une délimitation géographique. C’est aussi dire que l’unité sociale qui structure l’organisation politique moderne est radicalement en train de changer : que nous sortons de la configuration Etat-nation/Peuple pour entrer dans une nouvelle configuration politique, idéologique, scientifique et symbolique.

[1] Invention et description de l’automate Leviathan : " La nature, qui est l’art pratiqué par Dieu pour fabriquer le monde et le gouverner, est imitée par l’art de l’homme, qui peut ici, comme en beaucoup d’autres domaines, fabriquer un animal artificiel. Puisqu’en effet la vie n’est qu’un mouvement des membres, dont l’origine est dans quelque partie interne, pourquoi ne pourrait-in dire que tous les automates (ces machines mues par des ressorts et des roues comme une montre)ont une vie artificielle ? Car, qu’est-ce que le coeur, sinon un ressort, les nerfs, sinon autant de courroies et les articulations autant de roues, toutes choses qui, selon l’intention de l’artisan, impriment le mouvement à tout le corps ? Mais l’art va plus loin en imitant l’oeuvre raisonnable et la plus excellente de la nature : l’homme. C’est l’art, en effet, qui crée ce grand LEVIATHAN, appelé REPUBLIQUE ou ETAT (CIVITAS en latin) qui n’est autre chose qu’un homme artificiel, quoique de stature et de force plus grandes que celles de l’homme naturel, pour la défense et le protection duquel il a été conçu. En lui, la souveraineté est un âme artificiel, car elle donne vie et mouvement au corps tout entier ; les magistrats et les autres officiers judiciaires et d’exécution sont des articulations artificielles ; la récompense et le châtiment par où la souveraineté, attachant à son service chaque articulation et chaque membre, met ceux-ci ne mouvement pour accomplir leur devoir, sont les nerfs tout comme cela se produit dans le corps naturel, (...)." Introduction du Léviathan de Thomas Hobbes

14 Şubat 2009 Cumartesi

Biographie rêvée...

Je suis née un jour de pluie. Et c'était un dimanche. Je m'en souviens, car je pleurais...

Et ce n'était pas à cause de la pluie. Mais parce que j'étais née sur cette Terre affreuse.

Ensuite, il y eut un grand brouillard et j'oubliai tout...

Il ne faut pas penser pour vouloir vivre. S'il arrive que l'on pense, c'est qu'on est bien

près de mourir. La vie est innocence, plus pure qu'une fille nue. Moi, je voudrais être

Pessoa qui, lui, fut un vrai poète. Lautréamont aussi, mais il plagiait. Parfois, je rêve

d'assassiner un éditeur ou deux... ou d'habiter une planète où il n'y aurait pas de portes.

Où seraient interdits les grands massacres des livres qu'on publie.

Je voudrais être née un jour de soleil et, jusqu'à l'impossible, sur une de ces planètes

où jamais personne ne parle d'astrologie. Je voudrais croire que je rêve. Que cette vie

est le cauchemar d'une autre. Et que c'est dans la mort que je vais m'éveiller. Que je rirai

bien alors de mes peurs du sommeil et de l'angoisse de vivre près des portes fermées.

Alors j'aurai sur une Terre splendide, le bonheur de vivre à côté de Pessoa. Nous

nous serons connus quelque part dans un rêve, entre deux cauchemars, que par pudeur

nous ne nous raconterons pas. Je le laisserai, lui, corriger mes phrases. Dans le port de

ses odes maritimes il me fera voir chacun de ses navires. Et nous parlerons ensemble de

partir, dans une de ces gares où ses poèmes attendent. Peut-être irons-nous jusqu'au

bureau de tabac, dire au patron que nous ne fumerons plus. Et la fumée de la vie nous

débarrassera de l'odeur de se battre et de perdre toujours.

Tranquillement nous irons dormir aux pieds du gardeur de troupeaux et plus jamais

Pessoa ne dira qu'il ne fut pas aimé. Ensemble nous marcherons sous la pluie, sans

qu'aucune de nos pensées nous dérangent. Nous verrons Alberto Caeiro, et Alvaro de

Campos de temps en temps. Un soir par-ci, par-là, nous irons chez Ricardo Reis et

nous saurons que la vraie vie est dans nos livres, que nous aurons écrits sur une planète

fragile où nos pas ne laissaient pas de traces à l'instant où nous passions.

