The Individual is Dead

June 29, 2017

 

It distinguishes at each time a peculiar conception of the world that is the key to all of the valuations that make it. Today man exalts what his grandfathers despised yesterday, and vice versa. This, which could be attributed to the frivolous expiration of values, to ethical and political relativism, is nevertheless the very root of history, where objectivity and continuity of history is denounced and appears.

 

Very often we hear long mourning in honor of for the individual, a political category that escapes without remedy. A slight analysis of the new postwar policy points to the well-known fact that the individual has been stripped of the significance and political importance that he had at his disposal. The phenomenon is of such a degree, that it encloses the secret of new political routes, and whoever fails to understand it with integrity, condemns him to be a blind spectator of the exploits of this age. It turns out that one day the world has discovered that all its political institutions suffered from a radical vice of inefficiency. They provoked a divorce between the supreme public entity - the State - and the social and economic imperatives of the people. The state had been left behind, faithful to anachronistic vigils, receiving their powers from sources devitalized and unrelated to the times. The liberal state was a contraption conceived to realize the particular ends, of the individual. Its most perfect aspiration was not to interfere, to let the individual, the bourgeois, catch the selfish happiness of his person.

 

The demoliberal state gave to the bourgeois what guarantees he needed so that no one could obstruct his ends. In response, the murky socialist, Marxist conceptions appeared, in which we begin today to see clearly how they remain faithful to the bourgeois values ​​that they apparently fought. The foundations that inform the cultural and human background of socialism are bourgeois. Socialism is nothing more than the desire that all citizens become bourgeois. It depends, then, on bourgeois civilization, and recognizes its superiority, without contributing to it a single original and new value.

 

But bourgeois economy has itself created the degeneration and ruin of the bourgeoisie. The demands of production placed before the people a new value: creative solidarity. Men discovered that along with the "ends of the individual," which bourgeois civilization exalts, are the "ends of the people," collective, supra individual, anti-bourgeois ends, whose justification is not recognized by the bourgeois-liberal state. The theoretical and practical socialism of action up to the Russian Revolution failed to escape the orb of the "ends of the individual," and its anti-capitalism is based on the desire that the socialist state guarantee "each" realization of its purposes.

Thus, socialism - against all the terminology it uses - is individualistic, bourgeois, and remains anchored in the old world.

 

Today, the belief in the people is that true human greatness consists in the realization of "collective, supra individual ends". The problem that must be dealt with in the foreground is not to ask: what can I do? But what can I do with others? Here is the true post-liberal, anti-bourgeois stage, which today corresponds to propagate to political radicalism.

 

In man it is possible to distinguish with clarity the coexistence of two sources or sources of action. One is his irreducible self, his most individual consciousness, his feeling as "something" in front of the world, which is affirming itself before what is not itself. To what in man there is of this, to his anti-civil orb, ascribed the liberal State, bourgeois civilization, and political rights. The man possessed, therefore of political rights by what he had of antisocial and denial of the policy. Political rights were dissenting capacity; they were equivalent to recognizing the right of man to deny the State.

 

But man is not only an "individual self, an irreducible consciousness," but something that has the capacity for coexistence, a political animal, that the Greeks said. What man is besides "irreducible consciousness" is thanks to the fact of his existence in a state. If he did not form a State, if he did not live with others, if he did not recognize a State and some "ends of State" to do in common, together with  others, no one would think to ascribe political rights to him. It is, therefore, the State that makes possible the existence of these rights. Without him they would not exist.

 

Liberalism was based, as we see, on the gross error of recognizing political rights in what is anti-political in man. The new States that today are born and triumph - Russia, Italy, the German State that postulates Hitler - are anti-liberal. In them men recognize political rights for what they are: The capacity for coexistence, cooperative action for the purpose of strengthening the State. This is why there is no right of dissent, or freedom from the State. The State is a collective entity, the ultimate goal. (Now, however, I will continue to follow these kinds of ideas which are the object of a forthcoming book, where I will try to hasten all the arguments I use.)

 

There is, of course, a need today, and it is to break the bourgeois individualistic limitations; destroy their purposes and establish new ones. The economic routes and the appetites for grandeur that awaken in some towns collaborate with magnificent efficiency. It is a real, inescapable fact of mass production. And at the same time the European desire to be uniform, to form in a row and sink into them anonymously. These two facts clarify much of the political concerns of the day.

 

He distinguishes the bourgeois’ desire to distinguish himself. His hatred or indifference to uniforms has so far been misinterpreted. He was believed to have arisen from a tendency not to stand out, to live in obscure obscurity. None of this is true. The bourgeois costume is precisely the one that leaves the widest field to the individual caprice. Its apparent simplicity, however, gives rise to a series of innumerable peculiarities. Now the bourgeois is satisfied with mediocre distinctions: the ring, the tie, the skins, and the silk sock. Not in vain does he stand out against other bourgeois to differentiate himself from them and provoke his envy, or against the proletarian, whom he despises with class hatred. The uniform is anti-individualistic, anti-bourgeois garment, and we must celebrate its new triumph. The production in series favors this tendency to become uniform that appears in the new Europe. Perhaps more so than the bourgeois, it is the bourgeois who concentrates more purely that kind of fidelity to the individualist era. The production in series is for the woman of the bourgeois an absurd thing that condemns her to dress the same as the neighbor of opposite. She would like special beads, produced exclusively for her use, but the economy of our time does not tolerate that kind of diversity...

 

The bourgeoisie's route is also linked to the discovery that it does not care about authentic national greatness. He easily gives them away and is dedicated to working out his own individual destiny. He lacks heroic virtues, of vital optimism, and this prevents him from achieving greatness.

 

Bourgeois values ​​and products are, for example, the following:

 

Pacifism.

Indiscipline.

Humanitarianism.

Arbitrariness.

Individualism.

Despotism.

Security.

Tyranny.

Liberalism.

Exploitation.

 

Theoretically the bourgeois civilization has not yet been overcome. But, in fact, yes. Lenin, against the socializing opinion of the whole world, impressed upon the Bolshevik triumph a magnificent anti-bourgeois and anti-liberal sense, disciplined and heroic, of struggle and of war. Mussolini, in Italy, did something similar, making a people who in the Great War showed signs of cowardice and baseness, adore today the bayonet and the "ends of empire." It is necessary to say with joy and hope, as happened to the victories that are coming: The individual is dead

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