Trop triste, de ne pas voir que nous étions séparés, un jour par hasard je t'ai lu - et

j'ai crié ton nom sur cette planète. Mais j'étais trop loin pour que tu m'entendes. J'ai

traversé le temps jusqu'à Lisbonne. Mais ce n'était pas assez, tu étais déjà mort. Dans
l'avion tu ne pouvais pas être, toi le gardeur de pensées dans les champs de l'univers.

J'aurais voulu sur ta tombe laisser parler les fleurs. Mais je sais que tu sais, que les

fleurs ne parlent pas. Les fleurs ne sont que des fleurs... alors les restes de Pessoa ne

sont que des restes... Je suis partie ailleurs pour te retrouver. Là où tu es, sous chacune

de tes phrases. Et tu m'as dit tant de choses que j'en fus éblouie.

Toi qui ne fus pas aimé, tu fus le plus grand séducteur. Car tu peux maintenant

« croquer la Terre entière ». Pourquoi suis-je née un jour de pluie ? bien moins beau

qu'un jour de soleil. Pourquoi avoir existés tous les deux ? Puisque tu portais déjà en toi

« tous les rêves du monde ».

Fernando Pessoa

4 Ocak 2009 Pazar

"Haydut Devletler"

Haydut Devletler
Jacques Derrida

Filozof, yazar, EHESS’de (Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales) profesör. Bu metin, yazarın Galilée (Paris) Yayınları'ndan Ocak 2003’de çıkacak olan Voyous adlı kitabından alınmıştır.

Erkin kötüye kullanımı egemenlik kavramının yapısal bileşenidir.

Artık Haydut Devletler’den başka Devlet yok ve artık Haydut Devlet yok. Bu kavram, ait olduğu çağda hiç görülmemiş ölçüde korkutucu bir sınıra ve sona ulaşmış olacaktır. Bu son, başından itibaren hep yakındı. Rogue State (Haydut Devletler)(1) söz konusu olduğunda, söylenmek istenen nedir? Şu ya da bu rogue State’in sorumlu olduğu iddia edilen adaletsizlikleri, hukuğu yok sayma, saptırma ve yolundan çıkarma durumlarını ifşa etme durumundaki Amerika Birleşik Devletleri; uluslararası hukukun garantörü olduğunu söyleyen ve gerekli güce sahip olduğu için polis veya barışı sağlama operasyonları ve hatta savaş kararı hakkında söz sahibi olduğunu düşünen Amerika Birleşik Devletleri ve müttefiki Devletler, işte bu Devletlerin kendileri, egemenlik gereği en önde gelen rogue State’tirler.
Bu durum; Chomsky veya Blum’un suçlamalarına dayanak teşkil edecek dosyaların oluşturulmasına gerek olmaksızın ve de Rogue States başlığı taşıyan kitapların yazılmasından önce de aynı şekildeydi (bu demek değildir ki adı geçen dosyalar gerekli veya aydınlatıcı değildir). Bunu ifade ederken, söz konusu cesur çalışmaları küçümsediğimiz anlaşılmasın; ancak özellikle egemenlik kavramının tarihi ve yapısı ve de söz konusu kavramın “mantığı” ile ilişkili kapsamlı bir siyasi düşüncenin yokluğundan üzüntü duyduğumuzu dile getirmek istiyoruz. Böyle bir “mantık” ortaya konduğunda; rogue State’lerle savaş durumunda olan Devletler’in kendilerinin, önsel olarak, en meşru egemenlikleri içinde, kendi erklerini kötüye kullanan birer rogue State olduğu gözler önüne serilecektir. Egemenliğin var olmasıyla birlikte, erkin kötüye kullanımı, ve rogue State de söz konusudur. Kötüye kullanım kullanmanın yasasıdır; paylaşmaksızın hükümran olabilen bir egemenliğin yasası, “mantığı” da bu şekilde işler. Daha açık olarak şöyle dile getirilebilir: Bu mantık, hükümran olmayan ancak çok kritik, kırılgan, stabil olmayan bir çizgi üzerinde başarabildiği içindir ki, sınırlı bir süre için bile olsa, paylaşmaksızın hükümran olmaya yönelir. Egemenlik sadece emperyal bir hegemonya yönelimi içinde olabilir. Bu süreyi kullanmak, zaten kötüye kullanmak anlamına gelmektedir; aynı burada benim de bir haydut gibi davrandığım şekilde. Dolayısıyla sadece Haydut Devletler var; ya gizilgüç olarak ya da fiilen. Devlet hayduttur. Her zaman, sanıldığından daha fazla Haydut Devlet söz konusudur. Daha fazla Haydut Devlet, kulağa nasıl geliyor?
Görünüşe bakılacak olursa, bu büyük dolayımın ardından, başlıkta sorulmuş olan soruya, “Güçlünün (h)aklı(lığı) (Haydut Devletler var mı?)” sorusuna “evet” yanıtı verme eğilimi ortaya çıkacaktır. Var değil mi? Evet varlar; ancak düşünüldüğünden ve dile getirildiğinden daha fazlalar, ve daima daha fazla olacaklar. İşte burada ilk beklenmedik dönüş karşımıza çıkıyor.(2)
Ama işte son tersine dönüş; en sonuncusu. Bir çark edişin, bir devrimin ya da bir revolving door’un en sonuncusu. Nasıl bir süreç bu? Başlangıçta bu yönde bir eğilim içinde olunacaktır, ama meşru olduğu kadar da kolay olan bu eğilime karşı direneceğim: Bütün Devletler’in Haydut Devletler olduğu yerde, eşkiya hakimiyetinin devletçi egemenliğin hükümranlığının ta kendisi olduğu yerde, artık sadece haydutların olduğu bir yerde, artık haydut yoktur düşüncesi.(3) Haydut yoktur.(4) Söylendiğinden veya ikna edilmeye çalışılandan daha fazla haydutun olduğu yerde, artık haydut yoktur. Ancak, ne kadar fazla haydut söz konusu ise o kadar az haydut olması, ve de “haydut yok” veya “haydut Devlet yok” deyimlerinin birbirinin karşıtı iki anlamı taşıması ile birlikte, “haydut” sözcüğünün anlam ve erimini bir bakıma kullanım dışı bırakan bu içrek zorunluluğun ötesinde, bir başka zorunluluk karşımıza çıkmaktadır: Sözcüğe yapılan göndermeye bir son verme, tanımladığı dönemin sınırlarını belirleme ve Amerika Birleşik Devletleri ve müttefiklerinden bazılarının bu sözcüğe sık ve yinelemeli olarak yapmış oldukları başvuruyu sınırlama zorunluluğu
Varsayımım şudur: Bu çağ, Güvenlik Konseyi’nin kurucu ve sürekli üyesi olan, aşırı silahlanmış iki süper gücün dünyada düzeni, nükleer ve devletlerarası bir terör dengesi ile hakim kılabileceklerine inandıkları ve adına soğuk savaş denilen bir savaşın sona ermesiyle başlamıştır; öte yandan Haydut Devletler deyimi sağda solda hâlâ kullanılmaya devam etse de, 11 Eylül günü, söz konusu deyimin geçersizliği ifade edilmekten öte, teatral, hatta medyatik-teatral bir şekilde onaylanmıştır (hiçbir kavramın karşılık gelmediği bir olaya kısa yoldan göndermede bulunmak için bu tarihi gerekli buluyorum; zaten bu olay iki tarafta da şu güçlü medyatik tiyatrolaştırma ile, yapısı itibariyle kamusal ve siyasi bir olay olarak; dolayısıyla yalnızca sınırsız bir merhamet ile eğilebileceğimiz kurbanların tüm trajedilerinin dışında kurgulanmıştır).
World Trade Center’ın iki kulesiyle birlikte, nihayetinde güven telkin edici olan Haydut Devletler suçlamasını gerekli ve anlamlı kılan bütün bir mantıksal, anlambilimsel, retorik, hukuki siyasi kurgulama da gözle görülür şekilde yıkılmış oldu. Sovyetler Birliği’nin çöküşü üzerinden çok geçmeden (“çöküş” diyoruz, çünkü bu çöküşte iki kulenin çöküşünün ilk öncülleri, ilk merhaleleri bulunmaktadır), 1993 tarihinde iktidara gelir gelmez Clinton, Birleşmiş Milletler’e, ülkesinin bu durumlarda uygun gördüğü istisnai 51. maddeyi işleteceğini, ve -alıntılıyorum- Amerika Birleşik Devletleri’nin “mümkün olduğunda çoktaraflı, ama gereklilik durumunda tektaraflı olarak” hareket edeceğini bildirerek, Haydut Devletler’e karşı baskı ve yaptırım politikasını başlatmış oluyordu.
Bu bildiri, Birleşmiş Milletler nezdindeki elçiliği sırasında Madeleine Albright, ve savunma işleri sekreteri William Cohen tarafından birçok kere yinelendi ve onaylandı. Cohen, ABD’nin hayati çıkarları (bu hayati çıkarlardan şunu anlıyordu -alıntıyorum- “ensuring inhibited acces to key marlets, energy supplies, and strategic resources” ve de bir “domestic juridiction” tarafından hayati çıkar olarak belirlenmiş olan her şey) söz konusu olduğunda Haydut Devletler’e karşı tektaraflı olarak askeri müdahaleye (dolayısıyla BM’in veya Güvenlik Konseyi’nin önceden bir mutabakatı olmaksızın) hazır olduklarını bildiriyordu. Demek ki ABD’nin; çıkarları ile çelişen her Devlet’e saldırmak, onu sarsmak veya yıkmak için iyi bir nedene sahip olabilmesi ve haklı sayılabilmesi açısından, Amerikalıların ABD içerisinde ve kimseye danışmaksızın, bu durumu “hayati çıkarları”nın gerekliliği olarak değerlendirmeleri yeterli olacaktır.
ABD'nin Söylediği
Bu egemen tektaraflılığı, egemenliğin bu paylaşılmazlığını, normal ve demokratik bir kurum olarak kabul edilen Birleşmiş Milletler'in bu şekilde ayaklar altına alınmasını meşru kılmak, bu en güçlünün h(aklı)lığına hak vermek için gerekli olan şey, demek, saldırgan veya tehditkâr olarak görülen bir Devlet’in Haydut Devlet olarak hareket ettiğini ilan etmektir. Robert S. Litwak şöyle ifade ediyordu: “A rogue State, is whoever The United States says it is” [“Bir Haydut Devlet, ABD’nin öyle olduğunu söylediği Devlet’tir”]. ABD, kendisinin tektaraflı hareket edeceğini ilan ettiğinde, kendisini bir Haydut Devlet olarak tanımlıyordu. ABD bu şekilde hareket etme serbestliğini, yani kendisini korumak amacıyla “uluslararası terörizm” olarak adlandırılan duruma karşı dünya çapında gerekli gördüğü tüm önlemleri alma iznini BM'den resmi olarak 11 Eylül’de kazanmış oldu.
Ancak 11 Eylül’de gerçekleşen veya açığa çıkan, onaylanan tam olarak ne idi? Az çok haklı olarak, bu olay üzerine söylenmişlerin (bunlar üzerine yeniden dönmeyeceğim) ötesinde, o gün aydınlığa kavuşmuş olan ve iddia edildiği kadar öngörülemez olmayan neydi? Şu kaba gerçek zaten çok açıktı: Soğuk Savaş sonrası, mutlak tehdit artık bir Devlet biçiminde ortaya çıkmayacaktı. Soğuk Savaş sırasında, terör içinde bir dengelenmeyle, bu tehdit iki süper gücün denetimi altında iken, ABD ve onun müttefiki ülkeler dışında nükleer potansiyelin dağılımı artık hiçbir Devlet tarafından denetlenebilir değildi. Etkileri sınırlandırılmaya çalışılsa da; 11 Eylül’de ABD’de ve dünyada bir travma yaşanmış ise, bir çok belirtinin açıkça gösterdiği gibi, bu travma geleneksel olarak travma nedeni sanılan şeyden, yani geçmişte fiili olarak olmuş bir olayın ortaya çıkardığı bir yaralanma etkisinden ibaret değildi; fakat bu olay şimdiki zamanda gerçekleşiyor, daha korkunç ve gelmesi muhtemel olan bir tehdidin yadsınamaz kavrayışı içinde her an bir kez daha yinelenme tehlikesi taşıyordu.
Travma gelecekten geldiği için sürekli yaralayıcıdır ve şifası yoktur. Sanal olan da yaralar. Travma, henüz fiili bir şekilde gerçekleşmemiş, kendini haber verişinin işareti dışında henüz meydana gelmemiş bir yaralanmanın olduğu yerde meydana gelmiştir. Travmanın zamansallığı gelecek’ten kopup gelir. Oysa gelecek, sadece başka kulelerin veya benzer yapıların olası çöküşü, veya bakteriyolojik, kimyasal veya “bilişimsel”, vb. bir saldırı olasılığından ibaret değildir. Tabii bütün bunlar da asla gözardı edilmemelidir. Ancak gelebilecek olan en kötü şey; ABD’nin, yani egemenliği aşikâr olsa da yine de kırılgan, bunalımdaki bir demokratik Devlet’in, diğer normal ve egemen Devletler’in dünya düzeninin tek ve nihai bekçisi, garantörü olarak varsayılan bir Devlet’in devlet mekanizmasını yıkma tehdidinde bulunacak bir nükleer saldırıdır. Bu olası nükleer saldırı, diğer kimyasal, bakteriyolojik, bilişimsel saldırıları dışlamaz ve diğerleri de ona eşlik edebilir.
Oysa bu tür saldırılar, rogue State deyiminin ortaya çıkmasından sonra, çok erken bir tarihten itibaren göz önünde bulundurulmaya başlanmıştı. Ne var ki bunlar, kökenleri itibariyle, hep devlet yapılarıyla ve dolayısıyla örgütlü, durağan, yerleşik, saptanabilir, yeri tayin edilebilir, yeri yurdu olan güçlerle özdeşleştirilmiş, ve de bu güçlerin intihar eğilimli olamayacağı sebebiyle veya böyle varsayıldıkları için, bunların caydırıcı silahlara karşı duyarlı olacakları düşünülmüştür. 1998’de, Beyaz Saray sözcüsü Newt Gingric; erkin SSCB’de bürokratik ve kolektif bir şekilde, dolayısıyla intihar eğilimli olmayan bir tarzda kullanılması nedeniyle, Devlet’in caydırıcı politikalara duyarlı olması sonucu, SSCB’nin güven verici olduğunu büyük bir açıksözlülükle dile getiriyordu. Ancak hemen ardından, günümüzde aynı şeyin, dünyadaki birkaç rejim için söylenemeyeceğini ekliyordu. Oysa şunu da ifade etmeliydi: Bu güçler artık, bir Devlet veya bir rejim tarzında değildir ve bir millete veya bir toprağa bağlı yerleşik örgütlenme biçimine de sahip değildir.
Bizzat kendim, New York’ta, 11 Eylül'ü izleyen günlerde, Kongre üyelerinin Beyaz Saray'a yapılacak bir saldırının Devlet mekanizmasını ve hukuk devletini temsil eden her şeyi birkaç saniye içinde yok etmemesi için alınmış olan gerekli teknik önlemleri sıraladıklarını televizyonda gördüm: Hiçbir şekilde, örneğin Birlik'in durumu üzerine yapılan başkanlık bildirgesi gününde olduğu gibi, başkan, başkan yardımcısı ve Kongre’nin tamamının aynı yerde aynı zamanda bulunmamaları gerekmekteydi. Bu mutlak tehdidin üstesinden, Soğuk Savaş döneminde benimsenen iki strateji teorisiyle gelmek mümkündü. Ama artık olası tehdidin, kurulu bir Devlet’ten, hatta Haydut Devlet olarak bile tanımlanamayacak potansiyel bir Devlet’ten gelmediği bir noktada, bu tehdidi denetim altına almak olanaksızdı. Bu olgu, savaş sözcüğünü kullanmayı, ve “uluslararası terörizme karşı savaş”ın, terörizme finansal, lojistik destek veya korunaklı bir liman (orada denildiği gibi, teröristlere sponsor veya liman olmak) sağlayan belirli Devlet’leri hedeflemesi gerektiği durumunu meşru kılmak için girişilen bütün retorik sarfiyatı (askeri harcamalardan söz bile etmiyorum) boş ve gereksiz kılıyordu.
Haydut Devletler'i Saptamak
“Terörist” Devlet'leri veya Haydut Devletler'i saptamak için girişilen bütün bu çabalar; mutlak tehdidin herhangi bir Devlet’ten, ne çeşit olursa olsun herhangi bir devletsel yapılanmadan kaynaklanmadığı veya bunların denetimi altında olmadığı gerçeği karşısında duyulan mutlak kaygı, panik veya terör duygusunu yadsımaya yönelik “aklîleştirmeler”dir.(5) Bu özdeşleştirici yansıtma yoluyla; nükleer güçlerin veya kitlesel imhâ silahlarının gizli bir şekilde üretildiğini, bunların hiçbir Devlet’e -hatta hiçbir Haydut Devlet’e bile- bağlı olmayan birtakım yerlerde ulaşılabilir olduğunu gizlemeleri, her şeyden önce de kendilerinden gizlemeleri gerekiyordu. Umutsuz bir şekilde Haydut Devletler’i teşhis etmeye çalışarak, tıpkı savaş (eski, yaşlı Avrupa hukukunda yeri olan bir kavram) ve terörizm gibi can çekişmekte olan bütün bu kavramları yaşatmaya yönelik bütün bu çabalar gibi, bu çırpınışlar, bu “aklîleştirmeler” ve yadsımalar boşu boşuna kendi kendilerini yiyip bitirirler. Burada artık ne klasik anlamda uluslararası bir savaş (çünkü ABD’ye karşı ne bir Devlet savaş ilan etmiştir ne de bir Devlet olarak kalarak böyle bir savaşa girişmiştir), ne bir iç savaş (çünkü artık burada eski haliyle hiçbir Ulus-Devlet mevcut değildir), ne de Schmitt’in şu ilginç kavramı anlamında bir “partizanlar savaşı” söz konusu olacaktır; çünkü burada artık bir toprak işgaline karşı direniş hareketi, devrimci bir savaş veya sömürge haline getirilmiş bir Devlet’i özgürleştirmek ve yeni bir Devlet kurmak için bir kurtuluş savaşı söz konusu değildir. İşte bu benzer nedenlerden dolayı eskiden haklı olarak “devrimci savaşlar”la, “kurtuluş savaşları”yla veya “partizan savaşları”yla, yani esas meselenin, ufkun ve zeminin daima Devlet olduğu bu savaşlarla ilişkilendirilmiş olan bu kavram, tutarlılıktan yoksun bulunacaktır.
Demek oluyor ki, artık Haydut Devletler’den başka Devlet yok ve artık Haydut Devlet yok. Bu kavram, ait olduğu çağda hiç görülmemiş ölçüde korkutucu bir sınıra ve sona ulaşmış olacaktır. Bu son, başından itibaren hep yakındı. Ortaya koyduklarım, bir bakıma kavramsal olan bütün bu işaretlere bir yenisini; başka bir düzenin gelişine dair bir belirtiyi taşıyan şu söylemi eklemeli: Clinton döneminde, bu retorik stratejiyi yoğunlaştırıp hızlandıranlar, ve şeytani rogue State deyimini gereğinden fazla kullananlar, sonunda, 19 Haziran 2000 günü halkın önünde en azından bu sözcükten vazgeçmeye karar verdiklerini ilan etmişlerdir. Madeleine Albright, State Departement’ın bu adlandırmayı artık uygun bir adlandırma olarak görmediğini, ve artık bundan böyle, daha tarafsız ve daha ılımlı bir ifade olan States of concern'in kullanılacağını bildirmiştir.
Peki, tüm ciddiyetinizi koruyarak States of concern deyimini ne şekilde çevirebilirsiniz?(6) Diyelim, “zihnimizi işgal eden Devletler, başımıza dert olan Devletler, ama aynı zamanda durumlarının ciddi bir şekilde bizi kaygılandırması, ilgilendirmesi gereken Devletler.(7) Durumları hem tıbbi hem de hukuki anlamda ele alınması gerekenler.(8) Gerçekte bu adlandırmadan vazgeçilmesi durumu füzesavar savunma sistemi ve bütçesi ile ilişkili gerçek bir krizin habercisidir. Neden sonra, Bush sağda solda bu deyimi güncelleştirmeye kalkıştıysa da, deyim, şüphesiz bir daha kullanılmamak üzere devre dışı kaldı. Bu en azından benim, nihai sebebini -ve de dipsiz dibini- ortaya koymaya çalıştığım kendi varsayımım. “Haydut” sözcüğü terk edildi ve bu terk edişin bir hikayesi ve geçmişi var, rogue sözcüğü gibi o da ebedi değil.
Ancak “eşkıya” ve rogue, gerçekte öncelemiş olacakları “Haydut Devletler”in ve “rogue State”lerin ortadan kaybolmasından sonra bir süre daha varlıklarını sürdürecekler.
(çev. Doç. Dr. Melih Başaran)
(1) “Rogue” veya Fransızca’daki “voyou” deyimini, deyimin günlük siyasi literatüre geçmiş şekliyle “haydut” diye çeviriyoruz. Ancak makalenin içeriği, genel olarak “egemenlik” ve “hükümran olma” sorunuyla ilişkisi bakımından, Anadolu kültüründeki bazı çağrısımlarla da uygunluğu bakımından “eşkıya” deyimi de yerinde olacaktır (“eşkıya hükümran olmaz”,vb.). Ancak “voyou” deyimi, sadece dar bir siyasi içeriğe sahip olmayıp, “serseri”, “yaramaz”, “haylaz”, “kabadayı”, “külhani” anlamlarında, hatta edebiyatta örneğin bir Rimbaud veya bir Verlaine’in konumları için de mecazi olarak kullanılır.(ç.n.)
(2) Derrida, birazdan geri döneceği gibi, New York’un ikiz kulelerini çağrıştıran bu “tour” (kule), “retournement” (ters-yüzedilme; uçak kaçırma), hatta uçuşu (“vol”; ama aynı zamanda “hırsızlık”) çağrıştıran “volte” (volta; ama diyalektiğin evrelerini çağrıştıran “avatar”, “merhale”) ve “révolution” (devrim) sözcükleri arasında bir ağ örüyor. (ç.n.)
(3) Söz konusu “ters-yüz olma”nın ardında, karşıtların birbirine dönüşmesini Fransızca deyimsellikte örnekleyen “plus de voyou” deyimini görüyoruz. Yazılı şekliyle, iki karşıt anlama birden, hem “daha fazla haydut” hem de “artık haydut yok” anlamına gelen deyim okunuş sırasında “plus” sözünün “plü” (yok) veya “plüz” (fazla) şeklinde okunmasına göre ayrışır. (ç.n.)
(4) Metinde italikle, dolayısıyla yukarıda belirtilen nedenlerden dolayı çevrilemez. (ç.n.)
(5) “Rationalization”: Freud psikanalizinin psişik “savunma mekanizmaları”ndan biri. (ç.n.)
(6) Şüphesiz çeviremez. Bir çeviri denemesinde, bütün sınıf zincirleme kahkahalara boğuluyoruz. İşte gelen çeviri önerilerinden birkaçı: “malûm Devletler”, “ismi lazım değil Devletler”, “onlar kendilerini bilir (Devletler)”… (ç.n.)
(7) Derrida
(8) “Durumu”yla “tıbbi” olarak ilgilenilen Devlet, (ilk) “Körfez Savaşı”nın öteki adının “Cerrahi Operasyon” (opération chirurgicale) olduğu hatırlanırsa açığa kavuşur.